GWENT Tories do not want to enter a candidate for the police and crime commissioner role in the region because they don’t think they can win, according to sources.

The Argus has learned that Conservative headquarters has been asked if the party could not enter a Gwent candidate for the November 15 election.

That goes against a Tory plan to run a police and crime commissioner (PCC) candidate in every force area.

A source within the party said they didn’t have a “cat-in-hell’s” chance of winning in the Valleys.

However a spokeswoman from Tory HQ in London said the party is still looking for a candidate.

The source, a Gwent member of the party, said: “There is a feeling that it would be extremely challenging for Tories to win in Gwent.

“We’d probably win if it was just Newport and Monmouthshire, but in the Valleys we haven’t got a cat-in-hell’s chance.”

The source said fighting the election is “quite expensive.

You’re looking at a couple of thousand. If you have got a chance of winning that is fair enough.”

“You have got to realise that we are generally a bunch of volunteers,” they added.

The Gwent force area covers all five Gwent counties – four of which are nowrun by Labour following May’s elections.

The Tory-Liberal Democrat coalition in Newport lost control of the council at that election, while Monmouthshire’s Tories have nowformed a coalition with the council’s Lib Dems.

A Conservative Party headquarters spokeswoman said the process of selecting a candidate in Gwent is ongoing.

“The Conservative Party is committed to selecting PCC candidates for each of the 41 police authority areas including Gwent,” she said.

Currently three men have said they are intending to run for the Gwent police and crime commissioner election.

Hamish Sandison was selected to run for Labour in Gwent, while former policemen Ian Johnston and Chris Wright are both running as independents.