BUSINESS QUESTION – JO MOORE LEAK – 8 November 2001

Dr Julian Lewis: May we have a statement from the Minister for the Cabinet Office about the deplorable decision to mount a leak inquiry inside the Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions to find out who leaked the dreadful e-mail from Jo Moore about it being a good day on 11 September to bury bad news? Is it not quite astonishing that the person who leaked the e-mail might lose his or her job while the person who wrote it retains hers? I would have asked for a statement from the Minister with responsibility for freedom of information, but I think that that post may have been abolished, along with the Government's commitment to open government and public accountability as defences for leaks. 

[Robin Cook: As I recall, the statement about the investigation was made by the Cabinet Secretary and not by any Minister at the Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions. The hon. Gentleman is a man of great talent, integrity and experience. I do think that the time has come for him to move on to another subject.]