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21 May 2008 : Column 297Wcontinued
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Solicitor-General if she will refer to the Serious Fraud Office recent allegations of television broadcaster misconduct in the use of premium rate telephone services in viewer competitions and voting. 
The Solicitor-General: I am aware that four allegations of television broadcaster misconduct have been considered by the SFO, although those referrals did not arise from my Office.
A decision was made by the former director of the SFO, Robert Wardle, not to commence formal investigations into two of these allegations. The remaining two allegations are still undergoing consideration. The director of the SFO will make a decision on these in due course.
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Solicitor-General whether the Serious Fraud Office plans to investigate the recent cases of television broadcaster misconduct in the use of premium rate telephone services in viewer competitions and voting; and if she will make a statement. 
The Solicitor-General: Four separate allegations of misconduct by television broadcasters have been raised with the SFO since October 2007. A decision was made by the former Director of the SFO, Robert Wardle, not to commence formal investigations into two of these allegations. The remaining two allegations are still undergoing consideration. The Director of the SFO will make a decision on these in due course.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what steps he has (a) taken and (b) plans to take to improve artistic links between the United Kingdom and Israel; and if he will make a statement. 
Margaret Hodge: I am aware that there have been and will be strong artistic links between the UK and Israel and I welcome this. There are no unique barriers to organisations in forming artistic links between our two countries. I have not therefore taken, nor do I plan to take, any special steps to improve artistic links with Israel, over and above those normally in place.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport whether he has powers to invoke legal measures to protect historic sea or river vessels where a registered owner does not demonstrate a duty of care. 
Margaret Hodge [holding answer 19 May 2008]: The Secretary of State has no such powers in relation to historic sea or river vessels except where they are permanent land-based listed structures. Such vessels may be designated as listed buildings or scheduled ancient monuments if they meet relevant criteria.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many statutory instruments have been (a) made and (b) revoked by Ministers in his Department since 1997. 
Margaret Hodge: Since 1997 Ministers in DCMS have made the following number of statutory instruments each calendar year.
|(1) Eight prior to 1 May, 19 thereafter.|
(2) To 15 May 2008
The number of statutory instruments revoked by Ministers in DCMS since 1997 can be ascertained only at disproportionate cost.
Peter Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what discussions he has had with (a) the European Commission and (b) other EU member states on the effect of US law on EU business interests in the United States, with particular reference to (i) online gambling companies and (ii) companies providing financial services to the online gambling sector. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: The UK remained in close contact with the European Commission in connection with the negotiation of an agreed compensation package following the US Administration's decision to withdraw from a World Trade Organisation commitment to provide access to the US online gambling market to non-US companies.
The European Commission is now investigating the United States' ban on remote gambling and its enforcement action against UK and European companies for activities conducted in the US as a result of a complaint under the Trade Barriers Regulation made by the UK gambling industry. The UK Government welcome the European Commission's decision to investigate and we await their conclusions with interest.
Peter Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what discussions he has had with the Indian Government on the effect of US law on the operation of UK businesses in the online gambling sector; and with what other governments outside the EU he has discussed the issue. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: The UK has not had discussions with the Indian Government or other governments outside the EU on the effect of US law on the operation of businesses in the online gambling sector.
Peter Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what restrictions apply to US companies in the UK online gambling sector; and what assessment he has made of the development of online gambling services in the UK by US companies. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: Only companies that are licensed in the UK, in an EEA state or Gibraltar, or in the jurisdictions permitted by the Secretary of State under section 331 of the Gambling Act 2005currently the Isle of Man, Alderney and Tasmaniaare permitted to advertise online gambling services in the UK.
No US jurisdictions are currently permitted to advertise online gambling services in the UK. That means that no US companies licensed in a US jurisdiction are able to advertise online gambling services here.
The UK Government have not made any assessment of the development of online gambling services in the UK by US companies.
Peter Bottomley: To ask the Prime Minister what message he sent to the Government of China following the earthquake in Chongqing. 
The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave at my monthly press conference on 15 May 2008. A transcript is available on the No. 10 website at:
and a copy has been placed in the Library of the House.
