Thursday, November 14, 2019 | ePaper

A 25-year-old Muslim immigrant is Johnson's challenger in UK polls

  • Print


Ali Milani arrived in London from Tehran with his mother and sister when he was 5.

The Washington Post :
Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday launched his Conservative Party's campaign for the general election. But there's a hitch. Johnson has to win back his own seat - fending off a challenge from a young Muslim immigrant who represents the Labour Party. It looks as if it could be a tight race.
Johnson represents Uxbridge, a suburb of northwest London and no longer the safe seat for Tories it was a decade ago. In the last general election, in 2017, Johnson won his race by just 5,034 votes. If Labour can swing 5% of the electorate its way, the prime minister could be in trouble.
British lawmakers don't have to live in the districts - or constituencies - they represent, and Johnson doesn't live in Uxbridge, though he makes occasional meet-and-greet appearances.
That makes him vulnerable, said Ali Milani, 25, the Labour challenger, who touts his credentials as a local. Milani lives in Uxbridge and went to Brunel University (where he was a student leader). He said Johnson's failure to stop a third runway at Heathrow international airport - he had pledged to lie down in front of the bulldozers - will also hurt the prime minister.
On Tuesday night, Milani went door-to-door in the South Ruislip neighborhood, urging people to toss Johnson out. More than a hundred activists joined him in the canvassing.
"This is a historic election right here. This could be the very first time we unseat a sitting prime minister. Right here, we have the power to stop Boris Johnson," Milani said as he rang doorbells, trailed by photographers and camera crews.
Johnson has until Nov. 14 to switch to a safer seat - though such a move appears unlikely, as campaign materials featuring him are already being pushed through mail slots in Uxbridge and South Ruislip.
Johnson is hopeful that the Dec. 12 election will break the long impasse over Brexit and give his party a majority so he can extricate Britain from the European Union.
Milani arrived in London from Tehran with his mother and sister when he was 5. They lived in public housing. He went to school on partial scholarships.
Johnson, 55, was born in New York. His father was a diplomat, who served in Brussels for a time, and his mother an artist. He was educated at Eton and Oxford. Before entering politics, he was a celebrity journalist.
Judging by one night of door-knocking, it was hard to gauge the excitement locals felt for either candidate. A few firmly but politely told Milani that they were backing Johnson. A few others gladly accepted his campaign fliers and said they were Labour all the way.

More News For this Category

Buttigieg rises in Iowa to lead Democratic WH pack: Poll

Buttigieg rises in Iowa to lead Democratic WH pack: Poll

Reuters, Washington :Pete Buttigieg has pulled to the top of the pack of Democratic presidential candidates in Iowa for the first time after drawing increased support from nearly every demographic

Imran Khan's ex-wife Reham Khan wins defamation case in UK High Court

Imran Khan's ex-wife Reham Khan wins defamation case in UK High Court

PTI, London :Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's former wife, Reham Khan, has won "substantial" damages and received an apology from a Pakistani news channel over defamatory allegations by a government

Ex-Tory minister advises public to vote against party

Ex-Tory minister advises public to vote against party

AP, London :A former Conservative Party Cabinet minister said Wednesday that giving the party a majority in next month's election would be "disastrous" for the U.K., in the latest example

Italy's Venice flooded by highest tide in 50 years

Italy's Venice flooded by highest tide in 50 years

AP, Manila :Venice was hit by the highest tide in more than 50 years late on Tuesday, with tourists wading through flooded streets to seek shelter as a fierce wind

Senator Kamala Harris promises to lift cap for employment based green cards in US

Senator Kamala Harris promises to lift cap for employment based green cards in US

PTI, Washington :Indian-origin US Senator Kamala Harris is in favour of lifting the existing per-country caps for employment based green cards, her presidential campaign has said, asserting that 95 per

News In Brief

Iraqi Kurdish president in Baghdad for talksAFP, Baghdad The president of Iraqi Kurdistan travelled to Baghdad on Wednesday for talks with senior officials just hours ahead of a special parliament

Jordan retakes lands leased by Israel in 1994 peace accord

Jordan retakes lands leased by Israel in 1994 peace accord

AP, Amman :Jordan's King announced Sunday that his country is retaking "full sovereignty" over two pieces of land leased by Israel, reflecting the cool relations between the neighboring countries as

Divisions rife as Germany marks 30 years since Berlin Wall fell

Divisions rife as Germany marks 30 years since Berlin Wall fell

AFP, Berlin :Germany on Saturday marks 30 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall that ushered in the end of communism and national reunification, as the Western alliance that

Pompeo slams Iran 'intimidation' of IAEA inspector as 'outrageous'

Pompeo slams Iran 'intimidation' of IAEA inspector as 'outrageous'

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday slammed Tehran's treatment of an inspector with the UN's nuclear watchdog agency last week as "an outrageous and unwarranted act of intimidation."The

Iranian beauty queen wins asylum in Philippines

Iranian beauty queen wins asylum in Philippines

AFP, Manila :An Iranian beauty queen sought by Tehran on criminal charges has been granted political asylum in the Philippines, an official said Friday, ending a three-week standoff at Manila