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Jan 06 2015

Labour’s Uma Kumaran – On to a Winner in Harrow East?

uma_kumaranUma Kumaran, known best, perhaps, for her demands for censorship of articles she doesn’t like on iharrow.com, has sent out a press release, noting that former Conservative candidate Iain Dale has conceded that Labour’s Uma Kumaran is likely to be the MP for Harrow East after May.

She writes, “Dale, a prominent political blogger and one-time Tory candidate in Norfolk North, released his predictions online to more than 54,000 followers on Twitter. Described by Dale as a ‘probable Labour gain’, recent polling has shown that the marginal constituency is poised on a knife edge with the General Election only four months away.”

What she conveniently doesn’t mention, however, is a recent poll by Lord Ashcroft, released last month, which predicted Labour losing to Bob Blackman by 3%. That said, however, it also shows UKIP as taking 13% of the vote, despite rumours that UKIP aren’t going to stand in Harrow East (Jeremy Zeid, where are you?). If that’s true about UKIP not standing then the 3% deficit is likely to be even worse for Uma in Harrow East with former Mayor Nana Asante, now confirmed to stand as a TUSC candidate, likely to take a few hundred votes away from Uma.

Lord Ashcroft notes “In the last few weeks I have polled 1,000 voters in each of the eight seats with Tory majorities over Labour of between 7.1% and 8.5%. On the basis of this snapshot, four of the eight would stay in Conservative hands – Carmarthen West & South Pembrokeshire, Elmet & Rothwell, Harrow East, Pendle, and Warwick & Leamington (each with swings to Labour of 2.5% or below).” Much more detail on the numbers can be found here.

However, we’d agree with Dale’s prediction of a knife edge – 3% is hardly a striking endorsement of Blackman – so no doubt we’ll see a flurry of activity in the area soon.

But, back to Uma… The recent article prompted a tsunami of email about her selection as a candidate, or, as one correspondent wrote, “There was general shock around the room when she was declared the winner. It was like watching the X-Factor and seeing the losing candidate crowned the winner at the end!!” He went to to voice a suspicion that she won by a landslide amongst postal voters – her victory was, he says, “basically in the bag before even a single vote had been cast on the day of the hustings!”

“The rumour,” he wrote, “is that she was parachuted into Harrow East by her union, the GMB, and that in the run-up to the selection the GMB used the same tactics as Unite had used in Falkirk by recruiting lots of ‘paper members’ in the months leading up to the Harrow East selection. There was much anger about this after the selection and this might explain why so many local councillors and Harrow Labour activists are voting with their feet by not campaigning for her on a regular basis.” He finishes: “I was so disillusioned that I simply let my Labour Party membership lapse.”

Uma finishes, “I am proud to call Harrow my home, and will continue to work hard to fight for our community here.”

She may have lived in Harrow all her life but she was completely unknown until she turned up on the campaign trail during the West Harrow byelection campaign back in January 2013. The former minister (and MP) she once worked for was none other than Dawn Butler – who came under fire in 2009 for claiming £23,000 second home allowance, despite her other home being exactly the same distance from Parliament –  and Uma appears to have lost her parliamentary job when Dawn lost her seat in 2010.

Hat-tip to the contributors who email content for this article, who shall remain anonymous. Anything to add? Send it to info@iharrow.com.

 

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4 comments

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  1. Marcello Borgese

    Hopefully Uma Kumaran will be Uma Also-ran.

  2. Harrow Poll Watcher

    Oh dear, Iain Dale’s updated forecast summary for Harrow East is not looking too good for Miss Kumaran.

    http://iaindale.com/posts/2015/01/04/general-election-predictions-29-london-north-west

  3. public

    we need a change of govt if we’re to protect important public services like the NHS. to do that we must have a labour win in harrow east in may.
    it’s a great pity that cllr ramchandani and her supporters can’t get over the selection result and get behind uma. we need unity

    http://www.iharrow.com/council/harrow-labour-none-of-us-interested-in-fast-lane-to-westminster/

  4. Mike N

    Really……’a change of government if we’re to protect public services like the NHS’ Try telling that to the people of Wales who’s NHS is run by Labour. And has been for many years. The current government has had to make many hard decisions, some very unpopular, because of the mess the last government made of running the country. The last thing we need is them doing it again.

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