15 JUNE 1996, Page 29

Sir: I am amused to read that Jan Morris thinks

John Major 'slightly makes up' for the least prepossessing British government in living or historical memory and might even be a 'decent enough sort of fellow'.

Tch, tch. Such faint praise. What Jan Morris fails to mention is that John Major is a very sexy man. Yes, sexy. No one ever mentions this. Not only does he have that rare thing (for a plain sort of chap), an endearing twinkle in his eye, he is also one of an unfashionable and fast-vanishing breed: a gentleman.

I shall stick my neck out still further and confidently declare that, were I to be mugged and Messrs Major and Blair mirac- ulously to hand, I have no doubt which one would leap forward to be my knight in shin- ing armour (even if his specs did get crushed in the ensuing struggle). I'm not so sure about Mr Blair; after all, his tie might get torn.

Mr Major will probably go down as the most unlucky and underestimated prime minister we have ever had but, as Jan Mor- ris so cautiously suggests, better the devil we know. Far worse would be our fate if the unctuous and humourless Mr Blair got the top job. Here's to Honest John and his twinkle.

Paddy Burt

2 Jephtha Road, London SW18