Lord Prescott loses to Tory in Humberside but vows to fight on
When Lord Prescott was asked why, at the age of 74, he was standing for election to become Police and Crime Commissioner for Humberside he replied: “I’m not a slippers man for God’s sake.”
But today the voters decided that he should be as they brought to an end the five-decade career of one of Britain’s most dominant and colourful politicians.
The former Deputy Prime Minister – who even recruited Tony Blair to drum up support for him in what was by far the highest-profile PCC election – led after the first round of votes. But, after second preference votes were added up, Lord Prescott was overtaken by Matthew Grove, a local businessman and Tory councillor, who won with 42,164 votes – a majority of 2,000.
Speaking after his defeat, Lord Prescott was on typical bombastic form but hinted he would be standing for election again. “Don’t let it take away from the fact that I have reduced a 30,000 Tory majority in this area to 2,000. Good luck in the job – we’ll all be watching you.”
Mr Grove called Lord Prescott a “gentleman”. “I would like to pay tribute to Lord Prescott, who I have found to be an utter gentleman and a very worthy opponent. I have enjoyed his company. It’s a shame I had to beat him.”
Former policeman wins in Gwent with non-political message
Ian Johnston served at all ranks in Gwent from constable to chief superintendent during a 33-year career in the county’s force. After a spell with the Police Superintendents’ Association, he is now returning to his home patch as Gwent’s first police and crime commissioner.
One of three former police officers standing in the contest, he saw off the Labour candidate in an area where the party is the dominant force.
Asked for the reasons for his success, he said: “The keeping politics out of policing message did have a part in the way people voted. I think the fact I’m from the county and well-known in the county held sway.”
Former Harrier pilot wins for Tories in Leicestershire
A retired Air Chief Marshall will go from fighting in war zones to overseeing crime zones after being elected Police Commissioner for Leicestershire. During his RAF career, Conservative candidate Sir Clive Loader flew Harrier aircraft and was in air operations over the Falklands, Iraq and the Balkans. He beat his Labour opponent – Leicester’s assistant mayor Sarah Russell – by 64,661 votes to 51,835. Just 16.36 per cent of the electorate voted.
Sir Clive said he was committed to cutting crime and setting crime reduction targets which reflected public concerns.
“I was faced with making some extremely difficult decisions in order to stay within budget. Given the known future pressures on the policing budget, I will do all that I can to achieve the appropriate funding for our tasks,” he said.