AN independent candidate from Stockton Heath who threw his hat in the ring for the forthcoming police and crime commissioner (PCC) election has withdrawn from the race.

Businessman Kevin Murphy, of West Avenue has confirmed that he will no longer be campaigning for the position.

In a statement posted on his campaign page on Facebook, he revealed that he was 'unwilling to stoop to cheap and desperate electioneering'.

But he added that he believes 'now more than ever that he was definitely the only candidate with the passion, innovation and a true alternative for the role'.

Mr Murphy, who has been self-employed since 1986 and currently works as a landlord, said the lack of awareness of the PCC role also played a factor in his decision to no longer run in the May election.

He added: "I spent more time making people aware of the PCC role as the vast majority have no clue what the Cheshire PCC election is or when, rather than competing for it."

Mr Murphy said he has not given up hope that he will be able to make a difference in policing in the future and he plans to continue his campaign to improve child protection.

He added: "I am still in pursuit of change but now from a different approach in a new voluntary role.

"I am also reaching out to the Green Party for a possible coalition."

So far only the incumbent police and crime commissioner John Dwyer, who was elected in November 2012, has publicly announced his plans to run in the election as the Conservative candidate.

Mr Dwyer was unanimously selected by more than 100 party members during a meeting in August.

Labour have been contacted for a comment about who would be running for the party in the May election but the party have yet to respond.

The full list of candidates will not be made public until nominations close in three weeks time, The Electoral Commission has confirmed.

The police and crime commissioner is responsible for holding the chief constable to account on behalf of the people of Cheshire as well as maintaining an effective and efficient police service.

Do you agree with Mr Murphy that not enough is known about the PCC role or do you believe it a worthwhile job?

The Warrington Guardian would like to hear your views on this. E-mail