Merton councillor and former Greater London Authority (GLA) candidate David Dean has been suspended from the Conservative party for allegedly making racist comments about Sadiq Khan.

The London Evening Standard reported that the suspension follows a complaint from a Putney resident, after a recording was made of Cllr Dean telling him that, if Mr 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 before the mayoral election, when Cllr 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.

The Dundonald councillor lost the previously Conservative-held GLA seat to Labour’s Leonie Cooper by one per cent of the vote. Mr Khan went on to beat Mr Goldsmith with 56.8 per cent of the vote in the second round of counting.

Cllr Dean confirmed he had been suspended, but said he was unable to comment further until the proceedings against him were complete.

Ms 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.”

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."

What do you think? Email us at and let us know