Labour selects Yorkshire crime commissioner candidates

Keith Hunter (right), pictured with Lord Prescott on the campaign trail in 2012
Keith Hunter (right), pictured with Lord Prescott on the campaign trail in 2012
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A FIREFIGHTER has been chosen by Labour to try and unseat the Conservatives from the role of police and crime commissioner in North Yorkshire.

Steve Howley, who leads the Fire Brigades Union in North Yorkshire, will take on Julia Mulligan in May.

Mr Howley, who is married with two children, has been a firefighter for 18 years at York and Malton.

He said: “I’m not a career politician – I’m someone with close to two decades’ experience on the frontline serving in our emergency services as well as working at a strategic level for the past 6 years.

“With the government’s dangerous plans for PCCs to take responsibility for fire and rescue in addition to the police, I’m someone who knows what is really happening on the frontline within your emergency services in North Yorkshire because I work it every week.”

Labour has also selected Keith Hunter to be its candidate in the Humberside police and crime commissioner election.

Mr Hunter, a former divisional police commander in Hull, was on Labour’s shortlist to be its Humberside PCC candidate in 2012.

However the party chose former deputy prime minister Lord Prescott who went on to lose to current Conservative incumbent Matthew Grove.

Mr Hunter, who advised Lord Prescott during his 2012 campaign. said: “I was asked by many people within and outside of the party to consider entering the contest and I’m proud to have been the choice of constituency parties right across the Humberside Police area.

“The public and victims of crime are angry and deeply concerned at the apparent decline of the Humberside Force under the incumbent PCC.”

Labour will consider it has a realistic chance of winning the Humberside PCC race having been ahead in the first round of voting last time only to lose by just over 2,000 votes in the second round under the single transferrable vote system.

The party faces a bigger challenge in North Yorkshire where Ms Mulligan beat her Labour rival by more than 13,000 votes.

The unknown factor will be the turnout in this May’s elections.

Very low numbers voted in the first PCC elections but turnout should be higher this time as they are held alongside council elections.