'The Tories need to step aside'

SIR - I would like to thank the 22,223 voters in Worcester who placed their trust in me and voted Labour on Thursday.

It is both humbling and gratifying that so many responded positively to the message of hope for the future set out by Jeremy Corbyn in Labour’s manifesto, on which I was proud to stand.

The Conservatives had little to say in this election, other than “I’m Standing with Theresa.” Local Tories quite literally wore the T Shirts! After a disastrous result, it looks as though Theresa will not be standing for much longer.

Bereft of all authority, Theresa May clings on to power with the ‘MAY-DUP’ coalition, calling into question hard-won women’s and LGBQT rights and dangerously taking sides in the Northern Ireland peace process. And who knows where the UK now stands when it comes to Brexit negotiations?

Theresa May and the Conservatives brought about this mess. They may well have more seats than Labour but they have no shred of authority and absolutely no mandate. The country deserves better.

During the election, Labour set out a clear programme for rebuilding our public services, investing in our children and young people, building a strong economy and clear negotiating lines on Brexit. Labour stands ready to govern. The Tories are clearly incapable of doing so. They should step aside.

Cllr Joy Squires

Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Worcester

May can be ‘grey woman’

SIR - Anyone who thinks that Theresa May cannot form a government and still be successful should remember the career of Worcestershire’s Stanley Baldwin.

He became party leader after his predecessor stepped down, had a comfortable majority and called a snap election in 1923 only a year into its term of office to get a personal mandate for a new policy (Tariff Reform).

This led to a hung parliament. Does this sound familiar?

In 1924 he led the Conservatives to victory after the first Labour government was ousted in a no-confidence vote, but then lost the 1929 ‘Safety First’ election.

He went on to win the 1931 and 1935 elections with large majorities.

Political leaders can learn from their mistakes and come back Baldwin, the ‘grey man,’ did so and became the pre-eminent political leader of his time.

Francis Lankester


'Was leaflet even legal?'

SIR - I received through my letterbox on June 8 at 3pm a leaflet promoting Joy Squires as the labour candidate for Worcester.

Surely it is illegal to canvass for candidates on polling day?

Neil Sharpe


'You weren’t neutral'

SIR - I was surprised by the strident tone of the Comment piece on Wednesday, June 7, the eve of Polling Day, in which the Worcester News described the Conservative platform as ‘a manifesto of misery - vote for us for years more austerity’, and Labour’s as ‘a manifesto of some hope’.

Wherever one’s sympathies lie, I’m sure that most people would agree that the expression ‘manifesto of misery’ is pretty strong stuff.

So I was even more surprised to read in the following day’s Comment: ‘This newspaper does not take sides when it comes to elections. We don’t urge our readers to vote for one party or another - we stay neutral’.

Does the Worcester News really believe that it did not ‘take sides’ on June 7, and that it stayed ‘neutral’?

Or did Wednesday’s piece slip through the editorial net, and its partial tone was just an honest mistake?

William Jupe


*Editor’s note: The Worcester News is neutral. Most commentators agree that the message and delivery of the Conservative party were miserable. We have also criticised the Labour party and its leader.

The ‘I’m OK election’

SIR - Mark Garnier re-elected. The reasons for this are many - his previous job as a merchant banker meaning he has a lot in common with all the bankers in Kidderminster; his voting record in parliament where he always supports the poor, homeless, disabled and all minorities in our society; maybe it’s the burgeoning economy providing many full time, well paid secure job vacancies.

Maybe it’s our fully functioning hospital, extra police on the streets, or maybe it’s “ pull the ladder up, I’m ok Jack”.

Enough of this, I’m off to another success in Kidderminster - the food bank to deliver my family’s regular food parcel.

Grenville Price


'May should step down'

SIR - I doubt that I am alone in feeling surprised at the result of the election.

Mrs May appeared to apologise to colleagues who lost their seats.  Many in the party felt that calling this election was a misjudgement and a blunder.  She has not strengthened her position in negotiating Brexit.

Jeremy Corbyn and the party had a very strong and skilful campaign.  He gained from her error of judgement in alienating the elderly and the young.

Similarly Mrs Sturgeon of the SNP did not enjoy the result that she wanted.  She was forced to concede that a referendum on independence is not what most thinking Scots want.   Ruth Davidson of the Scottish Conservative party enjoyed considerable additional support.  Many Tories have been calling for Mrs May to step down prior to the election; now that she is in a weaker position I believe that she ought to step down sooner rather than later and leave negotiating Brexit to others now in a stronger position.  David Davis, Brexit Minister, once a leadership candidate, seems very able to take on this vital task.    Mrs May is reported to have claimed that Russia had a strong influence in the outcome; perhaps she has been listening too much to Mr Trump.   I believe that it is well past time to resolve the West Lothian question.  Irish MPs do not vote at Westminster, why should  the unsuccessful Mrs Sturgeon expect this privilege any longer?   Perhaps Mrs Baldwin might take up this subject?

 Wendy Hands


'The election fake news'

SIR - I confess to having failed miserably to predict the outcome of the election in a quiz.

My mistake was to take soundings from the long-established national newspapers and their online comments boards.

However, when I later looked at the sources of information used by the under-30s it was obvious that I’d missed that something big was going on.

Lesson, don’t keep on doing what you’ve always done.

Ask your children and grandchildren where they get their information about what’s going on and read it, even if you don’t like what you see.

The advice given in the Worcester News about spotting fake news is very useful because there is plenty of it about.

But also ask yourself why all our governments have regular secret meetings with the owners (most of whom are foreign or non-doms who exempt themselves from paying UK tax) and the editors of national newspapers which are sympathetic to their cause, despite all the talk of the independence of the press.

Derek Fearnside