Letter: Fair election battles

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Fair election battles

Sir: I read with interest the comments of Colin Jordan (letter, 4 November) regarding the Labour leadership trying to hamstring Ken Livingstone. As a former membership secretary in the Labour Party I can confirm that the competition for membership lists is fierce.

Anyone seeking a nomination for any position has an immediate advantage if they know who is and who isn't entitled to vote. I am sure this is the case in every political party.

If the electoral register was treated in the same way - only given out to the favoured candidate - every democrat would howl at the unfairness. This is only one example of how the democratic process can be bent inside political parties.

Is it not time to consider having an ombudsman for political parties to ensure that the people who rise to the top of powerful organisations have got there by the fair application of their rules and not by the rule- bending and connivance that so many of the electorate so rightly suspect.