Police Federation chooses new chair with a coin toss
Selection of Steve White, who now faces modernising divided federation, follows threats of intervention from Theresa May.
The new leader of the embattled Police Federation, ordered by the government to modernise, has been decided by the toss of a coin after the selection committee was evenly split between the two candidates.
Steve White was chosen as chair of the federation after a private meeting of the 30-strong joint central committee on Friday morning. It split straight down the middle, with 15 votes for White, seen as a leading voice for modernising the organisation, and 15 for his challenger, Will Riches.
Because the vote was tied, the leader of the organisation representing 126,000 rank-and-file officers in England and Wales was decided by the toss of a coin. Some will see it as a metaphor for the division and arcane practices plaguing the federation, which is facing the threat of government intervention if it fails to enact root-and-branch reforms.
The tied vote led to the treasurer, Martyn Mordecai, producing a coin from his pocket. Riches was invited to call, and called heads. But the coin landed on tails making White the winner.
In the days leading up to the vote, there had been intense back-room activity. The unofficial estimates had swung between the two candidates and late on Thursday some unofficial estimates? had Riches ahead.