Establishment

Oral Answers to Questions — Attorney-General – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 4th December 1995.

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Photo of Andrew MacKinlay Andrew MacKinlay , Thurrock 12:00 am, 4th December 1995

To ask the Attorney-General what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of the establishment of his office for the efficient conduct of its business.[1892]

Photo of Sir Nicholas Lyell Sir Nicholas Lyell Attorney General (Law Officers)

The establishment of my office is kept under review. I am satisfied that it is adequate.

Photo of Andrew MacKinlay Andrew MacKinlay , Thurrock

In view of the Attorney-General's reply, can he explain why there is an inordinate delay in his considering whether there should be contempt proceedings against those involved in the Harrow case, which was referred to by my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Aberavon (Mr. Morris) a few moments ago? Is it because the Attorney-General is not on top of his brief or is it that his Department is inadequately resourced? On 30 October, he told the House that he was considering contempt proceedings and he has said the same thing today. When will he get round to making a decision?

Photo of Sir Nicholas Lyell Sir Nicholas Lyell Attorney General (Law Officers)

The hon. Gentleman is wrong; there is not inordinate delay. The matter is under close consideration. As I have explained to the House before and as bears repetition, before I bring such proceedings, I give newspaper editors and journalists the opportunity to make representations about points that they think I should take into account before taking my decision. I have given them that opportunity and most of them have made representations. I am now considering my decision and I shall make it once I am ready.