Tory John Dalley faces party expulsion for backing independent candidate
A Conservative party member could be expelled after agreeing to become the deputy for an independent candidate standing in the race to become Kent’s first elected police commissioner.
John Dalley, from Gillingham, is to take on the role of would-be deputy commissioner to independent candidate Dai Liyanage.
Mr Dalley confirmed he was a member of the Gillingham and Rainham Conservative constituency association and held a position as an auditor. He is also a former treasurer.
Liyanage was Medway mayor as a Liberal Democrat at the turn of the Millennium and is a former member of the Kent Police Authority.
Mr Dalley said he was backing Mr Liyanage because he did not believe the police commissioner should be from a political party.
“The position of commissioner should definitely not be a political one – it is totally wrong and would make a nonsense of the job. Whoever is elected must be independent,” he said.
Asked whether he risked being expelled from the Conservative party, he said: “I am not prepared to comment on that.”
In a statement announcing his backing for Mr Liyanage, Mr Dalley said: “When I saw the list of potential candidates, I nearly despaired because all the front runners, except Dai, were either party hacks or were being given behind-the-scenes support by one of the major parties.
“That’s why I jumped at the chance to support Dai in his campaign to make Kent Police more efficient and effective.”
Mr Dalley, 59, ran the accountancy firm JAD Associates for 40 years. He is treasurer of the Worshipful Company of Painter-Stainers, a freeman of the City of London, treasurer of the Friends of Rochester Cathedral Trust and has been a freemason since he was in his 20s.
He was born in Gillingham and is married with two grown-up children and three grandchildren.
Mr Liyanage said: “I am delighted John has agreed to become a member of the team. Our respective set of skills and experience dovetail very well and mean that, together, we will be able to tackle the big job of reshaping Kent Police to serve the people of this region even better.”
John Ammey, chairman of the Gillingham and Rainham Conservative Association, said it has not made any threats about Mr Dalley’s membership.
He said the Kent Police Authority is “already party political, but one where the public can only effect changes at council elections by voting in a different political party to run the councils.
“Policing is in any case political in that policing and crime and punishment are already the responsibility of two cabinet members, the Home Secretary and the justice minister and always features in election campaigns.
“The public have a clear understanding of the policing and crime and punishment priorities of the major political parties. It therefore follows that a PCC candidate supported by a political party will reflect that ethos.
“As far as Mr John Dalley’s position is concerned my association has had no discussions with him and nor made any threats about his membership.”