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I will make it very clear that I do not support the hon. Gentleman’s proposal, although there is an outstanding question and some further work is required. Employment law would look on the ability to dismiss someone without an appeal as being dubious at best, so there is possibly a legal aspect to look at. However, when we look at the powers in the Bill on the suspension and removal of chief constables, we see that the situation is not quite as simple as the hon. Gentleman makes out. It is not just a case of the police and crime commissioner wanting to get rid of the chief constable and his being gone the next day. A long, public process—six weeks—is kicked off, involving the panel, notifications and representations.
I do not believe for a second that any police and crime commissioner would set out on such an open and public process without a very strong case for the dismissal of a chief constable. To do so would lay the commissioner open to a very high level of public scrutiny. I cannot see a publicly elected official opening themselves up to that level of scrutiny without sufficient cause. The process that the Bill lays out will effectively stop that situation ever arising.
To conclude, the Bill brings public accountability of the policing function out from the shadows. Community safety, and the fight against crime and disorder, deserve nothing less.