A CANDIDATE in the battle to become Hampshire’s new police commissioner has hit out at Chief Constable Alex Marshall in a row over his election leaflets.

Simon Hayes had hundreds of flyers printed in an attempt to spread his message to police officers and staff – but now faces having to destroy them. He was told that for them to be left around stations and communal police areas would compromise the force’s neutrality in Thursday’s poll.

The independent candidate, who thought he had stolen a march on his rivals with the plan, said: “The chief constable, in my view, is denying the democratic process because he is denying me the chance to talk to a major target audience.”

He added: “What I will do with them I don’t know. I will probably use them to light my fire in the winter months.”

His request to circulate an email around Hampshire Constabulary was also turned down.

He said: “They stuck to the line that all police officers must be impartial. I quite understand that, but I am not asking for them to appear in a photograph with me holding the leaflet.”

The leaflets had made up a “large part” of his campaigning budget, he said.

He added: “We are doing this with a meagre budget which is much less than the other parties are doing.

“I think that the fact that I have shown initiative to talk to the staff is important.”

The ex-Crimestoppers chief is up against Labour’s Jacqui Rayment, Tory Michael Mates, Lib Dem David Goodall, UKIP’s Stephen West and Don Jerrard of Justice and Anti-Corruption Party.

For a full list of the candidates and their profiles click here