Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 13th February 1997.

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Photo of Mr John Major Mr John Major , Huntingdon 12:00 am, 13th February 1997

I can certainly offer that assurance to my hon. Friend and the House. My hon. Friend highlights a truly tragic case, as he set it out. Although I am not familiar with all the details of the case, I was aware of it, and I understand that the director of social services in Lancashire is now reviewing the department's action, and that a report will be sent to the Department of Health's social services inspectorate, where we will examine it with great speed and great care. It is essential that, when a child needs protection, it receives protection from all the agencies concerned. On the evidence at present available—I emphasise that—it seems as though that may not have happened in that case.

On the more general question of drugs, as my hon. Friend is aware, the Government are deeply concerned about the problem of drugs and young people in particular. That is why the Home Office is currently supporting more than 1,500 locally based schemes on drug protection.