31 DECEMBER 1994, Page 21

Come in Number 27

Sir: While the wish of the Health Secretary to be known as Mrs Virginia Bottomley apparently remains an issue of earth-shat- tering importance, it is worth recording that, at the Conservative Parliamentary Selection Board in July 1981, she was the only one of us to refer to her fellow-mem- bers by their numbers, not their names.

Being called 'Number 27' by Mrs Bot- tomley remains for me a political experi- ence of possibly unfathomable significance.

ID. P. Thome

Beauchamp Barn, Kneesall, Newark, Nottinghamshire