My Lords, Ministers are permitted to use an official car for official business and for reasonable home-to-office journeys on the understanding that they would normally be carrying classified papers on which they would be working or, exceptionally, when the security authorities consider it essential. The number of Ministers with allocated cars and drivers will be kept to a minimum.
My Lords, is the Minister aware that his colleague who went to the Dunkirk celebrations this year took a car all the way from London to Dunkirk instead of taking the Eurostar and hiring a local car at Calais to get to Dunkirk? I believe that the cost was several thousand pounds. Why could he not take the train half way, to Calais, and then take a car?
My Lords, if the noble Lord thinks that the Ministerial Code has not been completely complied with, he should write a letter to the Cabinet Secretary. On the question about certain former Ministers, on security grounds they may have the use of an allocated car and driver.
With the leave of the House, let me say that I do not think that the Minister heard my question properly. I did not ask about existing Prime Ministers and Deputy Prime Ministers; I asked about retired Prime Ministers. Would he answer my original question?
My Lords, is the reduction in the use of ministerial cars a reflection of the priorities of the Government in cutting public expenditure or is it a reflection of the fact that more than half the Cabinet are wealthy enough to be able to afford their own cars and drivers?
My Lords, I am not aware of any cars using liquid petroleum gas. However, many of them now use diesel fuel. For instance, some of the Jaguar cars will do 26.5 miles to the gallon and the Toyota Prius Mark III will achieve 72.4 miles per gallon. So far as I am aware, though, we are not using LPG as a fuel.