Brian Paddick has promised a “distinctive and radical” agenda for London at his first press conference since being named Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor of London.
On Friday Mr Paddick, who was also the party’s candidate in 2008, secured 51.5 per cent of votes in a ballot of party members, beating Mike Tuffrey, Brian Haley and Lembit Opik.
The Liberal Democrats are the last of the parties represented at City Hall to select a Mayoral runner with only the Greens offering a new candidate in 2012.
Paddick joins Boris Johnson (Conservative) and Ken Livingstone (Labour) and Green candidate Jenny Jones in the campaign to become Mayor.
Speaking at the party’s HQ on Monday, the former Met Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner promised to work with London Assembly candidates to “improve the standing of the Liberal Democrats…with a view to maximising the number of votes we can achieve.”
He also said he would consult with Londoners and party members before unveiling policies in the New Year.
Mr Paddick’s 2008 campaign saw the party’s share of the vote fall by over 5% from the previous election and the loss of two seats on the Assembly.
During the selection process Paddick told party members he had “learnt from my mistakes” and was now better equipped to take on Livingstone and Johnson in next year’s contest.
He reiterated that message on Monday, telling journalists and activists: “I am a more relaxed, more confident, more experienced politician than I was last time.”
Despite the three largest parties all re-selecting their 2008 candidate, Paddick said observers were wrong to characterise the election as “a re-run” insisting things had changed for him and rivals Boris Johnson and Ken Livingstone.
Paddick said Mayor Johnson would be “held to account” for “a very poor” track record and said Mr Livingstone “looks more and more like a character from the last century.”