§ Mr. Stephen O'Brien
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the total gross running cost to his Department was in the last 12 months of entertaining by(a) Ministers and (b) officials. 
§ Mr. Straw
The provisional total gross running cost to my Department in the last 12 months to 31 January 2001 of entertainment by Ministers was £6,234 and by officials was £160,095. Modest hospitality is Provided for official visitors and guests, for example overseas delegations, in circumstances which are beneficial to the interests of the Department and in discharge of my responsibilities as a Cabinet Minister.