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Serious Fraud

Volume 163: debated on Monday 4 December 1989

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To ask the Attorney-General when he next expects to meet the Director of Public Prosecutions to discuss serious fraud; and if he will make a statement.

Matters of serious fraud are generally the responsibility of the independent serious fraud office, whose own director I frequently meet for discussions.

When the Attorney-General meets that officer, will he tell him that it is high time that the serious fraud office investigated the sweetner from the Government to British Aerospace in order to get rid of Rover? Will he also say—as the Attorney-General of this country ought to say—that he believes that the Government are guilty of fraud and that they have probably been fiddling certain tax concessions and subsidies? There should be one law which applies to the Government in the same way as it applies to an old lady in the supermarket who might get away with a tin of pilchards. If the right hon. and learned Gentleman were a real Attorney-General that is the way that he would address the Director of Public Prosecutions and the serious fraud squad instead of covering up for his friends on the Government Front Bench.

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry made a full statement on Thursday and there is nothing that I wish to add to that. I am sorry that the right hon. and learned Member for Aberavon (Mr. Morris)—I will not say shot his fox in his previous question—but slightly peppered it. Questions of this nature are not made any more persuasive, and the hon. Member for Bolsover (Mr. Skinner) does not make his case, by yelling.