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Andy Street investigated amid cheating claims over PCC and mayoral merger consultation

By Jack Averty | Politics | Published:

The West Midlands Mayor is under investigation after messages from his Twitter account were shown to be drumming up support for a merger of his office and the Police and Crime Commissioner.

West Midlands Mayor Andy Street

A consultation is currently underway over the future of the West Midlands PCC position, with the public being asked to have their say on whether it should remain in place as a separate office or be absorbed by the mayor.

However the whole consultation is now in jeopardy over the message from Andy Street's account, which asked people to fill in the survey and try and get more people to respond.

Solihull Councillor Bob Grinsell, who is current PCC David Jamieson's local councillor, replied to the message saying he already filled in the consultation "three times under three different names and email addresses."

His actions have been described to the Express & Star as "blatant cheating".

The messages

The message from Mr Street's account read: "All. This is really, really important. Mission critical in fact. We need to demonstrate that the roles of Mayor and PCC should be combined.

"Labour are as you would expect making a good fist of harvesting votes. We really need each of you to AT LEAST fill in the consultation – ideally anything you can do to get us three, four, five or more responses will be huge.

"Every single one counts and we really need you to come through for us. Hugely appreciated."

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'My account but not me'

Mr Street said the messages were sent from his account but not by him.

It has been reported that only a select few members of Mr Street's top team have access to post from his Twitter account.

In a statement to the West Midlands Combined Authority and shared on social media he said: "I have seen messages on social media relating to the Consultation on the transfer of powers and responsibilities of the Police and Crime Commissioner to the Mayor of the West Midlands, including messages in my name.

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"I saw these messages for the first time last night, and I had no previous knowledge of the messages sent in my name.

"The matter has been referred first thing this morning to the WMCA Monitoring Officer, the leader of Solihull Borough Council, and the Conservative Party for appropriate actions.

"The Board will be kept informed of progress, but it would be inappropriate to comment further on these processes as they are now underway."

Jack Averty

By Jack Averty
Senior Reporter - @javerty_star

Reporter with the Express & Star, based at head office in Wolverhampton

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