One of the men bidding to be Lincolnshire Police’s new figurehead says he was ‘disappointed and hurt’ by a national newspaper article which delved into the funding of his campaign.
The Sunday Telegraph ran a piece yesterday in which it questioned Mervyn Barrett’s Police and Crime Commissioner campaign and threw the spotlight on the method by which his bid for the role at the head of the county’s force was funded.
Mr Barrett’s campaign team all resigned after being contacted by The Sunday Telegraph, leaving big questions over his bid to be elected commissioner on November 15.
He issued a statement over the weekend in which he said: “Throughout my career at Nacro, the crime reduction charity and in my other professional activities I have always sought to uphold the highest standards of integrity and honesty.
“The allegations contained within today’s Sunday Telegraph article regarding my campaign seek to question those values. Quotations from my opponents in the election also seek to undermine my experience and judgement. I am both disappointed and hurt by this.
“I am not for sale, I never have been for sale and I never will be for sale. If anybody who donated to my campaign thought differently they are very sorely mistaken. It is disingenuous in the extreme to suggest that I am in some way anybody’s puppet. The policies contained within my manifesto were developed and agreed by me alone. They represent the results of my best thinking and my experience developed over three decades in the field of criminal justice.
“Notwithstanding the above, however, I do recognise how the allegations contained within the article have the potential to be misconstrued and that some as a result may consider that I or my campaign has done something wrong. I wish to make clear that both I and my campaign are in full compliance with UK electoral law and that we have made strenuous efforts to ensure that this has always been the case.”
Mr Barrett said he will take time to reflect on the article and consider his campaign now that his team has resigned.
He will also take legal advice over what he says are ‘inaccuracies’ in the Sunday Telegraph report.
Mr Barrett expects to hold a press conference on Wednesday to comment further.
Fellow candidate David Bowles, who is quoted in the Sunday Telegraph article, released a statement saying: “Many people in Lincolnshire have been very suspicious of the campaign being run by Mervyn Barrett, an independent candidate for the role of Police Commissioner.
“He has repeatedly refused to declare where his very substantial funding was coming from, whether he was on the electoral register or even where he lived.”