Letter: Play fair, Ken

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Sir: The cuddly Cockney strikes again ("When it comes to money, Millbank is not playing fair", 27 October).

Ken Livingstone's tribute to the generosity of those supporting his campaign appeared on the same day as a full-page advert in the London Evening Standard which included a tear-off slip for donations. Presumably, another pro- Ken rally has been organised to raise funds to pay for the advert.

The tear-off slip asked the donor for a signed denial of membership of any political party other than Labour. Assuming Livingstone has no access to other parties' membership records, does he take the donor's word for it?

It is a flagrant abuse of party membership to canvass support outside the party in order to influence a party decision. It is also deceitful to ask party members for donations while retaining the option of standing against Labour as an independent candidate.

If Livingstone wants to stand against Lord Archer for the position of Mayor of London, no one is stopping him. What upsets the stomach is his attempt to win the official backing of the Labour Party while failing to support the party's rules and procedures. That is parasitism.

JOHN ROBERTS

London SE22

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