Shaun Bailey (AM)

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Shaun Bailey (born May 1971) is a British politician who has been a member of the London Assembly since 2016. A member of the Conservative Party, he is the party's candidate for the forthcoming 2021 London mayoral election.

Shaun Bailey

Shaun Bailey 2020 (cropped).jpg
Bailey in 2020
Member of the London Assembly
Assumed office
6 May 2016
Preceded byVictoria Borwick
Constituency9th Additional Member
Personal details
Born1971 (age 48–49)
North Kensington, London, England
Political partyConservative (since at least 2010)
Alma materLondon South Bank University

Born in North Kensington to a working-class British Jamaican family, Bailey earned a degree in computer aided engineering from London South Bank University. In 2006, he co-founded the charity MyGeneration, which focused on assisting young people; it disbanded amid financial problems in 2012. Bailey also worked as a researcher for the Centre for Policy Studies think tank and wrote several articles in the British press. Joining the Conservatives, he served as Prime Minister David Cameron's special adviser on youth and crime from 2010 to 2013. Bailey stood unsuccessfully as Conservative parliamentary candidate for Hammersmith in 2010 and Lewisham West and Penge in 2017, although was elected a London Assembly member in 2016.

In 2018, Bailey was selected as the Conservative candidate in the 2021 London mayoral election (which was scheduled for 2020, but later postponed until 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic).

Early lifeEdit

Bailey was born in May 1971 in North Kensington, London. 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.[1] 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.[2] The family are of Jamaican origin.[3] His grandfather came to the UK from Jamaica in 1947 as part of the Windrush generation. Bailey said his grandfather fought for Britain in the Second World War.[4][5]

Bailey attended Henry Compton School in Fulham and left with five CSEs.[1] When Bailey was twelve years old, his mother sent him to join the Army Cadet Force in White City.[6] When he was about nineteen years old, he became a Sergeant-Instructor and stayed in the Cadets for another ten years.[6] 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.[2] After leaving secondary school, Bailey attended Paddington College, where he achieved two A-levels and a BTEC.[1]

Bailey was the subject of BBC Radio 4 series The House I Grew Up In, in which he said he had 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".[7][8] 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."[9]

Career before politicsEdit

Bailey graduated at the age of 27 with a 2.2 in computer aided engineering from London South Bank University.[10] Previously, he worked as a security guard at Wembley Stadium and the London Trocadero to fund his university tuition.[11] He was unemployed for two years.[12][13] Bailey said: "I did bad, bad jobs. I basically worked sweeping factories, delivering beer and security work".[12] At least twelve members of his peer group spent time in prison.[14]

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.[15] 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".[16] 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.[17][18]

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.[19] His campaign focused on issues surrounding families and social responsibility.[20] 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.[21][22][23]

In the run-up to the 2015 general election, Bailey was unsuccessful in attempts to be chosen as the Conservative Party candidate for Kensington,[24][25] Croydon South,[26][27] and Uxbridge South and Ruislip.[28][29] 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.[30][31]


Bailey was a Research Fellow[when?] at the Centre for Policy Studies,[32] writing for the Centre and for various newspapers, including the Evening Standard,[33] the Times,[34] and The Independent.[35]

Government adviserEdit

In 2011, Bailey was appointed as one of David Cameron's "Ambassadors for the Big Society".[36][37] In 2012, he became a special adviser to the Prime Minister David Cameron on youth and crime.[38] Bailey was paid a salary of £60,000 as a special adviser.[39] 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".[39]

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.[40] He is currently deputy leader of the Conservative Greater London Authority Group.[41]


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".[42] 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.[43] Bailey subsequently called the comments "racist" and "hate-filled".[44] Dent Coad later apologised for "any offence caused" and said that she was just repeating what others had said.[45]

In 2018, Bailey joined Havering NHS Trust’s board as part of a diversity scheme as a trainee.[46]

2021 London mayoral electionEdit

In 2018, Bailey was selected as the Conservative candidate for the upcoming London Mayoral election (then scheduled to be held in 2020 and later postponed until 2021).[47] The Evening Standard newspaper endorsed Bailey for the Conservative candidacy, suggesting Bailey "had been both the embodiment and standard-bearer of Tory modernisation".[48]

