News Andrew Mitchell and his wife, Dr Sharon Bennett, leave the press conference

Perhaps only someone with Mr Mitchell’s credentials would have been prepared to confront the police and the CPS

Letter: Mayoral deceit


Letter: MPs' secret voting

Sir: The letter from David S Gold (23 November) of the Conservative London Policy Unit (urging "anyone thinking of putting themselves forward" - for the position of Mayor of London - "to consider carefully whether they can meet the high standards we expect from Conservative candidates") really does take the biscuit.

Letter: London figurehead

Letter: London figurehead

Letter: Voter fury

Sir: Failure to vote is always described as "apathy" by the politicians and the press ("Obligatory voting plan to end low turn-outs", 9 November).

Labour tells its MPs: write essay to save job

MPs MAY have scoffed at government plans for peers to justify their existence in 75 words, but yesterday it was revealed that they are also to be given a challenge - to save their own jobs in two A4 pages.

Inside Lines: Archer snookered

It is almost a couple of years since Lord Archer took his cue and became the new baron of the green baize. As president of the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association it was thought he would set out to clean up the festering image of a sport at war with itself. But there has been little sign of lordly trouble-shooting. The bold Jeffrey has never really got to grips with snooker's political machinations, which has seen the controversial chairman "Brontosaurus" Rex Williams cling to office amid ceaseless rows and rucks, the latest episode concerning the dismissal of a high-flyer chief executive appointed only two months ago. What Archer thinks about it all is not known. He is apparently preoccupied with an embarrassment closer to home, his Prince Philip-mode gaffe over "fat black women". Neither that nor his continued association with snooker's suicide can be doing his fast-receding London mayoral election chances much good. Will he make the break? The whole episode might make an intriguing plot for yet another Archer novel. First Among Sequels to Shall We Tell the President? If only someone will tell this president exactly what is going on.

Letter: Benefit of change

Sir: We read with interest Andrew Grice's report on the Joint Employment and Social Security Select Committee report on the new ONE Service ("MPs warn of `mistrust and alarm' over benefit interviews", 28 July). We are grateful to the committee for their helpful report which is generally very positive about the ONE Service. We will take their recommendations very seriously.
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