Raised in a council house in west London, 24-year-old Ali Milani is a Muslim immigrant who says he is ready to beat Tory’s seasoned politician Boris Johnson and become Uxbridge and South Ruislip’s next MP.
“We’re like the polar opposites — you could not get further from Boris,” Milani, a Labour councilor, told Metro.
Born in Tehran, Ali’s mother and two sisters immigrated to the UK when he was five.
The young Muslim found his way into politics at Brunel University, becoming vice president of the National Union of Students.
His own views lean to the left of the Labour Party and he is backed by grassroots movement Momentum.
“With Boris, after a certain point, it’s not a gaffe or a slip. You’re making a conscious decision to play people off against each other,” Milani said.
“It makes many people question whether their place is in wider British society, and of course it is. I’m as British and as valuable as anyone else — and not just me, but all the people on the council estate I grew up in, all the people at my school, college and uni students I was beside.”
— Ali Milani (@ARMilani_) April 7, 2019
Ali believes his own experiences put him in a great position to represent many more of his potential constituents than Eton and Oxbridge-educated Johnson.
“I remember going to school, I could get the train and cut my time to school in half, or I could get the bus and have enough money to have lunch that day,” he said.
“To me that was normal. Everyone went through it. Boris has no understanding of that. Those are the issues we need to be tackling.”
In 2016, London mayor Sadiq Khan defeated Boris Johnson to become the first Muslim mayor for London.
According to the New York Times, there are around 2.7 million Muslims in the UK. They make up 4.4 percent of the population in the UK, mostly living in England and Wales, as found by a 2011 census.
Yet, only 13 out of 650 members of parliament elected in 2015 identify as Muslim or have said they have Muslim heritage.
With many parties keeping a low profile on Muslim issues in the UK, a group called Muslims for Change (MFC) raised funds for candidates who align with their views on key policy areas in May 2017 general election.