YOUR report of the expulsion by the Conservative party of party activists is yet one more chapter in this sorry saga of Conservative Central Office incompetence and arrogance, although why anyone should want to be a member of what the party has become or regard expulsion as some form of punishment is beyond comprehension.

Hitherto I have not commented on the allegations that local Tories were promoting UKIP or even collaborating with them as I am now a member of UKIP and I did not wish to make life more difficult for my former colleagues. I was, until the district council elections in 2001, part of the Conservative management team. The decline in membership had been reversed, there were gains in those local elections and the local administration, which had been a shambles, was reorganised. All efforts were concentrated on working towards recapturing the seat. I do not recall UKIP ever being discussed. We believed that steady progress was being made towards the election of a Conservative MP, which is what we were all putting our time and money towards. In the autumn all efforts were concentrated on finding a suitable parliamentary candidate who would win the seat. Once more there was no mention of UKIP, just a determination to win. Even after my withdrawal from an active role and the selection of Mr Crossley the management team were talking optimistically of winning the seat. However, during the subsequent six months, members who had been at the selection meeting started to express doubts about Mr Crossley's suitability. This feeling steadily gained strength among those that I was in contact with. They also found Mr Crossley difficult to work with. Clearly the management team had to act if the party was to win the seat.

The management team were attacked as a result of their concern and among other things were accused of promoting UKIP on the basis of their proposing to distribute a video attacking the EU. This video was being distributed in other Conservative Associations also but no action was taken in these other cases. The allegations concerning the promotion of UKIP were without foundation, as at that time even I had not started to support UKIP. My more recent involvement with UKIP has enabled me to check with them that there was no relevant contact or support. I would have thought that these false allegations were grounds for legal action if anyone cared enough!

The subsequent election vindicated the management team. The Conservatives fell from holding the seat with an overall majority in the Mudd days to third place in the last election. Either the electorate didn't think Mr Crossley would make a suitable MP or the loss of the skills of the management team was fatal. The disenchanted Conservative members did not support UKIP and indeed their support of their former MP certainly did not help UKIP and they have never helped UKIP although those who share UKIPs views would be welcome to join. However I and indeed UKIP have always been aware that the former Conservative management team were unlikely to support us. They are after all the real Conservatives.

In my opinion, the reason the seat was not won is that the Conservative party had a bum candidate, lost their best workers and the electorate didn't trust Michael Howard. I am not sorry, they got the result the national party deserved.

Michael Carter, Tredova Crescent, Falmouth