Hollis Industries

- Tuesday, 10th April 2001

 

Mr. Lilley: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he was advised that the inquiry into Hollis Industries had obtained evidence of an invoice of ?200,000 payable to the hon. Member for Coventry, North-West. [157165]

Mr. Byers [holding answer 6 April 2001]: I refer the right hon. Member to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for Lewes (Mr. Baker), on 2 April 2001, Official Report, columns 5-6W. This makes it clear that, acting on the advice of my Permanent Secretary, I ruled myself out of the involvement in the inquiries into the companies associated with my hon. Friend the Member for Coventry, North-West (Mr. Robinson) principally Hollis Industries plc. As a result I did not see or receive advice on any evidence obtained during these inquiries.

Mr. Lilley: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, pursuant to his answer of 2 April 2001, Official Report, column 7W, on Hollis Industries, if he will place in the Library the advice to which he refers. [157167]

Mr. Byers [holding answer 6 April 2001]: As the right hon. Member is aware the actual confidential minutes containing advice from officials to Ministers are not published. This has been the practice under successive administrations.

However the statement issued by the Department on 23 March 2001 made it clear that I received advice from the Permanent Secretary on 8 January 1999 that I should rule myself out of any inquiries into companies associated with my hon. Friend the Member for Coventry, North-West (Mr. Robinson), or in any decisions that needed to be taken but that this matter should be delegated to officials. I accepted this advice.

10 April 2001 (Ref: 366 c516W)

 

 

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