LETTER: ‘I will vote for next Labour leader like other members’

Mansfield MP Sir Alan Meale.

Mansfield MP Sir Alan Meale.

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It was interesting to read the letter from David Straw concerning my views on who the future leader of the Labour Party should be.

He cites I try to avoid the question by firstly pointing out that UKIP and the Conservatives were in a similar situation, but then implies that after I’d raised the question a week later the Conservatives had sorted the matter out.

No mention of UKIP by the way.

He misses the point that what I was referring to was the fact whatever happens, the only “news” sought seems to have been concerning Labour’s issues.

Not Nigel Farage who also had problems, particularly after he introduced new rules to debar the three leading contenders to take over from him. 
Nor the Conservatives who at the time of my letter hadn’t yet sorted it out, but unlike Labour were left to get on with it, stranger still as they were also choosing a new Prime Minister.

He also wrongly presumes I’d rather keep out of the debate in case I choose the wrong side.

For the record, since 1987 as the Labour member of parliament for Mansfield I’ve served under six leaders. 
They all were competed against by an average five contenders. 
I nominated four of the winners and two others who became runners up.

Since his letter, the matter is now down to the last two, neither of which I’ve nominated, not doing so because at the time of the process others were still considering their position — a route also taken by more than 70 Conservative MPs for similar reasons. My intention now is to discuss the merits of the remainder with other local party members who now, like me, have an equal vote on the matter.

This is what I always do, as I feel it is a better way than treating them with utter contempt by them hearing of my intention via the local media.

Sir Alan Meale

Labour MP for Mansfield