Liberal Democrats are accused of 'underhand racism' and having 'Neanderthal views' on diversity by London riots heroine

'Hackney Heroine' Ms Pearce has dropped her bid for Party President

The so-called Hackney Heroine has accused the Liberal Democrat party of “underhand racism” and of holding “Neanderthal views on diversity”, as she announced her decision not to run as Party President.

In a video released on Facebook explaining why she is dropping her campaign, Pauline Pearce, also known as Lady P, said the party “wasn’t quite what I thought it was when it comes to diversities”.  

Ms Pearce gained fame in 2011 when she was filmed shouting at rioters who had looted and destroyed local businesses in her area. Her expletive-filled rant was watched on YouTube over one million times and saw her become a figurehead for community issues after the unrest.

The footage launched her political career and in March she announced her intention to run as President for the Lib Dems. However, Ms Pearce claims she has been “ridiculed” over her past criminal conviction for smuggling cocaine in 1999, “patronised” by members of Nick Clegg's party and dismissed as not experienced enough.

Ms Pearce said: “I’ve been ridiculed for my past as an ex-convict, something that I was very open about from the day I was discovered in the media as the lady who ranted in the riots in 2011.

“Since running for president I’ve realised this party isn’t what I thought when it comes to diversities and being inclusive.

 

“People out there feel that they are diverse and feel that they are not at all racist, but it’s what I would call 'underhand racism', where you feel that people are not quite able to step up to the mark in chairing meetings."

However, Ms Pearce said she will remain as a member of the party and will now focus her efforts and community activism.

Her decision to quit the race has been met with dismay on Facebook, with one describing her standing in the election as “like a breath of fresh air”.

Another wrote: "A big loss to the Presidential Election. One of the reasons I rejoined the Party was the chance to vote for you. I hope you will continue to work for change both within the Party and wider communities."

The party said it is “saddened” to hear that Ms Pearce will no longer be standing.

A spokesperson for the Lib Dems said: "We are upset that Pauline feels she has been subjected to discrimination and prejudice, as this behaviour is the opposite of the values of equality and respect we embrace and pride ourselves on as a party.

"We urge Pauline to report what she has experienced and will look at her concerns as a matter of urgency."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Personal Tax Senior

£28000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer and Markets Development Executive

£22000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company's mission is to ma...

Recruitment Genius: Guest Services Assistant

£13832 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This 5 star leisure destination on the w...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Account Manager

£20000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Account Manager is requ...

Day In a Page

A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory