The Conservative mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey has been criticised for past comments suggesting girls should âaccept less of menâs rubbishâ to avoid domestic violence, which Labour described as victim blaming.
In the newly unearthed comments Bailey says that ending domestic violence âstarts with girlsâ and suggests menâs behaviour is highly dependent on impressing women.
The remarks, in an archived post on the Conservative Womenâs Organisation website, were made at an event on gang culture when Bailey was a parliamentary candidate for Hammersmith. The article appears to have since been removed from the website.
The report of Baileyâs comments says he told the group that men would âalways be involved in violenceâ but âthe repair starts with girls, because if you could get girls to accept less of menâs rubbish then men would have to change because ultimately men are after a girl. Menâs behaviour is affected by what he feels it is to be a man and what he feels will impress a girlâ.Labour calls for Shaun Bailey to condemn ads attacking Sadiq Khan Read more
Rupa Huq, Labour MP for Ealing Central and Acton, said the comment was victim blaming. âSomeone with Baileyâs hard right attitudes should simply never have the opportunity to lead a city that counts more than 4 million women and girls among its population,â she said.
âHis long history of talking women down is completely at odds with Londonâs open, modern and progressive values.â
The Tory candidate, who is trailing in the polls to the Labour incumbent Sadiq Khan, was also recently criticised for a tweet that appeared to try to capitalise on the killing of Sarah Everard, saying he would âdeliver for the safety of women and girlsâ if elected in May.
A campaign spokesperson for Bailey said: âOnce again Labour are taking old comments out of context. Shaunâs point, emphasised repeatedly, was that the only way to end domestic violence is to change the behaviour of men â exactly what women are saying, not to mention Sadiq Khan.
âIf Labour want to talk about the issues, then letâs start with Sadiq Khanâs admission that London isnât safe for women and girls. While Sadiq Khan offers just words, Shaun Bailey has a plan: 1,000 more police to tackle violence against women and girls, 24/7 foot patrols in dangerous areas, and more CCTV across the transport network to catch perpetrators.â
Bailey has experienced a series of criticisms over past articles and comments. He was challenged for suggesting teenage mothers pushed people who âdo the right thingâ down the housing ladder, telling the Sun that teenage pregnancy was disadvantaging other housing claimants.
He has been dogged by news stories detailing previous comments about teen pregnancy, single mothers and welfare, including from 2005, when he said âa culture of dependency rules the working classâ.
The Conservative candidate has also made a series of controversial comments during the campaign, including suggesting homeless Londoners could save up a Â£5,000 deposit for a mortgage.