Brian Paddick

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Person.png Lord Paddick   Facebook Twitter WebsiteRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(policeman, politician, academic)
Brian Paddick.png
BornBrian Leonard Paddick
Balham, South London, England
Alma materQueen's College (Oxford), University of Warwick, Fitzwilliam College (Cambridge)
SpouseMary Stone
PartyLiberal Democrats
British politician and retired police officer,

Employment.png Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Home Affairs

In office
28 October 2016 - 14 June 2017

Brian Leonard Paddick, Baron Paddick (born 24 April 1958) is a British politician and retired police officer, currently sitting in the House of Lords as a life peer. Until his retirement in May 2007, Paddick was Deputy Assistant Commissioner in London's Metropolitan Police Service and the United Kingdom's most senior openly gay police officer. He was Liberal Democrat candidate for both 2008 and 2012 London mayoral elections.[1]


Paddick joined the Metropolitan Police in 1976. Rising through the ranks, he was appointed the officer in charge of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) at Notting Hill in 1995, then returned to New Scotland Yard, first as Superintendent of the Personnel Department in 1996 and then as Chief Superintendent in 1997. In December 2000 he was appointed Police Commander for the London Borough of Lambeth where he worked until 2002.

In the latter capacity, Paddick attracted controversy by instructing his police officers not to arrest or charge people found with cannabis so that they could focus on crimes that were affecting the quality of life in the borough to a greater extent. In late 2002 the Crown Prosecution Service decided that no charges would be brought against him, and in December 2003 Paddick and the Mail on Sunday settled legal proceedings brought by him, with the newspaper accepting that a story it had published was false (which had alleged he had used cannabis), apologising, and paying damages.[2]

In April 2005 Paddick took over management of Territorial Policing across all 32 London boroughs. During the investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) into the wrongful shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes at Stockwell Tube station on 22 July 2005, Paddick stated that a member of the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Sir Ian Blair's private office team had believed the wrong man had been targeted just six hours after the shooting. This allegation was contradicted by New Scotland Yard. On 28 March 2006, Paddick accepted a statement from the Metropolitan Police that it "did not intend to imply" a senior officer had misled the probe into the shooting and that "any misunderstanding is regretted".[3]

However, following the disagreement, Paddick was assigned the position of group director of information management at New Scotland Yard, which he considered a "non-job". He came to accept that his police career was over, and retired from the police force on 31 May 2007.


On 13 November 2007 it was announced that Paddick had been selected as the Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor of London in the mayoral elections to be held on 1 May 2008. He came third behind Boris Johnson and Ken Livingstone, with 9.8% of first preference votes.

It was announced that he would be elevated to the House of Lords in August 2013.[4] He was created a life peer on 12 September 2013 taking the title Baron Paddick of Brixton in the London Borough of Lambeth.[5]

In June 2016, Lord Paddick spoke against the Investigatory Powers Bill nicknamed the Snoopers' Charter:

“There will be a concerted campaign by the Liberal Democrats, by Don't Spy On Us, to ensure the public understands the issues at stake. We need to tell them in very clear and simple terms what impact the bill will have on their online activity, with messages noting that if you've ever deleted your web history because it might be embarrassing if people found out it will now no longer be possible to do this as your web history will be stored by the government.
“We're taking a pragmatic and reasonable approach to the most contentious issues, including full judicial authorisation for warrants, as opposed to the Home Secretary signing off day-to-day police warrants. Everyone is entitled to the protection of the law and that rights are meaningless unless they can be enforced. Yet at present, unlawful surveillance only comes to light as a result of a chance leak, whistleblowing or public interest litigation. It is impossible to challenge Government and state agents interference into your private life if you never know you’ve been a victim in the first place.”[6]

In October 2016, Lord Paddick was appointed Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Home Affairs.


Brian – now Lord – Paddick, in his autobiography, "Line of Fire", disclosed that both he and and his father had been Freemasons. Paddick himself joined almost as soon as he could, at the age of 21, when he was already an officer working under an unpopular superintendent in west London:

“I asked the superintendent if he was ‘on the square’ and his attitude changed completely; suddenly he became my best friend and showed me his Masonic regalia, the decorated apron worn in Masonic meetings … I found his complete volte-face quite disappointing but it was not the last time someone’s attitude to me was to change instantly when he discovered my Masonic links.”

Paddick duly decided to give up attending Masonic meetings.[7]


Brian Paddick has been called "Britain's most controversial police chief".[8]

“Hopefully there will be people in the police service, the security service and in government who will realise how important conspiracy theories are. And how important it is... that every attempt is made to try and counteract them.”
Brian Paddick [9]


Related Document

TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
Document:Why the secret handshake between police and Freemasons should worry usArticle2 January 2018Duncan CampbellSuccessive Met Commissioners have tried to end the society’s influence. It is as clear as ever that membership of both bodies is incompatible with public service.
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