Keith Vaz open letter to Mercury readers.
Oh dear, oh dear. After more than a week chasing round after Leicester East MP Keith Vaz, we have finally managed to persuade him to respond to the rage that has swept the country over MPs' expense claims. You can read the letter in full, unedited, in tomorrow's Mercury (ie Thursday).
I fear his response will not satisfy everyone (anyone?).
Perhaps unsurprisingly, he takes a swipe at the Mercury. We've concentrated too much on this single issue: 'From the moment this information was published in another newspaper I have responded. My office deals regularly with the local press.
'The problem is the coverage of politics has declined in both the national and local press. In the past week, I have been involved in a number of issues including Gurkhas, Sri Lanka, policing and human trafficking. Sadly, none of this has been reported locally.'
Mea culpa. Let's see how our readers react tomorrow.
Interestingly, another leading local politician rang me only yesterday to thank us for treating the upcoming county council elections seriously, highlighting the issues that are being presented on the doorstep and how each party intends to deal with them.