I READ, with a degree of disbelief, the article by Baroness Hilary Armstrong (Echo, Dec 17) in which she appears to blame the outgoing Labour leadership for Labour’s disastrous election result.

The result was as a mixture of issues including: the popular press which, at times, presented an inaccurate portrayal of Jeremy Corbyn; the refusal of remain MPs to accept the result of the referendum and, of course, the distortion that ‘first past the post’ gives to the final result.

I am sure that readers could add additional reasons.

My third point reminds me that following the 2013 Ferryhill Town Council election, in which Labour took control, the newly-elected Labour leader said: “We have the numbers; we will decide what is done and what is not done. We will even amend Standing Orders if that is what it takes, that is democracy as practised throughout the country.”

Is this now what is taking place at a national level?

There is, indeed, a great deal to be desired in relation to our democratic procedures. During the final four months of the old Parliament, a number of Conservative and Labour MPs jumped ship. First, they formed an Independent Group and then, fearing for their futures as MPs, joined the Liberal Democrats. There was nothing their constituents could do for there is no right of recall.

The same day’s Echo reports that Nicky Morgan, the outgoing Conservative Culture Minister who declined to contest the election, has been elevated to the House of Lords and so has been appointed back to her old post in the new government. What a disgrace.

I agree with Baroness Armstrong that there is a need for a debate about what has happened, but it should not be confined to the ranks of the Labour Party and nor simply about the reasons for Labour’s defeat.

Brian Gibson, Ferryhill.