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West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Foster has today announced he has applied for a judicial review against the Home Secretary challenging his decision to approve a transfer of the powers of the PCC to the Mayor.

He said: “I have today issued a claim in the High Court, applying for a judicial review, challenging the decision of the Secretary of State for the Home Department, to approve the takeover of Police and Crime Commissioner powers by the Mayor.

“This is a matter that is entirely of the Mayor’s own making. I have repeatedly advised him not to waste taxpayers’ money, proceeding with his cynical, divisive and undemocratic power grab, that is in no-one’s interests, save that of the Mayor.

“Sadly, the Mayor has refused to listen. He has left me with no alternative, but to proceed with an application for judicial review.

“The Mayor failed to secure a democratic mandate for the transfer of PCC powers in 2019. He failed to secure a democratic mandate in 2021. His government changed the law, to remove the need for a democratic mandate in 2023.

“The Home Secretary and the Mayor adopted an unlawful procedure in December 2023. I had to take legal action, to compel them to launch a last minute, panic driven, 11th hour public consultation. The Mayor then refused to engage in public debate with me.

“I was refused the opportunity to make my case before the Combined Authority Overview and Scrutiny Committee. The Home Secretary and Mayor then failed to secure a mandate via the public consultation, because a majority of people disagreed with the transfer of PCC powers to the Mayor.

“The Mayor has repeatedly failed to make to make out his case. Yet, he is persisting with his hostile takeover, in defiance of local democracy, contrary to the principles of devolution and against the will of the people. 

“Enough is enough. As Police and Crime Commissioner, my one and only top priority is preventing, tackling and reducing crime. I am committed to complying with my pledge to the electorate. I was elected, with a mandate to retain a democratically elected and directly accountable Police and Crime Commissioner. I repeated that commitment in my Police and Crime Plan. I intend to fulfil my pledge to the people who elected me.

“The very last thing we need is a Mayor, who is in denial of the catastrophic and devastating damage his own government has inflicted on our police service, executing a hostile takeover of policing in the West Midlands. It would mean, more cuts, more chaos and more crime.

“That is why, I will not hesitate to take the action necessary, to hold the Home Secretary and the Mayor to account, to defend democracy, the rule of law and the rights of the people I represent. However, it is not too late. I call on the Home Secretary, to abandon his approval of the takeover of PCC powers and I call on the Mayor to withdraw his consent.

“Have the courage, the integrity and the principles, to put it to the people – let the people decide – who they  want to represent them, as their democratically elected and directly accountable Police and Crime Commissioner – on 2 May 2024.”

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