The Conservative candidate for mayor of London previously claimed that celebrating Hindu and Muslim traditions has turned Britain into a “crime-ridden cesspool”, it has emerged.
Shaun Bailey, who secured his party’s mayoral nomination last week, penned a pamphlet which claimed that allowing people to observe non-Christian festivals “robs Britain of its community”.
In the 2005 document, written for the Centre for Policy Studies think-tank, he complained that immigrants to the UK had been allowed to “bring their culture, their country and any problems they might have with them".
The revelation is likely to go down particularly badly in London, where close to half the population comes from an ethnic minority background.
In the pamphlet, titled No Man's Land, Mr Bailey wrote: "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 days off. What it does is rob Britain of its community. Without our community we slip into a crime-riddled cesspool."
“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.”
He also claimed it was easier for the black community to integrate in the UK because they are more likely to be Christian.
"Within the black community it is not such a bad thing because we’ve shared a religion and in many cases a language", he said. "It’s far easier for black people to integrate."
Mr Bailey, a former youth worker and a current member of the London Assembly, saw off two other candidates to secure the Tories' mayoral nomination by a comfortable margin.
He was endorsed by the London Evening Standard, now under the leadership of George Osborne.
Commenting on Mr Bailey's previous claims, Labour's Andy Slaughter, MP for Hammersmith, said: “It is increasingly clear that he holds views that are at best divisive and at worst Islamophobic. London went through this once before with Zac Goldsmith's hideous campaign for mayor, and quite frankly we deserve much better than this from the Conservative arty.”
A spokesperson for Mr Bailey said the criticism of his comments was "ludicrous".
They said: “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.”
“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.”
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