'It's a case of Ulez you lose', Tom Swarbrick tells Tory chairman as Conservatives retain Uxbridge seat

21 July 2023, 13:36 | Updated: 21 July 2023, 13:42

Shadow Justice Secretary: 'We must assess what needs to change to win the general election.'

Madeleine Wilson

By Madeleine Wilson

Greg Hands told Tom Swarbrick he remains optimistic after the Ulez expansion has been blamed for Labour's loss of Uxbridge.

Tom Swarbrick spoke to Conservative Chairman Greg Hands after the Conservative Party held on to Boris Johnson's former Uxbridge seat on Friday, despite early suggestions that Labour could take the win.

Steve Tuckwell managed to retain it for Rishi Sunak's party, sparing him from being the first Prime Minister since 1968 to lose three by-elections on the same day.

Mr. Hands said to Tom: "Labour has run London for the last seven years and has done a dreadful job.

"Sadiq Khan is very unpopular as Mayor of London and has made some terrible decisions, and on top of that we’ve seen Keir Starmer flip-flopping on Ulez."

READ MORE: Defiant Sunak says general election not a 'done deal' as Tories keep Uxbridge amid Ulez backlash but lose two seats

Chair of the Conservative Party asserts that that Keir Starmer 'can't be relied upon' to be PM

He continued: "When the electorate was given a clear choice on a policy issue, they backed the Conservative and rejected Labour.

"So I think on this basis, there are strong reasons to think the Conservatives can take something out of these by-elections. Our main job is obviously in government.

Tom replied: "Just let me unpack some of the bamboozling spins that you've placed on some of this.

"Greg Hands, you didn't win in Uxbridge. You held the seat. You lost a majority of over 7000.

"You've clung on to it by 500 votes. You say Sadiq Khan is unpopular, he's won twice and is set to win a third term as the Mayor of London. But if the plan is to win based on campaigning against Ulez, I would suggest that you owe Sadiq Khan a pint."

READ MORE: Starmer hails 'historic' Selby win as Labour overhauls biggest by-election majority in its history

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