Former Tory MP Walter Sweeney in the frame for police commissioner job
A FORMER Tory MP has thrown his hat in the ring as a possible contender to be the region's first police and crime commissioner.
Walter Sweeney currently runs Beverley's only five-star bed and breakfast business.
But he says he is prepared to swap running his B&B at Newbegin House for the new directly elected £75,000-a-year post overseeing policing and criminal justice issues across the region.
Mr Sweeney was a Conservative MP for the Vale of Glamorgan between 1992 and 1997.
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However, he is expected to stand as an independent candidate in November's election for the new-look post.
He said: "I believe the choice of the right person to become our police and crime commissioner is vital for high-quality policing in the area.
"We need someone who knows a lot about policing and is prepared to treat the role as a full-time job.
"I believe my academic background, my experience as a solicitor of dealing with criminals, my experience in chairing a police authority and my experience as an MP with a specialized interest in law and order matters combine to make me a strong candidate for this important role."
During his time as an MP he served on the home affairs select committee and was vice-chairman of the all-party penal affairs committee.
A former county councillor and police authority member in Bedfordshire before arriving at Westminster, Mr Sweeney also acted as an unpaid adviser to the then Home Secretary Michael Howard.
After losing his parliamentary seat in the 1997 general election he returned to his native East Riding, living first in North Cave and, more recently, in Beverley.
A law and politics graduate from the University of Hull, he spent several years practicing as a solicitor specialising in criminal law, prosecuting and defending in Hull Magistrates' Court.
His last foray into local politics came in 2008 when he stood in the Haltemprice and Howden by-election against David Davis after the MP resigned over civil liberty issues.
During that campaign Mr Sweeney stood as an independent, calling for a referendum on membership of the European Union.
He said: "I still believe passionately that we are too deeply immersed in the European Union but my views on this subject would not affect my ability to discharge the duties of a police and crime commissioner."