Southampton’s MPs have publicly backed Hampshire Police Authority boss Jacqui Rayment as Labour’s candidate for the county’s new £80,000-a-year police commissioner.

Cllr Rayment has been chairman of the authority for the past six years and is the deputy leader of Southampton City Council, serving as a councillor for 15 years.

Southampton Itchen MP John Denham said: “Over the past five years crime in Hampshire has fallen.

“But at a time when the police service is facing Government cuts of 20 per cent we need a police commissioner who will stand up for Hampshire and not be afraid to speak out about the dangers of crime and antisocial behaviour.”

Test MP Alan Whitehead added: “Set against a backdrop of cutbacks, falling numbers of bobbies and police privatisation, only a Labour police and crime commissioner will fight against reckless government cuts to the service which keeps us safe.”

Labour members in Hampshire are in the process of selecting the party’s candidate for the Police and Crime Commissioner elections, due to take place on November 15.

Cllr Rayment is up against Alan Hagger, a Winchester Labour activist.

Tories are giving the public a chance to choose their top two candidates from a shortlist of six next month.

They are 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 county councillor from Milford on Sea; Michael Mates, a former East Hampshire MP for 36 years; and Sean Woodward, the leader of Fareham Borough Council.