New interim PCC to be appointed

Ex South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Shaun Wright
Ex South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Shaun Wright
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The process of replacing Shaun Wright as South Yorkshire’s police and crime commissioner begins today.

South Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Panel is currently meeting to decide who will stand in as interim commissioner after Shaun Wright resigned in the wake of the controversy unleashed by the Jay Report into widespread child sexual exploitation in Rotherham.

The candidates are Mr Wright’s former deputy Tracey Cheetham, who stepped down in the wake of the report’s publication after Mr Wright initially refused to resign.

Steve Pick chief finance officer for the PCC’s office has also put himself forward.

A decision is expected this morning.

The panel will also set a timetable for the process which will lead to the election of a new, permanent post-holder.

Mr Wright resigned after three weeks of intense pressure following the publication of Professor Alexis Jay’s report which described how at least 1,400 children were sexually exploited in the town between 1997 and 2013.

He had been the subject of widespread criticism and top-levels calls for him to step down because he was the elected councillor with responsibility for children’s services in Rotherham between 2005 and 2010.

The mounting pressure on the former commissioner culminated a week ago when he was summoned before the panel.

He was booed as he entered the room for the emotional session and had to endure calls from members of public and victims for him to step down.

This morning’s meeting, at Rotherham Town Hall, is expected to trigger the formal by-election process.

Under the rules, a by-election has to be held within 35 days of one being requested by two electors.

Mr Wright was elected into position in November 2012 after he received 51.35 per cent of the vote.

The turnout was 14.53 per cent.