Voting for Labour’s new police commissioner candidate would be a vote against democracy and against a new direction for policing a Conservative rival has claimed.

Labour has announced that former Police Authority chairman and Wolverhampton councillor Bob Jones will stand for election to the position in November, and treat is as a referendum on Government cuts in police budgets.

But former Birmingham councillor Matt Bennett, who is bidding to become the Conservative candidate, pointed out that Labour does not even support directly-elected police commissioners and are campaigning for a job they do not believe in.

He said: “The Labour Leader criticises the government for introducing democracy to local policing and says he would not have done it. He then goes on to claim that Labour will somehow ‘defend democracy’ by fighting an election they do not believe should take place. He calls for a high turnout when less than 2,500 of his own members bothered to vote in the selection. Hardly a rallying cry.”

He added: “Bob Jones represents the status quo in this election. He has been a member of the Police Authority for many years and has taken part in recent decisions to close police stations, make staff redundant and the current botched attempt to privatise services.

“He was also on the authority when millions were wasted on the Project Champion fiasco, by setting up a network of secret cameras to spy on law abiding citizens, which then had to be taken down again.”

He added that while Coun Jones had been selected in a vote among 2,500 Labour Party members, the Conservatives are allowing the public to take part in primary elections to select the candidate.

“It is quite clear which party is committed to democracy in local policing, and it is not the Labour Party,” Mr Bennett added.