COVID Cops Fine London Mayoral Candidate Brian Rose for Campaigning

Brian Rose
Brian Rose, Instagram

London Mayoral candidate Brian Rose was fined on Sunday for allegedly breaching the city’s draconian coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

Mr Rose, a former Wall Street banker and host of the London Real podcast, said that he, alongside six of his staff members, were issued £200 fines each from the police.

The American-born independent candidate for the London Mayoralty claimed that he was campaigning in Southwark, London, on his “COVID safe” campaign bus when police “targeted” him.

“You might say, ‘Well, this is a strange time, Brian, this is a COVID time, where you should be at home.’ But it’s also a time where we have to really question: ‘Are our leaders doing the right thing?'” Rose said in a YouTube video following the police action.

The lockdown sceptical candidate added that it is imperative for the public to be able to access information about who they choose as their leaders during the coronavirus crisis, claiming that bans on campaigning represent a “violation of a basic fundamental human right”.

“In places like Britain and America, we fought hard for this democracy. We fought hard to have a chance to vote for our leaders. A lot of countries in the world don’t have free and fair elections but we do — or at least I thought we did until today,” he warned.

The City of London Police force said per the BBC that there is “no exemption for canvassing” during the lockdown.

“Anyone canvassing can expect the police to enforce the legislation, which could include issuing fines,” a spokesman added.

The 2021 London mayoral election is set to be held on the 6th of May 2021, after it was postponed in March 2020 as a result of the coronavirus, which extended the term of left-wing Labour Party Mayor Sadiq Khan by one year. However, that date is still reportedly under view due to the pandemic.

“With an unelected mayor currently heading up our city for the past year, including its police force, it is incredibly worrying that democracy is being eroded in this way, while the mayor’s own team continue to campaign,” Mr Rose said.

According to the Irish bookmaker’s website, Paddy Power, Mr Rose is currently in second place in the betting odds to win the election, behind Labour Party incumbent Sadiq Khan.

The Liberal Democrats have also been accused of violating coronavirus restrictions by distributing leaflets for local elections.

The leader of the Lib Dems, Sir Ed Davey, defended his party’s actions on Sunday, saying: “The guidance says there is an exemption for volunteer organisations, we’ve taken legal advice on that.”

Mr Rose’s campaign said that it intends on challenging the fines “based on the same guidance that other parties have been using”.

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

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