A CANDIDATE in the running to be Lancashire’s first Police Crime Commissioner has had to pull out of the race because his two convictions for drink-driving have left him disqualified.

Former business manager Tony Johnson said he was ‘gutted’ at not being able to stand for the controversial role this November.

The 58-year-old from Ribchester, said: “I'm gutted to be out of the race but then again some people would say I should know better.

“In my 30s and early 40s I used to drink very heavily and regrettably I was convicted twice for drink-driving.

“The rules state anyone convicted of an imprisonable offence can not enter the election.

“It all seems a little unfair when I can be the Prime Minister, a law maker or even the Home Secretary.”

Mr Johnson stood against Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans in the 2010 general election as an independent.

The Commissioner will replace the police authority, an independent body which sets the budget and strategy for policing in the county.

The change is expected to cost £1.4million and will see one individual will oversee the entire force.

Concerns have been expressed about whether the new commissioner will be able to handle the workload, as they will be taking over from 17 independent and party members.

In the running to become the Conservative candidate is Ribble Valley Coun Kevin Horkin and former police officer Sam Chapman.

Early indications show the Labour candidate will be either County Coun Clive Grunshaw, Ibrahim Master or Mark Atkinson.