Tory Party announces that Tory hopeful who beat two Tories but who is not a Tory and refuses to become a Tory quits as Tory candidate for police commissioner.
PUBLISHED: 11:13 31 August 2012
RETIRED air commodore John Pye who became a Tory in name only so that he could be endorsed as the party's choice for Cambridgeshire's police commissioner has dramatically stood down.
Ironically his resignation was announced by Conservative Central Office.
“Unfortunately some within the local Conservative Party were uncomfortable with the basis on which I am prepared to stand,” said Mr Pye.
“I therefore feel that it would not be fair to them or the public to continue as the Conservative candidate.”
He said he had decided to step down “to avoid further disruption to the local Party.
“I was encouraged to put my name forward as a potential Conservative candidate because of my commitment, skills and understanding of local policing.
“My values are Conservative but I am not a politician. I believe firmly that the governance of policing must be impartial and non-political.
“I also do not consider that I could convince the public of my impartial stance if I was a member of a political party – and that has been borne out in many of my conversations with local people.
“At national level the Party agreed to my potential candidature without the need to become a Party member. I thought that was enlightened. I was the winner in a ballot of local Party members.”
He added: “I wish the new candidate well in their campaign and my hope is that they will also commit to impartial, non-political policing.
“I will not be making any further comments or media statements”
Mr Pye beat former county council leader Shona Johnstone and former MP Sir Graham Bright in a selection to contest the election on November 15 this year.
Mr Pym’s selection had always been controversial after it was revealed he was not a Conservative Party member and was chosen as a non-party candidate who could bring experience from outside party politics into the role.
However he reportedly said to members in a two-page statement during his selection that he was “Conservative through to my bones”.
Mr Pye spent more than 30 years with the Royal Air Force before working at the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge for a decade.
He has served on the Cambridgeshire Police Authority as an independent member since 2009 and said he was “committed to reducing crime and preserving the operational independence of the police”.
“The election is about choosing who is best to govern our policing to serve the whole community,” he said.