The most senior gay police officer in the UK has denied he wants to succeed Sir Ian Blair as Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police.
PinkNews.co.uk reported earlier this month on comments Deputy Assistant Commissioner Brian Paddick allegedly made at a recruitment event for gay and lesbian teenagers.
At the sparsely-attended event Mr Paddick made a speech, in which he discussed his future in the police force. He is entitled to retire after 30 years service, but expressed a desire to remain at the Met.
Addressing a group of teenagers, and wearing police uniform, the number three at the Met also claimed to have been sidelined by the current Commissioner.
Mr Paddick has now written to PinkNews.co.uk, claiming that all the comments he made at the public event, including his speech, were off the record.
In a letter sent from New Scotland Yard on the 29th of August, he says: “During my presentation, the issue was raised as to whether I had designs to be Commissioner of the MPS (Metropolitan Police Service).
“In my reply I made clear that, whilst I may have had such ambition in the past, I did not want to succeed Sir Ian Blair as Commissioner.
“To add weight to this statement, I added I was not in the position to apply for the role of Commissioner, as I had not been Chief Constable of another force.”
Speaking to PinkNews.co.uk consultant editor Benjamin Cohen after the speech, he stated that his previous command of the London Borough of Lambeth was an equivalent role in terms of management as that of a Chief Constable of a small force.
Mr Paddick now says that while he regards the management of a London borough as equivalent with being head of a small force, those who appoint the Commissioner do not and that therefore his comments cannot be construed as a claim to be qualified for the top job in policing.
PinkNews.co.uk news editor Marc Shoffman said: “Our editorial policy offers an unreserved right of reply to all people referred to in news stories. We value the opinions of our readers and public figures, however we do maintain our editorial independence.
“In the event that we have made an error, these are corrected as soon as we are notified of mistakes
At the time the story seemed relevant but in this case we welcome Mr Paddick’s clarification.”
In the course of his conversation with Cohen, Dep. Asst. Commissioner Paddick also refused to confirm or deny if he was interested in running for Mayor of London.
Benjamin Cohen, PinkNews.co.uk consultant editor, said: “My offer of ‘off the record’ only applied to one of the many questions I asked, and was prefaced as such.
“I welcome Mr Paddick’s clarification, however I must point out that this was not the position I went away with from the event.
“He is perfectly entitled to clarify his position and we welcome his contribution to the debate on policing.
“I am, however, intrigued that he has not denied interest in standing as a Liberal Democrat candidate for London Mayor.”
The next London mayoral elections will be held in 2008. Incumbent Ken Livingstone has not yet indicated if he will seek a third term in office. In 2004, Mr Livingstone took 55% of the final vote.
The Conservatives have embarked on a series of American-style ‘primaries’ to choose their candidate, with out-gay man Nicholas Boles seen as an early front-runner.
LibDem candidate Simon Hughes came third in 2004, with 14.8% of first preference votes.