Conservative Party Defends London Mayoral Candidate Under Attack Over Anti-Hindu Comments in UK

Shaun Bailey said in 2005 that accommodating Muslim and Hindu cultures “robs Britain of its community” and that it can turn the country into a “crime riddled cesspool.”


Shaun Bailey, the Conservative Party’s candidate for the post of London’s mayor, is at the center of a controversy in the United Kingdom over his anti-Hindu and anti-Muslim comments published in a pamphlet more than a decade ago. However, his party members have come to his defense, calling him a “champion of diverse communities.”

Bailey, the Tory mayoral candidate for London, had said in a thinktank pamphlet published in 2005 that accommodating Muslim and Hindu cultures “robs Britain of its community” and that it can turn the country into a “crime riddled cesspool,” according to the Guardian.

In the pamphlet, titled “No man’s land: How Britain’s inner city young are being failed,” Bailey had said: “You bring your children to school and they learn far more about Diwali than Christmas. I speak to the people who are from Brent and they’ve been having Muslim and Hindi [sic] days off. What it does is rob Britain of its community. Without our community, we slip into a crime-riddled cesspool.”

He also wrote that black people can integrate into the British society, as they share the same Christian values that are followed by the British.

His comments have been called Islamophobic and unacceptable by several politicians and activists.

Advocacy group, HOPE not hate, tweeted: “These views, expressed by the Tory candidate for Mayor of London, are grotesque. The Conservatives can’t tackle their problem with islamophobia if they don’t admit they have a problem in the first place.”

The Conservative Party, however, said that the controversy was a result of misunderstanding of Bailey’s comments.

James Cleverly, the Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party, said that Bailey only meant that since black boys were learning more about faiths other than their own Christian culture, it was more likely for them to get into crime. He said that Bailey should have explained that his comments are not for fixing blames on anyone, the publication said.

Cleverly added that the party is lending its full support to Bailey, so that he can face and defeat Labor Party’s Sadiq Khan in two years.

The spokesman of Bailey’s mayoral campaign team talked about his BAME (Black Asian Minority Ethnic) roots to defend him, the BBC reported.

“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,” the spokesman said, according to the report. “Whether it is working with one of London’s biggest Muslim communities in North Kensington or helping young people from all communities to fulfil their potential, Shaun has always championed diverse communities.”

Labor MP Andrew Slaughter condemned Bailey’s remarks, BBC added. “It is increasingly clear that he holds views that are at best divisive and at worst Islamophobic,” Slaughter, who defeated Bailey in the 2010 general election, said. “This reaffirms that Mr Bailey is exactly the wrong person to be Mayor of London and why the Conservatives should not be in charge of London.”

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