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7 Jul 2003 : Column 612W—continued

Sexual Dysfunction

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs what assessment he has made of the impact of sexual dysfunction on marital breakdown; and if he will make a statement. [123434]

Mr. Leslie: Information is not collected centrally about the impact of sexual dysfunction on marital breakdown.

Relate, a major provider of relationship support services, provides psychosexual therapy to approximately 900 clients per week in England and Wales.

Feedback from clients of the British Association of Sexual and Relationship Therapy (BASRT) suggests that those who petition for divorce rarely wish to have this aspect of the breakdown made public. Thus, little authoritative information is available from any source.

Vexatious Litigants

Ian Lucas: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many applications have been made by vexatious litigants for permission to bring actions since 1997; and how many were successful. [123291]

Mr. Leslie: The Department keeps no statistical data on the number of applications made by vexatious litigants for permission to bring actions.

Ian Lucas: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs if he will propose amendments to the law so that applications for declaration as a vexatious litigant are heard in open court. [123292]

Mr. Leslie: No amendment to the law is required. Under Civil Procedure Rule sc94.15, such applications are heard and determined by a Divisional Court in open court.

Ian Lucas: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many applications have been made for vexatious litigant declarations since 1997; and how many were successful. [123293]

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Mr. Leslie: 58 applications have been made since 1 January 1997, of which 45 have been successful and four are still pending determination.

Ian Lucas: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many applications have been made for the lifting of vexatious litigant declarations since 1997. [123294]

Mr. Leslie: The Department keeps no statistical data in relation to applications concerning orders which have been made under s.42 of the Supreme Court Act 1981.

Young Voters

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs what recent representations he has received on votes for 16-year-olds; and if he will make a statement. [123283]

Mr. Leslie: My Department has received a number of representations from MPs and members of the public about lowering the voting age to 16 years. Voting age was one of the issues considered in the Children and Young People's Unit's "Yvote/Ynot?" initiative. At the launch in July 2002 of the report following this exercise, the independent Electoral Commission undertook to conduct a review of both voting age and the age of candidacy. The Electoral Commission's review commenced on 27 February 2003, and I understand that the Commission, as part of its review, will issue a public consultation paper very soon.

PRIME MINISTER

Colombia

Mr. Challen: To ask the Prime Minister if he will use the occasion of the meeting he has convened for 10 July 2003 on the subject of Colombia to raise the human rights record of that country. [123854]

The Prime Minister: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Islington, North (Jeremy Corbyn) on 3 July 2003, Official Report, column 459W.

Iraq

Mr. Allen: To ask the Prime Minister when he last discussed with the US Administration the force levels required (a) to provide internal security in Iraq and (b) to allow British and American forces to provide for their own protection; and if he will make a statement. [123682]

The Prime Minister: I am in regular contact with President Bush on all aspects of the reconstruction of Iraq. We will maintain an appropriate military presence for as long as necessary, providing both internal security and for force protection of our personnel. As far as British forces are concerned, we keep our requirements under review, but we judge that our current force levels in Iraq are sufficient.

Mr. Allen: To ask the Prime Minister when he last discussed with the US Administration the duration of the mission of British and US forces in the occupation of Iraq; and if he will make a statement. [123683]

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The Prime Minister: I am in regular contact with President Bush on all aspects of the reconstruction of Iraq. As we have made clear before, we have committed ourselves to the long-term humanitarian, political and economic welfare of the Iraqi people. We will help them to restore effective representative Government for all their people, to regain economic stability, and to reintegrate into the international community. Our Military Campaign Objectives contain a commitment to the withdrawal of British military forces from Iraq when the job is done.

Mr. Allen: To ask the Prime Minister whether he has made proposals to the US Administration for the United Nations to assume greater responsibilities for the reconstruction and internal security of Iraq and for the creation of a new Iraqi Government and representative political institutions. [123751]

The Prime Minister: President Bush and I made clear our support for a vital role for the United Nations at Hillsborough on 8 April 2003.

We co-sponsored Security Council resolution 1483, which appointed the UN Special Representative for Iraq and set out the vital role the UN should play in humanitarian relief, the reconstruction of Iraq, and the restoration and establishment of national and local institutions for representative governance.

The Special Representative, Sergio Vieira de Mello, is now playing a full part in discussions in Iraq on the implementation of UNSCR 1483 and is working closely with US Ambassador Bremer CPA, other senior coalition representatives (e.g. UK Special Representative, John Sawers) and emerging Iraqi leaders.

In addition to the UN's humanitarian and reconstruction work in Iraq, UK, US and UN officials are exploring possibilities for UN involvement in policing, law and order, legal reform, human rights, disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration of military forces (DDR), and support for an Iraqi Interim Administration when formed, including help in drafting a new constitution and preparing for elections. We very much welcome the expertise the UN can bring to the reconstruction of Iraq.

Gregory Barker: To ask the Prime Minister what steps he has taken to trace the members of the security services who leaked information to the BBC in connection with dossiers on Iraq. [123843]

The Prime Minister: I have nothing further to add to my previous answer to the hon. Member on 23 June 2003, Official Report, column 616W.

Mr. Allen: To ask the Prime Minister pursuant to his statement of 18 March 2003, Official Report, column 764, if he will publish the translation which he used of the remarks by President Chirac on which he based his statement that France said that it would veto a second resolution, whatever the circumstances. [123820]

The Prime Minister: The original French text of the television interview given by the President of France on 10 March 2003 and the English translation are available on the official Elysee Palace website: www.elysee.fr

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The translation of the French President's statement is:


President Chirac repeated in a private conversation with me that France would block, by veto, any resolution that contained an ultimatum.

Lord Levy

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list the dates of official visits undertaken at his request by Lord Levy since 20 February 2003; and which country was visited and what the purpose of the visit was. [123005]

The Prime Minister: Lord Levy has not travelled overseas in his capacity as the Prime Minister's envoy since 20 February 2003.

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Prime Minister who Lord Levy met during his visits to (a) Washington on 19 February 2003 and (b) Ramallah on 23 January 2003 at his request to update and exchange views of the Middle East peace process. [123006]

The Prime Minister: Lord Levy undertook both visits in his capacity as the Prime Minister's envoy. On 23 January 2003, Lord Levy met Yasser Abed Rabbo, Nabil Qassis, Sa'eb Erekat and Akram Haniyeh (in their respective roles as Chairman of the Ministerial Reform Committee, Ministerial Reform Committee Co-ordinator, Chief Negotiator and adviser to Yasser Arafat) in Ramallah. Lord Levy met Richard Armitage (Deputy Secretary, State Department) and Elliott Abrams (Senior Director, National Security Council) in Washington on 19 February 2003.

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Prime Minister when Lord Levy has met Richard Armitage, the US Deputy Secretary of State, while acting as his envoy; and where each of these meetings took place. [123007]

The Prime Minister: In his capacity as the Prime Minister's envoy, Lord Levy met Richard Armitage, Deputy Secretary of the State Department, on 30 April 2001 and 19 February 2003. Both meetings took place in Washington.


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