To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many staff have been employed in the Ministerial Correspondence Unit of the Department in each of the last two years. 
The Home Office does not have a dedicated ministerial correspondence unit. The Direct Communications Unit (DCU) serves the non-Immigration Nationality Directorate Home Office, but the staff who deal with ministerial correspondence also deal with approximately 40,000 public letters per annum. Staff in IND also deal with public correspondence, and have a variety of other taks. The table shows the staffing figures.
|Staff employed in Ministerial Correspondence Units in the Home Office|
|April 2002||April 2003|
|DCU||52 permanent 1 casual||49 permanent|
|IND||No figures available||170 permanent|
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when a substantive reply will be sent to the right hon. Member for Berwick-upon-Tweed regarding his letter to the Minister of State of 4 September 2002 relating to an allegation of illegal immigration, ref 18268/2; and what the reasons are for the delay in dealing with the matter. 
[holding answer 16 June 2003]: I wrote to the right hon. Member on 18 June 2003.