21 Mar 2012

Police Commissioners – the latest line-up

Update: 21 March 2012

Over the past few months I’ve been keeping my eye on who might be interested in standing for election as police commissioners.

Ten Labour people with Westminster experience are now in the running – eight of whom were once ministers – Vera Baird, Jane Kennedy, Peter Kilfoyle, Tony Lloyd, Alun Michael, James Plaskitt, John Prescott, Paddy Tipping.  There are two former MPs who weren’t ministers, Ian Cawsey and Hilton Dawson, and a former Labour MEP, Simon Murphy.

Among Conservatives, one former MP is in contention, Humfrey Malins, though Rod Richards, a one-time Tory minister who is now outside the party, has expressed interest.

And former Labour minister Ron Davies wants to stand for Plaid Cymru or as an independent.

The full list follows below:


Bath councillor Lisa Brett is hoping to stand for the Liberal Democrats.


Police adviser Bernard Rix from Biggleswade is standing for Conservative nomination along with Adrian Hefferman, former chairman of the police authority. Richard Stay, member of Central Bedfordshire Council also expected to try.

Oliver Martins from Luton is bidding for the Labour ticket.


Matthew Lee, deputy leader of Peterborough City council, has expressed interest in the Conservative nomination.  So, too, has Cambridgeshire councillor Shona Johnstone, a member of the police authority.

Ruth Rogers is going for the Labour ticket.

Paul Dakers has declared as an Independent.


Baroness Helen Newlove has been mentioned as possible Conservative candidate.  She recently told C4 News that she has big report coming out soon, and would think about it after that.

Middlesbrough councillor Sajaad Khan is running for the Labour ticket, along with his council colleague Barry Coppinger, who sat on the police authority for eight years.

The area’s two independent elected mayors could both be contenders. Stuart Drummond, mayor of Hartlepool, told me a few weeks ago that he hadn’t even thought about it yet.  A spokesman for Ray Mallon, the mayor of Middlesbrough (and a former police inspector) said it was 50-50 whether he’d stand.  Under the rules either man could carry on being mayor as well as serve as elected police commissioner.

Gordon Sandilands, former RAF officer, and DFDS executive from Penrith announced in mid-March he was standing as an Independent, only to withdraw a few days later on the grounds that the media attention was interfering with his job.

So Cumbria is still without any public candidates.

Steve Spear, a crime expert, has applied for the Labour nomination.  So has city councillor Hardyal Dhindsa, a probation officer and member of the police authority.  Alan Charles, deputy chairman of the police authority, is another possible for Labour.

Deputy leader of county council Simon Spencer is going for the Conservative nomination.

The Conservative leader of Derby City Council, Phil Hickson, says he may stand, but would want to do so as an Independent. This may be slightly embarrassing, as he once described the creation of the PCC post as “absurd”. Early last year he said policing and politics should not be mixed. “I’m thinking about it,” he told the Derby Evening Telegraph before Christmas, “but I need to think hard about and won’t make any decision until the New Year.”


Cornwall councillor Lance Kennedy, a former policeman, has declared for the Conservative nomination.  The Conservative leader of Plymouth City Council, Vivian Pengelly, has also been mooted. When I approached her office in January and asked if she was thinking of running, her assistant told me she “does not have a response to your question at this time”. That rather suggested Pengelly was at least thinking about it.

The Liberal Democrats recently decided not to stand a candidate, even though this is traditionally one of their strongest areas.  But Brian Greenslade, a Lib Dem county councillor and former chairman of police authority (and leader of the Liberal Democrats on the Association of Police Authorities), recently told the Western Morning News he could run as an Independent.


The two main Conservative contenders look to be Angus Campbell, leader of Dorset council, and Nick King, a Bournemouth councillor.

County council Liberal Democrat leader Janet Dover says she will think of running if asked.  “I would have to give it serious consideration.”

Former Chief Constable Jane Stitchbury may stand as an Independent.  Former detective chief inspector Martyn Underhill from Poole, who led the investigation into the Sarah Payne murder, has also declared, as an Independent.

The current chairman of the Durham police authority Peter Thompson, a county councillor, has announced he is running for the Labour nomination.

Bill Dixon, the Labour leader of Darlington Council is also running.
The former Deputy Chief Constable of Cleveland Ron Hogg (and before that Assistant Chief Constable of Durham itself) has also been interested in running for Labour.


Nick Bourne, the former leader of the Welsh Conservatives who lost his Welsh Assembly seat last year, told me a few weeks ago that he’s “thinking” of standing in Dyfed-Powys. “I haven’t ruled it in or out. It’s a possibility.” This would be the Tories’ most promising area in Wales.  John Davies, Independent leader of Pembrokeshire council, is also thought to be thinking of running as a Conservative.

