Wales

Theresa May 'sad' over Simon Weston police job decision

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Media captionFalklands veteran Simon Weston says he was phoned by Home Secretary Teresa May after he pulled out of the race to become a police commissioner

Falklands veteran Simon Weston says Home Secretary Theresa May was sad to hear he had pulled out of the race to become a police commissioner.

He withdrew from the elections for the post in south Wales on Monday because the campaign was "too political".

Last month doubts were raised over whether he could run because as a 14-year-old he was convicted - and fined - for being a passenger in a stolen car.

Mr Weston said Mrs May phoned him after he pulled out of the contest.

He added that Mrs May said his conviction had no bearing on whether he could stand for the civilian post.

The commissioners, elected in November, will have power over budgets, policing priorities and chief constables.

When Mr Weston, 50, announced his decision to stand, he said he was keen to stop ageing politicians taking over.

Speaking to BBC Radio Wales, Mr Weston said: "I have to say some of the reporting around the fact that I was going to be stopped from running because of what I did when I was 14 had nothing at all to do with it.

"It certainly didn't help matters, but it certainly had nothing to do with it and I wasn't stopped from running, it didn't eliminate me from anything."

He added that his conviction had no bearing on his ability to stand.

"I was actually told that by Theresa May herself," Mr Weston said.

"She phoned me up to say that she was sad that I'd decided to take the decision, but she understood that I had my concerns and I had to live by that.

"She fully respected that and it was very kind of her to call me and to say those things, but ultimately I have to live by my decisions."

'Hijacked'

Mrs May has said the legislation is not aimed at barring someone who has a conviction at the age of 16.

Mr Weston also told BBC Radio Wales that the race to become the police commissioner had been "hijacked" by people with political agendas.

The father-of-three and a former Welsh Guardsman was badly burned when the Sir Galahad was destroyed in 1982 during the Falklands conflict.

He suffered 46% burns on his body and underwent 70 separate major operations or surgical procedures during a slow recovery.

He overcame his injuries and went on to forge a new career as a charity worker, writer of children's books and after-dinner speaker.

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