Police commissioner candidate banned after past criminal offence is revealed

Lee Barron
Lee Barron
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A candidate for the police and crime commissioner elections has been barred from standing after it was revealed he has a previous criminal conviction.

Lee Barron, who was the Labour candidate for the Northamptonshire election due to be held on November 15, has been suspended from the party following the revelation.

An East Midlands Labour Party spokesman said: “We are disappointed to learn from Lee Barron today that he has a previous conviction which bars him from standing as a candidate in the Police and Crime Commissioner elections.

“The Labour Party has therefore taken action. He has been suspended with immediate effect and we have withdrawn our support pending an investigation.”

In a message on his Facebook page, Mr Barron wrote: “When I applied to be a candidate for the role of Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) I understood that a minor offence committed some 22 years ago, which led to a £20 fine, would not invalidate my candidacy. As somebody who has served, and indeed still is a sitting Magistrate of almost 10 years, I was confident of my position.

“All of us can make mistakes. It is what you do following that, which makes you the person you become. One mistake should not de barr people from seeking public office who can take their life experiences with them particularly if those experiences have changed that person for the better.

“In recent days the origins of my fine and the charge I was under at the time have been deemed to be in breach of the legislation which allows candidates to seek the office of PCC. Despite the fact that this offence was fully declared and widely known, it came as a shock that the current legislation is so stringent that it could impact upon my candidacy.

“As a result of that and in order to protect the integrity of the Labour Party and all other candidates standing as PCC I have today asked the Labour Party to withdraw its endorsement of my candidacy for the post of PCC and to suspend my campaign forthwith. If we attempt to fight the current legislation, which I would be prepared to do, it could cloud the issues that are so important as we seek to defend our Police service from the austerity being imposed by this Tory led government.

“I know many have been so supportive during this campaign and I hope I have not let you down. But the bigger picture, the integrity of the Party and the other candidates is more important than me. We must not let this badly pieced together, ill thought out legislation take away from the wider campaign any longer.

“Now we must ensure that the work we have done, does not count for nothing, as we continue to build the Labour Party in our county as a force for good. I will be part of that and I hope you will join us along the way. We did not get defeated by democracy, we got crushed by legislation which stands in the way of decent people attempting to serve our communities for the better. One day that legislation will change, it has too. Until then we’ll go on campaigning for a better future.”