Local Tories are now falling over themselves to attack our bobbies on the beat after the Police rejected claims from previous Medway Conservative leadership-challenger Cllr Craig MacKinlay, that Councillor David Craggs was forced to resign, after serving less then two weeks on Medway Council.
According to the Alan Watkins Gun Wharf Briefing the story is thus
"[Cllr Craggs] quit after being told by his bosses at Kent Police that he could not be a Councillor and a Special Constable at the same time. That advice has been disputed by Conservatives, who claim Mr Craggs was bullied into resigning."
Very odd therefore that David Craggs gave up his Council job only to remain in an organisation which had 'bullied' him out.
Something does not add up.
It is now clear that the Association did not undertake appropriate levels of scrutiny on eligibility on candidate selection. A simple shut book case which serves to highlight why Medway Tories shambolic management proves why, if they can not manage themselves, why they should be kicked out of power.
The police have responded to the hyper partisan press release from River Ward Tories and have denied acting inappropriately. They have insisted that they told Mr Craggs that:
"When the force became aware of his candidature we agreed with Mr Craggs that he would cease operational duty with Kent Police and he has not resumed operational duty with the force since his election.
This was to allow him to make a personal decision as to which role he continued with.
It is entirely untrue that Kent Police has tried to interfere in the democratic process. We are trying to prevent any perception that policing could be politicised."
The Tories should accept some responsbility for this situation and immediately pay the £10,000 election bill for the by-election?
The Conservative Party has been undermining the Police since taking office in May. From cutting police numbers, to the overt politicisation through unwanted directly elected commisioners to cuts in Magistrate services and an active policy to encourage short-sentences for career criminals.
Labour candidate John Jones writing to local residents this weeekend emphasised his anti-crime credentials. As a member of the local PACT Committee he will work with the police and community to reduce crime and not politicise operational independence of the Police.
In the letter to residents he stated that:
"Let's be clear of the reason, whatever it turns out to be in detail, is because the Tories have made a mess of their arrangements which will now cost the taxpayer many thousands of pounds. I respect former Cllr Craggs for wanting to continue his long service as a special constable but think the Conservative Association should have got the issue of eligibility sorted out beforehand
Much more importantly the problems that we all face and thing things you have asked your councillor to get on with, remain the same. I know because I have been able to speak to so many of you about your concerns."