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Deputy Police and Crime Commissioners (Salaries)

Volume 556: debated on Monday 7 January 2013

Not every police and crime commissioner has appointed a deputy. Whether PCCs decide to have a deputy, and what salary that person should be paid, is for the PCC to decide. They must publish that salary. PCCs are accountable to the public, and it will be for them to justify their deputy PCC’s salary.

The maladroit election timing, the sinfully wasteful funding, the creation of cronyism and the sapping of democracy make the setting up of police commissioners one of the most egregious examples of political incompetence, and it will be seen in the future as an example of the coalition’s signature policy in creating its ineptocracy.

The hon. Gentleman, apart from having a way with the English language, is slightly confused. The idea that having directly elected posts is in any way anti-democratic seems perverse. As my hon. Friend the Member for Kettering (Mr Hollobone) illustrated, we now have police and crime commissioners in operation all over the country. Indeed, several former colleagues of the hon. Member for Newport West (Paul Flynn) are now PCCs, and I wish them all well in their new jobs.

The hon. Gentleman asked about the cost of the deputies. The highest-paid deputy at the moment has been appointed at £68,000 a year—[Interruption.] I am interested that Labour Members are shocked by that figure, because that was an appointment of the Labour PCC for Northumbria, Mrs Vera Baird, QC.

Are deputy police and crime commissioners subject to the same rules and regulations under which those who stood for election to PCC posts had to qualify before they were accepted?

Deputy PCCs are accountable to their PCC as a member of staff. They may have delegated functions and powers that other staff may not, for instance that of appearing before the police and crime panel. They are the only members of staff who are not politically restricted, and they may support the PCC politically. All other employees are politically restricted.