HC Deb 01 June 1998 vol 313 cc91-2W
Mr. Blunt

To ask the Prime Minister if he will list the occasions on which he has met President Kabbah of Sierra Leone since 1 May 1997; and if he will publish the minutes of such meetings. [42093]

The Prime Minister

[holding answer 14 May 1998]: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 19 May 1998, Official Report, column 313.

Mr. Peter Bottomley

To ask the Prime Minister what United Kingdom public funds were made available to President Kabbah of Sierra Leone during his exile; and what reports he has received on what the money was used for. [42803]

The Prime Minister

The total financial value of United Kingdom assistance to President Kabbah and his government representatives while they were in Conakry, Guinea was £342,711. This comprised direct support from the Department for International Development and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for: the basic services of President Kabbah's government in Conakry; President Kabbah and a Sierra Leone delegation to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Edinburgh in October 1997; a workshop and seminar in the United Kingdom to help President Kabbah restore the legitimate Government of Sierra Leone; and communications equipment.

The expenditure has been monitored by the British High Commissioner to Freetown, who worked alongside President Kabbah's government in Conakry, and by periodic reports to the Department for International Development from the government of Sierra Leone.

Mr. Bercow

To ask the Prime Minister by whom the decision was taken to release the recent letter from President Kabbah to the press; who was consulted; and when. [42708]

The Prime Minister

[holding answer 20 May 1998]: I took the decision in consultation with the Foreign Secretary on the day the letter was received. President Kabbah himself wrote in the letter that he had no objection to its contents being released to the media. When the letter was made public my Press Secretary made clear to journalists that there were interpretations in the letter which the British Government did not agree with—both in relation to interpretation of Security Council Resolutions and in relation to named individuals—but that we saw it as helpful in providing the perspective of the democratically elected and legitimate government of Sierra Leone on events which led to their restoration after the military coup.

Mr. Butterfill

To ask the Prime Minister how many intelligence reports on the activities of Sandline were submitted to No. 10 Downing Street; on what dates; and if he will extend the scope of Sir Thomas Legg's inquiry to include such reports. [43466]

The Prime Minister

All papers that were available to me will be made available to Sir Thomas Legg's investigation.

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