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Uxbridge and South Ruislip by-election: who is Steve Tuckwell?

Hillingdon councillor Steve Tuckwell is the Conservative candidate fighting to save Boris Johnson’s old seat of Uxbridge and South Ruislip.

Although there are 17 candidates standing in tomorrow’s by-election, Labour’s Danny Beales is widely considered to be the favourite as he boasts an ten-point lead over Tuckwell in the polls.

Johnson triggered the by-election after Privileges Committee’s investigation found he had lied to Parliament, forcing him to step down as an MP in June.

Who is Steve Tuckwell?

Tuckwell is the third generation in his family to live in Hillingdon.

Born in Hillingdon Hospital, educated at Hillingdon schools and now raising his own children there with his partner, Tuckwell is in many ways the opposite to Johnson, who was born in the US and was previously MP for Henley.

The former Royal Mail manager, turned Hillingdon borough councillor in 2018, has since has taken on a whole host of committee roles, including Chairman of the HS2 Major Planning Committee and Deputy Chairman of Uxbridge & South Ruislip Conservative Association.

Campaign strategy?

His campaign strategy has been dominated with the narrative that he is a local community figure.

In his pamphlets, he avoids mentioning Rishi Sunak’s name even once, yet the local mayor’s name appears 19 times.

In a similar stance, he has not included the Conservative logo on any of these pamphlets.

Despite this Tuckwell states he is proud to be representing the party.

The lynchpin of his campaign has been his stance on the ULEZ expansion, the low emission zone created by London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

Tuckwell argues that this will cost some residents with the most polluting cars an additional £12.50 a day from August, hitting those struggling the most with the cost-of-living crisis the hardest.  

Tuckwell claimed: “I have never seen such a single issue to be raised so often on the doorsteps. Even staunch Labour supporters are absolutely against the expansion.”

He has described the by-election as a “referendum on ULEZ”.

His other policies?

Across his other policies, Tuckwell is opposed to the expansion of Heathrow, yet another long running local issue.

Tuckwell has previously said to Hillingdon-based Stop Heathrow Expansion campaign group that he is opposed on the behalf of his residents.

He claims it would put pressure on the local road network, create more noise and make it increasingly difficult for the area to reach it environmental goals.

He also wants the police station to be fully operational for 20,000 police officers, to provide more jobs but also ensure that people have a place to go to raise queries and get advice.

Where is Boris?

In 2019, Johnson won the seat in Uxbridge and South Ruislip with a 7,210 majority.

Yet, Johnson has not been seen in Uxbridge either supporting the Conservative campaign or his replacement.

Tuckwell also carefully avoided answering any questions about Johnson at the hustings, when he was asked if Johnson was an honest man and whether he thought Johnson had deliberately misled parliament.

He said: “It’s a great question. But I’m here as the selected candidate for Uxbridge and South Ruislip. My absolute focus is to get elected.”

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