WINCHESTER council boss George Beckett is standing down – to clear the way for a campaign to become the Tory candidate for the new post of Hampshire police commissioner.

Cllr Beckett, 60, has told his local party that he is resigning as group leader but will stay as leader of the council until the May elections.

He will not contest Compton and Otterbourne in May nor remain on Compton and Shawford Parish Council on which he has served for more than 20 years.

Cllr Beckett aims to be the Tory candidate in the first-ever election for the £85,000-a-year commissioner, which will replace the Hampshire Police Authority.

For full story see this week's issue of The Hampshire Chronicle, out now.