The only way is Shaun Bailey! Towie’s Mark Wright backs Conservative challenger to become London mayor ahead of Thursday’s election saying ‘he makes me feel a lot safer on the streets’ – as Tories again target Sadiq Khan over crime-fighting credentials

  • Ex-Towie star turned footballer, 34, praised Mr Bailey on social media today
  • Footballer told his 2.4million Twitter followers: ‘It’s time for a change.’ 
  • Said of the Tory challenger: ‘He makes me feel a lot safer on our streets’

By David Wilcock, Whitehall Correspondent For Mailonline

Published: | Updated:

The former The Only Way Is Essex star turned footballer, 34, praised Mr Bailey on social media today, telling his 2.4million Twitter followers: ‘It’s time for a change.’

Reality TV heart-throb Mark Wright today backed Conservative Shaun Bailey to become the new mayor of London in a surprise endorsement just days ahead of the election.

The former The Only Way Is Essex star turned footballer, 34, praised Mr Bailey on social media today, telling his 2.4million Twitter followers: ‘It’s time for a change.’

‘Vote Shaun Bailey for London Mayor!! Just listened to a talk with him!! He makes me feel a lot safer on our streets!!’

Mr Wright’s enthusiasm for the Tory message of more police on the streets and reopening closed police station counters is not the first celebrity intervention of the campaign. 

Incumbent Labour mayor Sadiq Khan has already picked up the endorsement of London-born pop icon Dua Lipa.

But the rippled hunk’s intervention in the election battle comes at a welcome time for Mr Bailey as he attacks Mr Khan over crime in London. 

 After yesterday dropping an election broadcast accusing the Labour mayor of ‘getting rich by suing the police’ in his previous legal career, the Bailey campaign today launched a jazzed up version for social media.

After yesterday dropping an election broadcast accusing the Labour mayor of ‘getting rich by suing the police’ in his previous legal career, the Bailey campaign today launched a jazzed up version for social media.

The cartoon montage video accuses Mr Khan of working for a firm that made £1.3million from more than 300 legal cases against the Metropolitan Police when we worked as a human rights lawyer between 1996 and 2004.  

Labour has accused Mr Bailey’s campaign of a desperate attack on Mr Khan, the overwhelming favourite to win Thursday’s election and a second five-year term.

When the claims about Mr Khan’s wealth were first made last week, a London Labour spokesperson said: ‘The Tories used exactly the same smear against Sadiq during Zac Goldsmith’s racist campaign in 2016, which was widely denounced including by leading Conservatives, and now it seems that sadly they are willing to stoop to the same disgusting depths again.

London-born pop star Dua Lipa has backed Sadiq Khan

‘This just goes to show how desperate the Tory candidate is getting as Londoners see that he simply doesn’t share their values.’

A new poll today has Mr Khan leading Mr Bailey 48 per cent to 29 per cent in first-preference votes, with the Labour candidate winning 63 per cent to 37 per cent in a second round.

But Mr Bailey’s focus on crime appears to be in tune with London voters, as it is the only area where he is neck-and-neck with Mr Khan.

The poll by Opinium found that reducing knife crime was seen as the mayor’s number one priority, with 64 per cent of those polled saying it is getting worse in the capital. 

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