Shock as ex-rail regulator set to land top policing post

The lawyer whose review of police pay and conditions led to 30,000 officers taking to the streets in protest is set to become the next Chief Inspector of Constabulary.

Tom Winsor, whose two reports were part of the most wide-ranging review of policing in more than 30 years, was named as Home Secretary Theresa May’s preferred candidate for the £200,000-a-year role.

But the move prompted anger and surprise, with much criticism focusing on Mr Winsor’s lack of policing experience.

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Former rail regulator Mr Winsor will appear before the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee, with whom he has clashed over his reports on the future of the police service, before the appointment goes to David Cameron and the Queen for approval.

Committee member Bridget Phillipson, Labour MP for Houghton and Sunderland South, said last night she was “stunned” by the decision, adding she could not believe he had even applied.

If Mr Winsor, 54, is appointed, it is thought it will be the first time a civilian has been appointed to the role since the establishment of the inspectorate in 1856.

Paul McKeever, Police Federation chairman, said: “The HMIC provides advice on policing matters to the Home Secretary.

“We look forward to hearing from the Home Secretary how the appointment of Tom Winsor provides the profound understanding of policing that is so important for public safety.”