POLICE commissioner Angus Macpherson has lost the confidence of the Tory council and must stand down, a Labour politician has said.

Speaking to the BBC this morning, Labour councillor Chris Watts said that the council’s decision to write to Mr Macpherson demanding Swindon be given a fair share of resources indicated a “loss of confidence” in the PCC.

Swindon Borough Council last week voted to write to Mr Macpherson following suggestions that the police response to an increase in crime routinely falls short of what is expected.

Labour wanted the council to write to Swindon’s MPs demanding more money from central government, but the Conservatives said the problem is how police resources are allocated.

Speaking to the BBC’s Ben Prater, Coun Watts, who represents the Liden, Eldene and Park South wards, said: “We put this motion in front of council and it was meant to be a unifying motion where all parties got behind the PCC and asked the MPs to say that Wiltshire is one of the worst funded police forces in the country and we need more money.

“The Conservatives of Swindon decided to turn that round and say, actually, no, what’s happening is we are not getting a fair distribution of the resources in Swindon, which, essentially, I took as a vote of no confidence for the PCC.

“I think the PCC’s position, because he is a Conservative PCC who was picked by the Conservatives and stood on a Conservative ticket, has now lost the confidence of the Conservatives and he should stand down.”

In response, Mr Macpherson politely declined the invitation to stand down.

He told Mr Prater: “My job as commissioner is to ensure that there is policing for the whole county of Wiltshire, of which Swindon is a large and important part. But the issue is a national issue.

“Wiltshire is one of the worst funded counties in the country and that’s got to be addressed nationally.

“There is no more money. I can’t give them more. If I give them more, I give Trowbridge or Chippenham or other places in the county less.”

Speaking to the BBC from the Tory Party conference in Manchester, council leader David Renard defended the decision to write to the PCC, rather than appeal to central government for more funds.

He said: “The point of the letter is to ask him to look at his priorities and come back to us with an answer as to whether he thinks those allocations are right or not.

“It’s about prioritising. Just asking for more money isn’t really the answer.”