MPs split as Tom Winsor is made HMIC chief

 

Home Secretary Theresa May's controversial choice of a lawyer as the next Chief Inspector of Constabulary has been confirmed.

Tom Winsor, who becomes the first chief inspector never to have been a police officer, said he would focus his work on the "public interest", adding that having more efficient and effective forces would increase public safety.

The appointment of Mr Winsor, who carried out the most wide-ranging review of police pay and conditions in more than 30 years, to the £200,000-a-year role has been approved by Prime Minister David Cameron and the Queen and he will start in October.

But the move split MPs on the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee, with Labour MP David Winnick voting against the appointment, saying he questioned whether Mr Winsor had the "necessary conciliatory approach".

Many rank-and-file officers, some 30,000 of whom marched through London in protest against the proposals in Mr Winsor's reports, criticised his lack of experience.

But Keith Vaz, the committee's chairman, said the MPs were "content for the Home Secretary to proceed with the appointment of Tom Winsor", urging him to build bridges with officers of all ranks.

Former rail regulator Mr Winsor, 54, said: "Appointment as HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary carries a great responsibility which I shall discharge with the support and assistance of the Inspectors of Constabulary and the excellent staff of HMIC, and the co-operation of the police service.

"The public interest will be my primary focus. The greater the efficiency and effectiveness of police forces, the higher will be the protection of the public and their safety."

Mrs May added: "He has demonstrated a very clear understanding of the complex challenges facing policing and brings with him a wealth of experience from his role as rail regulator and from his review of police pay and conditions."

PA

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