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latest news for 23 May 2013
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Seven former Labour ministers selected for police chief elections - June-19-12
Source: The Telegraph (Martin Beckford)
The opposition party does not support the creation of Police and Crime Commissioners, claiming the £100million being spent on the initiative would be better used recruiting 3,000 new constables.
But it is putting up candidates for the elections in 41 force areas in November regardless, saying that they will stand up for communities against Government cuts of up to 20 per cent in policing budgets.
Ed Miliband, the party's leader, said: "The Government is making the wrong choices on crime, taking frontline police off the streets, weakening powers to deal with anti-social behaviour, and opening the door to the privatisation of core services.
"Labour candidates will fight the impact of these reckless changes, working within local communities to bring about the change people want."
Of those selected as potential police commissioners by local party members on Monday, about half are councillors but seven served as ministers in the last Labour administration.
The most high-profile is Lord Prescott, the former Deputy Prime Minister, who will stand in his heartland of Humberside.
In 2009 The Daily Telegraph disclosed that he had used his parliamentary allowances to fit "mock Tudor boards" to the front of his constituency home, and to refit two lavatory seats, but he was not required to repay any public funds.
Alun Michael, a former police minister who is still MP for Cardiff South, will run to be a police commissioner in South Wales. He spent £2,600 on roof repairs, expenses files showed, and had to repay £2,210 for over-claiming rent following the official Legg report into all MPs' second home claims.
Jane Kennedy, the former MP for Liverpool Wavertree and health minister, was selected in Merseyside. She had to repay £2,569 in utility, telephone and mortgage interest payments, and stood down as an MP at the election.
Vera Baird, the Solicitor General under Gordon Brown, lost her Redcar seat in 2010 and has been chosen as police commissioner candidate further up the north-east coast in Northumbria. She had tried to use her second-home allowance to claim for a Christmas tree and baubles but successfully appealed a demand to repay £1,279 on mortgage interest.
Tony Lloyd, who remains Labour MP for Manchester Central, was selected as candidate for Greater Manchester police area. He had to repay £2,210 for over-claiming rent on his expenses.
James Plaskitt was MP for Warwick and Leamington Spa from 1997 until he lost his seat at the last election, and was a junior minister in the Department for Work and Pensions for three years. He was told to give back £2,958 in mortgage interest and TV licence payments.
Paddy Tipping was MP for Sherwood from 1992 and served as a junior minister in the Privy Office as well as an aide to Jack Straw. He stepped down at the election, after voluntarily repaying £14,000 in mortgage payments and then suffering a heart attack, and has been chosen to stand as Police and Crime Commissioner in Nottinghamshire.
The Liberal Democrats are only putting up candidates in a handful of areas while the Conservatives have not yet selected all of theirs.
Police and Crime Commissioners will have the power to hire and fire chief constables and it is hoped they will respond to local concerns by setting force priorities, but so far the flagship policy has failed to capture voters' attention.
Nick Herbert, the police minister, said: "Labour's whole approach to Police and Crime Commissioners is confused and hypocritical.
"They oppose the greater accountability PCCs will bring, but are asking the public to support Labour candidates. They say they will use the elections to oppose police cuts, but they would be cutting the police if they were in government."
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