Cambridgeshire police commissioner Sir Graham Bright begins to lose his cool after being caught in interview ‘sting’ with blogger
- Credit: Archant
Blogger Richard Taylor got the back end of the police commissioner’s temper today when Sir Graham Bright lunged at a cameraman after being caught up in an increasingly fraught interview ‘sting’.
Mr Taylor, a prolific critic of the work of the commissioner over the past two and a half years, filmed an unscheduled interview with Sir Graham in the centre of Cambridge during a ‘meet and greet’ session.
After more than 15 minutes of answering questions from Mr Taylor, the commissioner said: “I want to talk to the public not to you, so finish”.
But Mr Taylor insisted “I am a member of the public, commissioner” as Sir Graham yelled at a cameraman filming him: “Now turn that thing around”.
Sir Graham lunged at the cameraman as his press officer, Graham Kitchen, intervened to tell Mr Taylor: “You’ve had a good turn.”
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However, with few members of the public queuing to speak to him and after a short break, Sir Graham agreed to take another question from Mr Taylor.
The police commissioner was then tackled on how much he was spending on his office.
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“So another key plank of your candidacy was to say you were going to separate yourself from the police,” said Mr Taylor.
“You’ve spent a lot of money doing that by putting your office in Cambourne”.
Sir Graham insisted his office had been value for money and quizzed as to why he didn’t work from police headquarters replied: “The fact that my office and I are not in police headquarters is that I have to hold them to account.
“If you’re holding them to account you can’t do that and also be having coffee with them in the canteen and walking around the same building. It’s absolutely essential and I wasn’t the only commissioner to do that and I think that it’s right that we’ve done it.
“There’s a respect between the police and crime commissioner’s office and the constabulary.”
Earlier Mr Taylor had quizzed Sir Graham about the likely appointment of Alec Wood as chief constable.
“Just straightforwardly, why Alec Wood?” said Mr Taylor, pointing out that a press release about the appointment was short on information about the selection process.
Sir Graham replied: “I’ve said all I’m going to say.”
Pushed as to whether Mr Wood “is the right man for the job”, the commissioner said: “The process is not over yet for goodness sake. You should know that. You obviously don’t.”
Sir Graham said Mr Wood was “recommended” and repeated that “the process is not over.”
He said the College of Policing “was appointed by us to ensure the whole thing was done in the right way.”
Mr Taylor asked: “So you handed it.. you delegated it all did you?”
No, said Sir Graham, “the panel understood. Now I’ve said what I’ve said. I’m saying no more.”
At one point a police officer, accompanying the commissioner, told Mr Taylor that “the gentleman has indicated that he doesn’t wish to say anything else.”