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Police commissioner Bill Longmore confirms agent as £50k deputy

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Shropshire's police and crime commissioner has confirmed the controversial appointment of his election agent as his new £50,000-a-year deputy – despite fierce opposition to the move.

Bill Longmore with West Mercia Chief Constable David Shaw

Former Staffordshire policeman Barrie Sheldon has been appointed by Bill Longmore to the role after working with him during his campaign to become West Mercia's first police and crime commissioner.

The decision comes despite objections by more than 15 members of West Mercia Police and Crime Panel, who claim the selection process was 'almost non-existent'.

Concerns were also raised over the fact that Mr Sheldon has a similar background to Mr Longmore, with both men having worked for Staffordshire Police for 30 years.

Mr Longmore said today he had 'carefully considered' the PCP's report and maintained that, despite the pair working for the same police force, he had had 'no dealings' with Mr Sheldon before the election campaign.

But panel vice-chairman Councillor Malcolm Pate said it was 'very disappointing' their concerns had been disregarded and branded it a 'foolish' decision.

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