Twitter was ablaze yesterday, well, smouldering at least, with news that the Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Vera Baird QC, had made a sizeable donation to a charity that she herself is apparently a Director of.
Many news sources claimed that Ms Baird was being investigated by the Ministry of Justice for her actions.
Many questions were asked of her by the Twitterati, but as far as I can tell the only answer she felt able to provide was that the story was wrong and had later been corrected by the Press. Many seem to see this scenario as a conflict of interest.
Indeed the Daily Mirror went further and said “Companies House records show Northumbria’s Chief Constable Sue Sim – under investigation by Ms Baird over bullying claims – is also a VFN director, sparking further conflict of interest concerns.”
At various times, in various places, the amount donated, the status of the charity (I.e. is it registered with Charities Commission?) and whether or not Ms Baird was indeed being investigated by Ministry of Justice were met with a bland response by Ms that the story was wrong and had been corrected.
This was the ONLY response that Ms Baird provided me with
When asked which part of the story was wrong, SILENCE
My question to the you, the people of Northumbria, is this;
It is alleged that the Northumbria PCC made a donation of Half a Million Pounds from the PCC Budget to a charity of which she is a Director.
I leave it to others to establish whether this is lawful, but this is taxpayers’ money, raised via your Council Tax;
Is this what you want from your Policing Budget?
Is it Ethical/Moral?