The appointment of a former debt charity boss as West Yorkshire’s Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner has been ratified by councillors.

But a row continues to rumble on about Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson’s decision to restrict candidates to Labour Party members. The appointment of Isabel Owen to the £53,000 a year role has now been agreed by members of the Police and Crime Panel.

Speaking yesterday Mr Burns-Williamson said: “I am very pleased that the panel has endorsed my appointment. I was clear about what I stand for and having a deputy will help me ensure every day I am making a difference to the people of West Yorkshire.

“Isabel was an extremely strong candidate in the interview and will be a real asset to the office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.”

But the leader of the Liberal Democrats group on Leeds City Council, Councillor Stewart Golton, has continued to protest and has tabled a motion to be debated by councillors next week.

He said: “Restricting the deputy commissioner appointment to Labour Party members politicises and damages the police service while further undermining the already weak public confidence in the role of police and crime commissioners. The salary of £53,000 is extortionate. Added to this is the questionable nature of Miss Owen’s selection which drastically reduces the pool of applicants, possibly eliminating the best candidates.”

But the deputy leader of Labour-run Bradford Council, Councillor Imran Hussain, who is a Police and Crime Panel member, said: “Ultimately it was the Government’s decision to introduce Commissioners and give the powers which they have, which includes being able to appoint a deputy.”