MPs quiz PCC and ex-chief

Gwent Police and Crime Commissioner Ian Johnston is being asked to explain why he forced the area's Chief Constable Carmel Napier to retire. He told the Gwent Police and Crime Panel that the force 'is in a better place' without her.

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PCC aims to appoint new Chief Constable in autumn

Ian Johnston has told Gwent Police and Crime Panel that he wants to hold interviews for the force's new Chief Constable in September, a shortlist will be submitted to the panel in October, with the hope that a new appointment will be confirmed in November.

He said the costs associated with the legal advice he got over whether he could give Carmel Napier an ultimatum to leave have not been finally confirmed, but "will be reasonable."

He said her retirement was "in line with contractual agreements", and there was "no confidentiality agreement" signed.

PCC says he would not have done anything differently

Gwent PCC Ian Johnston, asked by the panel if he would have done anything differently over the exit of Carmel Napier, said "no, to be honest."

He said the documents leaked to the South Wales Argus, which showed she was told to retire or be removed from her position, were "not leaked by me or my office" - but that there will be no investigation into how they were leaked.

The commissioner will offer a preferred candidate and a second choice for a replacement Chief Constable - the panel will not be involved in interviewing a successor, but will have a veto in the confirmation process.

PCC: 'Gwent Police in a better place' without Napier

Gwent PCC Ian Johnston has told the local panel that oversees him that "Gwent Police is in a better place without the Chief Constable".

He said he gave feedback to Carmel Napier in weekly meetings, but "you can only try so many times."

"We have the evidence ready if we go to judicial review."

Earlier this month, the Police and Crime Commissioner admitted he told her to retire or be removed from her post.

Police and Crime Panels were set up alongside the Police and Crime Commissioners last November - to oversee and scrutinise the PCCs. In Gwent, it is made up of local councillors and two independent co-opted members.

The panel is today "seeking further information" from Mr Johnston about Mrs Napier's exit.

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Criticism of Police Commissioner system

The row over Carmel Napier's forced exit raised questions about the role and powers of Police and Crime Commissioners.

The creation of the posts was controversial - and just 14 percent of people turned out to vote in Gwent last November.

The government must consider whether the legislation governing the PCCs' power to call for chiefs to retire or resign adequately protects the independence of operational policing in England and Wales.

– CARMEL NAPIER, FORMER GWENT POLICE CHIEF CONTABLE

Two people thought they were running the police force. It is the system that is wrong - it's going to happen elsewhere too.

– Paul Flynn, Newport West MP

The role of the PCC is not to interfere in operational policing matters that is clearly not the role but the legislation allows you to say either you do what I want you to do or I will get you out.

Now that is clearly against the spirit of the legislation and I think it puts a big question mark over whether or not we should have PCCs in the first place.

– Wayne David, Caerphilly MP

Gwent PCC to face questions over police chief's exit

Ian Johnston became Gwent's first PCC last November.

Gwent's Police and Crime Commissioner will be asked to explain the controversial forced retirement of the force's Chief Constable later.

Ian Johnston will attend a meeting of the Gwent Police and Crime Panel.

Earlier this month he revealed he told former Chief Constable Carmel Napier to retire or be removed from her post.

Carmel Napier admitted the timing of her retirement was not of her choosing.
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