Elected crime chief for Peterborough and Cambridgeshire resigns

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Peterborough and Cambridgeshire has resigned, the Peterborough Telegraph can exclusively reveal.

Monday, 11th November 2019, 2:25 pm
Jason Ablewhite

Jason Ablewhite, who was elected into the role in 2016 quit the role today (Monday).

His office has confirmed that he had been referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), although it declined to say why.

The IOPC said it received a referral of a public complaint into Mr Ablewhite’s conduct last Thursday.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The former Conservative leader of Huntingdonshire District Council was the county’s second ever elected crime chief.

Before today’s announcement he was attempting to take over the governance of the county’s fire and rescue service from the Fire Authority.

He also made headlines shortly before his election victory over private messages about travellers, where he made remarks about “pikeys” and “Spanish asylum seekers” found in an “inflatable grotto lorry”.

Mr Ablewhite said the remarks to friends were just “banter”, but he later agreed to write a written apology after being asked to do so by a county police and crime panel.

The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner said: “A referral has been made to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

“Jason Ablewhite has today (Monday, November 11) tendered his resignation as Police and Crime Commissioner for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

“It would be inappropriate for us to make any further comment.”

The PT asked the IOPC when the referral was made and what the nature of it was.

A spokesperson said: “The IOPC has started an independent investigation following a referral about a public complaint into the conduct of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Cambridgeshire.

“We are in the process of gathering and evaluating evidence and do not want to pre-empt investigative decisions.”

A spokeswoman for the Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Panel said: “The process to appoint an acting police and crime commissioner will now begin. We will release further details once an appointment has been made.

“This acting appointment would run until the scheduled election to appoint a new police and crime commissioner for Cambridgeshire in May 2020.”

The Home Office said the transfer of governance of Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service is unaffected by Mr Ablewhite’s resignation and that a by-election does not need to be held as it is less than six months to the date of the next ordinary election (May 7, 2020).