Bailey was subject to racism during the campaign on social media and in a letter posted to a Conservative party office.[49]

Following his selection, Bailey was criticised for things he had written, said and shared on social media. He shared a tweet with an image with a caption describing Sadiq Khan, the incumbent mayor of London, as the "mad mullah of Londonistan". Bailey's spokesperson said he wouldn't have shared it if he had seen the caption.[50]

In October 2018, Bailey was accused of Islamophobia and Hinduphobia over the contents of a pamphlet entitled No Man’s Land, written for the Centre for Policy Studies in 2005. In it, Bailey said that celebrating Muslim and Hindu festivals "[robs] Britain of its community" and risked turning the country into a "crime riddled cesspool" as a result. He claimed that South Asians "bring their culture, their country and any problems they might have, with them" but that this was not a problem within the black community "because we’ve shared a religion and in many cases a language".[51] In the pamphlet, Bailey 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.[52] James Cleverly, then the deputy chair of the Conservative Party, said that Bailey had been misunderstood and would not be sanctioned.[53]

Mayoral PoliciesEdit

Bailey promised to increase the size of London’s Metropolitan Police to 40,000 officers and introduce new ‘stop and scan’ technology that will use thermal imaging in knife crime hotspots,[54] campaigned to reverse the increase in the Congestion Charge to £15,[55] plans to create a taxpayer-owned housebuilding organisation controlled by the Mayor,[56] and plans to make every London bus electric by the end of his second term.[57]

In August 2020, he announced he would encourage larger businesses in London to anonymously drug test employees in an effort to reduce drug consumption and crime.[58][59]

In September 2020, Bailey proposed that companies should be able to pay to rename tube lines and stations with commercial brand names. Labour responded that the amount potentially raised over five years would be less than one month's Transport for London revenue.[60]

Political viewsEdit

Bailey has expressed concerns about liberalism, saying "the more liberal we have been, the more our communities have suffered".[1] Bailey has accused BBC's output as being biased and went on to suggest the BBC "sees itself as propagandist for liberal values", and that the licence fee should be split with other broadcasters.[61]

In 2005, Bailey suggested that working class people "look to rules", otherwise they may turn to crime.[62]

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.[63][64]

Bailey has said that children are using abortion services as contraception and has favoured reducing the time limit from 24 weeks to 22 weeks.[65]

In an article in The Daily Telegraph in 2006, Bailey claimed that single mothers deliberately become pregnant in order to gain benefits, saying that they "won't be too careful about not becoming parents. In some cases, they will deliberately become pregnant - as they know that if they do, they will get a flat".[66][67] At an event at a Conservative party conference in 2008, he repeated these claims, saying that "Girls getting knocked up to get housing? It’s a cottage industry where I come from."[68][69]

Bailey has argued in support of allowing the police to have greater use of stop and search powers.[70][71]

Bailey has stated his support for greater equality for Black people. Speaking about the Black Lives Matter movement, Bailey commented that the movement "made everybody feel they are racist and actually very few people are."[72] Prior to Black Lives Matter protests that occurred in London in 2020 taking place, he argued that they should be allowed to happen, because otherwise the tension behind such protests "will just spill out into the summer and be very tough for the police".[73]

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.[12][14]

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".[14] The couple live in a house owned jointly with a housing association.[74]

Bailey is married to Ellie with whom he has two children.[75][76] He attends an Anglican church.[77][74]


  • 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


  1. ^ a b c d Muir, Hugh (2 May 2007). "Black and blue". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
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  31. ^
  32. ^ Centre for Policy Studies Website Archived 20 March 2007 at the Wayback Machine
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  37. ^ "BBC Newsnight 31 March 2011". BBC News. Retrieved 16 September 2018.
  38. ^ "List of special advisers in post at 4 April 2012" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 August 2012. Retrieved 13 July 2012.
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  61. ^ Marsh , Marsh(2012). The Liberal Delusion:The Roots of Our Current Moral Crisis Arena Books. p. 116.
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External linksEdit