HC Deb 24 February 1997 vol 291 c1W
Mr. Cousins

To ask the Prime Minister when applications were received from the right hon. Member for Witney (Mr. Hurd) and Dame Pauline Neville-Jones under the business appointment rules; and when, and on what terms, approvals for their appointment to the Natwest bank were granted. [16948]

The Prime Minister

The right hon. Member for Witney (Mr. Hurd) was not bound to seek the advice of my advisory committee on business appointments before joining the National Westminster bank in October 1995 because the guidelines on the acceptance of appointments outside Government for former Ministers did not come into effect until the start of the 1995–96 Session of Parliament.

Nevertheless, I understand that Mr. Hurd consulted the chairman of the advisory committee informally before taking up the appointment. Dame Pauline Neville-Jones applied for prior permission, in accordance with the rules on the acceptance of outside appointments by Crown servants, to accept a position with the National Westminster bank after retirement. The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, on the advice of the advisory committee on business appointments, approved Dame Pauline's application unconditionally on 24 June 1996.