Ken Livingstone, Boris Johnson, and Brian Paddick spent this morning at the Reuters Mayoral Hustings at Reuters House, Canary Wharf where they addressed an audience of business leaders and journalists.
The event started with each candidate setting out their vision for the Capital, from Livingstone and Johnson this was largely a restatement of past promises on Metronet (Ken), the £25 congestion charge (Ken & Boris – different promises!), crime reduction (Boris) and, perhaps for the first time, Boris revealed he’d offered Ken an advisory role if he wins next month.
Brian Paddick seemed to spend much of his time talking about participating in the marathon and his police career.
A number of those present were visibly bored but he grabbed attentions when he engaged in possibly the most negative comments of the campaign, making direct references to recent stories about Boris and drugs and claims of heavy drinking by Livingstone.
The previously bored attendees winced at the remarks and afterwards many said he’d struck a duff note and missed a vital opportunity to impress.
The speeches were followed by a question and answer session in which Johnson and Livingstone agreed on many issues including the use of hand-held scanners by the police to combat knives and guns.
Paddick attacked Ken for seeking to encourage tourism from China while opposing more runways at Heathrow, both Boris and Ken were against plans to tax non-doms.
Asked who each would save in an Apprentice-style run-off Brian brought up allegations of ‘malpractice’ at the LDA (something Boris also later brought up) and attacked Boris’s “lack of experience” at delivering, something Ken also sought to highlight when he said the biggest the biggest decision Boris had made as an editor was where to for lunch.
Paddick refused to say who his backers should give their second preference votes to.
Boris called on Londoners to sack Ken who in turn said Paddick was making himself look “a complete fool” by refusing to endorse either of the other candidates.
There was a hustings with no clear winner but Paddick is going to have to rethink the voter-repelling negativity he seems intent on deploying.