London Mayoral candidate Brian Paddick says Camden was 'failed by Boris Johnson' during last summer's riots

Brian Paddick promotes his transport policy in Camden yesterday

Pictured, top, is Brian Paddick promoting his transport policy in Camden yesterday. 
Published: 29 March 2012

BRIAN Paddick claimed Boris Johnson failed Camden Town during last summer’s riots as he made his first election campaign stop in the borough yesterday (Wednesday).

The Liberal Democrat mayoral candidate – a 100-1 shot to take the reins at City Hall next month with bookmakers Ladbrokes – was speaking as he maintained that he was a credible candidate during an interview with the New Journal.

He said that after two years of being in a coalition national government the Lib Dems were no longer viewed as a “wasted vote”.

“Previously people saw the Liberal Democrats as idealistic but there being no prospect of them holding power,” said Mr Paddick.

“Clearly they are now in positions of power.

"They have the Deputy Prime Minister, the Business Secretary, the treasury guy – people realise if they vote for the Lib Dems they are voting for people who can change things.”

Mr Paddick was talking as his battle bus parked up in Albert Street and he ate a panini in Caffè Nero in Parkway.

He failed to make an impression on the Boris Johnson versus Ken Livingstone contest four years ago but believes the changing nature of the role – running the Met Police – puts him contention this time around.

His 30-year career with the Met, he said, would have made him better placed to deal with last summer’s disorder in Chalk Farm Road and Camden Town.

Mr Paddick said: “Where was Boris during the riots? He was in a camper van in the Rocky Mountains. He didn’t come back until it was all over.

“We need a Mayor who is there in difficult times. When the July 7 bombings happened, I was the police spokesman. I went in front of the world’s Press and spoke on behalf of the police.

“The Mayor is the police and crime commissioner, he alone decides the budget and the priorities for the police and holds the police to account. Who are you going to pick for that job?

"The Tories claim to be the party of law and order.

"Here is a Liberal Democrat who can out-trump any Tory on law and order.”

Later, asked whether the Lib Dems were more likely to draw voters away from Labour than the Tories, Mr Paddick added: “Somebody accused me of positioning left of the Tory and Lib Dem coalition. I plead guilty and I’m proud of that.”

Making a clean start? Ken Livingstone gets on his soapbox

KEN Livingstone returned to his old stomping ground on Monday to outline his pledges for the mayoral elections.

The former Camden councillor who is looking to win back the mayoralty from Tory Boris Johnson spoke on a “soapbox” outside Russell Square alongside his running mate Val Shawcross.

He promised to cut the cost of public transport and provide financial help to students who have seen their educational maintenance allowances (EMA) cut.

"The job of the Mayor is to make life for Londoners through this recession less intolerable,” said Mr Livingstone.

“I’m not saying that it’s going to be heaven on Earth if I win, but if you can put a £1,000 back into the average Londoner’s pocket over the four years by bringing the fares down – that makes a big difference to the poorest people.”

He said to floating voters: “It’s no good saying you don’t want Boris and you don’t want me, like everybody else you’ve just got to make a choice.”


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