Momentum to send hundreds of activists to Boris Johnson’s seat in fresh drive to topple Tory leadership frontrunner at next election
Exclusive: Pro-Corbyn organisation will hold major canvassing event in Uxbridge and South Ruislip days before next Conservative leader unveiled
The group will encourage its 40,000-strong membership to attend a major event in Mr Johnson’s Uxbridge and South Ruislip seat – just days before the official announcement of the new Tory leader.
Momentum insiders told The Independent they expect hundreds of campaigners to flock to the leadership frontrunner’s parliamentary constituency, and have pencilled in 21 July for a mass canvassing event.
The action will be followed by a “targeted social media operation” aimed at swing voters in the seat held by the former London mayor since the 2015 general election.
The organisation has previously targeted Mr Johnson’s seat, but now believes, with Mr Johnson on the cusp of becoming Britain’s next prime minister and being a “hate figure for half the nation”, it has a greater chance of victory.
At the 2017 snap general election, Mr Johnson majority was slashed by more than 50 per cent from 10,695 to 5,034 votes – largely due the increase in Labour’s share of the vote.
Momentum claims that if he is crowned leader, he will have won the smallest personal majority of any British leader since Ramsay MacDonald in 1924. The aim is to make Mr Johnson the first British prime minister to lose his seat while still in office.
Research published earlier this year by the conservative think tank Onward also highlighted the ex-foreign secretary’s seat as one of those at risk at the 2022 general election due to the party’s failure to attract younger voters.
Becky Boumelha, a member of Momentum’s national coordinating group, told The Independent it was clear Mr Johnson “isn’t fit to hold any form of public office, let alone become prime minister”.
She added: “At the Peterborough by-election last month Labour unexpectedly beat the Brexit Party after Momentum mobilised more than 1,000 activists to knock on doors and make phone calls.
“Now we’re launching a campaign to make sure Johnson goes down in history as the first sitting prime minister to lose his seat. At the last election we slashed his majority in half, and now even the Tories admit his seat is vulnerable to a surge in young voters at the next election.”
But Sir John Curtice, a polling expert, said both Labour and the Conservatives are currently in “dire states”, adding: “Labour did very well in the constituency last time, but they are still 10 points behind – so it still requires another 5 per cent swing.
“If you take a look at what happened in the Euro elections and given where the Brexit Party are at the moment, I’d suspect Boris will be more concerned about the Brexit Party than he would the Labour Party.”
“With the Labour Party where they are at the moment, they’d do extraordinarily well to win it.”
Labour’s parliamentary candidate to take on Mr Johnson at the next general election, Ali Milani, added: “Our community deserves better, and as a local resident, community activist and prospective Labour MP I’m proud to be taking part in a campaign to unseat a potentially sitting prime minister.”