LETTER : Sleaze row: Labour shuns its supporters

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The Independent Online
Sir: Labour's withdrawal of its parliamentary candidate in Tatton is an act of arrogance and an abuse of democracy ("Labour isolates sleaze MP", 29 March).

Tony Blair has treated Labour members and voters as his personal property. Their work, their loyalty, their wishes have been thrown away for the sake of one day's headlines. They have been deprived of their right to vote Labour, and for Labour policies on issues which affect their personal lives: they will be ordered instead to vote solely on the sleaze issue, for an as yet unknown candidate.

This is a shabby way to treat voters. If Neil Hamilton remains, I sincerely hope that someone will stand as an unofficial Labour candidate in Tatton, to give its voters the opportunity to be represented by an independent but Labour MP in the next parliament. I would be happy to assist any such candidate - and for lack of anyone better I would do the job myself.

RICHARD HELLER

London, SW9

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