Candidates & Parties
Profile: Matt O'Connor
Matt O'Connor, founder of the controversial campaign group, Fathers 4 Justice, is the Mayoral candidate for the English Democrats.
The English Democrats
Founded in 2002, the English Democrats is a relatively new political party, having been formed by ex-members of the non-political organisation Campaign for an English Parliament.
The English Democrats say that they 'put the interests of England first… When the three major parties remain Unionist in outlook.' As an example of this, the party points to the Barnett formula, which, they say, ensures that public spending in Scotland and Wales is higher per head of population than in England.
The party vehemently denies that it is racist or has any links to the far-right, and says that it is welcome to all races and religions, who wish to share the 'English way of life and the values and beliefs of England.'
Fathers 4 Justice stunt at the High Court
Initially, it had been announced that the English Democrats' Mayoral candidate would be the newspaper columnist and media pundit, Garry Bushell. However, Mr Bushell pulled out because of his work commitments and was replaced by Matt O'Connor, whose Fathers 4 Justice group is best known for their 'superhero stunts and protests' to highlight the case for fathers' rights in family law.
Born in Manchester in 1967, Matt O'Connor grew up in a strong Labour-supporting household. His father once stood as a Labour councillor and the family regularly canvassed for the party.
Matt O'Connor, who works as a marketing and design consultant, says he will base his Mayoral campaign on three key issues: the flow of taxes from London to other parts of the UK, the breakdown of families and communities, and justice for England.
"I have become increasingly alarmed by the state of our political discourse and a democracy that is failing Londoners on such a spectacular scale," says Mr O'Connor.
"It is important that we create a new brand of politics that recognises the imbalance in the Union of the United Kingdom and places families and communities at the heart of its agenda."
"27 teenagers died in last year in a bloody harvest of bullets and blades on the streets of our capital city. London is in breakdown – family and community breakdown - and I believe that as an agent for change, I can restore and repair our broken city."
"I'm under no illusion that it's a biblical task, but I've got one advantage already. I'm no politician."
last updated: 20/05/2008 at 12:44