05/04/2012 08:16 BST

Duwayne Brooks Picked To Be Deputy Mayor By Brian Paddick

The best friend of Stephen Lawrence who was with the black teenager when he was murdered in 1993 will be appointed deputy mayor of London if the Lib Dem candidate Brian Paddick wins the race.

Paddick, a former senior police officer at Scotland Yard, wrote on Twitter that he was "very happy today to be announcing Duwayne Brooks as my Deputy Mayor for Youth & Communities".

Brooks is currently a Lib Dem councillor in the London Borough of Lewisham and the role in City Hall would see him focused on creating opportunities for young people in the capital.

Paddick said the post was needed to help prevent a repeat of last summers riots.

“We saw last summer what happens when young people feel disaffected, when they feel that they don’t belong. We have seen what happens when people no longer believe the police are on their side. We cannot allow this to continue," he said.

“This role would see Duwayne ensuring that young people have safe places to meet and engage with the community and allow him to develop opportunities that turn youngsters away from the gang culture that has developed in London.

He added: “It’s a positive role that I know Duwayne is passionate about, and that we would work very closely together on.”

Brooks said he hoped to be able to restore the trust between the police and all communities as well as inspire our young people to take a stake in society".

“I am honoured to have been given this important role. We have seen over the years an increase in both gun and knife crime across London. So much so it rarely gets the headlines," he said.

“I think it is fair to say these are difficult times in London. People feel disconnected from politicians and the police. We also have too many young people who also feel alienated."

Paddick is currently trailing front runners Ken Livingstone and Boris Johnson in a distant third place according to recent polls.