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Referendums (Leaflets)

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what steps he will be taking to ensure that the content of leaflets distributed to households in regions due to hold a referendum on an elected regional assembly is objective; whether he will be consulting the Electoral Commission on their content; and whether he will consult the yes and no campaigns in each of the regions. [179949]

Mr. Raynsford: As with the rest of the Government's Information Campaign, the leaflets distributed to households will be in accordance with the requirements of the Civil Service Code, Guidance on the Work of the Government Information Service, and the "Referendums on establishing elected regional assemblies: Guidance for civil servants on their role and conduct". The purpose of the leaflet is to explain the proposals for elected regional assemblies to voters to enable them to make an informed choice at the forthcoming referendums.

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister expects that the lead Yes and No campaigns will be appointed by the Electoral Commission in September. The Government will not be showing the leaflet to the Electoral Commission in advance of publication.

1 Jul 2004 : Column 385W