HAMPSHIRE Tories have drawn up a shortlist for their candidate for the £80,000-a-year post of police commissioner.
The shortlist of six is: Roger Ainsley, a rear admiral from Southsea; Christopher Brannigan, a lieutenant colonel in the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards from Winchester; Donna Jones, a magistrate and Portsmouth city councillor; Mel Kendal, a Hampshire county councillor from Milford on Sea; Michael Mates, the 77-year-old former MP for East Hampshire; Sean Woodward, the leader of Fareham Borough Council.
Surprisingly there is no place for Mr Beckett, who retired from Winchester City Council this month to clear the way for his challenge.
He told the Chronicle last night: “I’m bitterly disappointed. But politics is a risky business. I understood the risks when I entered the contest.”
In a move that is unique for the party nationally, the public has a chance to choose the top two candidates during a public meeting at Ferneham Hall in Fareham on June 16 from 10am-4pm.
Then party members will decide who will be the candidate for the election which will be held on November 15.
Meon Valley MP George Hollingbery, Tory co-ordinator, said: "We really didn't just want party members to make all the decisions as the police commissioner is an important and high-profile role, so we decided that a public vote was a good idea.”
Two candidates from the caucus will go on to three Conservative members' meetings where party activists can vote for their choice.
The winner will be unveiled at the final members' meeting on July 5 at Lord Wandsworth College in Hook.