THE LEADER of Newport City Council has launched her campaign to become the next police and crime commissioner in Gwent.

Cllr Jane Mudd is standing as Welsh Labour’s candidate to succeed PCC Jeff Cuthbert on May 2.

She addressed friends and supporters this morning after a candid introduction by former Welsh Assembly presiding officer and long-serving member for Newport West Dame Rosemary Butler.

Both incumbent Newport MSs, Jayne Bryant and John Griffiths, were in attendance at the Corn Exchange on High Street, as were Blaenau Gwent MP Nick Smith and Newport West MP Ruth Jones.

Cllr Mudd told the crowd she was proud to launch her campaign to become the region’s first female PCC on International Women’s Day - and at a new venue which has been set up by an “amazing and creative team of women”.

South Wales Argus: Newport councillors showing their supportNewport councillors showing their support (Image: Sam Portillo)

She also paid tribute to Dame Butler, who she said helped her into politics after years as a trade union affiliate.

The PCC is an elected official responsible for overseeing a police force, fixing budgets, setting plans and appointing and dismissing the chief constable.

Cllr Mudd said experience leading Newport through the Covid pandemic and as the local government association spokesperson for community safety meant she would be able to hit the ground running in the role.

South Wales Argus: Cllr Mudd with (L-R): Nick Smith MP, Jayne Bryant MS, Ruth Jones MP and John Griffiths MSCllr Mudd with (L-R): Nick Smith MP, Jayne Bryant MS, Ruth Jones MP and John Griffiths MS (Image: Sam Portillo)

She said she had proven herself to be “tenacious and resilient” as council leader.

Listing her values of equality, social justice and accountability, she told the crowd: “These shape my work. This is who I am.”

'The beauty of Gwent'

Cllr Mudd would seek a collaborative approach to “rebuild confidence” in Gwent Police with a particular focus on equality issues.

She said she would do this by being a more visible PCC and increasing public engagement in the work.

“The beauty of Gwent, covering five local authority areas, is its diversity,” she said.

“Our cities, Valley communities and our rural areas - a significant proportion of Gwent is rural.

“This will be our journey, not mine alone. I wouldn’t be standing for this role if I didn’t believe I could make a difference.”