THIS has been a grim week for British politics.

At national level we have Nicola Sturgeon, not even an elected MP, instructing the Scottish MPs, not because she has any interest whatsoever in fox-hunting, but out of hatred for the Conservatives in general and David Cameron in particular.

Then at local level we have Conservative councillors instructed to vote against helping the Syrian refugees – a move that was not motivated by anything to do with the issue in question, but seemingly a desire to quash any initiative coming from the opposition.

Interestingly, this show of power came not from the leader, who on his election promised more cross party co-operation, but from Cllr Melanie Baker, who sat where the previous leader used to sit, next to the deputy leader and prominently opposite the chairman while the leader skulked in a corner with his iPad.

She even went so far as to demand a named vote, presumably to ensure her party abided by the whip that was very evidently imposed.

Her actions are all the more remarkable given that in December she voted in favour of welcoming some families, as indeed did all councillors barring one who abstained.

Such behaviour is irresponsible and indefensible, whatever the issue under discussion, and certainly not an acceptable way for democratically elected politicians to behave.

Caroline Carver

Barnards Green