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Mr. Jeremy Browne: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (1) how many vehicles were (a) owned and (b) purchased by (i) the Cabinet Office, (ii) No. 10 Downing street in each of the last 10 years; and how many were (A) owned and (B) purchased by the Office of the Minister for the Olympics since its establishment; 
(2) how many (a) parking tickets and (b) speeding fines were issued for vehicles used by the (i) Cabinet Office and (ii) Prime Ministers Office in each of the last 10 years; and what the cost to the public purse of such penalties was in each year. 
Mr. Watson: The Information requested is not separately identified in the Cabinet Office Resource Accounting System and can be provided only at disproportionate cost. In respect of vehicles provided by the Government Car and Despatch Agency, I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to him by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport (Jim Fitzpatrick) on 5 February 2008, Official Report, column 1008W.
David Davis: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on how many occasions the National Security Committee has met since it was formed; and what the purpose was of each of those meetings. 
Edward Miliband: The Ministerial Committee on National Security, International Relations and Development (NSID), and its sub-committees, exist to consider issues relating to national security, and the Governments international, European and international development policies. Details of these Committees membership and terms of reference are available in the Library of the House or can be viewed at:
David Davis: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster in which department or office the support staff of the National Security Committee is based; how many staff support the Committee; and from which budget they are funded. 
Edward Miliband: Like all Cabinet Committees, the Ministerial Committee on National Security, International Relations and Development (NSID) and its sub-committees are supported by a small secretariat within the Cabinet Office. Departments across Government are involved in supporting the work of NSID and its sub-committees.
David Davis: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what the responsibilities of the (a) Home Department, (b) Foreign and Commonwealth Office, (c) Ministry of Defence, (d) Department for Communities and Local Government, (e) Department for International Development and (f) Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform will be under the forthcoming National Security Strategy. 
Edward Miliband: The National Security Strategy is overseen by the Ministerial Committee on National Security, International Relations and Development, which includes Ministers from key departments and is chaired by the Prime Minister.
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 6 February 2008, Official Report, column 1278W, on bulls, in what way his Department has supported the Beyond Calf Export forum; and what resources have been committed to such support for 2008-09. 
Forum stakeholders will now be working within their sectors of the farming and food industry to establish commercially viable alternatives to calf exports. Those alternatives are not dependent on Government intervention but, as recognised in the report, DEFRA and other authorities have a role facilitating collaboration. A further meeting of the forum is planned for June 2008 to review progress. DEFRA will be taking a keen interest in that progress and will facilitate collaboration if it is needed. No specific financial resource has been allocated for this.
Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the Answer of 6 February 2008, Official Report, columns 1160-61W, on the Aral Sea, what representations he has made to the Uzbekistan government on the effect of irrigation for cotton farms in Uzbekistan on the Aral Sea. 
Mr. Jim Murphy: Our ambassador in Tashkent discussed issues relating to cotton, including irrigation and the Aral sea, when he called on Mr. Elyor Ganiev, Uzbek Minister for Foreign Economic Relations, on 17 January 2008. Our ambassador has also discussed cotton irrigation and the Aral sea with Professor Victor Dukhovny, the Uzbek Government representative at the Interstate Commission for Saving the Aral Sea. Professor Dukhovny advises the Uzbek Government on these and other related topics regarding the Aral sea.
Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations his Department has made to the Botswana government on the Botswana High Court ruling in December 2006 that the Botswana government had illegally removed Kalahari bushmen from their tribal lands; and whether his Department has received recent reports on the Botswana government's response to this ruling. 
My right hon. Friend the then Minister for Trade, Investment and Foreign Affairs (Mr. McCartney), raised the court ruling with President Mogae of Botswana when he visited in June 2007. Our high commissioner in Gaborone followed this up by raising it with both the
Botswana Vice President and the Foreign Minister. Since then our high commission in Gaborone, working closely with EU partners, has maintained regular contact with the Government of Botswana on the issue of the San community. We continue to encourage the Government of Botswana to take an inclusive approach to finding a sustainable solution to the future use of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, underlining the importance of dialogue and negotiation with the San (Bushmen).
Our high commission is in regular contact with representatives of the San Community and non-governmental organisations, through whom they receive assessments on the implementation of the court ruling.
Dr. Howells: We regularly raise a range of human rights issues with the Egyptian government, including concerns about freedom of religion. I did so directly with the visiting Speaker of the Egyptian Parliament on 21 January 2008. Although there are no plans for my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary to raise with the Egyptian government the specific subject of Egyptian citizens on trial for apostasy, we will continue to raise such concerns at other levels.
We welcome the recent decision of the Supreme Administrative Court in Egypt which ruled that Christians who converted to Islam were entitled to convert back to Christianity without adverse consequence.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the Iranian authorities in respect of the Iranian government's proposed Bill for Islamic penal law, with particular reference to section 5 and those of non-Muslim faiths. 
