§ Mr. Lansley
To ask the Prime Minister how many replies to letters he sent to members of the public in 1999; and how many letters were answered on his behalf by his office rather than by Ministers in other Government Departments. 
§ The Prime Minister
My office received 465,432 letters and cards from members of the public—an increase of 84 per cent. over the previous year. How this correspondence can best be replied to is considered on an individual basis. It is not possible for me to deal personally with all of the letters I receive and I must refer a large majority of letters from members of the public to the Minister and the Department that has responsibility for policy or the matter in question.