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Labour act over Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner probe
LANCASHIRE Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw was fighting for his political life last night after he was suspended from the Labour Party as the Crown Prosecution Service launched an investigation into his expenses claims.
The referral of the Independent Police Complaints Commission investigation file to the CPS yesterday means the former Labour county councillor could be charged with a criminal offence and taken to court.
Pendle Conservative MP Andrew Stephenson called for Mr Grunshaw to stand down from his post.
Mr Grunshaw pledged to continue working for the people of the county as police commissioner.
An IPCC statement said: “The Independent Police Complaints Commission has completed its investigation into the Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire and has passed its report to the Crown Prosecution Service.
“The independent investigation began after allegations about expenses claims made by Clive Grunshaw before his election as a PCC were referred to the IPCC by Lancashire's Police and Crime Panel.
“Mr Grunshaw was interviewed by IPCC investigators as part of the investigation.
A full investigation report was sent to the CPS on September 25. The CPS is responsible for making a decision on whether there is evidence to warrant criminal charges. ”
Mr Grunshaw said: "I understand the public interest in this matter, and I wish to reassure the residents of Lancashire that during the last nine months I have complied fully with the investigative process and will continue to do so.
"I maintain that at no point did I wilfully submit claims which I knew to be untrue and every expense claim I did make was genuinely intentioned. While I await the CPS decision I will continue to carry out my role as normal and be the public voice of policing in Lancashire."
A Labour spokesman said: "Clive Grunshaw has been suspended from the Labour Party pending the outcome of the CPS inquiry”
It will focus on expenses claims made by Mr Grunshaw while a Labour county councillor and police authority member before his election in November.
Local Conservative councillor Sam Chapman revealed Mr Grunshaw allegedly ‘double claimed’ expenses for meetings of the county council and police authority in Preston on the same days from his Fleetwood home on 23 occasions amounting to £1,200 in mileage and about £350 in subsistence.
Blacburn MP Jack Straw said: “My view is the Labour party made the right decision.”
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