A Tory politician selected as the party’s candidate for London mayor has been criticised over controversial claims he made that multiculturalism “robs Britain of its community”.
Shaun Bailey wrote in a think tank essay in 2005 that working class British people are “lost” when they bring their children to school where “they learn far more about Diwali than Christmas”.
In the ‘No Man’s Land’ piece for the Centre for Policy Studies, Bailey added that without community, the country risks slipping into a “crime riddled cess pool.”
He wrote: “I speak to the people who are from Brent and they’ve been having Muslim and Hindu days off. What it does is rob Britain of its community”.
He goes on to say: “There are a lot of really good things about Britain as a place and British people as a body. But by removing the religion that British people generally take to…we’ve allowed people to come to Britain and bring their culture, their country and any problems they might have, with them.”
Later on in the 56-page piece, which contains few citations, the London Assembly Member writes: “It’s far easier for black people to integrate. How we arrived here is different.
“If you talk to old black people, they will say they have been invited here by the Queen. They absolutely do not consider themselves refugees or immigrants.”
The comments, which surfaced on Wednesday, come less than a week after he was nominated by the Conservatives to face Sadiq Khan in the 2020 London mayoral elections.
The pamphlet has been met with widespread outrage on social media, with some Twitter users dubbing the City Hall hopeful “racist”.
Imran Hussain, Labour MP for Bradford East, wrote: “The remarks made by the Tory candidate for Mayor of London aren’t just offensive and divisive, they’re straight up wrong.
“A rich mix of cultures doesn’t rob Britain of its community, it adds to and enriches it”.
User Agnes Clankett wrote: “Islamophobia raises its ugly head yet again in the Tory party”, while Priyanka Raina wrote “Shaun Bailey who can’t tell the difference between Hindus and those who speak Hindi? Who said asian immigration (India/Pakistan/Bangladesh) causes a ‘crime riddled cess pool’?”.
But a representative for Bailey said the MP has “always championed diverse communities”.
A statement read: “As a descendant of the Windrush Generation, and someone who has worked with diverse communities for over 20 years, Shaun knows full well the challenges faced by BAME communities.
“Whether it is working with one of London’s biggest Muslim communities in North Kensington, or helping young people from all communities to fulfill their potential, Shaun has always championed diverse communities.
“Shaun has made it his life’s work to help those from migrant and disadvantaged communities, and to suggest otherwise is ludicrous.
“As someone who has received racist abuse from the Labour Party, who let’s not forget branded the community worker a “token ghetto boy”, this is a little rich.”
Bailey, 47, is a youth worker and has been a member of the London Assembly since 2016.
A former adviser to David Cameron, he is also a research fellow for the CPS, where he focuses on youth crime, welfare and charity.
The Conservative party has been approached for comment.