The Cabinet Office is the centre of Government. The Department is responsible for delivering a democracy that works for everyone, supporting the design and delivery of Government policy and driving efficiencies and reforms to make government work better.
Will the Minister provide an update on any progress in the Prime Minister’s audit to tackle racial disparities? As so much is already known about the devastating consequences of these disparities, should not the Government be getting on with doing a great deal more about them now rather than waiting for an audit?
I find the right hon. Lady’s comments surprising. It was this Government and this Prime Minister who commissioned the racial disparity audit. When the right hon. Lady was in power, her party had 13 years to do that, but did not. I am proud of what the Prime Minister has done. We have committed to publishing the audit in the next few months, and the right hon. Lady will be excited by the possibilities it presents to make things better for everyone in the country.
Although list X is the responsibility of the MOD and the Secretary of State will have heard that question, I have a responsibility for small and medium-sized enterprises in public procurement. I shall certainly take forward my hon. Friend’s concerns and ensure that they are represented.
Since 2010, more than 100,000 civil service jobs have gone. With 300 new recruits and funding of £42.7 million for the Brexit Department, is the Minister really serious about the fact that the UK is properly prepared to enter the most complex negotiations for generations? The reality is that it is an absolute shambles.
I have full confidence not only in that, but in the civil service and the remarkable people who inhabit the Departments across our state.
I thank my hon. Friend for his commitment to and interest in combating voter fraud, and for taking those measures. I addressed a conference of the National Police Chiefs Council and the Electoral Commission last Friday, setting out why it is important that the police take the issue of voter fraud seriously. There have been cases where convictions have not been followed through. That is wrong and I hope that the issue will be addressed.
The hon. Gentleman knows that it was this Government who established a far more rigorous understanding of steel content in public procurement policy. I will update the House in due course to give hon. Members an idea of the progress we are making.
As of yesterday, 15,745 companies were registered with Contracts Finder, 59% of which were small and medium-sized enterprises. My hon. Friend could encourage his local businesses to sign up. It is very easy to do so, and the best he can do is to tell them that.
In the measures I have described today, I shall.
I owe Members an apology for this. It is true that some of the telephone numbers in the directory were inaccurate and some were general numbers. The revision is being made quarterly—the next one is in March—and I have instructed all Departments to provide private office numbers, as Members rightly expect.