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.

Unusually for a rural local election, he has employed professional campaign staff, commissioned weekly opinion polls, opened “field offices” and is driven in a chauffeured Mercedes.

He has poured tens of thousands of pounds into the elections, far more than any other candidate anywhere else in Britain.

Mr Barrett describes himself as an “independent”, opposed to “party politics” in policing. He has refused to disclose who is funding him, despite widespread local suspicions generated by the intensity and professionalism of his campaign.

However, it can now be revealed that it has been run by a team from a US-based neo-conservative think tank, the Fund for the New American Century, funded in part by a variety of corporate donors with an interest in public-sector privatisation.

The BBC adds:

The campaign team supporting one of Lincolnshire’s police and crime commissioner candidates has resigned….

Mr Barrett backs Lincolnshire Police’s partnership with G4S, under which two-thirds of civilian staff transferred to the private security firm in April this year.

In a statement on his website, he said he now wished to “consider how best I could continue my campaign” following the resignations.

He said: “I am not for sale, I never have been for sale and I never will be for sale.”…

At the point Mr Barrett’s campaign team resigned there were two full-time members of staff based predominantly in Lincolnshire and four or five others who travelled between London and Lincolnshire.

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  • Looks like the candidate’s gone as well.

  • Nonconformistradical 25th Oct '12 - 8:43am

    Quoting from Mervyn Barrett’s statemen:
    “To my knowledge, there has been no funding for my campaign, other than from my own bank account,
    to which Matthew had access. It will take some days for me to establish how much has been spent, on what,
    and whether there are outstanding debts to be settled. For example, I understand that the video produced
    cost in excess of £30,000 and I do not know whether that bill has been paid.”

    Ouch! Is someone so naive as to give someone who he appears to have known only for a few months access
    to his own bank acount remotely fit for the PCC job anyway?

  • How do I find these candidates who will give me unfettered access to their personal bank accounts 🙂

    I’m adding a new section to our candidate approval forms right now…..

  • How late? Jeez. Get with it.

  • Richard Dean 25th Oct '12 - 11:21am

    This seems like good news in several ways.

    > It shows the electorate that these positions are significant, and so may encourage people to vote.
    > It shows that the electoral process itself, the need to be elected rather than appointed, is able to identify possible misdeeds
    > It alerts the press to increase their scrutiny of all the other candidates there and nationwide
    > It reminds us all, including those who will serve on PCPs, to be vigilant

  • Margaret Rutter 26th Oct '12 - 7:07pm

    To me it shows distrust in candidate and public being able to select the right person for the job. It also shows me that only people with money can run in an election.. Not good for the the LibDem image is it.

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