In a House of Commons debate on the Governments ‘Policing in the 21st Century’, Home Secretary Teresa May took Stoke-on-Trent South MP Rob Flello [Lab] to task over his insistence that the introduction of Elected Police Commissioners could result in the BNP having a say in law enforcement.
Elected Police Commissioners form part of a widespread Police reform that will also see a return of professional responsibility to front line officers.
Policing in the 21st Century will also witness the creation of a powerful national crime agency with the responsibility of protecting our borders and tackling organised crime.
The Home Secretary also said that the coalition will also make the police a more efficient force to protect the levels of front-line local policing. Teresa May also announced that there was to be a new ‘101’ non emergency number for the reporting of low level crime and anti-social behaviour.
Shadow Home Secretary Alan Johnson [Lab] responded by insisting the title of her statement should be amended to ‘Policing in the 21st Century: How to make the job harder’.
He accused her of trotting out the same old drivel about the previous government that was, in his words, probably written by some ‘pimply nerd’ foistered on her department by No.10.
Rob Flello MP for Stoke-on-Trent South was promptly rebuked by the Home Secretary in response to his question:
Many of the improvements that the Home Secretary has talked about are already happening on the ground in Stoke-on-Trent, thanks to people such as Inspector Sharrard-Williams. Recently, however, the House might have seen a man who runs the British National party claiming that he has 1 million followers-that is, 1 million people voting BNP-in the UK. What happens when the BNP stands for one of these commissioner posts, as will happen, and gets it?
Teresa May retorted:
This is something that the hon. Gentleman and his colleagues have raised on a number of occasions, and I will give him two answers. If he looks at the voting record so far, he will see that the British National party has never managed to get more than 15% of the vote in an election. But let us set that to one side; I actually believe in trusting the people of this country
Flello courted controversy during the recent General Election campaign when he appealed to the electorate in Normacot to vote Labour as a vote for any other candidate could let in the BNP.
The British National Party had disastrous results in both the General and Local elections which resulted in the loss of many council seats around the country. They failed to achieve their coveted prize of an Member of Parliament.