Parliamentary Questions

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 8th September 2015.

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Photo of Paul Flynn Paul Flynn Labour, Newport West 11:30 am, 8th September 2015

What steps his Department is taking to ensure the (a) timeliness and (b) accuracy and quality of the content of answers to parliamentary questions by his Department.

Photo of Mike Penning Mike Penning The Minister of State, Home Department, The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

Written parliamentary questions are something I take extremely seriously, not least from the time when I was sitting on the Opposition Benches and asking Ministers questions. They should be answered on time and be as accurate and as informative as possible.

Photo of Paul Flynn Paul Flynn Labour, Newport West

It took three questions to get answers that would have been adequately given in one word: “None.” The first question was, “How many prisons in Britain are free of illegal drug use?” The answer was that 81 were free for one month. The second question was, “How many were free for a year?” The answer was that one was free for a year—Blantyre House had not reported any drug use for a full year. The third question revealed that, during that period, Blantyre House had no prisoners, so the answer to drug use in prisons is not to get rid of the drugs, but to get rid of the prisoners. What was the Minister on when he gave that answer?

Photo of Mike Penning Mike Penning The Minister of State, Home Department, The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

Clearly, the questions were answered accurately. Of the 15 questions the hon. Gentleman has asked in this Session, 14 have been answered on time, and just as accurately as the other one.