I SAT with Brian Watson on City of York City Council for many years as a Conservative councillor, and for part of that time I was the Conservative group leader.

On party-political issues, I rarely agreed with Brian, but like many colleagues of all parties I saw in Brian a passion for and dedication to the York that transcended party politics. He never hesitated to argue the case as he saw it, regardless of the party line.

He earned the respect and admiration of everybody for sticking to his guns and fighting vigorously for what he saw was right. I never anticipated I would agree with Howard Perry, your regular correspondent and erstwhile Labour diehard councillor, but on this issue I wholeheartedly agree with his letter of last week.

I find it unbelievable that some unelected commissars sitting in a Star Chamber can determine that Brian is lacking in campaigning zeal. There were others of the same ilk as Brian on the Labour side – Ken King, David Horton, Frank Thistleton, David Wilde, Cyril Waite, Reg Pulleyn, dare I even say, Rod Hills – and York will be much poorer if independent minded people of principle were excluded from local government by the diktats of party bosses.

Peter Brown, Acomb Grange, Grange Lane, York.