Two candidates named for police boss elections

Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw
Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw
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A retired police officer has thrown his hat in the ring to run for Lancashire’s police and crime commissioner role, alongside current PCC Clive Grunshaw.

The Conservatives have named Andrew Pratt as their candidate for the election, to be held on May 5.

Retired police officer Andrew Pratt is the Conservative candidate bidding to become Lancashire's police and crime commissioner in 2016.

Retired police officer Andrew Pratt is the Conservative candidate bidding to become Lancashire's police and crime commissioner in 2016.

Mr Pratt, who spent 28 years with Lancashire Police working his way up to the rank of superintendent before retiring five years ago, is the first person to publicly put their name forward for the £85,000 a year role.

Labour incumbent Clive Grunshaw, voted the county’s first police commissioner in 2012, also confirmed at the weekend he would be the party’s candidate again.

Former Fleetwood councillor Mr Grunshaw said: “I am delighted to have been given the support of my party to stand for re-election for this important post.

“I will work hard to hard alongside council candidates across the county to campaign for a Labour win in May.

“I hope that my experience and record over the past three years will convince the public to return me to the position.”

But Mr Pratt, who now works part-time as a primary school teacher, said the county is ‘ready for a change’.

He said: “I am delighted to have been selected as the Conservative candidate for Lancashire’s PCC election next year.

“I am looking forward to the campaign.

“I want to use my experiences as a policeman and a voluntary worker to improve the force and help to keep hard-working people and their families safe and secure across Lancashire.”

He said he wants to put victims first and ensure police officers spend more time on the frontline.

Mr Pratt, who lives near Preston, was formally approved as the Tory candidate after being selected at a meeting of members from across Lancashire.

The Liberal Democrats, who came fourth in 2012, say they expect to put a candidate forward again.

A spokesman said the selection process will begin in the new year.

It is not known if UKIP will enter a candidate again in May.

The first ever police and crime commissioner elections, in 2012, were marked by low turn-out, with just 15 per cent of the electorate voting in Lancashire.

Labour’s Mr Grunshaw won with 39 per cent of the first choice votes, beating the second-placed Conservative candidate, Tim Ashton.