Ali Milani has been selected as Labour’s candidate for the key marginal seat of Uxbridge and South Ruislip, currently held by Boris Johnson.
On the eve of Tory conference, where Johnson is widely thought to be ramping up plans for a leadership challenge, local Labour members chose a new prospective parliamentary candidate to fight for the former Foreign Secretary and London mayor’s constituency.
At the selection meeting on Saturday, the new PPC fought off NHS doctor Sonia Adesara, local party chair Jessica Beishon, trade union organiser Steve Garelick and David Williams. Others including Vincent Lo and Christian Wolmar are thought to have applied but did not make the shortlist.
Although Unite the Union nominated bus driver James Ogungbose for the selection, the trade union rep was not shortlisted. This allowed the left to rally around Milani, who won on the first round with 66 out of 112 votes, LabourList understands.
A vice-president of the National Union of Students backed by Momentum, Milani was tipped by LabourList as a frontrunner in early August. He is local to the area and was elected as a councillor for Heathrow Villages earlier this year.
While a council candidate in April, Milani was reported by campaign group Labour Against Antisemitism – particularly spokesperson Euan Phillips – to the Labour Party for antisemitism. In 2012, he tweeted: “Nah you won’t mate. It’ll cost u a pound #jew.” He apologised for the comments made as a teenager, saying: “We all make mistakes and we must be willing to accept that most of us aren’t chiselled from adolescence for public office.”
Milani, a former president of Brunel Students Union who chairs the Labour Muslim Network, will hope to reduce Johnson’s majority to zero from a slim 5,034 at the next general election.
Thank you to Labour members for putting your trust in me, a young, Muslim local councillor as your Parliamentary candidate for Uxbridge&South Ruislip to unseat @BorisJohnson. Boris, this is the movement that will put an end to all that you and your Gov have done to our community. pic.twitter.com/P1SUw4LQRg
— Ali Milani (@ARMilani_) September 29, 2018
More from LabourList
Metro mayor on left of Labour barred from standing for new role
Labour has lost 170,000 members since 2018 – but 50,000 have joined in a year
Council coalitions: Progressive dream or recipe for Daily Mail attacks?