Labour's Diane Abbott: I misspoke over bobbies on the beat gaffe during interview

Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott has insisted she "misspoke" after coming unstuck trying to add up the cost of Labour's big election policing pledge.

Mrs Abbott failed to put a correct figure on the cost of providing an extra 10,000 officers on the streets in a stumbling interview, initially coming up with a bill that would have left them earning just £30 a year.

The shadow home secretary told LBC radio the policy would cost £300,000 before revising the figure to £80m - which would still only give each officer an annual salary of £8,000 - during a round of interviews on Tuesday morning.

It left Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in the awkward position of having to put out a correction on the £300m cost of the policy and defend his shadow home secretary.

Challenged about Mrs Abbott's performance during a visit to Southampton, Mr Corbyn said he was "not embarrassed in the slightest" by her comments, adding: "We have corrected the figure and it will be absolutely clear now, today and in the manifesto."

Mrs Abbott insisted she "misspoke" and said she was "completely on top of her brief". She said she had done seven interviewed and had only stumbled on one.

However, it came after Mrs Abbott also struggled with questions over funding the policy in an interview on Sky News.

Labour is promising to put an extra 10,000 bobbies on the beat, funded by reversing tax cuts for the "richest 5%".

It says the party would reverse Government cuts to the higher rate of capital gains tax (CGT) from 28% to 20% and the basic rate from 18% to 10% announced in last year's Budget. This would mean £2.7bn to spend on more police officers.

But the Conservatives have branded the party's proposals "nonsensical", saying Labour has already pledged the cash from reversing cuts to CGT on policies on schools, arts and welfare.

Disputing the Tory claims, Mrs Abbott told Sky News: "We have not actually committed that money to anything.

"We have used the huge cuts in capital gains tax - cuts which will only help the top 5% - we have used them to illustrate the type of policies where we could get the money to fund some of the policy, but as we roll out our manifesto you will see that each policy pledge is specifically costed."

She added: "I think it suits the Tories not to talk about the loss of 20,000 police officers, not to talk about the rise in violent crime, but to quibble about figures."

Prime Minister Theresa May has been campaigning in the South West, where the Conservatives are trying to stop the Lib Dems from regaining the seats they lost in the 2015 election.

Asked about Ms Abbott's comments, she said: "I think she was suggesting you could employ a police officer for £8,000 a head. I think she needs to have another look at her figures."

Mrs May also said, citing the crime survey, that crime was at "record low levels" but "we're not complacent".

The crime survey showed recorded crime, excluding fraud and computer misuse, has been decreasing steadily since a peak in 1995.

Labour, which is consistently behind in national opinion polls, is fleshing out its policy platform with five-and-a-half weeks until the General Election on 8 June.

Labour argues that the number of police officers in England and Wales has fallen by 20,000 since 2010, despite surveys indicating an increase in crime.

The Office for National Statistics suggested a 9% rise in all crimes in 2016 was probably due to "recording processes".

However, the ONS said a 21% hike in homicides and 14% surge in knife crime appeared to show "small but genuine increases".

It is understood Labour's plan would not involve police community support officers (PCSOs) but police officers working in community roles.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd said: "Diane Abbott has laid bare the chaos that Britain would face if Jeremy Corbyn is voted into Downing Street.

"One of Corbyn's closest allies has clearly shown that Labour's sums don't add up, they would weaken our defences, and their nonsensical promises aren't worth the paper they are printed on."#

Steve White, chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said the police service was at "breaking point" and more money was needed.

He said: "More officers will go some way to alleviate current pressures, but conditions of service also need to improve - the remuneration and career prospects need to be enticing to attract new recruits in the first place."

On Tuesday, Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron will attack the Labour Party for taking the votes of ethnic minority communities for granted..