Sunday, 18 November 2012

Winston Roddick. A LibDem, shock!

Would  Winston Roddick have won the North Wales Police Commissioner Election if he had stood  as a Liberal Democrat?

Probably not

But amid claims that Winston Roddick "hid" his party allegiance, as well as calls for him to step down immediately after winning the election, the barrister and former senior legal adviser to the Welsh assembly  it is a valid question

"I am a member of the Lib Dems, but this was discussed extensively during the campaign," Roddick told the Guardian. "I will not be taking the Lib Dem whip, and will act independently and impartially as PCC, as I have throughout my legal and judicial career."
A spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats, whose candidate in the bellwether Corby byelection slumped to a humiliating fourth place on the same night that Roddick emerged victorious in the North Wales PCC election, said that a member of the party running as an independent was a different case from a candidate who was running on a party ticket.

However, Owen Smith, a Welsh Labour MP and the Shadow Secretary of State for Wales, tweeted on Friday night: "Winston Roddick must explain why he hid his party allegiance from the North Wales electorate. #Independent?"Another Labour MP, John Mann, tweeted that "roddick should resign as police commissioner of he is a lib dem member."

Roddick was publicly endorsed during the campaign by Kirsty Williams, the Liberal Democrat leader in Wales, who said that the party was not putting up candidates but that she was backing him "because, as an independent candidate, he is free from party political pressure."
One of Wales's leading barristers and Wales's first counsel general, the QC began his career as a police constable in Liverpool before becoming a barrister and has been a crown court recorder.
In his campaign, Roddick said the police commissioner needed to act independently of political interference.

 Guardian 17 November 2012

The first thing to point out is that Winston Roddick like all the other newly elected  Police Commissioner has now sworn an oath to be Independent and all should now be seeking  to be as La Pasionaria said  acting independently of political interference.

It is not as if Labour were unaware of his political allegiances 

I believe he stood either for the Liberals or Liberal Democrats  in Westminster  elections for Ynys Mon 1970, Cardiff South in 1983, and Newport West  in 1987. 

One of Wales's leading barristers, he was appointed as the first Counsel General for Wales in 1998, the most senior legal adviser to the Welsh Assembly, and Labour must have  surely been aware of his allegiance then.

Now retired from this post  he showed his independence, by claiming that the two Liberal Democrats who has been disqualified from the assembly cannot be reinstated as AMs and the election was noe vois 

John Dixon and Aled Roberts, were members of public bodies to which AMs cannot belong.

Roberts eventually was allowed to take his seat,

So he probably angered his party there.

It does sem like sour grapes from Labour who expected to win all four posts in Wales but only Alun Michael in South Wales won and his son Tal ,lost to Rodderick in North Wales.

Should Roddrick have declared his memership of the LibDems?

Well yes but that shouldn't have prevented him from standing as an Independent.

Indeed there is a valid argument that all candidates should have stood as Independents and political parties should be restricted to endorsing  a candidate.

Those who bothered to vote seemed to think so.


Disappointed of Conwy said...

Winston Roddick really should resign. He's quoted as saying, "I am a member of the Lib Dems, but this was discussed extensively during the campaign". No it wasn't discussed during the campaign. Let's see evidence of that.

If you can't trust a QC, who can you trust?

Bill Chapman said...

Now it turns out that he will continue working as a barrister while picking up a £70,000 annual salary from the taxpayer. See:

So now we have a LibDem (no, we didn't know "Independent" who will be a part-timer and get his Chief Executive (non-elected, of course) to run things for him on 75K a year.

glynbeddau said...

Clearly it should be a full time Job but wil he be alone in this?