Police take Home Office to court over pay

Police officers have won the right to mount a legal challenge over their pay award.

The Home Office will now face a High Court challenge over its refusal to backdate the 2.5 per cent pay award, as recommended by the Police Arbitration Tribunal.

Police officers claimed this decision effectively devalued it to an annual 1.9 per cent pay rise, making it insufficient to cover the increased cost of living.

Ruling today Mr Justice Collins said he had “no hesitation” in finding there was a case for a judicial review.

Lawyers for the Police Federation had argued officers had a “legitimate expectation” they would receive the full 2.5 per cent pay award, as has been delivered for officers in Scotland.

John Francis, general secretary of Police Federation, said the decision allowed officers to “challenge the betrayal of the home secretary in failing to make an award in line with the police arbitration tribunal”.

More than 20,000 police officers took to the streets in central London last month in protest at the home secretary’s refusal to backdate the full pay award.

Mr Francis continued: “But this doesn’t disguise the anger that is felt out there at the way they have been betrayed by the home secretary.

“The court is probably the last avenue left open to us.”

The Liberal Democrats said the government was trying to “defend the indefensible” in refusing to pay the full 2.5 per cent.

Lib Dem home affairs spokesman Chris Huhne said: “It has breached trust with the police because you cannot deprive a group of the right to strike, and even the right to have a second job, while at the same time failing to honour arbitration arrangements on pay.”