Liberal Democrat mayoral candidate Brian Paddick has promised to work with Londoners to find out what issues matter to them.
The Former Scotland Yard deputy assistant commissioner described his policies as a “blank sheet of paper” as he launched his campaign to replace Mayor of London Boris Johnson.
“What’s the point in saying to Londoners, we are going to engage in a significant consultation exercise about what they want from the mayor, and at the same time say, well, we’ve already got an established list of policies”
-Liberal Democrat mayoral candidate Brian Paddick
Paddick conceded that he did not do well when he ran for City Hall in 2008, but said he was now a more experienced politician who would work with Londoners to establish policies.
He told a press conference in Westminster: “I was at a meeting with all the candidates on Saturday and I showed them my very clear agenda and my very clear list of policies, and I held up a blank sheet of paper.
“That is where we are,” he said. “But what’s the point in saying to Londoners, we are going to engage in a significant consultation exercise about what they want from the mayor, and at the same time say, well, we’ve already got an established list of policies.”
Paddick said he will now look to flesh out his platform ahead of next May’s elections by building on the proposals put forward by Liberal Democrat members of the London Assembly. He indicated that reform of the Metropolitan Police could be a key issue and promised to crack down on special perks for senior officers.
He said he “did not do as good a job as I could have done” in the 2008 elections, when he came third behind Johnson and Labour’s Ken Livingstone, but said he could get the “best possible result” for Liberal Democrats next year.
Paddick said: “I am a much more relaxed, more confident, more experienced politician than I was last time.”
He added that Johnson’s track record as mayor could be criticised, while Livingstone looks “more and more like a character from the last century”. Paddick also made it clear he would be willing to attack coalition policies in his campaign.
“There is so much that we can be proud of as Liberal Democrats that we have achieved as a result of being in the Government,” said Paddick. “But there are areas where Liberal Democrat policy differs from the programme that the coalition Government is putting forward.
“And I and my colleagues are distinctly Liberal Democrat. Liberal Democrat colleagues in Government, particularly those in Cabinet, are bound by Cabinet collective responsibility. I am not.”