§ Mr. Peter Bottomley
To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his oral answer to the right hon. Member for Richmond, Yorks (Mr. Hague) on 8 July 1998,Official Report, column 1065, what factors led him to his conclusion that The Observer claimed to have a tape recording of a conversation with a member of his staff in relation to payments for contacts; and when he reached that conclusion. 
§ The Prime Minister
In an interview broadcast on BBC Radio Five Live on 6 July 1998, Mr. Gregory Pallast, a journalist fromThe Observer, was asked in relation to an alleged conversation with a member of my staff "Do you have that on tape?". Mr. Pallast replied "I have that for certain".
In a discussion broadcast that evening on the BBC television programme "Newsnight" Mr. Pallast was again repeatedly asked whether he could produce a tape. He did not take the opportunity to deny that one existed.