A zipped leader

I can assure the crabby Simon Gardner (Letters, 22 January) that my position as "leader" of the London LibDem Euro-team is the result of full one-member one-vote party democracy, unlike in the Labour or Conservative parties.

Once our party conference had agreed the "zipping" formula, the regions were divided into those where the prospective MEP lists would be headed by a woman and those that would be headed by a man. London was one of the regions where the female candidate with most votes would top our list.

I won the most votes in the "female" section of the London ballot in which all the LibDem members in London had a vote. As it happens, I got more votes than the top man in the "male" ballot. But since the ballots were separate and it may only mean that more people felt inspired to fill in the "female" ballot form, I don't lay any weight on that. But I am proud to have been democratically selected.

Baroness (Sarah) Ludford
London N1