Concerns have been raised about the impact the Conservative party’s choice of mayoral candidate could have on Hindu and Muslim communities.

Shaun Bailey was last month announced as the Conservative candidate who will challenge Sadiq Khan in the next mayoral elections in 2020.

But Mr Bailey has faced criticism over a pamphlet he wrote in 2005 which voiced concerns about the celebration of Muslim and Hindu festivals.

The pamphlet said: “You bring your children to school and they learn far more about Diwali than Christmas. I speak to the people who are from Brent and they’ve been having Muslim and Hindi days off.

“What it does is rob Britain of its community. Without our community, we slip into a crime-riddled cesspool.”

Now MP for Harrow West, Gareth Thomas, has hit out at Mr Bailey on behalf of residents in the borough.

Mr Thomas said: “We have a large number of Muslims and Hindus in Harrow and speaking as someone who represents the community the comments Shaun Bailey made do not bode well for their interests.

“We live in a diverse city and Harrow is one of the most diverse boroughs in London.

“I have a number of people getting in touch with me and saying, ‘who is this bloke and why is he having a go at us?’”

The Hindu festival Navaratri is currently being celebrated. Mr Thomas said the resurgence of Mr Bailey’s comments have put a “dampener” on the celebrations.

Mr Thomas said: “People are worried he will run a populist stance for people who are against Hindus or Muslims.

“We know the number of racial attacks is on the increase. I thought we had left this type of culture behind.”

Mr Thomas also raised concerns that crime will worsen if Mr Bailey becomes the next Mayor of London.

The number of police officers per 1,000 people in London has now fallen to 3.3 – the lowest number in 20 years.

Mr Thomas said: “He will need to stand up to central Government, so we can get more police in Harrow. I worry Shaun Bailey will not be serious enough about taking on his own party to do that.

“It is the single biggest worry for constituents.”

A campaign spokesperson for Mr Bailey said: “Mr Bailey would further invite all Londoners – including the many wonderful and diverse communities in Harrow – to read his full 2005 pamphlet on growing up in Ladbroke Grove, and not just the select quotes briefed out by Labour to foster division.

“With respect to Mr Thomas’ concerns over policing, Mr Bailey couldn’t agree more. That’s why he has a plan to put criminals under pressure, a costed plan – using London’s existing resources – to provide an extra 1,000 bobbies on the beat across London and fund a further 800 detectives to investigate serious violent crime.

“These are things London could do today, absent the central government, if only Mayor Khan had the will.”