Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Harrow East’

Harrow East’s newly elected MP has spoken about his win.

Bob Blackman, victorious on his fourth attempt to gain a parliamentary seat, hailed it as a rejection of Labour locally and nationally.

Conservative Blackman, who resigned from Brent council to stand in Harrow, said he hoped this would be the dawn of ‘an even better age and a better time’.

 He said: “I look forward to serving the people of Harrow East.”

Paying tribute to ‘concientious former MP Tony McNulty , who he ousted with a majority of 3,403, he said “I do know what it is like to lose an election.

“He must be feeling pretty rough now.

“I would like to be as diligent as he was if not more so.”

McNulty commented that Harrow East had not heard the last of Labour.

“Anyone who thinks this is a good result for the Conservatives locally or nationally needs their head examined.”

Read Full Post »

Britain may be facing a hung parliament but in Harrow East the result is clear – Conservative Bob Blackman is the new MP.

Labour’s Tony McNulty has lost his seat after 13 years, gaining 18,032 votes compared with Blackman’s 21,435.

However is was mixed news for Harrow as Labour’s Gareth Thomas held on to his Harrow West seat, beating off Dr. Rachel Joyce for first place with a majority of 3,143.

Full Results

Bob Blackman (Con)21435 (44.65%) 3403

Tony McNulty (Lb)18032 (37.56%)

Nahid Boethe (Lb Dem)6850 (14.27%) 
 
Abhijit Pandya (UKIP) 896 (1.87%)
 
Madeleine Atkins (Green) 93 (1.65%)
 
Harrow West

Gareth Thomas (Lab) 20,111

Dr Rachel Joyce (Con) 16,968 (36.79%)

Chris Noyce (Lib Dem) 7,458 (16.17%)

Herbert Crossman (UKIP) 954 (2.07%)

Rowan Langley (Green)  625 (1.36%)

Read Full Post »

Having a strict immigration policy is not a sign of intolerance, according to the UKIP candidate for Harrow East.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with Stanmore Politics before the general and local elections this Thursday, Abhijit Pandya emphasised that critics have no basis for calling UKIP intolerant.

“A strict immigration policy in fact can ensure social cohesion and preserve toleration,” he said.

Pandya, a tutor of international law at LSE who grew up in the Harrow area, added he supported a strict cap on immigration.

“People must have secured employment to come into the UK, or they will be a burden on social security.”

However, as the son of immigrants, he agreed there have been ‘huge benefits’ to immigration in Britain, mentioning ‘hard-working decent people seeking to assimilate and participate in Britain.”

“Immigrants contribute to all areas of national life, have contributed to the armed services and the post second world war economic recovery.”

Following on from the furore of a hustings event last week, he said there were huge differences between UKIP and the BNP.

“The fundamentals of our understanding of Britishness is not based on ethnicity but on common shared values of liberalism, toleration and democracy,” he said.

The former Conservative campaigner said UKIP could offer a  clear position on Europe which was not anti-European ‘in a derogatory or prejudiced way’.

He said he wanted to make people aware ‘that we are not a one issue party’ and called for more vocational training for children and an economic revival for small and large businesses.

“I also want a Harrow that is free of property related crime, like burglary and thefts,” he said. “This is by ensuring that police are not burdened with administrative difficulties.

Pandya went on to describe a 50 per cent tax as ‘simply nationalised theft’ and called for a Royal Commission on climate change ‘to ensure Government spending in that area is used honestly’.

“We should not have the inordinate overseas aid budget that the Conservatives and Labour have signed up to in a time of economic crisis,” he said.

He said that politicians put too much emphasis on soundbites trying to please the public, rather than facing difficult arguments.

“Politics has become far too simplistic in its image, whereas the process of Government is ever more complex,” he said. “This leads to a misleading of the public’s expectations.”

Acknowledging UKIP face an uphill challenge, having polled just 757 votes in Harrow East in 2005, he said if he did lose he wanted the party to grow in Harrow ‘by listening to the real concerns of people from all areas of society.’

Still not decided who you’re going to vote for? Read the Stanmore Politics interview with incumbent Labour MP, Tony McNulty, here.

Read Full Post »

Could Harrow East veer even more to the right than we might expect next Thursday?

Douglas Murray has blogged on the Telegraph about what he calls the ‘scandalous insult’ made by Tony McNulty to fellow Harrow East candidate Abhijit Pandya.

