Police Crime Commissioner spending revealed

ESSEX police and crime commissioner Nick Alston spent more than £36,000 in the four weeks leading up to last November’s election.

Mr Alston, who won the seat for the Conservative Party, spent three times as much as second-placed Independent candidate Mick Thwaites, who spent £12,185.

Labour candidate, Thurrock councillor Val Morris-Cook spent £4,475, Ukip candidate Andrew Smith spent £2,929, Robin Tilbrook, who stood for the English Democrats, paid out £946 and Independent Linda Belgrove spent £912.

Data published by the Electoral Commission show the 191 hopefuls paid out an average of £11,220 in the month before the elections, during which time spending and donations over £50 were monitored. Mr Alston said: “The contributions to my campaign were from dozens of local supporters and members of the local party.

“I contributed to my own campaign, including the deposit. As required by the Electoral Commission,afull list of donors who gave over £50, and of my expenses, was provided to the returning officer.

“I broadly welcome the recommendations of the Electoral Commission report, especially where it focuses on the on-going need for openness and transparency.”

In the election, Mr Alston polled 51,325 votes and Mr Thwaites gained 40,312 votes.

The spending limit for Essex was £234,412 and every candidate spent well below that amount. Most would-be PCCs across the country came in under the spending limit for their force area.

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