Weekend update – Part, The First – 17th March 2012

Being Belfast-born but raised largely in Lancashire, I struggle with what to put in diversity monitoring forms that ask me to choose between being White (British) and White (Irish). Concerned that most personnel officers may be simply puzzled by a new category of White (Orange), I’ve generally gone with being British during the week and Irish at weekends, so I note that today St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Saturday. A good day to be Irish.

New challengers

This week we welcomed to the race Gordon Sandilands in Cumbria (though a wave tsunami of media interest had him backing out a few days after the welcome).

Other new entries were former soldier Anthony Kimber in Sussex (no party affiliation mentioned), Police Authority chair Ruth Rogers for Labour in Cambridgeshire and Paul Dakers in the same area as an Independent.

Former Chair of Bedfordshire Police Authority and former Councillor Adrian Heffernan has told the Police Foundation he will be applying, and Richard Bartlett is considering running in West Yorkshire, being particularly concerned about Police Authority chairs running for PCC.

Meanwhile, Channel 4 News’s Michael Crick has been keeping himself busy, confirming that Margaret Hanson, wife of Labour’s shadow police minister David Hanson, is running for the party’s PCC nomination in N Wales, and is one of 25 women in the 139 possible candidates he has counted. He has also tracked down former Conservative MP Humfrey Malins who told him he was “more likely than not” to run in Surrey, and former Labour MP Hilton Dawson, who is competing (among others) with former Solicitor-General Vera Baird for the Labour nomination for PCC in Northumbria. Mr Dawson has moved there from Lancaster, and Ms Baird has rented a flat there, giving them enough of a legal basis to qualify as local for the purposes of the election.

Meanwhile the Evening Chronicle reported that former LibDem MP Lembit Opik is also in the frame to stand in Northumbria. Cheeky!

Runners and Non-runners

The Labour long-listing process spewed forth its results this week. The first to break with the news was former Minister and Merseyside hopeful Jane Kennedy who announced her interview would be today. She was soon joined by Mike Caseman-Jones and a host of others, but Mayor of Hull and former chair of Humberside Police Authority Colin Inglis was excluded from the Labour longlist.

In Lancashire earlier this week Councillor Chris Maughan had told the Blackpool Gazette that he was not too young to be a Police and Crime Commissioner aged 22, but the Labour longlisters seem to have felt differently.

In other news…

…we shall continue this round-up tomorrow, but there was some happy news on the interface between crime and politics this week when Andrew Percy MP reported that after being shoved up against a wall by Eric Joyce MP in a brawl in the Houses of Parliament he has found that his back problem has been cured. Meanwhile Mr Joyce remains a pain in the backside for Labour, but at least this might give him some ideas as to future career options. Judging by the number of former MPs coming forward for PCC jobs, it looks like the job of an ex-MP is not a busy one.

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