Second Wisbech councillor eliminated from the vote to become Tory choice for 2016 police commissioner poll

Cllr Steve Tierney with (left) Steve Barclay MP and (right) Sir Graham Bright

Cllr Steve Tierney with (left) Steve Barclay MP and (right) Sir Graham Bright - Credit: Archant

Wisbech councillor Steve Tierney has lost out on his bid to become the Conservative Party candidate for police commissioner.

Cllr Tierney, a town and district councillor, got to the final five but has not made it to the short list of three from whom the candidate will now be selected.

He told readers of his blog: “I am proud to have got this far. I gave it my best shot and that’s all you can do. It was a fair process and I simply wasn’t good enough, which I can certainly understand and appreciate.”

Cllr Tierney said: “The remaining candidates all seem very strong and I know that whichever of them is chosen to stand for the Conservatives will do a fantastic job.

“I am looking forward to campaigning for them and working to get a Conservative PCC elected for Cambridgeshire next year.

“It was a pleasure and an experience to be part of the process. Thank you to all involved.”

He added: “My detractors will be very pleased with this result. And it’s nice to make people happy, so I’m pleased for them.”

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Cllr Tierney is said to have made an “impressive” to Cambridgeshire Tories at Saturday’s selection meeting in Whittlesey.

Had he become the candidate, and gone onto to replace Sir Graham Bright in the £70,000 a year role, the county could have expected a robust approach to policing matters.

Eighteen months ago he was involved in a heated exchange with Wisbech police commander Robin Sissons after, in his words, “police stormed into The Angel and confronted the barman and half a dozen customers who were there at that time, mostly having a quiet drink after work or eating dinner at the tables.

“The police flashed their warrant to search the premises. Every witness describes their manner as ‘threatening; ‘rude’ and one described it as ‘terrifying. A young couple were sitting at a table with their child eating dinner and, at some point during this sorry debacle, the child began to cry and then wet himself. This is not an exaggeration, this is not drama; this is what happened.”

He said: “There were so many police they couldn’t even nearly fit them all in. The customers were outnumbered more than two-to-one. Many of the customers spoke limited English, though there were a couple of English folk in there at the time also. “All the ones I’ve spoken to tell the same story.”

He added: “The police found nothing at all.”

In a later blog he wrote: “I am not given to think ill of the police. I believe in law and order and I value the work our police do.

“But as we’ve seen elsewhere in the country, it’s also entirely possible for the police to abuse their power and authority, to operate in ways that are questionable and to think – if you’ll excuse the pun – that they are a law unto themselves.”

He questioned the justification for “scaring a child so badly it wets himself, accusing innocent patrons of prostitoion and smashing down the doors of innocent tenants”

He added: “This is not some third world Police State. This is Wisbech, in Cambridgeshire, in the United Kingdom.”

Cllr Tierney is the second Wisbech councillor to fail to make it to the closing stages ahead of next year’s poll. In a earlier selection Councillor Michelle Tanfield, a Cabinet member at Fenland Council, was also knocked out. In May she stood as a Parliamentary candidate in Manchester, coming third behind UKIP in a safe Labour seat.