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Tory who defected to UKIP bids to become police commissioner
A HAMPSHIRE Tory who shocked his colleagues by defecting to UKIP has set out his stall to become the county’s first elected police commissioner.
Councillor Stephen West, a former special constable, has set out a campaign for “zero tolerance on anti-social behaviour and stopping the planned cuts in the number of front line police officers”.
His campaign centres around six “no-nonsense” pledges, which also include no real terms increase in council tax precept, a reduction in overall crime levels, support for victims of crime and a campaign to tear down speed cameras.
Cllr West was unveiled as UKIP’s candidate for the £85,000-a-year police and crime commissioner job at the party’s conference in Birmingham – just over 12 hours after he told his Conservative group colleagues that he was resigning from the party.
The Tadley central councillor had been a Conservative member of Basingstoke council since 2003 His defection means the Conservative administration has lost its overall majority in the council chamber.
Cllr West was re-elected in 2011, is now set to see out his current three-year term as a UKIP member, despite calls for him to stand for re-election.
The councillor, who lives in Tadley with his teacher wife and their nine-year-old son, said while not working he enjoys sailing , SCUBA diving, martial arts and skiing.
Other declared candidates for the Hampshire Police and Crime Commissioner role include Tory Michael Mates, Labour ’s Jacqui Rayment, Liberal Democrat David Goodall , Independent Simon Hayes, and Don Jerrard from the Justice and Anti-Corruption Party.
The closing date for nominations is October 19. Elections will take place on November 15.
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