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  • "I work for an associated police body so I went along to this meeting and was very impressed by Mrs Jones. She will be a formidable commissioner and was the only one with any relevant experience. And to the previous poster she did say that she would give up her other roles if she gets elected, and would have to give up being a magistrate in any event under the legislation.
    As for Michael Mates, he didn't impress me at all and seems to just want another ride on the gravy train; he really didn't know what he was talking about, unlike Lt Col Brannigan who was excellent too and it's a real shame he didn't make it in place of Michael Mates."
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Tory police commissioner hopefuls chosen in public vote

First published in Politics Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Politics and business reporter

The final two Conservatives hoping to become Hampshire's new £80,000-a-year police commissioner have been chosen in a public vote.

A shortlist of six candidates addressed 400 members of the public at Ferneham Hall in Fareham.

Michael Mates, 77, from Winchester, a former East Hampshire MP for 36 years and Donna Jones, 35, a councillor and magistrate from Cosham in Portsmouth, won the most votes.

They now go forward for party members to decide who will be the Conservative candidate in the election for the new role on November 15.

The other candidates were: Sean Woodward, the leader of Fareham Borough Council; Hampshire County Council deputy leader Mel Kendal from Milford on Sea; Roger Ainsley, a rear admiral from Southsea; and Christopher Brannigan, a lieutenant colonel in the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards from Winchester.

Meon Valley MP George Hollingbery, who co-ordinated the American-style selection process, unique for the party nationally, said: “It was great that so many members of the public decided to come and take part in the public part of the selection process.    

“This is a very important and high-profile role, so it was only right that the public had some input on who might be the new police commissioner. I wish Michael & Donna the best of luck.”

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