1. ITV Report

'Worry' at Police Commissioner not saying he's Lib Dem

David Hanson insisted that he wishes Winston Roddick well in his post Photo: PA Archive/Press Association Images

The Shadow Police Minister, David Hanson, who's MP for Delyn, has said the North Wales Police Commissioner, Winston Roddick, should not have been able to stand as an independent without declaring that he is a paid-up member of the Liberal Democrats.

Mr Hanson raised the case at Westminster, where he presented a bill to change the law and force all independent candidates in elections to declare if they are members of a political party.

He said that if they did not and it was subsequently found that they were party members, the election should be declared void and a by-election held.

He said his interest in the issue had been 'rekindled' by Mr Roddick's election, when he beat Labour's Tal Michael by 35,688 votes to 27,128. Mr Hanson pointed out that the Liberal Democrats only received 11,507 votes on a much higher turnout in the slightly smaller North Wales Assembly region in 2011.

He was a former Liberal candidate twice and was and is a Liberal Democrat but standing as an independent. It is a little worrying that a fully paid up party member would stand as an independent without resigning.

– Shadow Police Minister David Hanson MP

Mr Hanson said he wished Mr Roddick well in his post but said he had always thought it was wrong for an independent not to declare party membership. The first case he came across was when he was a district councillor in Cheshire. An independent councillor always voted with the Labour group and was in fact a party member but hadn't told the voters in his overwhelmingly Conservative ward.

The Delyn MP said an independent councillor elected in his constituency in 2004 was discovered two years later to be a member of the British National Party. He said the surpression of information was not good for democracy.

He was opposed by the Conservative MP Christopher Chope. He said he had no quarrel with David Hanson about the Liberal Democrats 'being duplicitous' but was concerned that the proposed ban would include town and parish council elections.

MPs agreed to allow Mr Hanson to introduce his UK Elected Representatives (Disclosure of Party Membership) Bill, which has cross-party support. But the UK Government has already said that it does not see any need to change the law and the bill will not make any progress due to a lack of parliamentary time.