Former Conservative minister Rod Richards has told me he’s thinking of standing as Independent, but he said the probability is “less than half”.  (He’s no longer a Conservative Party member).

Plaid Cymru former AM Helen Mary Jones is also mentioned.

Former police chief superintendent Mick Thwaites is running as an Independent.

County and district councilor Robert Chambers, former chairman of the police authority, is planning to run for Conservatives.

Jordan Newell, aged 28, and chairman of Colchester Labour Party, and 2010 parliamentary candidate, is running.

Robin Tilbrook, national chairman of the English Democrats, will run for them, having also fought the London mayoral election


Tim Brain, the former Chief Constable of Gloucestershire, has been mentioned as a possible independent candidate there. Brain, who retired in 2010 and is now a university academic in Gloucester, said he has not completely ruled the idea out.

Mark Hawthorne may run as a Conservative, and so may Gloucestershire police authority chairman Rob Garnham.

Brian Edge a parish councillor from Hucclecote, and former pantomime dame, has also put his name forward as Conservative candidate.

Former policeman and ACPO official Martin Surl is running as an Independent.


Labour’s candidate was announced on 17 March as Tony Lloyd, the MP for Manchester Central, former minister and former chairman of the Parliamentary Labour Party.  Lloyd will step down as an MP in October and the by-election will be contested on the same day as the PCC election, which should give his campaign an extra boost (simply by increasing turnout in his part of the police area).  Not that he’ll have much worry about being elected in what should be a strong Labour area. This is also one of the largest police authorities outside London, so the PCC will be right at the top of the £65,000 to £100,000 pay range.

Lloyd was elected unopposed after other possible contenders declined to stand. Other Labour names mentioned over the last few months included: the Manchester councillor and former Lord Mayor of Manchester Afzal Khan, the former Rochdale MP Lorna Fitzsimons, and the Labour chairman of the Greater Manchester Police Authority Paul Murphy.

Salford councillor Robin Garrido is said to be a possible Conservative.

Stockport councillor Helen Foster-Grime, who has also stood for the European Parliament, has said she’s interested in running for Liberal Democrats.

Former English Democract parliamentary candidate Michael Felse tells me he has now abandoned plans to run as an Independent.


Labour solicitor and former Parliamentary candidate Hamish Sandison wants to run.

Former Welsh Secretary and First Minister Ron Davies is planning to stand, either for Plaid Cymru or as an independent.

Chris Wright, who retired as a police sergeant last year, has declared he’s running – as an Independent, it seems.


On the Conservative side, a leading contender is Sean Woodward, the leader of Fareham Council, who has been the lead Tory on the Hampshire Police Authority for the last seven years, a Fareham councillor for 26 years, and a county councillor for seven years.  Two others running for the Conservative ticket are Donna Jones, deputy group leader on Portsmouth council, who is also a banker and a JP; and Mel Kendal – he’s a cabinet member on Hampshire county council.  Also George Beckett, plans to stand down as Conservative leader of Winchester City Council, to contest the election.

Jacqui Rayment, the chair of the Hampshire Police Authority (and its only Labour member) is bidding for her party’s nomination.


David Lloyd, deputy leader Hertfordshire Council, is expected to get Conservative nomination, and has even been described on one party website as being the party candidate.  He’s also chairman of the Hertfordshire police authority.


Labour’s four-name shortlist includes the former Deputy Prime Minister Lord (John) Prescott. The other possible Labour contenders are Keith Hunter, a former Chief Superintendent of Humberside Police, the former Labour MP for Brigg and Goole Ian Cawsey who was chairman of the Humberside Police Authority from 1993-97, and Alene Branton, another former chair of the Humberside police authority.

The others include Keith Hunter, a former Chief Superintendent of Humberside Police, who told the Hull Daily Mail in January that he’s “champing at the bit to get into the election process”.  The former Labour MP for Brigg and Goole, Ian Cawsey, who was chairman of the Humberside Police Authority from 1993-97, is also standing.  “I think I am offering something completely different to the other candidates,” says Cawsey.  Another contender is Alene Branton, another former chair of the Humberside police authority.

Colin Inglis, the current Lord Mayor of Hull, and also a previous chairman of the Humberside police authority, did not made Labour’s shortlist.

Matthew Grove, an East Riding councilor, is bidding for the Conservative nomination, in an area the Tories would narrowly have won on 2010 election figures.


The retired officer from Iraq, Col Tim Collins, was paraded at the Conservative conference as a possible candidate in Kent. But since then he’s kept a strangely low profile.  He wants to do the job part-time.  He told me on 22 February that he had not withdrawn his candidacy.

Harriet Yeo, NEC member, is running for the Labour nomination.

