HC Deb 23 April 2004 vol 420 c675W
Mr. Laws

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many press officers were employed in her Department in each year from 1990–91 to 2003–04; what the total cost was in each year; and if she will make a statement. [162852]

Alun Michael

Defra was not set up until June 2001. Figures relating to numbers of press officers employed by the organisations whose functions were subsumed into the new department would not correspond accurately to the distribution and scope of the present work areas.

The number of press officers employed at Defra has been as follows:

June 2001 22
June 2002 22
June 2003 22
As at 18 March 2004 19

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