There has been some movement on Conservative Candidates, funnilly enough in exactly the same week as I was officially told there wouldn’t be…
Colonel Tim Collins, the man paraded at the last Conservative Party Conference as exactly the sort of candidate being looked for is a candidate no more. Having said a few months ago that it was a part-time job, no doubt because of his demanding other commitments, his departure was marked appropriately by him not being able to make all the dates for the selection procedure.
Michael Crick said “After Tim Collins’ withdrawal in Kent, + disappointments elsewhere, Tory plan to recruit lots of independent PCC candidates has failed badly“. Hmmm. That would be 5 months before nominations close, Michael. Perhaps a touch early to judge?
Steve Waight, Chairman of Sussex Police Auhority, along with a number of anonymous others, having survived the interview process at Conservative HQ, was not then added to the list of candidates to be interviewed locally, in what must rank as a very curious decision.
Meanwhile, in Thames Valley, Darren Jaundrill, who had been happily sparring with Labour’s shortlisted candidate Jon Harvey over Twitter, did not make it past the Conservative HQ interviews.
Jon Collins noted that “Jim Clark has pulled out of the race to be North Yorkshire PCC (though I didn’t know he was in it, to be honest)” reported here – neither did we. If you are going to keep quiet about an application, don’t go off in a huff at the end of the process. It kind of spoils the point.
ACPO – the Police Oracle report that ACPO are due to lose the 50% funding they get from the Home Office.
In Kent Councillor Craig MacKinley confirmed he was standing and pointed us to his website as proof.
In Devon and Cornwall, Paul Biddle, fresh back from Iraq but with a Civilian Service Medal (Afghanistan) to keep the MBE company, has let us know he has passed the Conservative HQ interview.
In Sussex, Paul Dendle and Anthony Kimber are definitely through to local interviews, and 4 others who so far are not saying. The interviews are due to cut the numbers down to 4 at the most.
Sir Clive Loader told us he was through to the final few for the Leicestershire selection.
In non-Conservative candidate news former Pembrokeshire council leader John Davies has decided to run in Dyfed-Powys, but he may do so as an Independent.
Finding the Time
Tim Collins moving on has brought up the issue of what other commitments people have, and what they’re doing with them. Take this Twitter exchange, largely between Humberside’s Keith Hunter and John Prescott’s son and campaign manager David. I think I’ve pieced it together in the right order.
Hunter: I will concentrate 100% of my time on local delivery as PCC. Building community strength &involvement. Something 4something in crim justice. In hustings yesterday John Prescott announced he wouldn’t give up House of Lords if he became PCC. Clear choice for members…. was vague on how long he would spend in London. It would be lucrative signing in there &getting PCC salary.
D. Prescott As @hesslelabour pointed out you shouldn’t denigrate other candidates. JP will be a full time PCC. Saying otherwise is wrong
Hunter he said himself he would still attend Lords. He don’t say how often. That isn’t denigration it’s simply what he said. I think it’s only fair if members know how much time would be in London & how much in Humber area. Question not denigration.
D. Prescott Your inference that it would be ‘highly lucrative’ to ‘sign in’ on top of a PCC salary is unfounded and quite nasty. So let’s be clear. JP will be a full time PCC who’ll only attend the Lords to speak up for Humberside Police & the public
Hunter not quite what I said but your Dad said he would still attend Lords. How can u be full time PCC if doing that also. but how often. Why so reticent and why can’t he communicate that clearly.
D. Prescott Spoken to JP. He will make a very clear statement responding to your tweets & being a full-time PCC at the next hustings
Hunter that should clear things up for everyone once it’s reported.
Then John Prescott deigns to make an appearance, in a tweet which curiously disappeared… But not before we got a screenshot…
Hunter let’s not get onto apologies John its clarity of intention members deserve nothing more. You haven’t been so far.
And it’s not just Humberside. I had a tip this week that a particular Lancashire Labour candidate had told a hustings meeting that he would be keeping his other roles in the event of winning the PCC election. A quick check with the other two candidates showed their position was that the job was full-time, and any other commitments that took time would be covered by family. On checking with the candidate in question he was clear that he had never made the comments in the first place, that the PCC was a full-time job, and if he got it he would only be wearing that one hat.
Imagine the Home Secretary had said it should be a “full-time job” – there would have been these types of scraps and stories somewhere in England and Wales every day, even after the election.
But it does leave us with the question of whether these hustings should be recorded?
Comment of the Week
When Labour’s Jon Harvey noted that his official candidate election expense limit in Thames Valley was £303,303, I said I hoped he’d been saving his pennies. He replied with “I have a suitcase of Drachmas under my bed just waiting for such an occasion…”
Maybe it was the simultaneous news that De La Rue were making contingency plans to print drachmas, and the background of the immanent general collapse of the European project, but I thought it was hilarious. You want better? Be funnier next week.