The former Met chief has beaten his Liberal Democrat colleague Lembit Opik to become the party’s candidate for next year’s mayoral election.
It was a close-run win, with Paddick getting 1,526 votes compared to the London Assembly member Mike Tuffrey's 1,476 votes. Former Haringey councillor Brian Haley came third with 316 votes leaving Opik in last place with just 252 votes. Brian Paddick previously ran for mayor in 2008 and lost out when Boris Johnson ousted Ken Livingstone from City Hall. His selection will see him join Livingstone, Johnson and Green Party candidate Jenny Jones to run the capital.
Now seems like a good time to highlight some of the quartet’s pledges to Londoners.
Boris Johnson is pretty generous with his promises. A quick scan of the last couple of years’ headlines reveals a range of pledges from an Olympics legacy and free wi-fi to making rough sleeping and plastic bags a thing of the past. Getting London moving has been big on the Boris agenda and scrapping the western extension of the congestion charge, rephrasing traffic lights and his war on holes has certainly made him popular in some quarters though not with anyone concerned over pollution. The Back Boris website lists some of his previous promises and how he’s delivered on them. Not everyone agrees though – the Boris Watch and Sack Boris 2012 blogs are critical of the mayor’s efforts, especially where transport is concerned. And transport is certainly a deal-breaker for Londoners. The phone hacking scandal didn’t cover Johnson with glory either.
It goes without saying that the environment is at the forefront of Jenny Jones’ campaign but her focus is also on policing, affordability and, yes, transport. Back in January, Jones said that she’d raise the congestion charge to £50 and extend its reach to the M25, a move which would be unlikely to win supporters in the Johnson camp – the Green Party proposed the increase to £25 which was axed by Johnson almost the minute he stepped into City Hall. She also plans to campaign for all employers to pay the London Living Wage and bring affordable housing to more Londoners.
Brian Paddick has barely had time to make any promises but he managed to squeeze a couple in. He’s already backing the head of ACPO, Sir Hugh Orde as the new Met Commissioner as part of his pledge on policing and his post on MayorWatch promotes restorative justice. He was pretty critical of his fellow candidates’ responses to the recent riots, suggesting that Johnson had failed to be ‘one of the people’ and Livingstone seemed ‘stuck in the past and not just a little confused.’ Jones didn’t warrant a mention apparently. Paddick also has his own green agenda which aims to increase cycling. Oh, and transport.
You could be forgiven for thinking that Ken Livingstone's raison d’etre is to slate Boris Johnson and he rarely misses an opportunity to do so. The former mayor announced last year that he intended to run again in 2012 and that his top priority was holding down transport fares. As with the other candidates, a key item on his agenda is crime and policing and he believes that cuts to the police force are damaging London. His, erm... outspokenness has got him into trouble in the past and the recent comparison of the mayoral race to Churchill and Hitler probably had his PR people holding their heads in their hands in despair. He's also quite fond of trams.
So there you have it. All four cite London's main concerns as transport, crime/policing and the environment as key components of their pledges. And did we mention transport?
Finally, just for some light relief, here’s a selection of the mayoral version of trash talking:
‘The Lib Dems have made the same mistake twice in selecting Brian Paddick as their mayoral candidate.’
'There's a psychiatric disorder that leaders suffer from after two terms, they get this supreme self confidence. To have someone who has become so out of touch is dangerous.'
'Boris is very clever but he can't help playing the fool.'
(Brian Paddick again)
'London had the first underground system in the world, but when I became Mayor it had been run down by neglect.'
'I'm coming in with all these ideas, whereas Boris came in and thought, 'Oh, shit, I didn't expect to win this. What am I going to do next?' I think he was horrified [to win].'