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Last Updated: Friday, 27 April 2007, 10:29 GMT 11:29 UK
Met's Paddick set to retire early
Brian Paddick
Brian Paddick has had a 30-year policing career
Britain's most senior, openly gay police officer, is to retire early.

Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Brian Paddick had been due to serve until November 2008.

Mr Paddick had attracted controversy in a number of high-profile roles, including pioneering a new softer line on dealing with cannabis users.

The Metropolitan Police Authority said he will retire at the end of May as there is "no operational reason" for him to complete his contract.

He will leave on a full pension after completing 30 years with the police last year.

It is expected he will be in demand to undertake TV work and write about his, at times, turbulent career.

Most recently he had clashed with his bosses at the Met after he claimed they had known within hours that an innocent man had died when electrician, Jean Charles de Menezes was shot dead by armed officers hunting the 21 July bombers.

Cannabis controversy

Mr Paddick consulted libel lawyers after the police said his claim was "simply not true" saying the statement was tantamount to accusing him of lying.

The two sides eventually settled their dispute, but his switch from deputy command of territorial policing to an information management role was seen by some as a sideways move.

Stockwell tube station
He had clashed with Met over the Stockwell Tube Station shooting

He had long proved controversial, because of both his private and professional life.

During his time as a commander in South London he oversaw a move away from cannabis arrests towards tackling street crime, before he was moved from his post after a former partner alleged he himself had used the drug.

An investigation found there was insufficient evidence to support a prosecution.

Personal life

Mr Paddick later accepted damages from the Mail on Sunday which had carried the allegations - which it accepted were untrue - along with details about his personal life.

He also came under fire in the press for writing on a website that he could see how the idea of anarchism could be attractive.

Sources within the police said that Mr Paddick was known to have been considering leaving the Met for the past six months.

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police Authority said: "He has been asked to be released from his contract which was due to expire in November 2008.

"There is no operational reason for him not to have his request granted and he will leave at the end of May this year."

Paddick gets Met promotion
26 Nov 03 |  London
Paddick wins hearts and minds
27 Mar 02 |  England

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