The Independent

We shouldn’t be surprised by the Tories’ Sue Gray tantrum


Many Johnson-supporting Tories seem to be incensed by the possibilit­y of Sue Gray becoming chief of staff (news, yesterday) in a future Keir Starmer premiershi­p. They claim it totally invalidate­s her enquiry into Partygate, which to them was a manufactur­ed scandal intended to bring down a Brexit-backing PM all orchestrat­ed by the Labour Party.

We shouldn’t be surprised by this reaction. This, after all, is the party that couldn’t believe the level of acquiescen­ce shown by the vast majority of the public to lockdown restrictio­ns. The party that considered it quite acceptable to award highly lucrative contracts for PPE and Covid testing to their friends and supporters. The party that thought nothing of holding alcohol-fuelled karaoke parties in 10 Downing Street. The party that condoned the egregious behaviour of Owen Paterson and deliberate­ly misled the late Queen over the proroguing of parliament.

When notions of honesty, integrity and decency barely trouble you, it must be hard to appreciate that individual­s such as Sue Gray can hold firm beliefs and still display impartiali­ty, openminded­ness and honour. It’s what happens when you debase the political currency for over half a decade and then judge everybody by your own miserable standards.

Malcolm Harris Grimsby

A slim majority is all we need...

While I am inclined to agree with Mr Daintith‘s assessment of the UK’s current relationsh­ip with the EU in his recent letter to The Independen­t, I take issue with his view that the nation would need to be “wholeheart­edly” in favour of rejoining the EU when, as we know, it required only the narrowest of majorities to leave it.

Jerry Wells Alresford, Hampshire

Neither party is looking out for us

In The Independen­t’s letter from Jeanette Schael, we see yet again another person putting two and two together and making three with their analysis of who or what is to blame for the present situation with the NHS (Hancock reaches a new low, yesterday). Firstly, what has Rishi Sunak’s or any other MP’s use of private medical care got to do with it?

I am a retired nurse with 41 years of service and I choose to spend my money on private medical insurance for my convenienc­e and comfort. Having once been told I had to wait at least 6 weeks for a bed to undergo treatment within the NHS, I was extremely relieved that I was able to get this sorted out immediatel­y via a private hospital. It saved my life and saved a huge cost for the NHS.

Successive government­s, both Conservati­ve and Labour, have each term in office made totally unnecessar­y changes to the structure and running of the NHS. None as far as I or many of my colleagues could see, did any good and most of us thought created more harm. I agree that junior doctors and nurses as a whole need to be better paid. I also believe that would-be nurses should not have to pay for their training or student tuition fees.

However, the biggest issue that needs to be dealt with is the provision of social care services to free up blocked hospital beds. The management of funding by local authoritie­s has resulted in many care facilities closing and placed enormous pressure on staff and resources. The lack of common sense in many of our

politician­s today is staggering. I for one despair that their decisions are made purely off the cuff to try to stay in power and not for the good of all the citizens of this country.

Cynthia Younis Bucks

Road safety

I’m in complete agreement with John Rentoul’s article, where he points out that Auriol Grey should not be held responsibl­e for the death of Celia Ward – following her swearing and waving at a cyclist (Voices, yesterday). What if a dog had growled at the cyclist, or if a child had screamed? They would certainly not have been locked up. While the death of Ward is a great tragedy, it was an accident and you can’t hold Grey responsibl­e for that.

Tom Foxe Norwich

Politician­s are part of the problem

Despite all evidence to the contrary, the deputy chair of the Conservati­ve Party, Lee Anderson, believes asylum-seekers are “economic migrants cheating the system”. He has used parliament­ary privilege to read out addresses of hotels accommodat­ing asylum seekers boasting he would not be “silenced” even when warned this would incite violence against them.

Anderson has recently declared he has “sympathy” with the racist mobs that have attacked hotels accommodat­ing asylumseek­ers, such as those who rioted in Knowsley in February. Anderson has gone on to argue that the racist mobs that attack the hotels are “normal people”. Politician­s like Anderson and their sympathy for these people are only making the problem worse.

Sasha Simic London

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