Tory councillor suspended over claims he told a white voter Sadiq Khan would treat them 'like dirt' if he became London Mayor 

  • Merton councillor David Dean facing a party investigation over allegations  
  • Dean said to have made the claims while canvassing for Zac Goldsmith
  • He was also on the ballot himself as a Tory London Assembly candidate 
  • Conservative Party suspended Dean after allegations emerged today 
  • He denies racism charge and insisted the exchange was doorstep 'banter' and that his remarks were taken out of context 

Councillor David Dean was suspended by the Conservative Party today over alleged comments about Sadiq Khan 

A senior Conservative councillor in London has been suspended from the party after it was alleged he told a voter Sadiq Khan would treat white people 'like dirt' as mayor.

David Dean was accused of making the remarks while knocking doors in Putney on behalf of Zac Goldsmith's doomed campaign for City Hall.

Mr Dean, who is a local councillor in Merton and ran for the London Assembly in May, denies accusations of racism and has insisted the remarks were 'banter' on the doorstep.

Mr Dean is alleged to have said: 'As a white man ... you will be a pariah in your own town. He will treat you like dirt.'

The Putney resident revealed the exchange to the Evening Standard and claimed part of the conversation had been recorded by accident.

A Conservative spokesman said: 'As soon as we became aware of his comments he was immediately suspended from the party, pending an investigation.' 

The Standard said a complaint was filed to Mr Goldsmith's Back Zac campaign two days before the mayoral election on May 5.

It alleged: 'I recently had David Dean on my doorstep to canvass for support in the upcoming election.

'I mentioned that I was a previous Conservative supporter and in fact had held office within the party many years ago but was concerned with the way the party had moved forward and for the first time may not vote for the party.'

He added: 'More worryingly was his comment regarding Sadiq Khan that ''as a white man... you will be a pariah in your own town. He will treat you like dirt''.

'I would very much like to hear if this racist approach is also the opinion of Zac Goldsmith and if he supports this opinion.

'My neighbours are Muslim and could probably overhear the conversation. Somebody in the house recorded this part of the conversation which you are welcome to listen to.'

Mr Dean told the Standard he was not racist and added: 'Have you met my wife? She's from Cyprus.'

The father of three, who lost his London Assembly contest, added: 'I was in a situation where I was laughing and joking with people and someone else has recorded a snippet of it.

Labour's Mr Khan eventually won the mayoral contest by a huge margin, defeating his Tory rival by more than 300,000 votes

'[The person I was canvassing] had lots of complaints about my political party and I said I wasn't having any of that. I said x,y,z and we ended up shaking hands whilst he told me to f*** off.

'He was loud and swearing but always with a smile on his face. So 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.'

The person who made the complaint was not identified by the Standard story.

He said: 'It was not remotely banter or light-hearted. I was looking for serious replies to my concerns as a voter. It was a coincidence a portion of the conversation happened to be recorded.

'I find it repulsive that anyone could think that the colour of my skin or the colour of the candidate's skin should have any bearing on how I cast my vote.'

Mr Dean said he had 'no comment to make' when contacted by MailOnline.  

Mr Dean is alleged to have made the comments while canvassing for Zac Goldsmith, pictured moments after his landslide defeat to Mr Khan was confirmed

 

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