Five Labour councillors originally signed, on behalf of their authorities, the letter to The Times this morning which denounced the Government for misleading the elderly with an unfunded promise of free home care.

The councillors asked, rather too late in most cases, for their names to be withdrawn. Who knows what terrible threats caused them to suddenly change their minds. But it strikes me that the bullying, control freakery of the new Labour spin doctors has been utterly counter productive.

I understand those who asked for their names to be withdrawn were the following:

Cllr Norma Wright (Sunderland). Cllr Emma Lewell (South Tyneside). Cllr Ann Gerrard (Halton). Cllr Morris Nicholls (Durham). Cllr Lorna Campbell (Lambeth).