HC Deb 05 May 1981 vol 4 cc14-5W
Mr. Haynes

asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will make a statement, including a public apology, on the error made by his Department when it issued a press release on 15 April 1981, giving a warning and listing names of hair-curling brushes imported from Hong Kong which did not comply with electrical equipment safety regulations, including one "Top Set" which had passed all the British safety regulations.

Mrs. Sally Oppenheim

My Department was informed by West Midlands trading standards department of the dangers inherent in a number of brands of curling brushes from Hong Kong which, after testing by the British Standards Institution, were considered not to comply with the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations. Included in the list of brands which had failed the test was "Top Set". It was on this basis that the warning was issued in a press release to the Press Gallery. My Department was subsequently informed that, although "Top Set" had originally failed the BS test, the supplier of "Top Set" had argued that the sample tested was unrepresentative and testing of a further sample was desirable. A set of revised press releases was immediately sent to the Press Gallery with a covering note drawing attention to the correction, and I was informed that a correction had been made. In my view, however, the covering note drawing attention to the correction should have been more widely circulated and I have given instructions that in the future this must be the practice. My Department has now been informed that further samples of "Top Set" have been tested by the BSI on behalf of the West Midlands trading standards department and are considered not to comply with the regulations.

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