HC Deb 12 December 1988 vol 143 cc638-9
60. Mr. Rooker

To ask the Attorney-General if he will meet the Director of Public Prosecutions to discuss what resources he plans to allocate to examining the book, "A Hero From Zero" sent to right hon. and hon. Members by Lonrho plc, for possible breaches of the law.

The Solicitor-General (Sir Nicholas Lyell)

Both the Director of Public Prosecutions, with whom the Law Officers have discussed this matter, and the director of the Serious Fraud Office have received copies of the inspectors' report on the takeover of the House of Fraser Group and of this book. Each is receiving appropriate consideration.

Mr. Rooker

I thank the Solicitor-General for that learned reply. Has it not yet dawned on the Law Officers that there is a prima facie case for believing that, in 1985, Ministers at the Department of Trade and Industry allowed a known crook to buy the House of Fraser simply because he had sat at the Prime Minister's dinner table? If the A1 Fayeds are telling the truth, there has been a tax fraud on a massive scale. Will the DTI inspector's report that was referred to last Friday by Lord Young be published? He said that the report would not be published because it was in the public interest not to do so. That will not wash. The Law Officers must take a grip on the matter and operate as Law Officers rather than simply Ministers appointed by the Prime Minister.

The Solicitor-General

The hon. Gentleman should realise that the prosecution service is independent. Those matters are being considered by the director of the Serious Fraud Office and the Director of Public Prosecutions. They will reach their independent and impartial decision. The publication of the report is a matter for the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry.

Forward to