Boris Johnson could soon become the first sitting prime minister in history to lose his seat
- Boris Johnson could become the first sitting prime minister in history to lose his seat.
- The man fighting to unseat him is increasingly confident that voters will unseat the British prime minister.
- Ali Milani is a local man with close ties to the area, unlike Johnson.
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
LONDON - The man fighting to unseat Boris Johnson at the next general election is increasingly confident that he can defeat the prime minister and trigger a political earthquake that would force him out of powerThe task facing Ali Milani, who is a 24-year-old British Muslim man who arrived in the country from Iran at the age of 5, is huge.Advertisement
No sitting prime minister has ever been unseated, and no Labour candidate has ever won in Uxbridge and South Ruislip, the west London seat where Boris Johnson was elected in 2015 despite having no local connection to the area.
The Conservatives are expected to pour money and resources into the campaign, with one eye on the huge surge of support for the Labour candidate in 2017, which saw Johnson's majority fall from over 10,000 to just over 5,000.However, Milani believes a campaign which pits his own credentials as a local man from a working-class background against Johnson - who he says spends little time in the constituency - gives him a good chance in the next election, which could happen before Christmas.
"Boris Johnson has been using Uxbridge and South Ruislip as a platform to Number 10," Milani told Business Insider."Everybody knows it. Even Tories in the area know it - for Boris, every move, every step has been a calculation to Number 10." He cites conversations with local residents on the doorstep who say Johnson has been a "terrible" constituency MP, as well as his recent pledge to spend £1.2 billion extra on hospitals - none of which is going to Hillingdon, the hospital in his local constituency.Advertisement
"Not a penny of that is coming to his own local hospital," Milani says. "He's more interested in running the country than he is in Uxbridge & South Ruislip."
Milani, meanwhile, plans to talk up his own local credentials on the doorstep, and try to win over Conservative voters who want a representative who cares about local issues."The fact that I'm a local councillor and a local resident means that I can speak to people in [community] terms," he says.Advertisement
"So if you ask me about the local schools I know them. My Spad [special advisor] doesn't need to come and whisper in my ear what they are. When I talk about the local hospital and how it needs investment, it's because I had surgery in that hospital.
Milani's profile sits in stark contrast to the Eton-educated prime minister. Unlike Johnson, Milani grew up as an immigrant on a council estate, lost friends to knife crime, and witnessed his mother become homeless while he was studying at university.
"We're talking about unseating a sitting prime minister. It's never happened before, so of course it's not going to be easy,"He became politicised as he watched the government cut educational maintenance allowance - grants given to school pupils from low-income backgrounds - and arrived at university after the same government had trebled tuition fees and hiked interest rates.Advertisement
"We're talking about unseating a sitting prime minister. It's never happened before, so of course it's not going to be easy," Milani says.
"But what's at stake for me is everything I went through coming to this country, everything I went through on that council estate with my friends, losing friends to knife crime, the poverty my mum went through."All of these things have led me to this point at which I can make a difference. And I am lucky enough to be in a seat and a campaign that can not only make a difference in Uxbridge, but can send a message to the country. That's enough energy for me to fight two general election campaigns."Advertisement
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