Letter: Westminster as it is not and never was

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The Independent Online
Sir: Julia Langdon does herself a disservice with her expose of 'The women of Westminster' (18 March), as she links herself with the other speculators and fabricators that have recent1y been peddling opinions rather than facts. And it gives the impression that she has little knowledge of the realities of the Palace of Westminster as a workplace.

Were she to interview people who really do work here she would know that the thousand or so parliamentary staff employed by MPs work hard for the people that ultimately pay their wages - the taxpayers, and very often have limited personal contact with their busy bosses. If these characters had been doing their jobs they would not have time for such romantic fantasy.

As the Chair of the Secretaries' and Assistants' Council and having worked in Parliament for Andrew Faulds, MP, for three years, I can say that in my experience none of the characters portrayed in Ms Langdon's 'Westminster' bear any resemblance to those alive or dead at the real Palace of Westminster. But was this intentional?

Sincerely,

STEPHANIE AYRES

Chairman

Secretaries' and

Assistants' Council

House of Commons

London, SW1

23 March

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