Supercop Graham Cox joins the Westbourne by-election campaign as the Tory Party candidate

And then there were two, Paul Perrin and Graham Cox, candidates in the Westbourne by-election. Yes, this evening the Conservatives chose Graham Cox as its candidate in the by-election. Graham is the former head of Sussex CID and was Divisional Commander in Hove where he gained the reputation for being Supercop. His first tweet (on @CoxGraham) following his selection was “Keep a proper police station in Hove. Vote Graham Cox in the Westbourne by-election”.

Mr Cox, chair of the Hove Conservative Association, is a clever choice. He is well known in Hove, and will no doubt play a law and order ticket in the by-election. But he has a couple of problems. Rumour has it that he and Mike Weatherley are not the greatest friends, each representing the two sides in the Hove Conservatives. The other problem he has is that he is a middle aged man. Should Labour and/or the Greens put up a younger woman, they will enjoy an immediate advantage over the Tories.

Mr Cox also has a problem, known as the Conservative Coalition government. His tweet calling for “a proper police station in Hove” brings the immediate response of “Who is imposing these cuts on Hove and on Sussex Police? He may try to blame the former Labour Government, but there is a growing consensus that the Coalition is going too far and too fast. Mr Cox needs to come out and oppose what his own government is doing.

Having said that, the little contact I have had with Graham has always been positive and I can say I genuinely like him. He will work like a Trojan, he will pound the beat, sorry, the streets of the Ward, and he will work and work and work right up to 9pm on Thursday 22nd December. Clever choice which brings this back to being a genuine 3-way marginal.

23 Responses

  1. So you know our candidate is Nigel Jenner?

    • Good of Nigel to step into the breach but a bit revealing that you have selected someone who came 5th in the local election? How come more experienced candidates have ducked this opportunity?

      • Nigel is hardly ‘stepping into the breach’. He has long-term connections with the ward and has offered a coherent and compelling vision of how, as councillor, he can work positively for its community. He was one of a trio of Labour candidates who substantially increased the Labour vote in Goldsmid in May (notwithstanding that, in the event, the Green candidates – much to at least one of their number’s surprise – increased theirs more).

        He is an exceptionally hard worker, has an in-depth knowledge and understanding of local government and its processes and a strong commitment to Labour values rooted in community and public service. He’s the right candidate for Labour and the right councillor for Westbourne.

      • “has an in-depth knowledge and understanding of local government”

        The casual acceptance of the political class expecting a monopoly over the plebs.

      • Would you suggest that a knowledge of how local government works should be taken as a negative in a politician standing for election to local government? I mean, I know we’re living through an experiment in entrusting neophytes with the keys to the coffers, but hwen I make my rare visits to the dentist I prefer the tooth-puller to have at least a passing familiarity with my oral geography.

        Is this your platform then, Mr. Perrin? ‘I don’t know anything about governance but I don’t like the EU’? Good luck with that, then.

      • Tim

        Clearly you don’t need me to participate in your conversation with me.

        Good luck with that.

  2. I can’t understand why the Greens have started canvassing when they haven’t yet chosen a candidate. Won’t they have to recanvass and go over same ground?

    There’s a fine line between making yourself known and irritating the residents- especially during dark afternoons when no one wants to answer the door.

    • The Greens have a selection process that will conclude after a membership ballot this week.

      This does not mean that canvassing in the ward need be delayed in any way. The selected applicant will be one who concurs with the party objectives, so no new message will be needed.

      • Given that the elected Green councillors sometimes seem to have some trouble singing from the same hymn sheet, your assertion strikes me as optimistic (while simultaneously creepily stalinist). Confusing.Must be time for bed.

      • Agree with Tim, horrible phrasing by The Pepperpot that doesn’t reflect our democratic process nor preference for candidates with strong personalities.

      • Interesting comment that – given that if the ‘Green’ candidate gets in, there is no party whip so they can go off & do what they like.

      • I can’t see what is confusing about a candidate being expected to support the general principles and objectives of the party.

        I agree Mr Sewell- perhaps it’s time for bed.

  3. Dear Mr Brighton Politics Blogger
    Thank you for your kind comments (even though I still have no idea who you really are!) – there are a few corrections I must also make-
    1. I am not chair of Hove Conservatives.
    2. I am not ‘supercop’ – I am an ex cop who tried to do his best in an very ordinary kind of way, no doubt getting a few things wrong on route but hopefully making a bit of a difference.
    3. I agree with Mike Weatherley on most issues. I know how hard he works and certainly think he is a very good local MP.
    4. Most importantly closing a proper police station in Hove is nothing to do with ‘Conservative coalition’ cuts as you put it. According to the council tax demand which came through my Hove door last spring the Sussex Police budget actually went up by over £1million. Sussex Police were able to open a police station on an industrial estate in Hollingbury (I have yet to find anyone who thinks that was a public priorirty) and a new police station in Lewes. If the county town (population 14,000) deserves its own police station (as well as a separate HQ for the whole of Sussex) then I am pretty sure our town of Hove (pop nearly 100,000) should also have a a police station rather than just a desk in the Town Hall.
    Graham Cox

    • Great to have someone so knowledgeable on a specific area putting their knowledge into the public domain for the benefit or all.

      Do you have a link to your blog setting out these issues around your point 4? I regret having missed it previously.

    • Nice of you to reply here. Mr. Cox, but your depiction of a £1m budget increase as a rise is disingenuous to say the least. According to the Sussex Police Authority’s documents ( the increase in overall funding for 2011 was 2.5%. Given that inflation has been running at well over that figure for some time now and that public services inflation always runs considerably over CPI, that figure is a cut, not a rise. It also represents a budget set before the front-loaded policing cuts enacted by your Westminster colleagues are reflected in actual settlements – the figures for 2011/12 and onwards will likely be even more dismal.

      Paul McKeever, Chair of the Police Federation, has gone on record saying that the Tory cuts to policing will threaten both public and police safety – and the decline in crime seen under Labour has already started to reverse. The closure of Hove police station should be viewed not in isolation, but as part of a deliberate policy on the part of the Tory-led coalition to gamble with public safety in pursuit of an ideologically-driven rolling back of the state.

      • Wasn’t Paul McKeever the first PF chair to ever address a Labour Party Conference to speak out against Tory cuts to the police? ANd got a 5 minute standing ovation? Back The Police Not Sack the Police – I seem to recall Yvette Cooper saying, also getting a standing ovation.

    • Good luck Graham you’re a good choice of candidate, and should certainly get the voters(tory ones) out to the polling station in what will be a tough By-Election..let the Cold War begin!

    • What square footage for a Hove police point do you reckon is needed, given that the new custody suite elsewhere rendered the Hove Station cells redundant, etc.

    • ……..oh, and, could I just ask one more question, Mr. Cox? You say you agree with Mike Weatherley “on most issues”. I wonder, could you just tell us, on what named issues you disagree?

  4. But Mr Cox, that ‘desk’ as you put it would actually be closer to the residents of Westbourne than the other half empty building in Holland Road. Policing would be more accessible for your residents than it currently is.

    This solution was announced by your colleague Mary Mears when she was leader of the council, and forced by the cuts of a Tory Gov.

    Good luck with the campaign then.

  5. I’m proud to support Graham and look forward to the moment when he becomes a councillor.

    Getting my rosette ready for the campaign trail once more.

    Roll on 22nd December!

  6. […] Conservatives have been savvy in selecting their candidate as Graham Cox has a strong reputation in the area. Cox is a former head of Sussex CID and as one of the issues on […]

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