some default text...
Previous Section Index Home Page


Asylum Seekers

Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the cost has been to Government Departments of airline tickets for the deportation of failed asylum seekers to Zimbabwe in each of the last 12 months for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. [27844]

Angela Eagle [holding answer 16 January 2002]: For the period 1 January to 31 December 2001 £162,868 was spent on public expense removals to Harare. This figure includes the cost of any escorts that might have been needed. The following figures cover asylum and non- asylum removals:

Month£
January5,283
February7,815
March9,056
April9,691
May10,703
June11,584
July15,371
August9,260
September21,031
October19,644
November10,524
December32,906

Records do not differentiate between asylum and non-asylum removals.

Where we can identify the inbound carrier the cost of removal will fall to be met by the company responsible for bringing the person to the United Kingdom.

Arthur Andersen

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on what dates since 7 June 2001 (a) Ministers and (b) special advisers in his Department have met employees of (i) Andersen and (ii) Accenture on official business; and if he will make a statement. [32102]

Mr. Blunkett: Home Office Ministers and civil servants meet many people as part of the process of policy development and analysis. All such contacts are conducted in accordance with the ministerial code, the civil service code and guidance for civil servants: Contacts with Lobbyists.

8 Feb 2002 : Column 1243W

Some of these discussions take place on a confidential basis, and in order to preserve confidentiality, it is not the normal practice of Governments to release details of specific meetings with private individuals or companies.

Police

Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if police officers in areas other than London receive (a) an additional allowance and (b) weighting allowance. [33121]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 4 February 2002]: Following a recommendation by the Police Negotiating Board (PNB), the statutory regulating body for police pay and conditions, my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary, while Home Secretary, approved an allowance for officers in eight forces surrounding London who were appointed on or after 1 September 1994 and are not in receipt of housing allowance. The allowance was awarded in recognition of the recruitment and retention problems associated with the higher cost of living in the south-east.

Qualifying officers in Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent, Surrey and Thames Valley receive an additional £2,000 a year, while qualifying officers in Bedfordshire, Hampshire and Sussex receive an additional £1,000 a year.

Police officers in London receive London weighting of £1,773 a year. Police officers in areas other than London do not receive a weighting allowance.

North London Mosque

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what search warrants have been (a) requested and (b) executed relating to a North London Mosque in the last two years; and if he will make a statement. [25186]

Mr. Blunkett: I am informed by the Metropolitan police that no search warrants have been executed in respect of the North London Central Mosque in the last two years. I am aware that there are at least 75 mosques in north London and the information requested could be obtained only in respect of every mosque at disproportionate cost. Records of search warrants requested are not held centrally.

8 Feb 2002 : Column 1244W

Departmental Entertainment

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much his Department (a) budgeted to spend and (b) spent in each of the last six years on entertaining; and if he will break down these figures into categories. [32676]

Angela Eagle [holding answer 6 February 2002]: The Department has spent in 1996–97 to 2001–02 the following amounts on entertaining official visitors and guests:

Financial years Expenditure (£)
1996–9758,346
1997–9867,459
1998–9984,468
1999–200077,822
2000–01143,269
2001–02(22)54,106

(22) To end January


The figures for 2001–02 exclude the Fire and Emergency Planning Directorate and the Fire Service College as responsibility for fire and emergency planning transferred to the Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (DTLR) and the Cabinet Office respectively as part of Machinery of Government charges.

Race Hatred

David Winnick: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the enforcement of the law on incitement to race hatred. [34076]

Angela Eagle: The enforcement of the law on the incitement to racial hatred is an operational matter for the police and the Crown Prosecution Service. The Government, while not involved in individual cases, have urged the police and the CPS to work more closely together on these cases and to pool experience relating to the sometimes complex issues surrounding incitement to racial hatred.

The Government have also strengthened the law on incitement to racial hatred. The Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 extended the scope of the offences to hatred directed against members of racial groups outside Great Britain and increased the maximum penalty for the offences from two to seven years imprisonment.