Conservatives win Swindon & Wiltshire Police and Crime Commissioner election

wiltshire pcc
Tory candidate Philip Wilkinson

The Conservatives have won the re-run Wiltshire Police and Crime Commissioner election after the previous winner withdrew over an historic drink-driving offence.

Retired Army officer Philip Wilkinson will take up the role for the next four years, giving him powers to set the policing priorities for Wiltshire and decide how much taxpayers pay for it. He says two of his key focus areas will be rural crime and the county lines drugs trade.

His closest opponent in the vote was independent Mike Rees, who was beaten in a second round run-off after Mr Wilkinson failed to get 50% of first preferences.

New PCC Philip Wilkinson catches up with Chief Constable Kier Pritchard.

It's the second time this year the Wiltshire PCC election has been held. The original winner in May - Conservative Jonathon Seed - was barred from taking up the job after his two historical criminal convictions came to light in an ITV News investigation. The re-running of the election is costing taxpayers an estimated £1.5 million and involves around 1000 staff. 

Turnout this time was extremely low at just 16.63% across Wiltshire and Swindon, less than half the 39.13% in the May election.

Returning Officer Terence Higgins says this is partly due to many would-be voters being away on holiday. 

The counts today took place at the Civic Centre in Trowbridge and the Steam Museum in Swindon.

Conservative candidate Philip Wilkinson swore an oath after winning the election.

The candidates who put themselves forward for the position were:

  • Junab Ali (Lab). Also stood in May. The former Mayor of Swindon and long-serving councillor.

  • Julian Malins (Reform UK). A barrister who has previously been a councillor in London.

  • Brian Mathew (Lib Dem): also ran for PCC in 2016, but a new candidate for the party this year following Liz Webster’s campaign in May.

  • Mike Rees (Independent). Also stood in May. A former detective inspector for Wiltshire Police.

  • Philip Wilkinson (Con): A new candidate. Previously an international security specialist. Took over the Conservative bid from Jonathan Seed.