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Labour chooses Jacqui Rayment as candidate for Hampshire police commissioner
Jacqui Rayment vowed to fight against spending cuts after being unveiled yesterday as the party's pick for November's elections.
She will be up against the Conservative candidate, who will be either former MP Michael Mates or Portsmouth councillor Donna Jones.
Tory members will chose between the two, who were selected in a public vote at the weekend.
The Liberal Democrats, meanwhile, will also field a candidate, party chiefs confirmed yesterday.
After debate about whether to contest the election, the party will draw up a shortlist and a selection process will begin immediately.
Voters will go to the polls across the county in November to choose a 'police and crime commissioner', who will be paid £80,000 a year and work alongside Chief Constable Alex Marshall.
Cllr Rayment, who beat off competition from Winchester Labour activist Alan Hagger, recently stood down as the chair of Hampshire Police Authority, the body that will be replaced by the new commissioner.
After being selected by Labour, she said, "I won't stand by and let Tories and Liberal Democrats become cheerleaders for police cuts in Hampshire. "
She said 153 frontline officers had already been cut in Hampshire, promising to oppose spending cuts, keep police on the beat and protect the force from "political interference."
Fears have been raised about the turnout for the election, which critics say should have been held in the spring or summer when people are thought more likely to vote because of light evenings. There has also been criticism of the decision to operate an online platform for candidates, with the Electoral Commission warning that people with no internet access would have no idea it was taking place.
Labour has decided to field candidates despite opposing the switch to elected commissioners. But the party faces an uphill battle in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, where it has just two MPs.