Philip Thompson defended despite move to Arizona

Three quick points about former councillor Philip Thompson, now pursuing his academic researches in Arizona (Representing you from 5.500 miles away, H&H September 11 & High noon for Tucson cowboy councillor, H&H September 18): 1. In his short political

Three quick points about former councillor Philip Thompson, now pursuing his academic researches in Arizona (Representing you from 5.500 miles away, H&H September 11 & High noon for Tucson 'cowboy' councillor, H&H September 18):

1. In his short political career Philip Thompson made more positive contribution to Camden and Kentish Town than any of his critics have managed. The salvation of Kentish Town Baths is very largely attributable to his initiative, vigour and determination.

2. Philip broke no rules, but his last month's allowance has, nonetheless, been fully reimbursed. Glenda Jackson MP, by contrast, tried to dun taxpayers for £7,500 (more than 10 times the amount involved in Philip's allowance) and she had broken parliamentary rules (Jackson: I misused taxpayers' money on magazine study, H&H September 18). Which is really deserving of criticism?

3. Conservative councillor Mike Greene abandoned his Hampstead seat and his responsibilities as executive member for the environment (everything from parking to recycling) in hopes of getting a parliamentary candidature in a safe Tory seat - but failed in the event even to make the short list (Ex parking boss beached, H&H September 18). Philip Thompson went to Arizona to check that his new university and its course would suit him before he resigned his backbench seat. Which one looks the more foolish?


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You've had a lot of fun out calling Philip Thompson a 'cowboy' councillor - but who are really being the cowboys here?

Robin Young

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Bedford Avenue, WC1

The synthethetic anger in last week's Ham&High letters pages from Labour Party activitists about the conduct of former councillor Philip Thompson, who has now done the decent thing and resigned, rather pales into insignificance when set against the news elsewhere in the paper that Glenda Jackson tried to use £7,500 of taxpayers' money to pay for her party political propoganda.Now that this has been exposed, will she resign?

And where are the letters from Mike Katz, Sarah Hayward and Anna Stewart, condemning her conduct?

Graham Wilkinson

Haverstock Hill, NW3

I was glad to see at least one letter (from Nick Goodall of Little Green Street) thanking Philip Thompson for the good work he did on constituents' behalf while serving as a councillor for Kentish Town (H&H letters September 18).

May I add another tribute? It was thanks almost entirely to Philip Thompson's drive and energy that the campaign to save Kentish Town Baths became a principal platform in the Lib Dems' 2006 local election campaign.

It helped them win seats in Kentish Town, Haverstock and Cantelowes wards, and contributed largely to the Lib Dems' success in becoming the largest party on Camden Council.

More importantly, it succeeded in its objective of saving the baths for the local community.

The work of refurbishment is now under way. I hope when it is complete that someone will remember to invite former councillor Philip Thompson to the grand re-opening!

Mukul Hira

Chalton Street, NW1

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