Public Administration Select Committee: Press Notices

7 July 2009

NO, SIR HUMPHREY: PASC TO DISCUSS THE LANGUAGE OF GOVERNMENT WITH MATTHEW PARRIS, SIMON HOGGART, DAVID CRYSTAL AND THE PLAIN ENGLISH CAMPAIGN

The Public Administration Select Committee (PASC) is to hold a public hearing on how government uses-and misuses-language. Government is often criticised for lapsing into civil service speak, ministerial jargon or even sheer gobbledegook. The evidence session will consider the different varieties of official language, and what the language that government uses tells us about the way it sees and communicates with the wider world.

The session will be held on Thursday 9 July, at 10.00am in the Thatcher Room, Portcullis House. The witnesses will be:

• Matthew Parris, Times and Spectator columnist;

• Simon Hoggart, parliamentary sketchwriter for the Guardian;

• Professor David Crystal, noted academic expert on language and linguistics; and

• Marie Clair, Plain English Campaign.

PASC is conducting a short inquiry into Official Language, which is exploring the use of language in government. This includes how well government bodies communicate with the public in day-to-day life, as well as how people within government communicate with each other. As part of this inquiry, PASC made a public call for people to send in their examples of good and bad official language. Some of these examples are likely to be highlighted during the evidence session.

FURTHER INFORMATION:

Committee Membership: Tony Wright (Chairman) (Lab) (Cannock Chase), Mr David Burrowes (Con) (Enfield, Southgate), Paul Flynn (Lab) (Newport West), David Heyes (Lab) (Ashton under Lyne), Kelvin Hopkins (Lab) (Luton North), Mr Ian Liddell-Grainger (Con) (Bridgwater), Julie Morgan (Lab) (Cardiff North), Mr Gordon Prentice (Lab) (Pendle), Paul Rowen (Lib Dem) (Rochdale), Charles Walker (Con) (Broxbourne), Jenny Willott (Lib Dem) (Cardiff Central)

Media Enquiries: Jessica Bridges-Palmer, 020 7219 0724, [email protected]

Specific Committee Information: Email: [email protected] Tel: 020 7219 3284

Committee Website: www.parliament.uk/pasc

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