Conservatives must 'listen to democracy' after Bedfordshire PCC defeat

Credit: ITV News Anglia

Local elections 2024. John Tizard Labour Police and Crime Commissioner.
Festus Akinbusoye (right) has lost his attempt for re-election as Bedfordshire's Police and Crime Commissioner. Credit: ITV News Anglia

A Conservative Police and Crime Commissioner who lost his re-election said "democracy has spoken".

Festus Akinbusoye, who had been Bedfordshire's PCC since 2021, lost to Labour's John Tizard by over 5,000 votes.

The Tory defeat comes as the party braces for widespread losses nationally.

Commenting on the prospect of more Conservative defeats following his loss, Mr Akinbusoye said: "Overall, you want to win elections if you're in a political party, but I'm much more focused on what's going to happen moving forward here in Bedfordshire.

"I think we've got a very good foundation in place, but democracy has spoken and we'll have to listen.

"I love the role of Police and Crime Commissioner, I love policing, I still hope that I can be a part of policing in one way, shape or form.

"I wish Mr Tizard the very best moving forward, but I need to move on to the next stage of my life."

Mr Akinbusoye added that it would be "irresponsible" for him to blame his defeat on national politics.

Who has been elected as the PCC for Bedfordshire?

Turnout was 19.59%, with a total of 100,679 votes cast.

  • John Tizard, Labour - 40,738 (40.46%)

  • Festus Akinbusoye, Conservatives - 35,688 (35.45%)

  • Jasbir Signh Parmar, Lib Dem - 15,857 (15.75%)

  • Waheed Akbar, Workers Party - 8,396 (8.34%)

Labour's John Tizard gives a speech after his victory in Bedfordshire. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Following his victory, Mr Tizard said he was "absolutely delighted".

"We've demonstrated that Labour is the party that represents people across a county as diverse as Bedfordshire," Mr Tizard told ITV News Anglia.

"I'm really delighted now that I can take up the role and represent the people of Bedfordshire."

He said his priority was to "restore good community policing - police officers based in neighbourhoods, in town and villages and responsive to those communities" and rebuilding trust in the police.

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