Mike O’Brien confirmed he was running for the Conservative PCC nomination in Kent, as Medway Councillor Craig Mackinlay was reported to be doing the same. Ex-cop and Councillor Ian Gillies declared he was seeking the Conservative nomination in North Yorkshire.
Millionaire businessman Kevin Horkin, who is seeking the Conservative nomination in Lancashire, let slip he was through to the “PCC finals”.
Former-cop Nigel Goodyear, resigned his position as a Conservative Councillor to stand as an Independent for PCC in Sussex. This is interesting, coming as it does at a time when the results of the national Conservative selection process are becoming known. Sussex was thought to have 14 potential Conservative Candidates. Did Mr Goodyear get sick of waiting for the Tories to sort through the competition? Did he rebel against not being selected? If you are reading this, Nigel, let us know.
It has emerged that Terry Renshaw, who Labour decided not to shortlist in North Wales, understands that it is not his picketing conviction from the 1970s that has cost him the place on the shortlist. The conviction would disqualify him, but is being examined by my old employers at the Criminal Cases Review Commission, and if they send it back to court the disqualification would be suspended, and could ultimately disappear. However, Mr Renshaw is frustrated that his extensive Police Authority experience has not resulted in him being shortlisted, when candidates with less police-related experience have. This seems to be a reference to Margaret Hanson. I have separately been told that Labour shortlists have to include a woman if one is available, but cannot confirm that this applies to PCC selection. If so, it could raise concerns in Leicestershire and North Yorkshire, where female candidates have been alone on the shortlist, and in Manchester, where Tony Lloyd’s selection would suggest that no women had applied, as would a number of other shortlists around the country. Has “jobs for the boys” been replaced by “jobs for the girls”?
In South Wales Labour hopeful Paul Cannon QPM launched a video to introduce himself to those he won’t meet personally.
Rob Preece, who at the start of the week worked for the Yorkshire Post, and has now moved to the Daily Mail, wrote a story saying Kash Walayat had quit his civil service job to seek the Labour nomination in South Yorkshire. Humberside’s Keith Hunter has said the same about his own decision to retire as a cop. Are there any more out there who have put their income on the line for a chance to change policing?
Hunter reported that the first planned Labour hustings in West Hull had been cancelled, while Jon Harvey and Tim Starkey were due for their own hustings a few days ago for Labour in Amersham, in the Thames Valley Police Area.
UNISON backed Lord Prescott for Humberside Labour PCC candidate, and Shaun Wright for South Yorkshire.
Across the country Labour ballot papers go out on 25 May, to be returned by 13 June, with 15 June being a big day for TopOfTheCops, as all remaining Labour nominees will be announced on that day.
In other news…
Famed New-York-then-Los-Angeles former Police Chief Bill Bratton was in town promoting a new book about collaboration, and arguing that the PCC model would be a terrific opportunity for, er, collaboration. Don’t think he means it in the sense of ‘quislings’.
Not everyone feels this way. Chief Constable of Gloucestershire Tony Melville announced he would be standing down, for a number of reasons, including his refusal to work with a Police and Crime Commissioner. Some defended his principled stand, and others questionned whether there were other reasons for his departure, such as disagreements over the Council Tax precept, and the opportunity to retire and be grumpy.
However, a PCC conference at Cumberland Lodge took place under ‘Chatham House Rules’, so no-one will tell us what went on, beyond reports of a softening attitude toward PCCs over the event, so maybe Bratton’s less-grumpy view is spreading.
The Electoral Commission continued to voice unhappiness about how voters will possibly not find out about PCC Candidates, before an adjournment debate in the House of Commons, which Ros Baston has sought to summarise. The Mayoral Style booklets that many Independent candidates want cost £10,000 for candidates to use in the London Mayoral election, but even that is cheap compared to the costs of printing and distributing an equivalent amount of leaflets.
While poorer candidates bemoan their bad luck that the government is not helping them out here, they may console themselves with the report from YouGov that found that voters don’t like rich candidates, even if the candidates made the money themselves.
As Russell Brand gave evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee on his experiences with drugs, Chairman Keith Vaz MP suggested Brand had been “arrested roughly 12 times by the police.”
“It was rough, yes”, Brand replied.