Following on from Bigotgate yesterday, right wing rabble-rouser Murray argues that McNulty was just as contemptuous of the UKIP candidate when he said at a hustings event last week: “You haven’t got a clue what you are talking about. You are a BNP man in a suit.”

The Labour MP also accused Pandya, who was born in Harrow and grew up in London, of having forgotten his roots.

Murray went on to sing the praises of Pandya:

“He is a fellow in law at the LSE. As well as being academically distinguished, he is hugely intelligent and likeable. He is also admirably unafraid of tackling difficult issues.

“He is exactly the sort of person who would make the House of Commons a better place.”

Murray ended his post by remarking that putting ‘Brown and McNulty’s recent performances together and you can see why’ voters are moving to fringe parties like UKIP.

Last week, the McNulty comment prompted a flurry of reader reaction on Stanmore Politics.

Bluesharrow wrote that it: “was childish and typical of this politically correct world we live in.”

Virender added: “Those of us who were born here are British, and to claim that you have to be BNP in a suit to promote British culture beggars belief.”

Saurav Nangalia: said the remark was offensive and made ‘the very point that Pandya was trying to get across’. “Abhijit is the only candidate who was born and bred in the constituency so who the hell is McNulty to tell him what his roots are?

“The other parties as usual try to pigeonhole him off based on the colour of the skin – this is the same kind of racial division that the BNP promote.”

Based on this, will UKIP enjoy increased success next week at the polls?

In 2005 the party won 1.8 per cent of the vote, or 757 votes.

Read my top ten political gaffes on Times Online here.

Read Full Post »

We’ve been talking about it for ages. In every newspaper, on every radio or TV programme, on Facebook and Twitter, the hot topic is the race to run the country.   

But away from deficits, bigots and Nick Clegg, Stanmore Politics is on hand with what Harrow needs to know for the 2010 election.  

When is the election?  

Next Thursday, May 6th. You will be voting in the general election for an MP for either Harrow East or West, as well as in the local election.  

Unless you have voted by post, you will need to cast your vote at a polling station between 7am and 10pm.  

Who can I vote for in the general election?  

In Harrow East:  

Madeleine Atkins - Green  

Bob Blackman -  Conservative  

Nahid Boethe - Liberal Democrat  

Tony McNulty - Labour (read an exclusive interview with the incumbent MP here)  

Abhijit Pandya - UK Independence Party  

In Harrow West:  

Herbert Crossman – Uk Independence Party  

Rachel Joyce - Conservative  

Rowan Langley – Green  

Chris Noyce - Liberal Democrat  

Gareth Thomas - Labour  

Who can I vote for in the council election?  

Stanmore Park. For other Harrow wards click here  

Conservative  

 Camilla Bath  

Christine Bednell  

Mark Versallion  

 Labour  

Ann Groves  

Trevor James  

Eileen McNulty  

Liberal Democrats  

Cliff Thomas  

Sylvia Warshaw  

 Green  

Linda Robinson  

Find out who the current Stanmore Park councillors are here.  

Will I be voting in the same place as last time?  

Not necessarily.  Boundary changes mean the Greenhill and Marlborough wards and one part of Harrow-on-the-Hill are now in Harrow West. Meanwhile former Harrow West wards of Hatch End, Pinner, and Pinner South are now under the new constituency of Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner. Check with Harrow Council to be sure.  

Does my vote matter in Harrow?  

If you go by the 2005 results, no – both Tony McNulty and Gareth Thomas clinched a third term. Thomas has a nominal majority of  2,028 and McNulty of 4,730.  

But don’t let the numbers fool you. Both were safe Tory seats until 1997, and the last few years have not been easy, especially with the legacy of expenses hanging over Harrow East.  

Thomas faces a particularly powerful challenge from Joyce, a doctor who has been making her mark in the area for some time.

While Blackman is himself a controversial figure, on his fourth attempt to enter parliament, 2005 saw the constituency swing a significant 6.9 per cent towards the Conservatives.  

You can see just how powerful your vote is here, but essentially, the result is difficult to predict. Which means all the more reason to get out and vote on Thursday.  

Where is my nearest polling station?  

To find out, type your postcode into Harrow council’s helpful device or look at the map on the official polling Election Poll Card you should have received in the post.  

What if I haven’t got a polling card?  

