EXCLUSIVE:Shona pulls off a remarkable coup to win through to final three for police commissioner candidate

County councillor Shona Johnstone beat off critics to secure her place on a short list of three and her fate will now be decided by party members and the courts.

The revelation that the 50 year-old councillor faced a charge of vandalising a car whilst riding her bike surfaced at Cambridge magistrates’ court last week.

Cllr Johnstone pleaded not guilty and the case will now go to trial on August 28 but she faced down calls for her to stand down as police commissioner candidate.

Councillor David Brown, the Conservative group whip in the county council, has insisted that “Shona is innocent until proven guilty”.

Also on the Tory short list is former MP Sir Graham Bright of Fordham and former RAF officer John Pye, who joined the police authority in 2009, have also been short listed.

Labour has picked Peterborough City Councillor Ed Murphy as their candidate for the police commissioner election.

The party announced the candidature of Cllr Murphy, a former chair of the Joint Cambridgeshire District and County Crime Reduction Panel, this week.

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During his time as a Cambridgeshire County councillor he was the Labour and Co-operative Group spokesperson for Cambridgeshire Constabulary, responsible for setting budgets and recruiting a chief constable and deputy chief constables.

Cllr Murphy was also Labour’s Parliamentary candidate for Peterborough at the 2010 General Election and is currently a governor of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Foundation Trust.

Cllr Murphy said that “if elected I will not take the full salary but will use it to fund crime prevention and put in place a process for the public to access the budget to deliver crime reduction projects that work.”