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Volume 468: debated on Monday 26 November 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many officials from his Department, broken down by grade, attended the cross-government working group on anti-Semitism on 15 November; and if he will make a statement. (167394)

I understand that you have already received a reply from the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Communities and Local Government on this question as the lead on cohesion matters. That reply sets out that the cross-government working group did not meet on the 15, but the meeting that took place was between the Parliamentary Under Secretary, his officials and representatives from key Jewish organizations. My officials did not participate in that meeting.

I can assure you that my Department deplores any acts of racial or religious intolerance in higher education. We are committed to tackling any form of anti-Semitism and racial intolerance in general. Although higher education institutions have primary responsibility for ensuring equal opportunities and for abiding by legislation in this area, the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills is committed to encouraging the higher education sector to ensure that discrimination has no place in any of its policies or practices.