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Archive for the ‘Bob Blackman’ Category

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.”

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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%)

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After a week where he’s managed to offend people with mental health problems not just once, but twice, Harrow East Tory politician Bob Blackman has done it again.

According to the Harrow Times, Blackman, who hopes to take on incumbent Labour MP Tony McNulty, called his rival ‘mad’.

McNulty had been rather quick to criticise Blackman for his slips, telling Stanmore Politics yesterday that he should apologise.

But it seems clear that Blackman didn’t mean the remarks offensivly, he just needs to follow the maxim of ‘think before you speak’.

Stern talk necessary from Conservative HQ?

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Could it be all change in Harrow East?

A YouGov poll of London voters for the Evening Standard suggests that Harrow East will swing back to the Conservatives in the upcoming election.

 The seat, which went from Blue to Red in 1997 and has been held for the past 13 years by Labour MP Tony McNulty, is one of a dozen tipped to go Tory next month.

 The poll gives the Conservative party a six point rise on the 2005 election, putting their share of the vote in the capital at 38 per cent.

 Meanwhile the poll puts Labour at 35 per cent and the Lib Dems at 16 per cent, a six point drop.

 Among the twelve seats likely to shift from either Lib Dem or Labour control is Harrow’s neighbouring seat Hendon. Currently held by Labour MP Andrew Dismore, it is highly placed on the Conservatives list of target seats, which may be why Prime Minister Gordon Brown dropped by the area yesterday.

 Harrow East is not considered quite as marginal as Hendon, with McNulty enjoying a majority of 2,934 in the 2005 election.

 But as the poll indicates, his dismal record during last year’s expenses scandal and Labour’s wider national standing could well deliver a win for Tory candidate Bob Blackman.

 Still, with more than three weeks to go until May 6, none of the candidates can rest easy.

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It’s been a bad couple of days for Harrow East’s Conservative candidate.

Bob Blackman has come under fire from a mental health charity for using the term ‘basket case’ during a hustings event yesterday.

The BBC are reporting him saying:

 “Harrow Council was a basket case before the Tories took over. Now we are a three star council.”

However healthcare worker criticised him for use of the term, saying it was ‘hurtful to millions’. 

“This [prospective] MP is meant to represent us and to speak up for us but by using that term after saying all the wonderful things that he wants to campaign for mental health just shows what is in his heart and mind.”

She added: “I am wondering how much he would really champion mental illness.”

Labour incumbent Tony McNulty and Lib Dem candidate Nahid Boethe were among those criticising Blackman. To add insult to injury, the former Brent councillor made the comments at an event organised by Rethink, a mental illness charity.

Victoria Walsh,from Rethink, encouraged politicians to ‘think carefully about the type of language they use’.

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As the starting gun is finally fired on the 2010 general election, one imagines Conservative candidate Bob Blackman would like to be looking forwards, to the upcoming vote.

So the Harrow East candidate, who has unsuccessfully contested the seat before, can’t have been too happy to see his name up in a list of Tory councillors who invested money in a failing banks.

But the FT are reporting just that, writing that ‘four [now Tory PPCs were] responsible for investing a total of more than £45m in Icelandic banks that failed.’

“…Mr Blackman, now standing in Harrow East, held the finance portfolio at Brent when £15m was lent”

That Blackman was at the front of such a dodgy investment isn’t really news, but I doubt it’s what he wants to be reminded of on Day One of the race.

** In the run up to May 6th Stanmore Politics will be keeping you up to date with Harrow’s election battle. If I’ve missed anything important, drop me a line to let me know.

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Harrow got a mention on Dave Hill’s Guardian blog today. Postulating about ‘bluewash Harrow’, Hill made predictions about the Conservative chances in both east and west of the borough.

 For Tony McNulty, over in Harrow East, Hill wasn’t too positive, noting the seat would be more of a Tory target. He wrote:

 “Not only is the former henchman of gruesome, tabloid-pleaser Home Secretary John Reid defending a small majority, he also has the legacy of his expenses mess working against him. And what a mess it was…

 “… [Bob Blackman has] had his own local difficulties but you’ve got to fancy his chances anyway.”

 He was more optimistic about Gareth Thomas in Harrow West. Describing Thomas as ‘depressingly obedient’, Hill said this seat looked more secure, but added:

“NHS doctor Rachel Joyce has been blogging and slimming at the same time which, given that my weight has recently soared to an unimpressive life-time record of 12 stone five pounds, impresses me as the mark of a formidable individual.

“Sometimes I think the Tories deserve their turn in power.”

Joyce herself was pretty pleased to get a mention in the post. Writing on her blog that Hill was spot on about her Labour opponent, she said:

“He is so uber-loyal that it is frustrating

“…Just once in a while he should show the Labour party a bit of gumption and say “no – I don’t agree with that”.

The dieting doctor was most keen to set the record straight over being a member of the Blue Rinse brigade.

“I am still of child-bearing age (so I can’t be that old) and I used to be a LibDem. Perhaps I’m a tinge of turquoise…”

Will Hill’s predictions for Harrow’s Labour MPs come true? Watch this space.

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