Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister’s Question Time from 5th March 1997.
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Prime Minister what account is taken of the Crichel Down precedent when considering whether a Minister ought to tender their resignation.
The Prime Minister: A discussion of the relevance of the events surrounding the resignation of Sir Thomas Dagdale in 1954 to present-day circumstances is contained in the memorandum on “Ministerial accountability and the provision of information to Parliament” which the Government submitted to the Public Service Committee in March 1996. The memorandum was published in volume III of the Public Service Committee’s second report, Session 1995-96.
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Prime Minister if he will make a statement on the circumstances in respect of failure or errors by a Government Department in which he would require the appropriate Minister to resign.
The Prime Minister: This would necessarily depend on the particular circumstance of the case, including the nature of the failure or errors in the Department and the extent of the Minister’s personal responsibility for those failures or errors.