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Mervyn Lambert pulls out of race to become Norfolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner

18:27 05 October 2012

Mervyn Lambert.

Mervyn Lambert.

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The race to become Norfolk’s first Police and Crime Commissioner is now down to four men, after independent candidate Mervyn Lambert withdrew his nomination.

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PCC Candidates addressing the Ecumenical Criminal Justice Forum at Granary Court. Left to right James Athill, Steve Morphew, James Joyce, Mervyn Lambert (who has now dropped out of the process) and Stephen Bett. Photo: Steve Adams.PCC Candidates addressing the Ecumenical Criminal Justice Forum at Granary Court. Left to right James Athill, Steve Morphew, James Joyce, Mervyn Lambert (who has now dropped out of the process) and Stephen Bett. Photo: Steve Adams.

On Wednesday night of this week Mr Lambert had appeared at a public meeting which brought the five candidates for the top policing post together for the first time.

The 64-year-old businessman, who runs his own plant hire, sales, rental and servicing firm, has now decided to drop out of the race though.

He said: “I have had a long and hard think over the last few days and after much soul searching, I have come to a decision that I will not be submitting nomination papers to stand for this role.

“Although I would have liked the challenge of the Police and Crime Commissioner role, I fear if elected, I would not have been able to meet the needs and expectations of everybody in Norfolk.”

Mr Lambert’s withdrawal leaves Conservative James Athill, Liberal Democrat James Joyce, Labour’s Steve Morphew and independent Stephen Bett as the four candidates in the running.

Explaining his decision, Mr Lambert, from Bressingham, near Diss, said: “Since I have declared my intention to stand as an Independent candidate for the new position of Police and Crime Commissioner for Norfolk, I have been studying the complexities of carrying out this role.

“It has become increasingly more apparent to me over the last few weeks and days because of the massive savings that will have to be made in the next few years due to government cuts to the police budget, very complex and potentially unpopular decisions will have to be made by the new Police and Crime Commissioner in a very short timeframe.

“Indeed maintaining current standards in policing and support services on a reduced budget in the coming years will be a major challenge to say the least.

“I have also been consulting with members of the public to see what direction they would like to see policing in Norfolk take in the future, in order that I had an indication of their needs and aspirations.

“Almost everyone I have spoken has a different view which appears to be dependent on their age, gender and social circumstances etc.”

The election for Norfolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner will be held on Thursday, November 15.

Mr Lambert added: “I take this opportunity to wish all the other remaining candidates all the very best in the forthcoming election. I will certainly be watching the outcome with interest.”

- The PCC candidates will face a Question Time session chaired by Henry Cator, the High Sheriff of Norfolk at Voluntary Norfolk in Norwich at 5pm on Monday, October 29, and the West Norfolk Professional Development Centre in King’s Lynn at 5pm on Thursday, November 1. Call 01603 883809 to book a place.

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18 comments

  • I can understand Mervyn Lambert pulling out of the race. With his history of unfair dismissal claims I would have thought the Police would have been very much in debt very quickly.

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    Kay Carroll

    Wednesday, October 10, 2012

  • With Mr Lambert withdrawing, you leave me no choice, I shall not be voting for any political candidate, so therefore will not vote at all. Unless a truly independent candidate can step up prior to the election, which is destined to have an abysmal turnout.

    Report this comment

    Farquarson-Smythe

    Saturday, October 6, 2012

  • The Greens are not standing but have said they would support "Progressive Independents".As the only other candidate with an Independent label is Stephen Bett is he "progressive"enough for the Greens?Alternatively could he just be the Tory reserve candidate?

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    Peter Watson

    Friday, October 5, 2012

  • ......Unless a truly independent candidate can step up prior to the election...... I thought keith Skipper was an independent? My vote is for him even if he is a little short.

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    Rhombus

    Saturday, October 6, 2012

  • I mirror most comments below - the only truly independent candidate A shame, it seems he would have been popular - who do i vote for now? definitely not a party candidate, maybe I won't bother after all.

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    outspoken

    Sunday, October 7, 2012

  • At least Mr Bett is not (any longer) subject to the whim of a political party, unlike the remaining three candidates. And with recent, intimate and long history of serving on the PA he is surely a sensible choice to minimise disruption? I would not want to see any party-political candidates in this role. Politics should be kept out of policing as far as possible. I agree with John Martin - the whole PCC exercise is entirely un-necessary and is simply a way of Cameron getting more control of the police service which he clearly hates.

    Report this comment

    tmresident

    Friday, October 5, 2012

  • Is it really such a surprise that Mervyn has chosen to spend more time with his diggers? Whilst he may have been a popular choice for some, this is not about being the chief of police, and once he looked at what it would involve on a daily basis he decided that it was not for him. Still, it continues to amaze me that Stephen Bett is clinging to his old job by his fingernails. Having opposed the creation of this post he then puts his hat in the tory ring for it and when they say no thanks and choose someone else, he won't take no for an answer and stands anyway. If he doesn't win, he will no doubt still turn up on day one to start work!

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    a fine city

    Saturday, October 6, 2012

  • I'm gutted!

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Friday, October 5, 2012

  • Has Stephen Bett indicated whether he intends to re-join the Conservative party if elected ,or,indeed if not elected?I respect a genuine sense of independence but surely this is all a bit too convenient and contrived.Stephen Bett has been the rock of Norfolk's Tories who are ill-placed not to call on his experience again.The effect is to dilute the validity of the open primary process where another Conservative party candidate was chosen.Methinks Stephen Bett is a wolf in sheep's clothing.

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    Peter Watson

    Saturday, October 6, 2012

  • Are we to presume that none of the famous four have no connection with any rolled up trouser and pinafore organisation? The independence of such individuals would appear to be in question politically and therefore any lodge affiliation for which the police hierarchy are renowned should be declared

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    Claire Voyant

    Monday, October 8, 2012

  • Agree with BG; a shame but very honourable.

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    Good Solid Business Ltd

    Friday, October 5, 2012

  • Interestingly, my earlier comments have now been removed from the website, the stated reason "libel"! I suppose it makes a changes from the stated reason being "other" as it so often is.

    Report this comment

    John Martin

    Saturday, October 6, 2012

  • The election has now lost its sole purpose. Home office brief states that this is a non political position with access for all taxpayers. Not one of the candidates is non political or Independent., they all will be whipped into line. Saying you are Independent, when you do not support other Independents and or, those thousands maligned and not listened to in west Norfolk for example, then you are not Independent. This whole election has become a farce before we had it. I have nobody to vote for now and shan't.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Saturday, October 6, 2012

  • Sad day for Norfolk. None of the above will be my shout on the day. Doff my cap to John Martin's comments.

    Report this comment

    nrg

    Friday, October 5, 2012

  • Rather a pity really because the post needs people like Mr Lambert; but I congratulate him on his honesty. Another good candidate would have been Ian Gibson but he cannot stand as a PCC candidate because of a previous conviction. Bit odd that really. You can be a MP, a Minister, the PM even a police officer and have a previous conviction but you can`t be a PCC. Logic which defies understanding

    Report this comment

    BG

    Friday, October 5, 2012

  • Yes I agree it is a shame as we needed someone who was independent to get away from this terrible party politics nonsense.

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    John L Norton

    Friday, October 5, 2012

  • Shame. lets hope there is somoene else with his width in the pipeline.

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    Rolf

    Friday, October 5, 2012

  • What a choice we have now. I suppose I'll have to vote for the ex Tory because he is at least an ex Tory. Let's forget about this election and concentrate on some decent Independent candidates who are not going to bottle out next May.

    Report this comment

    alecto

    Friday, October 5, 2012

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