MP swipes at commissioner in cull debate
POLICE commissioner Martin Surl has defended himself after he was branded a "publicity-seeker" by a Gloucestershire MP in a row over the badger cull.
Tewkesbury MP Laurence Robertson told the House of Commons yesterday morning that he was "concerned" about Mr Surl's statement that he was "disappointed" by any extension to the cull in the county.
An application to extend the cull was put in to Natural England by private cull companies earlier this week, with the original six-week period set to end next week.
Mr Robertson insisted Mr Surl should not have released the statement, saying it was up to the Government to decide policy.
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Mr Surl said: "I am not a party politician but I was elected to represent the people of Gloucestershire on policing matters and that is what I intend to do.
"He also seems to have overlooked the role of the commissioner in overseeing the vital role the police have to play in balancing the democratic rights of free speech and legitimate protest and enabling the policy of the government to be carried out."