LETTER : Man, party or democracy?

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From Mr Stephen Gould

Sir: Brian Mawhinney comments ("Tory schisms laid bare by shock decision," 9 October) that Alan Howarth's failure to stand down "deprives the people of Stratford of their representative that they voted for".

By the same logic, those Tory MPs who were withheld the party whip should also have stood down to allow a by-election to be held. I don't recall any Tory proposing this.

If the vote is for the man, not the party, then Mr Howarth stays. If a vote is for the party, not the man, then the Tories cannot argue against party lists in a PR system.

Which is it, man or party?

Yours sincerely,

Stephen Gould

London, SW5

9 October