asked Her Majesty's Government:
Further to the Written Answer by Lord Bassam of Brighton on 16 January (WA 138), whether they will adopt the practice of replying substantively to Questions for Written Answer rather than referring to Answers given to Questions in the House of Commons; and whether they will make such a reply in the case of the above Question (WA 138).[HL1446]
Cabinet Office practice is to reply substantively to Questions for Written Answer. However, in certain circumstances, it may be appropriate to refer to previous Answers. In this case, since the original Question referred to an Answer given by my right honourable friend the Prime Minister in another place, it was deemed appropriate to respond by referring to the most recent Answer given by the Prime Minister.