Monday, September 10, 2012
CAMBRIDGESHIRE Conservatives’ second choice candidate to be the county’s police and crime commissioner is a former parliamentary private secretary to then Prime Minister John Major.
Sir Graham Bright beat former county council leader Shona Johnstone and Huntingdonshire District Council cabinet member Darren Tysoe in a closed party husting last Friday.
The contest followed with withdrawal of the party’s first choice for the £70,000-a-year job, John Pye, after an unsuccessful attempt to get him to sign up as a Tory.
Sir Graham, who is 70, lost his Commons seat in Luton in the New Labour landslide 1997 general election when Tony Blair swept into office at the expense of Sir John Major, who was at the time MP for Huntingdon.
The new candidate, who will face such of the electorate as turn out on November 15, promised that the views of the Cambridgeshire public at parish level would inform how he managed the police, if he won the poll.
“Even in the most idyllic parts of Cambridgeshire there are elderly people who are afraid to go out, not just because of the fear of burglary but because of the behaviour of some of the young people,” he told The Hunts Post.
“It’s going to be very much the community flagging up their concerns and me making sure those concerns are addressed,” he added. “The public will have complete access to the man who will be police commissioner. I intend to drill right down to the nitty-gritty of what concerns people, and make the police accountable to the people of Cambridgeshire.
“But I have to get elected first.”
Mr Pye, from Alconbury Weston, said the national party had agreed to his becoming a potential candidate without the need to join as a paid-up member, but some local Tories were not happy about his standing on that basis.
He spent more than 30 years with the Royal Air Force, reaching the rank of Air Commodore before working at the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge for a decade.
He has served on the Cambridgeshire Police Authority as an independent member since 2009, and said he was “committed to reducing crime and preserving the operational independence of the police”.
Other candidates standing include Labour’s Ed Murphy, UKIP’s Paul Bullen. Independent Ansar Ali and Farooq Mohammed, and English Democrat Stephen Goldspink.