Conservatives suspend councillor who claimed Sadiq Khan would treat white people 'like dirt'
The Conservatives have suspended a councillor after he allegedly claimed that new London mayor Sadiq Khan would treat white people “like dirt”.
David Dean, who stood for the Tories in the recent London Assembly elections, is now facing a party investigation into his comments, the Evening Standard reports.
Mr Dean admits the conversation took place but insists he is not a racist – something he says is borne out by his wife being from Cyprus.
The probe follows a complaint from a south London man about Mr Dean, who is said to have told him that “as a white man…you will be a pariah in your own town. He will treat you like dirt”.
Another resident apparently made a recording of the exchange, which took place while Mr Dean was canvassing in Putney before the recent mayoral and Assembly elections, where he stood in Merton.
The original complainant emailed Zac Goldsmith’s team shortly before polling day outlining Mr Dean’s alleged comments.
He wrote: “I recently had David Dean on my doorstep to canvass for support in the upcoming election. I mentioned that I was a previous Conservative supporter and in fact had held office within the party many years ago but was concerned with the way the party had moved forward and for the first time may not vote for the party.
“More worryingly was his comment regarding Sadiq Khan that ‘as a white man... you will be a pariah in your own town. He will treat you like dirt’.”
Asked by the paper for his response, Mr Dean insisted his remarks were “banter” and had been deliberately taken out of context.
“I’m not a racist… Have you met my wife? She’s from Cyprus.” he said.
“I was in a situation where I was laughing and joking with people and someone else has recorded a snippet of it. [The man] had lots of complaints about my political party and I said I wasn’t having any of that. I said x,y,z and we ended up shaking hands whilst he told me to f*** off.
"He was loud and swearing but always with a smile on his face. So it was a bit of banter. Whoever has recorded this clearly doesn’t like the Conservatives. There is a context to this and I need to talk to my party.”
The complainant, who asked not to be identified, disputes Mr Dean’s version of events, insisting the conversation was “not remotely banter or light-hearted”.
A Conservative party spokesman said: “As soon as we became aware of his comments he was immediately suspended from the party, pending an investigation.”