HC Deb 14 May 2003 vol 405 cc248-9W
Simon Hughes

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions he has had with his US counterparts on(a) terrorism and (b) extradition since 1 January. [112136]

Mr. Blunkett

I and my officials are in constant contact with our US counterparts on terrorism and extradition issues, where there is excellent co-operation between us.

I visited the US in late March and early April when I met the US Homeland Security Secretary, Tom Ridge. We agreed to build further on US/UK co-operation by setting up a Joint Contact Group of senior officials to drive a joint programme of work in the fight against terrorism.

I also discussed extradition with the US Attorney General John Ashcroft in Washington DC, and signed a new UK/US bilateral extradition Treaty on 31 March. I met John Ashcroft, together with other Ministers again in Paris for the G8 meeting on Justice and Home Affairs on 5 May at which common action to improve arrangements for identification was agreed.