Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent research he has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on links between wildlife crime and serious and organised crime; and if he will make a statement. 
Ms Blears: The National Wildlife Crime Intelligence Unit of National Criminal Intelligence Service (NCIS) assess the links between organised wildlife crime and other areas of criminality, including money laundering, fraud, deception and distribution of drugs. That assessment by its very nature has operational and intelligence information not intended for publication.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent discussions he has had with (a) the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and (b) others concerning wildlife crime; and if he will make a statement. 
Caroline Flint: The Home Office was informed by Novartis Pharma AG on 8 April 2003, by letter, that Uncaged Campaigns and Daniel Louis Lyons had agreed to submit to a permanent injunction in respect of previously published documents: Novartis also provided a sealed copy of the revised injunction referenced as Claim No. HC 0004406. We were not provided with the terms of the settlement agreement, which we were told were confidential. Novartis later informed Home Office officials, by telephone, that the settlement had been reached following mediation, the details of which were also confidential and not divulged to the Home Office.
Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the new Chairman of the British Council was appointed following an open competition; whether a recruitment or executive search firm was used in the process; and how many candidates were shortlisted. 
The new Chairman of the British Council was appointed after an open competition. The Post was advertised on the British Council website and in national newspapers. An Appointments Panel was set up to run the recruitment process. Odgers, Ray and Berndston, search consultants, were employed by the British Council to provide support to the Panel. The Panel included an Independent Assessor who ensured that the Office of the Commissioner of Public
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Appointments (OCPA) Code of Practice for Ministerial Appointments was followed throughout. Four candidates were shortlisted for interview.
Mr. Mullin: The post of chairman of the British Council is unremunerated. The chairman will receive actual travel and accommodation expenses incurred on official council business both in the UK and overseas. The chairman's travel plans for 2005 are yet to be decided. However, the British Council estimate he will make four overseas trips. The British Council will write to the hon. Member with these costs once they are known.
Mr. Alexander: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) provides nursery facilities at King Charles Street in London and at Hanslope Park in Milton Keynes. The annual net cost borne by the FCO is £125,985.
|Management contract fee
The FCO is an employer partner in the Buffer Bear network of nurseries, with access to five priority places on the waiting list. The cost of a place varies depending on, among other things, the location of the nursery. Staff are offered a subsidy of between £24 and £45 per week, depending on their grade and the age of the child. The projected subsidy for 200405 is £1,300.
Staff are also eligible to use the Westminster Holiday Playscheme, which caters for 4 to12-year-olds during school holidays, at three sites in central London. The cost is £30 per day, which is split equally between the FCO and the parent. The subsidy for 200405 will be in the region of £3,500.
Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the Government's policy is regarding UK nationals detained abroad being extradited or transferred to a third country which may inflict the death penalty. 
Mr. Straw [holding answer 6 December 2004]: The UK Parliament and Government are opposed to the use of the death penalty anywhere in the world. We would never acquiesce nor facilitate the extradition or transfer of a UK national from one third country to another in circumstances where the national concerned might face the death penalty. We would always make representations on behalf of the national.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will place in the Library a list of those documents held by his Department that (a) may be disclosed under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and (b) have been destroyed within the preceding four months, that pertain to (i) the European constitution and (ii) the criteria for acceding to the euro. 
Mr. Straw: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) holds a large number of documents, any of which may be potentially disclosable in response to access requests under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 which comes into force on 1 January 2005. Requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis and information will be released if it is in the public interest to do so.
Documents already published on the "Britain and the EU" section of the FCO website: www.fco.gov.uk, include the White Paper on the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe (Cm 6309) and the final treaty
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text (Cm 6429). There is also comprehensive material on what the EU constitutional treaty means for the EU's policies and institutions.
No documents pertaining to (i) the EU constitutional treaty or (ii) the criteria for acceding to the euro have been destroyed within the last four months, other than ephemeral or duplicate material, which is routinely destroyed in accordance with standard records practice. Information about individual documents routinely destroyed is not held by the FCO.