We are aware that a new draft Islamic penal code is currently being considered by the Iranian Parliament. We have concerns about this draft law; in particular the provisions set out in section five in relation to apostasy, heresy and witchcraft, which stipulate that these offences should be punishable by death. If the draft is adopted, it would be the first time that the death penalty is set down in Iran's criminal law for apostasy. We are concerned that these articles
would constitute a violation of Iran's international human rights obligations, such as the right to freedom of religion and belief, and the provision that in countries that retain death penalty, the sentence of death may be imposed only for the most serious crimes. We are particularly concerned about the impact the new law, if adopted, would have on non-Muslim faiths in Iran. We are following developments closely and are currently discussing with our EU partners what representations to make on this matter.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps his Department has taken to encourage the Iranian authorities to protect the freedom of belief of the Baha'i community in Iran. 
Dr. Howells: The Government remain very concerned by the situation of the Baha'i community in Iran. The Baha'i faith is not recognised as an official minority religion under the Iranian Constitution and Iranian Baha'is face systematic discrimination and persecution. We regularly raise our concerns about the treatment of Baha'is with the Iranian authorities, bilaterally and through the EU. On 22 January, the EU presidency, with strong UK support, raised specific concerns about the treatment of the Baha'i community in Iran during a meeting with the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In this meeting the EU expressed opposition to all forms of discrimination, in particular regarding freedom of religion. Most recently, on 7 February, the EU presidency issued a public statement expressing concern about the deteriorating situation of the Baha'i minority. We have also taken action at the UN; in December 2007 the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution about the human rights situation in Iran. The resolution, which was co-sponsored by the UK and all other EU member states, expressed very serious concern about increasing discrimination against religious minorities in Iran and the situation of the Baha'is in particular. We will continue to urge the Iranian authorities to uphold the right to freedom of religion and belief as described in Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is a state party.
Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the impact on the Kenyan economy of the political situation in that country. 
Meg Munn: Various reports have shown that the current conflict has already created significant impact on the Kenyan economy and this is likely to deteriorate further. Members of the federation of Kenyan employers are reporting losses of £1.6 billion. The Kenya Private Sector Alliance, representing most major businesses, has estimated that 400,000 jobs have been lost and economic growth is expected to slow to 4 per cent. Inflation is set to rise and the tourism industry has been crippled. The agriculture sector has also been heavily affected, which will also have long term effects on Kenyas economy.
We are working with our partners to address the humanitarian situation. The Department for International Development programme is under review. Future levels and modes of aid delivery will depend on the extent to which a political solution can be achieved, that addresses the underlying causes of the conflict and provides lasting solutions.
Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether his Department plans to encourage the Kenyan political community to reach a political settlement through the use of sanctions; and if he will make a statement. 
Meg Munn: The current focus is on restoring stability to Kenya through political dialogue and agreement. We continue to fully support Kofi Annan and his panel of Eminent Persons. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretarys statement on 13 February urged Kenyas leaders to set aside entrenched positions and resolve to find a way forward through dialogue, negotiation and compromise. Individuals who stand in the way of progress will have to face the consequences. The Government have not ruled out any options if no progress is made in the talks.
Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what contribution the Government are making to the European Union's judicial and policing mission to Kosovo; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Jim Murphy: The UK fully supports the European Security and Defence Policy Policing and Rule of Law mission to Kosovo, and plans to second approximately 70 police and civilian personnel to it. The common costs of the mission are funded from the Common Foreign and Security Policy budget, to which the UK contributes 17 per cent.
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what (a) powers he has and (b) actions are open to him to take to secure the freedom of a UK national abducted by a regime which has expressed the intent of inflicting cruel and inhuman treatment upon him; and if he will make a statement. 
Meg Munn: The UK provides consular assistance to British nationals in difficulty abroad in accordance with the Government's consular policy, which can be found in the document "Support for British Nationals Abroad: A Guide", also available at www.fco.gov.uk/travel.
Meg Munn: All members of the UN will fund the UN-African Union hybrid peacekeeping force in Darfur (UNAMID) through their assessed contributions. The budget for UNAMID, agreed in December 2007, is US$1.28 billion for 1 July 2007 to 30 June 2008. The UK's share of the assessed costs for this budget is just under 8 per cent.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what research has been undertaken since June 2007 into the causes of the increase in emergency readmissions to hospital, particularly for people over 75 years of age; 
Mr. Bradshaw: In 2007 the Department commissioned the National Centre for Health Outcomes Development (NCHOD) to analyse trends in hospital re-admission rates and identify the most likely main causal factors.
The NCHOD study examined a large number of potential causes but the findings were inconclusive and their interim report in August 2007 recommended that further more detailed studies were required. A copy of this report will be placed in the Library shortly.
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