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Llew Smith: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what plans he has to put the issue of Sellafield safety on the agenda of the Council of the Isles. [1760]

The Deputy Prime Minister: I assume my hon. Friend is referring to the British-Irish Council, which brings together the British and Irish Governments, the devolved Administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and the authorities in Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man.

At their meeting in London in October 2000, Environment Ministers of the British-Irish Council agreed that the environment was of vital importance to all of their Administrations. They agreed on a range of issues in the environment field, including Sellafield and climate change, that would be taken forward as part of the programme of work.

Special Advisers

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if it is standard practice for special advisers to co-ordinate work that costs the policies of opposition parties; and which sub-clauses of section (iv) of schedule 1 (Part 1) of the standard contract for special advisers set out the role of special advisers in costing the policies of opposition parties. [4401]

Mr. Leslie: The work of individual special advisers will vary from Department to Department according to the relevant Ministers' requirements. Section (iv) of Schedule 1 to Part 1 of the current model contract for special advisers describes the duties special advisers may be required to undertake. These include for example checking facts and research findings, such as information provided by officials costing policy options.


Paul Flynn: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will instruct Departments to fly the Red Ensign on their buildings on Merchant Navy Day. [2365]

The Deputy Prime Minister: My own Department will be flying the Red Ensign on Merchant Navy Day. The Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, as the sponsoring Government Department for the Merchant Navy, will also be flying the Red Ensign.

Departmental Events

David Maclean: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what (a) national and (b) international awareness events the Cabinet Office has participated in since June 1997 in the form of (i) sponsorship, (ii) departmental attendance, (iii) similar departmental activities and (iv) a message of support. [5048]

Mr. Leslie: The Cabinet Office, through its Management Units, participates in many events, national and international. The information requested is not held centrally and any response provided could be achieved only at a disproportionate cost.

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Government Task Forces

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will list the purposes and membership of the Government task forces and reviews (a) which report to his Department and (b) to which his Department (i) appoints members and

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(ii) provides administrative support, indicating in each case the date on which their first meeting took place; and if he will make a statement. [6239]

Mr. Leslie: I shall write to the hon. Member with a full answer and place a copy in the Libraries of the House during the summer recess.