Posts Tagged ‘Ross Lydall’

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.

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The election is turning ever nastier in Harrow East.

The Evening Standard’s Ross Lydall reports the battle of words taking place between the Labour and Tory candidates for the constituency.

Lydall describes Labour’s Tony McNulty as an ‘attack dog’ and notes Tory Bob Blackman is a ‘colourful figure who seems to have more enemies […] than the average politician yet to make it to the national stage’.

Following these pleasantries, Lydall gives both a chance to explain themselves (Nahid Boethe, the Lib Dem’s candidate, is curiously absent).

Blackman tells Lydall: “You don’t do the sort of things I have done in Brent without breaking a few eggs,” then goes on to draw attention to McNulty’s expenses record.

“I don’t believe in taking from the public purse. The company I work for, if you claim expenses, you have got to have a receipt for everything you claim. Why should MPs be any different?”

McNulty hits back, indignantly claiming he didn’t fiddle his expenses.

He protests: “[There were] no duck houses, flipping, capital gains tax. I regard myself as a man of integrity.”

Lydall says this is only a taste of what is to come, so we can look forward to more friendly banter next week.


For a taste of what Harrow people think of both McNulty and Blackman, scroll down to the comment section on Lydall’s post.

One Tim Vines writes: “How was he selected for this marginal seat when he had a leaky & smelly baggage”.

Meanwhile P’doff pensioner rages: “Why is this piece of trash McNulty being allowed to stand again after being found guilty of theft?” 

Go on guys, get it out of your system.

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