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.