What Uxbridge and South Ruislip voters think of Boris Johnson
The London mayor has confirmed his application to be the Tory candidate for the constituency in 2015
Tuesday 26 August 2014
If Boris Johnson thought that selecting the safe Conservative seat of Uxbridge and South Ruislip for his parliamentary comeback would ensure an easy ride, the reaction of West London locals suggest he may have another think coming.
Several residents interviewed by The Independent after Mr Johnson confirmed his application to be Tory candidate for the constituency in 2015 were not even certain who he was – despite his six-year stint in City Hall – while some were actively hostile.
In particular, older shoppers on Uxbridge High Street seemed immune to the BoJo brand.
Mrs G Arnold, an 81-year-old woman who has lived in Uxbridge all her life, described the politician as “a twit”, and said he ought to decide between being an MP or Mayor. Mr Johnson has said that if he is elected next May to succeed the incumbent MP, Sir John Randall, who gained a majority of 11,000 in 2010, he will still stay on as Mayor until 2016.
Another local, a 43-year-old man who works in the healthcare industry, described Mr Johnson as “more PR than policy”, and said that he would need to devote himself to helping his constituents rather promoting his own political career – including his long-rumoured ambition to be Prime Minister.
A 55-year-old housekeeper who works in a local hotel was particularly against what Mr Johnson might bring to Uxbridge, as her whole family would be affected by any sort of jobs decline at nearby Heathrow, whose expansion Mr Johnson vehemently opposes. She called the Mayor of London “a buffoon”.
Ivan Sheppard, 60, from Uxbridge, who is currently unemployed, claimed that Mr Johnson has already caused “chaos” with the train systems in London, and suggested that Ukip’s Nigel Farrage would be a better candidate for the constituency.
Despite the concerns about his transport policies and political ambitions, few here deny Mr Johnson’s charm.
John, 30, who works at Uxbridge Station Flowers, says the Mayor is a “nice bloke”, agreeing with a lively pensioner in his shop who is all for a “flamboyant character” with a “good brain” being MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip.
The most positive response came from Keith, 67, who put his feelings plainly: “[Boris] speaks our language”, lauding the Mayor as being eccentric but affable, and as having “broad enough shoulders to bear being Mayor, MP and even PM”.
The prospective Conservative candidate for the seat is due to be announced on 12 September.
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