CONSTITUTIONAL – SPECIAL ADVISERS – 20 July 2000

Dr Julian Lewis: Will the right hon. Lady [Margaret Beckett] seek to persuade the Minister for the Cabinet Office to make a statement about the extent to which publicly funded special advisers at No. 10 Downing street are being used to wage faction fights among the leading personalities of the Labour Government? I have in mind not only the infamous "TB" memorandum, of which so much has been heard, but the remarks reported last weekend, when No. 10 had a senior special adviser quoted as saying of the Chancellor of the Exchequer:

"He is poisoning relations with half the Cabinet and the sooner he goes the better."

Although I have every sympathy with people holding that opinion, that is a matter for their internal faction fighting. It should not be something that I and other taxpayers are funding.