Will the Prime Minister join me in congratulating Liverpool on becoming the European capital of culture? Will he also congratulate Cardiff, which put in a great bid, and the other cities on the shortlist? What plans are there to build on the success and momentum created in Cardiff and the other shortlisted cities?
I offer my warm congratulations to Liverpool on becoming the European capital of culture. For my own safety, I should point out that the decision was taken on a recommendation by an independent committee—
Publish the evidence!
There is an established and reliable source for that, anyway.My commiserations go, of course, to those cities, not just Cardiff, that made fantastic efforts in their bids. Because they have done so well, the Government intend to invest a particular sum to ensure that those cities that did not win, because Liverpool did, will still be given a chance to develop as cities of culture.
The governors at Neville Lovett community school in my constituency are likely to have to disband its learning support unit in order to balance the books. Does the Prime Minister think it right that those who need support in their education are likely to lose it because the Government have not got their sums right on school funding?
Obviously, I do not know the situation in the hon. Gentleman's constituency. However, we have put in a huge increase in his area, Hampshire, over the past few years, and there was a particularly large increase this year. I cannot say for sure exactly how the money has been allocated by the local education authority, but I do say to Conservative Members who say that they want even more money to go into education that it is curious to demand that when their policy has been not to support extra investment, but to cut it by 20 per cent. across the board.
Does the Prime Minister recall saying in the September debate that we knew that Saddam had been trying to buy uranium from Africa? Has he been advised since then that it is accepted that the documents on which that claim was based were forged? I have never questioned the good faith of my right hon. Friend, so could he not save the Intelligence and Security Committee a lot of time in its inquiry by correcting the record now on the alleged uranium from Africa, and on the alleged weapons ready in 45 minutes, and say that he regrets that, in all good faith, he gave the House information that has since turned out to be wrong?
No, I am afraid that I have to say to my right hon. Friend that I will not do that, for this reason. There are two quite separate allegations. My right hon. Friend started with the allegation about uranium from Africa. There was intelligence to that effect. I shall not go into the details of the particular intelligence, but at the time it was judged by the Joint Intelligence Committee to be correct. Until we investigate properly, we are simply not in a position to say whether that is so. In respect of the 45 minutes, however, that is a wholly different allegation. I have to say to my right hon. Friend that the Joint Intelligence Committee made that assessment on its own behalf with no interference from anyone. I shall certainly not stand here and say that that assessment is wrong, as the committee's judgment is that it was right. The committee is in a better position to make that judgment than either me or, with respect, my right hon. Friend.
Yet again, Greenpeace has today highlighted the use by the Government, in the Home Office, of timber from unsustainable sources. Will the Prime Minister accept that the use of unsustainable timber must be stopped—[Interruption.]
Order. The House must let the hon. Lady ask her question. [HON. MEMBERS: "Why?] Because her name is on the Order Paper and she is entitled to ask a question.
There is evidence from Greenpeace. We should declare war on the illegal use of timber and end the mass destruction of forests once and for all.
I am getting instructions from further along the Bench. Is this to do with a fence around Marsham street?
I regret to say that, along with everything else, I am not 100 per cent. up to speed about the fence around Marsham street. The Home Secretary seems to be disputing rather vigorously the claim that is being made.
Well, he would.
Probably he would. I shall look into the matter and drop the hon. Member for Guildford (Sue Doughty) a line about it. It may be an issue to take up with the contractors rather than with the Government.