North Wales PCC candidate spent £36,457 on campaign

Richard Hibbs Richard Hibbs called for a Scandinavian-style zero tolerance on drugs

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The candidate who finished fourth in the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) election in north Wales spent more on his campaign than all his rivals combined, according to expenses figures.

Richard Hibbs spent £36,457, which was more than any other candidate in Wales.

He said he was not surprised but had funded his campaign himself.

"It was always going to be expensive for an independent candidate to compete against political parties," he added.

The figures for what all the candidates in last November's elections spent have been published.

The winner in North Wales Winston Roddick spent £11,463, according to the Electoral Commission.

Gwent independent candidate Chris Wright out-spent other hopefuls with £13,845, only to come fourth.

The winner Ian Johnston spent £4,343.

The figures also show Labour spent relatively modest amounts on its largely unsuccessful campaigns.

Tal Michael, runner-up in north Wales, spent £4,795 while Hamish Sandison, second in Gwent, spent £5,177.

Christine Gwyther, second in Dyfed-Powys, spent £10,102, while Conservative Christopher Salmon, the eventual winner, spent £15,903.

Start Quote

Reaching all 273,000 households in north Wales was extremely difficult, so I suppose I'm not surprised I was the highest spender”

End Quote Richard Hibbs PCC candidate in North Wales

In the south Wales force area, the winning candidate, Labour's Alun Michael, was also the top spender, spending £14,436.

'Rejection'

Businessman Mr Hibbs said: "It was always going to be expensive for an independent candidate to compete against political parties and reaching all 273,000 households in north Wales was extremely difficult, so I suppose I'm not surprised I was the highest spender.

"I funded my campaign with a single donation from the company of which I'm a 95% shareholder, so it was my money - but at arm's length, so to speak.

"It went on a targeted mail shot to around 20,000 households, aimed for when the postal ballots were due to go out.

"A lot of my campaign was about raising the awareness of the concept of an independent individual in charge of the police in north Wales."

Asked whether the whole experience of standing for Police and Crime Commissioner had been a positive one, he replied: "It has certainly helped me overcome my fear of rejection!"

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