Incredible that we are looking for a third prime minister in three years. As this contest unfolds, I am reminded from my early career of filming politicians that they can be human! I’ve met many, from my first, Charles Longbottom, Conservative MP for York in the 1960s, followed by Labour’s Alex Lyon, who visited our house and waited to see my mother over an issue whilst I made a cup of tea! Others included Grimond, Heath, Wilson, Powell and Jeremy Thorpe (yes I did sense something at the time).

I was staggered filming off stage at Scarborough, to see Margaret Thatcher shaking with nerves after delivering her speech. As prime minister she protected me from a tirade by a Downing Street official on her election campaign coach. Whilst flying in a helicopter with Michael Heseltine and his wife, they were politely excited as we flew over my house at Acaster Malbis.

So will Boris Johnson be triumphant? He has excellent advisors - including a producer I worked with, who has been with him since he was Mayor of London. A Tory donor friend took Boris to task for his dishevelled appearance 20 years ago and told him, in Yorkshire terms, to get his (beep) shoes cleaned!

He is trying to contain his attractive, bumbling, Eton affectation - for his own good! It’s this human side that appeals where other politicians can’t reach. But is it enough to win a general election?

Keith Massey,

Bishopthorpe, York

Keep your friends close, and your enemies...

The hustings are well under way and the old adage of keep your friends close and your enemies closer applies as we bludgeon our way towards a new Prime Minister.

Well, I’ve lost all will and reason as to how or when we will leave the EU. The Europeans are their keeping their powder dry, you can almost feel them simpering with anticipation at the “let’s negotiate again or we will leave with No Deal”. Knock yourselves out, they will proclaim.

So the race to get us over the start and finish line begins again.

Will Bo-Jo, our blond Boudicca, eventually emerge triumphantly at number 10?

I was at York Races over the weekend and if there is a distinct connection to the aforementioned then we will see if he is there at the start and the finish.

Mark Nuttall,


Most government failures are ours, not the EU’s

IN response to Peter Coates (‘What has EU done to harm us? Just this...’, Letters, June 18) the temptation to emphasise the shortcomings of others and ignore our own has long been with us. To quote from Luke 6:41: “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye?”

Surrendering to such temptation is not helped by factual errors: the UK adopted decimal currency in 1971 before we joined the EEC and we had been thinking about it since 1849 when we introduced the florin as a coin (a two shilling piece or one 10th of a pound). The woes of the UK’s steel industry, meanwhile, are shared by other EU countries and the US, due to complex factors, notably longstanding global overproduction, aggravated by recent Chinese competition.

It is an error, too, to assume that the EU is ‘beloved’ of anyone who is not Brexiteer. Remainers on the whole are well familiar with the EU’s many shortcomings but most are equally conscious of the multitude of long-standing foul-ups by our own governments of every complexion. Indeed, those which most affect our daily lives – the failures of our housing policy, our NHS, our transport policy, our taxation system, our benefits system, our legal system, our post offices, our education system, our penal system, our policing, our protection of children (just a few examples) - have little or no connection with ‘Brussels’.

Tony Lawton,

Skelton, York

We shouldn’t ridicule the office of US President

Having read the observations of D Richards (Trump has no respect for office of the President, Letters, June 18) I would only comment that the United Kingdom made the President of the United Sates of America welcome on an official visit.

Just who that incumbent President is was decided by the people of America.

Your people chose him D Richards, and it is none of our business in the UK if some of you are not happy with the choice.

I stick to my point that it ill becomes us to insult the office of President in an attempt to ridicule its incumbent.

J A Whitmore,

Haxby, York