Rt Hon Lord Lilley

    Mr. Peter Lilley (Hitchin and Harpenden) (Con): Do the Government accept the traditional doctrine that Ministers are responsible, including for the advice they take, and so have a duty to probe, question and evaluate that advice and reach the right conclusion, as his right hon. Friend the Member for Livingston (Mr. Cook), his predecessor, did? Or are they replacing it with a new doctrine that when things go right Ministers take the credit and when they go wrong they set up a narrowly based inquiry to blame officials for a political decision?

    Mr. Straw: Neither I nor my right hon. Friend have ever sought to shy away from our responsibilities, and our responsibilities are to this House. Let that not be forgotten.