Clause 29

Part of Further Education and Training Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:24 pm on 14th June 2007.

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Photo of Bill Rammell Bill Rammell Minister of State (Lifelong Learning, Further and Higher Education), Department for Education and Skills 3:24 pm, 14th June 2007

I will be more than happy to respond in that vein. This is one of the most complex social and educational policy challenges that we face. Too often, the tabloid headlines do not do it justice.

The hon. Gentleman talked about the Connexions service and the position of the Conservative party on that issue, which, he will forgive me for saying, has not always been crystal clear. I remember the debate on widening participation in education that took place on the Floor of the House a couple of months ago. His hon. Friend the Member for Henley (Mr. Johnson), when challenged on the Conservative party’s policy on Connexions, said that it was to abolish the service, at which point the hon. Member for Havant (Mr. Willetts) started pulling at his jacket. Literally five minutes later, the Hon. Member for Henley was forced to stand up again and say that he should have said that he would reform the Connexions service.