HC Deb 13 July 1989 vol 156 c592W
Sir Barney Hayhoe

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence why inaccurate information about Birkbeck college was given to theSunday Times and the Mail on Sunday on Saturday 1 July by officials of his Department; what action is being taken against those responsible; what arrangements are being made to help repair the potential damage done to Birkbeck's reputation; and what changes are being made in the personnel and organisation of his Department's press office.

Mr. Sainsbury

On the evening of Friday 30 June officials were asked to check the facts concerning any Ministry of Defence contracts with Birkbeck college. In an effort to be helpful, and in the limited time available, they did their best to do so. Nothing that was said confirmed the assertions made in the subsequent press reports. Changes in the MOD press office are neither called for nor planned.

My noble Friend Lord Trefgarne wrote to the noble Baroness, Lady Blackstone, Master of Birkbeck College, on 6 July explaining that the MOD was entirely satisfied with the work that the college was doing and that no papers had been recalled on security grounds.