Hate crime, Brexit and climate change were among the key subjects as those hoping to represent Harrow East in the next parliament were quizzed at a charity hustings.

Conservative Bob Blackman, Labour candidate Cllr Pamela Fitzpatrick and Liberal Democrat representative Adam Bernard took part in the discussion at Stanmore and Canons Park Synagogue last night (December 5).

The seat is viewed as a key battleground for major political parties, with Mr Blackman securing a majority of just 1,757 in 2017. Here’s what the candidates had to say.


Adam Bernard: “I remember all the promises, which have been proven to be lies or not compatible with the deal [Boris Johnson] has got.

“People have a right to say ‘no, that’s not what I voted for’. It’s fair and reasonable to look at what’s on offer and say, we’ve changed our minds – that’s democracy.”

Pamela Fitzpatrick: “I think it’s right to have an option of a deal and the option to remain [in the EU].

“Labour has a deal which is far better than the one the Tories are proposing.”

Bob Blackman: “The British people decided that we should leave the EU. Now we have a deal that’s ready to go.

“If I’m re-elected, I’ll support it so we can get Brexit done.”


Pamela Fitzpatrick: “We have had no investment but have seen austerity measures that have led to such hardships – who is benefiting in this economy?

“The Conservative manifesto offers nothing. If this was put forward by Harrow Council, I’d be embarrassed.

“We have to borrow; we have to invest, and all our policies will stimulate the economy.”

Bob Blackman: “We inherited an economy [in 2010] that was bust; there was literally no money left.

“Labour plans to spend an eye-watering £1.2 trillion by taxing big businesses and the top five per cent of earners. Don’t believe it, everyone will be worse off.

“This would wreck the economy and we would be left to put it back again. I urge you not to take that risk.”

Adam Bernard: “We need to transform our economy. If you want one that is fit for purpose, stronger, greener and more fairly distributed across the country then vote Liberal Democrat.”


Adam Bernard: “I’m very concerned about the rise in anti-Semitism we have seen and I’m trying to make people aware of how this is perceived by the Jewish community.

“We need to have solidarity with all ethnic minorities and realise that people will try to divide us. But an attack on one of us is an attack on all of us.”

Bob Blackman: “Frankly, for us to be in a position where individuals are being hounded out of the Labour Party is a disgrace.

“We need to take this far out of politics, stand square behind it and make it clear that anti-Semitism is hatred.”

Pamela Fitzpatrick: “There is nothing to fear from the Labour Party at all, though I appreciate that criticism is due.

“It’s been an issue; we all know that. They’ve tried to deal with it and it’s not been done well and what we have to do is improve on that.”

Public safety

Bob Blackman: “The reality is we need more police in Harrow. Crime is obviously a major concern, even though Harrow is statistically the safest borough in London.

“We need to recruit, retrain and encourage more police officers so criminals can be brought to justice.”

Adam Bernard: “There’s a very worrying rise in knife crime – it’s a real problem. We want to put another 20,000 police on our streets and introduce more community officers.

“We also need to look at the root of these crimes. That means working with schools, health services, youth programmes so the country doesn’t become a fertile ground for crime.”

Pamela Fitzpatrick: “We need to do something since the Conservatives have cut police services to the bone.

“People are scared to go out on the streets – life isn’t about survival, it’s about enjoyment and I believe Labour will bring that back.”


Pamela Fitzpatrick: “Personally, I wish we could have been a bit more ambitious with our climate change policies, but they have been curbed back to be more realistic and achievable.”

Bob Blackman: “It’s not just about what we do locally, we need to convince other nations to look at what they are doing. Manmade climate change is causing immense problems to the entirety of the world.”

Adam Bernard: “We think we can be carbon neutral by 2045, but we are holding out hope that technology will catch up and we can do things sooner.”