Despite drizzle and cold, 300 Labour members from as far afield as the West Midlands came to South Ruislip, West London, on the evening of Tuesday 5 November, in the first big push to boot Boris Johnson out of his own seat.
Johnson’s home turf majority in Uxbridge and South Ruislip was slashed in half at the last election, to only 5,000. The seat is winnable.
Aside from Johnson’s dubious record as a frontbencher and Mayor of London, the policies he has overseen as an MP have caused a great deal of resentment in his constituency. Local Hillingdon Hospital and Ruislip High School are both suffering badly from cuts and underinvestment, for example. This neglect of his constituents has severely hurt Johnson’s support on the doorstep.
But it is disgust towards the rotten Tory government as a whole - and the desire to elect a transformative Labour government under Jeremy Corbyn - that brought Labour activists out in force last night. Campaigners are determined to make Johnson the first incumbent Prime Minister in history to lose his own seat.
The mass canvassing session was kicked off with speeches by left-wing journalists Ash Sarkar and Owen Jones, who attacked Johnson’s record of racism and reaction.
Local parliamentary candidate Ali Milani declared that winning Uxbridge was a step towards winning a socialist Labour government that will transform people’s lives for the better.
The speakers also drew attention to the repulsive, callous comments made the same day by Johnson’s fellow Etonian, Jacob Rees-Mogg, who suggested on LBC radio that the victims of the Grenfell fire lacked the ‘common sense’ to escape the blaze in good order.
In reality, this avoidable tragedy was, of course, in large part down to cuts to the fire service and mismanagement of building works under Johnson’s tenure as London Mayor.
Members were brimming with confidence as they took to doors, eager to throw Johnson out of West London. Although, there are rumours that the Tory PM may scarper to a safer seat before we have the chance to give him the shove!
But no matter where he runs, if this kind of energy can be maintained, nothing will stop workers and youth from booting Boris out of Number 10 on 12 December!
Emotional at the incredible support tonight.— Ali Milani (@ARMilani_) November 5, 2019
250+ people showing up on a cold, dark, Tuesday evening. The energy, hope and optimism is incredible.
We can win.
We can beat Boris.
We can transform this country.#UnseatBoris ? pic.twitter.com/VAswkAaR0U