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Justice dad stands for mayoral job

PUBLISHED: 16:34 16 January 2008 | UPDATED: 11:28 01 July 2010

Powder Stunt

Powder Stunt

THE mastermind behind the stunt that saw former Prime Minister Tony Blair pelted with purple flour has promised to bring subversion to the mayoral elections. Matt O Connor, founder of the headline-grabbing group Fathers 4 Justice, was named candidate for

THE mastermind behind the stunt that saw former Prime Minister Tony Blair pelted with purple flour has promised to bring subversion to the mayoral elections.

Matt O'Connor, founder of the headline-grabbing group Fathers 4 Justice, was named candidate for the English Democrats for London mayor last Saturday.

Mr O'Connor, a divorced father-of-two formerly of Bromley, said his political stunts will not put off voters in the Mayoral race.

He said: "There is going to be some colour and some satire and subversion is going to be a part, but we will fight according to the politicians' rule book.

"I don't regret my campaigning behaviour. People say 'isn't it irresponsible doing something like that?'

"But it's just like the Suffragette movement. People said they were irresponsible so they shouldn't get the vote."

Mr O'Connor lived in Rookery Road, Downe, with his sons Daniel, 11, and Alexander, 10, until he split up with his wife Nadine seven years ago.

Horrified by his treatment in the family courts, he came to an agreement with his ex-wife to see his two sons independently of the courts.

Mr O'Connor, who now lives in Barking, said: "I was emotionally fragile and distraught with what was happening.

"From that despair was born something of a determination to go on and channel this negative anger into a positive.

"If it wasn't for that I wouldn't be in this mayoral election."

He has been arrested for masterminding various protests, most notably one where a man dressed as Batman climbed onto the roof of Buckingham Palace.

The former marketing and PR man also had two of his protestors handcuff themselves to former Children's Minister Margaret Hodge.

He also claims he has been warned by the Metropolitan Police that he might be shot if seen near Parliament on one occasion.

Mr O'Connor said he believes these brushes with the law provide him with the experience necessary to combat crime in the capital.

He said: "My campaigning has given me extensive experience in dealing with the police at all levels of Scotland Yard.

"We may have been on opposite sides of the fence but my background has taught me a lot.

"I have defied the government and judiciary when it comes to campaigning and I'm not afraid."

His main campaign will focus on family values, which he thinks are to blame for 26 teenage deaths on London's street's last year.

Mr O'Connor said: "Children that grow up without fathers are a key issue. In black communities, one in two children grow up without a father. These kids need discipline love and caring."

The mayoral candidate will launch his campaign on Valentine's Day under the title Campaign for a New London.

Ladbrokes are currently taking 500/1 odds on him becoming London Mayor in May, compared to 6/4 for Boris Johnson and 7/4 for Ken Livingstone.

jules.cooper@archant.co.uk

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