ST HELENS North MP Conor McGinn has accused Home Secretary Priti Patel of “talking a good game” during a heated exchange over police funding.

The Home Secretary faced a series of questions from MPs over police funding in the House of Commons on Monday afternoon.

Ms Patel said the Home Office has been working “every single day” with the National Police Chiefs’ Council throughout the pandemic to ensure they are properly resourced.

The Conservative MP said it was “inevitable” that extra costs will arise as a result of the crisis and said discussions with the Treasury over further funding are “ongoing”.

Ms Patel also revealed that more than 3,000 police officers have been recruited as part of a drive to recruit 20,000 front-line staff.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Labour’s Conor McGinn, Shadow Minister of State for Security, said the new officers will not replace the thousands of jobs that have been lost under the Tory government over the past decade.

Mr McGinn said: “I fully agree with the Home Secretary in supporting the work the police do in maintain public order.

“But I can’t help but feel, Mr Speaker, that the Home Secretary talks a good game, but we haven’t seen much evidence of action.

“Because we’ve seen a marked decline in the number of public order-trained officers and police support units on this government’s watch and the recruitment she talks about simply won’t replace those and does take a lot of time.”

Mr McGinn sought assurances from the Home Secretary that frontline officers have the proper resources and training they need.

Ms Patel responded by saying the government had delivered the largest police funding settlement in the past decade.

This prompted Mr McGinn to interrupt his Tory rival by saying “you’ve sacked them all”.

The Home Secretary responded saying she had “not sacked them all”, with Mr McGinn replying, “your government has”.

Ms Patel continued: “Our investment in policing is the largest investment in over a decade and that is something that every single police chief, every single police chief around the country is supporting.

“And I think the honourable gentleman, the honourable gentleman should take stock of the fact that when he speaks to police chiefs as I do every single day, as our good friend the police minister does every single day, that they welcomed the investment.

“The investment in new officers but also the training. The fact of the matter is, the money that’s been put into investing in new officers also covers the training, a wide range of training.

“That’s training that’s gone into the national College of Policing. That’s training and investment in the professional development – it’s taking place now – in the professional development of our police officers.

“That is something we should all be proud of.”