Widow angered by plans for quick election

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THE WIDOW of a police and crime commissioner has described the call for a by-election before his funeral “disrespectful”.

Labour’s Bob Jones, awarded a CBE for services to policing in 2010, died suddenly at his home in Wolverhampton on Tuesday.

Yesterday, Birmingham City Council confirmed it had received the written notification from two registered electors, required by law, to trigger the countdown to hold a by-election for the vacant seat of West Midlands’ commissioner.

However, Mr Jones’s wife, Sarah Edmondson, said her late husband’s funeral date had not even been set yet.

Speaking in a statement released through the region’s Labour Party, she added: “To call an election before Bob is even put to rest is in my view disrespectful to Bob and all his good work.”

Mr Jones, who was 59, was elected as the West Midlands’ crime chief in November 2012 after receiving 117,415 votes, more than double the number cast for the second-placed Conservative candidate.

The city council said the by-election would now take place on Thursday, August 21.

That date is 35 working days from when the two formal requests were received by the council – the timetable set out in the Act of Parliament which created the role of police and crime commissioners.

A city council spokesman said its hands were tied by the law on when it could hold the count.

“We received a notification from two registered electors this morning, asking us to call a by-election,” he said.

“Once we received those notifications, we’re legally bound by the terms of the Act.”