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Shaun Bailey (born 1971) is a British politician and former youth worker who is the candidate of the Conservative Party for the 2020 London mayoral election. He has been a member of the London Assembly since 6 May 2016.

Shaun Bailey

Shaun Bailey.jpg
Member of the London Assembly
as the 9th Additional Member
Assumed office
6 May 2016
Preceded byVictoria Borwick
Personal details
Born1971 (age 47–48)
North Kensington, London, England
Political partyConservative
Alma materLondon South Bank University

Before entering politics, Bailey co-founded the youth charity My Generation.[1]

Bailey has worked as a researcher for the Centre for Policy Studies, before standing in the Hammersmith constituency as a Conservative at the 2010 general election, and also served as the Prime Minister's special adviser on youth and crime from 2010 to 2013.[2] At the snap 2017 general election, he contested Lewisham West and Penge. In 2018, Bailey was selected as the Conservative candidate in the 2020 London mayoral election and was subsequently accused of Islamophobia, Hinduphobia and sexism in a row surrounding past comments.[3]

Early lifeEdit

Bailey was born in North Kensington, London in 1971, where he and his younger brother were raised by his mother and extended family in the absence of his father, who worked as a lorry driver.[4] From the age of about thirteen years old, he began to get to know his father, along with a second family his father had started, and became close to his stepsisters and stepbrother.[5] The family are of Jamaican origin.[6] His grandfather came to the UK from Jamaica after fighting for Britain in the Second World War as part of the Windrush generation.[7]

Bailey attended Henry Compton School in Fulham and left with five CSEs.[4] When Bailey was twelve years old, his mother sent him to join the Army Cadet Force in White City.[8] When he was about nineteen years old, he became a Sergeant-Instructor and stayed in the Cadets for another ten years.[8] At about the age of twelve or thirteen, he began attending the Jubilee Sports Centre to take up gymnastics, and he became a member of Childs Hill Gymnastics Display team.[5] After leaving secondary school, Bailey attended Paddington College, where he achieved two A-levels and a BTEC.[4]

Bailey was the subject of BBC Radio 4 series The House I Grew Up In, in which he disclosed he committed burglary in his youth and said: "I had a particular group of friends who indulged in a burglary. I had done it with them".[9][10] Reflecting on gang culture, Bailey commented: "The problem of having estates with names is that people become very territorial. You kind of defend your "ends". Because you don't want your locale to be seen as where the pussies live."[11]

Career before politicsEdit

Bailey graduated at the age of 27 with a 2.2 in Computer Aided Engineering from London South Bank University.[12] Previously, he worked as a security guard at Wembley Stadium and the London Trocadero to fund his university tuition.[13] He was unemployed for two years.[14][15] Bailey said: "I did bad, bad jobs. I basically worked sweeping factories, delivering beer and security work".[14] At least twelve members of his peer group spent time in prison.[16]

In May 2006, Bailey co-founded MyGeneration, a charity addressing the social problems that affect struggling young people and their families. It was established shortly before Bailey was selected by the Conservative Party to stand in the recreated Hammersmith constituency.[17] In 2010, The Times reported that Bailey was at the centre of allegations that his North Kensington-based charity showed £16,000 worth of spending "without any supporting records".[18] Between 2008 and 2009, almost half of the charity's expenditure was on publicity and administration, not "direct charitable expenditure". Of the £116,000 charitable expenditure, more than half was spent on travel and subsistence. The charity was closed in 2012 due to financial problems. The charity's services were taken over by other charities including Kids Company.[19][20]

Political careerEdit

Parliamentary candidateEdit

On 29 March 2007, Bailey was selected at an open primary to be the Conservative candidate for the newly recreated parliamentary seat of Hammersmith in West London.[21] His campaign focused on issues surrounding families and social responsibility.[22] He failed to win the seat at the 2010 general election, achieving a swing of 0.5% from Labour which was two points below the average swing across London, and lost by 3,549 votes.[23][24][25]The Guardian revealed pejorative edits were made to the Wikipedia pages of Bailey's opponent Andy Slaughter during the campaign.[26] Derek Laud, a former Tory aide branded the Conservative party as "essentially racist", citing treatment of Bailey. Laud wrote: "They saw in Shaun a stereotype of what they wanted – black, presentable, committed. But as soon as he had served his purpose they dropped him".[27][28]

