- Reports suggest that at least one of the London Bridge attackers was known to the security services. Former Conservative Downing Street director of strategy blames May for failing to prevent attacks. Opposition parties call on May to publish suppressed report into Saudi funding of UK extremists. May tells BI: “I have to say, I don’t think I’m the only person in Westminster who has found themselves on the receiving end of a few comments from Steve Hilton”.
LONDON – The Prime Minister should resign over her alleged failure to prevent the London Bridge terror attack, a former senior aide to the last Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron has said.
Former Downing Street director of Strategy, Steve Hilton, on Monday claimed the Theresa May was “responsible” for the attack that left seven people dead and many more injured, and called for her to resign rather than seek re-election.
“Theresa May responsible for security failures of London Bridge, Manchester, Westminster Bridge,” he tweeted.
“Should be resigning not seeking re-election.”
Responding to Hilton on Monday, Prime Minister May told Business Insider: "I have to say, I don't think I'm the only person in Westminster who has found themselves on the receiving end of a few comments from Steve Hilton".
Theresa May responsible for security failures of London Bridge, Manchester, Westminster Bridge. Should be resigning not seeking re-election pic.twitter.com/2o0odey2BQ
— steve hilton (@SteveHiltonx) June 5, 2017
Hilton posted an excerpt from a Daily Mail report, suggesting that security services had been warned about at least one of the terrorists behind the attack on Saturday.
The Mail reported that one of the attackers had featured in a documentary about extremists and been reported to the security services by friends concerned that he had been radicalised.
The paper also reported evidence that the suspect had been quizzed by police last year.
Hilton added later that: "Theresa May [is] blame-shifting again. her spin doctors attack MI5, but she was in charge of them for years..."
Theresa May blame-shifting again. her spin doctors attack MI5, but she was in charge of them for years... pic.twitter.com/nlmOmuqfO8
— steve hilton (@SteveHiltonx) June 5, 2017
Previous reports have indicated that the terrorists behind the Manchester and Westminster attacks earlier this year were also known to security services.
Watch May respond to BI's question on terror responsibility.
— Adam Bienkov (@AdamBienkov) June 5,2017
May is also under pressure to release a suppressed report Home Office report into the international funding of terror groups in the UK.
The report was commissioned by the last coalition government in 2015 and due to be published last year but has never been emerged. The Home Office admitted last week that it may never be published due to the "very sensitive" nature of the report.
The report is expected to reveal links between Saudi Arabia and extremist groups in the UK. Critics of the government believe it has been suppressed due to the UK government's ongoing trade relationships with the country.
The UK recently approved £3.5bn worth of arms export licences to Saudi Arabia, despite criticisms over its involvement in the bombing campaign in Yemen.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn yesterday called on May to publish the report.
"It is no good Theresa May suppressing a report into the foreign funding of extremist groups.
"We have to get serious about cutting off the funding to these terror networks, including Isis, here and in the Middle East," he said in a speech in Carlisle on Sunday.
The Liberal Democrats have also piled pressure on the government over the issue.
"You will agree with me that the protection of our country, of the British people, is the most important job of any government," the party's foreign affairs spokesman Tom Brake said.
"Certainly, more important than potential trade deals with questionable regimes, which appear to be the only explanation for your reticence.
"When will this report be finished and published? And what steps do you propose to take to address one of the root causes of violent extremism in the UK?"
May will later this morning give a speech in central London as the general election campaign enters its final days.
She is likely to expand on plans she set out yesterday to tackle extremism in the UK.
The PM said in a speech on Downing Street yesterday that there was "far too much tolerance of extremism in our country," and called for greater powers to intercept online communications.