Letter: Howard did not walk out

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The Independent Online
I READ Nick Cohen's account of a visit by the Home Secretary to Sherbourne House, London, with interest and alarm (' 'Prejudiced' Tories attack probation rules', 5 December). Michael Howard spent two hours at the day centre for young adult offenders. As you might expect, he cross-examined closely, did not explode with rage, did not walk out, and found the whole occasion, in his words, 'informative and interesting'.

Mr Cohen also refers to the alleged views of David Maclean, a Home Office minister, in relation to ex-Service personnel being employed by the Probation Service. We rely on a cross-section of staff from all walks of life, including ex-Service personnel, to carry out their responsibilities in a disciplined and creative manner.

John Harding

Chief Probation Officer, Inner London Probation Service, SW1

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