HC Deb 24 June 1996 vol 280 cc9-10
12. Mr. Winnick

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of his Department in promoting Government policies. [32615]

Mr. Willetts

The results of the fundamental expenditure review of the Office of Public Service have been published. The effectiveness of the Department is kept under review through MINIS—the ministerial information system.

Mr. Winnick

Can the Minister explain why the Government have the lowest opinion poll ratings of all time, are incapable of winning any by-elections and have done dismally at local elections? Would not it be wise for the Prime Minister to summon up enough courage to call an autumn election? If he is speculating about doing that, as we are told in the press, why does not he pluck up the courage, call it and let the people decide?

Mr. Willetts

My party won two local authority by-elections last Thursday. We had a successful conclusion to the European Commission's proposals on beef at the European summit and we shall publish an exciting White Paper on education tomorrow. In due course, we shall put our policies to the electorate.