CALLS have been made for the newly appointed Police and Fire Minister to reverse a “wave of austerity” affecting officers.

Matt Webb, chairman of the Sussex arm of the Police Federation, made the call after expressing concern over the future of police budgets in the wake of last week’s General Election outcome.

Mr Webb said it “remained to be seen” how West London MP Nick Hurd, who was appointed on Monday, would handle the topic of cuts.

He said: “Our hope is that he can see the issues our force faces with the constraints of the budget.

“We will continue to argue our case in Government and speak to him as early as possible.”

He said the Federation hoped Mr Hurd would be able to talk to Home Secretary Amber Rudd, the returning Hastings and Rye MP, and persuade her to talk to Chancellor Philip Hammond and “reverse the austerity measures”.

Mr Webb claimed police officers had taken a 12 to 15 per cent pay cut in the last five years because of cuts and wages failing to rise with inflation.

He said: “We are concerned that nothing is going to change with cuts and more cuts.

“The current Government will have learnt nothing from the votes in the General Election.

“We want equal funding for all forces.”

He warned any more cuts would just mean more officers would be “struggling to put food on the table”.

A Home Office spokeswoman said: “Overall police spending has been protected in real terms since the spending review in 2015.

“This year Sussex Police is receiving £6.3 million more direct resource funding than in 2015/16.”

The Home Office said no police and crime commissioner who increased their police precept in the last two financial years – like Katy Bourne in Sussex – was seeing a reduction in their level of funding.

The force is receiving a total of £256 million in this financial year and the size of a workforce and where resources were used was a matter for the chief constable, the Home Office said.

Within two days of being appointed police and fire minister being appointed, Nick Hurd was dealing with the catastrophic Grenfell tower blaze in London which killed at least 17 people.

Mr Hurd previously served as a civil society and international development minister where he led on climate change and environment.

Prior to his time in Government Mr Hurd was a businessman for 18 years.