I WAS interested to read Mr Fenton's letter in last week's Penarth Times (January 23) - I am always pleased to know people have read my weekly column!

Although we share the same footballing loyalties, it’s clear that Mr Fenton and I are not on the same playing field when it comes to politics.

My political views are of course widely known – so I gently suggest Mr Fenton's letter really only serves to reveal his own political colours through his comments and admiration for the late Margaret Thatcher, whom he clearly holds in great esteem.

I take a different view of course, and couldn't agree less with his viewpoint – believing that she did untold and long-lasting damage to the people of Wales and Britain during her divisive period of leadership, whilst recognising as I did in my column some months ago her remarkable achievement as first female Prime Minister.

As a politician I make no apology for sharing my views publicly, even though they will inevitably differ from the views of some readers and some constituents - I welcome frank and fulsome debate.

Regular readers will know that in my weekly columns for this newspaper, I frequently write about matters specifically local to Penarth. I also try to ensure readers are up to date with what I have been doing both here in the constituency and also in Westminster.

Taking a broader political or policy-based view makes the subject matter no less relevant to the people of Penarth - and if it leads to open debate then all the better.

Mr Fenton can of course rest assured that irrespective of personal differences of opinion, I will do what I can to help any constituent in need of assistance, regardless of which political party – or indeed which football team - they favour.

Stephen Doughty MP

Labour and Co-operative Member of Parliament

Cardiff South and Penarth