A London mayoral candidate has been fined by police for breaking lockdown rules in Southwark.

Former Wall Street banker Brian Rose is vying to be London's next mayor, and was filming promotion material for his campaign in south east London on Sunday (January 24) when the Met Police intervened.

Mr Rose said he and six of his staff were each fined £200 and were told "campaigning was not a necessary reason" for being out.

He was recording a socially distanced video when police spotted the legally parked bus in Southwark.

The independent candidate described confusion over campaign rules as "an affront to democracy."



A spokesperson for the City of London Police force said restrictions "have no exemption for canvassing".

"Anyone canvassing can expect the police to enforce the legislation, which could include issuing fines."

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Cabinet minister Chloe Smith said the government would issue guidance about appropriate campaign conduct shortly, but reminded candidates that face-to-face political activity was forbidden.

Earlier this month, she said the bar for postponing the election was "quite high".

Rose said: “If leafleting is safe, then my Covid-secure bus is safe.

“It may well be the safest bus in Britain, particularly when compared with the public transport which many key workers are forced to use.

“We are quite clear that we have broken no laws and that we are behaving in a way that is safe, appropriate and in keeping with both the spirit and the letter of the law.”

The London mayoral election is set to take place on 6 May, although the date is being kept under review due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Rose represents a media platform called London Real.

Paul Frost, chief of staff for the campaign, added: “We will be challenging the penalties given to both Mr Rose and members of the team, based on the same guidance that other parties have been using to ensure their campaigns can go ahead.

“In these crucial elections, ensuring a level playing field for all candidates is imperative, something that is evidently being prevented by the actions today of the City of London police force.”

Labour has also reported the Conservative London mayoral candidate to the Crown Prosecution Service over claims he "repeatedly attempted to mislead" voters with campaign leaflets.

Shaun Bailey, who is seeking to topple Labour incumbent Sadiq Khan during the upcoming May election, used "City Hall" branded paper to warn Londoners of an alleged "21.2%" council tax increase.

The letter warned: "London mayoral council tax rise. Do not ignore."

The leaflet, sent in December, invited readers to sign a petition against any council tax hikes and, while the footnote included Mr Bailey's name and the address for the Conservative Party headquarters, the Tory Party logo and name was absent.

Lawyers acting on behalf of Labour, in their submission to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), called the leaflets a "fraudulent device", as described by the 1983 Representation of the People Act.