Crime commissioner candidate wrongly claims he was a former police minister

Bob Spink. UKIP's Police and Crime Commissioner candidate in Essex

Bob Spink. UKIP's Police and Crime Commissioner candidate in Essex - Credit: Archant

The UK Independent Party candidate for next month’s police and crime commissioner elections has been forced to change his website after wrongly claimed to be a minister for policing.

Bob Spink, a former MP for Castle Point, was accused of creating a “fantasy political record” after claiming that he had resigned as a junior government police minister in 2008.

He was in fact a parliamentary private secretary in the home office - a job which involves assisting a minister, and being their eyes and ears in the House of Commons.

Braintree MP James Cleverly raised the issue in the House of Commons asking Speaker John Bercow if there was a “remedy or sanction” for a former MP who “inaccurately or deceivingly” described himself as a former minister.

Mr Bercow confirmed that Dr Spink “certainly was not a government minister”, adding: “If someone has wrongly claimed to be a ​government minister, that is curious.”


You may also want to watch:


Dr Spink said he had corrected the record, and would avoid what he claimed was a “shorthand” title in future.

“But it’s the job not the job title that matters. I learnt much about managing police forces while a Home Office parliamentary private secretary (PPS) and hope this, along with my other extensive police and Westminster experience, would help me to be a better police commissioner for Essex.”

Most Read

“Political semantics can easily trip people up and there’s some confusion over the job title which is sometimes referred to in shorthand as a junior minister. They are sometimes said to be government ministers “on the cheap”.

“When I resigned as a government PPS after four years, to take through a new anti-social behaviour law, the Daily Telegraph headline was ‘Minister quits to steer Bill’.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter