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Ambassadors

Volume 448: debated on Wednesday 28 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 22 November 2005, Official Report, Column 1895W, on ambassadors, how much of the Frais was spent on (a) the EU presidency, (b) the G8 presidency and (c) the visit of HRH the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall. (79237)

£6,145 of the Frais of our ambassador in Washington was spent on the visit by their Royal Highnesses the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall in November 2005. The UK's G8 and EU presidencies ran for one year and six months respectively. To provide figures on the amount of Frais spent on both presidencies would require consideration of hundreds of events in 2005 and would incur disproportionate costs.

I would like to take this opportunity to correct the figure of £29,000 previously stated as having been underspent against the ambassador's Frais provision in financial year 2004-05, in the written reply to my hon. Friend by the then Foreign Secretary my right hon. Friend the Member for Blackburn (Mr. Straw) on 22 November 2005, Official Report, Column 1895W. The ambassador's Frais provision was underspent by £27,935 and it was that amount that was carried forward to financial year 2005-06. Taking into account this rollover, there was no increase in the ambassador's total Frais allocation for 2005-06.