Former crime commissioner Shaun Wright unable to back up claim of 100 messages of support

Former Police and Crime Commissioner for South Yorkshire Shaun Wright
Former Police and Crime Commissioner for South Yorkshire Shaun Wright

Disgraced former police commissioner Shaun Wright has been able to produce evidence of only 17 letters of support - despite telling MPs he had received ‘more than 100’ messages backing him.

When giving evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee last month, Mr Wright said he had received ‘more than 100 individual letters and texts of support from a range of individuals’, including MPs and councillors.

But in a written statement to the committee clarifying the position, Mr Wright said he was unable to say how many private messages of support he had received but his office was able to confirm that the number of letters and emails offering support ‘had not exceeded 17 items’ by the time of his appearance in front of the committee.

His office had also received 123 messages calling for him to resign in the same time period.

Mr Wright said he felt his answers to the select committee had been ‘truthful’.

He said: “The comparison I carried out in my mind before answering these questions was based on a favourable poll in a local newspaper, and on telephone calls and other messages I had received privately, as well as on the basis of those messages which had passed through my office.”

The select committee is calling for new powers to remove police and crime commissioners after Mr Wright hung on to his job for three weeks after the publication of the Jay Report - with his failure to go highlighting that current legislation makes it impossible for PCCs to be sacked unless they commit a serious criminal offence.

The committee has suggested PCCs should be subject to recall when a police and crime panel or one or more local councils in their area passes a motion of no confidence in them. It said ‘detailed discussion’ is required as to how the law would work.