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The Unlikely Candidate

What Losing an Election Taught Me about How to Change Politics

By Ali Milani

Published

Jun 28, 2022

Page count

216 pages

ISBN

978-1447361596

Dimensions

216 x 138 mm

Imprint

Policy Press

Published

Jun 28, 2022

Page count

216 pages

ISBN

978-1447361602

Dimensions

Imprint

Policy Press
The Unlikely Candidate

Across the Western world, people are desperate for a radical shift in politics and for new kinds of politicians. Primary defeats for established figures and shock results in referendums are becoming the norm, while outsiders are shaking up political cultures.

In this book, Ali Milani, a rising star in the UK’s Labour Party, brings a unique perspective to the key political issues we're facing in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and shows how young people from all walks of life can engage in politics to transform our country and the world.

Drawing on his rollercoaster campaign against Prime Minister Boris Johnson in the UK’s 2019 general election and his time in Bernie Sanders’ campaign team, he aims to inspire a new generation, including the disenfranchised, disillusioned and marginalised, to raise their voices and change mainstream politics for the better.

“To run for office – no matter who you are – is an act of courage. To run against the possible next British prime minister as a Muslim immigrant, guided by the belief that your country deserves better? That’s an act of profound love and hope. Milani tells that story of courage, love and hope – a story that, in this time of worry and despair, is an intervention in our public discussion." Abdul El-Sayed, physician, epidemiologist and former candidate for governor of Michigan

"I witnessed Ali's campaign to unseat Boris Johnson up close, and I was struck by his passion and dedication to a transformative style of politics." Sirin Kale, The Guardian, VICE

“Milani gives us a powerful, spirited and frank account of modern politics through the eyes of the next generation of leaders.” Nazir Afzal OBE

“Milani has inspired so many young people to get involved in politics. He is a force to be reckoned with.” Afzal Khan, Labour MP for Manchester Gorton

"Milani understands the political divisions of our time because he has lived them. His insight is important. Kings may yet be overthrown.” Oli Dugmore, Head of News and Politics, JOE Media

"Milani's book could not be more timely. While politicians and the current state of politics is severely dire, he shows us how we can all change politics for good. Truly inspiring, and one that should be on everyone's bookshelf." Magid Magid, activist, author, politician, former MEP, former Lord Mayor of Sheffield

Ali Milani is a Labour Party politician, councillor, campaigner and activist. He served two years as Vice President of the National Union of Students, was elected as Labour Party councillor in the 2018 local elections, and was selected as the parliamentary candidate in Uxbridge and South Ruislip in September 2018. He has worked on multiple UK Labour leadership campaigns, as well as presidential campaigns in the United States.

Foreword by John McDonnell

Introduction: ‘Hope’

1. ‘A great idea, but probably not for someone like me’

2. ‘Every election has a story’

3. ‘The imperfect candidate’

4. ‘I think it’s safe to say, I was never supposed to be an MP’

5. ‘Where are you really from?’

6. ‘Running while broke’

7. ‘This is big. Bigger than me’

8. ‘The audacity to dream of change’