Gay former police chief to run for London Mayor

As had previously speculated, Brian Paddick, who was until his retirement, Britain’s most senior openly gay police officer, has been short-listed to run as the Liberal Democrats candidate for the Mayor of London.

A Liberal Democrat source said: “We have been in talks with Brian Paddick and we hope and expect him to go forward for nomination as part of a full and open selection process.”

Mr Paddick put himself forward as a candidate after a long period of deliberation. first reported that the ex-Metropolitan Police deputy assistant commissioner mentioned the possibility of standing for the post in May 2006 at the launch of The Way We Are Now, a collection of essays by the gay community.

In August 2006, while still serving as a Metropolitan Police officer, reported that he told a private audience of gay youth: “Mayoral candidates have been given greater leeway to be independent by their parties.

“Remember Ken Livingstone was first elected as an Independent before Labour begged him to rejoin the party.”

Mr Paddick, pioneered a scheme to relax the penalties for smoking cannabis in Lambeth where he was borough commander retired earlier this year.

Mr Paddick was mentioned into this week’s report into the Stockwell shooting of the Brazilian Charles de Menezes.

Mr Paddick told the inquiry that he labeled the dead man as a “Brazilian tourist” while his boss, Sir Ian Blair, the Met Commissioner, publicly said that the shooting was “directly linked to the ongoing anti-terrorist operation”.

Mr Paddick later told that he was sidelined by Sir Ian sidelined by the current Commissioner Sir Ian Blair, “because I spoke the truth.”

If selected, Mr Paddick will face the openly pro-gay Labour incumbent, Ken Livingstone and quite possibly the Conservative MP Boris Johnson. If Mr Johnson does not win his party’s primary election then Mr Paddick could face Mr Johnson’s challenger, the gay Conservative Andrew Boff.

Mr Paddick was not immediately available for comment.