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Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice pursuant to the answers of 19 November 2007, Official Report, column 515W, on political parties: finance, if he will place in the Library copies of the Inter-Party Talks minutes and background papers which are classed as held by his Department for the purposes of the Freedom of Information Act. 
Mr. Straw: Some information, consisting of papers for the parties to the talks and minutes of the talks, was shared with the Ministry of Justice and is for the purposes of the Freedom of Information Act held by my Department. I am not releasing this information at this time because it was provided in confidence.
Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice pursuant to the answer of 19 November 2007, Official Report, column 524W, on trade unions, whether the funding of political parties was discussed on any of the six occasions. 
Mr. Straw: In my capacity as Secretary of State, I have not held any meetings with trade unions specifically to discuss the funding of political parties. I have furthermore had such meetings as one of my partys representatives on the cross party talks.
At the meetings referred to in my answer of 19 November 2007, Official Report, column 524W, a variety of topics were discussed. Party funding was not on the agenda for any of these meetings but my recollection is that I did touch on the issue informally with representatives of trade unions affiliated to the Labour party at one or other of these meetings, as they were breaking up, and without officials.
Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what meetings and discussions he has had with Sir Hayden Phillips and his representatives on electoral law on donations to political parties. 
Mr. Straw: I have met with Sir Hayden Phillips several times in my capacity as one of my partys representatives at the cross party talks led by Sir Hayden and spoken to him on the telephone from time to time though the right hon. Gentleman will appreciate that as Sir Haydens review was established by Her Majestys Government, it is not possible to wholly separate its role from that of the Secretary of State. I have not however had any meetings with Sir Hayden in either capacity since June 2007 other than at the cross party talks.
Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many temporary promotions have been authorised by the Deputy Director General of HM Prison Service in each of the years since he took the appointment as (a) Deputy Director General and (b) Director of Operations; what the reasons for approving each were; and if he will make a statement. 
|Temporary p romotions a uthorised by the Director of Operations|
|Date||Number of temporary promotions||Reason|
Maria Eagle: There are no current plans to reinstate purposeful activity as a key performance indicator (KPI). Purposeful activity ceased to be a KPI in 2004-05 because Ministers agreed that KPIs introduced in respect of education, rehabilitation and resettlement, provide a much better demonstration of the efforts to equip prisoners to be less likely to offend on release. Purposeful activity remains an establishment key performance target and performance is regularly monitored by operational managers.
Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many investigations by the prisons and probation ombudsman have been assisted by the lead investigator for the Tasker inquiry; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many inquiries into deaths in custody by the prisons and probation ombudsman have been (a) led and (b) assisted by the lead investigator for the Tasker inquiry since the inquiry was established; and if he will make a statement. 
Maria Eagle: Since the Tasker inquiry was established, its lead investigator has been employed to complete an investigation into one death in custody on behalf of the prisons and probation ombudsman. The investigation had been started by one of the ombudsman's investigative staff who had subsequently had to take long-term sick leave. Additionally, the lead investigator to the Tasker inquiry has been involved in follow up work to some other investigations which took place prior to the Tasker inquiry being established.
Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice whether those conducting investigations for the prisons and probation ombudsman may also conduct investigations on behalf of HM Prison Service; and if he will make a statement. 
Maria Eagle: Staff who are in the direct employment of the office of the prisons and probation ombudsman do not conduct investigations on behalf of HM Prison Service. A number of self-employed investigators are retained by the office and are occasionally called upon to carry out investigations in periods when staff resources are stretched. They are free to enter into other employment when they are not doing work for the office of the prisons and probation ombudsman.
Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice with reference to the answer of 16 May 2007, Official Report, column 787W, on prison service: sick leave, how many staff are currently off work sick in HM Prison Service with stress; how many staff were off work sick with stress for a period of (a) less than one week, (b) between one and two weeks, (c) between two weeks and a month, (d) between one and two months, (e) between two and three months, (f) between three and four months, (g) between four and five months, (h) between five and six months and (i) more than six months in the last two years; and if he will make a statement. 
At the latest date that figures are available (30 November 2007) there were 465 staff absent from the public sector Prison Service for reasons classified as Mental and Behavioural Disorders - predominately stress related. Information on the number of cases of Mental and Behavioural absences by length of absence over the last two complete years is shown in the following table. The information refers to all stress related absences, whether they were work-related or not. The average total workforce during this period was 48,817 and therefore the current number absent due to Mental and Behavioural Disorders is less than 1 per cent. of total workforce.
|Mental and behavioural absences in the public sector prison service by length: April 2005 to March 2007|
|Length of absence||Cases|
HMP and YOI Parc has reported that no staff are currently absent due to stress. No other contracted
establishments have reported information on the number of current absentees.
|Absences due to stress at contracted prisons over the past two years|
|Length of Absence||Cases( 1)|
(1) Information has been provided for four contracted prisons: Parc, Altcourse, Rye Hill and Wolds. No information has been supplied for: Ashfield, Bronzefield, Dovegate, Doncaster, Forest Bank, Lowdham Grange and Peterborough.
Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many prisoners absconded from each (a) prison and (b) young offender institution in London in each of the last 10 years; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hanson: The number of incidents of prisoners absconding from prisons in the London area in each of the last 10 years is shown in the following table. This information is also available for all prisons at the Prison Service website
|The number of incidents of prisoners absconding from prisons in the London area between 1997-98 and 2006-07|
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