Shropshire Star

Tories' John Campion re-elected as West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner

John Campion has been re-elected as West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner for the Conservatives with a majority of more than 100,000 votes.

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Re-elected: John Campion

The result was announced at Shrewsbury Sports Village on Monday afternoon, four days after voting took place alongside the local council election on Thursday.

There were 333,424 votes in total, including 9,140 which were rejected – a turnout of 33.8 per cent of people. Four candidates were vying to be Commissioner; Mr Campion, Kuldip Sahota for Labour, Margaret Rowley for the Liberal Democrats, and Peter Jewell for Reform UK.

Mr Campion was elected with 179,411 votes. Kuldip Sahota secured 77,664, Margaret Rowley 50,699 and Peter Jewell 6,519.

The Police and Crime Commissioner election uses the supplementary vote system, in which people can choose a first and second choice candidate.

Mr Campion secured a first-round majority, which meant there was no need for a second round.

The count at Shrewsbury Sports Village

He said he was "incredibly proud" of the result and ready to get back to work, adding that his priorities are getting more officers on the streets and cutting road deaths.

Mr Campion also reaffirmed his ambitions for the takeover of the fire service.

"I am incredibly proud and humbled to have the majority support of the communities of West Mercia in the first round," he said.

"My promise is a simple one, to work hard to ensure our communities are safe and feel safe. I will back the police with the right resources to ensure they deliver on the things that matter most to the communities of West Mercia, and I will hold them account to make sure that this happens.

“I am impatient to deliver on my priorities and there is lots to be done, so there is no doubt that I’m a man in a hurry to do what’s best for those who live and work in West Mercia.”

Mr Campion will continue in office as the Police and Crime Commissioner, with his official swearing in taking place in the coming weeks.

Despite being re-elected, Mr Campion will have a number of issues to address – including producing a new Police and Crime Plan to set out strategic aims and priorities for his term in office, which will last three years due to the Covid pandemic.

The £76,500-a-year position – which was created in 2012 by the Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition in a bid to address the view that police authorities were out of touch and lacking accountability – involves setting the annual budget for the country's second biggest force, as well as holding the Chief Constable to account.

Mr Campion served a term as the West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner from 2016 to 2021 after being elected in 2016. Prior to this he was the leader of the Wyre Forest District Council, as well as being a councillor for Worcestershire County Council and holding a number of positions within the authority

It comes as the Conservatives retained control of Shropshire Council but but suffered a shock defeat for their leader, while in Telford, the main parties shared the spoils in Telford and Wrekin’s by-elections, with Labour defending one seat but losing the other to the Conservative opposition.

Elsewhere, Oswestry went Green as the Conservatives suffered in the Shrewsbury Town Council election.