A by-election brings Ministers, U-turns and promises – Priti Patel has been in Devon 

And Alison Hernandez, our PCC, doesn’t miss a photo opportunity to be snapped with her, and the Tory candidate, whilst reopening a desk in Tiverton police station. See photograph below which looks like it has been taken by the PCC herself. (Problem is that it’s a mirror image and describes the police station as belonging to the Llawnroc & Noved force, but shows her best side!).

A couple of days earlier, she was photographed with newly chosen Helen Hurford also outside what looks like Tiverton police station, see: Police Commissioner photographed with new Tory candidate raises question. Makes Owl wonder just how many times the front desk at Tiverton policed station has been reopened by the PCC. Perhaps this is the only example the Tories can find of what they have done for Tiverton.

Is Owl the only one to find such blatant political posturing by a Police and Crime Commissioner, supposedly “the voice of the people”, at odds with the Nolan principles? These are the seven principles governing those in public service and include: integrity, objectivity and leadership.

Is this another example of how the Conservatives under the leadership of Boris Johnson have lost all sense of integrity? How are we supposed to believe in the political neutrality of the police knowing they are accountable to, and the Chief Constable appointed by, such an overtly political PCC?

The Home Secretary is quoted as saying “I’m absolutely thrilled that the station will be reopened again. It speaks to the Conservative Party in government, the party of law and order being focused on delivery, delivering for local residents and delivering for the British public because we do believe in our police, we back the police.”

Wasn’t it the Osborne Tory austerity programme that caused the closures in the first palace? “Law and order”, what a joke. Expect a succession of Cabinet Ministers making their first visit to Devon. – Owl

Lewis Clarke www.devonlive.com (extract)

The Home Secretary Priti Patel has been in Devon this morning, talking about policing, the crisis in Ukraine and the shocking murder of Bobbi Anne McLeod.

She spent time speaking to campaigners on May 25 ahead of the upcoming by-election on June 23, backing their Conservative candidate Helen Hurford. She also headed to Tiverton Police Station to meet Alison Hernandez, the Police Crime Commissioner, as well as the town’s police force.

Speaking exclusively to Devon Live she said: “I’ve had a fantastic visit this morning. It’s a privilege to be here supporting in Helen and the great Conservative team. Actually just having the opportunity to get out and about, meeting activists, but I’ve also been with our Police and Crime Commissioner, Alison Hernandez today, down to the police station speaking to the front line and the officers that do everything that they can day in, day out, to keep local streets safe.”

Speaking about Helen Hurford, the Tiverton & Honiton Conservative candidate she said: “Helen is a great candidate and local. A local lady who’s absolutely dedicated to public service. Her professional background as a teacher, but also someone that’s been active in the community for the last 12 months as well.

“She’s going to be a fantastic member of parliament for this constituency. I think residents will be blessed to have her as the MP, but I think importantly as well, she will go on to serve and represent the local area in an exceptional way.”

Priti Patel, Helen Hurford and Alison Hernandez

This week it was announced by Alison Hernandez that the front desk of Tiverton police station was among those planned for reopening this year. These offices will be staffed by Police Enquiry Officers from Monday to Saturday, from 10am to 3pm, while the existing nine operated by the force will operate extended opening hours of 8am to 6pm on the same days. Officers staffing the offices will be able to support the 101 contact centre too when not dealing with people person.

The Home Secretary welcomed the move: “I’m absolutely thrilled that the station will be reopened again. It speaks to the Conservative Party in government, the party of law and order being focused on delivery, delivering for local residents and delivering for the British public because we do believe in our police, we back the police……

3 thoughts on “A by-election brings Ministers, U-turns and promises – Priti Patel has been in Devon 

  1. Of course we have our own Dolores Umbrage in the shape of Standards Committee favourite Councillor Stott, who of course did not use the words “witch hunt” at an Exmouth Town Council Finance Committee meeting. With the Tiverton photo in mind it might be apt to call the candidate Cinderella. But who is her Prince Charming?


  2. I cannot imagine why anyone would think that bringing Pritti Patel – aka Gothic version of Delores Umbridge – to Devon will actually boost Conservative votes – unless of course you believe that she will make you write out 1000 times “I must vote Conservative” whilst torturing your hand if you don’t do so.

    As for the photo, if you are photographed grinning inanely whilst sandwiched between Pritti Patel and Alison Hernandez and appearing like a Spitting Image puppet being held up by two other Spitting Image puppets, is that really going to boost your election chances?


