LETTER: Honest politicians who are unafraid

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For months the County Times has promoted openness and free speech within our council chamber.

The disgraceful spectacle of Tory councillors being gagged and threatened with discipline for speaking out against their party line has horrified local voters.

It remains to be seen whether this anger will be reflected at the ballot box next May but it seems likely that both those who promoted this abuse of democracy, and those that meekly fell into line while protesting they had no choice, will lose votes, and quite possibly their seats.

Now we see Cllr Frances Haigh being castigated in your letters column for speaking out in favour of expansion at Gatwick against her party’s policy.

As I understand it, Mrs Haigh originally aired her views in the debate on airport policy at her party conference.

If Ms Pavey thinks that having lost the argument Mrs Haigh should now change her mind and fall into line she is as misguided as our local Tory group.

We need more politicians who are honest about their views and unafraid to stand up for them. Only in this way will we have open debate and real choice when it comes to election time.

JOHN STEELE

Old Denne Gardens, Horsham