HL Deb 09 April 2001 vol 624 cc148-9WA
Lord Harrison

asked Her Majesty's Government:

In the light of the European Year of Languages, how many Ministers are learning a modern language. [HL1175]

Baroness Blackstone

We do not hold information centrally on the number of Ministers currently learning a modern language. However, from recent data collected by the Centre for Information on Language Teaching and Research (CILT), 26 cross-party MPs have signed up to learn a modern foreign language as part of the European Year of Languages marketing event at the House of Commons last month. They will be learning languages ranging from French, Italian, Spanish and German to Greek, Albanian and Mandarin Chinese

In DfEE we can claim some credit for our enthusiasm for learning. My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for School Standards has embarked on a course of Spanish, specifically with reference to EYL's programme the Languages Challenge; I, too, have been taking French improvement lessons in recent weeks.

Number/Name Constituency Party Language Products chosen
21 David Ruffley Bury St Edmunds Conservative French Francais Actuel French All Talk CD 1 + 2
22 Dr Howard Stoate Dartford Labour Spanish All Talk Spanish CD 1 + 2 Espanol Directo
23 Rt Hon Mrs Ann Taylor Dewsbury Labour French Francais Actuel x2
24 John Townend East Yorkshire Conservative French Francais Actuel
25 Keith Vaz Leicester East Labour French All talk CD I + 2 already received
26 Brian White NE Milton Keynes Labour Finnish Finnish Traditional Starter cassette