Conservative mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey: Single mums 'deliberately become pregnant' for benefits

GettyShaun Bailey.
  • Shaun Bailey, the Conservatives’ London Mayoral candidate wrote that young single girls in inner cities deliberately become pregnant in order to secure homes and benefits.
  • “These people are not stupid. If the state offers them money for doing something, they will do it. It is as simple as that.”
  • Bailey told the Conservative conference in 2008 that there was a “cottage industry” in single mothers getting pregnant for handouts.
  • The newly unearthed comments follow the emergence of a policy paper written by Bailey in which he suggested that Hindu and Muslim communities contributed to communities becoming “crime-riddled cesspool[s].”

LONDON – Single girls in inner cities “deliberately become pregnant” in order to secure homes and benefits from the government, the Conservatives’ London mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey, wrote in 2006.

Bailey, who has secured the nomination to take on London mayor Sadiq Khan, wrote in the Telegraph that “any young girl living in the inner city will be clued up on how the system works.”

In the comments, unearthed by Business Insider, he added: “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.”

He went on: “It is the same with benefits. These people are not stupid. If the state offers them money for doing something, they will do it. It is as simple as that.

Bailey wrote that the state needed to get away from the idea that it is “acceptable” to be a single mother.

“Many of the first single mums were housed in my part of London, reassuring them that it was acceptable – even desirable – for mothers to have babies on their own,” he wrote, adding “that assumption is flawed because we now know that a child growing up without a father is so much more likely to be disadvantaged.”

In similar comments speaking at the Conservative party conference in 2008, Bailey also said there was a “cottage industry” in young women getting pregnant for state support, the Observer reports today.

“Girls getting knocked up to get housing? It’s a cottage industry where I come from,” he said.

Bailey’s comments about single mothers follow his suggestion, in a policy paper he wrote in 2008 suggesting that Hindu and Muslim communities “robs Britain of its community” contributing to the UK becoming a “crime-riddled cesspool.”

The Conservatives on Sunday accused Labour of misrepresenting his past comments.

A spokesman for Bailey said: “Instead of trying to misrepresent and take out of context historical comments from Shaun Bailey [the mayor] Sadiq Khan’s team should try and focus on tackling the soaring crime rates in London, getting Crossrail back on track and sorting out his dismal record of housing. He needs to spend more time focusing on his day job and less time on the red carpet.”

Dawn Butler, the shadow women and equalities minister, told the Observer: “Shaun Bailey must urgently clarify his views on domestic violence as his words will raise serious alarm bells with men and women alike. The views he expressed just a few years ago are repulsive and dangerous and have no place in modern society.

“If Shaun has been on a journey since he said these hurtful things we must hear how his views have now changed.”

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