Public service demands

IN REPLY to Alan Watkins's column of last week: Cecil Parkinson, David Mellor and Peter Mandelson all resigned because their conduct and behaviour fell short, and was seen to fall short, of those standards that can reasonably be expected of MPs, public servants and ministers of the Crown.

If that is not enough for Mr Watkins, perhaps he will recall that Mr Parkinson was alleged at the time o have left classified documents in his car outside his mistress's home, that Mr Mellor could arguably have laid himself open to blackmail (let alone ridicule), while Mr Mandelson was suspected of having broken the rules of the Britannia Building Society.

As for Mr Watkins's house in Islington, I doubt whether anyone who reads the Independent on Sunday cares whether it was left to him by his aunt or whether he bought it with the proceeds of an armed robbery.

The point is that he is not a public servant and is not accountable to the voters. Messrs Parkinson, Mellor and Mandelson, however, were and therefore they had to go.

ROGER HEWEN

Laverton, Somerset

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