In the run-up to the 2015 general election, Bailey was unsuccessful in attempts to be chosen as the Conservative Party candidate for Kensington,[29][30] Croydon South,[31][32] and Uxbridge South and Ruislip.[33][34] At the 2017 general election, Bailey contested Lewisham West and Penge, where he finished in second place with 12,249 votes. His share of the vote declined by 1.1 percentage points compared with 2010, against an average increase of 0.3 percentage points for the Conservatives across London.[35][36]


Bailey was a Research Fellow[when?] at the Centre for Policy Studies,[37] writing for the Centre and for various newspapers, including the Evening Standard,[38] the Times,[39] and The Independent.[40]

Government adviserEdit

In 2011, Bailey was appointed as one of David Cameron's "Ambassadors for the Big Society".[41][42] In 2012, he became a special adviser to the Prime Minister David Cameron on youth and crime.[43] Bailey was paid a salary of £60,000 as a special adviser.[44] In 2013, he was moved to a part-time role in the Cabinet Office on a one-year contract and was paid substantially less. The Telegraph published claims he was pushed out of Downing Street by David Cameron's "clique of Old Etonian aides".[44]

London AssemblyEdit

In October 2015, Bailey was selected as the third Conservative candidate on the London Assembly top-up list, after Kemi Badenoch and Andrew Boff.[45] Following the loss of the Merton and Wandsworth constituency seat, the Conservative Party was allocated three top-up seats, and he was elected. If the Conservative candidate had held the constituency seat, the party would have only been allocated two top-up seats, and Bailey would not have been elected. He is currently deputy leader of the Conservative Greater London Authority Group.[46]


In 2018, Bailey joined Havering NHS Trust’s board as part of a diversity scheme. The NHS Improvement’s Next Director initiative aims to increase diversity at an executive level in the NHS through positive discrimination and Bailey was selected as a trainee.[47]

2020 London Mayoral electionEdit

In 2018, Bailey was selected as the Conservative candidate for the 2020 London Mayoral election.[48] The Evening Standard newspaper backed Bailey for the Conservative candidacy, suggesting Bailey "had been both the embodiment and standard-bearer of Tory modernisation".[49]

Political viewsEdit

Bailey has expressed concerns about liberalism, saying "the more liberal we have been, the more our communities have suffered".[4] Bailey has accused BBC's output as being biased and went on to suggested BBC "sees itself as propagandist for liberal values", and that the licence fee should be split with other broadcasters.[50]

At the 2008 Conservative Party conference, Bailey said: "Gals [sic] getting knocked up to get housing? It’s a cottage industry where I come from."[51][52]

In 2005, Bailey suggested that working class people need rules, otherwise they may turn to crime.[53]

In 2006, Bailey said "by giving children condoms and the amount of sexual material they are exposed to you normalise sex and they feel it is their divine right to have it, when actually it is not", and added "that is one of the things that drives their self-esteem up or down and leads to crime". It was later clarified that Bailey had not tried to suggest that access to abortions and contraceptive services had directly led to crime, however early sexual activity was a contributing factor to increased crime.[54]

Bailey has said that children are using abortion services as contraception and has favoured reducing the time limit from 24 weeks to 22 weeks.[55]


"Token ghetto boy"Edit

Kensington Labour MP Emma Dent Coad provoked controversy after a blog she wrote about Bailey in 2010, before her election to the House of Commons, which referred to him as a "token ghetto boy".[56] Dent Coad quoted former neighbours describing Bailey as a "free-loading scumbag" and "the most hated man in North Kensington". She suggested Bailey had been "used" by the Conservatives and that his "public school buddies will drop him like a hot potato" if he failed to get elected.[57] Dent Coad later apologised for "any offence caused" and said that she was just repeating what others had said.[58]

Accusations of Islamophobia and HinduphobiaEdit

Bailey has drawn criticism for retweeting a post which referred to London Mayor Sadiq Khan as the "mad mullah of Londonistan". The tweet, which has since been deleted, was shared by Bailey in 2017. When questioned about the matter by The Independent, Bailey’s spokesperson insisted that there is "no way" he would have the seen the tweet’s potentially Islamophobic caption, as he would have needed to click on it to see the full text.[59]

