‘Leave me alone and let me get on with the job’, says Lincolnshire crime commissioner

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Lincolnshire’s under-fire police and crime commissioner Alan Hardwick says he has no intention of resigning.

Mr Hardwick, who took on the role for Lincolnshire in November, was questioned by the Home Affairs Committee last week about his suspension of acting chief constable Neil Rhodes.

Mr Hardwick suspended Mr Rhodes in February for alledgedly mishandling the employment tribunal of a lawyer from another force. But his decision was overturned with the judge labelling the suspension “irrational and perverse”.

Now Mr Hardwick has defended his role and urged MPs to “leave me alone and let me get on with the job”.

Mr Hardwick said: “Why should I resign? To what end? My integrity is intact and I do believe I am doing - and will continue to do - a positive job for the people of Lincolnshire.

“I am passionately fond of Lincolnshire and the people. I am so proud to be the Police and Crime Commissioner for this county that I love.”

Mr Hardwick said he was not concerned by the criticism which included Keith Vaz, the chairman of the Home Affairs Committee, saying the situation was “farcical”.

Mr Hardwick added: “It would worry me if the people who are levelling the criticism knew the full story and still felt they should criticise me.

“I will put up with just about anything, including Keith Vaz.

“They don’t know the full story. A lot of information is either incorrect or slanted in a hopelessly partisan way.

“It doesn’t bother me because at the end of the day the attacks have not deflected me from doing the job that I was elected to.

“It has been very challenging in the last few weeks for various reasons. but it hasn’t had a detrimental effect on the policing of Lincolnshire.”

He said he had a “good and close working relationship” with Mr Rhodes.

Mr Hardwick said: “We are both professionals and whatever has happened in the recent past will be resolved very quickly.

“The inquiry that I launched is ongoing and will report within the next two or three weeks.”

Mr Hardwick said he felt sorry for Coun Ray Wootten, who announced last week that he would resign from his role as chairman of the police and crime panel at the next meeting in June.

He said the resignation was due to the “misleading impression” he gave to the Home Affairs Committee meeting.