§ Mr. Don Foster
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list(a) those units in his Department and (b) the number of departmental staff which are concerned with preparing rebuttals of allegations in the media; and what is (i) the total cost of their work, including salaries, and (ii) the number of rebuttals issued since May 1997. 
§ Mr. Straw
In common with other Departments, the work of press officers in my Department includes responding to any misinformed allegations concerning Government policy or activity which are published in the media. They are supported in this work by other officials as necessary.
Because this is a routine part of a Department's work and it is not separately recorded from other tasks, to provide the further information requested would involve disproportionate cost.