Letter: Short on consistency

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The Independent Online
From Ms Josephine Toynbee

Sir: I agree that Harriet Harman's choice of school for her son was a purely personal, family decision that she had to take in his best interests, within the context of this Government's relentless underfunding of non- grant maintained schools.

I am just amazed that Clare Short could publicly criticise her sister MP, saying she must "answer to her constituents for her choice". I am a member of Ms Short's own Ladywood constituency Labour Party. Here there has been no answerability for nearly a year. Our constituency has been suspended and we were forbidden to hold meetings and excluded from the important national debates at the Clause Four and annual conferences.

We are still unable to get a clear reply from the Labour Party on the grounds for these suspensions, the progress of its inquiry or what we can do to be reinstated. Meanwhile, Clare Short, as sitting MP is very likely to be imposed as candidate for the next general election, bypassing all local consultations or selection procedures.

Yours faithfully,

Josephine Toynbee

Birmingham

22 January

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