Minister Confuses Government Spending Review With TV Show CSI

The Conservative minister for Internet safety and security came unstuck in the House of Lords today, when she confused the government's Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) with the TV show CSI.

Baroness Shields, who joined the government after the election after a long career at technology companies including Facebook, was answering questions in the Lords.

Labour's Lord Stevenson pressed her on whether enough money was being put into fighting internet crime. "The scale of cyber crime we are witnessing is extraordinarily large. The resources appear to be pouring in to the criminal gangs not into the agencies that are trying to protect citizens," he told her.

"What can the noble Baroness tell us about the CSR coming up and will it be able to protect and enhance those law enforcement agencies that are seeking to stamp out this crime?"

The CSR is carried out by the Treasury. It set how much money each Whitehall department is allowed to spend over a set period of time. Departments are facing further cuts in the next review of spending which will be published on November 25.

Unfortunately Baroness Shields did not seem to be aware of the process: "I'm sorry, I am not familiar ... what is CSI? Sorry," she asked.

The minister's fellow peers tried to help her out by letting her know what the CSR meant.

Lord Stevenson helped her out. "The CSR is forthcoming and will be public expenditure for the whole of public spending."

Baroness Shields replied to laughter from other peers: "Thank you the, noble Lord, for bringing the Comprehensive Spending Review to my attention."

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