An MP has been criticised for standing in the way of an anti-knife campaign.

Courtney Barrett, who self-funds his campaign Binning Knives Saves Lives, took aim at Stella Creasy, MP for Walthamstow today.

Mr Barrett’s campaign aims to educate young people and their families on the dangers of blades and takes an amnesty bin around the borough to get knives off the streets.

He says he has been calling for support both from Waltham Forest Council and Ms Creasy for months now, but both are yet to provide any financial support for his efforts.

Mr Barrett claims Ms Creasy has actively stood in the way of his campaign and said she “seems unaware of anything to do with knife crime”.

He said: “Stella Creasy doesn’t support us and is basically trying to stop us. She only seems interested in issues that affect herself, like Brexit and maternity leave. She asked me to stop the knife amnesty bin.

“And she seems unaware of anything to do with knife crime. We contacted her months ago for funding help and advice etc. and she responded two months later with a funding form that was a month past its deadline. She’s been a nightmare for us.”

Mr Barrett added Ms Creasy had asked him to stop his amnesty bin activities as she believed he did not have a safe method of disposing of the blades and asked him to get in touch with a similar campaign, Word for Weapons.

He explained: “If she was paying attention she would know that we’ve done everything possible to get our knives to the police without success because they are so short staffed.

“We have since made everyone aware of this and we have also advertised the fact that we are now going to be melting the knives down and commissioning a youth group to make a statue that we will have erected in Waltham Forest.”

Ms Creasy explained gang crime and youth violence have been priorities for her office’s work for “several years now”.

She said: “My team and I are sorry to receive this feedback from Mr Barrett, he’s never been in touch with us directly, but in April two individuals who said they were part of his campaign did email.

“We offered to help in a range of ways in response, including not only advertising their campaign, but also putting them touch with a similar project which also involved knife bins to help them learn from their work in getting their proposals up and running.

“I also personally invited them to join the forthcoming meeting with the Met Commissioner which my office is organising.”

She continued: “As part of trying to support local youth groups, we added this group to our mailing list for all funding opportunities of which I receive notification.

“In May there was one for funding for projects tackling youth violence – funding that another local group who also received notification from us about this opportunity subsequently secured.”

Ms Creasy added she has been in regular contact with the group through Facebook and offered to meet them repeatedly. She has also been in touch with police to assess options for the disposal of blades Mr Barrett and his team collect.

The MP concluded her offer to the group to meet and discuss the issue “remains open”.