In October 2018, Bailey was accused of Islamophobia and Hinduphobia after it was reported that in 2005 Bailey had written a pamphlet entitled No Man’s Land for the Centre for Policy Studies. In it, Bailey argued that accommodating Muslims and Hindus "[robs] Britain of its community" and risked turning the country into a "crime riddled cess pool" as a result. He claimed that South Asians "bring their culture, their country and any problems they might have, with them" and that this was not a problem within the black community "because we’ve shared a religion and in many cases a language".[60] In the pamphlet, Bailey had confused the Hindu religion and the Hindi language: "You don’t know what to do. 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 (sic) days off."[3]

James Cleverly, then the Conservative Party Deputy Chairman, defended Bailey and insisted he was misunderstood, and that he was implying black boys were drifting into crime as a result of learning more about faiths other than "their own Christian culture".[61] Labour MP Andy Slaughter, who defeated Bailey at the 2010 general election, responded to the report by arguing: "It is increasingly clear that he holds views that are at best divisive and at worst Islamophobic."[62] The anti-racist campaign group Hope Not Hate called Bailey's comments "grotesque".[63] The comments were condemned by the Hindu Council of the United Kingdom who expressed "disappointment at the misrepresentation of our faith" by Bailey.[64]

Amir Sadjady, a Muslim Conservative was apparently told to ‘suck it up’ by Bailey and stop complaining after alleging discrimination within Conservative party. Bailey denies using the phrase “suck it up”.[65]


In 2005, Bailey wrote: "The boys have got this opinion that if a girl looks clean, and that generally means she’s good looking, she appeals to them, it is less likely she’ll have an infection". However, Bailey warned them: "If a girl appeals to one that way, she’ll appeal to all of them. She’ll tend to have been around".[53] Bailey also argued that handing out contraception only encourages teen pregnancy.[66] Labour MP Rosena Allin-Khan stated his comments constituted "appalling sexism and misogyny".[67]

At the 2008 Conservative Party conference, Bailey said: "Gals [sic] getting knocked up to get housing? It’s a cottage industry where I come from."[51][52]

Personal lifeEdit

Bailey grew up in social housing with his Jamaican mother, grandfather, grandmother, two aunts, and two uncles. His extended family lived on the same estate in Ladbroke Grove.[14][16]

Following selection as Conservative's PPC for Hammersmith in 2007, Bailey and his immediate family moved out of social housing and Bailey at the time said "the mice and damp got a bit much".[16] The couple live in a house owned jointly with a housing association.[68]

Bailey is married to Ellie, who in 2017 was training to be a history teacher.[69] They have two children.[70] Bailey is a practising Christian and attends an Anglican church with his family.[71][68]


  • Bailey, Shaun (November 2005). "No Man's Land" (PDF). Centre for Policy Studies. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
  • Bailey S and Najjar N, 'Time for a Dose of Euro-Realism', Smart Government, 2015

