What plans he has to visit Bethlehem before 25 December to discuss progress on a settlement of the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis.
I have no current plans to do so.
I am sorry to hear the Prime Minister say that. Christmas could not be celebrated last year in Bethlehem because of the fighting between Israelis and Palestinians. International voluntary workers, including Alistair Hillmans, a constituent of mine, were illegally arrested by the Israelis on territory that is not theirs. Given the new determination under the new middle east peace plan—the road map—would it not be good if the Prime Minister could say, "I will be in Bethlehem to celebrate Christmas this year."? Would it not be good if such towns as Jenin, Tulkarm, Ramallah, Bethlehem, Dura and Dhahiriya were all part of a consolidated Palestinian state?
My hon. Friend's point is right. It is important to do all that we can to make sure that there is freedom of access to Bethlehem this year. As he rightly points out, as a result of the situation in the middle east, people were not able to celebrate Christmas in Bethlehem last year. However, it is worth pointing out that, for the first time in several years, we have the prospect of the peace process in the middle east moving forward. I very much welcome the initiative that President Bush has taken in that regard. If we can get some sort of normalisation under way, I have no doubt that it should include access to Bethlehem. I am sure that that will be one of the points that those who are trying to negotiate the first steps in reviving the peace process will take into account.
Why does the Prime Minister not grasp the nettle and reaffirm the probity and efficacy of his Government by holding a clear judicial inquiry into the matters that are of public concern?
I have answered the allegations that people have put. I have answered them not only on my own behalf, but on behalf of the chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee. There is a proper way of proceeding. The all-party Intelligence and Security Committee will look into these matters, as it has asked to do, and will make a report. The specific allegation made about the 45 minutes is one that the Committee is perfectly able to investigate and reach conclusions on. I hope that if it concludes that what I have said from the Dispatch Box is correct, our security services—never mind the Government—will receive an apology from those people who made that allegation.