The Conservative candidate for London mayor has been accused of making “degrading” comments about women in a pamphlet in which he claimed young girls in London offer sexual favours in return for drugs.
The comments came in a report entitled No Man’s Land, in which Shaun Bailey set out his analysis of the social problems of crime and welfare dependency on the disadvantaged London estates where he was a youth worker.
In the document, published in 2005, he said that girls in the area “let themselves be shared by the boys” in order to get drugs and attention and avoid being labelled “frigid”.
And he said that many “mistake sex for affection” and become pregnant in the hope of “unconditional love” from their baby but end up lonely and depressed as a result.
Labour MP Abena Oppong-Asare described the comments as “a disgrace”.
“Someone who holds these views should not be considered a serious candidate in the race to be the mayor of a city of more than 4 million women and girls,” said Ms Oppong-Asare.
“Depressingly, we’re getting used to hearing about the Tory candidate’s Trump-style ‘fake news’ and offensive views on diversity and women’s rights – but these latest comments are particularly disgusting and degrading and show that he simply does not share London’s values.”
But Mr Bailey’s team accused Labour of taking his past comments out of context in order to distract attention away from mayor Sadiq Khan’s record ahead of the 6 May election.
A campaign spokesman said: “London faces serious problems. So instead of trying to misrepresent Shaun Bailey’s historical comments and take them out of context, the mayor’s team should focus on tackling the soaring crime rates in London, getting Crossrail back on track and sorting out his dismal record of housing.
“And if Sadiq Khan spent more time on his day job, rather than digging up the past, Londoners wouldn’t be paying the price through higher fares, higher taxes and higher driving charges.”
No Man’s Land, published by the Centre for Young Policy Studies think tank, sets out a bleak picture of life on the North Kensington estates where Mr Bailey grew up and spent time as a youth worker, focusing on teenage pregnancy, crime and drug use.
“Cannabis use here is equal across girls and boys,” he wrote.” Girls are more likely to smoke to begin with – they have a smoker’s attitude.
“The problem is if they come across a group of boys who smoke weed they need to appear cool. Then drinking and smoking and hanging around with the undesirables leads them to adopting a different sexual code.
“They let themselves be shared by the boys. I have been told that if a girl fancies your friend, you’ll make her sleep with you first to get to your friend. Young girls are starting to accept this.
“Easy access to pornography lowers their sexual acceptance too and children are quick to accept a lower threshold. Sex is no longer special. Although these girls are not walking the street as prostitutes they will hang around with certain people. They will give sexual favours because it means they get drugs and stuff like that.
“Then there is a set of girls who get passed around a crowd of boys. The next step up from this is when you get girls starting to have a baby just to get real love.”
Mr Bailey wrote that young girls on the estates “put out” to gain status and popularity as well as “access to the popular boys”.
But he wrote: “All the girls – each and every one – has told me that they wished that they had waited before they lost their virginity.”