Ribble Valley businessman Kevin Horkin is pulling out of the race to become the county’s first Police and Crime Commissioner.
The high profile entrepreneur and Clitheroe town and borough councillor announced his shock withdrawal after he was knocked out of the contest to become the official Conservative Party candidate for the new post, to be elected in November this year.
He said he was “disappointed” at not being selected and is standing down because he believes it is “highly unlikely” an independent candidate will win.
“My objective was to become a Police and Crime Commissioner who would highlight public concerns and get the job done, rather than being a bureaucrat,” said Mr Horkin. “However, it seems the Conservative Party doesn’t want to listen to people with fresh and challenging ideas.”
Mr Horkin, who lives near Waddington, was the first to declare his candidacy for the new Police and Crime Commissioner role in January this year and initially it was thought he would stand as an independent regardless of whether or not he was selected as the Conservative candidate.
He added that eight people were selected by Conservative Central Office as potential candidates in Lancashire, of which only four turned up for formal interviews on Friday night.
“It’s been a bit of a fiasco,” he said. “However, I’d just like to thank all those people who have offered me their support over the past five months. There’s always a next time!”
Although Mr Horkin is out of the race, the Conservatives have not yet selected their candidate, with a final selection meeting set for July 14th. The remaining hopefuls as official Conservative candidate are thought to be Lancashire County Council leader Geoff Driver, fellow county councillor Tim Ashton and former police officer Sam Chapman.
l A public vote to choose the first Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner will be held on November 15th this year. PCCs will be able to set the priorities for the police within their force area, respond to the needs and demands of their communities more effectively, ensure that local and national priorities are suitably funded by setting a budget and the local precept, and hold to account the Chief Constable for the delivery and performance of the force.
PCCs will not be expected to run the police. The role of the PCC is to be the voice of the people and to hold the police to account. For more details visit: www.lancspccc.co.uk