It may still be delivered, but don’t panic. As long as you are on the electoral register you can still vote.  

When will the result be announced?  

Both Harrow seats are set to count their votes on the night, but as for the national result, the numbers may not give us much of an outcome. Pollsters are predicting a hung parliament (read a good guide to that here). But as soon as the results are in, Stanmore Politics will be on hand to tell you the score.  

Any other questions?  

Still confused? Don’t know who to vote for? Drop me a line at stanmorepolitics@gmail.com or on Twitter at @stanmorepol

Read Full Post »

Is Tony McNulty ‘starting to be reintegrated into polite society?

Ross Lydall, reporting on London’s battleground seats for the Evening Standard, certainly thinks so.

In his report, which you can read in full here, he notes McNulty’s expenses record has not featured heavily on the doorstep (despite nationally voters making it a central campaign issue).

Lydall highlights visits to the constituency from Labour topdogs David Miliband and Alan Johnson and the eleventh hour decision to find the funding for the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, which saved McNulty from a potentially life-threatening independent challenge.

Focusing on Bob Blackman, Lydall quotes the Tory candidate as saying: “I have done my apprenticeship” and places him as raring for the contest next week. But Lydall adds that the former Brent councillor and four times parliamentary candidate has many enemies.

For our reading pleasure, Lydall has even added to the online version a link to the comments on his blog by said enemies.

So is McNulty back and will voters focus on his local record rather than the national profile which was so elevated by last year’s expenses scandal? With eight days to go, it’s anyones guess.

One thing that will probably help McNulty pick up some support is his signature on the pledge to oppose a fee rise for students.

The NUS campaign has attracted support from more than 1,000 candidates of all parties, including fellow Labour bigwigs Phil Woolas and Roberta Blackman-woods, an aide to universities minister David Lammy.

Read Full Post »

There was a blow for Harrow Labour yesterday when a key player in the Hindu community and longtime Labour supporter defected to the Conservatives – despite nominating Tony McNulty just days ago.

As the Harrow Times reports, so-called community leader Kanti Patel has written a letter claiming to have lost faith in Labour and criticising Tony McNulty for his record on expenses.

Despite signing McNulty’s nomination papers so that he could stand as the Labour party candidate for Harrow East, Patel said he had switched allegiance because the Tory party was more diverse.

He said he will be encouraging Harrow’s Hindu community to vote Tory because  ‘Tony McNulty has lost the trust of the people who elected him’.

Patel, who has been a labour member for more than 40 years, also posed for a photograph with McNulty’s nemesis, London Mayor Boris Johnson.

Navin Shah, London Assembly Member for Brent and Harrow, said:

“Kanti Patel is not a community leader. He’s just a bitter man who is trying to take revenge.”

And McNulty asked: “Why didn’t he say that to me a week or ten days ago when he signed my nomination papers?”

In other news, McNulty and Johnson carried on trading barbs. Earlier this week the mayor called for ‘a long period of silence’ from McNulty.

Yesterday, the favour was returned as McNulty said Johnson was ‘resorting to personal abuse’ so he could ‘detract from the questions he cannot answer on the police’.

Know who you are voting for on May 6th or haven’t got a clue? Take the Stanmore Politics opinion poll here.

Read Full Post »

The candidates for Harrow East clashed over race relations and the expenses scandal at The HA1’s pre-election debate last night.

Outgoing Labour MP Tony McNulty, Conservative candidate Bob Blackman, Liberal Democrat candidate Nahid Boethe and UKIP candidate Abhijit Pandya were at The University of Westminster to discuss questions raised by voters and students.

The first question asked referred to the quality of race relations in local communities, with Black and Minority Ethnic groups now making up 55 per cent of Harrow’s population. UKIP member Mr Pandya, who is of Indian origin, caused controversy and was laughed at by the audience when he talked of creating “one Britishness” by encouraging the various ethnic communities to attend gatherings promoting British culture.

The other three candidates disagreed and were united in claiming that Harrow East’s ethnic communities were functioning well living side by side and bringing their own different cultures to the community.

Mr McNulty directly attacked Mr Pandya saying: “You haven’t got a clue what you are talking about.

“You are a BNP man in a suit.”

Conservative candidate Mr Blackman said: “There is great tolerance here of different races and religions. Mrs Boethe added: “We are all the same, we are all living together”. The debate soon moved on to the expenses scandal.

