Tyne & Wear

Pc blinded by Moat challenges Home Secretary over pay

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Media captionPc Rathband: "I was paid £35,000 last year. Do you think I'm paid too much?"

The Northumbria Police officer blinded by gunman Raoul Moat has challenged the Home Secretary over police pay.

Appearing at the Police Federation conference via videolink David Rathband addressed a question to Theresa May, who was defending budget cuts.

The 43-year-old father-of-two said: "I was paid £35,000 last year. Do you think I'm paid too much?"

Mrs May later said: "I'm not sitting here saying to any individual officer your pay is wrong."

Mr Rathband was blinded when he was shot in the face by Moat in July last year.

After the event, he said he "bore no malice" towards the gunman, and expressed his intention to return to work.

He has also set up the Blue Lamp Foundation, a charity offering help to injured members of the emergency services.

Mr Rathband was introduced by the chairman of the Police Federation, Paul McKeever, who described him as "somebody I respect highly" and "a man who exemplifies the best of British policing".

Delegate applause

Addressing the conference, he said: "I'm sorry I can't be with you today, unfortunately I'm away doing other things.

"I am aware that the current climate from the government is to cut pay, and I welcome the opportunity to ask the home secretary a question in relation to that.

"I'd like to ask you, home secretary, I was paid £35,000 last year. Do you think that's enough?"

His question was met by applause from delegates.

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