PCC results 2024

Labour PCC victories give some hope to wildlife

Labour has made significant gains in the 2024 England and Wales Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) elections. This could be very positive news for animals – because PCCs have significant influence over whether wildlife crime is taken seriously by local police forces. Labour gained 9 new seats, while Conservative lost 11.

A PCC’s role is to oversee the police, and “to be the voice of the people”. They set the police budget, and their role is to ensure that it’s spent effectively. They also appoint Chief Constables, and they’re employed to hold these Chief Constables to account and dismiss them if necessary. Perhaps most importantly for wildlife, they set the police and crime objectives for their area.

Wales shuns the Tories

The most exciting results were in Wales, where the whole country snubbed the Conservative Party. Gwent’s seat was won by Labour candidate Jane Mudd. She received 41.67% of the vote, which was a 9% lead over her Tory rival. Speaking to Protect the Wild, Curre and Llangibby Monitors said:

“The foxes and badgers of Gwent are having a party! 🎊🐾🦡🐾🦊

Mudd has said that she will be looking to address the Rural Crime Team and speak to the Chief Constable regarding illegal hunting.”

Meanwhile, in North Wales, Labour’s Andy Dunbobbin was re-elected. In 2021, Dunbobbin commissioned a review into the policing of hunts in the region, much to the hunting industry’s disgust. The Countryside Alliance – the UK’s most prominent pro-hunting lobby group – said at the time that the review “unnecessary political vanity project”, and that the PCC had “prejudices against rural people”. Dunbobbin has previously said that the Hunting Act is “not fit for purpose”.

Although it is wonderful news that Dunbobbin’s Tory opponent, who came second place, didn’t win, the PCC still needs to do much more to tackle fox hunting crime in the area. Although we have seen Wynnstay Hunt staff facing a string of court cases and convictions, the same can’t be said of the Flint And Denbigh Hunt. North Wales Hunt Saboteurs has stated that it has “a lot of videos from last season of the Flint and Denbigh hunt hunting foxes” and on 4 May the group shared footage of a fox being chased on 25 November 2023. Dunbobbin would do well to acknowledge that much more needs to be done to tackle illegal hunting.

Avon and Somerset

Perhaps the most significant PCC result in England was in Avon and Somerset, where the Tories lost their seat to Labour candidate Clare Moody. The most prolific wildlife crime in the region is stag hunting. Under Tory watch, countless stags have lost their lives, with zero consequences for the hunters committing the crimes. The Quantock Stag Hounds are one of England’s most brutal hunts, terrorising Somerset’s stags and hinds on the Quantock Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty week in, week out. Kills are a regular occurrence, and Avon and Somerset Police have done almost nothing, despite much photo and video evidence – as well as eyewitness accounts – showing that illegal hunting is taking place. The force is all too ready to take the stag packs at their word. Meanwhile, the murderous Devon and Somerset Staghounds consistently break the law, too.

And so Moody’s election win can give us at least some hope that stag hunters in the southwest of England will actually be monitored – and finally policed – by Avon and Somerset Police.


Cheshire’s wildlife has gained a potential victory, too. Labour’s Dan Price has beaten Tory candidate John Dwyer, who previously held the role, and who was also PCC between 2012 and 2016. Cheshire Monitors previously pointed out how Dwyer has links to the hunting industry. The group previously said of the Tory:

“It’s alleged that [Dwyer has] got friends within at least one of Cheshires hunts and that the Countryside Alliance Hunting had a part to play in his achieving this role. We have been informed that ‘although Dwyer states that he’s not connected to the hunts in Cheshire he seems to have Peter Jones (Cheshire Hounds hunt secretary) listed as a friend on Facebook. Another point of interest is that Peter Jones was also regional director of Vote OK, a group set up by the Countryside Alliance to campaign for pro hunt candidates to be elected.”

Under Price’s watch are a number of hunts, including two of the most notorious fox hunting packs in England – the Cheshire Hunt and the Wynnstay Hunt (which also hunts in North Wales – see above). Cheshire Independent Hunt Monitors’ recent footage shows beyond any doubt that contrary to the hunt’s claims of so-called ‘trail hunting’, it continues to illegal hunt foxes. Cheshire Against Bloodsports, meanwhile, has witnessed the Cheshire Hunt relentlessly hunting foxes.

The hunting industry will be reeling having lost one of its most vocally pro-hunting PCCs in Dwyer. Let’s hope we see better policing of wildlife crime during Price’s term.

York and North Yorkshire

There was a partial victory in North Yorkshire, which is a hotspot for raptor persecution. The region is dominated by grouse moors and there have been numerous reports of the deliberate killing of birds of prey. From 2024, the PCC responsibilities are being taken over by the new mayor, and – thankfully – the Tories have lost. The seat was won by Labour’s David Skaith. Wildlife defenders had been rooting for independent candidate Keith Tordoff, who had pledged to establish a steering group within the first 100 days to tackle wildlife crime – in particular to catch those poisoning raptors on North Yorkshire’s grouse moors.

Helmsley Monitors spoke to Protect the Wild about the result and said:

“It’s good news that Labour – or anyone other than a Conservative candidate – won the mayoral election. But whether it means anything good for wildlife, or indeed the wider countryside/environmental issues generally, is debatable. None of the candidates ran on a platform of animal welfare or environmental issues, including the Green candidate Kevin Foster! Keith Tordoff, an Independent, was keen to highlight his opposition to birds of prey persecution. This was a brave move as he’s based in Pateley Bridge, Nidderdale, which is at the heart of such wildlife crime, so hats off to him!

With Conservative MPs in North Yorkshire, the only REAL difference we might see is if a Labour mayor was backed up by a Labour PM. But hey, watch this space!”


In Bedfordshire, Labour ousted the Tories. Labour and Cooperative’s John Tizard won the seat, beating the Conservatives’ Festus Akinbusoye. Tizard assured a Protect the Wild reader that he is “concerned about wildlife crime” and that he would be investigating further. In his election campaign, the Labour PCC did, indeed, vow to focus resources on wildlife crime, and to “always be the voice of the community”. Rest assured, wildlife defenders will be reminding Tizard of his words and will hold him to account if he doesn’t stick to them.


There was another exciting win in Derbyshire. Labour’s Nicolle Ndiweni has beaten Tory Angelique Foster, who was the last PCC. In 2021, Jo Riley, master of the Barlow Hunt, stated that she had held a meeting with Foster. Riley called Foster “our candidate”, and stated that the two had “discussed issues which were pertinent to field sports in relation to saboteur activities”.

And so it is very welcome news that friend-to-the-hunting-industry Foster has been ousted. The hunting industry, however, must be mortified.

All eyes on the PCCs

Labour also gained seats in Cleveland, Cumbria, Lancashire, Norfolk and Northamptonshire. While all of these results are promising (or at least, more promising than if the seats were still held by Tories), we of course need to keep a close eye on the new PCCs. There is no guarantee they will fight for wildlife, and as wildlife defenders we must ask them to take a strong stand position on tackling wildlife crime and hold them accountable for any promises they make. PCCs need to take a proactive approach to truly tackle wildlife crime, whether it is fox hunting, stag hunting, raptor persecution or badger baiting. They can play a pivotal role in saving the lives of countless animals – if they so wish.

  • And of course we need to keep an especially close watch on several Conservative incumbents with clear sympathies for the hunting and shooting industries who were voted in for another four-year term: they include Wiltshire’s Philip Wilkinson, Dorset’s David Sidwick, and Warwickshire’s Philip Seccombe.