Police commissioner: Vera Baird named as Northumbria candidate

Vera Baird Ms Baird lost her Redcar seat to Liberal Democrat Ian Swales

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Former Teesside MP Vera Baird has been chosen as Labour's candidate for the role of police commissioner in the Northumbria force area.

Ms Baird, who was solicitor general for the last government, lost her Redcar seat in 2010.

Ron Hogg is the party's candidate for Durham and Middlesbrough councillor Barry Coppinger will stand in Cleveland.

In Cumbria, party members have chosen housing boss Patrick Leonard.

Voters will go to the polls to elect commissioners in each of the 41 force areas in England and Wales on 15 November.

The commissioners will have the power to choose chief constables and will be expected to hold officers to account.

'Far wider than policing'

Ms Baird said she was looking forward to the campaign.

"I want to ensure that our excellent local policing is improved further by listening to the needs of our communities more closely," she said.

"The job is far wider than policing. Victim support, community safety and crime reduction will all be part of the commissioner's work."

Mr Hogg was a police officer for more than 30 years and served as assistant chief constable in Durham and deputy chief constable in Cleveland.

Mr Leonard is currently a director of a housing association in Carlisle.

The Conservatives have only named one North East candidate so far - former police officer Philip Butler will be on the ballot paper in the Northumbria force area.

The Liberal Democrats have announced they will not fund candidates.

Independents are also expected to stand.

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