Shaun Wright’s former deputy rejected for interim PCC role

Tracey Cheetham
Tracey Cheetham
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Shaun Wright’s former deputy Tracey Cheetham has failed in her bid to replace him as police and crime commissioner on a temporary basis.

South Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Panel has selected Steve Pick, chief finance officer for the PCC’s office, to take the post on an interim basis until a new commissioner is elected.

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, had also stood for the interim post but was rejected in favour of Mr Pick.

It has also been announced today the election to find a permanent replacement for Mr Wright will take place on October 30.

Ms Cheetham said after today’s meeting that she will not be standing as Labour’s candidate for the election.

She said: “It was right for me to agree that the panel could consider me as interim PCC, but also probably right that I wasn’t appointed.

“Steve Pick will do a good job as interim PCC. I’ve known him for many years and there is no safer pair of hands.

“I told the panel prior to the meeting today that I would not be seeking selection as the Labour candidate in the South Yorkshire PCC by-election.”

Mr Wright resigned this week 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.