Letter: `Impossible' to be MP and MEP

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Sir: I write with reference to the letters by Bob Russell, MP for Colchester (25 August) and Anne McIntosh, MP for the Vale of York and MEP for Essex North and Suffolk South (30 August). I'm afraid they are both being a little disingenuous.

Firstly, while it may be true that Labour Parliamentarians have in the past exercised a dual mandate, it has not been possible for sometime. Nearly seven years ago Labour Party Conference banned the practice on the grounds it was impossible to do the two adequately.

Secondly, as for the comment that more than two years is a short transitional period, all I can say is that many of my unemployed constituents would only be too grateful for such a job and length of contract.

However Bob Russell should clarify the position of the Liberal Party. In the past both David Steel and Russell Johnson stood as MEPs while sitting in the House of Commons.

Is this now banned or will we see a litter of the surprised Liberal victors from 1 May doing the chicken-run on to the new regional lists in 1999 saying that after all three years is only a short time?


(Greater Manchester East, Lab)