Respite for Labour as party wins West Midlands police and crime commissioner election

Labour finally got in the 'win column' after a nightmare set of elections in the West Midlands with success in the police and crime commissioner poll.

Newly elected PCC Simon Foster
Newly elected PCC Simon Foster

Corbynite lawyer Simon Foster won on second preference ballots having finished around 37,000 votes ahead of Conservative Jay Singh-Sohal in the first round.

The PCC role is in line to be scrapped by newly re-elected West Midlands Mayor Andy Street, who wants to bring its powers under the control of the mayoralty.

Mr Foster will succeed former Labour Minister David Jamieson, who retired at this election.

After his victory he said that justice will always be his priority and pledged to "engage with and listen to communities and people in the West Midlands".

Mr Singh-Sohal said he hoped the new PCC would work "to get crime down and make our streets safer".

"I have no doubt my campaign has shifted the debate onto the need for more robust policing and how necessary it is to increase local community police presence," he added.

"And I count it as an achievement that a third generation British Sikh from Handsworth can through hard work and determination stand before you today having fulfilled the aspiration of having represented the residents of our diverse region."

Voting took place across the seven West Midlands Combined Authority areas on Thursday and the result was announced today at the Utilita Arena Birmingham.

In the first round Mr Foster received 276,743 votes to Army Reservist Mr Singh-Sohal's 239,288.

Lib Dem Jon Hunt was third on 38,594, ahead of Birmingham pub bombings campaigner Julie Hambleton (27,664), Mark Hoath from Reform UK (18,002) and We Matter Party candidate Desmond Jaddoo (7,745).

The turnout was 31.02 per cent.

Mr Street wants to scrap the PCC role in order to save money.

A previous attempt to merge the role with the mayoralty saw Mr Street voted down by Labour council leaders.

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