Friday 12 October 2018 11:48 am

London mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey faces fresh wave of criticism over teenage pregnancy remarks


Conservative London mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey has faced fresh criticism after comments he made about contraception and teenage pregnancy came to light this week.

Bailey said that the act of giving young people access to condoms and abortion services "normalise[s] sex" and pushes them towards a life of crime.

"You have had local authorities up and down the country who go to schools and give children condoms and say they are combating teenage pregnancy. No, they are not," he said in comments to the Home Affairs Select Committee in 2006.

"Abortions for girls as young as 14 years without their parents’ knowledge, has normalised many aspects of teenage behaviour that lead to criminality," added Bailey at the time.

Read more: Shaun Bailey elected as Conservative candidate for London mayoral elections

He also claimed that single motherhood was a "career choice" for teenaged girls to secure stable housing. 

"At the very least that girl will think, 'If I get pregnant I’m definitely getting housed', so she is not worried," he said.

The 47-year-old was selected as Conservative candidate last month, defeating experienced contender and fellow London Assembly member Andrew Boff for the nomination.

He will stand against Labour Mayor Sadiq Khan in 2020 and has criticised Labour over integration issues and rising crime. 

Earlier this month Bailey earned criticism for perceived anti-Muslim sentiment in comments on multiculturalism unearthed from over a decade ago.

Read more: Tory mayoral candidate slammed for multiculturalism comments

Bailey has since written a column in The Telegraph responding to the most recent criticisms of comments he made in the past. He said that he had not lived a "perfect life" but that politics needed ordinary people that didn't talk like politicians or the "chattering classes".

"I have complained in the rather raw and ill-judged manner of a man figuring out his world – about the lack of integration in our communities and its impact on social cohesion. This is how it was growing up like I did, where I did. Apologies if it doesn’t match up to the fairy-tale version of London lived by the more fortunate," said Bailey.

"What you’ll read or hear are the words of a man trying – and not always succeeding – to make sense of his world. A man trying to get the people in that world to accept their responsibility to do better," he added.

Labour MP Karen Buck criticised Bailey's comments. "These backward and illiberal views are further evidence that Shaun Bailey doesn’t understand modern London. He must now say if he still believes that providing contraception to teenagers encourages crime," she told Business Insider.