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Mr Mike Tyson: Entry Clearance

Lord Graham of Edmonton asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bassam of Brighton: My right honourable friend the Home Secretary has today informed Mr Tyson that he will be granted entry clearance for a single visit of three weeks' duration strictly for the purpose of a boxing match in Scotland on 24 June 2000.

The decision to grant entry clearance has been taken in accordance with Rule 320 (18) of the United Kingdom Immigration Rules which requires that admission will not normally be given to those with criminal convictions for relatively serious offences unless it can be justified for strong compassionate reasons, but also bearing in mind the residual discretion which my right honourable friend the Home Secretary has under the rule.

In reaching a decision, my right honourable friend the Home Secretary took note of the fact that Mr

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Tyson has relevant convictions for the purposes of the application of this Rule. I also noted that there are recent allegations of an assault on an employee of a nightclub in Las Vegas, but we understand this is still under investigation. He also took into account the views expressed by the public about Mr Tyson visiting the United Kingdom.

My right honourable friend the Home Secretary did not consider that there were strong compassionate reasons which would justify admission in Mr Tyson's case for the purpose of the rule. However, he concluded that there were other exceptional circumstances which justified his entry to the country for the purpose of participating in the boxing match. His decision took account of the following factors: that Mr Tyson's behaviour on his previous visit to the United Kingdom was satisfactory; that any risk to the public to which his criminal convictions and the other allegations referred to above might be relevant, would be minimised by the circumstances of his proposed visit i.e. his high media profile, the presence of his trainers and other supporting entourage, and the limited duration of his visit; and that a refusal to permit entry would result in a loss of economic benefit to the United Kingdom, and in particular to the areas in which engagements took place, and would not enhance the United Kingdom's standing as a venue for major sporting events.

My right honourable friend the Home Secretary also took account of the fact that Rule 320(18) currently operates in an inconsistent manner in that those in the public eye whose convictions are known are more likely to be caught by its provisions.

Immigration Rules: Paragraph 320(18)

Lord Tomlinson asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What progress has been made on the review of paragraph 320(18) of the Immigration Rules.[HL2540]

Lord Bassam of Brighton: My right honourable friend the Home Secretary has today published a consultation document which details the consideration given to this matter and the changes proposed. A copy of the paper has been placed in the Library. Comments on the document are invited by 20 June 2000 and should be addressed to:

Susan Wale,

European Directorate,

Room 1212, Apollo House,

36 Wellesley Road,

Croydon CR9 3RR.

Prison Service: Key Performance Indicators

Lord Tomlinson asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will publish the results achieved by the Prison Service on each of its key performance indicators in 1999-2000.[HL2541]

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Lord Bassam of Brighton: The Prison Service key performance indicators (KPI) results for 1999-2000 are given in the table. Data are provisional and subject to validation by prisons.

Category A escapesNILNIL
Escapes from prisons and prison escorts, expressed as a proportion of average population0.05%0.059%
Escapes from contracted escorts, expressed as a ratio per prisoners handledless than 1:20,0001:22,251
Assault rate (% of average population)9%9.9%
Rate of positive random mandatory drug tests (MDT)18.5%14.4%
% of the population held two to a cell designed for one (Doubling)18%18.5%
Average purposeful activity hours24 hours23.2 hours
Total Accredited Offending behaviour Programme completions (OBPs)3,6004,478
Sex Offender Treatment Programmes (SOTPs)700586
Cost per Uncrowded prisoner place£26,208£25,567
Cost per prisoner£27,392£25,567
Average working days lost to staff sickness12.513.3
% of public correspondence replied within 20 working days95%93.6%

HM Prison Blantyre House

Lord Mayhew of Twysden asked Her Majesty's Government:

    In what circumstances were doors to the chaplain's offices in HM Prison Blantyre House smashed open when found to be locked during a search of the prison in May; and what other damage was done to the premises and movable property caused in that search, specifying the damage.[HL2446]

Lord Bassam of Brighton: The search teams were unable to locate the keys to a number of doors including the chaplain's offices, a locked room in the healthcare centre, the farm building and one room in the print shop. Because the effectiveness of the search would be undermined if it were not comprehensive, the governor in charge of the search operation authorised forced entry. Eleven doors and seven frames sustained minor damage to a total value of £500.

Lord Mayhew of Twysden asked Her Majesty's Government:

    For how long Mr McLennan-Murray had been governor of HM Prison Blantyre House before his removal in May.[HL2465]

Lord Bassam of Brighton: Since October 1996.

Lord Mayhew of Twysden asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What was the date of the most recent inspection of HM Prison Blantyre House by H M Inspector of Prisons; and when his report was published, or when they expect it to be published.[HL2466]

Lord Bassam of Brighton: The last inspection of Blantyre House took place on 21-25 January this year. No publication date for the report has yet been set.

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Under the protocol on the publication of inspection reports, the Prison Service is given the opportunity to check the report in draft for any factual inaccuracies. The Prison Service received the draft report on 24 March and the Director-General wrote to the Chief Inspector on 18 April raising a number of points.

Lord Mayhew of Twysden asked Her Majesty's Government:

    During the recent prison search carried out at HM Prison Blantyre House, how many officers from outside the prison were brought in; and how much longer did the search continue after representatives of the board of visitors were told by the Governor, newly installed that day, that the search was complete and that they could leave the prison.[HL2447]

Lord Bassam of Brighton: Sixty-two officer grades (prison officers, senior officers and principal officers) from other establishments were involved. These included 28 officers in specialist control and restraint teams who were primarily on hand in case of any indiscipline on the part of prisoners. In the event they were not required for this role and were redeployed to expedite the completion of the search.

The governor did not tell the representatives of the board of visitors the search was complete. At about 01.15 hours, they discussed the progress of the operation with the governor. They noted that it was proceeding smoothly, calmly and with good humour and that there were no signs of disorder. The governor agreed with their assessment. They decided to leave the establishment, having been assured by the governor that he would contact them should there be any change in the situation. The search finished at 04.50 hours.

Detention of Kashmiri Leaders

Lord Ahmed asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they intend to raise the question of 22 Kashmiri leaders who are currently being held in prison without charge by the Indian Government. [HL2347]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): My right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary discussed the detention of members of the All Party Hurriyat Conference with the Indian Government during his visit to India in April. We have welcomed the release of some of the members. We have urged the Indian authorities to review the cases of those members who remain in detention.

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UK Membership of EEA

Lord Pearson of Rannoch asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by Baroness Scotland of Asthal on 8 May (WA 202), whether the United Kingdom would remain a member of the European Economic Area if it were to withdraw from the European Union.[HL2403].

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: The EEA operates as a mechanism for applying the single market acquis to the EFTA states. The UK is an EEA member by virtue of being an EU member state. There is no provision in the EEA Agreement as to what status an EU member state would have under the Agreement if it chose to leave the EU.

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