Tory commissioner shortlist out

Michael Mates
Michael Mates former MP for East Hampshire Photo:

It would be a remarkable political comeback. Michael Mates, the former Hampshire MP, wants to become the county's new police commissioner. He's on the Tory shortlist - selection will be at a public meeting, open to all, next month.

Mr Mates was a Northern Ireland minister in John Major's government, and won a reputation as an expert in security matters. He resigned after sending the controversial tycoon Asil Nadir a watch as a gift - with the inscription 'Don't let the b*****s get you down'. His resignation speech led to one of the most spectacular confrontations between an MP and a Speaker, as it degenerated into a slanging match between Mr Mates and Betty Boothroyd.

If Mr Mates is chosen as the Tory candidate for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, he will be the clear favourite in the police commissioner election, which will be held in November.

MORE ABOUT THE TORY SHORTLIST:

The public will choose the top two Conservative candidates from the six candidates below during a public meeting in June - allowing the public to choose the top two candidates is a unique move for the Conservative Party nationally. Those final two will then go forward for party members to decide who will be the Tory candidate in the election for the brand new role to be held on 15th November this year. The full Conservative shortlist includes:

Roger Ainsley, a Rear Admiral in the Royal Navy from Southsea in Portsmouth.

Christopher Brannigan, a Lieutenant Colonel in the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards from Winchester.

Donna Jones, a magistrate and Portsmouth City Councillor from Cosham in Portsmouth.

Melville Kendall, a private investment consultant and executive member of Hampshire County Council from Milford on Sea, near Lymington.

Michael Mates, a former Member of Parliament in Hampshire for 36 years from Winchester.

Sean Woodward, the leader of Fareham Borough Council and a businessman from Whiteley in Hampshire.

The winner of the process will be unveiled at the final members' meeting on 5th July at Lord Wandsworth College, Long Sutton, Hook, Hampshire.

"We really didn't just want party members to make all the decisions as the police commissioner is an important and high-profile role, so we decided that a public vote was a good idea.

"I hope many people will turn up in Fareham on 16th June to hear what the candidates have to say and cast their vote.

"This is an excellent crop of candidates with a wealth of experience to bring to the role and all would make great commissioners. I wish them all the best of luck."

– George Hollingbery, MP for Meon Valley, Tory co-ordinator for voting process

For more information about the new job role and what it means for Hampshire and the isle of Wight you can visit the Hampshire Police Authority website.