Former MP lands new police role

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A FORMER MP has been elected as the first police and crime commissioner (PCC) for the Northumbria area.

Vera Baird, solicitor general in the last Labour Government, was victorious in the first-preference voting round with a total of 100,170 (56 per cent).

Second place in last Thursday’s election was Conservative Phil Butler with 45,845 votes.

The other two candidates, Alistair Baxter (UKIP) and Peter Andras (Liberal Democrats), received 18,876 and 13,916 votes respectively.

PCCs will set force budgets and priorities and be expected to hold the chief constable to account.

After the count, Mrs Baird said: “I am delighted to have been elected as the PCC for Northumbria.

“My manifesto included a commitment to protect neighbourhood policing and to support those affected by domestic violence. This is a pledge I promise to keep.

“I’m fully aware of specific concerns which affect some of the more rural parts of Northumberland.

“I will be liaising as soon as I can with communities across the county to see how best I can support them.”

Chief Constable of Northumbria Police, Sue Sim, said: “Vera Baird brings a wealth of experience to the role and I want to personally congratulate her. I know that by working effectively together our communities will benefit.”