Kit Malthouse has said that police have a “strong case” to be moved up the vaccination schedule following comments made by the commissioner of the Metropolitan Police.

In an article for the Times entitled ‘Police need the jab’, Dame Cressida Dick said that she was “delighted to hear” that proposals for frontline officers to be vaccinated against Covid were being “actively discussed”.

Commenting on the remarks on LBC Radio, Andover’s MP, and policing minister, Kit Malthouse, said that discussions were being had about vaccinating police and other frontline workers.

He said: “We are asking police officers to do extraordinary things on the front line and sometimes grapple with people not knowing if they’ve got Covid or not, and once we’ve vaccinated the top four groups, then we will have done 80 odd per cent of those people who are most vulnerable.

“I do think, along with other front line workers, that police have a strong case, and that’s certainly what we’re saying internally and to the committee who makes these decisions about who gets vaccinated.

“Nobody wants to muscle vulnerable people out of the way but there comes a point where we have to look at police resilience and bear that in mind, and recognise that all those fantastic men and women in blue that we’re asking out there to do this job need us to think carefully about their health.”

At present, care home residents and staff, as well as those over 70 and the “clinically extremely vulnerable,” make up the top four. If frontline emergency service workers were to be prioritised, they would then follow, with those over 50 and those of all ages with “serious underlying health conditions” making up the rest of the first stage of vaccination.

John Apter, the national chair for the Police Federation which represents officers across the country, said that his organisation was pushing for the vaccination of police and “needs to happen.”

His comments follow statistics that revealed a 10 per cent rise in attacks on emergency service workers in November compared to the same time last year.

Apter said that he was “disgusted to see this appalling increase as COVID-19 continues to spread,” adding: “These figures will include many police officers being spat at and coughed at by vile individuals who weaponise the virus, which threatens their health and that of their families.”

He called for those who assault emergency service workers to be “harshly dealt with” by courts.