Letter: Kinnock's choice

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Sir: Matthew Symonds wrote on 16 July ('Calumny conceals the true value of Kinnock') that Neil Kinnock was denied any choice about the timing of his departure 'by a tacit understanding within Labour's ruling circles (for which read trade union leaders) that if the party lost, he would immediately face a challenge from John Smith which, if it came to a fight, he would lose'.

This is not true. Neil made a decision very early in his period of office that he would not lead a Labour opposition into a third general election. This decision was right and, as usual, it was his and no one else's.

This is just another example of misinformation about Labour's links with trade unions.

Yours faithfully,


Deputy General Secretary

National Union of

Public Employees

London, SE18

17 July