§ Mr. Stephen O'Brien
To ask the Deputy Prime Minister pursuant to his oral answer of 5 March 2003,Official Report, column 806, on parish councillors, what the evidential basis was of the information given in his reply. 
§ Mr. Leslie
My reply to the hon. Member for Eddisbury (Mr. O'Brien) on 5 March drew on information in departmental and Standards Board records of the number of parish councillors who have written to say that they have resigned as a result of the requirements in the code of conduct, and on published estimates of the number of parish councillors in England (see 'Local Council Administration', sixth edition, Butterworths 2002).