Sadiq Khan has been slapped down by James Cleverly after the Mayor demanded he crack down on the sale of zombie knives.
Khan demanded the Home Office introduce tougher legislation to make the knives illegal.
He said: “It is simply unacceptable that zombie-style knives and machetes are still on the streets of London and the UK eight years after ministers first proposed banning the sale of the blades.”
Hitting back at Khan, a Home Office source pointed out the Mayor’s own record on tackling knife crime.
Sadiq Khan has been slapped down by James Cleverly after the Mayor demanded he crack down on the sale of zombie knives
The source told the Evening Standard: “The Home Secretary requested a meeting over a fortnight ago in which he was hoping to discuss the Mayor’s record on knife crime.
“He looks forward to hearing how Sadiq plans to reverse the 40 per cent increase in knife crime he has overseen in office.”
A zombie knife is defined as having “a cutting edge, a serrated edge and images or words suggesting it is used for violence”.
While they were banned in 2016, a legal loophole means many similar knives are still in circulation.
Updated zombie knives have been designed to get round the 2016 by not having intimidating images or words on them.
In August 2023, the Home Office said it planned to create a tougher definition for the weapons.
It also said it would give police extra powers to seize them.
According to figures from the Office for National Statistics, there were 12,786 knife offences in London in the 12 months to the end of March 2023.
That represents a 40 per cent rise on the 9,086 knife crimes in the capital during the equivalent 12-month period to the end of March 2016.
Khan said: “We’ve repeatedly been promised action, but instead it’s harder for a teenager to buy a lottery ticket than a zombie knife, while we’ve seen a merry-go-round of Home Secretaries failing to deliver.
“These unacceptable delays must end and I urge the Home Secretary to urgently bring forward and toughen up this legislation to finally end the scourge of these weapons on our streets.”
In a meeting with Cleverly, taking place later this week, Khan is expected to raise concerns about remaining loopholes, including manufacturers changing designs to get around the new definition.