The Labour Party has disowned Lee Barron as its Police and Crime Commissioner candidate for Northamptonshire after it emerged that he was once arrested. As nominations have closed it is too late for them to choose another candidate in this marginal constituency.
The Northampton Chronicle reports that Mr Barron "was watching England play in the World Cup in a Northampton pub in 1990 when trouble flared":
A friend was arrested and Mr Barron, aged 19 at the time, tried to convince police he should be left with him rather than taken into custody.
Instead, Mr Barron himself was arrested for wilful obstruction and received a £20 fine.
Mr Barron says:
“In recent days the origins of my fine and the charge I was under at the time have been deemed to be in breach of the legislation which allows candidates to seek the office of PCC. Despite the fact that this offence was fully declared and widely known, it came as a shock that the current legislation is so stringent that it could impact upon my candidacy.
“As a result of that and in order to protect the integrity of the Labour Party and all other candidates standing as PCC I have today asked the Labour Party to withdraw its endorsement of my candidacy for the post of PCC and to suspend my campaign forthwith."
According to the report Mr Barron had told the Labour Party about the incident before he was selected.
Of course 1990 was a long time ago. However there is also a video of speech he gave last year where Mr Barron, a regional secretary of the Communication Workers’ Union, says:
“Every time we refuse to cross your picket lines we break the law but we’d rather break the law than break your picket lines any day of the week.”
He does seem an unlikely champion of law and order.
How many other Labour candidates have expressed similar views?