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EDITIONS
Sunday, 10 March, 2002, 12:37 GMT
Sunday 03 March 2002
Lord Butler, former Cabinet secretary
Lord Butler, former Cabinet secretary

Sunday 3rd March on BBC One

As the Byers saga rumbled on with fresh allegations about the way the Secretary of State interfered in what should be handled neutrally by civil servants, Sir David was joined by the man who ran the civil service when Labour first came to power, Lord Butler. In an exclusive interview, Lord Butler said he did not believe the impartiality of the civil service was under any "great" threat, however, he said "but as there has been all this to do, I think there should be a civil service act to entrench that."

The Deputy Leader of the Conservative Party, Michael Ancram, told Sir David he believed Mr Byers had "probably misled" MPs."What we saw last week was a minister lying to the public on a television programme, coming to the House of Commons, admitting he had told an untruth, probably in the course of that misleading the House in other areas and then being congratulated by the Prime Minister for doing so", he said.

Following the Zimbabwe Information Minister's assertion that President Mugabe would not bow down to pressure from the Commonwealth observers monitoring the country's presidential elections, Britain's Foreign Minister Baroness Amos told Sir David the Commonwealth should present a concrete plan if its observers ruled that the election was not free and fair.

With a fresh row looming over plans to ban fox hunting, the anti-hunt campaigner, Labour MP Tony Banks, said there can be no compromise over banning the sport.

Having recently completed his book, "The Secret State", based on newly declassified Whitehall archives, the historian Peter Hennessy explained to Sir David the precautions against nuclear attack that were put in place in Britain during the Cold War.

Finally, all four of the Olympic women's curling team came on the programme to show off their gold medals, and demonstrate what curling involves.

Baroness Amos, foreign office minister

Michael Ancram MP, shadow foreign secretary

Tony Banks MP, former sports minister

Lord Butler, former Cabinet secretary

Rhona Martin, Debbie Knox, Janice Rankin and Fiona MacDonald, British Winter Olympic Gold Medallists

Jonathan Moyo, Zimbabwean information minister

Peter Hennessy, historian


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