§ Mr. Peter Ainsworth
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what representations he has made to the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry regarding BSkyB's offer for Manchester United. 
§ Mr. Chris Smith
[holding answer 29 October 1998]: The Government will look very carefully at any competition and public interest issues which may arise from the proposed takeover of Manchester United by BSkyB. By long standing convention, summarised in the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information Second Edition (1997), advice and consultation within Government is not disclosed. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry is due to announce his decision shortly as to whether the proposed takeover should be referred to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission.