§ 29. Mr. Janner
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster when he next intends to visit those parts of the city of Leicester which are Duchy property.
§ The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Mr. Kenneth Clarke)
I hope to visit the Duchy interests in Leicester as soon as the opportunity to do so arises.
§ Mr. Janner
Since the lamentable defeat of Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, in 1261, is it not right that the Minister and his Duchy acquired responsibility for the honour and county of Leicester? As he has now very wisely given up his responsibility for fiddling the unemployment figures and instead is turning his attention to covering up the adverse trade balance of the nation, may I offer him the opportunity to take advantage of Leicester as soon as possible by applying for admission to either the Trinity hospital or the Wyggeston hospital, both of which I understand he still owns?
§ Mr. Clarke
The penalties of political defeat were rather severe in 1265, so it is the case that the Duchy of Lancaster acquired entirely the honour and county of Leicester in the 13th century. We now own one property in the high street and have an interest in the Wyggeston and Trinity hospitals. I trust that the way in which the Duchy administers them gives rise to no complaints. The economy of Leicester is thriving rather well. Unemployment is falling and employment is rising. The 13 Highfields task force, for which I am responsible in Leicester, is achieving great success in getting projects moving in that difficult part of the town.