'We've Heard This Before': Tory Minister Roasted Over Zombie Knife Announcement

"Why on earth should my listeners believe a single word of this?" Nick Ferrari asked him.
Policing minister Chris Philp.
Policing minister Chris Philp.
DANIEL LEAL via Getty Images

A Tory minister was roasted over the government’s latest announcement that it plans to ban machetes and zombie knives.

LBC presenter Nick Ferrari told Chris Philp they had heard promises to ban the blades before, adding: “Why on earth should my listeners believe a single word of this?”

A seven-week consultation, announced on Tuesday, will look at banning the dangerous weapons and giving police more powers to seize and destroy them.

Labour shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said the knives should have been banned “years ago” and accused the Tories of dragging their heels by “only launching a consultation”.

It is the second eye-catching announcement in two days after Rishi Sunak unveiled his intention for school pupils to study maths until the age of 18 - with the prime minister unable to say when it will actually happen.

Philp told LBC zombie knives were “causing misery’ and that they must be taken off the streets “completely”.

He said they would use the online safety bill, currently making its way through parliament, to curb purchases online.

“Your party enjoys considerable majority,” Ferrari interjected. “What’s taking so long?”

Philp said the legislation had been contentious but stressed that violent crime had reduced 38% since 2010.

Ferrari told him: “Interesting you take us back to 2010 because I thought I’d heard these sorts of promises before.

“The Labour Party has published research that shows every home secretary since 2010 - bar Grant Shapps who was there for a very brief time - has made the same announcement.

“It was Theresa May in 2016, Amber Rudd in 2017, Sajid Javid in 2018 and Priti Patel in 2021.

“Now I’m speaking to you as crime and policing minister in 2023.

“We’ve heard these promises before - nothing has happened. Why on earth should my listeners believe a single word of this?”

Philp told him that was “not true” and they had been “progressively tightening the law” over the last few years.

Ferrari told him the zombie knives are “still out there” and added: “We were promised they would be outlawed a number of years ago.”

Certain types of the blades which are “designed to look menacing” and “with the intention to threaten” are not currently prohibited but would be outlawed under the measures, the Home Office said.

Criminals could also face tougher sentences for their sale and possession.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman said their plans would make communities safer.

Metropolitan Police Detective Chief Inspector Linda Bradley said online sales of the knives “lamentably continues to be a risk to the public”.

Offences covering the importing, manufacturing, selling or supplying of prohibited offensive weapons, and selling blades to children, would carry a maximum penalty of two years in prison if the plans come into force.

Under current laws, if police find a machete or other legal blade in someone’s home they cannot seize or act on this, even if they believe the items will be used in crime.

Giving police more powers will allow officers to seize certain blades even if the items are not prohibited, the Home Office said.

The government is also considering whether to create a new offence for “carrying a bladed item with the intention to injure or cause fear”.


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