Former council leader has no regrets after missing out on top police job

Cllr Les Jones

Cllr Les Jones

First published in News
Last updated

STOURBRIDGE Conservative councillor Les Jones insisted he had no regrets in standing for the role of West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner.

Cllr Jones, the former leader of Dudley Council, came second in the by-election, which was won by Labour's David Jamieson and which saw just 11.4 per cent of eligible voters in Dudley turn out to polling stations.

Mr Jamieson picked up 102,561 votes, while Cllr Jones polled 54,091 votes, UKIP's Keith Rowe received 32,187 and Liberal Democrat candidate Ayoub Khan picked up 12,950 votes in the August 21 election which followed the sudden death of the first-ever commissioner for the West Midlands - Bob Jones.

Cllr Jones, councillor for Pedmore and Stourbridge East, said afterwards: "It was always going to be a mountain to climb but I was pleased I increased the Conservative vote by 10,000 on a reduced turnout. I only wish I'd stopped the majority being over 50 per cent of the vote.

"Obviously I was disappointed by the size of the turnout, but I was less disappointed than I expected because some of the gloom and doom merchants were predicting a six per cent turnout, which would have been half the turnout of last time, but it held up above ten per cent.

"I was also pleased to have raised the profile of the role through activity on social media so that people knew what was going on, especially as the election had been badly talked down by the media suggesting that nobody wants it.

"I'm a great believer in the democratic process and you have to be willing to accept the result. But I'm glad I did it, because I gained a very valuable experience from it. It was the biggest by-election in British history."

New commissioner Mr Jamieson said after his win: “I will make sure that we carry on with the plans to recruit officers and protect neighbourhood policing.”

West Midlands Police Chief Constable Chris Sims said: “The election was held in the saddest of circumstances, following Bob’s tragic death but I am sure David will work to continue and build upon the good work started by Bob and his team.

“I will be meeting with David in his new capacity as PCC soon to discuss how we can start to shape our plans. I’m looking forward to working together and as we continue to provide the best possible police service for the people of the West Midlands.”

UKIP'S Stourbridge parliamentary candidate James Carver said he "was not surprised by the size of turnout" and he added: "People just haven't got behind the concept of elected PCC's."

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