Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:10 pm on 2nd February 2012.

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Photo of Nicholas Dakin Nicholas Dakin Opposition Whip (Commons) 12:10 pm, 2nd February 2012

On Wednesday 20 July, I received a written answer from the Department for Education on the use of e-mails. It was very clear:

“Never use non-DfE email services…to carry out Departmental business.”—[Hansard, 20 July 2011; Vol. 531, c. 1017W.]

It then became equally clear that officials were using Hotmail accounts to advise people in relation to academy status. I raised this issue at business questions on 8 September, when the Leader of the House helpfully said I would get a reply from the Secretary of State. In that reply, the Secretary of State made it very clear that this was one rogue official, and I accepted that response, but we have now heard, as recently as the Select Committee on Education’s session this week, that there is still a lack of clarity about how the Secretary of State himself is using private e-mail accounts. May we have a statement by the Secretary of State in the House to clear up this issue?