Tory Mayor Andy Street appears to have joined the recently established school of Fake News. Andy Street is on the campaign trail and has been taking liberties with established facts.
Fact or fiction? Let's take a look:
Recently Mr. Street has been portraying himself as a central figure in securing the Commonwealth Games bid for Birmingham in 2022. The fact is that Mr. Street did not secure the Commonwealth Games for Birmingham.
However, this has not dampened Mr. Street’s desire to go on a schmooze-fest, taking himself down under on a jolly holiday to Australia’s Gold Coast to soak up the sun at this year’s Commonwealth Games. Mr. Street should confirm whether or not this is a tax-payer funded jaunt to one of Australia’s top tourist areas – with its sandy beaches, subtropical climate, nightlife and theme parks.
Another claim of Mr. Street’s that doesn’t stack up is his critique of overspending by West Midlands Police on the ‘Office staff’. The facts show that the Police & Crime Commissioner (PCC) has recruited staff to deal with a huge increase in emergency 999 calls, as crime rises and brought in other specialists to free up police officers to get out on the streets. The PCC is also increasing officer recruitment by 100 and that is in the face of over £12 million of Tory cuts to the West Midlands’ Police budget this year alone.
Mr. Street, by comparison, is due to increase his own office’s revenue budget four-fold to £1.5 million by 2020 and his answer to police funding was to ask for increased council tax to be paid by local residents rather than for more central government funding from his Tory chums at the Treasury.
The Tory Mayor is playing fast and loose with the facts here in this latest round of Tory propaganda. The people of Birmingham will not be fooled.