Hacker House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:17 pm on 25th September 2019.

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Photo of Matt Warman Matt Warman The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport 1:17 pm, 25th September 2019

I want to start by saying that the Prime Minister and his staff have had absolutely no role in the award of this grant; I suspect I will be saying that a number of times, but it will remain the case.

In answer to the hon. Lady’s other questions, the review will report by the end of next month, and I have said that I will update the House where necessary. Of course, we will fully co-operate with any other inquiry. She raises the matter of the match funding of 50%. The officials involved in awarding such grants scored the application very highly in all other aspects; as they routinely do in a number of other situations, they decided that the other aspects more than outweighed that particular criterion.

On the question of where the company is based, the officials have done the usual due diligence on the company. The hon. Lady herself mentioned the address where it is based. It will, of course, be a part of the review that we are doing, but, as I say, this is a company that is based in Britain as far as Companies House is concerned. It is a company with a British phone number. We will review that, but we have no reason to think that there is anything untoward in this particular matter.

Finally, to address the range of issues that the hon. Lady raised at the end of her question, if she wants to raise matters about a grant that was awarded by officials through the proper process, this is of course a completely legitimate forum for her to do so. If she wants to use this opportunity to try to spread tittle-tattle that is much more about politics, she should think very carefully before doing so.