Last year, Mr McNulty was shamed by The Daily Telegraph who reported that he had claimed second home allowances on a house that his parents live in. One Stanmore resident in the audience, Graham Hall, told the panel: “I’m afraid MPs in Parliament just do not get it, at how annoyed the public are over the expenses scandal.”

Addressing Mr McNulty directly, he added: ”You were a minister at the Home Office. You really should know what it is to be upright and honest in your dealings over your expenses.”

Mr McNulty said that he had taken advice from the fees office on his expenses 10 years ago and that the advice turned out to be wrong. He has since apologised both to his constituents and to Parliament and paid back the amount.

Mr Blackman said: “All politicians should be apologising rather than saying ‘I’ve done nothing wrong’. What I hear when I go door to door is that the current Labour MP has let everyone down and I don’t know how he has got the cheek to stand. ”

Mr Pandya said he would push for criminal sanctions for MPs who abuse the system whilst Mrs Boethe promised transparency from the Liberal Democrats.

Other issues discussed included problems caused by the closure of the Jubilee and Metropolitan lines at weekends and the failure to get proper disabled access at Stanmore and Harrow on the Hill stations. Mr McNulty blamed London Mayor Boris Johnson and Mr Blackman blamed former London Mayor Ken Livingstone.

Mrs Boethe said both parties were guilty of failing to get things done. The Labour and Conservative candidates clashed again over the future of Northwick Park Hospital.

Mr McNulty told Mr Blackman to “stop lying” over fears the Accident and Emergency department there could be closed. “There is no threat to the A&E department at Northwick Park Hospital,” he said.

“We want to grow and develop and get to a stage where Northwick Park Hospital is one of the finest hospitals in London.”

Mr Blackman disagreed, saying: “The position is that NHS London are consulting at the moment… and that says 5 out of 8 of the A&E services in north-west London will close. “It’s not fair to say that there‘s no threat to Northwick Park Hospital, because there is.”

The discussion finished on particularly sensitive issues when a member of the audience asked the candidates what they intended to do about the proposed job cuts at the University of Westminster.

All candidates offered to speak to the Vice Chancellor. Bob Blackman closed the discussion saying: “If constituents are being faced with job cuts, I would ask why this is being done. You need the expertise of teachers to be passed on to the students. You cut these people at your peril.”

Madeleine Atkins is also standing for election in Harrow East as a representative of the Green Party, but did not take up the opportunity to attend last night’s debate.

The report of yesterday’s debate was written by Victoria Maw. See photos from the event and more over at The HA1

Read Full Post »

With just over two weeks to go before the election, the campaigns are being stepped up in Harrow.

Yesterday Chancellor Alistair Darling paid a visit to Rayners Lane, telling the crowd that Labour’s record on employment would keep customers spending in local businesses, and defending the proposed rise in National Insurance.

Meanwhile Mayor Boris Johnson went on the attack as he visited Harrow, appealing for a “long period of silence” from Tony McNulty, the incumbent Labour MP for Harrow East.

And in case anyone in Harrow West was thinking of jumping on the ‘I agree with Nick’ bandwagon and voting Lib Dem, Tory candidate Rachel Joyce offers up a reminder of what the party stand for.

“…to join the Euro, give even MORE powers to Europe, stop prison sentences for a significant proportion of quite serious crimes, and get rid of Britain’s nuclear deterrent.”

Joyce is herself a former Lib Dem member, but there is obviously no love lost between the two.

Today was the final deadline for candidates standing in next month’s election.

Read Full Post »

What do you really know about the people who want to run Harrow East as of May 6th?

After all the talking, policy proposing and manifesto launching, it seems high time to hear from the candidates themselves.

Luckily my fellow community site The HA1 is on hand to help.

They will be hosting a debate next Tuesday featuring four of the candidates running for election in Harrow East.

Confirmed to be at the event, which will be held at at the University of Westminster, is Nahid Boethe (Lib Dem), Abhijit Pandya (UKIP) and Bob Blackman (Conservatives). Incumbent MP Tony McNulty will also be making an appearance.

Entry is free. Reserve you seat by emailing news@theha1.co.uk or by calling 020 7911 500 Ext: 4115.

Before you have your say, why not let them have theirs.

If you are interested in covering the event for Stanmore Politics please email stanmorepolitics@gmail.com

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.