Letter: Left-winger hails Blair

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Sir: Further to your report and editorial (13 May), and as one of many Labour MPs present for one in a series of discussions between Tony Blair and his back-benchers, and as a left-winger, may I suggest that Labour, like any other party, would face very serious problems if it didn't contain a variety of views, policy priorities and the personal differences which are part and parcel of any large and democratic political organisation.

Nonetheless, journalists are wont to exaggerate these nuances and differences. Personally, I very much welcomed the chance for a conversation with Tony Blair and to air my own views on policy and priorities.

Other Labour leaders have not even tried to gauge the feelings of the foot-soldiers and he should be congratulated for having done so.

Harry Barnes MP

(North East Derbyshire, Lab)

House of Commons

London SW1