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‘Misleading’ Tory By-Election Leaflet Presents Conservative Councillor as ‘English Teacher’

In the run up to the Uxbridge by-election, the Conservative Party appears to be passing off a councillor as an ordinary member of the public

Boris Johnson with Cllr Heena Makwana (left). Photo: No 10

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The local Conservative party in the seat Boris Johnson has abandoned over parliament’s partygate lies report has been accused of misleading voters.

In a leaflet, the Uxbridge and South Ruislip Conservative party claimed support from a local ‘English teacher’ – who is in fact a Conservative councillor and chair of the education committee on the Tory-run council. 

Councillor Heena Makwana, who was a keen supporter of Boris Johnson, features on a recent leaflet handed out to Uxbridge residents. In her quote, she claims local candidate for the MP seat Steve Tuckwell “chose to start his family here. And that’s because he knows how special our local area is. He will fight for our community because he’s part of our community.” 

Byline Times ran the image on the leaflet through two facial comparison websites which found the ‘English teacher’ was a certain match with the local Hillingdon frontbencher. 

Local parent Orest Bakhovski told Byline Times the leaflet was “definitely” misleading and should have identified her as a senior local Tory. 

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Also appearing on the leaflet is Sir Ray Puddifoot, listed as a “Former Council Leader.” 

Sir Ray said: “Steve Tuckwell has lived in Uxbridge and Ruislip all his life. And he’s been standing up for local people all his life. As a Hillingdon councillor, he’s helped to secure new investment, create new jobs and represent local people’s views.”

The former Tory council leader for two decades until 2014 oversaw austerity cuts under the Conservatives. 

Vice President of the Union of Brunel Students Archan Raval is also featured on the leaflet. Raval praised then-Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Eat Out to Help Out policy during the pandemic – now widely credited with pushing inflation and increasing coronavirus infections – in an interview this March. 

A source close to the Labour campaign said: “Oh dear. It’s a sorry state of affairs for the local Tories when they have to pass off their own councillors as endorsers because they can’t find anyone else.”

The offending leaflet featuring ‘English teacher’ Heena Makwana

Uxbridge and South Ruislip is one of three areas holding by-elections to replace their departing Tory MPs on Thursday (July 21). Boris Johnson quit in the outer London seat after the damning privileges committee report which found he had deliberately lied to parliament over his attendance at lockdown-breaking parties in No 10 during coronavirus restrictions.  

Labour is trying to overturn the Tory majority there but faces a tough battle over London Labour mayor Sadiq Khan’s expansion of the Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) to cover all of the capital. The policy will see more drivers in London charged £12.50 a day if they use older diesel or petrol cars, a major cause of pollution. 

Half of Londoners do not drive but the figure is lower in Outer London where public transport offerings are poorer. Labour’s candidate Danny Beales has distanced himself from the policy and called for a delay. 

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Both Labour and Lib Dems are tactically channelling resources for the forthcoming by-elections, eyeing Tory-held seats. But there’s no sign of a formal pact

In Somerton and Frome (Somerset), the Lib Dems will try to take the seat from the Conservatives after David Warburton stood down following a parliamentary investigation into his conduct. Warburton admitted taking cocaine but denied allegations of sexual misconduct launched by a former female staffer. 

And in Selby and Ainsty, Labour will try to take the seat from the Conservatives’ 20,000 majority, after Johnson-loyalist Nigel Adams resigned following the parliamentary partygate report.

Uxbridge and South Ruislip Conservatives and Cllr Makwana were contacted for comment. 

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