Gay former London mayoral candidate and retired police officer Brian Paddick says he will continue to exercise independent judgement as a Liberal Democrat peer.
Welcoming his appointment to the Upper Chamber on Thursday, Mr Paddick said: ”I am dedicated to the Liberal Democrat fight to give everyone the chance to succeed. I have always been non-conformist though, so I am not giving in to Peer pressure!”
Mr Paddick is joint president of LGBT+ Lib Dems and ran in 2008 and 2012 as the party’s London mayoral candidate.
Until his retirement in May 2007 Mr Paddick was deputy assistant commissioner in London’s Metropolitan Police Service and the most senior openly gay police officer in the country.
Commenting on Mr Paddick’s peerage, LGBT+ Lib Dems Chair Adrian Trett said: “I am delighted we will now have two out peers as our co-presidents of LGBT+ Lib Dems, giving us a strong voice in the House of Lords alongside the work of our vice-presidents Stephen Gilbert MP and Stephen Williams MP in the Commons.”
Mr Paddick played a key role in urging the Liberal Democrats to adopt equal marriage as party policy. He was recently praised by Nick Clegg for his efforts as the Lib Dem leader and Deputy Prime Minister attended a rally by equal marriage supporters outside Parliament.
Ahead of last month’s signing into law of same-sex marriage for England and Wales, Liberal Democrat International Development Minister Lynne Featherstone – who previously served as equalities minister – also cited Mr Paddick’s contributions.