Oral Answers to Questions — Duchy of Lancaster – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 24th February 1997.
To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what proposals he has to ensure more openness in government. 
The governing Conservative party would be a bit more convincing about the openness of government if it were more open about its funding. For instance, when will the £400,000 that Mr. Asil Nadir stole and then gave to the Conservative party be returned to the creditors? What about the money that that crook, Mr. Octav Botnar, gave the Conservative party? Why will not the Conservative party tell the people from where it gets its funds? Could it be that the Conservatives are heavily funded by foreign crooks and foreign fascists and do not want people to know that?
Before making such statements, the hon. Gentleman would do well to consider the inquiry currently being undertaken by Sir Gordon Downey into the funding of the office of the Leader of the Opposition. We do not want wild, spurious allegations, but a little more openness would certainly be welcome. Strangely, almost every move towards more openness that the Government have made—making parents more aware of the performance of schools, and patients more aware of the performance of hospitals, for example—has been opposed by the Labour party.
Would it not be a good example of openness in government if the Leader of the Opposition were to announce which Ministries will be controlled by the deputy leader of the Labour party, in the unlikely event of a Labour Government? After all, we want to know—and so does he.
I thank my hon. Friend for his astute observation. I note that the deputy Leader of the Opposition muttered from a sedentary position just now that he wants to control all of them. That may reassure some people, but it is precisely the message that we would rather like to convey to a wider audience.