Fran Croucher, a former police officer who was prosecuted and accused of inventing a tale about an assault, is running as Independent.  He was acquitted and then resigned from the force.

Maidstone businessman Fergus Wilson has declared as an Independent.

Ex-Police Federation boss Jan Berry has also been mentioned as a possible contender in Kent.

Ken Little from Whitstable is also running as an Independent.


Four Conservative names have emerged – Sam Chapman (who runs a website which tracks the progress of possible PCC candidates ), along with Kevin Horkin, Tim Ashton and Geoff Driver.

Blackpool councillor Chris Maughan, a member of the Lancashire Police Authority, is bidding for Labour.  He is only 22.  Also interested, I hear, is Clive Gunshaw, who stood for Labour in Lancaster & Fleetwood in 2010.

Another possible contender is Ibrahim Master, who is an Independent member of the Lancashire police authority, but may run for Labour.


Deputy county council leader Nick Rushton is trying for the Conservative nomination, and may also soon become leader of the county council, which would make him a powerful figure he combined both jobs.  Other Tory runners are retired Air Chief Marshall Sir Clive Loader, (a local parish councillor), and county councillors Joe Orson and Rosita Page.

For Labour, county councillor Jewel Miah, and Wayne Naylor are contenders, along with Leicester city councilor Sarah Russell.  But city councillor Sundip Meghani has decided not to run.

Also local magistrate and businessman Rick Moore is reported to be thinking of standing as in Independent.


Lee Rotherham of the Taxpayers’ Alliance is seeking the Conservative nomination.


For Labour, two former ministers have declared, Jane Kennedy and Peter Kilfoyle.  Also running for Labour is Les Byrom, who defected from the Tories in 2008, having previously been the leader of Sefton council and stood in the Knowsley South and Wirral South by-elections.  A fourth contender is Bill Weightman, a Labour councillor who currently chairs the Merseyside police authority.  The Police Foundation reported that John Ashton was also bidding for Labour.  He’s a senior health professional in the North West.


Simon Woodbridge, former leader of Broadland Council, is going for the Conservative nomination.  Stephen Bett, the current chairman of the Norfolk police authority, has confirmed that he, too, is interested in being the Tory candidate.

Steve Morphew, who was leader of Norwich City Council 2006-2011, is going for the Labour candidacy.


Territorial Army officer Mike Caseman-Jones is going for the Labour nomination. John Norrie is running as an Independent.


The former Labour Solicitor General and Redcar MP Vera Baird is going for the Labour nomination.  She used to work as a barrister in Newcastle, and tells me she is now renting a flat in the area, so she is now qualified as a candidate.

The five other Labour contenders are:

Hilary Dawson, former Labour MP for Lancaster & Wyre (2001-05), who now lives in Northumbria;
Sue Pearson, a Newcastle councillor who runs the local branch of Age Concern;
Paul Tinnion, a former Gateshead councillor;
Tom Foster a councillor from Sunderland, and deputy chairman of the police authority.
John Harrison, former mayor of North Tyneside.

Henri Murison, also a Newcastle city councillor, has now withdrawn from the contest.

The Labour leader of Gateshead Council, Mick Henry, has decided not to run.

Former Lib Dem MP Lembit Opik, another former Newcastle councillor, is also rumoured to be willing to run if his party asks him to.


Tal Michael, the son of Alun Michael, has announced he’s standing down as Chief Executive of the North Wales Police Authority to try for Labour, which might set up a possible Michael family double act in North and South Wales.

The other public Labour contender is Margaret Hanson, wife of Labour’s Shadow Police Minister David Hanson.  Like Sue Pearson in Northumbria, she currently works for Age Concern.

Elfyn Llwyd, the parliamentary leader of Plaid Cymru, has now told me he’s decided not to go for the job.

Also standing as an Independent, Richard Hibbs, mentioned by Police Foundation.


Peter Walker, former deputy chief constable, wants to run for the Conservatives. Another Conservative, Carl Lees, deputy leader of North Yorkshire County Council and a member of the police authority, is also quoted as being interested.

Former policemen Mike Pannett is thinking of running as an Independent.

GP Taylor, another former policeman, is also considering it and would want to run for a party, but he hasn’t revealed which one. Jane Kenyon, chairman of the police authority may also run.


The former Labour minister, and former PPS to Jack Straw, Paddy Tipping, who stood down as an MP in 2010, has declared his candidature.  Nottingham Labour councillor and former Lord Mayor Penny Griggs is running, as is county councillor Chris Winterton.

