Tory mayoral candidate defends 'raw' comments on women who have 'been around'
Conservative London mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey has defended a string of "raw" comments about women and poverty he made in 2005.
Mr Bailey - who is hoping to unseat Sadiq Khan as mayor of London in the 2020 vote - said "good looking" local girls "tend to have been around" and claimed that "poor people" need "rules" to stop them becoming involved in crime.
The remarks were made in a 2005 pamphlet for the right-leaning Centre for Social Justice think tank, written when Mr Bailey was a youth worker in North Kensington.
Labour MP Rosena Allin-Khan told BuzzFeed News - which first highlighted the remarks - that Mr Bailey had shown "appalling sexism and misogyny".
She added: "His attitudes towards women and people living in poverty are not just unacceptable, but absolutely vile. Londoners deserve so much better than Shaun Bailey’s regressive attitude."
But the Tory candidate hit back, saying he had written about his experiences growing up in Ladbroke Grove "because it felt like nobody was writing about lives like mine".
He added: "Now my words are being used to attack me. That's politics, and I'm up for it.
"But we're never going to tackle the problems facing some of our poorest communities if we only listen to career politicians. We need to hear other perspectives, even if they're raw and still developing.
"Coming into public life has given me a broader and more rounded perspective to London's problems. That's why I'm running to solve them."
In the pamphlet, Mr Bailey said teenage boys believed "good looking girls" were less likely to carry sexually transmitted diseases.
But he added: "If a girl appeals to one that way, she’ll appeal to all of them. She’ll tend to have been around."
He also blasted a "liberal agenda" that he said had left working class people without rules.
"The working class look to rules," he said.
"The rules are important to them. Take away the rules and they are left in limbo. So they form their own: the kind which are driven by pop economics. Then they get into crime."
He added: "The more liberal we’ve been, the more the poor have suffered. Poor people don’t need all this liberalism. They need direction. All this over-caring liberalism is damaging."
Mr Bailey has previously come under fire over a paper he wrote claiming multiculturalism risked turning Britain into a “crime-riddled cesspool”.