External linksEdit


  1. ^ "David Cameron's Former Adviser Is Running As The Tory Candidate For London Mayor". HuffPost UK. 28 September 2018. Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  2. ^ "Conservative candidates chosen for London Assembly top up list". ConservativeHome. Retrieved 20 March 2016.
  3. ^ a b Sonwalkar, Prasun (4 October 2018). "Anti-Hindu, Muslim views return to haunt London mayor candidate Shaun Bailey". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d Muir, Hugh (2 May 2007). "Black and blue". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
  5. ^ a b "The House I Grew up In featuring Shaun Bailey". The House I Grew Up In. 3 September 2008. BBC. BBC Radio 4. Archived from the original on 23 April 2010. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  6. ^ Barnicoat, Becky (20 March 2010). "Meet the David Cameron generation". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
  7. ^ "Tory mayoral hopeful Shaun Bailey calls for Home Office head to quit over Windrush scandal". Evening Standard. 30 November 2018. Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  8. ^ a b Geoghegan, Tom (8 April 2008). "'Army Cadets saved my life'". BBC News.
  9. ^ Hill, Dave (4 October 2018). "Conservative mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey said he committed burglary in his youth". OnLondon. London. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  10. ^ "The House I Grew up In, featuring Shaun Bailey". BBC Radio 4. 3 September 2008. Archived from the original on 23 April 2010. Retrieved 28 August 2008. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  11. ^ "Word on the street: The political thoughts of Shaun Bailey". The Guardian. London. 20 March 2010. Retrieved 2 May 2007.
  12. ^ "OBV Profile: Shaun Bailey | OBV". Retrieved 13 December 2018.
  13. ^ Roberts, Georgia (30 July 2018). "Who's who: Tory candidates for London mayor". BBC News. Retrieved 13 December 2018.
  14. ^ a b c "State schooling and old Labour families". The Daily Telegraph. 29 April 2007. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  15. ^ Hill, Dave (5 May 2010). "What if David Cameron's London stars fail to shine?". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  16. ^ a b c Oakeshott, Isabel (8 April 2007). "Not your average Tory candidate". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 7 October 2018.
  17. ^ Wiggins, Kaye. "Former big society ambassador's charity closes because of funding problems". Retrieved 13 December 2018.
  18. ^ Baldwin, Tom (17 April 2010). "Rising stars face questions on Tory community work". The Times. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  19. ^ Wiggins, Kaye (29 February 2012). "Former big society ambassador's charity closes because of funding problems". Third Sector. Haymarket Media Group Ltd. Retrieved 16 September 2018.
  20. ^ McTague, Tom (2 March 2012). "Flagship 'Big Society' charity closes... due to lack of funds". Daily Mirror. MGN Limited. Retrieved 16 September 2018.
  21. ^ CPS Press Release Archived 30 April 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  22. ^ Watson, Samantha (14 May 2007). "OBV Profile: Shaun Bailey". Operation Black Vote. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
  23. ^ "Election 2010 | Constituency | Hammersmith". BBC News. Retrieved 16 September 2018.
  24. ^ "Election 2010 - Constituency - Hammersmith". BBC News. Retrieved 21 March 2019.
  25. ^ "Election 2010 - Results - London". BBC News. Retrieved 21 March 2019.
  26. ^ Dave Hill (22 April 2010). "Battle for Hammersmith: Shaun Bailey, Andy Slaughter and the great Wikipedia mystery". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 October 2018.
  27. ^ Rebecca Perring (18 January 2015). "The Conservative Party are 'essentially racist' according to former Tory aide". The Express. Retrieved 10 October 2018.
  28. ^ James Hanning (18 January 2015). "Conservative party is still racist, says a former adviser Derek Laud". The Independent. Retrieved 10 October 2018.
  29. ^ Kevin Rawlinson. "Victoria Borwick selected as Conservative candidate for Kensington | Politics". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 September 2018.
  30. ^ "Victoria Borwick selected for Kensington". ConservativeHome. 13 March 2015. Retrieved 16 September 2018.
  31. ^ "Exclusive: We reveal the names of the longlisted candidates in Croydon South". ConservativeHome. 1 November 2013. Retrieved 16 September 2018.
  32. ^ "Final four announced for Croydon South". ConservativeHome. 10 November 2013. Retrieved 16 September 2018.
  33. ^ Hope, Christopher (1 September 2014). "James Cracknell to stand as a Tory MP". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 16 September 2018.
  34. ^ Hayes, Alan (1 September 2014). "Former Cameron special adviser in the running for Uxbridge seat". Get West London. Reach plc. Retrieved 16 September 2018.
  35. ^ "Lewisham West & Penge parliamentary constituency - Election 2017". BBC News. Retrieved 16 September 2018.
  36. ^
