Rosena Allin-Khan opens up about 'dirty' by-election campaign 2 years ago

Rosena Allin-Khan opens up about 'dirty' by-election campaign

The Labour MP told JOE the by-election in Tooting was 'brutal'


Labour's Rosena Allin-Khan said the by-election contest to replace Sadiq Khan as MP for Tooting was "brutal" and "dirty."

The member of parliament, who is also a fully qualified doctor working in both the commons and A&E, retained the constituency for Labour in 2016.

She beat off Conservative candidate Dan Watkins who had contested the seat with Sadiq Khan in 2015.

Allin-Khan detailed the campaign in an interview with JOE for its series Outside Westminster.

"It was a brutal by-election. I'll be honest with you, it was a dirty campaign," the shadow minister for sport said. "It's a highly contested seat, first of all getting selected was hard work."

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 16: Labour's MP candidate for Tooting Dr Rosena Allin-Khan (R) campaigns with London Mayor Sadiq Khan (C) outside Tooting Broadway Station on June 16, 2016 in London, England. Voters in Tooting, south London decide on a new MP in a by-election today following the seat vacancy left from Sadiq Khan's mayoral victory last month. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images) Dr Rosena Allin-Khan and Sadiq Khan outside Tooting Broadway station on by-election polling day (Credit: Jack Taylor)

In the end the Labour candidate extended Sadiq Khan's majority to a healthy 6,000 and then doubled that margin in the 2017 snap election.

Allin-Khan said: "A lot of people went for the seat, I was so honoured to be finally selected as the candidate and I wanted to give it my all because Tooting is my home, it's where I'm born and bred. I love the people, I love the area, I'm raising my own family here.

"But the Tories had their eye on the seat, for a long time and in 2015 the majority was only just over 2,000 votes. So there was a lot of work to be done, and people didn't know me. I had five weeks to get out there and put across my messages and hope that if people liked what they heard they would vote for me, I'm so glad they did.

"I've worked every day since then tirelessly for the Tooting community. As long as they keep me in I'm not going to give up."