And then there were six
18th April is the deadline to vote in the Kent PCC elections: you can register here.
Six candidates remain for the post:
Matthew Scott (Conservative).
Must regard himself as one of the front-runners for the post, given the electoral dominance of the Tories in Kent. The Tories will be looking to gain the Commissioner’s post now that Ann Barnes has decided not to stand.
But dear God, save us from another Tory running things into the ground…
Tristan Osborne (Labour)
Labour’s Tris Osborne is young, dynamic and clearly destined to go a long way in politics. He’s also, er, been tweeting pictures of himself campaigning in London for Sadiq Khan…
On Kent-London borders. As Kent PCC I'll work with Labour London Mayor and PCCs across South East pic.twitter.com/JIiRlQynmd
— Tris Osborne (@cllrtrisosborne) April 9, 2016
Don’t get me wrong, the London Mayoral Election is absolutely key for Labour, and indeed it is a selling point that he’d be able to build stronger links with the Met (there is no PCC in London, the Mayor filling that role), but really…
Dave Naghi (Lib Dem)
The Lib Dems didn’t stand last time, and Maidstone Councillor Dave Naghi doesn’t appear to be putting much effort into it this time either: his official profile on the Lib Dems’ website doesn’t even mention he’s standing, his campaign website hasn’t been updated since March, and his Twitter feed focuses almost entirely on the EU referendum.
As Cllr Naghi seems to be ignoring his campaign, we will do the same.
Henry Bolton (UKIP)
On paper Bolton is an impressive candidate, a retired Army officer who was subsequently seconded to the former Yugoslavia, where he filled a number of impressive-sounding roles. He appears to be campaigning hard, though perhaps wisely he seems to be downplaying his links with UKIP (though he was recently photographed enjoying the statutory pint with Nigel Farage).
On the other hand, he is from UKIP, and therefore unacceptable.
Steve Uncles (English Democrats)
The candidate for the hard-right English Democrats is the only one to have stood in 2012: he came fifth. Since then, he stood for Dartford in the 2015 General Election: his party’s share of the vote collapsed by 90%, and he was placed sixth with 0.4% of the vote.
Uncles attempted to fund his campaign by a crowdfunding effort, raising a miserable £175 towards his £5,000 target.
Rather remarkably, his trial for alleged election fraud has been delayed to enable him to stand this time.
Now that Fergus is no longer with us, Uncles would be the comedy candidate in this election, if it weren’t that he posts stuff like this on Twitter:
…which really isn’t funny at all. We may return to Uncles later, though we may need a bath afterwards.
Gurvinder Sandher (Independent)
Mr Sandher is Director of the Kent Equalities Cohesion Council and a noted equalties campaigner. He has vowed to keep party politics out of policing – though perhaps Kent has had enough of well-meaning but vague independents after Ann Barnes.
And two failed to make the cut:
Independent candidate Tim Garbutt announced that he had decided not to stand in the election, citing alleged high levels of corruption:
I refuse to stand in Kent Police PCC election: too much corruption. Details to follow. Time for Change
— Tim Garbutt (@timg33) April 7, 2016
Of course it was due to that Tim, and nothing at all to do with finding out that it was going to cost you money to stand:
Outrageous £5k charge for PCC election: free and fair? Party machines only. Time for Change
— Tim Garbutt (@timg33) April 1, 2016
As we have seen Wilson’s application for leave to appeal for Judicial Review is before the High Court: it is set down for trial next Thursday (April 21st). Bizarrely, Wilson says that he isn’t sure whether he really wants to stand, Kent Online reporting:
He said: “It’s a practical issue. I really don’t know if I’d run,” adding: “A lot of people have got in touch to say they are appalled by the decision.”
I’m sure the Court will be impressed by this apparent waste of their time: and, as the deadline for withdrawals has long since passed, in the highly-unlikely event of his appeal being successful he will have to stand whether he likes it or not.