Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

Letter: Standards in local government

Sir: You falsely allege a dirty tricks campaign by me as Leader of Hackney Council (report, 17 May) which I find extremely surprising. The chief executive never advised me that Councillor Linda Hibberd was an inappropriate candidate for mayor this year. That was my political judgement based on all the information available to me, including the telephone conversation I had with the chief executive on 3 May.

A full and open debate on those concerns would have taken place on 7 May at the Hackney Labour Group annual meeting. But it was boycotted by the very people alleging dirty tricks by me against their candidate. The democratic rights of Labour-elected councillors to decide who should hold civic office were denied by that group, currently being investigated by the Labour Party's National Executive Committee.

I am confident that no amount of misleading media coverage fed by those under investigation will detract the Labour Party from ensuring that the highest standards of probity and integrity are sustained in local government.


Leader of the Council

London Borough of Hackney

London E8