§ Mr. Mullin
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will call for a report from the Governor of HMP Durham as to(a) how many prisoners have recently been removed from the protection of Rule 43, (b) on what authority this has been done and (c) how many of those removed from Rule 43 have since been assaulted; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. George Howarth
As part of the governor's policy of seeking to integrate 'vulnerable' prisoners within the mainstream prisoner population, 75 Rule 43 prisoners at Durham prison were transferred from the former vulnerable prisoner unit to A wing during the week commencing 12 October 1998. This wing accommodates normal location prisoners, many of whom have earned `enhanced' regime status by their behaviour and conduct in prison. None of the prisoners transferred were signed off Rule 43 protection.
This transfer was undertaken under the authority of the governor, with the aim of providing an improved prison regime for both vulnerable and normal location prisoners.
Staffing levels and the regime on A wing are designed to provide Rule 43 prisoners with the support they need to integrate successfully.
There have been four alleged assaults involving Rule 43 prisoners since the transfer took place, although one of these is believed to have been an incident of self harm.