Letters: Mike Pantling, October 14, 2016

Jeremy Corbyn and Lloyd Russell-Moyle (chair of Brighton, Hove and District Labour Party) SUS-160531-084538001
Jeremy Corbyn and Lloyd Russell-Moyle (chair of Brighton, Hove and District Labour Party) SUS-160531-084538001
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Nick Vinehill (Letters, October 4) displays a sad lack of knowledge of the British Parliamentary system as well as the internal history of the Labour Party.

Firstly, under the British Constitution our MPs represent a constituency, not a political party. Thus, unlike delegates within both the trade unions and the Labour Party, they cannot be mandated. Their function is to use their judgement in what they consider to be the best interests of all their constituents. Secondly, existing Labour MPs campaigned for votes in 2015 on the basis of the party manifesto at that time, and hence supported both multilateral disarmament and membership of the European Community. It is the leader of the party and those who support him who are seeking to reverse these twin items of policy, not the MPs who form the majority of the Parliamentary Labour Party. Thirdly, history teaches that the extreme left are united in their contempt for parliamentary democracy and their fundamental belief that the ends justify the means. The Labour Party has now gained a large number of people who have no long-term affection for the Party itself and who would rather have electoral annihilation than attempt to formulate those compromises which are the foundation of a democratic state.

Mike Pantling, South Wootton