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Orders of the Day — Social Security Fraud Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:02 pm on 1st May 2001.

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Photo of Mr Jeff Rooker Mr Jeff Rooker Minister of State, Department of Social Security, Minister of State (Department of Social Security) 4:02 pm, 1st May 2001

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Before we begin proceedings on the Bill, may I extend orally an apology that I gave the House yesterday in a written answer? I repeated an error in a written answer at Question Time, on the Floor of the House, and I feel that I should correct both answers.

I gave a written answer yesterday, which can be found in column 518W of Hansard, relating to departmental advertising. Towards the end of the answer, I corrected a written answer that I had given on 7 March to the hon. Member for Havant (Mr. Willetts), which can be found in column 233W. I have also written a long letter to the hon. Gentleman, explaining how that came about. The letter, which is long and convoluted, has been placed in the Library.

During Social Security questions on 2 April—this can be found in column 11—I effectively repeated the same error relating to advertising expenditure. It is only proper, according to the terms of the code of conduct, for the error to be corrected and apologised for in both written and oral form, and I do so now. There was certainly no intention to mislead the House; I am as annoyed about this as anyone else, and I am glad to have been able to set th+ record straight both in writing and orally.