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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.

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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.

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.

Read More: Low turnout mars Police Commissioner elections

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

Read More: Row after Gwent police chief forced out

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.

Newport MP: Police Commissioner 'system is wrong'

Newport West MP Paul Flynn says the row over the forcing out of the former Gwent Chief Constable by the force's Police and Crime Commissioner shows "it is the system that is wrong - it's going to happen elsewhere too."

He said the problem is "two people thought they were running the police force".

Ms Napier has called on the UK government to consider whether the independence of operational policing could be compromised by the power given to PCCs.

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Napier concerned about independence of policing

Carmel Napier has issued a statement in which she says "the timing of her retirement was not of her choosing.

The former Gwent Chief Constable says the government must consider whether legislation around the powers of Police and Crime Commissioners to call for chiefs to retire or resign "adequately protects the independence on operational policing."

Police and Crime Commissioners have a crucial role to play in representing the people the police serve and in ensuring chief constables are held to account for the quality of service they deliver in their communities.

Chief Constables up and down the country accept and support that. However, much has been made of the need for PCCs not to stray into areas of operational policing and how important it is for chief constables to retain that independence.

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

Johnston responds to criticism over police chief exit

Ian Johnston became Gwent PCC last November.

Gwent's Police and Crime Commissioner has responded to widespread criticism, after it was revealed he told the force's former Chief Constable to retire or be removed from her post.

Carmel Napier retired last Friday.

The story emerged in document leaked to the South Wales Argus.

Caerphilly MP Wayne David said Gwent PCC Ian Johnston's actions were "totally unacceptable", while Newport West MP Paul Flynn said it constituted "bullying."

Mr Johnston has now issued a statement admitting he "raised my concerns" about Mrs Napier's performance, and saying she then chose to retire, a decision he accepted.

"Had Mrs Napier not made the decision to retire, I intended to take the matter further, which may have resulted in her being asked to leave the force", he said.

Carmel Napier has not yet responded to the story today.
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