The calibre of Conservative MPs is an oft-discussed topic. One need only look at the information-challenged Nadine Dorries, part-time public servant Geoffrey Cox, or indeed our prime minister himself, and ask how such people got through their party’s selection process to become public servants.
However, we rarely talk about this when it applies to candidates for police and crime commissioners (PCCs). While the main parties have to field hundreds of parliamentary candidates every few years for general elections, only 39 PCC candidates have to be selected on a regular timetable of every four years.
The job is a cushy one, with a £75,000 annual salary and less scrutiny than that which MPs have to live with. Yet, despite this, the Conservative party manages to routinely put out sub-par candidates.
Craig Ulliott, Conservative PCC candidate
One of these this year was Craig Ulliott, the Conservative candidate for Humberside PCC. In March of this year, over a year into his campaign, Ulliott withdrew from the race, after it was revealed that he had exaggerated his qualifications for the role.
Ulliott had claimed to have spent years on frontline policing, and have experience in financial services. However, it was then revealed that he had only spent time as a volunteer special constable, and he had refused to answer questions about his business career.
This scandal may well be less significant than many of the others on this list, but it further demonstrates a chaotic party that allowed through a poorly vetted candidate. The PCC role carries a significant responsibility with it, and effective PCCs have shaken up departments and improved outcomes for the communities they serve. That the party had taken such a negligent approach to selecting their candidate demonstrates a neglect which should not be applied to such a serious office.
Check out the rest of the advent calendar’s entries here, and stay tuned for more releases!