New Forest East


Dr Julian Lewis: May we have a statement from the new Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, not on the importance of the correct work-life balance, which might be rather unconvincing, but on why a split is necessary between the roles of Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster? How is it that the excellent Lord Tebbit managed to hold that position when he was chairman of the Conservative party, with an electoral role, and was paid only about £2,000 a year, because of the minimal nature of the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster's duties, while this Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster will be paid at the full Cabinet Minister's rate?

[Peter Hain: As the hon. Gentleman knows, under the last Conservative Government, some Chancellors of the Duchy of Lancaster, such as Lord Hunt, were paid the full Cabinet salary, because they were not party chairmen. The Labour party chairman, my right hon. Friend the Member for Makerfield (Ian McCartney), is being paid by the Labour Party, because his duties are political in respect of his party post, whereas the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, my right hon. Friend the Member for Darlington (Alan Milburn), will be paid a salary from the public purse because he will have a cross-Government role in the co-ordination of Government policy.

My right hon. Friend will be responsible for the work of the Strategy Unit and the Policy Directorate, and will sit on a number of Cabinet Committees. An announcement about that will be made to Parliament in the normal way. He will also be responsible for Duchy business. In response to a point raised with me last time, let me add that my right hon. Friend will answer Parliamentary Questions on his Government responsibilities in the House, and will deal with correspondence from Members on those issues in the usual way.]