Josefin Malmqvist

Paddick’s diary

Now, Brian Paddick’s hilarious diary for the London mayoral elections are available online. What a man!

Last summer I retired from the Met after a 30-year career in the police. As a card-carrying Liberal Democrat, within months I was encouraged to throw my hat into the ring to become the party’s candidate for London Mayor.

In November I secured more than 70 per cent of first preference votes in the internal Lib Dem election and launched my campaign for City Hall. The Liberal Democrats have always been the poor relation to the two main parties, but you cannot legislate for my campaign leader being promoted almost immediately and my campaign manager catching pneumonia. Undaunted, I hired a Press officer with a strong character in the mistaken belief I could tame her. I couldn’t.

Initially there was very little money, even less strategy and a great deal of frustration as I realised the media – and to some extent the public – cared only about the two high-profile candidates, Boris Johnson and Ken Livingstone.

I struggled through a nine-month campaign in which the third force in British politics, for reasons beyond our control, became daily more like the third farce. Here are extracts from my diaries …