MEP branded a ‘dinosaur’ in police election squabble

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THE Conservative candidate to be Humberside’s new police and crime commissioner has branded rival Godfrey Bloom a “political dinosaur” after the controversial UKIP Yorkshire MEP requested he stand down to improve his chances of gaining the seat.

Mr Bloom told the Yorkshire Post yesterday he had written to Tory Matthew Grove asking him to step aside to boost his chances of taking on Lord Prescott in the forthcoming November elections.

He claimed UKIP candidates had been asked by the Conservatives in recent years to stand down from campaigns and said he believed if the former Deputy Prime Minister was elected he would “bankrupt Humberside Police in four years and crime would go through the roof”.

However Matthew Grove, an East Riding Councillor since 2007 who has been campaigning since June, has reacted furiously to the suggestion and claimed he has not received any correspondence from Mr Bloom.

“It is clearly a publicity stunt and one that you would expect from such a character,” he added.

“I don’t know why he would send a letter without speaking to me, I have never even spoken to Godfrey Bloom.

“What the people of the area need is somebody who is going to be dedicated to reducing crime, not playing cheap political games.

“This isn’t a game to be played by political dinosaurs trying to get one up on each other, there is a serious job to be done to protect people.

“I have been openly seeking to become the commissioner long before Godfrey Bloom was, why doesn’t he step down?”

Mr Bloom, a firm believer in capital punishment, has already courted controversy since launching his campaign earlier this month.

He has provoked anger by saying he would want to abolish the concept of hate crime, and in an interview with the Yorkshire Post said he would scrap all but a handful of speed cameras across Humberside.

Lord Prescott declined to comment on the spat last night.

“I am too busy to comment on political squabbles between these two candidates and am touring the area to find out what the people of Humberside want,” he said.

Police and crime commissioners are due to take over from local police authorities to try to provide more accountable figureheads for forces.

Yesterday, Home Secretary Theresa May was warned by candidates of potential disaster in the forthcoming elections, with only 50 days until polling day.

In an open letter, Labour, independents – including a former Tory councillor– and former Liberal Democrat London mayoral candidate Brian Paddick said turnout could be tiny because of a lack of public awareness and promotion by the Government.

In total, 20 candidates for elections across the country have signed the letter.