HC Deb 27 July 2000 vol 354 c823W
Mr. Lansley

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many press officers were employed in his Department in(a) May 1997, (b) January 1998, (c) January 1999 and (d) January 2000; and what the total expenditure on press officers by his Department was in each of the years concerned. [132761]

Mr. Robin Cook

The News Department of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office employed:

  1. (a) 10.5 press officers in May 1997
  2. (b) 14.5 press officers in January 1998
  3. (c) 16.5 press officers in January 1999
  4. (d) 16.7 press officers in January 2000; now 17.

These figures include the management positions of the Head and Deputies in the Department.

The total expenditure on press officers (salaries and running costs) in each financial year was:

Financial year £000
(a) 1996–97 997
(b) 1997–98 1,317
(c) 1998–99 1,477
(d) 1999–20001 1,509
1 This is an estimate. Exact costings for 1999–2000 will not be available until September.

These changes were introduced at the initiative of the Department's management in response to rising pressures on the Department.

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