To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement about the future of the centre for applied microbiology and research at Porton Down, near Salisbury.
I said in my reply of 7 February to my hon. Friend the Member for Salisbury at column 705 that we were considering a number of possible options for the future of the centre for applied microbiology and research (CAMR), including an approach by Porton International plc to acquire CAMR. The current proposal from Porton International is unacceptable, but talks between the financial advisers to the two sides are continuing. Whatever the outcome, I am confident that the essential public sector interests in CAMR's work, including its public health aspects, can be safeguarded.