Select Committee on Home Affairs Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 100-104)



David Winnick

  100. I see. Is anything being done to try to progress that to the extent that there will be a much larger response than one-third?
  (Mr Blunkett) Yes. I am reviewing it but I am not going to make decisions at the moment because of the workload that I have.

  101. It is encouraging that you will be reviewing it, Home Secretary. Could you just clarify this point. I have asked about the existing members of the police force, however those who have successfully applied to join the police force in the first instance, is it a condition of their joining that they disclose whether or not they are a Freemason?
  (Mr Blunkett) No, it is not, but I am very happy to consider the issue within the review that you have just eked out of me.


  102. Am I right in thinking that you have the lead across Government for the policy on openness as regards Freemasonry?[6]
  (Mr Blunkett) If I have then it is news to me because I have got enough cross-Government policies to last me a lifetime. If I have I will come back to you on that and let you know because if I have I will suitably adopt my responsibilities.

  103. The reason why I mention that is that during my brief visit to Government at the DETR we were told to delay our plans as regards, for example, planning inspectors because the Home Office had the lead and they would be in touch shortly. That was about a year ago.

  (Mr Blunkett) Well everyone seems to have their own definition of what "shortly" means, Chairman. As far as I am concerned, shortly does mean slightly less than a year but I am sure no-one intended to mislead. I will find out and let you know. I knew that at the end of a couple of hours there would be one or two googlies when you were feeling particularly low. God bless you.

  104. Thank you, Home Secretary. God bless you too. If you would send us a note about that, that would resolve that. Can I thank you for answering questions across the full range of your enormous brief with your customary patience and good humour and say we look forward to seeing you again.
  (Mr Blunkett) Thank you very much, Chairman.

6   See Appendix 2 p 18.


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