§ Mr. Bercow
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many receptions have been held(a) in his Department and (b) at his official residence since he took office; how many people have attended; and what was the total cost of these events. 
§ Mr. Straw
[holding answer 23 January 1998]: Since 1 May 1997, I have hosted four receptions attended by approximately 300 people at a cost of £3,700. I do not have an official residence. Three of the receptions were held at the Home Office. The fourth, a reception for the recipients of police gallantry awards, was held at the House of Commons and accounted for 150 of the guests and for £1,870 of the costs.