How are we to trust a leader who won't engage with the public?

Letters
Theresa May has come under fire for failing to engage with the general public during the election campaign: Getty

How are we to have any faith in a leader who is expected to enter tough negotiations with the EU yet is too scared to open herself to difficult questioning from her potential voters?

Her “rally” in Leeds took place in a factory where the workforce (who would no doubt would have represented a good cross section of voters) had been sent home and only party faithful invited to meet her and the press. She then had a further "rally" in a community centre in Scotland which had been listed as "a child's party", again presumably to avoid difficult questions from the general public who might otherwise have attended.

She refuses to enter into any televised debate with her opponents or questions from the general public. Her television interviews rely on the same repeated "soundbites" rather than any real answers to questions. If she and her party organisers have so little confidence in her ability to withstand difficult questioning, what confidence are we to have in her representation of our interests at the negotiating table.

She and the Tory party are bogged down in a mad ideology which brooks no alternative debate, and which will take this country off the cliff edge.

Kate Hall Leeds

A simple solution for the televised debates

I must confess, when Theresa May said that she wouldn't take part in any televised debates, I was appalled at the suggestion that she ought to be empty-chaired for the occasions. However, upon reflection, I suppose that, so long as the producers are careful to ensure that the empty chair is a strong and stable one, its net contribution will probably be about the same.

Julian Self Milton Keynes

The general election has brought grammar schools into perspective

At last I am beginning to see the motivation behind the Tories plan to re-introduce grammar schools.

Like many other commentators, I think that the consequences of such a policy will be a reduction in the level of attention and resources devoted to the remaining comprehensive schools, causing the quality of the education offered in them to diminish. In turn, this will produce a three-tier system of education in the country; private schools, grammar schools and comprehensives (aka as secondary moderns).

Following the Great Reform Act of 1867, the politician Robert Lowe said “now we must educate our masters” Theresa May and the Conservatives’ plan is the reverse. Via the third tier comprehensives, they hope to produce a cohort of citizens so ill-educated as to be gullible enough to swallow unquestioningly, inane sound-bites such as “Brexit means Brexit” and “strong and stable leadership”, thus ensuring a Tory majority at Westminster for decades to come.

M T Harris Grimsby

Women-only shortlists aren't always the best option

Some people are very keen on women-only shortlists. In that spirit, ought not Macron to stand down, giving Marine le Pen a better chance? Indeed, ought not Corbyn and Farron also to stand aside, so that May has a pretty clear run for her money? Or might it be that women-only shortlists are not all that great an idea?

Peter Cave London, W1

The story of baby Eva is tragic, but heartwarming

What a truly wonderful story about baby Eva (Lindsey Bever, 1st May). Such an unselfish act on the part of her parents, Royce and Keri Young, in deciding to continue with the pregnancy knowing Eva couldn't survive, so that they could donate her organs. Sad that things didn't go as they had hoped, but at least they were able to donate her eyes. How many of us could do that, I wonder.

Having been through a traumatic childbirth myself, I have so much respect for Royce and Keri.

If possible, please pass my best wishes to them.

Diane Graham Watford

Theresa May has no understanding of poverty or benefits

Having just finished reading May Bulman's piece on Mr and Mrs Buchanan's appalling experience with Atos who represent the DWP, it clarified for me Theresa May's answer to the question put to her by Andrew Marr on the increased use of food banks, which was "that there are many complicated reasons for this".

I always thought there were two reasons to use a food bank: hunger and no money. But clearly I was wrong as this "Strong Leader" has set up her own "complications" to justify her beliefs.

How do companies like Atos get these contracts? They either are failing to train their staff or they are happy to be paid exorbitant sums of money to carry out the DWP's dirty work to prove that hunger and extreme poverty are too "complicated" to fix.

And, no, I am not a Corbyn supporter – just an angry and concerned citizen.

Gillian Munrow Amersham

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