§ Mr. Peter Ainsworth
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer concerning the occupation by the Inland Revenue of premises at Somerset House; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Chris Smith
I have had no discussions with my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer concerning the Inland Revenue's occupation at Somerset House. The Inland Revenue occupy accommodation in the New, West and East Wings of Somerset House under the terms of a 25 years lease from the Somerset House Trust, who are responsible for the overall management of the building. The Inland Revenue are aware of a proposal made to the Somerset House Trust by Christies to take over the existing lease on the New and West Wings. The response to this proposal is a matter for the Trust in the first instance.