§ 13. Mr. Bob Russell (Colchester)
How many political advisers have been appointed by Government Departments since 1 May 1979; how many have left; and how many are employed. 
§ The Minister for the Cabinet Office (Dr. Jack Cunningham)
There are 67 special advisers in post. Since 1 May 1997, 28 special advisers have left the civil service, either as a result of resignation or because their contracts were terminated following ministerial changes.
§ Mr. Russell
Why do the Government need so many political advisers?
§ Dr. Cunningham
Because they provide a valuable service in helping us to answer questions like that.