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Smith Institute

Volume 456: debated on Thursday 1 February 2007

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many (a) Smith Institute events and (b) events hosted in conjunction with the Smith Institute have been held at No. 11 Downing street in the last 12 months. (102754)

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what events have been organised by the Smith Institute and hosted by his office since May 1997. (109568)

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what public funds have been given by his Department to the Smith Institute since 1997; (109987)

(2) how many events his Department and the agencies for which it is responsible have hosted with the Smith Institute since 1997;

(3) how many events hosted by the Smith Institute he has held at No. 11 Downing street in the last 12 months;

(4) what remuneration was received for the use of No. 11 Downing street from the Smith Institute or SI Events Ltd. for its seminar on positional goods held on 21 September 2006.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer on how many occasions the Smith Institute has (a) organised and (b) participated in the organisation of meetings in (i) his Department and (ii) No. 11 Downing street in each of the last two years. (110196)

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer on how many occasions since December 2005 the Smith Institute has held meetings at No. 11 Downing street; and who attended each. (113338)

No. 11 Downing street is used as a venue for Government meetings, official meetings, meetings with external stakeholders and events by charities. This is fully in accordance with the Ministerial Code and long standing conventions governing the use of Downing street as operated by this and previous Governments.

Every external organisation who uses No. 11 does so on the same basis: the organisers of events at No. 11 meet all additional costs associated with holding the event. This is to ensure no public funds are used for events held by external organisations.

Since 1997, 67 separate charities have used No. 11 of which the Smith Institute is one—a list of these charities is included on the Treasury website.

The Smith Institute was set up in the memory of the late John Smith. It asked in 1997 to use the facility for seminars on a once a month basis and sometimes, when they are conducting a series of seminars, on a more regular basis. As previously reported, the Smith Institute held 27 seminars in the last 12 months. Any charities who use or want to use No. 11 Downing street can apply for more extended access if this is their wish and subject to availability.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the (a) date and (b) amount was of each payment made to (i) the Smith Institute and (ii) its subsidiary SI Events Ltd. by his Department in each of the last three years. (115930)

Neither organisation has ever received any direct payments from the Treasury.

Every external organisation who uses No. 11 does so on the same basis: the organisers of events at No. 11 meet all additional costs associated with holding the event. This is to ensure no public funds are used for events held by external organisations.

However, we have established that the independent, Government-funded Myners review of the “Governance of Life Mutuals” commissioned a number of research and other organisations including SI Events Ltd., who in November 2004 organised two seminars to inform the work of the review, neither in No.11 Downing street. The Treasury has asked Mr. Myners to provide details of these seminars, including their cost. He has written today to the Permanent Secretary and I have placed a copy of his letter in the Library of the House.