Former deputy PM will run in Humberside elections, while Falklands veteran to stand against former first minister of Wales
Former deputy prime minister John Prescott wants to be elected as one of the UK’s first police and crime commissioners.
Lord Prescott will run for election as one of the UK’s first police and crime commissioners, he has announced.
The former deputy prime minister has confirmed he will run for the post in the Humberside elections in May.
Directly elected police and crime commissioners (PCCs) are being brought in to replace police authorities in England and Wales. They will have the power to hire and fire chief constables and set the police force’s budget and “strategic direction”.
The flagship initiative, introduced by the coalition government, has received harsh criticism from Labour politicians, who claim the commissioners are unnecessary and costly.
In an interview with the Hull Daily Mail, Prescott said he had agreed to put his name forward to be the Labour candidate in Humberside.
He said: “I want the opportunity to continue my public service to the region with a mandate from the people to protect the community and target criminals.
“I feel that after proudly serving as a local MP for 40 years and as a cabinet minister for 10 years, I have the experience to listen to the public and help be their strong voice in supporting the police and holding them to account.”
Prescott said his recent struggle with the Metropolitan police over phone hacking had led him to believe there should be a “greater transparency and accountability of our police”.
Two other local figures have already announced they want to stand in the contest to be the Labour candidate in Humberside.
These are the former Hull city council leader Colin Inglis and the retired senior Humberside police officer Keith Hunter.
The Falklands war veteran Simon Weston has confirmed he will stand against the former Wales first minister and minister for rural affairs, Alun Michael, for the job of police and crime commissioner for South Wales.
Michael, Labour MP for Cardiff South and Penarth, was previously the sole candidate for the £100,000-a-year job.
Weston, 50, a father of three and former Welsh Guardsman, was badly burned when the Sir Galahad was destroyed in 1982 during the Falklands conflict.
He suffered 46% burns on his body and underwent 70 major operations or surgical procedures during a slow recovery. He overcame his injuries and went on to forge a career as a charity worker, children’s author and after-dinner speaker.
On Thursday, Weston urged others to follow his example and stand as a commissioner to stop ageing politicians taking the roles.
Weston’s spokesman, Jason Smith, confirmed the veteran would stand against Michael in the elections, which take place on 15 November.
Weston earlier told the Sun: “Why should the politicians corner the market? Why should they have any greater insight to life?
“There are so many talented people out there who haven’t had a chance to do their bit yet. I’m going to stand as an independent candidate because I believe I can make a contribution and bring something different.”
John Prescott to stand for police commissioner post