Kate Hoey: To ask the Prime Minister what the reasons are for the choice of venue for his forthcoming meeting with the Dalai Lama. 
Peter Bottomley: To ask the Prime Minister (1) when the Dalai Lama has met the holder of his Office in Downing Street during the past 30 years; 
(2) where he plans to meet the Dalai Lama during his forthcoming visit. 
The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Members to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Teignbridge (Richard Younger-Ross) at Prime Ministers questions on 14 May 2008, Official Report, columns 1381-82.
Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Prime Minister whether the data held by special advisers are the responsibility of the (a) Permanent Secretary of each Government Department or (b) Cabinet Secretary for the purposes of the (i) Data Protection Act 1998 and (ii) Freedom of Information Act 2000. 
The Prime Minister: Special advisers are subject to the requirements of legislation in the same way as other civil servants.
Ms Abbott: To ask the Minister for the Olympics what discussions she has had with (a) the London Development Agency and (b) the Olympic Delivery Authority on the educational legacy of the 2012 Olympic games; and if she will make a statement. 
Tessa Jowell: I meet with the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) and the London Development Agency (LDA) regularly to discuss a variety of issues, including the legacy of the games.
In addition, the Minister for Schools and I have also appointed Ian Stewart, an independent reviewer, to lead a review into a potential educational legacy at the Olympic stadium. He has been consulting with the ODA and LDA, among other key stakeholders, including community groups, and will report to Ministers at the end of June.
Ms Abbott: To ask the Minister for the Olympics whether the 2012 Olympic games one planet pavilion will have an educational focus; and if she will make a statement. 
Tessa Jowell: The London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) is currently considering the pavilion's content but has confirmed it will include an educational component. LOCOG will consult with the London Development Agency (LDA) and other stakeholders, including the five host boroughs, to ensure that potential legacy applications are taken into account.
8. Mr. Bone: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales whether he has had discussions with the Secretaries of State for Scotland and Northern Ireland on the co-ordination of the work of his Department, the Scotland Office and the Northern Ireland Office. 
Mr. Paul Murphy: I have held discussions with both my territorial colleagues reflecting our wish to work closely on matters of common interest.
9. Mark Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform on the post office network in Wales. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: We have invested £2 billion in Post Office Ltd. since 1999, and are committed to invest a further £1.7 billion in the network over the next five years.
This Governments proposals will ensure a truly nationwide network and recognise the important social and economic role that post offices play in communities across the country.
10. Lembit Öpik: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what assessment he has made of the effects of trends in the housing market in Wales on the Welsh economy. 
Mr. Paul Murphy: Wales is not immune to the current slowing down in the housing market as seen in the rest of the UK and across the world. We have good reason to remain optimistic about the Welsh economy despite the present challenges facing the global economy.
11. Julie Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what recent discussions he has had with Welsh Assembly Government Ministers on the co-ordination of the work of the Childrens Commissioners for Wales and England. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: I have arranged a meeting with the new childrens commissioner for Wales, Keith Towler, to discuss a range of issues, including co-ordination with the childrens commissioner for England.
I also have regular contact with the deputy childrens commissioner for Wales, Maria Battle.
12. Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what assessment he has made of the contribution of north-east Wales to the UK economy. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: The continued success of and contribution made by north-east Wales is an important part, not only of the Welsh economy, but of the UK's as a whole.
13. Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what progress has been made in reinvigorating the Joint Ministerial Committee; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Paul Murphy: I have met the First Ministers of Scotland and Wales, and the First Minister and Deputy First Minister in Northern Ireland, to discuss how best to re-establish the committee. We aim to hold a meeting of the Committee before the summer. I believe it offers a way of operating devolution arrangements in the United Kingdom better, for everyone's benefit.
Mr. Caton: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what recent discussions he has had with Ministers in the Welsh Assembly Government on levels of unemployment in Wales. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: My right hon. Friend and I have regular discussions with Welsh Assembly Government Ministers on a wide range of issues, including the employment situation in Wales.
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