Letter: Labour remembers

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Sir: I read with some bemusement the article by Antony Taylor (13 January) marking the centenary of the Independent Labour Party. He stated that the Labour Party's plans to mark this historic anniversary were 'curiously muted' and that the leadership felt it was 'unfashionable' to make reference to the traditional culture of the Labour Party.

Far from dismissing Labour's proud heritage as the 'preserve of an eccentric fringe' and 'profoundly unattractive', on the day of the anniversary John Smith unveiled a commemorative plaque at the Bradford Playhouse (site of the inaugural ILP conference), paid tribute to the pioneering efforts of the founders and stressed the continuing relevance of the ILP's guiding principles to the modern Labour Party.

To claim that Labour is distancing itself from its traditions is, quite simply, wrong.

Yours faithfully,

HILARY COFFMAN

Chief Press and

Broadcasting Officer

The Office of the Leader

of the Opposition

House of Commons

London, SW1

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