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Milkman councillor 'has the bottle' for election fight

A milkman and serving West Drayton councillor has been selected as the Conservative candidate for Ealing & Hillingdon at next year's London Assembly elections

West Drayton councillor Dominic Gilham

West Drayton councillor Dominic Gilham says he is ready to take the fight to Labour at next May's Greater London Assembly (GLA) elections.

The 47-year-old was selected as the Conservative candidate for the GLA seat of Ealing & Hillingdon following a vote of 150 party members at Hayes & Harlington Conservative Club on Wednesday night (September 23).

He will be hoping to unseat Labour incumbent Dr Onkar Sahota who won the seat with a 3,000 majority in 2012.

Cllr Gilham, who works as a milkman in Knightsbridge and Kensington, said: "I am thrilled to be selected as the candidate for Ealing & Hillingdon and will put everything I can into this campaign. In milk and in politics I always deliver.

"Residents across both Ealing & Hillingdon have been abandoned by their current Labour GLA member, who has made no positive contribution since he was elected. I am the person who will change that and ensure the voices of residents are heard at the top table in City Hall.”

The father of two young daughters, whose wife is a teacher, was born in Ealing and grew up in Southall before moving to Hillingdon 22 years ago.

After getting spearheading a community campaign to stop motorbikes using a pedestrian alley in Yiewsley, he was approached to become a council candidate and elected for the town in 2010, later representing the West Drayton ward after he moved home.

Cllr Gilham opposes the third runway and claims Labour won the Ealing & Hillingdon seat in 2012 by "scaring" voters into thinking the Conservatives in government were planning to close Ealing Hospital.

He added: "It was typical scaremongering. All the political parties stand side by side in our opposition to the third runway and it should have happened like that over the hospital. Instead Labour whipped up a fantastic scare story that people bought into."

Cllr Gilham plans to spend the eight months until the election campaigning on "big issues" such the need for more affordable homes, fighting cuts to neighbourhood policing and opposing a third Heathrow runway.

He added: "Onkar hasn't come out clearly against it. That's because his paymasters in Unite and Unison are in favour of airport expansion.

"We call him Dr Who? because nobody knows who he is. You might laugh but it's not funny really, this is a guy who claims to represent 160,000 voters. Ask him what he has achieved over the last four years and there will be a long pause."

The Tory challenger said he intends to be "24-7" in winning over voters and explain the relevance of the GLA and that it oversees a huge £17bn budget for London.

He added: "I'm very confident of my chances in both Ealing & Hillingdon. In Hillingdon the Conservatives have a fantastic record and hold 42 seats - that's no accident. Ealing doesn't benefit and we need to change that."

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