CAMBRIDGESHIRE’S Police and Crime Commissioner missed a meeting with the Home Secretary – the first of its kind for the new commissioners – because he was on a “private” trip to Brussels.

However, Sir Graham Bright defended his decision not to go, saying it was a “just an information meeting” where no decisions were being taken and that he “didn’t miss anything”.

“I have since had a briefing of the meeting and I have spoken personally to the Home Secretary over the phone,” the 70-year-old former Luton MP said.

He could not attend because his trip to Belgium had been planned before he became the Conservative Party’s candidate for the £70,000-a-year position.

Theresa May invited all of the country’s newly-elected Police and Crime Commissioners to the Home Office in London on Monday last week to welcome them to their roles and discuss community safety issues with them.

Several of the new PCCs were reported to be planning to use the meeting to lobby Mrs May for a rethink about her plans to cut funding to forces.

However, Sir Graham said it was important that he used his judgement to choose the right meetings to go to and achieve the best value for money for the public.

He said: “Some of the national ones you have to go to, for example, when a decision is being made. Otherwise, it is a question of whether you can or can’t make it. You couldn’t get to them all.”

One reason he nominated a deputy commissioner, on a salary of £28,000 a year for two-and-a-half days a week, was so he could cover some meetings.

As far as Sir Graham is concerned, the priority meetings for him to attend are “anything that gets Cambridgeshire more money for its police force”. He wants to focus on meeting residents.