Tag Archives: elected police commissioners

Wakey, wakey! It’s PCC election day in England and Wales. You hadn’t forgotten, had you?

Election day is usually a day when, if you’re at all interested/involved in politics, the pulse quickens, the blood pumps faster, the adrenaline kicks in. With all due respect to the sane candidates standing for the post of Police and Crime Commissioner (and naturally with very best wishes to those Lib Dems flying the party’s flag in England) today just doesn’t feel right.* In fact, it feels like a damp squib.

I think that’s a shame for two reasons.

First, voting matters. It’s perhaps the purest, most powerful way …

Posted in Op-eds | 16 Comments

How to vote – and what to do once you’ve voted

Got an election in your area today? Here are a few key pieces of information for you.

Voting in person

  • Polling stations are open between 7am and 10pm today. No votes can be cast after 10pm; it’s not like the shops where being in the queue at closing time is enough.
Posted in News | 1 Comment

Michael Mates faces “electoral poll fraud probe” by the police

The Mirror reports:

Former Tory Minister Michael Mates is being probed for alleged electoral fraud over his attempt to become one of David Cameron’s new police commissioners.

The crony of crooked tycoon and Tory donor Asil Nadir, will be grilled by police over claims he broke election laws by giving a false address to win the lucrative post…

It was sparked by a complaint from rival Don Jerrard, an independent “justice and anti-corruption” candidate fighting Mr Mates for the £85,000-a-year role running the Hampshire force.

The former lawyer wrote to the county’s Chief Constable claiming Mr Mates breached the 2006 Fraud Act by

Posted in Election law and News | Also tagged and | 5 Comments

Opinion: Parish pump politics and apple pie undermine Police Commissioner elections

Sometimes having a microphone thrust under your nose instantly crystalizes your thoughts. As you hear yourself speak, you realise you have strong opinions when a moment before you didn’t know what to think.

On Thursday night, as I left a Police and Crime Commissioner hustings in Shropshire, I was struggling to gather my thoughts. A reporter from BBC Radio Shropshire, gloriously named James Bond, thrust a microphone at me. “Andy. What did you think of the candidates?”

Posted in Op-eds | 14 Comments

How many votes will the Labour candidate who isn’t a candidate get?

Here’s an interesting twist to the tale of Lee Barron, the latest Labour Police Commissioner candidate who has had to pull out for a previous conviction.

This has come to light too late in the day for him to actually pull out of the election, so his name will still be on the ballot paper with the Labour Party’s name and logo next to it. If he’s elected, he will have to immediately resign, triggering a by-election.

For voters who don’t follow the news that closely, there is therefore …

Posted in Election law and News | Also tagged | 4 Comments

Opinion: What kind of PCC do you want, and why does it matter?

This week the candidate list for Police and Crime Commissioners was published. Given the party’s ambivalence towards the idea we have ended up fielding candidates in only just over half the Police Authorities in England and Wales. The decision to allow local parties to make the decision about whether to field a candidate or support an independent took no account of the fact that in many areas independent candidates have been forced out because of the cost, or the fact that in other areas finding a liberally minded independent may be tough. Sadly only 18% of the declared candidates are

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 5 Comments

Police Commissioner candidate’s team quits after allegations over funding

The Telegraph reports:

Mervyn Barrett has flooded Lincolnshire with expensive leaflets, free DVDs and full-page newspaper adverts in his bid to be elected as its policing supremo next month.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 7 Comments

A confession: I’m a Lib Dem and I support elected police commissioners

Here’s the thing: I don’t have a problem with elected police commissioners. I know they were a Tory manifesto idea and that the Lib Dems are opposed to them (while reluctantly agreeing to vote for them as part of the Coalition Agreement). But I’m just fine with them. My support for directly elected police commissioners is paralleled by my support for directly elected mayors:

For too long, city council politics have been in the hands of amateur part-time leaders: some have been very good, some not so

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 57 Comments

Why the Lib Dems are standing for barely half the elected police commissioner posts

With nominations closed and the elections less than a month away, time for a quick recap on where the Lib Dems are at in the forthcoming police commissioner elections.

