Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister's Question Time from 24th January 1996.
Civil Servants (Opposition Contacts)
Mr. Hawkins: To ask the Prime Minister if he has now authorised confidential pre-election contacts between senior civil servants and Opposition spokesmen.
The Prime Minister: The Leader of the Opposition, the right hon. Member for Sedgefield (Mr. Blair), has now asked me to authorise the conventional pre-election contacts between senior civil servants and Opposition spokesmen and I have done so. The purpose of these contacts is to allow Opposition spokesmen to inform themselves of factual questions of departmental organisation and to inform senior civil servants of any organisational changes stemming from Opposition policies in the event of a change of Government. Such meetings are confidential on both sides.