Police boss gets support in chief row

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Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Alan Hardwick has received backing from an unlikely source after his decision to suspend temporary Chief Constable Neil Rhodes over a conduct matter.

Coun Paul Gleeson, a member of Boston Borough Council and a rival of Mr Hardwick’s in last November’s PCC elections, said he had “no doubts” about the police boss’s capability of overseeing policing in Lincolnshire.

“From what I saw of Alan Hardwick during the campaign, I have no doubts about his capability of doing the job of PCC,” Coun Gleeson said.

“I must assume he became privy to information which he felt was so serious that he had to act and I can’t really see what other action he could have taken.”

Coun Gleeson’s comments come at the same time as the chairman of a panel set up to hold Mr Hardwick to account has written to Home Secretary Theresa May asking for clarification about its powers to intervene in the row.

Coun Ray Wootton, chairman of Lincolnshire Police and Crime Panel, has asked for “reassurance” from Mrs May about its role to question Mr Hardwick about the decision to suspend Mr Rhodes from duty.