As ConHome has taken some pleasure in pointing out, the party is standing in 23 out of the 41 contests, little more than half. A little self-righteously, they argue: ‘This is a political party that is supposed to believe in radical change, in making the state more accountable to the citizen, and in boosting local democracy.’

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 19 Comments

Kiron Reid resigns from Lib Dems to run as independent police commissioner in Merseyside

Kiron Reid, three-times Lib Dem parliamentary candidate and a councillor in Liverpool for a decade, has resigned from the party to enable him to run for the post of Police and Crime Commissioner as an independent. He’s explained his decision in an open letter on his website:

It is with regret that I resign from the Liberal Democrats. I joined the Liberal Party in May 1987 and have been a member with the same membership number ever since. Despite the party’s current problems I did not want to leave and had no intention of falling out with the Party. But I believe that the post of Police and Crime Commissioner should not be party political. I have argued this internally for

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 11 Comments

Another Liberal Democrat PCC candidate is announced

Norfolk Liberal Democrats have announced that James Joyce will be their candidate for the election of the Norfolk Police and Crime Commissioner on November 15th.

James Joyce is currently a district and county councillor. He represents the Eynesford Ward on Broadland Council and the Reepham Division on Norfolk County Council. Since 2005 he has represented the latter body as a member of the Norfolk Police Authority but he will be stepping down from this position in order to contest the election.

Commenting on his adoption, which follows a ballot of all Liberal Democrat members in Norfolk, Mr Joyce said:

“I am delighted …

Posted in News and Selection news | Also tagged and | 3 Comments

Election law snippets

MPs who suffer mental health problems will benefit from the government’s decision to back a Bill going through Parliament:

The Deputy Prime Minister announced that the Government is backing the Mental Health (Discrimination) Bill brought forward by Gavin Barwell MP, which receives Second Reading in the House of Commons today.

The Bill repeals section 141 of the Mental Health Act, which sets out that an MP automatically loses their seat if detained under the Act for more than six months. It also amends similar discriminatory provisions in legislation concerning

Posted in Election law | Also tagged , , and | 10 Comments

Police and Crime Commissioner elections: where the Lib Dems are standing

Although the party has been warming to fighting the Police and Crime Commissioner elections, estimates as to how many Liberal Democrat candidates there will be in the November contests vary hugely.

So here’s a first attempt from me to track the answer comprehensively, based primarily on the adverts which have so far appeared inviting people to apply for the selection in particular contests. As a result, the list will (so far) miss out some areas where the party has 100% decided to contest the election but an advert has …

Posted in Selection news | 17 Comments

Labour Police Commissioner candidate set to defy ban on magistrates

As if two Labour candidates for Police and Crime Commissioner posts running into problems with past misdeeds wasn’t enough, now a third is set to defy the ban on magistrates standing:

Lee Barron, the Labour candidate for the new post, has revealed how is prepared to refuse to stand down as a magistrate before the election, which will be held in November.

Guidance issued last Friday by a senior judge has effectively barred magistrates from standing for the post, which in Northamptonshire comes with an estimated £70,000 salary…

Posted in Election law | Also tagged | 6 Comments

Second Labour Police Commissioner candidate falls foul of “exceptionally tough condition of eligibility”

Alan Charles has now joined Bob Ashford in standing down as a Labour candidate for November’s Police and Crime Commissioner elections due to a youthful brush with the law.

His statement points the finger at the Home Office and Electoral Commission:

The Labour Party has only now received clarification from the Home Office and the Electoral Commission that juvenile convictions for imprisonable offences will bar people from becoming a police and crime commissioner.

That is, however, not quite the full story because this issue was directly debated when the legislation was going …

Posted in Election law | Also tagged and | 1 Comment

How Parliament walked eyes wide open into the Bob Ashford mess

Would-be Labour Police and Crime Commissioner candidate Bob Ashford is rightly getting a positive press and sympathy from across the political spectrum today for discovering he’s disqualified from standing thanks to a £5 fine he paid 46 years ago.

