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Volume 406: debated on Thursday 12 June 2003

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To ask the Prime Minister how many (a) public and (b) judicial inquiries the Government have set up into events which took place (i) before and (ii) after May 1997; and how much they have so far cost. [117933]

Since May 1997 two inquiries have been established under the Tribunals of Inquiry (Evidence) Act 1921: the Bloody Sunday Inquiry (1998) under Lord Saville and the Shipman Inquiry (2000) under Dame Janet Smith DBE. The latest available costs are £107.6 million and £11.75 million respectively.There have been a number of inquiries of different forms established since May 1997 either under other statutory provisions or on an ad hoc, non-statutory basis, dealing with events both before and after 1997. Examples include:

The Stephen Lawrence Inquiry (established 1997), under Sir William McPherson;
The BSE Inquiry (1997), under Lord Phillips;
The Ladbroke Grove Inquiry (1999) under Lord Cullen;
The Royal Liverpool Children's Inquiry (1999) under Mr. Michael Redfern QC.

There have also been a large number of other inquiries under various statutes, for example planning inquiries, inquiries into road schemes and inquiries into local health service issues.

A comprehensive list of all inquiries and their costs is not maintained centrally.