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Wednesday 30th May 2012 | 11:40
Sounds like the gloves are off in the Labour selection battle for Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner.
Voting started this week in a race that pits former ministers Jane Kennedy and Peter Kilfoyle against each other. Police authority chairman Bill Weightman is also in the running.
But the new directly-elected Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, has hit out at Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham for getting involved.
A Scouse mole has passed me an emailed letter that has been sent out to members this week by Anderson:
I have received a letter from Andy Burnham, which asks me to support Peter Kilfoyle for Police Commissioner. What is surprising is that Andy Burnham does not live in Merseyside and will therefore be taking no part in the selection. I am sure we are all deeply grateful that he has taken the time to tell us what we need in Merseyside and who he is backing (if only he had a vote).
Unlike Andy Burnham, as the Elected Mayor and Leader of Liverpool Labour Party I will have to work closely with the future Police Commissioner. I therefore decided to write and let you know who I would prefer and why.
I will be voting for Jane Kennedy because I want a police commissioner that I can work with. Someone who believes they are accountable to the Labour Party and its members. Someone who has always worked collegiately and taken a positive and supportive approach and the only one of the three shortlisted who has made a massive contribution to Liverpool Labour Party and the success we currently enjoy.
We are fortunate on Merseyside that we have a candidate with Jane’s experience. Not only was she was the first women to hold ministerial office in the Lord Chancellors Department, but she was also Minister with responsibility for security, the police and prisons for 4 years in Northern Ireland.
We need a Police Commissioner who can work constructively with the Chief Constable, the Police Federation, council leaders, our MPs and the Labour Party across Merseyside.
That’s why I am asking you to do as I am doing and vote for Jane Kennedy. She, more than any other candidate, will bring the party together in unity to fight the difficult campaign that faces us. She is without question the outstanding candidate in this election.
Elected Mayor of Liverpool
Anderson's 'Merseyside for Merseysiders' approach has provoked a bit of a backlash already. Unfortunately, he doesn't explain why those well-known Scousers John Reid and David Blunkett have also backed his candidate, Jane Kennedy.
The Mayor's 'fraternal' antipathy to well-known Evertonian Andy Burnham could be just about understandable if he were a Liverpool fan. But I think Anderson is a Toffee too. Very perplexing indeed.
All of this must cause wry amusement for Nick Herbert and others at the Home Office. After all, Labour voted against PCC's being created in the first place....
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