Brian calls on Blair to quit

by Stephen Tall on November 14, 2007

Lib Dem London mayoral candidate Brian Paddick has called on Ian Blair, the under-fire head of the Metropolitan police, to quit.

There were some eyebrows raised a couple of weeks ago, when Brian stopped short of calling on his former police colleague to step down in the wake of the Met’s conviction by the courts for endangering the public over the fatal shooting of innocent Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes. Lib Dem home affairs spokesman Nick Clegg had already called for Sir Ian’s head.

But the former deputy assistant commissioner is quoted now as saying: “I reluctantly am coming to the view that London would be better off without Ian Blair as commissioner.”

In an in-depth analysis of the future mayoral race, The Times contrasts Brian’s stance with the position of his opponents, Ken and Boris:

David Cameron’s office will have registered Mr Paddick’s intervention with chagrin. Nothing has distilled the Tory leader’s doubts about his London mayoral candidate quite like Mr Johnson’s failure to exploit the fallout over the Stockwell shooting. Mr Livingstone has left himself exposed by mounting a staunch defence of Sir Ian, but Mr Johnson has been all but mute.

The newspaper goes on to note the mutterings about Boris’s candidacy:

Mr Cameron, addressing a function on Monday, made fun of his candidate saying: “Inside Boris there is a serious, ambitious politician fighting to get out.” The gag, while seemingly affectionate, was laced with menace. Even donors to Mr Johnson’s campaign – he has so far registered £80,000 – express dismay privately at the hush that has settled over his mayoral effort. Other critics noted that the first public act of Mr Johnson’s campaign office on moving into new accommodation was to dispatch invitations to a Christmas party.

Update: more bad news for Boris – the Daily Mail’s Ben Brogan has posted a blog entitled, ‘Boris ‘in danger of bombing’. It includes an intriguing confidence:

Last week I was sworn to secrecy about a costly organisational cock-up by Boris, which reinforced my doubts about his candidacy. I’m sure he’ll turn up at some point, but beating Ken is a serious business; I’m not sure the party can afford an Old Etonian, Old Bullingdonian loser.

A promise is a promise, of course – but come on, Ben, spill the beans. You’re a blogger, after all, you don’t need to be responsible.

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When the police were asked to explain themselves on this case, they concocted a story which was a complete fabrication.
You expect criminals to lie, but not the police.
I am curious to know what the outcome of that was. Has anyone taken responsibility?
And instead of enquiring within the remit of “health and safety”, it really would be good if there was a proper enquiry.
The impression given to the ethnic minorities is that if you are in the wrong place at the wrong time and are the wrong colour, you could get killed by the police.
I do not think the police have done nearly enough to allay these fears.

by Geoffrey Payne on November 14, 2007 at 12:06 pm. Reply #

Why is it a surprise to you that the police have been caught lying yet again?

by ColinW on November 14, 2007 at 2:56 pm. Reply #

Too little, too late from Mr Paddick i’m afraid. He looked weak on question time when pressed on the issue.

Rather than dally around, he should have been decisive and made a decision one way or the other back then.

We where made to look rather silly with our spokesperson saying one thing (right rightly in my opinion) and our London Mayor ‘candidate to be’ saying another.

by Ian Turgoose on November 14, 2007 at 3:35 pm. Reply #

Interesting interview with Brian Paddick in the Daily Telegraph today. See DT website, select News, then Politics.

by TimberWolf on November 17, 2007 at 10:25 am. Reply #

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