Tory councillor could be county police boss

HMS Queen Elizabeth

Aircraft carrier project leaves defence budgets ‘exposed’, MPs warn

Have your say

A PORTSMOUTH councillor has made it through to the final two Conservative candidates for police and crime commissioner.

At an open primary on Saturday at Ferneham hall, in Fareham, around 400 members of the public and the local party awarded the most votes to Hilsea councillor Donna Jones and former Winchester MP Michael Mates.

They saw off competition from Fareham Borough Council leader Sean Woodward, Hampshire County councillor Mel Kendal, Royal Navy Rear Admiral Roger Ainsley and Christopher Brannigan, a Lieutenant Colonel in the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards.

Afterwards Mrs Jones, who is a magistrate and deputy leader of the council’s Tory group, said she was delighted to be selected against such experienced competition.

She said: ‘It was a lot of hard work but I have got the result that I wanted. It shows the public have put their confidence in me.

‘Nearly 400 people came and gave up their time to be here. And considering it spans two counties I think the turnout was encouraging for the police commissioner elections on November 14.’

Mr Mates, a former MP for 36 years, said his priority if he was selected as the party candidate would be to do everything he could to increase the election’s turnout.

He said: ‘The worst start for a commissioner would be a ludicrously low turnout.’

Conservative party members will now vote for who they want as their final candidate during meetings on July 3, 4 and 5.