An article by Andrew Gilligan in today’s Sunday Telegraph mentions Labour PCC candidates’ support by UNISON. It quotes the union’s Yorkshire and Humberside regional officer, Chris Jenkinson as saying:
We are supporting them because it is extremely important we have strong representation at the highest level.
“Strong representation at the highest level”? Is the idea that these PCC candidates then reciprocate UNISON’s support upon election, and support UNISON in some way?
The article explicitly mentions three Labour candidates – in Humberside, South Yorkshire and in West Yorkshire. It appears that these three are supported by the union’s Yorkshire and Humberside branch. There is no information on which Labour candidates are supported by other UNISON branches.
Spot on comment at the end of the article by Sam Chapman, who runs the excellent Top of the Cops website:
It doesn’t feel right – you’re going to have to make decisions about staff whose representatives have given you money. You might have to decide, for example, about the balance of PCSOs versus police in your force, with the PCSOs in a union which has funded you and the police officers in the [Police] Federation, which hasn’t.
I suspect those Labour PCC candidates that are elected will find this support from UNISON (implicitly appearing to disadvantage the Police Federation) coming back to haunt them in future months and years.
And maybe there’s potential for a new film for Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, combining Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz (“Hot Fuzz: the Revenge?”)? In my mind, I’ve already identified a number of roles and cast members…
UPDATE [28.10.12, 13.49]: One Labour PCC candidate has decided to distance herself from UNISON funding of her campaign – will other Labour candidates now follow Rachel Rogers’ lead?…