LABOUR’S David Keane will battle to retain his role as Cheshire’s police and crime commissioner (PCC) in next year’s election.

But Mr Keane, who snatched the top job from Tory John Dwyer in 2016, confirmed he will stand down as a Warrington borough councillor in under 12 months.

The PCC election takes place next May, with Mr Dwyer already confirmed as the Conservative candidate for the county.

Mr Keane says he is delighted to have received the ‘unanimous backing’ of constituency Labour parties across Cheshire to be the party’s candidate.

“I want to thank members for their ongoing support for our strong delivery of policing and returning ‘feet on the beat’ in our communities,” he said.

“They also recognised the real challenges ahead of keeping Cheshire safe after nine years of damaging Government cuts to our public services and our communities.

“I’m proud to serve alongside the brave and determined officers, staff and volunteers of Cheshire Constabulary.

“I’m committed to protecting policing and delivering our vision of community policing – locally based officers delivering safer communities.

“There are even bigger challenges going forward in the role of PCC, those of leading the way in our criminal justice system and bringing vital services like police, prisons and probation closer together to keep our communities safe and prevent offending and reoffending.

“I’m delighted Labour members across Cheshire recognise that I am best placed to take on those challenges.”

The all-out borough and parish council elections in Warrington also take place in May 2020 – with Labour’s candidate selection event due to be held on June 9.

But Mr Keane will not be among the politicians hoping to keep a seat at the Town Hall.

He added: “I’ve announced to Labour members in Penketh and Cuerdley that I won’t be seeking re-selection next month when they choose their Warrington council candidates for 2020 and will stand down next May celebrating 21 years’ service as a councillor.

“I’m proud to show my commitment to our community and serve the council term I was elected to by residents back in 2016 but much has changed since then, including a good number of new aspiring candidates who are keen to stand and make a difference in our community.

“I intend to remain a strong part of our Labour team representing our residents as their PCC and building stronger, safer communities.”