Speaking to the Isle of Wight Conservatives Patrons Club, Sir George said he was quite unable to understand why Stephen Byers had not made a short statement to the Hosue of Commons on Thursday, apologising for the fact that information it had been given on February 26th had been incorrect.
"The House of Commons quite understands that he was given some duff information by his Department; but he is the Secretary of State for that Department and accountable to the House for what it does. All he needed to do was say that, with the benefit of hindsight, the information was wrong; the House had been misled; and he apologised for that. The incident would have been over in five minutes and we could have moved on to other matters"
Sir George said it was a sign of the vulnerability of the Secretary of State that he felt unable to make even the slightest concession; and symptomatic of the disregard it had for the House of Commons. "However, all the ducking and weaving has simply reduced public confidence in the Government, and confirmed their worst suspicions about politicians."