CABINET OFFICE – SPECIAL ADVISERS – 31 October 2001

Dr Julian Lewis: If he [John Prescott] will make a statement on the guidance his Department gives on the ethical standards that should be applied by ministerial special advisers?

[SUPPLEMENTARY:] Here is a straightforward question for the Deputy Prime Minister. If a special adviser in the Cabinet Office had put out an e-mail saying that the occasion of an international terrorist disaster was a very good day to bury bad news, would the Deputy Prime Minister have sacked that person or kept him or her in his or her job?

[The Deputy Prime Minister and First Secretary of State: It has been made clear both by the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions and by the Prime Minister, and it is my view, that it was a stupid judgment and should not have happened. The woman has apologised for it. She has been dealt with under the disciplinary procedures. Under those circumstances, I think that the matter is now shut.]