Boris Johnson’s replacement is campaigning on a cod-awful issue

Boris Johnson’s replacement is campaigning on a cod-awful issue

Related video: Nigel Nelson assesses the prospect of a Boris Johnson comeback

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Most would agree that there are plenty of pressing issues for politicians to discuss when the upcoming general election gets underway later this year - such as the crises around the climate, sewage and ongoing cost of living – but it appears Uxbridge and South Ruislip MP Steve Tuckwell would much rather tuck in to some fish and chips in his constituency.

Tuckwell replaced former prime minister Boris Johnson in July last year, after the Tory politician resigned one month prior in protest over an upcoming committee report into Partygate.

The Conservatives held the seat, with Tuckwell securing a majority of just 495 votes, in a by-election which one political researcher said was likely influenced by the debate over London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (Ulez).

Now, though, he seems more focused on campaigning for Uxbridge to get its own fish and chip shop, noting in a post to Twitter/X on Wednesday that there’s one in Cowley and near St Andrew’s Park, but not in Uxbridge Town Centre.

“That’s why I’m launching a campaign to get us a fish and chip shop in Uxbridge Town Centre, but I need your support to do it,” he writes.

He goes on to attach a link to a form on his website, complete with a tick box at the bottom which states that if ticked, the individual agrees to Tuckwell using their information to receive email and telephone updates on this issue and others “until further notice”, and that they “may hear from Steve Tuckwell or their party affiliates”.

It’s not clear how many have signed the petition at present.

In a video accompanying the social media post, Tuckwell says: “We need to bring [a fish and chip shop] home here to Uxbridge Town Centre.

“It will support our high street, it will support business, and it will help the local economy.

“The more people we get to support this, the more it will attract investment, and it will attract business to the centre of Uxbridge.”

Unsurprisingly, Tuckwell has since been roasted – or rather, battered – by other social media users, with fish puns aplenty:

Danny Beales, Labour’s candidate for Uxbridge and South Ruislip at the next election, also criticised Tuckwell over the move, suggesting his Conservative rival “maybe try to save the library first”.

“You couldn’t make it up. Tory MP supports the closure of libraries, nurseries and youth centres, but campaigns for an extra fish shop.

“Uxbridge and South Ruislip deserves so much better.”

Meanwhile the Liberal Democrat candidate, Ian Rex-Hawkes, accused Tuckwell of “nefarious data harvesting”.

“Are you kidding? The library is being closed, the hospitals are falling apart, Uxbridge police station is still closed, and you think your time is best spent trying to get a chippy a bit nearer to your house,” he wrote.

And the story just keeps on getting better, as on Wednesday evening it emerged Tuckwell - back when he was a Hillingdon councillor in 2019 - sat on a planning committee and voted against a proposal for a new takeaway in the town centre which would sell... fish and chips:

A report from the council's head of planning, transportation and regeneration at the time said the "proposed external ducting" for the building is "considered to be detrimental and will cause unacceptable loss of amenity to nearby properties by reason of disturbance, noise, smell and fumes in which the proposed fish and chip shop will create".

Public responses to the application also expressed concern of a "potential increase in anti-social element to the street", especially if the fish and chip shop is open until late at night when it can "cater for the post-pub football" and "may create another focal point for people to loiter and behave anti-socially".

The officer recommended councillors refuse the application, which they did - unanimously.


indy100 has approached Buckwell’s constituency office for comment.

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