I must thank Russell Webster for the application of the above headline to the PCC election, originally as a hashtag – but it is oh-so-true.
Another PCC wannabe has withdrawn from the race due to finding out they were disqualified by a previous conviction 40+ years ago.
This time it is Lincolnshire Labour candidate Phil Dilks, who joins Bob Ashford (Labour, Avon and Somerset), Mike Quigley (Conservative, Nottinghamshire) and Simon Weston (South Wales, Independent) in having PCC ambitions upset by juvenile convictions, although at least 2 others have been disqualified by more recent convictions, and Labour’s Alan Charles in Derbyshire stood down because of his juvenile theft of a woman’s purse while shopping, but was reinstated when he was advised the conditional discharge he received meant that it did not technically qualify as a conviction.
So, it is evident that even as the election gets ever closer, somewhere lurking in the TopOfTheCops list of those who have and have not declared themselves to be free and clear of this problem, there may yet be more candidates who are simply disqualified from standing. If you are disqualified and haven’t stood down yet, you are threatening your personal credibility. I approached most candidates individually on 8 August to warn them of these problems, and they have been well trailed in the media and on this website for months beforehand and since. It is extraordinary that there are people standing down this late in the day.
I’ve updated the list of none-fessions. I have been quizzed in the last few days as to whether so-and-so has made their position clear – suggesting that some either know or suspect something. A number of those who have stood down have done so despite there being no known public record of their offence. This is commendable, but let’s face it, there’s always somebody who knows of the conviction, and who could cripple a candidate who fails to disclose it. Are there any candidates out there just taking the risk that this won’t happen? Are there any of their rivals just waiting for the opportunity to expose them?