Ann Barnes to stand for Kent Police Commissioner

Ann Barnes Ann Barnes announced her candidature with cardboard cutouts of three politicians

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The chair of Kent Police Authority, Ann Barnes, is to stand as an independent candidate for Kent Police Commissioner.

Ms Barnes, who is expected to resign from her position to stand for election on 15 November, said she wanted to keep party politics out of the police.

She launched her campaign beside cardboard cutouts of Ed Miliband, Theresa May and David Cameron.

The Conservative candidate is Medway councillor Craig MacKinlay. Labour's is Ashford councillor Harriet Yeo.

Five other independent candidates have announced they will stand in the election - Thanet councillor Ian Driver, former Medway Mayor Dai Liyange, businessman Fergus Wilson, former Kent police officer Fran Croucher and campaigner Ken Little.

The Liberal Democrats are not putting forward a candidate.

Ms Barnes said: "We face the very real threat that for the first time our police service could fall under the control of a party politician.

"Could such a person be trusted to put the people of Kent first and not just toe the Party line?"

Replace police authorities

Ms Barnes's campaign manager Peter Carroll said she was "starting process of disengaging" from the police authority.

Ms Yeo has said the role of police commissioner will give constituents a chance to influence how they want their policing delivered, while Mr MacKinlay has said it will be a democratic link between the electorate and policing.

The new commissioners will have the power to hire and fire chief constables, hold them to account and set the forces' budgets.

Police and crime commissioners will be elected for every police force of England and Wales in the November polls.

The elected commissioners will replace police authorities a week later.

The Home Office said every household would receive information about the elections from the Electoral Commission and information about every candidate would be published online and, for those who wanted it, delivered in written form.

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