“Tories will issue knee-jerk statements demanding support for the police but they are actually cutting the police," he added. "That amounts to pure hypocrisy.”
However Tony Travers, a local government expert at the London School of Economics, played down police budget cuts or recent resignations at the top of the Metropolitan Police – including commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson in the wake of the Murdoch phone-hacking scandal – as factors.
He said: “There are still very able senior officers at the Met who are more than capable of dealing with disturbances like the weekend but perhaps on this occasion intelligence wasn’t what it could have been.
“Undoubtedly, senior officers will be looking ahead to the Olympics in exactly 12 months time and wondering how they will cope if similar events unfold then when they’re dealing with security and overseeing visitors from around the world," he added. "I think that will be a great concern at the moment.”
London Mayor Boris Johnson, Mr. Cameron, his Home Secretary Theresa May, and Tottenham borough police commander Detective Chief Superintendent Sandra Looby were all on vacation when the riots erupted. Mrs. May cut short her holiday today to fly home and deal with the crisis. Mr. Johnson and Ms. Looby are reportedly also on their way home.