Tyne & Wear

Northumbria PCC: Vera Baird elected for Labour

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

Former MP Vera Baird has been elected as the first police and crime commissioner (PCC) for the Northumbria area.

Ms Baird, solicitor general in the last Labour government, beat Conservative Phil Butler into second place.

UKIP's Alistair Baxter came third in the vote and Lib Dem Peter Andras finished fourth.

PCCs will set force budgets and priorities and be expected to hold the chief constable to account.

Turnout was recorded at 16.4% when the result was announced in Sunderland.

Ms Baird said the low turnout was due to the "bungling incompetence of the Tory government assisted by their Lib Dem henchmen".

Ms Baird lost her Redcar seat at the 2010 General Election.

She clashed with former police officer Mr Butler during the campaign when she referred to him as "only an inspector".

Northumbria Police chief constable Sue Sim welcomed the announcement of the result.

She said: "This is a new chapter for policing and I am looking forward to working together to continue to deliver the excellent service Northumbria Police is renowned for.

"Vera Baird brings a wealth of experience to the role and I want to personally congratulate her. I know that by working effectively together our communities will benefit."

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