Sunday 15 March 2020


You may recall the name Ali Milani from the general election.  He was the young Iranian chap hoping to be the first ever candidate to unseat a sitting Prime Minister.  Going into the election Boris Johnson's 5,034 majority was the smallest for a sitting PM since 1924 and Labour smelled blood.  Just a five per cent swing was required for a Labour gain here.  The candidate chosen to go up against Boris was a 25-year-old local councillor and Momentum activist.  Milani's campaign was to gain national media coverage across the board and Labour and Momentum threw the kitchen sink at Uxbridge & South Ruislip in the hope of a major coup.  Both Ash Sarkar and Owen Jones campaigned here during the election.  25-year-old Milani hoped to mobilise left-leaning pro-Remain younger voters and targeted students at the local Brunel University.  Labour were confident of victory and for Milani it became a personal crusade.

A Shia Muslim he repeatedly attacked the language that had been used by Boris Johnson in the past, including the famed 'letterbox' article.  However, it wasn't long before the spectre of Milani's own past remarks came back to haunt him.  Like many Labour candidates selected during Corbyn's reign, Milani had posted various anti-Semitic views on social media.

Ali Milani and a couple of his tweets (click to enlarge)

Milani apologised, but his numerous TV appearances were now tainted by his hypocrisy.  The scandal didn't sap the energy of his supporters and they remained convinced that Uxbridge was going to be the scene of Labour's greatest achievement on election night.  It didn't quite work out that way.  In fact given the amount of effort that had gone into the seat it was a total disaster.  This was London, this was Labour's heartland and on election night the count revealed that the Labour vote went down in Uxbridge.  Simultaneously the Conservative vote went up and Boris Johnson's majority increased by more than two thousand votes.  Even the Lib Dems had a better night than Milani, increasing their vote share by roughly the same amount lost by Labour.

Uxbridge & South Ruislip 2019 general election

Boris Johnson (Con) 25,351 (52.6%) +1.8%
Ali Milani (Lab) 18,141 (37.6%) -2.4%
Joanne Humphreys (Lib Dem) 3,026 (6.3%) +2.3%
Mark Keir (Green) 1,090 (2.3%) +0.4%
Geoffrey Courtenay (UKIP) 283 (0.6%) -2.8%
Lord Buckethead (Loony) 125 (0.3%) New
Count Binface (Ind) 69 (0.1%) New
Alfie Utting (Ind) 44 (0.1%) New
Yace Yogenstein (Ind) 23 (0.0%) New
Norma Burke (Ind) 22 (0.0%) New
Bobby Smith (Ind) 8 (0.0%) New
William Tobin (Ind) 5 (0.0%) New

Following his election humiliation Ali went back to being plain old Cllr Milani, but he's now back on the campaign trail... in the US.

His Labour colleague Zarah Sultana will be very envious about Milani's American adventure.  She recently expressed a wish to fly over and campaign for Bernie, despite being a Member of Parliament.  One wonders how local residents feel about Cllr Milani's current priorities?

Sadly for Milani he appears to be heading for more bitter disappointment.  He arrived in the States just prior to the big 'Super Tuesday' round of voting, at a time when Bernie Sanders was in the lead.  Unfortunately Bernie got thumped on Super Tuesday and again a week later.  Sanders has now won only six states compared to Joe Biden's 15 and momentum is clearly with Biden.  Of course it was purely coincidental that the so-called Bernie surge unravelled at the point Ali Milani arrived on the campaign trail!

US Democratic presidential primaries delegate count (1,991 delegates required)

Joe Biden 890
Bernie Sanders 736