Dear Editor

I was disappointed with the letter last week which called the Speaker of the House of Commons “an objectionable little person” – a level of personal name-calling one would challenge in a school playground.

And I was horrified that it chose to remind the Speaker that seven of his predecessors were beheaded. After the murder of Jo Cox, with MPs receiving death-threats, and with right-wing protesters arrested outside the House of Commons, this reads as a threat and is utterly unacceptable.

It is a democratic right to criticise or praise our MP as we choose. It is allowed to say that the Speaker is “not fit for purpose”, and even to claim that a Brexit Britain could have excluded Siemens from the TfL bidding process (though I would point out that such would breach WTO rules).

In a free democracy all these things need someone to say them.

HOWEVER, in the current tense political climate, is there not a moral obligation for everyone to show mutual respect, to emphasise common ground, and to curb inflammatory language? An argument is strengthened by factual content and reasoning, not by the violence of its words.

John D Clare