The new Cheshire Police and Crime Commissioner says he does support Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn.
But others must judge how enthusiastic David Keane’s support is for his leader.
Asked if he was a Corbynite, Mr Keane told The Chronicle immediately after being elected: “Erm, I am a Labour Party member and that’s my passion. I’m all for inclusiveness. I do support the leader; the democratically elected leader of the Labour Party. I have a massive passion for every member of the Labour Party because that’s what keeps us healthy.”
As a follow-up question, he was asked if he was on the left of the party, like Mr Corbyn, to which he said: “I’m a Labour Party member in every sense of the word. I don’t like division and I like it when the Labour Party comes together. We have got a fabulous party and when we come together, we win.”
Mr Keane, whose closest rival was Tory candidate and previous incumbent John Dwyer, believes his manifesto commitment to support public services in the face of Conservative cuts helped him get elected.
A Warrington borough councillor, he said: “I feel ready to serve the people of Cheshire. They have given us a mandate on the campaign. They want to see the public services protected. They want to see our communities protected. They want to be safe and to feel safe and I’m really keen to deliver that for them.
“I think the main thing is we listen and that we are accountable and that we are transparent.”
Was he shocked at being elected?
“I have been working for this very hard throughout the campaign. I never want to second guess the electorate and I’m always really, really happy to accept the wishes of the electorate. I have been totally up for the campaign and I have had feedback off residents on the doorstep that they felt a change was required and they want a Labour Party that stands up for them.”
Mr Keane will now stand aside from his current role as the director of a corporate services company to take up the PCC role on a full-time basis but make a decision whether the post is covered for him or ‘becomes a thing of the past’.
Analysts believe Mr Keane was aided in his election victory by the higher turn-out in predominantly Labour areas Warrington and Halton – due to having council elections. This meant more traditional Tory areas in Cheshire East and Cheshire West, where council elections didn’t take place, were eclipsed. However, Mr Keane has a more straight-forward explanation for his triumph.
He said: “I think the win is because Cheshire wanted a Labour Police and Crime Commissioner. The circumstances will always be different in every election. In this election the people of Cheshire resoundingly backed a Labour commissioner.”