Gay London Mayor candidate Brian Paddick was eager to live up to his tough cop image, angrily berating an interviewer for asking ‘ridiculous’ questions.
During an interview on weekly podcast HomoLab, the Liberal Democrat member responded to a jibe from rival Ken Livingstone, which slammed him for being in the closet during his time as Deputy Assistant Commissioner of the UK capital’s Metropolitan Police Service.
Paddick said his decision to come out was a ‘personal issue’ and Livingstone’s attack was ‘twisting the knife’.
However, when pushed on the issue and rumors of animosity between him and his Labour Party opponent, Paddick saw red.
‘I don’t know where you’ve been,’ Paddick snapped. ‘The animosity is between Ken and Boris Johnson.’
The frosty exchange continued when the interviewer asked about his plans to introduce New York style crime reduction methods in the capital and whether rumours that police would use similar ‘zero tolerance’ tactics were true.
Paddick said: ‘I don’t know where you’re getting your information from, but I think you’ve been living on a different planet for the last six weeks.
‘There’s no way I’ve been talking about zero tolerance policing,’ he added.
‘I’m the most liberal police officer that ever walked the corridors of New Scotland Yard and I find your comments frankly ridiculous.’
However, the interviewer stood his ground, pointing out that his proposals for New York style policing was actually in his manifesto and zero tolerance was one feature of the Big Apple’s crime fighting methods.
After blasting the interviewer for being ‘ignorant’, he said: ‘The commissioner of the New York police never used the term zero tolerance policing.
‘He used the term, a broken windows policy which said that if you deal with the minor crime issues then the bigger crime issues take care of themselves.
‘What I’m talking about is getting criminals to clear up the graffiti, to repair the damage that they do, to make it an environment where people feel less comfortable about committing crime.’
Paddick's main contenders in the race for City Hall are current Conservative Party mayor Boris Johnson, Labour’s Ken Livingstone and Jenny Jones for the Green Party.