FORMER Conservative police commissioner candidate for Cambridgeshire John Pye, who quit rather than join the party, has sensationally backed an independent and not the Tory candidate for the £70,000 a year job.

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“I stood down as the Conservative candidate for police and crime commissioner when too many local activists opposed my determination not to join the Party,” Mr Pye, a former air commodore in the RAF said today.

“Whilst my personal values are Conservative I am not a politician. The governance of policing must be impartial and non-political.

“I was certain that I could not convince the public of my impartial stance if I was a member of a political party – and that was borne out in many of my conversations with local people.”

In a letter to the Editor of this newspaper he adds that “Party political activists are partisan and some expect privileged access in exchange for supporting a candidate. “Those characteristics are inconsistent with policing that must serve the people of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough equally.

“I have therefore decided to endorse Ansar Ali for PCC. Ansar is your independent candidate who is committed to impartial policing.

“He has a long record of public service. He is capable and understands our local policing situation.

“He is passionate about engaging with the community and setting policing priorities that people want.”

Mr Pye added: “The introduction of PCCs is the biggest change to the oversight of our police in decades. I encourage everyone to vote for Ansar Ali on November 15 to keep politics out of policing.”

Conservative Central Office had accepted Mr Pye as their candidate and he beat others in a selection process before being announced.

But South Cambs constituency association, in particular, was unhappy and he stood down and was replaced by Sir Graham Bright, a former MP and aide to former Prime Minister John Major.

Mr Pye had previously served as an independent member of Cambridgeshire Police Authority.

ANSAR Ali has been an Independent Member of Cambridgeshire Police Authority since 2008 and is currently chairman of the authority’s custody visitors’ panel, having previously served as chairman of the human resources and training panel.

Mr Ali, from Peterborough, says he does not intend to claim the full salary for the post if elected.

He is a member of Police Authority Inspections, having carried out assignments on behalf of Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary and the Audit Commission.

Mr Ali wants to spearhead efforts to tackle crime and community safety challenges in all its forms, working in partnership with the public and all the stakeholders.

He says the role should be free from party politics and should rest with someone who can reflect the feelings of the public.

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