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The Police and Crime Commissioner election will go ahead on 2nd May 2024.

The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, Simon Foster, has issued the following statement:

“The Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal by the Home Secretary. In doing so, the court has upheld a previous judgment of the High Court, that determined the Home Secretary acted unlawfully and quashed the decision dated 6 February 2024, to approve the takeover of PCC powers by the Mayor.

“The court has determined that the 11th hour, last minute, panic driven, public consultation launched by the Home Secretary, was unlawful.

“The judgment of the court today, confirms the Mayor will not now be able to proceed with his hostile takeover of Police and Crime Commissioner powers and there will be a PCC election on the 2 May 2024.

“I am pleased that the people of the West Midlands will now have the right to vote for a democratically elected and directly accountable Police and Crime Commissioner at the election on 2 May 2024, whose one and only top priority is preventing, tackling and reducing crime.

“I brought this claim for Judicial Review to fulfil my Manifesto pledge to the people of the West Midlands, the commitment in my Police and Crime Plan and to defend democracy, the rule of law and the rights of the people I represent.

“I was also concerned that the transfer of PCC powers to a representative of the government, would lead to more cuts, more chaos and more crime.

“The Home Secretary acknowledged that he and the Mayor had previously failed to act in accordance with the law, by failing to carry out a public consultation and apply the relevant statutory criteria.

“It defies belief that they had farcically, inexplicably and incompetently failed to read and understand their own legislation, that they themselves had specifically passed only weeks before, to remove the need for a democratic mandate in the West Midlands.

“It was only following legal action, successfully challenging and holding them to account, that they were forced into a humiliating climbdown and a belated public consultation was launched at all.

“Having already acted unlawfully and undertaken a public consultation, they then ignored the outcome. This is a matter that has been entirely of the Home Secretary and the Mayor’s own making. It was therefore entirely right and proper that I brought the claim for Judicial Review, to ensure that the Home Secretary and the Mayor had finally understood their legal obligations and were acting in accordance with the law.

“The Home Secretary and the Mayor have wasted everyone’s time and tax payers’ money. In addition, they have been responsible for causing incalculable distraction and disruption, for West Midlands Police, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, the Combined Authority and local election officials, not to mention the uncertainty it has created for the general public of the West Midlands.

“The House of Lords has also issued a damning and excoriating indictment of the way the government has handled this entire process.

“I am pleased that the Mayor’s cynical, divisive, unnecessary and undemocratic, attempted hostile takeover of PCC powers has been defeated. I trust that we can now all concentrate on what matters most to the people of the West Midlands, which is ensuring that we prevent, tackle and reduce crime.

“If you are entitled to vote, I would encourage you to register and vote in the election for Police and Crime Commissioner for the West Midlands, that will now take place on 2 May 2024.”

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