Tories seek safe haven in the City : LETTERS

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From Mr Austin Pielou Sir: The article by Sir Norman Fowler (27 January) concerning the recent publicity given to the acquisition by former ministers of company directorships brought to mind a story dating back nearly 50 years. In the July 1945 election, the Conservatives, led by Winston Churchill, were defeated by Labour under Clement Atlee.

In a subsequent international meeting, Stalin, faced with a new set of representatives from the UK, slyly inquired: "What has happened to the Conservatives - have they taken to the hills?"

"No," came the prompt reply, "they've taken to the City."

Perhaps the recent drift of ex-Tory ministers into remunerative City appointments indicates no more than sensible anticipation of Conservative defeat in the next election.

Yours faithfully, Austin Pielou Taunton, Somerset 27 January