§ Lord Bassam of Brighton
My Lords, with the leave of the House, I have a statement to make about a reply that I gave on 11th February in answer to a Starred Question from the noble Lord, Lord Hooson, about the number of people given leave to enter the United Kingdom as investors.
In my Answer, I said that the information requested was not available. I am afraid that I have subsequently received information that, although it is not separately recorded in the published Control of Immigration Statistics United Kingdom 2001, it is none the less recorded by the Home Office Immigration and Nationality Directorate. The information therefore can be made available, and I offer my unreserved apologies to your Lordships for not doing so at the time.
The noble Lord, Lord Hooson, asked for figures for the past five years. The answer is as follows: in 2001, there were 25; in 2000, there were 50; in 1999, there were 25; in 1998, there were 15; and in 1997, there were 25. In total, there were 140.
Once again, I apologise unreservedly to your Lordships, and in particular to the noble Lord, Lord Hooson, for inadvertently misleading the House.