Crime ‘deputy’ told to step down as a councillor

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A PROSPECTIVE deputy police commissioner is facing calls to resign his council seat after claims that attempting to do both jobs would lead to a conflict of interest.

Humberside Police commissioner Matthew Grove has named fellow East Riding Conservative councillor Paul Robinson as his deputy, although the appointment has yet to be ratified by the 10-member police and crime panel.

Councillor Grove has announced his intention to give up his seat in the Mid Holderness ward at the “earliest appropriate opportunity”, but Coun Robinson, the member for Howdenshire, said he intends to see out his four-year term.

But now East Riding Council leader Stephen Parnaby, the pair’s political boss at the Conservative-led authority, has advised Coun Robinson to resign from the council.

Coun Parnaby said: “Matthew has already said he’s standing down so that’s not an issue.

“My issue is with the appointment of Paul as deputy.

“I think there’s too much conflict of interest for him to be able to do both jobs and my advice to Paul would be to step down from his role as a councillor.

“I also think the public perception is one of cronyism, whether that’s right or wrong.

“Therefore, to get rid of that do that and it goes away and you can get on with your job.”

Coun Robinson was not available for comment last night.

However, a spokesman for the commissioner’s office said: “I think the position here is we are not going to make any further comments.

“Both Matthew and Paul have given their responses and out of respect for the panel will be meeting in a week or so’s time and that’s when they will be answering further questions.”

In a further twist, some members of the panel, which contains councillors from the four Humber local authorities, believe its composition may be “potentially unlawful” because of its political and geographical balance.

A date for the deputy’s “confirmation hearing” has yet to be set.