THERESA May has promised a cross-Government response to knife crime as she rejected claims police cuts had contributed to a series of brutal stabbings around the country.

The Prime Minister vowed to tackle the causes of knife crime by addressing the issues which led "so many young people" to carry blades.

But Mrs May was accused by political opponents of presiding over reductions in police numbers and cuts to youth services which have contributed to a rise in violent crime.

The Prime Minister, a former home secretary, insisted there was "no direct correlation between certain crimes and police numbers".

Bolton South East Labour MP and shadow justice minister Yasmin Qureshi Tweeted: "This from a Prime Minister who after becoming Home Sec said “we need to ensure that the police can get out there and be more visible on the streets” but now thinks that the loss of 22,000 officers and 7,000 PCSOs has no correlation to crime."