  3. The Conservatives must surely be desperate to retain this seat.

    They are on a hiding to nothing in Wakefield, with a small majority in a seat where they could have ditched their paedophile candidate before he was elected in 2019.

    Down here they have a large majority in a seat where the main opposition is predicted to come from the libdems, even though they have not polled better than third here since the Clegg betrayal of 2010.

    The tories even have an interesting or even intriguing candidate. One who has shown herself capable of running and even improving an organisation, a primary school, turning it from a poor to a solid good in successive Ofsted reports two years’ apart. Only a small, rural primary school, but this far outweighs the collective achievement or capabilities of the likes of Chris Grayling, Gavin Willliamson, Nadine Dorries or Priti Patel. Seriously, can anyone really imagine any of them managing that?

    Somewhat surprisingly she then left without fanfare. Six weeks after the newspaper reports of the successful Ofsted the school had a new head, with no apparent reports of departure or arrival, and Ms Hurford has materialised “pursuing a lifelong dream” of opening a small beauty salon in a Devon market town, which doesn’t quite seem to fit its label of academy. Subsequent events such as her new found fame suggest she might have had other lifelong dreams on her mind.

    Since her resignation from the school (?) she has also found time to play a leading role in the local parish council (Honiton Town Council), for an Independent group which in contrast to most Independents seems to have it’s literature paid for or “sponsored”.

    The council has a volatile recent past including a court case challenging the parent authority’s jurisdiction over a standards matter and more recent resignations amidst allegations of bullying during Ms Hurford’s tenure as Deputy Leader and Deputy Mayor. She seems to have shrewd background advice and avoids declaring her address on her register of interests using an exemption which doesn’t seem the right one for the task but must have been authorised by someone senior at the council.

    This sleuth deduces she was being laid out for significant advancement, though not the constituency in which she now finds herself. She must have a good story to tell and one would expect her to be more than capable of doing so. Bizarrely though they have chosen to silence their candidate, insulting both her and the voting public in the process.

    The word is out that she would be likely to have difficulty in answering questions about Boris Johnson and “partygate”. Really?

    As a teacher she will know more than enough about the concept of learning by rote, which is how the Prime Minister’s defenders are normally programmed. Perhaps she is not yet ready to trash her integrity and there is a danger she will tell the truth.

    To add injury to insult she is then dragged out for a photo opportunity with the dreadful self publicists Hernandez, for the second time in a week, and the aforementioned Priti Vacant. She is then presented as the dessert to a haphazard interview with Patel given as an exclusive to a journalist who on this evidence would struggle to pass a level 2 SATs test. The accompanying photo is the closest yet to the Home Secretary’s Spitting Image character. Like an actor in a 30’s vampire b-movie horror she appears ready to jump for the nearest throat. With the victim of choice likely to be Hernandez.

    The interview highlights that Patel is, amongst other matters, talking about the awful murder of Bobbi-Anne McCleod. There is no evidence that she has included Plymouth or the McCleod family on her itinerary, she is exploiting the suffering of that poor girl and her family for electoral gain and self promotion.

    Possibly Tiverton police station, closed by the Tories during austerity, is not the best place to be boasting of law and order credentials. I remember in Tiverton in 1975 six local teenagers beat up a grammar school boy in the town. Five of those six received six months’ youth custody. This was during the second Harold Wilson government. A labour government. More recently frequent similar assaults in Exmouth’s Strand Gardens have resulted in no consequences for the regular perpetrators despite names being provided and CCTV evidence.
    That was then, this is now, and these examples are typical of their times.

    Exmouth was also the home until last summer of the former councillor now convicted of multiple paedophile offences John Humphreys. In the course of those offences he used a grooming technique similar to that of the recently convicted former MP Imran Ahmed Khan, of Wakefield. Also in common with Khan there appears to have been a cover up, though in this case over a number of years until his conviction in 2021.

    One of those victims, with the support of East Devon District Council, has been trying to get to the bottom of his treatment by the local police in the years between the offences against him and the ultimate proper investigation 2015-21. His allegations include a phone call from a Tiverton based officer threatening him, his family and friends. Following a further complaint he received a verbal apology at Sidmouth police station.

    How did Tiverton or Sidmouth police stations become part of his case? He didn’t live in either town and none of the known offences were committed in either place. Yet Hernandez and senior officers are stonewalling the obvious conclusions and avoiding the even more obvious actions.
    Patel and Hernandez are dragging their candidate into the mire of their own unethical stupidity. Those plotting the campaign are really not doing their homework.

    Teacher should rap their knuckles.


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