Jeremy Corbyn urged to discipline Emma Dent Coad after Labour MP attacked for ‘cowardly’ response to calling black Tory a ‘token ghetto boy’

JEREMY Corbyn has been urged to discipline a Labour MP who has been attacked for giving a “cowardly” response to calling a black Tory a “token ghetto boy”.

Shaun Bailey has written to the leader of the opposition saying he was “extremely disappointed and further saddened” by Emma Dent Coad’s apology after criticism of her “poisonous blog” yesterday.

The member for Kensington provoked controversy after the 2010 comments about the London Assembly member were uncovered.

Mr Bailey accused her of writing "racist, hate filled" remarks about him – but she claimed in the piece she was quoting him, saying he had "stigmatised" the area he was born in by referring to it as a "ghetto".

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?"

But after failing to respond yesterday Ms Dent Coad said this morning her comments were taken "the wrong way".

The MP told BBC Radio London: "If he was offended by me repeating what other people have said then I do apologise.

"Clearly, I shouldn't have repeated it. People have taken it the wrong way."

Mr Bailey strongly disagreed, saying he had never been referred to in those terms before and he would not use language like 'ghetto' in a way that was disparaging to where he grew up.

After sending his letter to Mr Corbyn he said: “I’m extremely disappointed and further saddened by the cowardly response given by Emma Dent Coad this morning.

“Instead of facing this issue she has attempted to blur and camouflage the views she expressed in her blog by falsely dressing them up as someone else’s words.

“Despite her claims, she can provide no evidence that I or anyone else used the horrendous terms she advocated.

“The fact her poisonous blog was followed up by repeated slurs on Twitter shows what her true views are.

“I find it appalling that someone as privileged as Ms Dent Coad would dare question the legitimacy of my background.”

Two black Tory MPs have also written to Mr Corbyn, accusing him of a “disappointing” silence on the issue.

Kemi Badenoch and James Cleverly said: “We write to you as former members of the London Assembly, friends and colleagues of Shaun Bailey AM, and Members of Parliament.

“The comments made by Ms Dent Coad in relation to Mr Bailey are unacceptable in any circumstance and particularly so from an elected representative.

“Your failure to condemn her comments is both disappointing and concerning.

“Your silence is disappointing because it gives the impression that you are comfortable with the comments Ms Dent Coad made.

“It is concerning because it reinforces our belief that there are too many people in the Labour Party who see Conservatives from BAME backgrounds as 'traitors' and, therefore, legitimate targets for abuse.”

The pair are asking a number of questions of the Labour boss, writing: “Will you condemn the comments made by Emma Dent Coad?

“Why was Ms Dent Coad selected as a parliamentary candidate given these comments were made publicly before her selection?

“Will you now investigate this matter and do you intend to remove the whip from Ms Dent Coad during such an investigation?

“Your party’s condescending attitude to BAME voters and candidates really must be addressed. Now is the time to do so.”

Tonight Mr Corbyn refused to suspend Ms Dent Coad but suggested he would talk to her about the language she used.

A spokesman said: "Jeremy is opposed to all offensive language and believes we should treat each other with respect.

"Emma Dent Coad has rightly apologised to Shaun Bailey for her use of language."


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