The Government is to delay controversial changes to police funding after admitting it sent forces including West Midlands Police the wrong figures.
Ministers were accused of presiding over an “omnishambles” after it emerged funding for West Midlands Police will be £28 million lower than promised.
Police Minister Mike Penning announced the changes will be delayed for a year while the Government attempts to get the numbers right.
And he told the House of Commons: “I and the government regret this mistake and I apologise.”
But Birmingham MP Jack Dromey (Lab Erdington) accused the Government of presiding over an “omnishambles” and said: “This would be laughable if it were not so serious.”
Mr Penning was summoned to the Commons to explain why the Government got its figures wrong when it sent cash-strapped police forces a letter explaining how they would be affected by a new system for funding police.
West Midlands Police had been told it would receive an extra £37 million a year under the changes – but a second set of figures has now been published showing this will be just £9 million.
It comes despite a warning from the independent National Audit Office that West Midlands Police had suffered the second-biggest cuts in the country as a result of the way funding is distributed. The force currently receives £433 million a year.
The new system was due to come into effect in the next financial year, beginning in April 2016. But Mr Penning told the House of Commons that because of the error, it will be delayed by a year.
He said: “I am sorry to say there was a statistical error made. We recognise this has caused a great deal of concern to police forces around the country.”
Labour MP Keith Vaz, the Chairman of the Commons Home Office Committee, said: “To call it a shambles would be charitable.”
And David Jamieson, the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, described the mistake as “shocking”.
He said: “It is shocking that such a mistake could be made on such an important issue.
“This really is farcical. The people of the West Midlands need a fairer deal now.
“It is quite frankly shocking that the Home Office have made a mistake like this and that as a result the West Midlands will continue to get an unfair deal.”
The new formula will decide how funding is shared out between police forces. But Home Office officials realised they had made a mistake in the way they calculated extra funding for areas suffering “adversity” , which can mean they have high levels of poverty and are considered to require extra funding.
However, West Midlands Police, along with other police forces, will also be hit by a cut to the total budget for policing nationwide, which is expected to be announced by George Osborne, the Chancellor, in his Spending Review on November 25.