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Pay freeze "under discussion"

The new police minister has told the House of Commons that lifting the public sector pay cap is "under active discussion".

Nick Hurd was responding to a question from his Labour counterpart, former Special Louise Haigh, who said morale had fallen as the Government ignored warnings over police jobs, pay and resources.

Mr Hurd said: "We want to make sure that front-line public service workers including the police are paid fairly for their work. Not least because of the contribution they have made over the years to reducing the deficit we inherited from the party opposite - and in that, the work they have done in safeguarding hundreds of thousands of jobs.

"How we do that in a way, that is sustainable and affordable, is under active discussion."

Tiff Lynch, chairman of Leicestershire Police Federation, has welcomed the minister's comments.

"Over the weekend, I read newspaper articles reporting that various ministers were calling for the pay cap to be lifted but I saw nothing from Mr Hurd. As he is new to this post, it would have been great to read that he too was getting behind police officers and speaking up on their behalf.

"At least now we know that he says he wants police officers to be paid fairly for the roles they undertake but let's see if he truly fights our corner or if these are just hollow words.

"It is a very confusing situation at the moment. Last week, the Government appeared to say it was reviewing the one per cent cap on public sector pay rises but then it said it wasn't. It really is a case of 'watch this space' but that is not fair on all those public sector workers who remain committed to serving their communities."