The former Mayor of Newham in east London, Sir Robin Wales, has been chosen as Labour's candidate to challenge Tim Passmore as Suffolk's Police and  Crime Commissioner.

Sir Robin, 69, was directly-elected leader of the London borough for 16 years between 2002 and 2018 - and was first elected councillor in 1982. 

He now lives at Cavendish in south Suffolk and is a trustee of Abbeycroft Leisure, a not-for-profit social enterprise and registered charity providing services to communities across Suffolk.

In his role as Mayor he worked extensively with the local police to reduce knife crime, prosecuted more than a thousand criminal landlords and improved local neighbourhoods through a no tolerance policy to anti-social behaviour.

Sir Robin said: “Politicians always promise to cut red tape and bureaucracy but seldom do. I can prove that I have done it and will do it again.

"Politicians are not good at keeping their promises but I have published a book (Left, Right, Wrong) outlining what I did with evidence so you can check my promises out for yourself.

"For example, I will take the unusual step of talking to ordinary police officers to identify areas where we should not be wasting their time.

"My experience of police officers is that they want to do a good job but are frustrated in their efforts.

"As a result we lose far too many good experienced coppers. So I will find out why and work to keep that experience where we need it - on the front line.”

The election for Suffolk's Police and Crime Commissioner will take place on May 2 and for the first time it will be on a straight first past the post system - there will be no second preference votes to ensure the winner has majority support.