The Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor of London has told The Sun that the pictures of topless women on published on page three of the paper “shows that you don’t need to be stick-thin to be attractive.”

Brian Paddick also said that if elected he may withdraw millions of pounds worth of funding from London Fashion Week in protest at the use of “size zero” models.

Mr Paddick, a former Deputy Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan police, told the paper: “Sun girls are proof you can be curvy and gorgeous, unlike the stick-insects you see on the catwalk.”

The Sun has published topless pictures of women on page three since 1970.

Former Labour MP Claire Short led a campaign against them in the 1980s claiming the images are demeaning and sexist.

The British Fashion Council, the organiser of London Fashion Week, has been attacked for refusing to ban so-called “size zero” models from the event, which finishes tomorrow.

Last year Madrid Fashion Week banned exceptionally skinny models.

The BFC has negotiated funding from the London Development Agency to set up a task force to examine the issue.

Until he left the police last May, Mr Paddick was the most senior out gay officer in the country.

In an interview with GaydarRadio earlier this week, he said he would continue to go out on London’s gay scene if elected Mayor.

“I am gay and I’m proud that I’m gay and I’ll continue to meet with my friends in gay venues,” he said.

Londoners will go to the polls on May 1st.

Incumbent Ken Livingstone is standing for the Labour party and seeking a third term in office. Boris Johnson, the MP for Henley, is the Conservative candidate.

Sian Berry is standing for the Green party and Gerard Batten for the UK Independence Party.