Mid-Bedfordshire Tory candidate and PCC answers “lame duck” criticism

Police and Crime Commissioner, Festus Akinbusoye. Image: Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC)
Police and Crime Commissioner, Festus Akinbusoye. Image: Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC)

Bedfordshire’s police and crime commissioner said that standing in next month’s parliamentary by-election has not made him a “lame duck” commissioner.

By standing as a candidate in the Mid Bedfordshire by-election, the commissioner (PCC), Festus Akinbusoye could be seen as having less influence due to a perceived limited time left in office – a lame duck.

“Absolutely not, I’m still getting people coming to me who need help with investigations, with quality of service, with information about things that’s going on in the community,” the PCC said.

“I’m still getting things done, I’m still on top of Leighton Buzzard, the Bossard House issue, and community policing.

“I had some really good conversations with the Chief Constable about community policing and vacancies in that team.

“I’m certainly still very much hot on the issue of Greyfriars.

“If anything I’m actually getting more done, so definitely not a lame duck PCC whatsoever,” he said.

Not being elected next month could raise some “what, ifs and maybes” in the run-up to May’s PCC election.

If Akinbusoye decides to stand again to continue as PCC, some people may think he’ll still have an eye on the next general election.

Especially if all the Conservative parliamentary candidates haven’t been named by May.

“That has crossed my mind,” the PCC admitted.

“But it’s not something that I’ve paid much attention to because a lot could change between now and May.

“The outcome of this by-election is going to be my focus and actually being elected as the member of parliament for Mid Bedfordshire.

“That’s the honest truth, I have not thought that far ahead [to May].” he said.

The PCC said he has realised that people love to speculate and calculate on issues.

“It’s like people have almost planned out my career for me, and what could happen and what could not happen,” he said

“The best thing to do is just live in the present and focus on what you’ve got in front of you now and deal with tomorrow when you get there,” he said.

A list of all the current candidates for the Mid Bedfordshire by-election can be found here.

by John Guinn
Local Democracy Reporter

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