Letter to The Times:
By definition leading articles are articulations of the considered opinion of the newspaper's leader writers. They differ from news reports, in that they add interpretation of information.
However, in order to do so credibly, they do need to be based on accurate facts. Your leader, "No confidence in Corbyn" (July 1; http://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/comment/no-confidence-in-corbyn-cct6873t9), failed on this account.
It asserts M Corbyn became leader last September not through merit, but owing to a historical accident" which the leader identifies as "The perennial backbench rebel was the beneficiary of new rules allowing anyone to vote in a Labour leadership election who signed a statement of aims and paid a fee of £3."
The Labour leadership election result was as follows:
This shows that Mr Corbyn won handsomely on all three categories of eligible voter: Labour party members 49.59%; registered supporters ie £3 fee payers: 83.76%; and affiliated supporters ( eg trades unions, socialist societies) 57.61%. by comparison, all of his competitors, former ministers Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall had miserably small percentages eg of full party members, 22.69%, 22.18% and 5.54% respectively.
Your leader concludes Mr Corbyn is a "loser". The demonstrable facts are that among all parts of the wider Labour movement, he is a significant winner, especially over candidates expressing the ideas now being espoused by Angela Eagle ( who finished fourth in the Labour Party deputy leadership election at the same time last year).
But don't let the facts get in the way of a distorted narrative in your leading article.
|Candidate||Party members||Registered supporters||Affiliated supporters||Total|
|Jeremy Corbyn Y||121,751||49.59%||88,449||83.76%||41,217||57.61%||251,417||59.5%|