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Point of Order

Volume 454: debated on Thursday 14 December 2006

On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. Yesterday, the Deputy Prime Minister said that

“the amount of money spent on hospitality and travel by this Government…is a lot less than the amount spent by the previous Administration.”—[Official Report, 13 December 2006; Vol. 454, c. 858.]

That did not sound right to me so I asked the excellent Library to look into it. It is still looking into it, but it did produce two questions that were answered recently, including one in March 2005, which said that in the financial year to the beginning of April 2005 only £58,000 had been spent on hospitality, but by the end of the year—that is, within one month—some £213,000 had been spent. There is obviously some discrepancy that needs clearing up. Could you suggest to the Deputy Prime Minister that he should clarify the situation on Government hospitality expenditure, especially by his Department?

It would be far more appropriate if the hon. Gentleman pursued those points in further parliamentary questions.