Letter: Tories after Archer Sir:

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Following Lord Archer's resignation as London mayoral candidate there has been criticism of the Conservative Party's decision not to submit his candidature to its newly-formed ethics committee. This criticism is misplaced.

The function of an ethics committee is to determine, for example, whether there has been a conflict of interest or whether proven behaviour renders the person referred to it unsuitable for office. Such committees have a judgmental, not investigative, role. They are not detectives and I fail to see how the ethics committee of any political party could reasonably have been expected to unearth the secret events of 13 years ago whose exposure has led to Lord Archer's downfall.

The fact is that, in public life, all parties must place their trust in the honesty, integrity and good sense of those who wish to represent them. Sadly, in this case we were badly let down on all three counts.


Conservative Candidate for Enfield-Haringey

London N22