Adur, West & East Worthing Party including East Arun

Labour should be ashamed to have Ken Livingstone as a candidate – Paddick

Speaking at the London Liberal Democrat spring conference tomorrow [Saturday], London Liberal Democrat Mayoral candidate Brian Paddick will launch a stinging attack on Ken Livingstone over recent comments about homosexuality and Jewish people.

The London Liberal Democrats will also be launching their Liberals Look Like London campaign, celebrating the diversity of the capital and the Liberal Democrat GLA candidates team.

In his speech, Brian Paddick will say:

When I was in the police, a big black guy, Jerome Mack, used to talk to us about race relations.  He said he had a problem with people who say they aren’t racist but still use inappropriate language. As far as he was concerned, and he was an expert, “if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it probably is a duck!”

Ken Livingstone knows exactly what he’s doing when he says the Conservative Party is ‘riddled with it’, talking about homosexuality as if it’s a disease. And he knows exactly what he’s saying when he conflates being Jewish with being rich and makes other deliberately provocative and offensive remarks about Jewish people.

Ken Livingstone is using dog whistle tactics to play divide and rule. Like a bad 70s comedian, he plays to the gallery and doesn’t care who he upsets in the process. He should be ashamed of himself. And Labour should be ashamed to have him as a candidate. He doesn’t care if he divides Londoners. Well I do care, and as Mayor, I want to unite Londoners.

The Liberal Democrats want to value London’s diversity, not cynically abuse it. We want a London where people of different cultures and faiths live alongside each other with mutual respect, where difference is celebrated not denigrated. And we are putting our money where our mouths are. Our team of GLA candidates truly reflect the diversity of London – male and female, gay and straight, older and younger, white, black and Asian. We are a party for people of all faiths and none, from any background or origin.

The London Liberal Democrat spring conference takes place at the East Wintergarden in Canary Wharf tomorrow.