Ian Johnston should stop "alienating people", says Blaenau Gwent MP
1:02pm Thursday 29th August 2013 in News
GWENT'S police and crime commissioner shouldn't be looking to alienate any more people, the MP for Blaenau Gwent has said.
Nick Smith was reacting to claims by Ian Johnston that the Home Affairs Committee had "made their mind up" before they questioned him in July.
A Home Affairs Select Committee report published earlier this summer had slammed the PCC, saying he was disdainful of MPs' scrutiny and hadn’t given concrete examples of why he forced former chief constable Carmel Napier to retire.
Nick Smith, MP for Blaenau Gwent, said he didn’t think it wise to ignore the committee.
Mr Smith said: “If Mr Johnston believes he doesn’t have to answer to MPs, what message does that send to the man on the street?
“He’s had an inauspicious start in his first year in office, and I wouldn’t be looking to alienate any more people if I were in his position.”
Meanwhile one MP said the PCC should move on and begin to build bridges to restore Gwent's reputation.
Wayne David, Labour MP for Caerphilly, has said that the evidence session in the House of Commons which he attended was “perfectly fair”.
Mr David said: “I know the Gwent PCC doesn’t like the conclusions which the Select Committee reached, but he really must move on, build bridges and work with others to restore the reputation of Gwent Police.
“Policing in Gwent is more important than any one individual”.
The BBC quoted Mr Johnston saying he didn’t think the committee had listened to all the evidence.
“ I think the way the questioning went they had made their mind up about lots of things,” the PCC told the broadcaster.
“If you look at the way it was done, I was the villan of the piece before I even went in there and Carmel Napier was a poor unfortunate woman who had been bullied by the PCC."
Mr Johnston said that in “someways” he felt that his reputation was tarnished: “I have so many people remind me that I did the right thing, that keeps me going. It was a difficult time, no doubt at all."
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