A far-left Labour MP, who repeatedly labelled a black, right-wing political rival a “token ghetto boy” and a “low-life”, has refused to acknowledge her language was racist.
Emma Dent Coad, who was elected in Kensington in June, criticised Shaun Bailey, the then Tory candidate for Hammersmith, in a blog written in April 2010.
In the post, she questions Mr. Bailey’s claims to be working class, accused him of “stigmatising” the area, and mocked his interest in the traditional English pastime fox hunting as “surely a prank”.
— Shaun Bailey AM (@ShaunBaileyUK) November 12, 2017
She wrote: “Who can say where this man will ever fit in, however hard he tries? One day he is the ‘token ghetto boy’ standing behind D Cameron, the next ‘looking interested’ beside G Osborne. Ever felt used?
“Two things are certain. One is that his current posse of public school buddies will drop him like a hot potato if he doesn’t get elected. The other is that he will no longer be welcome in North Ken if he does.”
The post also quotes an unnamed associate who called Mr. Bailey a “free-loading scumbag”.
In a tweet in August the next year, Ms. Dent Coad repeated the racial slur, describing Mr. Bailey as “Sean [sic] ‘ghetto man’ Bailey?” adding: “What a low-life.”
On social media on Tuesday, Ms. Dent Coad has re-tweeted messages defending her words and appears to be unapologetic.
One message claims she was “quoting” Mr. Bailey and another describes him as “posh and pretending to come from a rough background”.
Other far-left Labour MPs appeared to defend the comments.
Clive Lewis not very apologetic after accusing BME Labour activist & ex-staffer of not caring about Conservative racist comments pic.twitter.com/7Q6SyTNGqA
— Helena Horton (@horton_official) November 14, 2017
Mr. Bailey, now a London Assembly Member, told The Times: “I am shocked and saddened by the hate-filled, racist article written by Emma Dent Coad.
“During my time in politics I have dealt with prejudice and attacks from hardline groups, including the BNP, but not once have I been labelled a ‘token ghetto boy’.
“Her use of language should not be acceptable for an elected politician, particularly one representing minority groups in London, and she should be ashamed.
“As someone who was born into a poor family in Ladbroke Grove, I am proud of my charity work helping deprived community groups in the area Ms Dent Coad, who has a long history of public intimidation, now represents.
“She should publicly apologise for these latest slurs — not just to me but to the wider black community — and Labour should consider her position.”
A spokesman for Ms. Dent Coad said: “As is clear from the original blog post, Emma was quoting Mr. Bailey’s own comments about parts of the borough, plus those of his Conservative colleagues on Kensington and Chelsea council.”