UK Politics

London mayor race: Lib Dem Brian Paddick vows 360,000 homes

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Media captionBrian Paddick explains his housing and policing plans for London

Liberal Democrat London mayoral candidate Brian Paddick has said he will build 360,000 homes over the next decade if he is elected to City Hall.

He told BBC Two's Daily Politics that he had identified "brown field" sites across the city to build on.

The former police commander said he would get American and European pension funds to invest in the developments.

He also said he would allow local people to decide what police in their area should concentrate on.

Mr Paddick is bidding to be mayor for the second time after finishing third in the 2008 election. The former "I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here" contestant said: "This could be the year of former reality TV show stars," a reference to George Galloway's recent by-election victory.

Outlining his plans to solve London's housing shortage, Mr Paddick said thousands of homes could be built on land "owned by the mayor".

"We've identified brown field sites - not back gardens, not green spaces but brown field sites, some in inner London, some in outer London - where you can build these homes," he added.

He said the majority of the land he had identified was "owned by the mayor" and building could be funded by borrowing from the City. Pension funds in Europe and America "invest in social housing", he said.

Responding to criticism over election posters which said police were "wasted on cannabis", Mr Paddick said he wanted to give local officers the power to decide their priorities.

Policing of cannabis in Brixton was relaxed when the Liberal Democrat hopeful was Lambeth borough commander. "Local people said 'we're not interested in our young people being arrested for small amounts of cannabis...' so we concentrated on arresting people for hard drugs."

He said police across London should focus on what local people want - "whatever those priorities are".

Londoners go to the polls on Thursday 3 May. There are six other candidates standing in the election.

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