Former Thurrock Tory councillor in spat with Cambridge video blogger

FOR many years, Sir Graham Bright was the doyen of the Thurock Conservative Party.

Twice a candidate for the General Elections, he was a councillor for over fourteen years in Thurrock.

He was also chair of governors at Hassenbrook Academy for many years.

Sir Graham is the police and crime commissioner for Cambridgeshire.

But last week, he lost his cool somewhat with a young Cambridge-based blogger.

Richard Taylor, a prolific critic of the work of the commissioner over the past two and a half years, filmed an unscheduled interview with Sir Graham in the centre of Cambridge during a ‘meet and greet’ session.

After more than 15 minutes of answering questions from Mr Taylor, the commissioner said: “I want to talk to the public not to you, so finish”.

But Mr Taylor insisted “I am a member of the public, commissioner” as Sir Graham yelled at a cameraman filming him: “Now turn that thing around”.

Sir Graham lunged at the cameraman as his press officer, Graham Kitchen, intervened to tell Mr Taylor: “You’ve had a good turn.”

However, with few members of the public queuing to speak to him and after a short break, Sir Graham agreed to take another question from Mr Taylor.

The police commissioner was then tackled on how much he was spending on his office.

“So another key plank of your candidacy was to say you were going to separate yourself from the police,” said Mr Taylor.

“You’ve spent a lot of money doing that by putting your office in Cambourne”.

Sir Graham insisted his office had been value for money and quizzed as to why he didn’t work from police headquarters replied: “The fact that my office and I are not in police headquarters is that I have to hold them to account.

“If you’re holding them to account you can’t do that and also be having coffee with them in the canteen and walking around the same building. It’s absolutely essential and I wasn’t the only commissioner to do that and I think that it’s right that we’ve done it.

“There’s a respect between the police and crime commissioner’s office and the constabulary.”

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