A Conservative councillor and the Mayor of London have locked horns over the proposal to increase council tax.

Mayor Sadiq Khan proposed to increase his share of council tax from April 2018 by an average of 27p a week – the maximum amount allowed by the government - which he says is due to government cuts and will go towards the Metropolitan Police and London Fire Brigade.

But Leader of Barnet Council Cllr Richard Cornelius has said Barnet taxpayers are being used as "cash cows" and the Mayor should not milk funds from the borough without increasing its share of police officers.

Cllr Cornelius said Barnet taxpayers currently make the largest contribution to the Metropolitan Police budget but received the fewest officers per head.

He also said the government's proposal to allow the police to levy an extra £12 per household on council tax bills will raise £1.67million per year, which is equivalent to 50 police officers, and Mayor Khan said he would "probably" do this.

Cllr Cornelius said: "Barnet is getting a raw deal on policing from Mayor Khan. Now his closure of Barnet Police Station has left us with one station for the entire borough.

"I should warn him that, if he does milk residents for the full £12 precept, he cannot get away with treating them as cash cows. They will expect something in return and that something should be more police officers on duty in the borough."

Mayor Khan has said he was left with no choice in order to keep Londoners safe, and believes the additional funding needed by the police will go above and beyond the £12 levy allowed by the government.

He said: "For the government to pretend they are riding to the rescue of the police with £450million extra funding would be laughable if the impact on public safety wasn’t so serious.

"The facts are, the Government have not increased funding and are expecting council taxpayers to pick-up most of the bill and it still doesn’t undo the cuts they’ve imposed on the police.

"Nothing is more important to me than keeping Londoners safe. The government has refused to back the Metropolitan Police or the London Fire Brigade with the money they need and so I have been left with no choice but to propose increasing council tax to protect our city from the threats that we face.

"I’m sensitive to the fact that council tax is a regressive form of taxation – as it hits those who can least afford to pay it the hardest, so this is certainly not a decision I take lightly."