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Part of Opposition Day – in the House of Commons at 4:59 pm on 19th June 1995.

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Photo of Mr Michael Heseltine Mr Michael Heseltine President of the Board of Trade 4:59 pm, 19th June 1995

I am not patronising the hon. Member for Workington (Mr. Campbell-Savours): I am commenting on a merciful release for the country, which has been spared the phenomenon of a Labour Government.

It is common for Ministers to change the drafts of parliamentary answers. That is what Ministers are supposed to be in a position to do. The thrust of the questions of the right hon. Member for Copeland is that we should have done that earlier, as opposed to not doing it at all. Perhaps the Labour party will try to understand the normal workings of government. It is—[Interruption.] I never said that they were dishonest. I merely said that my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State and I were not satisfied that the responses answered the questions to our full satisfaction. Looking back, without the drafts in front of me—this is if I remember correctly—I thought that we could give fuller answers. I thought that, in giving fuller answers—[Interruption.] There is no surprise in any of this. The House will appreciate that it is precisely for those reasons that I came before it with an oral statement.