Archer Inquiry

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 4:29 pm on 1st July 2009.

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Photo of Gillian Merron Gillian Merron Minister of State (Public Health), Department of Health 4:29 pm, 1st July 2009

Obviously, that is a matter for the usual channels. I am sure that the hon. Lady will raise the issue at business questions. I would be happy to reply and debate it as required.

We know that there is a misconception that the Department somehow did not co-operate fully with Lord Archer’s inquiry. That is not true. Lord Archer asked for someone from the Department of Health to meet him, and officials did so on several occasions, but he did not invite Ministers to attend or participate in his inquiry. More than 5,000 documents released in prior years were available to him. The most recently released, it appears, did not add materially to what was already known, but I am happy to write to the hon. Member for Cardiff, Central setting out precisely which documents were made available to Lord Archer.