West Mercia chief constable Kyle Gordon: Green Party reacts

Worcester’s Green MP candidate says the post of police and crime commissioner has become too politicised after the fallout over the force’s missing chief constable.

Tor Pingree, the Green Party Parliamentary candidate for Worcester, made the comments after it was revealed the preferred candidate for chief constable would not be taking up the post.

Metropolitan police commander Kyle Gordon will not now take up the role of chief constable for West Mercia Police.

The recruitment process is overseen by Conservative police and crime commissioner John Campion as concern mounts with mystery still surrounding why the post has not been filled.

Cllr Louis Stephen, Green group leader for Worcester City Council, said:  “Leadership is important. It’s important for morale. I take my hat off to the serving police officers, policing on the frontline is a difficult and demanding job and this lack of strategic oversight at this most senior level for so long will be a concern to many of Worcester’s residents.

“It’s a shame the government decided to politicise the police by pushing through elected police and crime commissioners but like so many aspects of modern life we now have to add policing to the ever-growing list of public services like schools, hospitals, the railways and water companies that are now either mismanaged or underfunded.”

Metropolitan Police commander Kyle Gordon will not take up the £170,000 per year post of chief constable of West Mercia Police as concern mounts over the future direction of the force.

Cllr Richard Udall branded the situation ‘a pantomime’, described the force’s morale as having plunged to ‘rock bottom’ and said it was quicker to have a baby than appoint a new chief constable.

His comments come after it was revealed on Friday by police and crime commissioner (PCC) John Campion that Mr Gordon would not be taking up the role. 

Mr Campion who led the recruitment process announced Mr Gordon was the preferred candidate last December.

However, Mr Campion has so far declined to provide details about why Mr Gordon, who has 30 years of experience in policing, has not taken up the role other than to say  ‘unforeseen circumstances’ lie behind the decision in a statement released on Friday.

Mr Campion said: “In December I announced that Kyle Gordon was my preferred candidate for the chief constable role at West Mercia Police. Following a change in circumstances which could not have been foreseen at the time, it has been agreed that Mr Gordon will not be taking up the role.

“I will continue to ensure West Mercia Police is focused on tackling crime and keeping our communities safe. I will provide further updates regarding the chief constable role in due course.”

Alex Murray remains as the temporary chief constable, supported by the rest of the chief officer team.