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Police commissioners plan thrown out by Lords

11 May 2011 Last updated at 22:13 BST

The government has suffered a surprise defeat in the House of Lords over its plans for directly-elected police commissioners in England and Wales.

Peers backed a Liberal Democrat amendment, by 188 votes to 176, blocking the idea.

The plan for directly-elected police and crime commissioners, which would replace elected police authorities in England and Wales, is one of the government's flagship crime and policing policies.

Speaking to the BBC, Labour's Home Office spokesman Lord Hunt said the bill risked the impartiality and neutrality of the police force.