WE do not need to wait for Sue Gray to report to get to the veracity of the PM's statement on Wednesday.

This is not because I wish to rush to judgement. It is because documents already exist that would establish the facts.

There are two.

Firstly, since it was a work meeting, there will have been someone taking minutes. So just publish those minutes.

Secondly, the invitation to the work meeting invited attendees to "bring their own bottle".

This seems unusual to me, but I am not au fait with how business is done in government circles. So it'll just be a matter of publishing a couple of other agendas where invitees are requested to "bring their own bottle", and everyone will see that this was just normal Westminster work meeting practice.

I cannot understand why the PM and his office don't simply publish such documents and so unquestioningly establish his probity.

David Lewis,

Church End,


... In the recent excellent book by Anthony Seldon on the history of the Office of the Prime Minister he makes suggestions on how improvements can be made to the effectiveness of the person in the post and the overall performance of the Government.

He identifies the main requirements (which have been lacking) as being the need for extensive experience in many Government departments and an understanding of the operation of the office and how the system works. He further points out that improvements by past PM holders have regularly been trashed including their number 10 furnishings!

Seldon is also critical about the narrow range of the social and educational range from which recent PMs and their staffs have been drawn. Aides have largely been appointed according to their connections, loyalty and alignment to an agenda.

Perhaps the telling conclusion is that No 10 is “chronically amateur” in its operation made worse by the outdated structure of the Civil Service.

The present holder of the PM post and the country has suffered from the lack of experience and also the backing of the necessary expertise and management acumen required in very difficult times.

Recent events should be a spur to him making some big changes in the way things work otherwise his future as PM looks bleak.

David Randon,

Blue Slates Close,