To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport
(1) with which countries his Department has had discussions in respect of (a) joint events and (b) a UK presence at overseas events to commemorate the centenary of the first world war; on what dates any such discussions took place; and if he will make a statement;
(2) how many officials in his Department are engaged (a) full-time and (b) part-time in preparations to commemorate the centenary of the first world war; and if he will make a statement;
(3) if he will give consideration to applying a motif on all commemorative items and events associated with the 100th anniversary of the first world war; and if he will make a statement;
(4) if he will consider providing funding to refurbish war graves and war memorials (a) in the UK and (b) overseas to commemorate the centenary of the first world war; and if he will make a statement;
(5) how much funding the Government has allocated for commemorations of the centenary of the first world war; and if he will make a statement.
The Prime Minister has asked my hon. Friend Dr Murrison to act as his Special Representative and Co-ordinator for World War I Commemorations, with secretariat support from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. In addition to a series of meetings with international colleagues and attending an all nations meeting in Paris in March 2012, Dr Murrison holds monthly meetings with a core liaison group incorporating cross-Whitehall Departments, the Imperial War Museum, Heritage Lottery Fund, Commonwealth War Graves Commission and others to ensure that the UK plays a full and active role in commemorating the centenary of the first world war. A number of proposals are being discussed and the Government expects to announce more details later in the year.