Letter: In hot pursuit of factual accuracy

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Sir: It would help if you got your facts right ('Hot, strong and on the boil again'; Profile, 15 January).

1. I'm not 5ft 4in but 5ft 6in.

2. Not three A-levels but four, plus one S-level.

3. A Second, yes, but viva'd for a First.

4. 'Stood firm and claimed it was true' - in fact, I couldn't say a word as I was instructed to stay silent. Please see my book Life Lines, which explains clearly what happened.

5. 'She felt (Ken Clarke) should have spoken out in her support' - he did, more than once. Life Lines ibid.

6. 'Very junior ministerial post' - rot; it was No 2 at the Home Office, and most colleagues would give their eye teeth for it.

7. 'She decided to go for Europe' - that was decided before the April 1992 election and John Major's offer. I was on the Europe list from December 1991.

8. 'She says she will resign her Commons seat if elected to the Strasbourg parliament in June' - not true: just the opposite. I will give up my seat in Westminster when this parliament ends, and not before.

Incidentally, my support for a better understanding of gay men goes back further than Aids, to 1977 when Birmingham Gay Friend Help-line was set up. I recommended they get a grant. The committee split down the middle, across party lines - all the women councillors in favour, all the men against. We lost.

This time we may win.



MP for Derbyshire South (Con)

House of Commons

London, SW1