Letter: Portillo's past

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The Independent Culture
Sir: John Curtice claims that the fractional increase in the Conservative share of the vote in the Kensington and Chelsea by-election demonstrates that Mr Portillo's past was not a liability in the campaign ("Well-heeled of Kensington vote with their feet", 27 November).

However, his two predecessors as MPs for the constituency had already eroded the Conservative vote. Sir Nicholas Scott was convicted of a drink- related driving offence whilst in office, and Alan Clark was a self-confessed womaniser.

The fact that Mr Portillo was only able to claw back a miserly 2.8 per cent share of the vote for the Conservatives suggests that his past is almost as serious a liability as those of his predecessors.

NIGEL WILKINS

London SW7

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