The Conservative candidate Sir Graham Bright has been elected as Cambridgeshire’s first Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC).

Only 14.7 per cent of the electorate voted in Cambridge, which was lower than the overall turnout figure of 15.3 per cent for the county. Almost 2,900 ballot papers were spoiled.

After the first count, Bright led with 23,731 votes but at this stage no candidate had an overall majority. InCambridgeCity, the Labour candidate Ed Murphy and the Liberal Democrat candidate Rupert Moss-Eccardt gained the most first preference votes. After counting second preference votes, Bright won with 31,640, ahead of Murphy’s 25,114 votes.

Bright, who was the Conservative MP for Luton for eighteen years and vice chairman of the party from 1994 to 1997, said: “I am conscious that this is a very big task and I am looking forward to working on behalf of all the people of Cambridgeshire andPeterborough. I shall be the voice of the public not the police, but I am looking forward to working with the Chief Constable and the police partners to tackle the issues that residents tell me cause them most concern.”

The PCC will be responsible for holding the chief constable to account, which includes the power to appoint and sack the chief constable; overseeing the budget and setting the council tax precept; making decisions on strategic policing priorities; and engaging with the local community. Bright will receive an annual salary of £70,000.

The Electoral Commission has ordered an inquiry into the record low turnout – 15 per cent – for the PCC elections which cost £75million, calling it “a concern for everyone who cares about democracy”.

 

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