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Kent PCC hopeful Craig Mackinlay criticises independent candidates’ protest

PUBLISHED: 15:08 14 August 2012

Conservative PCC prospective candidate Craig Mackinlay

Conservative PCC prospective candidate Craig Mackinlay

Archant

Tory candidate says it would be wrong to make taxpayers fund candidates for the PCC job

Police and Crime Commissioner hopeful Craig Mackinlay has hit out at claims by independent candidates that the election process if “unfair”.

The Tory candidate for the PCC role said the rules of the November poll have been laid out for months and that independent candidates entered the race knowing these rules.

His comments follow a protest by independent candidates at Westminster, led by Kent hopeful Ann Barnes.

They stated there is an “inherent unfairness and undemocratic nature of the elections”.

Protesters are demanding that all political prospective candidates should withdraw from the contest unless the Government “levels the playing field” by providing a funded election address to every elector, as is the case for parliamentary elections when people are standing as an MP.

Information about candidates is posted to every household during parliamentary and European elections but this is not happening with the PCC elections.

Independents say political candidates have the “party machine” to get information out unlike independent hopefuls.

But Mr Mackinlay said to make the taxpayer fund candidates for the PCC role is “inherently wrong”.

“Independent candidates entering the race did so knowing that there would be no free delivery; for independent candidates now to claim that this is somehow unfair is disingenuous.

“The cost to the Kent taxpayer of a Kent-wide free election address distribution could be in the order of £1.2 million, enough to pay for 40 front-line police officers.”

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