Photo of John Hemming

John Hemming (Birmingham, Yardley, Liberal Democrat)

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will press Ofcom to use its powers to prevent silent calls.

Photo of Alun Michael

Alun Michael (Minister of State (State (Industry and the Regions)), Department of Trade and Industry; Cardiff South and Penarth, Labour)

I am confident that the Office of Communications (Ofcom), the independent regulator for the communications sector, will do everything in its power to prevent silent calls. Ofcom derives its main powers and duties directly from statute rather than by delegation from my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State, so it is accountable to Parliament in its own right. The Government take the issue of silent calls very seriously because of the distress they cause to consumers. My officials are in regular contact with Ofcom and encourage us to use its powers effectively to the fullest extent.

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