Current Affairs

Paddick: I want boss’s job – and Ken’s

Tony Grew August 17, 2006
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PinkNews.co.uk Exclusive

The highest ranking gay police officer in the UK today revealed he has his sights set on the top job in policing – and possibly even the mayor’s office.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Brian Paddick said he was confident he has the experience to take on the job of Britain’s most senior officer.

Speaking at an employment advice day for LGBT teenagers co-ordinated by the charity PACE, Mr Paddick expressed his dismay at being sidelined by the current Commissioner Sir Ian Blair, “because I spoke the truth.”

“I have the opportunity to retire this year because I’ve served thirty years in the force, but I don’t want to just grab the money and run.

“I’m looking at what may happen when the current Commissioner retires.”

Mr Paddick made it clear that he thinks he is qualified for the top job. Traditionally only officers who had served as Chief Constable of a smaller force would be considered for the Commissioner role.

As borough commander of Lambeth, Paddick caused controversy by taking a softer stance on cannabis possession, in order to concentrate resources on Class A drug dealers.

While the experiment was judged a success, Paddick was targeted by the tabloids because of his sexuality.

His career has been dogged by controversy, with allegations he has been sidelined by Ian Blair.

Paddick told the group that he feels his command experience in Lambeth is equivalent to running a small police force.

It seems that his ambitions extend beyond policing.

Challenged by Benjamin Cohen, Consultant Editor of PinkNews.co.uk and Channel 4 technology correspondent, over rumours that he is running for Mayor of London, Paddick quipped: “I may or may not have been asked by the Liberal Democrats to be their candidate for Mayor.”

Mr Paddick has previously addressed the Lib Dem Party conference.

He added: “I wouldn’t be comfortable as a Member of Parliament because I would be expected to attend divisions on the party line.

“But in general, the Mayoral candidates have been given greater leeway to be independent by their parties.”

“Remember Ken Livingstone was first elected as an Independent before Labour begged him to rejoin the party.”

Mr Paddick also spoke about his problems he experienced with the media, particularly the Mail on Sunday, which he won damages from in a December 2003 out of court settlement.

But he was keen to point out that the Metropolitan Police are now more tolerant of gay people and encouraged the teenagers at the careers fair to consider a career with the police.

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