LABOUR’S MARK Burns- Williamson has been re-elected as West Yorkshire’s police and crime commissioner.
He was declared the winner after second preference votes had to be counted in the contest.He was up against second place Allan Doherty, for the Conservatives, when vote counting went to a second round. The Labour candidate had been close to an outright majority, with 49.67 per cent of first preference votes.
But it was not enough to avoid the need for voters’ second choice of police and crime commissioner (PCC) candidates being counted to decide the result. The three other candidates, UKIP’s Peter Corkindale, Barry Stewart Golton for the Lib Dems, and Therese Hirst of the English Democrats were eliminated from the contest at that stage.
In the second round, Mr Burns-Williamson’s total votes were 295,814. Mr Doherty’s final total was 150,126.Speaking afterwards. Mr Burns-Williamson said he had fought against millions of pounds of cuts to the police budget.
He admitted the police’s image had been damaged by recent scandals involving South Yorkshire Police.
But he added: “I’m confident we have a good police force in West Yorkshire but obviously we have to make sure we are in touch with the community and prioritise frontline policing.
Mr Doherty said many voters had little knowledge of the PCC candidates. He said: “There are 2.2m people in West Yorkshire and a large proportion of those people are registered to vote in these elections.
“They had very little information about the candidates.”
He also criticised a lack of media coverage, adding: “The press have covered this election but it has been very scant.”
The result was announced last night at Wakefield’s Thornes Park Stadium.