Ribble Valley businessman Kevin Horkin has demanded that candidates for the Police and Crime Commissioner posts should declare themselves now. Councillor Horkin is frustrated that he is the only candidate in Lancashire to declare himself to be in the running, although three other potential Conservative candidates have been identified in local newspapers, including the editor of this site!
His frustration is underlined by potential Conservative Candidates having been given till 31 January to apply, though it is not clear if this is a deadline, as the party’s website advertising for candidates is still being promoted after that date, and this story suggests the applications close at the end of February.
No Labour, Lib Dem or other candidates have emerged publically in Lancashire, though candidates seeking the Labour nomination have till 17 February to apply to the party.
In a quarter of police areas there are not even public rumours as to who would be a candidate for any party. This currently applies to Avon & Somerset, Bedfordshire, Cheshire, Cumbria, Hertfordshire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Staffordshire, Suffolk, Surrey, Thames Valley and Wiltshire.
Cllr Horkin could be in for a long wait though. No clear end date or methodology has been given for the Conservative selection process, with some areas seeing it extending into June. More generally, any candidate could wait till nominations close in October. While this would limit the time they had to campaign, candidates who are already well-known might not need it.
Meanwhile, TopOfTheCops.com has noted that Cllr Horkin appears to have declared himself to be running for both the Commissioner post and the Conservative nomination and, as a wealthy businessman, he may have the resources to run as an Independent if he is not selected as the Conservative candidate. Whether he intends to has not yet been clarified.