MPs 'cast Gwent police commissioner Ian Johnston as villain'

Jordan Davies told Wales Today presenter Rebecca John the commissioner stands by his decision

Related Stories

A police and crime commissioner (PCC) who ordered his chief constable to "retire or be removed" said he did not get a fair hearing when he appeared before a committee of MPs.

Gwent PCC Ian Johnston has been accused of bullying Carmel Napier.

He claimed he was made to look like a villain by the Home Affairs Select Committee, which questioned both of them over what had happened.

The committee said he had a "disdainful attitude" to parliamentary scrutiny.

But Mr Johnston told BBC Wales he believed the MPs had already decided what they were going to write before he appeared in front of them in July.

Start Quote

If you look at the way that it was done, I was the villain of the piece before I even went in there”

End Quote Ian Johnston Gwent Police and Crime Commissioner

He said: "I don't think they listened at all to the evidence, I think the way the questioning went they had made their mind up about lots of things.

"If you look at the way that it was done, I was the villain of the piece before I even went in there and Carmel Napier was this poor unfortunate woman who had been bullied by this new police and crime commissioner.

"That was the way they presented it."

2 July - watch Ian Johnston give evidence to the committee of MPs

In June Mrs Napier announced her retirement with immediate effect after a 30-year career in policing, only for it to emerge that she had been forced out after a series of rows with Mr Johnston.

It was revealed that Mr Johnston ordered Mrs Napier to "retire or be removed" as he believed her managerial style was "unacceptably dismissive, abrupt and unhelpful".

The case highlighted the wide-ranging powers enjoyed by PCCs to dismiss chief constables and prompted an inquiry by the committee.

In her evidence to MPs, Mrs Napier accused Mr Johnston of "menacing and bullying" her out of her job.

She said he came to her office and read out a document issuing an ultimatum - leave or face being forced out.

'Followed procedures'

In a subsequent report, the Gwent PCC was criticised by the committee for what they called "this disdainful attitude towards scrutiny by Parliament, as well as an indication of a clear over-sensitivity to criticism".

They pointed out that Mr Johnston had been elected by less than 8% of voters in Gwent and "had managed to side-step the statutory arrangements for local scrutiny of his decision to sack the chief constable".

However, Mr Johnston said he believes the commissioners are "not accountable to members of Parliament".

He added: "A message back for Keith Vaz [chair of the committee], I did not side-step any procedures, I followed the procedures to the letter of the law."

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Wales stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

  • Abdi Nor IftinGolden ticket

    How a refugee entered a lottery and won a new life in the US


  • Herring in a fur coatMerry herring

    How fish 'in a fur coat' is enough to make Russia's New Year happy


  • Curiosity Self Portrait at Windjana Drilling SiteIn pictures

    The most stunning space photos of the year


  • Amy Adams, Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock and Dame Judi DenchFilm quiz of 2014

    How much do you remember about the past 12 months?


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • BooksHidden messages

    Adults often find surprising subtexts in children’s literature – but are they really there?

Programmes

  • Click presenter Spencer Kelly flies a droneClick Watch

    From wearable technology to drones and robots - highlights from 2014

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.