A Liberal Democrat councillor who was previously jailed after pleading guilty to helping smuggle half-a-million-pound’s-worth of cocaine from Bolivia, has outrageously been elected to be the co-chairman of the police and crime panel in Wiltshire.
Sitting Councillor Ross Henning was convicted in 1987 for his part in the huge drug dealing plot. Yet his history of criminality hasn’t prevented him from being elected as the co-chair of the police and crime panel that oversees the constituency’s police and crime commissioner.
Under electoral rules, anyone with a conviction for an imprisonable offence is unable to run for the PCC role. But the same rules bizarrely do not apply to the police and crime panel.
Andy Brown, Wiltshire Council corporate director for resources, and deputy chief executive, said: “Criminal convictions don’t prevent someone from being a councillor unless they have been convicted and received a prison sentence, or suspended sentence, of three months or more in the five years before the election.
“It is up to the political parties to nominate their representatives on committees, and for the police and crime panel the chair and vice chair were then voted by councillors on that panel.”