It is absurd that he can’t stand. It is an absurdity that Parliament deliberately decided to enact, for the ban does not arise from unintended side effects of another measure or from poor drafting. Instead, it was a deliberate decision to introduce an unprecedented restriction on who can stand in the Police …

Posted in Election law | Also tagged , and | 11 Comments

A messy situation for Lib Dems over Devon and Cornwall police commissioner contest

It looks like the police commissioner contest in Devon and Cornwall could be about to get a bit messy for the Lib Dems, with the news that the Lib Dem leader of North Devon Council Brian Greenslade plans to run as an independent — even though the party plans to choose an official Lib Dem candidate.

Here’s how This is Cornwall reported it earlier this week:

Lib-Dem turns independent in battle for top police post

Councillor Brian Greenslade, once Devon County Council leader, will be an independent candidate at November’s election for a US-style police and crime commissioner for Devon and

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 9 Comments

In other news… Lib Dem police commissioner candidates, Lady Steel’s pink jaguar tattoo, & other stories

Here’s a round-up of stories we haven’t had time to cover on the site this past few days…

Nick O’Shea named as Lib Dem Surrey Crime Commissioner candidate (BBC News)

Nick O’Shea is a businessman and former Mole Valley District Councillor. … Commissioners, to be elected in England and Wales in November, will oversee the work of police, which ministers say will make forces more accountable. … Police Crime Commissioners will replace police authorities in 41 areas in November.

You can visit Nick’s website here.

Pete Levy is Lib Dem choice as Avon and Somerset police commissioner (BBC News)

A Bristol councillor

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English Party warms to Lib Dem candidates in Police & Crime Commissioner elections

The original moves in the party to pass up (mostly) on fighting Police & Crime Commissioner (PCC) elections generated heated debate and many local parties have made use of their say in the process to push for the party to fight the election in their area. As a result, a steady trickle of adverts have been appearing as selection processes start for many of the Commissioner posts.

In his report to the forthcoming English Council, English Party chair Peter Ellis has confirmed the party’s official warming to the idea of fighting the elections:

With the introduction of the mayoral and PCC elections

Posted in Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged | 18 Comments

Opinion: why elected Police Commissioners will be less democratic and accountable

Firstly, let me declare an interest. I am against elected Police and Crime Commissioners. I see them as a step backwards, allowing personality politics at the top of our police forces. It was in the Coalition Agreement though, so you would think the Liberal Democrats would be taking their strong message about tackling crime to the country.

On November 15th, we see the first ever Police and Crime Commissioner Elections in England and Wales. London has already plumped for Boris, who will take on this remit as Mayor of London. Let’s just say that the lack of interest in these elections is startling but …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 28 Comments

LDVideo: So you want to watch 6mins 23secs of Lembit Öpik in a wrestling ring? You got it…

This weekend Jonathan Calder brought us the news that Lembit Öpik had contrived an appearance in a wrestling ring at Welshpool Town Hall. Distressingly, video footage has now been unleashed:


(Available on YouTube here.)

Posted in YouTube | Also tagged , , and | 6 Comments

Opinion: Police Commissioner elections – the Lib Dem candidate won’t spy on you

As a campaigner with a strong interest in the European Elections, I am really happy to see a number of counties moving towards selection of a Liberal Democrat candidate for the Police Commissioner elections in November.

This is because in the European Elections an important message for Liberal Democrats is that we are effective on crime. Crime crosses state borders within Europe. We need co-operation and integration to ensure that our police’s powers to bring criminals to justice, the rule of law, and important civil liberties cross borders too. The other parties won’t make the commitment that we will to tackle …

Posted in Op-eds | 24 Comments

Home Office decides against national spending limits for Police and Crime Commissioner elections

The controversy over the Government’s view that there should be no freepost election addresses for Police and Crime Commissioner elections has caught the headlines so far, but there is something far worse in the details of the draft legislation. Put simply: having considered having national expenditure limits for the elections, the Conservative ministers in the Home Office have decided to have none.

There will be expense limits for individual candidates and their campaigns. However it is proposed that political parties and outside …

Posted in Election law and News | Also tagged | 5 Comments

Electoral Commission warns government over refusal to provide election freepost to Police Commissioner candidates

In the run-up to the first London Mayor election in 2000 there was a fierce stand-off between the House of Lords and the then Labour government over whether there would be a ‘freepost election address’ for the contest. This service, used for elections such as to the House of Commons and the European Parliament, provides for the free delivery of one leaflet from each candidate to each voter, providing a basic minimum level of communication to the public about the contest.

During the stand-off, the late Conrad Russell led an effective rebellion invoking rarely used Lords procedures. I remember talking to two senior peers, one Tory and one Lib Dem, as he walked down the corridor in the distance. “That’s the man the government is scared of,” one said to the other, and rightly so as the dispute threatened to derail the whole contest.

Posted in Election law and News | Also tagged and | 8 Comments

Should the Liberal Democrats contest elections for Police and Crime Commissioners?

A topic of much debate in the party, the question of whether or not there should be Liberal Democrat candidates in this autumn’s Police and Crime Commissioner elections was also the subject of a piece on The Westminster Hour on Sunday:

Posted in News | Also tagged | 14 Comments

Chris White writes: The next local elections after May this year will be in November.

It is likely that a number of our cities will, by Government diktat, be holding referendums in May as to whether to move to a mayoral system. Some of these will give the go-ahead and Liverpool is anyway likely to jump straight to a mayoral system by use of a council resolution. The mayoral contests will be on the same day as those for Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs).

There are still some who, in relation to PCCs, are fondly imagining that Liberal Democrat candidates won’t be needed. This is despite the fact that it abundantly clear that the Conservative and …

Posted in Local government and Op-eds | Also tagged and | 9 Comments

Should Police Commissioner candidates get election addresses?

The Electoral Commission’s Peter Wardle last week gave a speech to local government Chief Executives, during which he made this point about election addresses:

The constituencies in the PCC elections are big, with over a million voters in some cases. There’s currently no provision for candidates to have Freepost facilities to deliver their election addresses to voters. Nor is there a provision for any sort of booklet for voters that would include candidates’ election addresses. Alongside the PCC elections, of course, there may well be elections for Mayors in the larger English cities. And candidates for Mayor will, on current plans, be able to pay

Posted in Election law | Also tagged and | 4 Comments

New edition of Liberator magazine

The latest issue of Liberator magazine (issue no.350 – January 2012) has just been mailed to subscribers. For those of you who are not yet subscribers, here’s a summary of the contents:

  • The editorial column Commentary examines the electoral consequences of the Autumn Statement for the Liberal Democrats. It also castigates the party’s Federal Executive for deciding against running candidates in next year’s police commissioner elections.
  • The insider gossip column Radical Bulletin begins with a report on the party’s decision not to contest the police commissioner elections.
  • Alice in Wonderland’ – Paul Crossley (leader of Bath

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | 2 Comments

Liberal Democrats Police Policy Review – have your say

What is the role of the police in society? Does it go beyond simply cutting crime and acting as law-keepers to include working with local communities in ways that are sometimes characterised as acting more as “social workers” or “youth workers”?

How should forces work together following the introduction of the new Police and Crime Commissioners? How do we break down barriers between forces to encourage the sharing of best practice and increased cooperation? What needs to happen to ensure that the new Police and Crime Panels (PCPs) act as a check on the power of the Commissioner and are effective …

Posted in Party policy and internal matters | 3 Comments

Opinion: The Lib Dem leadership’s attitude to the Police Commissioner elections is baffling!

“Liberal Democrats – soft on crime” was the headline that has often screamed off Labour leaflets over the last decade. Indeed, in the latter stages of the 2010 General Election, Labour strategists used that message to squeeze the Liberal Democrat vote when we were on 29%.

Looking at the partial, last-minute collapse in our vote, it’s difficult to argue that this line of attack didn’t work. The ‘soft on crime’ attack was used against us in the Oldham East and Saddleworth By-election. Labour’s Christmas Card to constituents in Oldham even featured a snowman with a police …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 30 Comments



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    It was interesting (and slightly surprising) to see widespread media coverage for a report from Princeton that labelled the USA as an oligarchy rather than...
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