'He was going to stab me but we ended up filling in an application form'

BBC Local Democracy Service's exclusive interview with West London's mayoral hopeful Shaun Bailey

London Mayoral hopeful Shaun Bailey has talked himself out of some tricky situations.

When I interview him, the former youth worker turned Conservative candidate for Mayor of London recalls having a knife pulled on him one day in his office as if it were yesterday.

He tells me: “What do you think I say to him, do you think I offer him a biscuit? What kind of conversation do you think I have with him?”

“He was behind the door, I couldn’t even run away. I had to sit there and persuade him to put the knife down. I truly believe that everybody has a better nature and that’s my start point.

“I said 'If you stab me, what do you think happens?' and his immediate response is 'I don’t care if I get your people'.

“'I’m not even talking about my people, what about the police? You’ve walked in this building under the camera and they find me dead on the floor, who’s the suspect here? Let’s play this out. What does this look like?'

“The discussion turned to what would happen if anyone else from either of our families got involved and the situation escalated.

“I said: 'You might have to kill two people. Were you born to kill two people? No that’s right, so let’s stop being stupid. You’re going to make you and me another stat?'"

He recalled “It’s a long conversation,” which finished with the two of them working on an application form.

The two men talked about a range of tough subjects including the people the young man might have beaten up and domestic violence.

“Those tough conversations need to be had. I’ve always been someone who believes if you close down the debate you trap people. No one ever addresses the issue.”

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