Updated: Saturday, 21st September 2019 @ 6:10am

Health issues force English Democrats' candidate out of running for Greater Manchester Police commissioner

Health issues force English Democrats' candidate out of running for Greater Manchester Police commissioner

Exclusive by John Paul Shammas

Health problems are forcing the English Democrats’ only contender to pull out of the race to become the first directly-elected police commissioner of Greater Manchester, MM can reveal today.

Michael Felse, who stood for the mayoral election for Doncaster in 2009 and Dewsbury in 2010, has had to withdraw due to health difficulties.

And following his departure, there are only three remaining candidates – Labour’s Tony Lloyd, the Tories’ Michael Winstanley and independent contender Ben Brierley.

Chairman of the English Democrats party Robin Tillbrook told MM: “I am sorry to say that Michael has health difficulties at present that have probably ruled him out of the running.”

Known for his work in the LGBT community, Mr Felse is no stranger to Manchester – he was chosen to be Manchester’s Pride Queen at the 2011 festival.

And Mr Tillbrook was keen to emphasise that this does not necessarily mean the end of the English Democrats’ involvement in the November election, stating that ‘we will put up a candidate if someone suitable volunteers’.

The new role of police commissioner will give the successful candidate a mandate to hire and fire the chief constable alongside setting force budgets within Greater Manchester Police.

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