I have submitted the following letter to the Daily Post and to various local newspapers in North Wales. It appears in the Daily Post today:
I would like to thank the large number of your readers who voted for me in last week’s election. I did not support the creation of this post, as I did not think a single individual should wield such influence over policing. I sought election so that I could take a consensual approach and consult widely. This was a difficult message and although many people who don’t usually vote Labour supported me, many Labour supporters refused to participate in an election they felt was wrong in principle.
People have told me that if I had stood as an independent rather than a Labour candidate, I would have won. That may be true – but although I have been successful in non-political jobs where my political affiliations were irrelevant, the Commissioner will make political decisions about priorities and therefore I felt it would have been dishonest to conceal my politics.
Most of us are struggling to understand why the Government made this change. I can only assume that they hoped kneejerk reactionaries would get elected, who would tell the police to act like ratcatchers. At least that hasn’t happened in North Wales. I know from the hustings that Winston Roddick’s starting point on many of the issues he faces will be similar to mine and I wish him well. I hope he works hard to consult and build a consensus rather than simply relying on his experience.