  37. ^ Centre for Policy Studies Website Archived 20 March 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  38. ^ Bailey, Shaun (19 May 2009). "The Government's given up the war on drugs". London Evening Standard. Archived from the original on 10 May 2010. Retrieved 2 May 2010. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  39. ^ Bailey, Shaun (3 February 2008). "Stop and search saves lives". The Sunday Times. Archived from the original on 22 October 2012. Retrieved 2 May 2010. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link) (Archived by )
  40. ^ "Shaun Bailey: An entire generation left out of the economy". The Independent. London. 21 January 2010. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
  41. ^ Asthana, Anushka (13 August 2011). "'If this was a social reaction, it was a social reaction to the need for Gucci jeans'". The Times. Retrieved 5 October 2018.
  42. ^ "BBC Newsnight 31 March 2011". BBC News. Retrieved 16 September 2018.
  43. ^ "List of special advisers in post at 4 April 2012" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 August 2012. Retrieved 13 July 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  44. ^ a b Dominiczak, Peter (10 May 2013). "Shaun Bailey, the Prime Minister's only black aide, was 'frozen out by David Cameron's clique'". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 5 October 2018.
  45. ^ "Conservative candidates chosen for London Assembly top up list". ConservativeHome.
  46. ^ "Shaun Bailey". GLA Conservatives. Retrieved 7 October 2018.
  47. ^ Clemenson, Matthew (17 April 2019). "London Assembly member Shaun Bailey joins Havering NHS trust's board as part of innovative diversity scheme". Romford Recorder. Retrieved 16 October 2018.
  48. ^ Roberts, Georgia (30 July 2018). "London mayoral race: Conservative candidate profiles". BBC News. Retrieved 28 September 2018.
  49. ^ "Evening Standard comment: We back Shaun Bailey". Evening Standard. 18 September 2018. Retrieved 18 September 2018.
  50. ^ Marsh , Marsh(2012). The Liberal Delusion:The Roots of Our Current Moral Crisis Arena Books. p. 116.
  51. ^ a b Nelson, Fraser (7 December 2008). "Tackling the giant evil of idleness". The Spectator. London. Retrieved 7 October 2018.
  52. ^ a b Savage, Michael (7 October 2018). "Tory pick for London mayor under fire for remarks on benefits". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 7 October 2018.
  53. ^ a b Wickham, Alex (9 October 2018). "The Tories' Candidate For London Mayor Once Wrote That "Good Looking" Girls "Tend To Have Been Around"". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  54. ^ Bienkov, Adam (11 October 2018). "Conservative mayor candidate Shaun Bailey: Condoms 'normalise sex' and push young people into crime". Business Insider. Retrieved 21 October 2018.
  55. ^ Elgot, Jessica (12 October 2018). "London mayoral candidate said children used abortion as contraception". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 13 October 2018.
  56. ^ "Labour MP apologises over 'token ghetto boy' remarks in 2010 blog post". Shropshire Star. 14 November 2017. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
  57. ^ "Labour MP described black Tory candidate as a 'token ghetto boy'". The Daily Teleraph. 13 November 2017. Retrieved 5 October 2018.
  58. ^ "Emma Dent Coad MP apologises over 'racist blog post'". BBC News. 14 November 2017. Retrieved 14 November 2017.
  59. ^ Watts, Joe (27 September 2018). "Tory mayor candidate in Sadiq Khan Islamophobia". The Independent. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
  60. ^ "Tory London mayoral candidate claimed celebrating Hindu and Muslim festivals has turned Britain into 'cesspool of crime'". The Independent. 3 October 2018. Retrieved 3 February 2019.
  61. ^ Sabbagh, Dan (4 October 2018). "Tory deputy chairman admits concerns about Shaun Bailey remarks". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  62. ^ Sabbagh, Dan (3 October 2018). "Multiculturalism 'robs Britain of its community' - Tory London mayor pick". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
  63. ^ "Tory London mayor candidate's comments 'Islamophobic'". BBC News. 4 October 2018. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  64. ^ "Hindus in the UK". Retrieved 3 February 2019.
  65. ^ Sabbagh, Dan (6 March 2019). "Tories are prejudiced against Islam, says council candidate". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  66. ^
  67. ^ Foster, Matt (10 October 2018). "Tory mayoral candidate defends 'raw' comments on women who have 'been around'". PoliticsHome. Retrieved 10 October 2018.
  68. ^ a b Tweedie, Neil (30 September 2008). "Interview: Shaun Bailey – he's black, he's tough, and he's a Tory". The Daily Telegraph. London: Telegraph Media Group. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
  69. ^ Butter, Susannah (24 November 2017). "I'm not a 'token ghetto boy', says Shaun Bailey, I want to be the Prime Minister". Evening Standard]. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  70. ^ Murphy, Joe (11 September 2018). "Would-be Tory mayor Shaun Bailey: Only my zero tolerance approach can halt London crimewave". Evening Standard. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  71. ^ Harpin, Lee (12 September 2018). "Antisemitism row breaks out as Sadiq Khan dismisses accusation he's 'doing next to nothing'". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 13 October 2018.