Shaun Bailey: It's "Distressing" London Mayor Candidates Are Focusing On Brexit, Not Crime

4 October 2019, 16:34 | Updated: 4 October 2019, 18:35

London Mayor candidate Shaun Bailey says it's "distressing" that other candidates are focusing on Brexit instead of finding a solution for a city "riddled with crime."

Liberal Democrat candidate Siobhan Benita told Shelagh earlier that Rory Stewart's move to stand for London Mayor makes Tory Shaun Bailey's campaign "dead in the water."

"It's incredible to me that everyone seems to be running their London campaigns on Brexit. I'm trying to have a conversation with 9 million Londoners who are living in a city that's riddled with crime.

The fact that they're all concentrating on their own personal names I find slightly distressing and I hope that we can have a campaign that's about London and the people who live in it.

Shelagh pointed out that it's also about the person as well, "you have to present yourself to the people as a man with ideas and a man with the character to run the city."

Rory Stewart has announced today he will run independently for London Mayor
Rory Stewart has announced today he will run independently for London Mayor. Picture: PA

Bailey replied: "There's a difference between presenting yourself as having ideas, for instance my idea to get record amounts of police on the streets of London, my idea to give record amounts of housing, they're ideas. What I'm sensing is people making it about themselves.

"I'm glad Rory's going to walk London, he will learn what I've been experiencing for the last 25 years as a youth worker.

So if someone's coming to bring the focus to the challenges of London, and help us focus on finding a result, I'm all up for that. I just hope we don't make it about personalities.

Shelagh said: "The reality is that people who are still open to voting Conservative, and certainly that will be a large number of the people you'll be going after I'm sure, might now be looking elsewhere. How are you going to counter that?"

Bailey replied that his aim is to "go after Londoners."

"Anybody who knows me knows that I don't carry the party badge too heavily, I'm much more about getting a solution. I don't believe any political philosophy has a monopoly on good ideas, I'm about getting things done."

Lib Dem candidate Siobhan Benita said Tory candidate Shaun Bailey&squot;s campaign is "dead in the water"
Lib Dem candidate Siobhan Benita said Tory candidate Shaun Bailey's campaign is "dead in the water". Picture: PA

Shelagh mentioned Boris Johnson's praise of Bailey.

Shaun Bailey said that he was "glad Boris has very warm feelings towards me", but he said we must remember "where those feelings came from" - Johnson brought Bailey into City Hall to "have a look at how we do policing in London" and Bailey said he had "robust views which weren't always in line" with Johnson's.

Bailey said: "I will support anyone, or take support from anyone, that's helping me to solve the problem.

"We live in a city of 9 million people, you've got to get things done. If you don't you end up running a campaign that's about signalling your virtue because you're trying to get the next big job. For me, it's about delivering for London. It always has been and always will be."

Shelagh asked after Bailey's alleged comments that "young women were having babies to get council flats."

"One, that isn't what I said. I was talking about a very specific situation and what I was showing to people is I come from one of the poorest communities in London and know what it's about. I'm about dealing with the tough situations that people find themselves in."

"We were talking about housing and how the system had forced people in my community to make themselves vulnerable to even stand a chance of being housed. That's a conversation that was being had then and unfortunately still 15 years later."

Shelagh asked if Sadiq Khan was taking the right approach with the Extinction Rebellion.

"You can't keep inviting public unrest because it has a ripple effect across society and I think if I was the Mayor of London, I'd say to the Extinction Rebellion come and see me, let's talk about what you want to achieve, let's talk about what I'm capable of.

You've got to meet Londoners halfway, you can't just keep us stranded for four days while you make your protest, you can't keep getting in the way of their livelihoods." He said the protestors could make noise in his office instead of on the streets.