International superstar Elton John and his partner, the film producer David Furnish, will be supporting the campaign of the only gay candidate for Mayor of London.
Brian Paddick, a former Metropolitan police Deputy Assistant Commissioner, told LBC radio this morning of his celebrity backers (see transcript below).
During his time at the Met Mr Paddick was the UK’s most senior out gay police officer.
Last month he won the nomination of the Liberal Democrats for Mayor of London.
Speaking to Nick Ferrari, Mr Paddick said that if elected he would alter the role of Police Community Support Officers in order to free police officers from paperwork and return them to frontline policing.
The 49-year-old faces incumbent Ken Livingstone and Tory candidate Boris Johnson in next May’s election.
Mr Paddick came to public prominence as borough commander of Lambeth, when his policy of targeting resources at class A drug dealers and taking a more relaxed approach to cannabis use caused right-wing outrage.
The policy was popular with locals, and his direct style of policing helped to foster a trust and respect with many who viewed the police with suspicion.
He has been critical of the decision of Prime Minister Gordon Brown to raise the classification of cannabis to a Class B substance, but said he thinks the drug is harmful.
Mr Paddick called for a public enquiry into the terrorist attacks on London on July 7th 2005, something the government insists is unnecessary.
The election for Mayor of London will be held on May 1st 2008. Mr Livingstone is seeking a third four-year term of office.
TRANSCRIPT OF LBC INTERVIEW
Nick Ferrari: Have you got any celebrity friends that are going to help you?
Brian Paddick: A couple of them have suggested they might help yes.
Nick Ferrari: And who might they be?
Brian Paddick: I wouldn’t want spoil the surprise.
Nick Ferrari: Let me put it another way, it’s been suggested to me that you are quite friendly with Sir Elton John and David Furnish and they might come out and help you in some fashion and support you, do something.
Brian Paddick: Yes I’ve heard that one as well.
Nick Ferrari: Don’t be all, we all like you because you’re not a politician. Is that true?
Brian Paddick: Yes it is.