Khan Juna pulls out of police boss raceBy Linda Fort
October 18, 2012
Independent candidate Khan Juna has stepped down from the race to become police boss – saying it is impossible to campaign effectively.
Although arguably the best qualified to do the job as the current chairman of Thames Valley Police Authority, Mr Juna said an independent would need “substantial personal wealth or rich friends” to win the election.
Mr Juna, 59, of Wickford Way, Lower Earley, announced he would be standing to become the first Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner in the election on Thursday, November 15 earlier this month.
He said: “It is with great sadness that I have made the difficult decision to withdraw.
“I put my hat into the ring after much soul-searching and after watching increasingly politicised campaigning with candidates ‘on message’ from their party HQs and with no ‘local’ manifesto.
“As a member of the police authority for nine years I was concerned about the possible politicisation of policing in Thames Valley and the subsequent loss of public confidence.
“Despite the Home Secretary’s insistence that she wanted to see high-profile, high-quality candidates from beyond the world of politics, this flawed piece of legislation means that it is impossible for an independent candidate to effectively campaign in an area like Thames Valley with three counties, 21 constituencies and 2.2 million residents.”
He continued: “The hurdles facing independents include the need to provide 100 signatures in support of their nomination, including name, address, voting area and voting number.
“Without a party political ‘machine’ with a network of MPs, councillors and party loyalists practised in campaigning, the 2,200 square miles of Thames Valley presents an impossible challenge.
“The deposit required to stand has been set at £5,000 – 10 times that asked of MP candidates – and the cap on campaign spending is £303,303.”