I'M GRATEFUL to Sue Sampson of the Labour Party for her letter questioning my commitment to building a cohesive and inclusive society ('My doubts over Phil Andrews' - Chronicle letters, November 6).
It gives me the opportunity to examine the Labour Party's track record.
In my interview with your reporter the previous week, I made it clear that I had respect for anybody who criticises me in the sincere belief that the views I held 20 or so years ago should disqualify me from being involved in public life today, but for those who merely use it for cheap political advantage I had nothing but contempt, especially when their purpose in doing so is to create disharmony and division.
In May 2006 I was elected to the executive unanimously.
That means by every elected member of the London Borough of Hounslow, including all 24 Labour councillors.
It seems my political history was not considered an obstacle to office in May 2006.
Some months later Alan and Ann Keen, sensing the prospect of political advantage (which didn't actually materialise), raised the matter of my former membership of the National Front with the leader of the council, sundry sympathetic journalists and the then Prime Minister Tony Blair.
In May 2007, following their lead, the Labour Group did not support my re-election to the executive as they considered my past activities made my appointment inappropriate.
In May 2008, having apparently forgotten the point of high principle which had led them to oppose me the previous year, I was elected to the executive unanimously again!
I'm sure your readers will judge the sincerity of Labour's position by the erratic behaviour of its own representatives.
COUNCILLOR PHIL ANDREWS Isleworth ward