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Cabinet (Collective Responsibility)

Volume 124: debated on Thursday 17 December 1987

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To ask the Prime Minister if she has any plans to change the operation of Cabinet collective responsibility; and if she will make a statement.

Since not even one member of the Cabinet will oppose the Prime Minister on her heartless policies towards the National Health Service, and nor will one stand up and fight for Britain on the flat rate poll tax, now appropriately christened the "Tory tax" — [HON. MEMBERS: "Reading."]

Order. This is the last Prime Minister's Question Time before the recess, so it is precious time.

As the right hon. Lady says, hon. Members do not like it, do they?

Does the right hon. Lady agree that this is the most gutless, sycophantic Cabinet in which she has ever served?

The hon. Gentleman will find that collective responsibility is vital to produce a prosperous Britain, a good Health Service—[Interruption.]—and to be returned for a second, third, fourth and fifth term. [Interruption.]

Order. I ask the House to pursue this Question Time in silence and with mutual tolerance.

In commending the doctrine of Cabinet collective responsibility, particularly when tackling inner-city problems, can my right hon. Friend reassure the House that there is a Minister with overall responsibility for that and there is not interdepartmental squabbling, so that the Government's commitment and resolve to urban regeneration are in no way diminished, and may I wish her the compliments of the season?

I thank my hon. Friend, and I reciprocate his good wishes. Our inner-cities policy is one of collective responsibility. It concerns a considerable number of Departments and we meet regularly to coordinate policies. The inner-cities policy is doing well.