Med Hughes’s decision to seek Labour’s nomination for the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner election is no surprise. It is no secret that senior Labour figures have been pushing for his nomination for some time, waiting for the right moment.
The right time has come now South Yorkshire Police has found someone willing to become Chief Constable. Only one candidate emerged after the second candidate made an unexpected withdrawal.
It is now clear why this was. The prospect of Med Hughes being ‘the real Chief Constable’ would risk undermining the incumbent’s credibility.
Chief Constable David Crompton has been deputy in West Yorkshire and if Mr Hughes is elected could be perceived to be once again a deputy. Staff recruited and promoted by Hughes would inevitably have be loyal to him, potentially damaging Crompton’s authority.
An ex-chief constable should not run for commissioner in the area he commanded, especially so soon after retirement. Crompton’s job will be tough enough without the previous Chief Constable looking over his shoulder.
Labour has the opportunity to choose a candidate who would enhance the role of commissioner, not usurp the authority of the chief constable. We will announce soon whether to stand a candidate. An alternative would be an independent who could draw support from all parties.
Mohd Ilyas, Chair, Rotherham & Barnsley Lib Dems
Med Hughes was a very good chief constable. However, for many reasons, it would be wrong for him to be a candidate – supported by any party, or as an independent.
I believe his candidature would go against the spirit of good governance. It would put the new chief constable in an impossible position and lead to a blurring of the responsibilities of a commissioner and chief constable, resulting in the politicisation of the police. Whatever the superficial attraction I hope he will reflect, seek wiser counsel, and withdraw.
Howard A Knight, S4