May 7 2010 By David Baker
THE new Conservative MP for Harrow East has admitted that his rivals involvement in the expenses scandal may have handed him the pivotal win.
Bob Blackman (Con) snatched the seat held by Labour's Tony McNulty for the past 13 years after he received 21,435 votes.
Despite the eleventh hour find of an uncounted ballot box it was not enough to save Mr McNulty who could only muster 18,032 votes - giving the new Conservative MP a majority of 3,403.
After the announcement of the close fought victory Mr Blackman told the Observer that he may well have been helped to his win because his rival was embroiled in the expenses scandal.
He said: "Every other door that I knocked on people were saying that the scandal was important to them.
"Tony has been a very conscientious, hard working and deligent MP and I know what it is like to lose so I have a lot of sympathy for him.
"I am delighted though. It has taken sheer hard work to get here and I'm very much looking forward to representing the people of Harrow.
"Voters have come out and have voted in large numbers which makes the victory even more rewarding."
Speaking after the decleration Mr McNulty graciously accepted defeat and wished the new MP the best of luck.
He did however hit back at claims that the General Election had been a failure for Labour.
He said: "To describe it (the election) as a resounding failure nationally is a bit of a joke.
"I think politics in this country over the next couple of weeks will really need to grow up, we are a brand new territory and MPs have a responsibilty to act on behalf of the people.
"It has been my enourmous pleasure to serve as a councillor and MP for the last 24 years.
"You have not heard the last of Labour in Harrow East or Harrow West or in London."
With Blackman and McNulty taking the lion share of the votes it was Lib Dem candidate Nahid Boethe who came third with 6,850 votes, whilst Abhijit Pandya (UKIP) and Madeleine Atkins (Green) received 896 and 793 votes respectively.