LETTERS: Non-aligned

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The Independent Culture
Sir: It was startling - and indeed entertaining - to see myself characterised by you as a member of the hated boss class over the non- renewal of comedian Mark Steel's contract at The Guardian (Media, 13 April). I'm afraid some of your facts are wrong, however.

I did not offer Mark another six-month contract "as long as he never wrote for The Independent again". The truth is the opposite: I actually gave him explicit permission at the time to write what he told us would be a sports column for The Independent. (Whatever happened to that column for you?)

Nor did I tell him The Guardian was planning to realign itself politically alongside Blair. That would be silly.

You omitted to say that the demonstration at The Guardian on Monday appeared in fact to be organised by the Socialist Workers Party. We are not planning to align ourselves politically with them, either.

DAVID LEIGH

Comment Editor

The Guardian

London EC1

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