By Tom Harper and Neil Vowles
The county’s first police commissioner bankrolled her election victory with £20,000 of her own money, spending more than eight times her nearest rival.
Some of Sussex’s richest men also helped to fund Katy Bourne’s £37,000 election campaign, including billionaire racehorse owner Dr Jim Hay and food packaging heir Hans Rausing.
Her rivals said Ms Bourne’s spending gave her an unfair advantage as she battled for the £85,000 a year commissioner role during November’s election.
Election expense documents obtained by The Argus show Ms Bourne spent more than £30,000 on campaign literature, nearly £300 to hold public meetings and £3,000 on accommodation, staff and admin costs.
Second place Labour Party candidate Godfrey Daniel spent £4,600, UKIP candidate Tony Armstrong spent £1,500 and independent candidate Ian Chisnall spent less than £375.
Ms Bourne won with 59,635 votes, Mr Daniel came second with 40,765 and Mr Chisnall third with 38,930.
Former Roedean School pupil Ms Bourne, who is married to ex-HSBC banker Kevin Bourne, also paid the £5,000 deposit with her own funds.
She received a total of more than £15,000 from local and national Conservative groups.
Wadhurst-based Tetrapak billionaire Hans Rausing, one of the country’s richest men with a £4 billion fortune, donated £250 to her campaign while billionaire racehorse owner Dr Jim Hay, who lives in the £25 million former home of Harold Macmillan in Horsted Keynes, gave her £1,000.
Rival candidate Mr Chisnall said he was not able to compete with the level of funding bankrolling Ms Bourne’s campaign and would have liked to have seen a £5,000 limit for all candidates.
He said: “There are two levels on which there are challenges - people do not necessarily understand what my values are and what I stand for, and there is the mechanism of delivering information to people and having enough people on the ground to do so.
“Political parties are at an advantage and it is a very unequal situation.
“There are ways in which they could balance it out, but they won’t change the system.”
Ms Bourne said: “Like the other candidates, I had to raise my own funds for the election campaign.
“Everything I raised was donated by supporters in Sussex.
“I put together a team of volunteers who helped me deliver leaflets, knock on doors and raise campaign funds.
“Together we worked tirelessly to get a strong message across to residents and I’m delighted the hard work paid off.”
See the latest news headlines from The Argus:
More news from The Argus
Like us on Facebook
Add us to your circles on Google+