HC Deb 26 July 1999 vol 336 cc27-8W
Mr. Singh

To ask the Prime Minister (1) how many appointments to quangos he made between (i) 1 June 1997 and 31 May 1998 and (ii) 1 June 1998 and 31 May 1999; [92042]

(2) how many members of Britain's (a) ethnic minority communities and (b) Asian community he appointed to quangos between (i) 1 June 1997 and 31 May 1998 and (ii) 1 June 1998 and 31 May 1999. [92113]

The Prime Minister

The number of appointments I have made to bodies listed in the Cabinet Office publication "Public Bodies" are as follows:

Between 1 June 1997 and 31 May 1998—81

Between 1 June 1998 and 31 May 1999—58.

In addition The Queen has made a number of appointments to such bodies on my recommendation.

My hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office set out the Government's new policy on collection and disclosure of ethnic origin data for public appointees in his answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Warrington, North (Helen Jones) on 11 November 1998, Official Report, column 200. This policy came into effect with regard to new appointments and re-appointments from 1 April 1999.

However, owing to the small number of public appointments I have made since 1 April 1999 (two women and five men) information about ethnic origin cannot be provided since to do so would risk identifying individuals without consent.

Information on ethnic origin with regard to appointments I have made prior to 1 April 1999 is not held in the form requested. However, I have asked my Office to research what information is available and I will write to my hon. Friend in due course.