Online Hate Crime Hub (Supplementary) [1]

Session date: 
May 16, 2019
Question By: 
Len Duvall OBE
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


Len Duvall AM:  A very interesting set of questions from Assembly Member Bailey.  Mr Mayor, do you agree that politicians have a special responsibility in setting the right tone for a public debate in the country to make it easier for the police to tackle the scourge of hate crime, and that comments ‑ some from across the way there that said that multiculturalism risked turning into a “crime‑ridden cesspool” ‑ contribute to the climate in which hate crime takes place?

Supplementary To: 


Online Hate Crime Hub (Supplementary) [1]

Online Hate Crime Hub (Supplementary) [1]

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  Can I just say I condemn those comments?  That is quite an easy question to answer.  I think we have to be very careful with the language we use.  I think multiculturalism has been a huge source of benefit to London and our country economically, socially and culturally.  Last night I was at Grenfell Tower at an Iftar [Ramadan fast] breaking event where Assembly Member [Nicky] Gavron was present as well, and what was wonderful was that people thought diversity is a strength.  There were people from all sorts of backgrounds there.  Nobody thought it was a cesspool. 


Len Duvall AM:  Of course there are ways that Assembly Member Bailey can put context into those remarks ‑‑


Jennette Arnold OBE AM (Chair):  No, no, no, Assembly Member Duvall.


Len Duvall AM:  ‑‑ if he wishes to defend what he said at the time, but they do contribute to the climate around hate crime within this country.  Is that correct?


Jennette Arnold OBE AM (Chair):  Assembly Member Duvall.  Can I stop you?  Assembly Member Duvall.


Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  I agree.


Jennette Arnold OBE AM (Chair):  Assembly Member Duvall, can I just say you have named an Assembly Member.  The questions to the Mayor here are not about Assembly Members’ actions or beliefs.  It is about his own beliefs and actions.  No, I have made a statement. 


Len Duvall AM:  A point of explanation, Chair, then.  Sorry.  Our debates would be very constrained if we did that, and I think your ruling is wrong.  I am prepared to challenge that.  I am given the opportunity, and there are opportunities, for Members to get up who say things and to justify why they said them at the time.  We are talking about hate crime and the context about people taking responsibility.  The Member himself raises it but he chooses not to defend himself in terms of his contribution to it at a particular time.  I think I am fully justified in raising the questions that I have raised.


Jennette Arnold OBE AM (Chair):  Thank you for your points of clarification.  Now I will call upon Assembly Member Bailey because he has been named.


Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  Maybe he will withdraw it.  Maybe he will apologise.


Jennette Arnold OBE AM (Chair):  Excuse me, Mr Mayor.  Is the Assembly Member standing to speak?


Shaun Bailey AM:  My understanding of this gathering, Mayor’s Question Time, is that it would be to ask questions of the Mayor.  I have sat here for months and watched people ask me questions, when the whole function here is to ask questions of the Mayor.  I asked the Mayor a question.  I accepted the Mayor’s response.  I was not difficult about it.  I did not try to score points.  I did not try to be a child.  It is quite disappointing to be in this room and constantly have people conduct the rules in a way that suits them to suit their own points.  We are here to represent Londoners, and that is what I believe I was doing.  I asked the Mayor a question.  I was not difficult at all.  


Jennette Arnold OBE AM (Chair):  Thank you for that response.  Let us move on to the next question.