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Brunel alumnus to take on Boris in next general election

Photo by Hillingdon Conservatives

A Former Brunel student will attempt to unseat Boris Johnson in next General Election.

Ali Milani, former president of Brunel Student Union from 2015 to 2017 has been elected as Labour’s hopeful for the Uxbridge and South Ruislip seat.

Milani, who studied international politics at Brunel, will no doubt be drawing on his academic roots in his bid for the Uxbridge and South Ruislip seat, canvassing for student votes, which were seen as vital in Labour’s success in the 2017 general election.

Milani’s election comes at a time of increased pressure for Boris Johnson, amid personal turmoil and backlash over his Brexit manifesto and £275,000 salary for his weekly column in the Telegraph. Could Milani topple the Tory?

Cayla Martin, chair of Labour Brunel, Youth Officer for Uxbridge and South Ruislip Constituency Labour Party and chair of Hillingdon Young Labour, has known Milani for three years and worked alongside him during the 2018 council elections.

Martin said: “ He was the only young candidate who put himself forward and he’s been very supportive of Brunel Labour. I’ve lived here all my life so I’ve been aware of his activities whilst he was President at Brunel …I’ve seen him put himself forward and win elections, it’s student politics but he’s got that campaigning background.”

Milani and Johnson are also linked by their work within the Heathrow Villages ward, currently under the threat of a third Heathrow Runway. Milani was elected councillor for the ward earlier this year, both have expressed their disagreement with a third runway. Johnson has been criticised for missing a crucial vote on the matter to travel to Kabul in June this year.

Milani has also had his fair share of criticism however, coming under fire before being elected as councillor, after anti-Semitic tweets were unearthed from when he was a teenager. Milani apologised telling the Huffington Post: “We all make mistakes and we must be willing to accept that most of us aren’t chiselled from adolescence for public office.”

On Milani’s work for his ward Martin commented: “ He took Heathrow to court the other day with his fellow councillors June Nelson and Peter Money he’s been standing up for the area. He’s not just for young people, he truly champions the borough.

“When I stood in Yiewsley ward as a council candidate one of the residents came up to me and said that Boris had come to Yiewsley once for a photo op.”

Among Milani’s other political commitments are the vice presidency of the National Union of Students and executive to Labour Muslims. A local to the Uxbridge area and backed by Labour group Momentum in his campaign for the Labour candidacy, there are many groups wanting to see him oust Johnson.

Jade Balmer, 18, studying Politics and History at Brunel, said: “Meeting Ali was the most comfortable meeting ever. He is so humble and genuinely cares, I haven’t known the extent of his kindness in anyone before. But I am fully ashamed to be a part of this constituency because of Boris.”

Johnson and Milani will battle it out for the marginal seat in May 2022. No doubt it will be a heated contest.

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