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Prison Service: Homophobia

Volume 467: debated on Tuesday 13 November 2007

To ask the Solicitor-General with reference to her answer of 21 May 2007, Official Report, column 1145W, on Prison Service: homophobia, for what reason this information is not held by the Treasury Solicitor; and if she will make a statement. (163233)

The Treasury Solicitor keeps records primarily to meet the operational needs of his Department as the Government's solicitor. Cases tend to be categorised according to client and according to the nature of the claim at law, for example, assault, personal injury, unfair dismissal, misfeasance, judicial review. Homophobia as such does not constitute a claim at law. Rather, it may be, or may be perceived to be, a motivating factor in many kinds of claim. Whether, in any case, homophobia has been such a factor may never be established leaving the issue speculative and any record based upon it unreliable. No operational purpose of the Treasury Solicitor's Department would be served by keeping such a record and for that reason, having regard to the duty to be cost-effective, such records are not kept.