Elham Asaad Buaras
Merton Councillor and former GLA candidate David Dean has been suspended from the Conservative Party for allegedly making racist comments about newly elected London Mayor Sadiq Khan.
His suspension follows a complaint from a Putney resident, after a recording was made of Dean telling him that, if Khan became Mayor of London, “as a white man… you will be a pariah in your own town. He will treat you like dirt.”
The comments were allegedly made a week prior to the mayoral election on May 6, when Dean was out canvassing for Zac Goldsmith and for his own GLA seat for Merton and Wandsworth, after the resident in question expressed doubts about voting Conservative.
Leader of Merton Conservatives, Councillor Oonagh Moulton, said: “I can confirm that David Dean has been suspended from the party, and therefore from the group, pending an investigation into a matter that occurred during the GLA campaign. He remains suspended from the group for the moment, until the investigation is completed. ”
The Dundonald ward councillor lost the previously Conservative-held GLA seat to Labour’s Leonie Cooper by one per cent of the vote.
Dean denied he was racist and said: “It was a bit of banter. Whoever has recorded this clearly doesn’t like the Conservatives. There is a context to this and I need to talk to my party.”
However, Cooper said: “I am shocked that someone would say something so offensive – even as banter it is unacceptable.“I have never previously been contacted during a campaign by Conservatives telling me they were embarrassed and ashamed, and planning to abstain or vote for me and Sadiq, so I can well believe some people said so directly to David Dean.
“His response is disgraceful, and trying to pretend it was just banter makes it worse.”
A Conservative spokesman said: “As soon as we became aware of his comments he was immediately suspended from the party, pending an investigation.”