Former MP is Tory police commissioner choice

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A FORMER East Hampshire MP has been chosen as the Conservative candidate for Hampshire’s police and crime commissioner.

Michael Mates beat Portsmouth councillor Donna Jones to the nomination after he was nominated following a series of members’ meetings.

He was unveiled as the party’s choice at Lord Wandsworth College, Long Sutton, in Hook, after the final meeting.

Mr Mates said: ‘I am delighted and honoured to have been selected as the Conservative candidate to contest the election in November for the post of police and crime commissioner for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

‘I am very grateful to the several hundred people who turned out to vote at the three final meetings. This shows that our party cares about this important new post and have taken the selection of their candidate very seriously.

‘My task now will be to engage with the electorate of the two counties to stress the importance of the election on November 15. If the new commissioner is to have the best possible start, he or she needs to achieve a good turnout.

‘I will be working flat out from now on to be in contact with as many of the electorate as I possibly can with the aim of winning a good majority.’

From 1992 to 1993, Mr Mates was Minister of State at the Northern Ireland Office in John Major’s government.

He and Ms Jones were initially put forward for final selection after a public vote at Ferneham Hall in Fareham last month whittled the shortlist down from six.