Peter Kirkham, a chief inspector between 1981 and 2002, alleged that the nearest helicopter was approximately 60 miles away as he laid into the Government over crippling cuts to police services.
But when Express.co.uk contacted the National Police Air Service, a spokesman said his claims were “incorrect” and an aircraft was actually on the scene “within minutes”.
Speaking on Good Morning Britain this morning, Mr Kirkham said: “When the officers were responding to that incident, they asked for air support and the nearest helicopter was as far away as Oxford.
There was a hole over London on Saturday night
“The National Police Air Service has been cut repeatedly since it was introduced to bring efficiencies. And there are holes in that coverage
“There was a hole over London on Saturday night.”
He added: “As it turns out with hindsight it probably would have made little difference because the terrorists were operating under cover of Borough Market, but on another day, with another type of attack, it would have been essential."
Peter Kirkham claimed the nearest helicopter was nearly 60 miles away from London Bridge
But West Yorkshire Police Chief Constable Dee Collins QPM, responsible for the National Police Air Service, said the aircraft had in fact supported police responding to the atrocity for a “prolonged period”.
She said:"The National Police Air Service provides air support to the 43 police forces of England and Wales, based on an individual assessment of the threat, harm and risk posed to communities within the information provided.
“NPAS then uses its fleet of aircraft to respond quickly and efficiently. It is this ability to ‘surge’ resources that was utilised to provide air support to colleagues in the Metropolitan Police for the unfolding incident at London Bridge on Saturday.
London Bridge terror: Scenes as armed police respond Sun, June 4, 2017
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At least two people have died after being after reportedly being struck by a van on London Bridge on Saturday night.
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Armed police responding to the incident at London Bridge
"I can confirm that NPAS aircraft were on scene within minutes of the initial request for service and remained to support colleagues over a prolonged period as the incident and investigation unfolded."
However, she failed to confirm whether or not the aircraft had travelled from Oxford, as suggested by Mr Kirkham.
The former senior officer’s revelation comes after he launched he a scathing attack against Theresa May following the London Bridge atrocity, which left seven people dead and 48 others injured.
Police shot the attackers within eight minutes of the first emergency call
A trio of Islamic State (ISIS) terror thugs went on an eight-minute knife rampage in Borough Market, hacking at innocent revellers, after they mowed down people on London Bridge.
Mr Kirkham has already given a damning assessment of policing budgets in the capital this week.
Speaking to Sky News’ Kay Burley, he said: "The police service is in crisis as a result of the cuts. They’re being dragged from pillar to post. We hear talk of extra police officers on the street. They’re not extra.
London terror raids Sun, June 4, 2017
Police have raided a block of flats in Barking in connection with last night's London Bridge terror attack.
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As police continue their investigations following the June 3 terror attacks, a block of flats in Barking is raided for possible suspects
The former Met chief claimed there weren't any 'extra police officers'
“They are officers that have had their rare leave days cancelled… they are being drawn from other areas, the officers behind us are from Hounslow and Hillingdon, they’re not extra officers at all.
“They are from other duties and they are being burned out.”