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Labour U-turns on cops as councillors

Chester Borrows & Kate Wilkinson

National Party MPs

2 July 2008

Labour U-turns on cops as councillors

National Party MPs Chester Borrows and Kate Wilkinson advise that an amendment to the Policing Bill, to allow police officers to also be local authority councillors, has been tabled in the House today by the National Party.

Following questions by Ms Wilkinson in the Law & Order Select Committee today, Police Minister Annette King confirmed that she and her party also supported the 'status quo' - which allows police to put themselves up for election at local body elections - despite Labour members on the committee having a contrary view.

Mr Borrows says: "This issue has been raised with me by many police officers and by the Police Association, and I am pleased Labour will now follow the National Party's position, which is to allow police to serve their communities on local authorities and community boards.

"Although the Minister's own Cabinet paper showed a preference to do away with this right, she announced to the Law & Order Select Committee today that she supported the status quo."

There are about six police officers throughout the country who are also local authority councillors.

Ms Wilkinson says: "At the end of the day, it is up to the individual police officer/councillor to deal appropriately with any perceived or arguable conflicts of interest situations, and it is up to the public, when voting, to elect who they think is the best person for the job."


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