Tory mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey has accused Sadiq Khan of being a “con man” and of “betraying” black working class communities as he tries to reposition his campaign.
Bailey told City A.M. after a speech that Khan had pulled a “confidence trick” on Londoners and had been an habitual liar as mayor.
The mayoral candidate spoke at a Westminster think tank today, where he appeared to re-position himself in the campaign as someone who will fight to end inequalities for working class Londoners.
During the speech, Bailey said “healing the race and class divide will be a priority for me as mayor”, while also adding that Khan only cared about winning black people’s votes and not improving their life outcomes.
He also told City A.M. after the speech that Khan “regularly lies to Londoners”.
Bailey alleged that the mayor lied about not knowing about Crossrail delays; that he knowingly lied at a City Hall session when he said London was safer now than when he was elected in 2016; and that he lied when he recently said Transport for London (TfL) now has less people earning over £100,000 than it did when he took over.
A spokesperson for the mayor said: “This is complete rubbish and really desperate stuff from the Tory candidate who simply has the wrong values for London and is lashing out with personal attacks in desperation.”
City Hall’s press office also contested some of the claims made by Bailey, saying the mayor had been “fully transparent” about Crossrail and that TfL salaries had only increased through employees working over time.
Bailey, a current London Assembly member, trailed Khan in the polls by more than 20 per cent earlier this year and faced calls in a June Financial Times article from anonymous Tory grandees to quit the race.
Since then, the Conservative Campaign Headquarters (CCHQ) has increased its support for Bailey and brought in a new team to run his campaign.
The election was originally scheduled for May this year, however it was cancelled due to Covid-19.
Former candidates Rory Stewart and Siobhan Benita have quit the race since it was postponed.