A 2005 pamphlet written by the Tory pick for London mayor Shaun Bailey has emerged in which he said multiculturalism "robs Britain of its community".
In the pamphlet, written for the Centre for Policy Studies (CPS) thinktank, Bailey argues that accommodating Muslims and Hindus would turn Britain into a "crime-riddled cess pool".
Bailey, who grew up in a council house in Ladbroke Grove near Kensington, wrote that British children learned "far more about Diwali than Christmas" and that people from Brent had been taking "Muslim and Hindi days off".
"What it does is rob Britain of its community. Without our community we slip into a crime riddled cess pool. 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, by removing the ethics that generally go with it, we’ve allowed people to come to Britain and bring their culture, their country and any problems they might have, with them."
Bailey's language earned comparison with the 2016 mayoral campaign in which the Tory candidate Zac Goldsmith was accused of using "nasty and divisive" tactics against Khan by targeting Hindu voters with leaflets that suggested Khan would tax their jewellery. He also criticised Khan fo giving a “platform, oxygen and cover to people who are extremists”.
Shaun Bailey has insulted every Muslim and Hindu living in London and blamed them for problems they haven't created. That is not a man fit to lead.— Virendra Sharma MP (@VirendraSharma) October 3, 2018
Accommodating Muslims has made the UK the beautiful, diverse and welcoming country it is today.— Naz Shah MP (@NazShahBfd) October 3, 2018
A country that makes me proud to call myself a British Muslim.
It does not “rob Britain of its community” @ShaunBaileyUK https://t.co/sKYegyQrzA
Tell Mama UK, the anti-extremist group that hosted Bailey as a speaker on Monday, tweeted:
We do not tolerate such views about Muslim and Hindu communities.— TellMAMAUK (@TellMamaUK) October 3, 2018
Nor do we tolerate any hatred or racism directed towards any other community. We will raise this further. https://t.co/3PprAPRjWG
Miqdaad Versi, assistant secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, said Bailey's comments were "deeply disappointing".
Deeply disappointing to see:— Miqdaad Versi (@miqdaad) October 3, 2018
Accommodating Muslims and Hindus risks turning UK into ‘crime-riddled cesspool’, Shaun Bailey wrote in 2005.
What is going on?https://t.co/wVIEnIFsZk
The CPS said Bailey's comments quoted in the press were a "mischaracterisation" of the point he was making about "the importance of Christian faith and values in building strong communities".
"While all of our reports reflect the views of the author, rather than the Centre for Policy Studies, we are proud as a think tank to provide a home for rigorous debate," a spokesperson said.
"The CPS is fully committed to an equal and tolerant society, and the full context of the remarks makes clear that Shaun's focus was on bringing the very real problems of the inner cities and marginalised communities to wider attention."
Last month Khan told City A.M. he wanted the upcoming mayoral race to be a "clean contest".
"All I’d ask for is for people not to mention my ethnicity or my religion and to have a campaign that is not divisive," he said. "We saw other conservatives in the past run a nasty campaign, I’m hoping this time it’s a clean campaign with a battle of ideas and policies."
Bailey has been contacted for comment.