Previous Section Index Home Page

29 Mar 2004 : Column 1145W—continued

Employment Agencies

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list the employment agencies which his office has used to supply temporary staff in each financial year since 1996–97 to the most recent date for which figures are available. [163808]

29 Mar 2004 : Column 1146W

The Prime Minister: Since April 2000, my office has used four employment agencies to supply temporary staff to fill vacancies in IT, correspondence, secretarial and administrative support. These are Adecco, Excel Josephine Sammons Agency and Susan Hamilton Agency. Information for the years before 2000 is not held centrally.

Liberation of Rome (1944)

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Prime Minister pursuant to the answer from the Leader of the House to the hon. Member for New Forest, East on 11 March 2004, Official Report, column 1673, on prime ministerial and Royal representation at the 60th anniversary commemoration of the liberation of Rome on 4 June, what action he proposes to take. [162080]

The Prime Minister: There are no plans for a Member of the Royal Family or me to attend the 60th anniversary commemoration of the liberation of Rome on 4 June. While we acknowledge this as a significant event in the course of the war, we understand that any ceremony is likely to be a Rome Municipality event rather than a State one. However, it is hoped that a Member of the Royal Family will represent Her Majesty at the commemoration event of the Battle of Monte Cassino in Italy in May.


Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Prime Minister if, during his forthcoming visit to Libya, he will discuss the future detention of Abdul Bassett al Megrahi. [163724]

The Prime Minister: I discussed a wide range of issues with Colonel Qadhafi including international and regional security issues and the Middle East Peace Process.

The terms under which Abdelbaset Al Megrahi is serving his prison sentence were briefly discussed.

Party Use of Government Buildings

Gregory Barker: To ask the Prime Minister how many Labour Party events have been held at (a) Number 10 and (b) Number 11 Downing Street since 1997; and how much was paid for the use of the venue in each case. [164386]

The Prime Minister: As was the practice under previous administrations, I have hosted a number of political events at Downing Street. The costs of these were met by the Labour Party.

Register of Interests

Bob Spink: To ask the Prime Minister what the requirements are on officials in his Office to declare current interests; and what register of interests is kept for his officials. [164705]

The Prime Minister: The rules on the disclosure of interests are set out in section 4.3 of the Civil Service Management Code.

29 Mar 2004 : Column 1147W



Sir Menzies Campbell: To ask the Solicitor-General which non-governmental (a) experts and (b) lawyers advised her Department on the legality of war in Iraq; how much each received in public funds; and if she will make a statement. [161700]

The Solicitor-General [holding answer 22 March 2004]: No non-governmental experts or lawyers were instructed to advise the Law Officers on whether the war in Iraq was lawful.

Overseas Bribery

Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Solicitor-General how many people specialise in combating overseas bribery in the (a) Crown Prosecution Service and (b) Serious Fraud Office. [163489]

The Solicitor-General: Prosecutions under part 12 of the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2002 are undertaken by corruption specialists within CPS Casework Directorate.

Taking account of part-time workers, there were 60.3 senior prosecutors within CPS Casework Directorate at 1 March 2004, all of whom have experience of either corruption prosecutions, international work or both.

In view of the very small number of cases so far referred to CPS Casework Directorate, no prosecutor currently specialises exclusively in dealing with overseas corruption.

All SFO lawyers and investigators are required to have a thorough knowledge of fraud related offences, including corruption and the offences falling under part 12 of the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001. However, the Serious Fraud Office does not allocate its staff resource to a particular type of crime or case. Each case referred to the SFO is assessed on its individual merits, including allegations of bribery by UK citizens or companies overseas. As such there are no staff members whose role is solely the investigation and prosecution of overseas bribery.

Parliamentary Questions

Mr. Simon Thomas: To ask the Solicitor-General when she will write to the hon. Member for Ceredigion with a substantive answer to the question tabled by him on 13 October 2003, reference 132362. [161918]

The Solicitor-General: A reply was sent following prorogation and a copy placed in the Library. An additional copy has been sent to the hon. Member.

Youth Matters

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Solicitor-General what youth matters she has considered recently. [148038]

The Solicitor-General: I have considered a wide range of youth matters recently, including persistent young offenders, the street crime initiative, anti-social behaviour orders, sexual offences against children and protection of child witnesses.

29 Mar 2004 : Column 1148W



Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations have been made to the Chinese Government on (a) removing the death sentence imposed on the Buddhist religious leader, Tenzin Deleg Rinpoche and (b) allowing a fair retrial in the presence of international impartial observers. [164343]

Mr. Rammell: I raised the case with Assistant Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui in Beijing on 17 December 2003. He replied that Tenzin Deleg Rinpoche had had a fair and public trial and been sentenced in accordance with Chinese law. His case was also recently raised at the EU-China Human Rights Dialogue session held in Dublin on 26–27 February 2004.

We and our EU partners have raised in a series of demarches with the Chinese authorities our serious concerns about the way in which the trial was conducted and the lack of transparency. The latest EU demarche took place in Beijing on 4 February. In response, Mr. Wang Min, Deputy Director General of the Department of International Organisations and Conferences at the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that Tenzin Deleg Rinpoche was in good health and being held in Chuandong prison, Sichuan province.

Mr. Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the Government's policy on the Chinese arms embargo. [163806]

Mr. Rammell: The European Council on 12 December 2003 invited the General Affairs and External Relations Council (GAERC) to re-examine the EU Arms Embargo on China. The GAERC met on 26 January 2004 and decided to remit the issue to the relevant working groups for detailed examination. The issue will revert to a future GAERC.

The Government welcome the review and Ministers are currently considering the UK's position. In the meantime we will continue fully to implement the Arms Embargo.

Mr. Tynan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with (a) his Chinese counterpart and (b) the Chinese Ambassador to the Court of St. James regarding the use of Chinese airspace and refuelling facilities in respect of the transport of weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile technology (i) to and (ii) from North Korea. [162223]

Mr. MacShane: We regularly discuss, at both ministerial and official level, a range of non-proliferation issues with the Government of China. Such discussions include the proliferation activities of North Korea, which are a matter of mutual concern.


Mr. Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he will reply to the letter from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton dated 16 February 2004, with regard to Irene Clare Garner. [163302]

29 Mar 2004 : Column 1149W

Mr. Rammell: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary replied on 24 March 2004.

Elections (International Observers)

Mr. Nigel Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the likely impact on transparency and fairness of providing international observers at forthcoming presidential and parliamentary elections in (a) South Africa, (b) Malawi, (c) the Philippines, (d) Indonesia, (e) Botswana, (f) Ireland, (g) Niger, (h) the United States of America, (i) Namibia, (j) Malaysia, (k) Mozambique, (l) Sudan and (m) Ghana; and if he will make a statement. [163232]

Mr. Rammell: The Government support the presence of international election observers as they help promote fair and democratic elections. They provide an independent and neutral appraisal and, although the recommendations are not legally binding, they provide objective guidance for the government in question. Furthermore, the international presence enhances public confidence in the election process, helping to strengthen the respect for human rights and to prevent tension and violence.

It is generally the case that international missions are sent to observe elections at the invitation of the government of the country in question. Currently, the EU has a mission in Indonesia and in Sri Lanka and will shortly be deploying a mission to Malawi. The OSCE is planning election observation missions to the USA and to Ireland. UK observers participate in all of these missions.

Next Section Index Home Page