asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department why it took his Department until 23 January to send a brief note in answer to the hon. Member for Newham, North-West's letter of 12 December 1979; what was contained in this letter of reply which could not have been sent sooner; and whether he will ensure that the Metropolitan Police reply more quickly when complaints are alleged against them and their officers.
The hon. Member's letter, received on 17 December, was dealt with as quickly as possible given the requirements of other business and the intervention of the Christmas period. Responsibility for the handling of correspondence addressed to the Metropolitan Police and for the investigation of complaints against them rests with the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis.