WELL, what an interesting time it’s been for one or two of our more controversial characters. Very much looks like people are prepared to forgive and forget.

First up is former Chief Constable of Cheshire Simon Byrne.

Remember him?

His job as the top cop in Cheshire ended in 2017 in somewhat controversial circumstances when he was suspended while 74 allegations of misconduct were investigated, only for him to be later exonerated on all counts at a lengthy and very expensive disciplinary tribunal.

At the centre of the controversy was our very own David Keane, Cheshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner.

In essence, Mr Byrne was accused of bullying and offensive behaviour towards staff. It was Commissioner Keane who took the decision to crack on with a gross misconduct charge after an investigation and after taking legal advice.

But the tribunal found much of what was claimed was either exaggerated or probably did not happen – the whole affair ‘could and should have been avoided”, the tribunal’s report said.

Mr Byrne did not return to Cheshire after he was exonerated because he had come to the end of his contract which was not renewed.

So after a period out to spotlight, Mr Byrne, 56, has been thrust centre stage once again after being appointed Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

Northern Ireland’s Policing Board chairwoman Anne Connolly said: “We are looking forward to working with him in further developing the PSNI as a highly professional and community-focused organisation.”

The appointing panel described Mr Byrne as having an ‘energetic and challenging style’.

I think there are a few people in Cheshire who would agree with that description of Simon Byrne – especially David Keane.

SO on to my second controversial character, Claire Fox.

Fox joined the Revolutionary Communist Party as a student and was one of the RCP’s core activists and organisers for the next 20 years. She is the director and founder of the think tank the Institute of Ideas. The Institute of Ideas is a trading name of the Academy of Ideas.

But according to the fount of all knowledge Wikipedia, on April last year, Fox was criticised by the Morning Star, a socialist daily, and by Robert Griffiths, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Britain, for her view that the government of the United Kingdom should not ban people from watching child porn or Jihadi terrorist videos.

She has also attracted criticism for her support for the Irish Republican Army in the past.

Now that may have passed without too much comment until she announced she was standing as a Brexit Party candidate in the north west and was named first on the Brexit Party list which guaranteed her a seat in the European Parliament.

Unsurprisingly, and quite rightly, her selection was condemned by Colin Parry, father of murdered schoolboy Tim Parry due to her past comments in defence of the 1993 IRA Warrington bombing.

Even when challenged about the IRA violence, she appeared to stick to her views.

Did this put people off voting for her? Apparently not. Seems a certain section of the north west voting population is a little too quick to forgive and forget for my liking. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

My final thought about the Euro elections. The Change UK – The Independent Group’s campaign never really took off, leaving former Warrington Labour councillor Dan Price cast adrift.

Nevertheless, I admire his principled stance. Given Labour’s disastrous showing in the Euro elections makes you wonder if more of his former colleagues will also be considering their positions.