HC Deb 26 June 1995 vol 262 c561
29. Mr. Campbell-Savours

To ask the Attorney-General if he will make a statement on the time within which the Director of Public Prosecutions is expected to reply substantively to letters from hon. Members. [28733]

The Solicitor-General (Sir Derek Spencer)

The target which my right hon. and learned Friend the Attorney-General has agreed with the Crown Prosecution Service for replies to correspondence from hon. Members is 15 working days. In 1994, that target was met in 77 per cent. of cases.

Mr. Campbell-Savours

Why did it take three months for the Director of Public Prosecutions to tell me that she intended to take no action on the evidence of Miss Eileen McAndrew, secretary to Ms Morgan Thomas—one of the so-called noble Lord Archer's insider dealing friends? Is the reality that this man will never be prosecuted for what we all know was criminal activity?

The Solicitor-General

I am very surprised at the hon. Gentleman's petulant tone. In letters which he wrote to the Director of Public Prosecutions he was at pains to acknowledge her independence. Indeed, he said expressly that that was why he was writing to her rather than to anyone else. The director has considered the matter extremely carefully, independently, having in mind that the primary responsibility for prosecuting and investigating insider dealing cases lies with the DTI. She has decided, as she told the hon. Gentleman—he knows this full well—not to ask the police to carry out investigations at this stage. The decision is a matter for the director acting independently, and neither Law Officer has been involved in her decision.

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