WEST Mercia police and crime commissioner Bill Longmore has confirmed that he will not be standing for re-election in 2016.

The confirmation was one of the few answers Mr Longmore gave to a Q&A session with Worcestershire County Council  described by turns as “heated, farcical and bizarre.”

The £75,000 a year figurehead appeared before a meeting of the council for the first time in 18 months to be grilled by politicians.

Amid the scenes that followed:

- Mr Longmore asked his unelected deputy Barrie Sheldon to answer questions for him, leading to furious exchanges in the chamber.

- Mr Longmore then got into a dispute with Labour councillors, where he accused them of "sniping at him" and suggested they were trying to smear the police as "racist".

- The chairman of the council, Councillor Pam Davey, apologised to him for "discourtesy" and said the rows in the chamber were "showing a bad example to children".

Mr Longmore was at County Hall, Worcester,  for a yearly report on the force.

Cllr  Richard Udal got things started saying: "It's been about 18 months since you were last here, at the time you said there are 'no racist police officers' and that racism in the police 'didn't exist'.

"You also said, and I quote 'domestic abuse didn't exist in the 1970s'."

Cllr Udall called the comments "insensitive and inaccurate" and asked Mr Longmore for his views.

Mr Longmore  was also asked a list of questions on budget cuts, the paperwork faced by police officers and the impact turning off street lights could have on crime, before his deputy stood up to try and answer them instead.

Cllr Luke Mallett said: "Nobody in Worcestershire elected Mr Sheldon to any role - he is an unelected aide.

"We all know Mr Sheldon will be putting himself up for election in two years, but it is up to Mr Longmore to answer these questions."

During the row, Cllr Davey intervened and said Mr Longmore has "been invited as a guest" and could stay quiet if he wanted to.

Cllr  Peter McDonald said: "We cannot stand this farce, he didn't say when he was elected that he'd refuse to answer questions.

"We want to hear from the organ grinder, not his monkey."

Mr Sheldon then stood down and Mr Longmore got on his feet to say he had gone to County Hall to "listen, and not be sniped at in every way".

He said Cllr Udall's views on his comments were "completely misconstrued", insisting he meant domestic violence was not reported as widely in the 1970s.

He added: "And to think you've tried to insinuate that West Mercia Police is institutionally racist is just wrong."