County councillor Bruce Laughton is interested for the Conservatives. He told me that he had filled the forms in, but hadn’t discussed it with his family, and that a big problem is cost. The Tories are asking candidates to raise their own funds, and he isn’t sure if he can raise the necessary £5,000 for the deposit or the estimated £80,000 needed to run a county-wide campaign. Laughton stood unsuccessfully for Parliament in Sherwood in 2005 and Gedling in 2010. The Newark MP Patrick Mercer is the Nottinghamshire Tory head-hunter.  Nottinghamshire councillor Mike Quigley, a former leader of Bassetlaw council, has also put himself forward for the Conservatives.


For Labour the former Wales First Secretary (before the job was called First Minister) and Home Office minister Alun Michael announced in January that he is running. If he won it would mean a by-election in his seat of Cardiff South and Penarth. That would cost the party at least £100,000 and one of Michael’s parliamentary colleagues therefore expressed the hope he wouldn’t therefore be chosen.

Another Labour possible in South Wales is Rhondda councillor Paul Cannon, a former police inspector who was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal. “I was 30 years a police officer,” he told me. “It’s in my blood, and my father was before me. But now, after eight years in politics, I’ve been able to see it from both sides.”

Falklands veteran Simon Weston standing as Independent.

Former South Yorkshire chief constable Med Hughes is seeking the Labour nomination.

Others mentioned by the Police Foundation: Canon Alan Billings, Labour councillor Shaun Wright from Rotherham, and Kash Walayat, an independent member of the police authority.


Burslem councillor Joy Garner, a member of the police authority, is reported to be going for the Labour candidacy.

No names yet.


Humfrey Malins has told me that he’s very attracted by the job – the first Conservative former MP, that I’m aware of, to express interest anywhere.  Malins has a long background in policing issues, having been a court recorder and was a Conservative front-bench spokesman in opposition.  He hasn’t formally applied yet but says it’s “more likely than not” that he’ll do so.


Peter Jones, the Conservative leader of East Sussex, and a member of the police authority, has confirmed that he’s putting his name forward.  So too is Arun councillor and businessman Paul Dendle.  Steve Waight, a West Sussex county councillor and chairman of the police authority, may also run for the Tories.

Also standing is the retired army officer, Colonel Anthony Kimber, though he’s not decided yet whether he’ll be an independent or try to get a party nomination.

Already declared as an Independent candidate is Ian Chisnall, a social entrepreneur, and Brighton street pastor.  Another Independent is Philip Jones.

The prominent media commentator, Paul Richards, a former adviser to Hazel Blears, is going for the Labour nomination.  It is not an area Labour is likely to win.


This is a huge area, covering three counties (Oxon, Berks and Bucks), and also David Cameron and Theresa May’s own patch, yet surprisingly no Conservative names have emerged so far for definite.  A leading Tory in the area says he knows of five people who are interested, but says these are of “varying quality”. One name mentioned elsewhere is the Conservative county councillor Kieron Mallon from Banbury, who sits on the police authority.  “I’m not prepared to comment at the moment,” he told me late February.


The former minister James Plaskitt, who was Labour MP for Warwick and Leamington, is running.

I’m told county councillor Izzy Seccombe is a strong contender for the Conservative ticket.


The former MEP Simon Murphy confirms that he is interested in being the candidate for Labour.

Des Parkinson, retired police superintendent from Dyfed-Powys, was reported by Shropshire Star as wanting the Conservative nomination.  He’s a former national secretary of the Police Superintendants Association, who helped set up the Sex Offenders Register.  I’m told that other possibles are Adrian Hardman, the Conservative leader of Worcestershire county council, and Keith Barrons the Conservative leader of Shropshire council.


Hoping to stand for Labour is  Mike Olley, a former Birmingham Labour councillor (1991-2005) who is chief executive of the Broad Street Business Improvement District.  Also trying for Labour, Wolverhampton councillor Bob Jones, who has a Facebook page ‘Bob Jones for PCC’. Jones is a former chair of the West Midlands Police Authority (1995-2000) (and now chairman of the finance committee). He was also chairman of the National Association of Police Authorities from 2005-09. More interesting, he serves too as Campaigns Officer for CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale.  Another Labour contender is Birmingham councillor Yvonne Mosquito, who was previously vice-chair of the West Midlands Police Authority.  I am told that a female Labour councillor from Coventry has also applied.

Joe Tildesley, former chairman of local Police Federation and parliamentary candidate, is running for Conservative ticket.

Birmingham city councillor and barrister Ayoub Khan wants to be the Liberal Democrat candidate.


Wakefield councilor, Mark Burns-Williamson, a member of the police authority (and its former chairman) is reported to be seeking the Labour candidacy.

Former chief constable Keith Hellawell has thought of standing as an Independent, but says he probably won’t do so.  He thinks his chances would be slim against the power of the political parties.  Richard Bartlett may also stand as an Independent.


No names as yet.

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