Low-key campaign for south west London councillor taking on the prime minister

By Gwyn Wright
December 11 2019, 12.25

A south west London councillor is taking on the prime minister in Uxbridge and South Ruislip – but admits her General Election campaign is not firing on all cylinders.

Liberal Democrat Jo Humphreys, who represents Whitton on Richmond council, as well as working as a case worker for Vince Cable, was selected last month after her predecessor, Elizabeth Evenden-Kenyon, stood aside for health reasons.

She said: “We have done no knocking on doors.

“I only had five weeks, so I had to think, how do we best make sure people are aware of our presence and we need to cover a wide area as quickly as possible.

“We felt the best way of doing that would be through social media and print materials.’’

She said she won’t be knocking on doors on polling day either. This is despite a picture appearing on her Twitter account, dated 28th November, of her knocking on a door under the caption “always fun to talk to voters on the doorsteps.’’.

She insists she is the only true voice for remainers in the seat and does not believe Labour truly represents remain.

She said: “Labour has been almost dragged kicking and screaming to its current position in terms of Brexit.’’

She also expressed doubt over whether Jeremy Corbyn had voted remain in the privacy of the polling booth, saying “you just have to look at his speeches and he has been against the EU for many, many years, but only he can answer that question.’’

Labour’s hopeful in the seat, Ali Milani, was criticised by Humphreys for his record on anti-Semitism.

Milani has been in the spotlight on anti-Semitism since April 2017, when The Independent unearthed tweets he posted in 2012 and 2013. He tweeted remarks including ‘’nah you won’t mate, it will cost you a pound #jew’’ and stating that Israel has “no right to exist.’’

Humphreys said he sounded “very much like he has seen the error of his ways’’ in a recent interview with LBC but added: “I am not seeing him very publicly criticising what is going on in his party.’’

Humphreys said she has supported the Liberal Democrats since the party’s inception but joined in 2016 after the EU referendum.

Her parents emigrated to the UK from South Africa in the 1950s because they could not tolerate apartheid.’ 

She added: “I was always very aware of the terrible things they had seen in South Africa and the reasons they had left.

“I think that my belief in equality and making sure that we have a fair society and that we fight racism wherever we see it comes very much from the stories that they used to tell me about what they had experienced in South Africa.’’

Humphreys faces eleven other candidates in the seat, including Prime Minister Johnson. At the 2017 election, the Liberal Democrat candidate Rosina Robson lost her deposit with only 3.9 per cent of the vote.

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