Letter: London's choice

Sir: The election of a mayor for London is of interest to more than just Londoners. Such a momentous, and expensive, decision should not be rushed. In requiring the referendum to be delayed until eight weeks after publication of the legislation proposing it, the House of Lords have not indulged in an "anti-democratic vote" nor have they denied Londoners the chance to make a choice (report, 14 January). On the contrary, they have upheld the democratic process by insisting that voters be allowed time for informed discussion.

Why is the Government so anxious to rush to this vote in May when it has so many more urgent priorities: health, education, welfare? If the Lords vote is truly attributable to a "handful of unelected, hereditary peers", as John Prescott says, then they seem to be more mindful of the democratic process than elected ministers.


Maidenhead, Berkshire