Police Commissioner candidate resigns after funding mystery

Would-be crime chief says he received nothing from the US think- tank that allegedly funded him

A prospective Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) whose campaign was apparently bankrolled by a right-wing US think-tank has pulled out of the race, claiming he is now tens of thousands of pounds out of pocket after the expected money failed to arrive.

Mervyn Barrett stood down after claims that an organisation calling itself the Fund for the New American Century, apparently based in Washington and London, had spent up to £50,000 on his campaign to be the new crime chief in Lincolnshire.

But yesterday Mr Barrett said he had found himself in a "bizarre and hugely embarrassing" situation, and turned his fire on his former "right hand" man, Matthew de Unger Brown.

Mr Barrett, who was appointed OBE for his work with the crime reduction charity Nacro, alleged that promised tracking polls and leaflets for a door-to-door delivery which he thought Mr de Unger Brown had arranged and paid for had never materialised.

Opponents in the race had become increasingly bemused at the independent's lavish campaign, which included a £30,000 promotional video, a chauffeur-driven Mercedes and a professional team. But Mr Barrett said he now believed there had been no funding other than money he himself had provided.

"Matthew had a towering personality and demonstrated a considerable talent for everything he undertook, and I am afraid I was swept away by it all," he said. "I believed in him and regarded him as an ally and friend. I feel very foolish when I have a track record of sound professional judgement, but I have to accept the reality."

Mr Barrett had previously backed a controversial outsourcing deal between G4S and Lincolnshire Police and Mr de Unger Brown implied that the Fund he ran, which has a temporary website, was keen to explore further options for reform.

He said Mr Barrett was one of a number of candidates he had held discussions with before the election.

Mr de Unger Brown's mobile phone was no longer working yesterday and it is believed he had flown to the United States. When contacted by email about Mr Barrett's allegations, he replied: "I will not be making any comment at this stage."

Ed Miliband, the Labour leader, will give an implied rebuke today to Lord Blair, the former Metropolitan Police Commissioner, who urged people not to vote in the elections for the new £100,000-a-year posts.

As he launches Labour's campaign in Preston he will pledge that, even if the turnout is poor, as expected, Labour will try to build consent and legitimacy for PCCs despite originally opposing the £100m government flagship policy, which is supposed to bring the police under democratic control.

A ComRes poll showed that seven out of 10 voters believe the Coalition should increase its funding of frontline police jobs, while 65 per cent said they felt less safe as a result of the loss of 6,800 officers.

Sport
footballLIVE City face Stoke, while Warnock returns to Palace dugout
Arts and Entertainment
books
Life and Style
3D printed bump keys can access almost any lock
gadgets + techSoftware needs photo of lock and not much more
News
i100
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Arts and Entertainment
Inside the gallery at Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow
tvSimon Usborne goes behind the scenes to watch the latest series
Life and Style
Silvia says of her famous creation: 'I never stopped wearing it. Because I like to wear things when they are off the radar'
fashionThe fashion house celebrated fifteen years of the punchy pouch with a weighty tome
Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets
tv All of this year's 15 contestants have now been named
News
i100Steve Carell selling chicken, Tina Fey selling saving accounts and Steve Colbert selling, um...
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
newsThe industry's trade body issued the moratorium on Friday
Arts and Entertainment
Could we see Iain back in the Bake Off tent next week?
tv Contestant teased Newsnight viewers on potential reappearance
News
i100
News
The slice of Prince Charles and Princess Diana's wedding cake and the original box from 29 July 1981
newsPiece of Charles and Diana's wedding cake sold at auction in US
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in his Liverpool shirt for the first time
football
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone