HC Deb 03 February 1993 vol 218 cc422-46 10.15 pm
The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. Kenneth Clarke)

I beg to move, That the draft Criminal Justice Act 1991 (Contracted Out Prisons) (No. 2) Order 1992, which was laid before this House on 16th December, be approved. The order extends the powers in the Criminal Justice Act 1991 to allow the management of existing prisons to be contracted out to a private operator. The Criminal Justice Bill as originally drafted provided for the contracting out of only new remand prisons but in February 1991 during its passage through the House the Government accepted an amendment by my hon. Friend the Member for Ryedale (Mr. Greenway) which allowed the powers to be extended by powers made by statutory instrument.

In July last year, the House approved an order which extended contracting out to new prisons generally. As a result, and following a successful competitive tendering exercise, the new prison at Blackenhurst is due to open in the spring under the management of UK Detention Services Ltd. Blakenhurst will hold both sentenced and remand prisoners.

Like Wolds, the first contracted-out prison, Blakenhurst will provide a regime incorporating not only the many good practices of the best of existing prison service establishments, but some valuable new ideas. The performance of the prisons will be closely and continually monitored to ensure compliance with the high standards that we have set out in the agreement with the contractor.

In debating the contracting out of prisons such as Wolds and Blakenhurst to private contractors, we should look at the positive programme that we have put in place by setting out specifications that are in line with the Woolf report on prisons. For example, Blakenhurst will provide a positive programme. Prisoners will be locked in their cells only at normal sleeping times or for specific security needs, and that will usually result in prisoners spending 15 hours per day out of their cells.

A mixture of education provision of at least six hours a week will aim to prepare prisoners for the realities of release and will build into the prison day a constructive and rehabilitative regime. Visiting facilities for prisoners' families will be open in the evening to suit the convenience of the visitor and there will be daily visits for unconvicted prisoners. Basic hygiene provision for prisoners will be good, providing daily showers and changes of socks and underpants, as specified in the contract. [Interruption.]

Dame Elaine Kellett-Bowman (Lancaster)

There is so much noise going on below the Gangway, Madam Speaker, that I cannot hear the Minister. [Interruption.]

Madam Speaker

Order. The hon. Lady makes a good point. The House is very noisy immediately after a Division. I should be most grateful if hon. Members would settle down so that we might hear the Secretary of State.

Mr. Clarke

The hon. Gentlemen sitting below the Gangway are firmly against the introduction of private management to prisons, but none of them has the slightest interest in listening to what would actually occur and has occurred in Blakenhurst, where a private regime has been introduced. I have been describing the extremely enlightened regimes— [Interruption.]

Madam Speaker

Order. Hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway should remain silent, at least until we have heard the Secretary of State.

Mr. Bob Cryer (Bradford, South)

We are being provoked.

Madam Speaker

Order. I am being provoked.

Mr. Clarke

I was describing the extremely enlightened regime that is being provided at Blakenhurst prison. One of the features of the contracts that we have placed so far—apart from specifications relating to the value for money that the taxpayer expects—is our detailed specification for the enlightened regime towards which the Woolf report pointed the way. For example, sex offender therapy treatment will be provided in this positive programme. The whole programme is very much in line not only with the Woolf report, but with suggestions made in a report on prison regimes published only last week by the chief inspector of prisons, Judge Tumim, entitled ?Doing Time, Using Time?.

The order completes the extension of a section of the Criminal Justice Act to allow existing prisons to be managed by private operators. That will enable us to encourage the spread of similar improvements in prison management and regimes, and to make further progress in the way in which prisoners are looked after.

I am presenting the order now because we are currently carrying out a market testing exercise on Her Majesty?s prison Manchester, usually described as Strangeways. We need to pass the order now, because we need to be in a position to enter into a contract should a private operator succeed in winning it. Some half-dozen private-sector companies and an in-house team from the prison service are now working on their bids in competition.

By introducing the order today, I am in no way pre-empting the outcome of the tender evaluation process. I am keeping in touch with it, but we have not begun to evaluate the rival bids from the private bidders and the prison service. It is a case of being prepared for this, and for future market-testing and contracting-out exercises in existing prisons, which we would not be allowed to do without the authority of the House.

Mr. Alfred Morris (Manchester, Wythenshawe)

What consultation has there been with the Strangeways prison officers, and what has been the outcome?

Mr. Clarke

There has been a good deal of discussion throughout. I am delighted to say that the prison officers, along with the Prison Officers Association, are cooperating actively with management in putting together a bid, and are trying to demonstrate how they can best match up to the demanding specification. Consultations are proceeding now, in line with the TUPE application, with which I shall deal in due course.

Manchester is one of our oldest and largest local prisons. At the time of the disturbances in April 1990, it held 1,647 prisoners, including unconvicted prisoners on remand and those awaiting sentence as well as prisoners serving their sentences. That included prisoners in the highest security category, category A. The House will recall that, as a result of the 1990 riot, the larger part of the prison was left in a condition that required major refurbishment, amounting almost to rebuilding.

It was against that background of rebuilding that we decided to take the opportunity of market-testing Manchester before it was fully reopened. We had two main reasons, both of which I consider fairly obvious. First, as a result of being emptied and refurbished, Manchester was virtually a new prison, holding a substantially smaller number of prisoners—currently about 500. The move followed logically from our policy of seeking private-sector tenders for the operation of new prisons. That policy was made clear by my hon. Friend the Minister of State in the debate on the Blakenhurst order. Secondly, it seemed an excellent way of moving to a further stage in our market-testing programme.

That next stage is very significant, and I hope that Opposition Members welcome it as much as I do. We are seeking in-house bids as well as private-sector bids, and considering the two in competition with each other. Although Manchester prison is not fully operational, the prison service already has a nucleus of staff there, well placed to develop an in-house bid.

Mr. Robert Maclennan (Caithness and Sutherland)

On market testing, is it true the Home Office has run into difficulties over a European directive, causing it to have to alter proposed contracts so as not adversely to affect the contracts of employment of people already in Government service?

Mr. Clarke

I was going to deal with that point, and referred to it briefly in response to the right hon. Member for Manchester, Wythenshawe (Mr. Morris). I shall cover the problems arising from the directive and the TUPE regulations based on it. However, I should like first to describe the basis on which we are proceeding at Manchester.

As I said, it is technically an existing prison, although most of it is waiting to be reopened after refurbishment. It is also the first time that we have gone to market testing where there has been a prison service bid being tested alongside private sector contractors. When it reopens, Manchester prison will offer a substantially improved environment for prisoners and staff. Bidding for it will provide the prison service with an ideal opportunity to consider how to implement innovative ideas which will allow it to compete effectively with the private sector.

The tendering exercise for Manchester is taking place at a key time for the prison service. In April, the service will become an executive agency under the leadership of Derek Lewis, whom I appointed recently. He has a wide commercial background in the private sector. I announced earlier this week that his remit as head of the prison service will include responsibility for taking forward Government policy on the involvement of the private sector in managing prisons. I want to see the service take full advantage of the opportunities which competition will provide and to see it reap the benefits which are already becoming apparent as a result of our contracting-out programme at Wolds and Blakenhurst and in the market testing of Manchester.

Agency status for the prison service, market testing and competition all have the same objective. The sole objective is to raise standards and secure better value for money throughout the prison system. I want a system that is a mixed economy, including prisons managed by private operators in addition to those under direct management. To achieve those improvements we need the right balance and mix between public and private sector management of individual prisons within the prison service. I have asked Derek Lewis to provide advice to me later this year on the extent, form and time scale for increasing private sector involvement by later this year.

In the meantime, in about April, and again following our policy on new prisons, we shall invite private operators to bid for the management of the new prison at Doncaster. It is the last of the 21 new prisons constructed as part of our most recent prison building programme completed at a total cost of £1,200 million. It is a local prison, with some 720 places and scheduled to open in the early part of 1994. The House will recall that we committed ourselves in the autumn statement to begin work within the next three years on the first two new prisons in a prison building programme that will follow.

In addition to handling the Doncaster project, the agency will identify further existing establishments for market testing or for contracting out. I have twice been asked about the problem that has arisen during the contracting-out process of existing establishments, including Manchester, which is the subject of TUPE. I am sorry to use the acronym. The TUPE regulations should be given their full name—the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 1981. They are the means by which the European Community acquired rights directive is translated into domestic law. The regulations protect the employment contracts and collective agreements of staff when an undertaking is transferred from one organisation to another.

I think that it is fair to say that, when the EC directive and the TUPE regulations were drawn up, the draftsmen did not have in mind the type of transfer of work from the public to the private sector, which has been one of the achievements of successive Conservative Governments and which we remain committed to continue. The result has been considerable discussion across Whitehall., and outside, about TUPE's effect on a number of contracting-out and market testing exercises, including ours at Manchester. Indeed, when we issued the invitations to tender for Manchester in October last year, our understanding based on our then legal advice was that TUPE would not apply. Shortly before Christmas, we took further legal advice. It is not wholly unusual for legal advice to differ on different occasions.

On the basis of the latest advice, it became apparent that TUPE could apply to Manchester. In any event, to resolve doubt, we have decided that we shall apply the provisions of the regulations, so that the successful tenderer will take over protected employment contracts and collective agreements. We are now carrying out consultations, as that is also a requirement of the regulations. That has resulted in a slight delay to the Manchester tendering exercise while we consider the implications. I hope that we will be able to set a new date for the return of tenders very soon. We have already begun the consultations with the trade unions, and we are providing the further information necessary to allow the bidders to take into account the application of TUPE.

Mr. Alan Williams (Swansea, West)

Is that a final requirement or simply a contingency requirement? Did not the permanent secretary tell the unions that tendering was taking place on that basis and that there is still legal consideration within the Government as to whether the directive will apply to Government Departments?

Mr. Clarke

For the time being in the prison service, we propose to consider the application of the regulations case by case. With regard to Manchester, we have decided to apply and to follow the regulations. That is the process that we have now embarked upon, and that is why we have extended the date for bids and have issued the further information. As part of that, we are consulting the trade unions as required by the regulations.

I should make it clear that I do not see the application of TUPE to Manchester prison as a barrier to private sector involvement. There are arguably benefits from taking over existing staff as well as difficulties. However, I believe that it is perfectly feasible for new ideas and approaches to be grafted on to the existing expertise and skills, of which there is certainly already a good supply in the prison service.

We are well on the way towards that significant level of private-sector involvement in the prison sector that I want to see. Private-sector involvement is one way forward to a better service for prisoners and the taxpayer. The benefits of bringing private sector management into the prison service alongside the existing public sector prison service are considerable. Competition in striving to achieve the kind of standards that the Government now stipulate based on the recommendations of Lord Justice Woolf and Judge Tumim and others will lead to people finding different ways to speed up the process of raising standards.

It is very important that we have a basis upon which to make a comparison between one approach to managing the regime and another. The background is that I believe that the existing prison service in some places already does a good job often against the odds. Most of the members of the prison service I meet are dedicated officers who joined the service for the right reasons and are struggling to provide fair and humane care in difficult surroundings.

Mrs. Tessa Jowell (Dulwich)

Will the Home Secretary describe the ways in which he sees the contracted-out prisons improving the quality of medical services available to prisoners, and particularly of psychiatric provision—which, given the number of people in our prisons who are suffering from mental illness, is of pressing importance?

Mr. Clarke

I believe that there is considerable scope for improving the quality of the medical service throughout the prison service—in both the public sector and private sector prisons. I am very glad to say that I find myself working with the chief medical officer, Sir Donald Acheson, with whom I have worked in the past. He now heads a team advising me on how to develop the prison medical service further.

I have already given fresh directions on the employment of NHS-trained nurses in the service. We need to improve facilities and the problem of those who require psychiatric care in prisons has always been, and remains, serious. However, we are making progress. The system is far from perfect, but the transfer of people from prison to mental hospital when they really need psychiatric care and are not suitably housed inside a prison is better than it was.

However, that is an area where I am anxious to see progress and I would like private sector prisons and operators to contract for their medical care from outside. That is one way of introducing a variety of approaches to the system so that we can raise the medical regimes inside prisons up to the standards that we would like to see. I have always believed that, in every way, the prison medical service should be brought closer to the national health service and more in line with mainstream medical provision. Again, the involvement of people such as Sir Donald Acheson will be very helpful to us in moving in that direction.

Mr. Nicholas Winterton (Macclesfield)

I am very interested in my right hon. and learned Friend's point. Is he aware of the evidence to Select Committees over the years, in particular the Health Select Committee and its predecessor the Social Services Select Committee? an inquiry into the prison medical service found that rather too many people who had originally been patients in psychiatric hospitals and had been put into the community had ended up in prison because the hospital service would not take them back again.

Mr. Clarke

I agree that that is a difficulty, but I am not going to be taken outside my subject, except that that point is relevant, obviously, to the standards that we specify in the contracts that we put out, but there are countless such difficulties. I recall the debates on care in the community and the need to develop proper facilities for those who are no longer treated in mental hospitals. Certainly, in the past people have gone to prison who should not have been there and should have been in hospital. I recall national health service hospitals that had a policy that they would not take people who had been involved with the criminal justice system, so it became very difficult to find a place for them in NHS hospitals.

It is my genuine belief, as I have said before to my hon. Friend, that the situation is improving, but I am no more complacent than he is about the present state of affairs. We need improvements in the prison service and in the national health service, and we are working upon that.

I have described one of the many ways not only in which the prison service is improving but in which, I believe, can speed up the process and use matters such as market testing, contracting out, and the involvement of new management skills from the private sector in order to speed up the process of improvement. It fits, certainly, with the concept of public service. What the Government mean by public service is the provision of facilities that are giving ever better service to the public, who are the consumers of what we are providing. In the past, some have thought that the notion of public service means that everybody who works for it is on the public payrol. That is the wrong way to approach the matter.

Harnessing new ideas, considering different ways of working, allowing in some welcome fresh air seem to be long overdue, particularly in the prison service. The move to agency status, with greater freedom to manage the prison service, along with the extension of private sector involvement should allow us to develop a better prison system and one of which we as a country can be proud. The order will help to achieve that aim, and I therefore commend it to the House.

10.36 pm
Mr. Tony Blair (Sedgefield)

This is a short debate, but it is important. There is no doubt at all that many features of our present prison system are a disgrace—inhumane, unjust and deeply destructive of any realistic possibility of rehabilitation for offenders. Overcrowding is a continuing and serious problem. The psychiatric treatment of prisoners has been referred to by hon. Members. There are problems of persistent and widespread drug abuse. Report after report from Judge Tumim expresses concern at prison conditions, most recently in respect of Longlartin and Spring Hill. He said: ?The existing living accommodation is some of the worst we have ever seen.? Last year alone, there were 41 suicides in prison institutions. The issue, therefore, is not whether the prison system should be changed—it should be changed, and changed drastically—but whether change is best achieved by reforming the prison service or by privatising it, by building a better public service, as Opposition Members say, or turning it over to private sector companies for profit, as is the Government?s case.

Mr. Rupert Allason (Torbay)

To be fair, does the hon. Gentleman recognise that Judge Tumim also congratulated the prison service on the dramatic improvements that have taken place at Brixton? Indeed, he has said that Longlartin has improved over the past 12 months as well.

Mr. Blair

Judge Tumim has described improvements. Indeed, he paid special tribute to the staff and the role that they have played in bringing about those improvements, but as the hon. Gentleman will accept, there is a very long way to go.

Faced with those critical issues within the prison service, privatisation is not just a diversion from the agenda of prison reform; it is fundamentally flawed in principle and is now being pursued for reasons which have nothing to do with efficiency or prison reform but are simply an obsession with the idea of privatisation itself. Nothing could illustrate that more clearly than the story in The Guardian today. The Home Secretary will deny it if it is wrong, so let us see whether he does. It says that the new contractors for Strangeways in Manchester have already been asked to prepare to load extra costs on to the contract should the prison be filled beyond capacity.

We are debating whether the prison service should be in the public or the private sector when the critical question of overcrowding lies unattended. The Minister says, "Big deal" and it is indeed a big deal—it is the very problem that the Woolf report says we should be acting upon. If the Minister cared about the prison system he would concentrate on it.

Mr. Kenneth Clarke

The hon. Gentleman invited me to deny it, and I firmly deny the hon. Gentleman's interpretation. In the bad old days, Manchester's maximum capacity was 1,800 inmates. If the Opposition had their way and we carried on running it in the old way, no doubt all the old disadvantages would continue. The present capacity that we are aiming for is much lower, but we have to anticipate that from time to time it might go above its maximum capacity, as other prisons do, and we have to make contingency arrangements within the contract to deal with that—but its maximum occupancy will never return to the old overcrowded conditions.

As the hon. Gentleman will know, the prison population is falling and we are opening new prisons. I do not anticipate overcrowding in the near future.

Mr. Blair

That is somewhat less than convincing when we read the contract being considered for Strangeways. It has a heading, "Overcrowding", and asks the contractor to provide details of additional costs which may be incurred if overcrowding occurs. The energy, time and man hours of civil servants should be used to attempt to get rid of overcrowding instead of concentrating on privatisation.

No doubt there will be more expense, energy and confusion if difficulties arise out of the transfer of undertakings regulations. Opposition Member see nothing wrong, and indeed a lot right, with the employees' terms and conditions of employment being properly protected if they are transferred.

If substantial parts of the prison service are sold off or contracted out, the multiplicity of contracts with different contractors will make the uniform improvements which lie at the heart of Woolf all the more difficult to achieve.

The urgency of those improvements could not be set out more clearly than in the Woolf report, which calls for better work, education and treatment programmes, enhanced roles for prison officers, a national system of accredited standards, a specific obligation against overcrowding—the very overcrowding now being contemplated for Strangeways—a public commitment from Ministers to improve sanitation facilities, and better prospects for prisoners in relation to prison visits. That is surely the agenda for reform, and at the heart of it lies the recognition that the new and higher standards being demanded for the prison service can be achieved only by a Government commitment to achieve them. They cannot arise through market forces, market testing or private sector initiatives—they have to be imposed by Government.

The Home Secretary lists the benefits of the prison regime at the Wolds and Blakenhurst. He says that prisoners at the Wolds are out of their cells 15 hours a day and have full access to legal assistance, and that at Blakenhurst there are educational assessments with a minimum education entitlement and better medical care. Of course hon. Members on both sides of the House welcome those improvements, but they are not the outcome of privatisation. That is the sham at the heart of it. They are the outcome of the Government specifying the regime at the prison. It has nothing to do with the private sector or the public sector and everything to do with the Government being prepared to implement the very specifications that we have been asking for the whole prison service.

Mr. Kenneth Clarke

The hon. Gentleman's ideology is blinding him to the best means of achieving the Woolf reforms, on which we are both agreed. We set out the Woolf prospectus of the specifications and for the first time we have placed the contract with the undertaking which commits itself to deliver Woolf. At Manchester, the prison service management and the Prison Officers Association are describing how they would meet that specification. Whoever wins it will be bound by contract to deliver it. If we had not had this means of proceeding, it would have taken years to move the old public sector system anywhere near the Woolf reforms to which he and I aspire.

Mr. Blair

With all due respect, what completely blows that argument apart is that in some of the new public sector prisons there are the same specifications; it is nothing to do with the fact that it has been privatized—it is to do with the fact that, for once, the Minister has implemented the Woolf recommendations. The question that any sensible person will ask is surely this: if it is right and possible to impose these higher standards on the private sector, why are the same standards not imposed throughout the public sector? If these are the right things to do in relation to Wolds and Blakenhurst, why is it not right to do them throughout the entire system? Why can we not have 15 hours a day out of cells at Frankland, or minimum education standards at Wormwood Scrubs?

If those are the things that the Minister wants to do, why not put the energy and resources of Government into doing them, rather than wasting time with privatisation? In the end, the only possible argument that he can have is that there is a great cost benefit in this, but that, of course, has been somewhat dampened by the TUPE undertakings regulations.

The costs of the Wolds in its first year, so far as there are any comparable figures, are almost identical for public sector prisons. Therefore, what any sensible person must ask is: why waste the Government's time, energy and resources on going down the route of privatisation rather than ensuring that the Woolf report is properly implemented? Indeed, if the right hon. and learned Gentleman reads an article published in The Independent the other day he will see that many of those in the prison system are saying that because of the threat of privatisation they are having to postpone the reform agenda that they want to carry out in order to deal with the problems of contracting out and privatisation.

Then again, with public sector prisons hon. Members do not ask parliamentary questions and get the answer back that the information cannot be given because it is a matter of commercial confidence. It is a scandal that, when hon. Members put down questions asking, for example, how many full-time custody officers are employed at these privatised prisons, we cannot get a proper response. This precisely encapsulates the conflict between privatisation and the public interest.

Mr. Gerald Bermingham (St. Helens, South)

As my hon. Friend will know, I have taken the trouble to go and look at the privatised system in America and elsewhere, and I came to a very simple conclusion, to which I ask the Home Secretary to respond. What advantage is there in a private person making a profit from a public incarceration? When we incarcerate somebody, we are trying to reform that person. Why should a private individual make a profit out of that? What can he offer that the state cannot?

Mr. Blair

My hon. Friend is exactly right. Hon. Members say that they are not making a profit out of it, but of course they are—it is the very thing that they are there for; that is what they do as companies. Of course there are areas of national life where private profit is not suitable. That is what the Conservative party cannot understand. They believe that if something is not run for private profit it is not run properly—that private profit and the public interest are one and the same thing; but they are not.

We say that this is a pointless exercise, because the specifications which are good in respect of privatised prisons or contracted-out management could be applied in the prison service generally. We also say that it is fundamentally wrong in principle that persons sentenced by the state to imprisonment should be deprived of their liberty and kept under lock and key by those who are not accountable solely to the state. Those employed by security firms are primarily or solely accountable not to the state but to their shareholders. For the benefit of hon. Gentlemen, I will read a quotation: I do not think that there is a case, and I do not believe that the House would accept a case, for auctioning or privatising the prisons or handing over the business of keeping prisoners safe to anyone other than Government servants.—[Official Report, 16 July 1987; Vol. 119, c. 1303.] Those were the words not of an Opposition Member but of the present Foreign Secretary when he was Home Secretary. Nothing has changed, except that the grip of dogma is rather stronger now than it was then.

Of course the Government may say that they retain the right to enforce the prison contract, but I say that it is a travesty to suppose that the remote possibility of an action for breach of contract by the Home Secretary is in any way a substitute for the character of a proper public service where the only duty is owed to that service. Private companies may well supply services to the state system, but to allow a private security company, whose main motivation must be commercial, the coercive powers of detention, punishment, physical restraint and influence on decisions about parole—powers of a real and harsh nature —is wrong in principle and should not be countenanced by the House.

I do not pretend that one or two private prisons or contracted-out managements will destroy the prison system, although I do not believe that they will do it any good. But if, as the right hon. Gentleman wants and as he indicated today, large parts of our prisons and prison service become privatised, run by private companies for profit, it will be not just a profound error of principle but a massive and tragic waste of an opportunity to get on with the real agenda—the reform of an antiquated and outdated prison system from which this country desperately wishes to escape.

10.51 pm
Sir John Wheeler (Westminster, North)

I wish to intervene only very briefly, but I claim to do so because in 1986 I visited some private sector prisons in the United States of America and, as a result of that visit, a Home Affairs Committee report recommended that we should consider the consequences of private sector involvement in our prison system.

I have heard the hon. Member for Sedgefield (Mr. Blair) repeatedly use the term "privatisation". He is fundamentally wrong. We are not discussing privatisation. We are not discussing the sale of prisons and prison department estates. We are talking about market testing and the use of the private sector in accountable management contracts, which is an entirely different concept. We are discussing the possibility of the Home Office remaining firmly in control of what happens in an institution but delegating the service to a private contractor which remains accountable to the Home Office for how it manages the institution.

I believe that the order extends the concept of management contracting—

Mr. David Winnick (Walsall, North)


Sir John Wheeler

No, I shall proceed, if I may, to complete my brief speech.

Mr. Winnick

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. The hon. Gentleman may have no current interest to declare, but I have just had a look at the Register of Members' Interests and I notice that he is registered as independent chairman of the board of the National Inspectorate of Security Guard, Patrol and Transport Services from 1982. If there is an interest—

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Geoffrey Lofthouse)

Order. The hon. Gentleman knows full well the procedure for declaring an interest.

Sir John Wheeler

Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker. If I had any interest to declare, I should declare it. I have no interest to declare other than my interest in the use of taxpayers' money to benefit the taxpayers' interests, which is quite different from what the hon. Member for Walsall, North (Mr. Winnick) is suggesting.

Central to the Government's objectives is the market testing concept which they have successfully introduced into local government; they are now properly extending the principle into central Government. I can see no reason why an accountable contract should not lead to a better standard of service for the public interest, with better conditions for prison inmates and an improvement in the quality of training and facilities. I also believe that it is essential to allow people who work in the prison system the variety of other experiences.

Such ideas are commonplace in the United States. One of the great benefits of them has been that those who work in the prison service are able to find employment which enables them to achieve greater satisfaction than being tied to the bureaucratic restrictions of the state sector. Many of the objectives which those of us believe are essential to the improvement of the prison system can be found in the challenge of the market-testing process. For that reason, I especially welcome the order.

I am glad to learn that prison management in England and Wales, as well as the Prison Officers Association, wish to take part in the process. That in itself is an achievement.

As to the experiment at the Wolds prison, the hon. Member for Sedgefield suggested that there was less accountability. I believe that the reverse is true. Bureaucratic accountability is difficult to test, whereas market-testing contracts are open to challenge. Those institutions which are subject to management contracts welcome the press and media as well as hon. Members who wish to see the achievements.

The all-party penal affairs group and any hon. Member who wishes to participate may visit Wolds prison to see what is going on and judge whether it is being successfully managed. I welcome what my right hon. Friend said about widening the scope not for privatisation but for market testing and accountable management contracts.

10.57 pm
Mr. Robert Litherland (Manchester, Central)

Repeated references have been made to Strangeways prison, which is sited in my constituency of Manchester, Central. Strangeways prison gained notoriety in 1990 when a riot broke out on 1 April. The riot continued for 25 days. That is a period in the history of Manchester which no one will forget.

I must stress that, long before 1 April 1990, the Prison Officers Association insisted that overcrowding and bad sanitary conditions were the main cause of unrest and that one day we would pay the penalty. I can remember a prison officer saying to me, "If conditions do not change, these prisoners will be coming through the wall." I was at Strangeways prison on the fateful Sunday. Like human moles, the prisoners were coming out of the roof of the prison.

Then, as now, the experts went unheeded. Instead of listening and learning, the Government have taken the unknown path—the murky market, as it has been described—to privatise the prisons. Once again, dogma reigns supreme with the Government. Experts tell us that privatisation is unhelpful and irrelevant to running today's prison regimes.

In 1989, in a submission to the Government's Green Paper, the Prison Officers Association outlined the crisis and emphasised that the real cause of the ever-increasing prison population had never been addressed, only the symptoms. Regrettably, only the symptoms are still being considered today.

As the House has heard, the Government know best. Market testing of prisons, which is another name for privatisation, is seen as the panacea for all our prison ills, yet the Government know full well that contracting out will not affect the ever-increasing population. That remains the responsibility of the courts, the judges and magistrates. There is little liaison between judges and magistrates.

I have the tender documents with me, if the Home Secretary wants to see them. Given the details of the contract requirements in the documents, it is envisaged that there will be overcrowding. Today's edition of The Guardian quotes from the document for the operating contract for Her Majesty's prison, Manchester and comes to the same conclusions. The document informs the contractors that they should assume an overall population of 552 prisoners in the five A to E wings of the prison, but the authority may require all cells with a toilet annexe to be occupied by two prisoners, although they may be designed for single-cell occupation. They are contemplating overcrowding and that would provide an additional 134 places, increasing the population in those wings to 686.

Further accommodation could be provided by requiring that some of the cells without a toilet annexe be occupied by two prisoners. The contractor is invited to specify the additional cost in those five wings.

The other wings—G, H, I and K—were built to hold 261 places, when opened. In the contract—as with A to E wings—overcrowding has to be taken into the reckoning and costed accordingly. Even the health centre is included, to provide for 53 patients, but no assurance could be given that they would not be used for non-medical cases.

Compare the requirements in the tender contract to the Home Office letter of 24 April 1991, replying to my inquiry regarding the single-cell policy in prisons. The then Minister of State informed me: The present policy of providing for a majority of single cells offers prisoners a degree of privacy, and encourages them to develop a sense of responsibility for the accommodation they occupy. However, we recognise that a mixture of single and shared accommodation is necessary. … At Manchester, in response to local circumstances, management has allowed for a higher proportion of shared accommodation than the standard design in the remand prison. In K wing about 20% of cells are fitted for two prisoners to share, and current plans for G, H and I wings envisage close to 50% of cells being capable of taking two prisoners. In other words, overcrowding has been built into the contract. Whatever the Home Secretary says, he cannot get away from that.

The contractors will also have to be aware of the special accommodation for category A prisoners required at the Crown court in Manchester, which they will have to man. All other support facilities will be the responsibility of the private contractor. That aspect of prison work will be an untested area, but the closest liaison with the Greater Manchester police will be necessary to ensure the smooth running of the courts.

Accommodation at the courts, liaison with court users, manning requirements and escorting prisoners to courts or to other prisons, hospitals, funerals and so forth will be undertaken without the in-depth experience gained over many years by the Prison Officers Association.

Strangeways, by its very nature, has always been a transit prison with a quicker population turnover and therefore it requires more labour-intensive activities, such as the duties that I have outlined.

Private prisons, whether based on the ideology of Adam Smith or on the American way of life, are not the answer. Out will go the dedication, the responsibility and accountability. The years of practical experience will have been wasted. Many years before the riot, experienced officers warned about what was to be expected. But Governments paid no heed, and we experienced the biggest riots in prison history. Those of us who visited the prison after 25 days saw the mass destruction. But at least there was optimism that there would be a rebuild and new thinking. Above all, it was unanimously agreed that such a thing must never happen again.

After the results of all the interviews had been taken into consideration, the Woolf report recommended a format for the establishment of new procedures. The report said that there should be a 3 per cent. ceiling on overcrowding and that that figure should not be exceeded without reference to Parliament.

In July 1992, along with my hon. Friend the Member for Manchester, Blackley (Mr. Eastham) and other interested Members, I visited Strangeways and witnessed the refurbishment. We saw the gymnasium and the canteen facilities. It was as if things were starting anew. The Government's attitude, of course, was that the prison was ripe for privatisation. Following our visit we were convinced that the Home Office was drawing up plans to that effect.

The Prison Officers Association was unaware of the policy for the future. At that time there had been no discussions with the association. No one was prepared to inform it of what was going on. The officers were working in limbo, and morale was at a new low. The Home Office was non-committal. It told me that it was anticipated that a decision would be taken later in the summer. With every phone call I made to the Home Office, the mystery deepened.

In late summer—on 4 August, just six days after our visit—the front page of the Manchester Evening News had the story. The cat was out of the bag. The Home Office's privatisation plan had been revealed in a job description memo for a new national post of prison manager. One of the prisons named was Strangeways. [Interruption.] It is all very well for the Home Secretary to laugh. He should have been there at the time. His predecessor never came. The prison officers held, and then evacuated the prison. There was no escape.

The officers, who, with their families, suffered great mental and physical stress, have been betrayed, sold down the river. They arc the victims of an ill thought out scheme. On a previous occasion the Prison Officers Association stated that the privatisation of prisons was ethically dubious and would lead to lower standards. I, along with the prison officers, maintain that privatisation will not, and cannot, cope with overcrowding.

The findings of Lord Justice Woolf have been ignored. What has happened to the 12 main recommendations? The views of the prison officers too have been ignored. We still have the recipe for riots. The Government have not learnt the lesson of Strangeways 1990. They may once again rue the day. But the Home Secretary will turn a blind eye and a deaf ear, as the then Home Secretary did in April 1990.

11.8 pm

Mr. Robert Maclennan (Caithness and Sutherland)

The Home Secretary's awareness of the condition of prisons in Britain and of the need to implement Lord Justice Woolf's recommendations as soon as possible are not in question. Indeed, among hon. Members there is an almost unanimous view that prisons are one of the darker corners of our society. That does not apply universally, but there are massive problems, which were highlighted in Lord Justice Woolf's report. In setting out, in contractual terms, the objectives for Manchester Strangeways, Lord Justice Woolf properly drew attention to what was needed.

In introducing this order, the Home Secretary is acting with undue precipitousness and without evidence to support his general assertion that the prisons will benefit from extension of private sector management and control.

Arguments of principle were eloquently and effectively made by the hon. Member for Sedgefield (Mr. Blair) about the appropriateness of placing such matters in the hands of private contractors, who run prisons for profit. Prisoners who are causing trouble have to be manhandled—that is not a purely theoretical issue. The exact nature of the job undertaken by the private sector company has already become clear in the management of the Wolds prison. A recent parliamentary answer reported no fewer than 20 incidents, many of which involved assaults on officers, drug smuggling into the prison, racial discrimination and hostility—many of the characteristics of prison life that cause problems throughout the country.

It must be doubted whether it is suitable to put the task of attending to such problems in the hands of a private company operating for profit and without the normal arrangements for accountability that control the response of the prison service.

Mr. Kenneth Clarke

Obviously, the power that is given to one person to restrain another and keep him in custody depends on the authority of the law, which is ultimately derived from the House. That is the only means by which anybody can lawfully lock someone else up or contain him. That is dependent not on whether or not he is on the public payroll, but on whether he is working by the same rules. Even in private prisons, the use of force and coercive powers can be applied only with the authority of the controller, who is based there as a Crown servant to ensure that matters, particularly the use of force, are closely supervised.

Mr. Maclennan

It is open to a private citizen to use force to restrain a member of the public who is committing a crime. The Home Secretary need not teach his grandmother tricks on such a matter. The question whether it is appropriate to place prison guards in a position where they have to use force as a matter of course, day in, day out, without the advantage of the professional training that has gone into the building up of the prison service, is at least debatable. Many people doubt that it is a suitable policy.

The Home Secretary did not allude to the risk of abuse being covered up for reasons of commercial confidentiality. Questions have been asked in the House about Wolds prison and its management, and answers have been refused on the grounds that they would reveal commercially confidential information. The Minister of State, the hon. Member for Fareham (Mr. Lloyd), who is now talking to the Home Secretary, knows that to be true.

He has refused to answer questions, saying that he will not give information to Members of Parliament about the management of that private prison because it is commercially confidential. He has been asked questions about staffing levels and the chaplain, and replied that such matters are commercially confidential. That is a means of taking away from Parliament the right to scrutinise the management and conduct of our prison service. That alone is sufficient reason for being dubious about what is planned.

This is the last opportunity that the House has to prevent, or even discuss, the Home Secretary's decision to award contracts for the management of any prison he chooses. Whatever else the right hon. and learned Gentleman is no one would flatter him by calling him prudent. Tonight he made a prediction about the prison population which many of his predecessors would have thought rather rash. We shall see whether he is proved right, but a prudent Home Secretary would have waited to see how the Wolds experiment worked out and how Blakenhurst worked out before invoking the dogma that competition is best and extending the scope of privatisation to prisons already built and being run as part of the prison service. He did not even wait to allow Her Majesty's chief inspector of prisons the time to conduct a visit to the Wolds prison and issue a report on it.

The Home Secretary accuses the hon. Member for Sedgefield of dogmatism, and of being doctrinaire. The reverse is the truth. The right hon. and learned Gentleman is not interested in a pragmatic evaluation of the experiments on which he has embarked. He is forcing through the House a measure designed to give him untrammelled authority to award commercial contracts to companies that will not disclose to the House how they propose to proceed. I think that that is irresponsible. It is almost inconceivable that any sensible Home Secretary would take such a decision—indeed, his predecessor, now the Foreign Secretary, explicitly repudiated the idea in principle.

The Home Secretary, however, is playing other games. He needs to prove his credentials as a sort of remaining Thatcherite. I dare say he will assume a number of different postures over the next few months in an attempt to further his political ambitions.

The new head of the executive agency, Mr. Derek Lewis, has not been instructed, as the first act of the Secretary of State, to implement the provisions of the Woolf report. He has been instructed to carry out the doctrine of the Government, to facilitate the participation of the private sector in prison management.

This is a very odd priority, when there is so much wrong with the prisons and when it is clear that we are far short of fulfilling the recommendations of Lord Justice Woolf in so many prisons around the country. It is also clear from all the reports produced by Mr. Justice Tumim that efforts are being made in the service by prison officers to overcome the difficulties. If the Home Secretary would deal with the problems of the prison service with the commitment that he has shown to extending to another sphere of public service the dogmas of Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven, he would be performing the role that he should be discharging at this time.

I hope that the House will reject this order tonight.

11.18 pm
Sir Ivan Lawrence (Burton)

I do not know about sucking eggs, but there was a moment in the speech of the hon. Member for Caithness and Sutherland (Mr. Maclennan) when I thought that he was about to lay one. He certainly offered no suggestions as to how the prison service might be improved.

I have only one interest to declare: it is in my interests that none of the unfortunate people whom I have the privilege to defend, though they be innocent, should ever end up in any kind of prison, state maintained or privately contracted.

I have been here for many years and nothing surprises me about the Opposition, but in this debate they have come close to surprising me. For many years they have demanded more humane prison conditions, which they never achieved when they were in power. Every day for years they have demanded better working conditions for prison officers. They have always demanded for prisoners better regimes—no slopping out, daily hot showers, more privacy, better food, rehabilitation, training and education, and fewer wasted hours in prison cells. They have also asked for pilot schemes. They never achieved any of those benefits and now that they are being offered, the Opposition do not want them. What they have said for many years has turned out to be wind.

When Labour was in power from 1974 to 1979 it cut capital spending on the prisons by 20 per cent. although the prison population rose by 15 per cent. Does the hon. Member for Sedgefield (Mr. Blair), who is the Opposition Front-Bench spokesman on these matters, really imagine that statutory minimum standards for prisoners, which the Labour Government never achieved, an independent ombudsman, which they never thought of, more spending, which they could never achieve, are substitutes for better prison management? Are they substitutes for the dynamism that contracting out will bring to our prison service? With that will come funding and proven achievements because of the success of the Wolds prison.

The Government have increased the number of prison officers by 70 per cent., but the prison population has risen by only 3 per cent. They have the largest prison building programme of all time, they appointed Judge Tumim and commissioned the Woolf report. They are committed to improving prison conditions, not just for prisoners but for those who run the prisons—the members of the Prison Officers Association. They made sure, through the Criminal Justice Act 1991, that they will remain accountable for standards, for monitoring, adjudication and discipline, and for ensuring that prison officers are properly trained and certified as such before they are let loose on the prison population. The Government deserve the support of the whole House.

The Government want what the Opposition have been demanding, crying for, over all the years that I have been here. As I have said, their pleas have turned out to be mere wind. They are obsessed by party dogma, and for the sake of that dogma they are determined to make sure that the prison system deteriorates, as it always did under them.

11.23 pm
Mr. Rupert Allason (Torbay)

As a member of the all-party penal affairs group, I had not intended to speak in the debate. However, I decided to do so in view of the attack on my right hon. Friend the Member for Westminster, North (Sir J. Wheeler). My right hon. Friend is chairman of the penal affairs group and probably knows more about prisons than any hon. Member. He was also a prison governor, and perhaps modesty prevented him from making known those two facts.

The Wolds has been an outstanding success. If the Opposition want proof of that, they should ask the prisoners, who would rather be sent to the Wolds prison than to any other in the United Kingdom. The appointment of the new director of the prison service is imaginative. Derek Lewis has a fine reputation in his industry and I welcome not just his appointment but the fact that the prison service is to have agency status. That will be good for the staff and management of our prisons, and good for the prisoners.

I believe that a year from now all the prison reform charities, and those who have a direct interest in the prison service and the welfare of prisoners, will also welcome these imaginative moves from a Home Secretary who, I suspect, although I am not one of his greatest fans, will be recognised in a few years' time as one who has done more for our prisons than any other Home Secretary this century.

11.25 pm
Mrs. Barbara Roche (Hornsey and Wood Green)

I listened with great interest to the hon. and learned Member for Burton (Sir I. Lawrence). He chairs the Select Committee on Home Affairs, on which I have the honour to serve, so it was in my interest to follow his speech carefully.

I was fascinated by the hon. and learned Gentleman's utopian picture of what the Government have in store for us with tremendously improved conditions for both staff and prisoners. Yet according to an article in The Guardian today, the full prison complement is 971 for Strangeways, but the contractors are to be asked to bid for provision of places for 1,150 prisoners. The Home Office's comment on this overcrowding was: Many prisoners like sharing cells, or they feel lonely.

Mr. Kenneth Clarke

The hon. Lady may not have been here earlier, when we dealt with the point about overcrowding. The point keeps being made, but the fact is that every prison has to make some contingency provision for overcrowding, because we have no control over the numbers sent by the courts. If we made no provision at the prison, it would be argued that the private sector was being exempted from making provision that every other prison has to make. It is a contingency provision, whereby about 70 cells will be doubled up if the courts ever send an excess of prisoners. Currently, overcrowding in the whole system is lower than it has been for years, and we are determined to keep it at that level.

Mrs. Roche

I am grateful for that information, although I have been present since the beginning of the debate. I note, however, that the copy of the contract for the running of the new prison reveals that the Home Office wants the first phase to accommodate 789 prisoners, 116 more than it was designed to take. That is unacceptable.

When dealing with prison privatisation, Ministers appear to be influenced by the American experience—

Mr. Edward Gamier (Harborough)

I am listening with interest to the hon. Lady's speech. Is she basing her arguments on what The Guardian says, or on the contract that she has in her hand—if she has it in her hand?

Mrs. Roche

I had moved on from that point, but I am willing to answer the hon. Gentleman's question. Yes, I am basing my arguments on the article in The Guardian, but I noted that the Home Secretary did not repudiate the basis of the article, although he was free to do so.

I was talking about the American experience of prisons. An obnoxious example is the involvement in some United States prisons of companies such as Kentucky Fried Chicken, which have been involved in tenders and, indeed, the running of some prisons. Is that not a bizarre and atrocious way to run the system? The American experience also shows evidence of malpractice. In 1989, the state of Texas opened four minimum security prisons; a 1990 audit found that the companies had failed to implement promised educational and job training programmes. I do not know whether the Secretary of State reads The Wall Street Journal but it commented: Once hailed as the quick fix for the nations' overcrowded prisons, privatisation is turning into quicksand for the companies and communities involved. The then Minister with responsibility for prisons, the right hon. Member for Mitcham and Morden (Dame A. Rumbold), promised in February 1991 that further prison privatisation would go ahead if, and only if, the contracted-out remand centre proves to be a success."—[Official Report, 25 February 1991; Vol. 186, c. 720.] Perhaps we should examine that a little more carefully.

Wolds was described as a prison which would provide revolutionary new standards for prisoners and staff. It certainly appears to have been funded at great expense to the taxpayer, although of course we do not know the exact figures because the Government will not reveal them. On 19 December, the Financial Times reported that York crown court had heard that a remand prisoner was tortured and injected with heroin by other inmates at the Wolds. The judge, His Honour Gordon Atkinson, said that he had received a letter outlining what had happened to the man at this so-called up-to-date prison. He commented that the letter disclosed a "deplorable state of affairs".

We hear none of that as the Government laud what is happening in the Wolds. My hon. Friend the Member for Lewisham, Deptford (Ms. Ruddock) asked last week about the incidents and disturbances at the Wolds since 1 December 1992. The Minister of State listed 20 separate occurrences in that six-week period, including more than one incident in which a prisoner was assaulted by "assailants unknown".

Mr. Kenneth Clarke

The hon. Lady might be interested to know that there have been 62 incidents in the past 12 months. That sounds a lot, but in the prison service everything is recorded as an incident. There have been 17,657 incidents in the prison service as a whole. In 1992, the average number of incidents per week at the Wolds was 1.3. The prison service average is 2.6—precisely double.

Mrs. Roche

Again, I am extremely grateful for the Home Secretary's intervention. It is always good to get information that we have been seeking for some time. Of course, the Home Secretary did not say that the Wolds is a remand prison, where one would perhaps expect a lower rate of such incidents.

It cannot be denied—I should be the last to deny it—that there is a crisis in our prisons. As shown in Lord Justice Woolf's excellent report and proposals, and in Judge Stephen Tumim's 1991 report, much needs to be done. Conditions in many prisons are entirely unacceptable. We should be establishing statutory minimum standards for prisons, in addition to an urgent programme of refurbishment.

However, we do not need the privatisation of prisons. The Secretary of State announced recently in answer to a parliamentary question, on 1 February 1993: when the Prison Service becomes an executive agency on 1 April it should assume full responsibility for taking forward Government policy on the involvement of the private sector in the management of prisons."—[Official Report, 1 February 1993; Vol. 218, c. 55.] There has been no press conference about this. The Government have no desire to come clean about their twin-track approach to prisons.

It will also be instructive to see how the contracts for the management of the prison service are to be handed out and to see which of the Secretary of State's friends—honourable and otherwise—get the plum directorships that will arise from prison privatisation. Just as the privatised utilities have given lucrative directorships to ex-Cabinet Ministers, so the Government seem to intend to hive off the prison service to their friends.

For example, Tarmac, a well known donor of thousands of pounds to the Tory party, is involved in Group 4 which runs the Wolds. It is interesting that the latest Register of Members' Interests lists the right hon. Member for Sutton Coldfield (Sir N. Fowler), the chairman of the Conservative party, as a non-executive director of Group 4 Securitas. Similarly, McAlpine, a stalwart when it comes to donating funds to Tory party coffers, is involved in the private security firm, UK Detention Services Ltd., which completed the design and build contract for the Wolds.

The reputation of the private security firms to which Ministers want to hand over our prisons does not inspire confidence. I note that a senior official of a private security trade association told the Select Committee on Defence in May 1990 that private guards are lucky to have two days' training. That is the situation that we shall have in our prisons.

Surely the commercial interests of private prison bosses run counter to the spirit of Lord Woolf's recommendations and proposals about equipping prisoners with the skills and qualifications to increase their chances of re-integrating successfully into society. As Stephen Shaw, director of the Prison Reform Trust said: Managers … will be more accountable to shareholders 5,000 miles away than to the British public and the British Parliament. It is a great pity that the Government did not listen to the previous Home Secretary, who said that there was not a case for prison privatisation. The British public would have felt safer and more secure with a proper accountable system, instead of commercialisation for private profit.

11.36 pm
Mr. Neil Gerrard (Walthamstow)

At times during the debate, it has seemed to me that people have forgotten what the order is about: it is not about whether a particular prison building is new, modern or efficient, but about the extension of privatisation across the whole of the prison service.

I start from the point of view which I suspect many of my hon. Friends share; that it is mildly repugnant that private contractors should be making profits from keeping people in prison. That is what the order is about. Private contractors do not operate if they are not likely to make a profit. We all agree that standards need to be improved, that we need more enlightened regimes, that we need to cut the number of people in prison and that we need new prison buildings. No one disputes that, but the order is not about building new prisons; it is about privatising the existing prison service.

Let us consider the debate and the order in context. What has been said in previous debates on the topic? In 1987, the then Home Secretary completely ruled out privatisation. The 1988 Green Paper ruled out privatisation except for new remand prisons. The Criminal Justice Act 1991 as originally drafted followed that Green Paper.

It was only as a result of the Government's accepting Back-Bench amendments during our proceedings on the Bill that became that Act that privatisation across the whole service became a possibility. As my hon. Friend the Member for Hornsey and Wood Green (Mrs. Roche) pointed out, the Minister of the time made the following very important statement: If, and only if, the contracted-out remand centre proves to be a success might we move towards privatisation of other parts of the prison service."—[Official Report, 25 February 1991; Vol. 186, c. 720.] What evidence is there that the experiment at the Wolds and that at Blakenhurst, which has hardly started, have been a success? That is the question that the Government should be answering tonight.

At the time of the debate in 1991, senior civil servants said—no doubt with ministerial approval—that it would take three years for a proper assessment of the success of the Wolds to be made. In November last year, I was told in answer to a parliamentary question that Hull university was conducting a two-year survey to assess the success of the Wolds—again, no doubt, with Home Office approval. So where is the evidence? What information is available? I simply do not believe that people who claim that the system is now more accountable have considered what has been happening in the past six months.

For example, we know that the Wolds has not been running at full capacity. There were 233 prisoners in the Wolds in November, when the capacity is 320. At that time, the Government extended the Wolds catchment area in an attempt to fill the prison. How do we measure the success of a prison that has never operated at the capac0ity that it was designed to operate at?

We have been told that there are 196 staff at the Wolds. However, when we ask how many staff there are in each category, how many prison custody officers and caterers, we are told that we cannot have that information because it is commercially confidential.

My hon. Friend the Member for Dulwich (Ms. Jowell) referred to health and psychiatric care. Health care at the Wolds is subcontracted by Group 4 to a French-owned medical company, and we cannot be told the costs or details of that contract because it is commercially confidential information.

The Crown controller will examine the service delivery at the Wolds against the contract. However, we will not be able to do that. We will not be allowed to see the Crown controller's report measuring service delivery against the contract because that is commercially confidential information. We know that Group 4 is being paid, but we cannot be told how much, because that is commercially confidential information.

The definition of commercial confidentiality is preventing hon. Members from discovering what is happening in the Wolds. A day visit to the prison will not help. One simply cannot obtain the information.

How much does it cost to keep people in the Wolds or in Blakenhurst? How does that compare with the state sector? What are the manpower costs per inmate? We have a right to answers to those questions. I find it difficult to comprehend how we are supposed to be able to judge value for money without that information.

Exactly the same problems arise in connection with judging standards. We want higher standards, but it is pointless for hon. Members to compare a brand new remand prison like the Wolds with an old overcrowded state sector prison and claim that that proves that the private sector is a success. It proves nothing of the sort. It proves absolutely nothing.

We know that there have been problems at that prison, and that incidents have occurred there that could occur at any prison. The Government's policy is more concerned with dogma than with penal policy or the improvement of prison conditions. The policy seems to be to hive off new prisons; remand-only prisons first and then new prisons for convicted prisoners and refurbished prisons like Strangeways; keep them under-occupied in the first instance and then compare them to an old, overcrowded, under-staffed prison and claim that the former are successful.

The people who stand to benefit are the private contractors. My hon. Friend the Member for Hornsey and Wood Green mentioned UK Detention Services Ltd., which runs Blakenhurst. That company is a conglomerate under Corrections Corporation of America. The chairman of that company was tied in with the Republican party which lobbied the Adam Smith Institute in the 1980s to get privatisation on the agenda. In 1991, that company gave a commitment in writing to its shareholders to spend CCA dollars only where they have the greatest chance for financial gain. Such companies are interested only in financial gain. Other people in that conglomerate are the Mowlems and the McAlpines—well-known people who have run prisons for many years. The holding company, Newarthill, and UK Detention Services, McAlpine and Mowlem are all contributors to the Tory party.

It is all about private profit. That is what is going on. It is nothing to do with improving conditions. If we were really interested in improving conditions, we would be making sure that the Woolf report was implemented right throughout the prison sector—not picking out private prisons and making sure that they succeed. The Woolf report was accepted by every one.

Instead, we have privatisation that is opposed by governors, prison officers, prison teachers, prison chaplains and everybody concerned with the prison service. The Government should be making sure that they are directing their energy into implementing the Woolf agenda right through the prison service, uniting the prison service and delivering—

It being one and a half hours after the commencement of proceedings on the motion, MR. DEPUTY SPEAKER put the Question, pursuant to Standing Order No. 14 (exempted business):

The House divided: Ayes 282, Noes 235.

Division No. 140] [10 pm
Adley, Robert Coombs, Simon (Swindon)
Ainsworth, Peter (East Surrey) Cope, Rt Hon Sir John
Aitken, Jonathan Couchman, James
Alison, Rt Hon Michael (Selby) Cran, James
Allason, Rupert (Torbay) Currie, Mrs Edwina (S D'by'ire)
Amess, David Curry, David (Skipton & Ripon)
Ancram, Michael Davies, Quentin (Stamford)
Arbuthnot, James Davis, David (Boothferry)
Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham) Day, Stephen
Arnold, Sir Thomas (Hazel Grv) Deva, Nirj Joseph
Ashby, David Devlin, Tim
Aspinwall, Jack Dickens, Geoffrey
Atkinson, Peter (Hexham) Dorrell, Stephen
Baker, Nicholas (Dorset North) Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James
Baldry, Tony Dover, Den
Banks, Matthew (Southport) Duncan, Alan
Banks, Robert (Harrogate) Duncan-Smith, Iain
Bates, Michael Dunn, Bob
Batiste, Spencer Durant, Sir Anthony
Beggs, Roy Dykes, Hugh
Bellingham, Henry Eggar, Tim
Bendall, Vivian Elletson, Harold
Beresford, Sir Paul Emery, Rt Hon Sir Peter
Biffen, Rt Hon John Evans, David (Welwyn Hatfield)
Blackburn, Dr John G. Evans, Jonathan (Brecon)
Body, Sir Richard Evans, Nigel (Ribble Valley)
Bonsor, Sir Nicholas Evans, Roger (Monmouth)
Booth, Hartley Evennett, David
Boswell, Tim Faber, David
Bottomley, Peter (Eltham) Fabricant, Michael
Bottomley, Rt Hon Virginia Field, Barry (Isle of Wight)
Bowden, Andrew Fishburn, Dudley
Bowis, John Forman, Nigel
Boyson, Rt Hon Sir Rhodes Forsyth, Michael (Stirling)
Brandreth, Gyles Forth, Eric
Brazier, Julian Fowler, Rt Hon Sir Norman
Bright, Graham Fox, Dr Liam (Woodspring)
Brooke, Rt Hon Peter Fox, Sir Marcus (Shipley)
Brown, M. (Brigg & Cl'thorpes) Freeman, Roger
Browning, Mrs. Angela French, Douglas
Bruce, Ian (S Dorset) Gale, Roger
Burns, Simon Gallie, Phil
Burt, Alistair Gardiner, Sir George
Butcher, John Garel-Jones, Rt Hon Tristan
Butler, Peter Garnier, Edward
Butterfill, John Gill, Christopher
Carlisle, John (Luton North) Gillan, Cheryl
Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln) Goodlad, Rt Hon Alastair
Carrington, Matthew Goodson-Wickes, Dr Charles
Carttiss, Michael Gorman, Mrs Teresa
Cash, William Gorst, John
Channon, Rt Hon Paul Grant, Sir Anthony (Cambs SW)
Chaplin, Mrs Judith Greenway, Harry (Ealing N)
Churchill, Mr Greenway, John (Ryedale)
Clappison, James Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth, N)
Clark, Dr Michael (Rochford) Gummer, Rt Hon John Selwyn
Clarke, Rt Hon Kenneth (Ruclif) Hague, William
Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey Hamilton, Rt Hon Archie (Epsom)
Coe, Sebastian Hamilton, Neil (Tatton)
Colvin, Michael Hampson, Dr Keith
Congdon, David Hannam, Sir John
Conway, Derek Hargreaves, Andrew
Coombs, Anthony (Wyre For'st) Harris, David
Haselhurst, Alan Needham, Richard
Hawkins, Nick Nelson, Anthony
Hawksley, Warren Newton, Rt Hon Tony
Hayes, Jerry Nicholls, Patrick
Heald, Oliver Nicholson, David (Taunton)
Heathcoat-Amory, David Nicholson, Emma (Devon West)
Hendry, Charles Norris, Steve
Heseltine, Rt Hon Michael Onslow, Rt Hon Sir Cranley
Hicks, Robert Oppenheim, Phillip
Higgins, Rt Hon Sir Terence L. Ottaway, Richard
Hill, James (Southampton Test) Page, Richard
Hogg, Rt Hon Douglas (G'tham) Paice, James
Horam, John Patnick, Irvine
Hordern, Rt Hon Sir Peter Patten, Rt Hon John
Howard, Rt Hon Michael Pattie, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey
Howarth, Alan (Strat'rd-on-A) Pawsey, James
Howell, Rt Hon David (G'dford) Peacock, Mrs Elizabeth
Hughes Robert G. (Harrow W) Pickles, Eric
Hunter, Andrew Porter, Barry (Wirral S)
Hurd, Rt Hon Douglas Porter, David (Waveney)
Jack, Michael Portillo, Rt Hon Michael
Jackson, Robert (Wantage) Powell, William (Corby)
Jenkin, Bernard Redwood, John
Jessel, Toby Renton, Rt Hon Tim
Johnson Smith, Sir Geoffrey Richards, Rod
Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N) Riddick, Graham
Jones, Robert B. (W Hertfdshr) Rifkind, Rt Hon. Malcolm
Jopling, Rt Hon Michael Robathan, Andrew
Kellett-Bowman, Dame Elaine Roberts, Rt Hon Sir Wyn
Key, Robert Robertson, Raymond (Ab'd'n S)
Kilfedder, Sir James Robinson, Mark (Somerton)
King, Rt Hon Tom Roe, Mrs Marion (Broxbourne)
Kirkhope, Timothy Rowe, Andrew (Mid Kent)
Knapman, Roger Rumbold, Rt Hon Dame Angela
Knight, Mrs Angela (Erewash) Ryder, Rt Hon Richard
Knight, Greg (Derby N) Sackville, Tom
Knight, Dame Jill (Bir'm E'st'n) Sainsbury, Rt Hon Tim
Knox, David Scott, Rt Hon Nicholas
Kynoch, George (Kincardine) Shaw, David (Dover)
Lait, Mrs Jacqui Shaw, Sir Giles (Pudsey)
Lamont, Rt Hon Norman Shephard, Rt Hon Gillian
Lang, Rt Hon Ian Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)
Lawrence, Sir Ivan Shersby, Michael
Legg, Barry Sims, Roger
Lennox-Boyd, Mark Skeet, Sir Trevor
Lester, Jim (Broxtowe) Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)
Lidington, David Smyth, Rev Martin (Belfast S)
Lightbown, David Soames, Nicholas
Lilley, Rt Hon Peter Spencer, Sir Derek
Lloyd, Peter (Fareham) Spicer, Sir James (W Dorset)
Lord, Michael Spicer, Michael (S Worcs)
Luff, Peter Spink, Dr Robert
Lyell, Rt Hon Sir Nicholas Spring, Richard
MacGregor, Rt Hon John Sproat, Iain
Maclean, David Squire, Robin (Hornchurch)
McLoughlin, Patrick Stanley, Rt Hon Sir John
McNair-Wilson, Sir Patrick Steen, Anthony
Madel, David Stephen, Michael
Maitland, Lady Olga Stern, Michael
Major, Rt Hon John Stewart, Allan
Malone, Gerald Streeter, Gary
Mans, Keith Sumberg, David
Marland, Paul Sweeney, Walter
Marlow, Tony Sykes, John
Marshall, John (Hendon S) Tapsell, Sir Peter
Marshall, Sir Michael (Arundel) Taylor, Ian (Esher)
Martin, David (Portsmouth S) Taylor, John M. (Solihull)
Mates, Michael Taylor, Sir Teddy (Southend, E)
Mawhinney, Dr Brian Temple-Morris, Peter
Mayhew, Rt Hon Sir Patrick Thomason, Roy
Mellor, Rt Hon David Thompson, Sir Donald (C'er V)
Merchant, Piers Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N)
Milligan, Stephen Thornton, Sir Malcolm
Mills, Iain Thurnham, Peter
Mitchell, Andrew (Gedling) Townsend, Cyril D. (Bexl'yh'th)
Moate, Sir Roger Tracey, Richard
Molyneaux, Rt Hon James Tredinnick, David
Monro, Sir Hector Trend, Michael
Montgomery, Sir Fergus Trotter, Neville
Moss, Malcolm Twinn, Dr Ian
Vaughan, Sir Gerard Wilkinson, John
Waldegrave, Rt Hon William Willetts, David
Walden, George Wilshire, David
Waller, Gary Winterton, Mrs Ann (Congleton)
Wardle, Charles (Bexhill) Winterton, Nicholas (Macc'f'ld)
Waterson, Nigel Wolfson, Mark
Watts, John Wood, Timothy
Wells, Bowen Yeo, Tim
Wheeler, Rt Hon Sir John Young, Sir George (Acton)
Whitney, Ray
Whittingdale, John Tellers for the Ayes:
Widdecombe, Ann Mr. Sydney Chapman and
Wiggin, Sir Jerry Mr. Andrew McKay.
Abbott, Ms Diane Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli)
Adams, Mrs Irene Davies, Ron (Caerphilly)
Ainger, Nick Davis, Terry (B'ham, H'dge H'l)
Ainsworth, Robert (Cov'try NE) Denham, John
Allen, Graham Dewar, Donald
Alton, David Dixon, Don
Anderson, Donald (Swansea E) Dobson, Frank
Anderson, Ms Janet (Ros'dale) Donohoe, Brian H.
Armstrong, Hilary Dowd, Jim
Ashdown, Rt Hon Paddy Dunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth
Ashton, Joe Eastham, Ken
Austin-Walker, John Enright, Derek
Barnes, Harry Etherington, Bill
Battle, John Evans, John (St Helens N)
Bayley, Hugh Fatchett, Derek
Beckett, Margaret Fisher, Mark
Beith, Rt Hon A. J. Flynn, Paul
Bell, Stuart Foster, Derek (B'p Auckland)
Benn, Rt Hon Tony Foster, Don (Bath)
Bennett, Andrew F. Foulkes, George
Benton, Joe Fraser, John
Bermingham, Gerald Fyfe, Maria
Berry, Dr. Roger Galbraith, Sam
Betts, Clive Galloway, George
Blair, Tony Gapes, Mike
Blunkett, David Garrett, John
Boateng, Paul George, Bruce
Boyce, Jimmy Gerrard, Neil
Boyes, Roland Gilbert, Rt Hon Dr John
Bradley, Keith Godsiff, Roger
Bray, Dr Jeremy Golding, Mrs Llin
Brown, Gordon (Dunfermline E) Gordon, Mildred
Brown, N. (N'c'tle upon Tyne E) Gould, Bryan
Burden, Richard Graham, Thomas
Byers, Stephen Grant, Bernie (Tottenham)
Caborn, Richard Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)
Callaghan, Jim Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge) Grocott, Bruce
Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE) Gunnell, John
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V) Hain, Peter
Campbell-Savours, D. N. Hall, Mike
Canavan, Dennis Hanson, David
Cann, Jamie Harman, Ms Harriet
Chisholm, Malcolm Harvey, Nick
Clapham, Michael Hattersley, Rt Hon Roy
Clark, Dr David (South Shields) Henderson, Doug
Clarke, Eric (Midlothian) Heppell, John
Clelland, David Hill, Keith (Streatham)
Clwyd, Mrs Ann Hinchliffe, David
Coffey, Ann Hoey, Kate
Cohen, Harry Home Robertson, John
Connarty, Michael Hoon, Geoffrey
Cook, Frank (Stockton N) Howarth, George (Knowsley N)
Cook, Robin (Livingston) Howells, Dr. Kim (Pontypridd)
Corbett, Robin Hoyle, Doug
Corbyn, Jeremy Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)
Corston, Ms Jean Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)
Cousins, Jim Hughes, Simon (Southwark)
Cryer, Bob Hutton, John
Cunningham, Jim (Covy SE) Illsley, Eric
Cunningham, Dr John (C'p'l'nd) Ingram, Adam
Dalyell, Tam Jackson, Glenda (H'stead)
Darling, Alistair Jackson, Helen (Shef'ld, H)
Davidson, Ian Jamieson, David
Davies, Bryan (Oldham C'tral) Janner, Greville
Jones, Barry (Alyn and D'side) Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lew'm E)
Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C) Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)
Jones, Lynne (B'ham S O) Prescott, John
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd, SW) Primarolo, Dawn
Jones, Nigel (Cheltenham) Purchase, Ken
Jowell, Tessa Quin, Ms Joyce
Keen, Alan Radice, Giles
Kennedy, Jane (Lpool Brdgn) Randall, Stuart
Khabra, Piara S. Raynsford, Nick
Kilfoyle, Peter Reid, Dr John
Kinnock, Rt Hon Neil (Islwyn) Robertson, George (Hamilton)
Kirkwood, Archy Robinson, Geoffrey (Co'try NW)
Leighton, Ron Roche, Mrs. Barbara
Lestor, Joan (Eccles) Rogers, Allan
Litherland, Robert Rooker, Jeff
Livingstone, Ken Rooney, Terry
Lloyd, Tony (Stretford) Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)
Llwyd, Elfyn Rowlands, Ted
Lynne, Ms Liz Ruddock, Joan
McAllion, John Sedgemore, Brian
McAvoy, Thomas Sheerman, Barry
McCartney, Ian Shore, Rt Hon Peter
Macdonald, Calum Short, Clare
McFall, John Simpson, Alan
McKelvey, William Skinner, Dennis
Mackinlay, Andrew Smith, Andrew (Oxford E)
Maclennan, Robert Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
McMaster, Gordon Snape, Peter
McNamara, Kevin Soley, Clive
McWilliam, John Spearing, Nigel
Madden, Max Squire, Rachel (Dunfermline W)
Mandelson, Peter Steel, Rt Hon Sir David
Marek, Dr John Steinberg, Gerry
Marshall, David (Shettleston) Stevenson, George
Marshall, Jim (Leicester, S) Stott, Roger
Martin, Michael J. (Springburn) Strang, Dr. Gavin
Martlew, Eric Straw, Jack
Meacher, Michael Taylor, Mrs Ann (Dewsbury)
Michael, Alun Tipping, Paddy
Michie, Bill (Sheffield Heeley) Turner, Dennis
Milburn, Alan Tyler, Paul
Miller, Andrew Vaz, Keith
Mitchell, Austin (Gt Grimsby) Walker, Rt Hon Sir Harold
Moonie, Dr Lewis Wallace, James
Morgan, Rhodri Walley, Joan
Morley, Elliot Wardell, Gareth (Gower)
Morris, Rt Hon A. (Wy'nshawe) Wareing, Robert N
Morris, Estelle (B'ham Yardley) Watson, Mike
Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon) Wicks, Malcolm
Mowlam, Marjorie Williams, Rt Hon Alan (Sw'n W)
Mudie, George Williams, Alan W (Carmarthen)
Mullin, Chris Wilson, Brian
Murphy, Paul Winnick, David
Oakes, Rt Hon Gordon Wise, Audrey
O'Brien, Michael (N W'kshire) Worthington, Tony
O'Hara, Edward Wray, Jimmy
Olner, William Wright, Dr Tony
Orme, Rt Hon Stanley Young, David (Bolton SE)
Pendry, Tom
Pickthall, Colin Tellers for the Noes:
Pike, Peter L. Mr. Alan Meale and
Pope, Greg Mr. John Spellar.
Powell, Ray (Ogmore)
Division No. 141] [11.45 pm
Adley, Robert Channon, Rt Hon Paul
Ainsworth, Peter (East Surrey) Chaplin, Mrs Judith
Aitken, Jonathan Churchill, Mr
Alison, Rt Hon Michael (Selby) Clappison, James
Allason, Rupert (Torbay) Clark, Dr Michael (Rochford)
Amess, David Clarke, Rt Hon Kenneth (Ruclif)
Ancram, Michael Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey
Arbuthnot, James Coe, Sebastian
Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham) Colvin, Michael
Arnold, Sir Thomas (Hazel Grv) Congdon, David
Ashby, David Conway, Derek
Aspinwall, Jack Coombs, Anthony (Wyre For'st)
Atkinson, Peter (Hexham) Coombs, Simon (Swindon)
Baker, Nicholas (Dorset North) Cope, Rt Hon Sir John
Baldry, Tony Couchman, James
Banks, Matthew (Southport) Cran, James
Banks, Robert (Harrogate) Curry, David (Skipton & Ripon)
Bates, Michael Davies, Quentin (Stamford)
Batiste, Spencer Davis, David (Boothferry)
Bellingham, Henry Day, Stephen
Bendall, Vivian Deva, Nirj Joseph
Beresford, Sir Paul Devlin, Tim
Biffen, Rt Hon John Dorrell, Stephen
Blackburn, Dr John G. Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James
Body, Sir Richard Dover, Den
Bonsor, Sir Nicholas Duncan, Alan
Booth, Hartley Duncan-Smith, Iain
Boswell, Tim Dunn, Bob
Bottomley, Peter (Eltham) Durant, Sir Anthony
Bottomley, Rt Hon Virginia Eggar, Tim
Bowden, Andrew Elletson, Harold
Bowis, John Emery, Rt Hon Sir Peter
Brandreth, Gyles Evans, David (Welwyn Hatfield)
Brazier, Julian Evans, Jonathan (Brecon)
Bright, Graham Evans, Nigel (Ribble Valley)
Brooke, Rt Hon Peter Evans, Roger (Monmouth)
Brown, M. (Brigg & Cl'thorpes) Evennett, David
Browning, Mrs. Angela Faber, David
Bruce, Ian (S Dorset) Fabricant, Michael
Burns, Simon Field, Barry (Isle of Wight)
Burt, Alistair Fishburn, Dudley
Butler, Peter Forman, Nigel
Butterfill, John Forsyth, Michael (Stirling)
Carlisle, John (Luton North) Fox, Dr Liam (Woodspring)
Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln) Fox, Sir Marcus (Shipley)
Carrington, Matthew Freeman, Roger
Carttiss, Michael French, Douglas
Cash, William Gale, Roger
Gallie, Phil Martin, David (Portsmouth S)
Gardiner, Sir George Mawhinney, Dr Brian
Garel-Jones, Rt Hon Tristan Mayhew, Rt Hon Sir Patrick
Garnier, Edward Mellor, Rt Hon David
Gill, Christopher Merchant, Piers
Gillan, Cheryl Milligan, Stephen
Goodlad, Rt Hon Alastair Mills, Iain
Goodson-Wickes, Dr Charles Mitchell, Andrew (Gedling)
Gorman, Mrs Teresa Moate, Sir Roger
Gorst, John Monro, Sir Hector
Grant, Sir Anthony (Cambs SW) Montgomery, Sir Fergus
Greenway, Harry (Ealing N) Moss, Malcolm
Greenway, John (Ryedale) Needham, Richard
Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth, N) Nelson, Anthony
Gummer, Rt Hon John Selwyn Newton, Rt Hon Tony
Hague, William Nicholls, Patrick
Hamilton, Rt Hon Archie (Epsom) Nicholson, David (Taunton)
Hamilton, Neil (Tatton) Nicholson, Emma (Devon West)
Hampson, Dr Keith Norris, Steve
Hannam, Sir John Onslow, Rt Hon Sir Cranley
Hargreaves, Andrew Oppenheim, Phillip
Harris, David Ottaway, Richard
Haselhurst, Alan Page, Richard
Hawkins, Nick Paice, James
Hawksley, Warren Patnick, Irvine
Hayes, Jerry Pattie, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey
Heald, Oliver Pawsey, James
Heathcoat-Amory, David Peacock, Mrs Elizabeth
Hendry, Charles Pickles, Eric
Higgins, Rt Hon Sir Terence L. Porter, Barry (Wirral S)
Hill, James (Southampton Test) Porter, David (Waveney)
Hogg, Rt Hon Douglas (G'tham) Portillo, Rt Hon Michael
Horam, John Powell, William (Corby)
Hordern, Rt Hon Sir Peter Redwood, John
Howarth, Alan (Strat'rd-on-A) Renton, Rt Hon Tim
Howell, Rt Hon David (G'dford) Richards, Rod
Hunter, Andrew Riddick, Graham
Hurd, Rt Hon Douglas Robathan, Andrew
Jack, Michael Roberts, Rt Hon Sir Wyn
Jenkin, Bernard Robertson, Raymond (Ab'd'n S)
Jessel, Toby Robinson, Mark (Somerton)
Johnson Smith, Sir Geoffrey Roe, Mrs Marion (Broxbourne)
Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N) Rowe, Andrew (Mid Kent)
Jones, Robert B. (W Hertfdshr) Rumbold, Rt Hon Dame Angela
Jopling, Rt Hon Michael Ryder, Rt Hon Richard
Kellett-Bowman, Dame Elaine Sackville, Tom
Key, Robert Sainsbury, Rt Hon Tim
Kilfedder, Sir James Scott, Rt Hon Nicholas
King, Rt Hon Tom Shaw, David (Dover)
Kirkhope, Timothy Shaw, Sir Giles (Pudsey)
Knapman, Roger Shephard, Rt Hon Gillian
Knight, Mrs Angela (Erewash) Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)
Knight, Greg (Derby N) Shersby, Michael
Knight, Dame Jill (Bir'm E'st'n) Sims, Roger
Knox, David Skeet, Sir Trevor
Kynoch, George (Kincardine) Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)
Lait, Mrs Jacqui Spencer, Sir Derek
Lang, Rt Hon Ian Spicer, Sir James (W Dorset)
Lawrence, Sir Ivan Spicer, Michael (S Worcs)
Legg, Barry Spink, Dr Robert
Lennox-Boyd, Mark Spring, Richard
Lester, Jim (Broxtowe) Sproat, Iain
Lidington, David Squire, Robin (Hornchurch)
Lloyd, Peter (Fareham) Stanley, Rt Hon Sir John
Lord, Michael Steen, Anthony
Luff, Peter Stephen, Michael
Lyell, Rt Hon Sir Nicholas Stern, Michael
MacGregor, Rt Hon John Stewart, Allan
MacKay, Andrew Streeter, Gary
Maclean, David Sumberg, David
McLoughlin, Patrick Sweeney, Walter
McNair-Wilson, Sir Patrick Sykes, John
Madel, David Tapsell, Sir Peter
Maitland, Lady Olga Taylor, Ian (Esher)
Malone, Gerald Taylor, John M. (Solihull)
Mans, Keith Taylor, Sir Teddy (Southend, E)
Marland, Paul Temple-Morris, Peter
Marlow, Tony Thomason, Roy
Marshall, John (Hendon S) Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N)
Marshall, Sir Michael (Arundel) Thornton, Sir Malcolm
Thurnham, Peter Whittingdale, John
Townsend, Cyril D. (Bexl'yh'th) Widdecombe, Ann
Tracey, Richard Wiggin, Sir Jerry
Tredinnick, David Wilkinson, John
Trend, Michael Willetts, David
Twinn, Dr Ian Winterton, Mrs Ann (Congleton)
Vaughan, Sir Gerard Winterton, Nicholas (Macc'f'ld)
Waldegrave, Rt Hon William Wolfson, Mark
Walden, George Wood, Timothy
Wardle, Charles (Bexhill) Yeo, Tim
Waterson, Nigel Young, Sir George (Acton)
Watts, John
Wells, Bowen Tellers for the Ayes:
Wheeler, Rt Hon Sir John Mr. Sydney Chapman and
Whitney, Ray Mr. Robert G. Hughes.
Abbott, Ms Diane Cunningham, Jim (Covy SE)
Adams, Mrs Irene Cunningham, Dr John (C'p'l'nd)
Ainger, Nick Dalyell, Tam
Ainsworth, Robert (Cov'try NE) Darling, Alistair
Allen, Graham Davidson, Ian
Anderson, Donald (Swansea E) Davies, Bryan (Oldham C'tral)
Anderson, Ms Janet (Ros'dale) Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli)
Armstrong, Hilary Davies, Ron (Caerphilly)
Ashton, Joe Davis, Terry (B'ham, H'dge H'l)
Austin-Walker, John Denham, John
Barnes, Harry Dewar, Donald
Battle, John Dixon, Don
Bayley, Hugh Donohoe, Brian H.
Beckett, Margaret Dowd, Jim
Beith, Rt Hon A. J. Dunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth
Bell, Stuart Eastham, Ken
Benn, Rt Hon Tony Enright, Derek
Bennett, Andrew F Etherington, Bill
Benton, Joe Evans, John (St Helens N)
Bermingham, Gerald Fatchett, Derek
Berry, Dr. Roger Fisher, Mark
Betts, Clive Flynn, Paul
Blair, Tony Foster, Derek (B'p Auckland)
Blunkett, David Foster, Don (Bath)
Boateng, Paul Fraser, John
Boyce, Jimmy Fyfe, Maria
Boyes, Roland Galloway, George
Bradley, Keith Gapes, Mike
Bray, Dr Jeremy Garrett, John
Brown, Gordon (Dunfermline E) George, Bruce
Brown, N. (N'c'tle upon Tyne E) Gerrard, Neil
Burden, Richard Gilbert, Rt Hon Dr John
Byers, Stephen Godsiff, Roger
Caborn, Richard Golding, Mrs Llin
Callaghan, Jim Gordon, Mildred
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge) Gould, Bryan
Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE) Graham, Thomas
Campbell-Savours, D. N. Grant, Bernie (Tottenham)
Canavan, Dennis Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)
Cann, Jamie Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Chisholm, Malcolm Grocott, Bruce
Clapham, Michael Gunnell, John
Clark, Dr David (South Shields) Hain, Peter
Clarke, Eric (Midlothian) Hall, Mike
Clelland, David Hanson, David
Clwyd, Mrs Ann Harman, Ms Harriet
Coffey, Ann Hattersley, Rt Hon Roy
Cohen, Harry Henderson, Doug
Connarty, Michael Heppell, John
Cook, Frank (Stockton N) Hill, Keith (Streatham)
Cook, Robin (Livingston) Hinchliffe, David
Corbett, Robin Hoey, Kate
Corbyn, Jeremy Home Robertson, John
Cousins, Jim Hoon, Geoffrey
Cryer, Bob Howarth, George (Knowsley N)
Howells, Dr. Kim (Pontypridd) Olner, William
Hoyle, Doug Orme, Rt Hon Stanley
Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N) Pendry, Tom
Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N) Pickthall, Colin
Hughes, Simon (Southwark) Pike, Peter L.
Hutton, John Pope, Greg
Illsley, Eric Powell, Ray (Ogmore)
Ingram, Adam Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lew'm E)
Jackson, Glenda (H'stead) Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)
Jackson, Helen (Shef'ld, H) Prescott, John
Jamieson, David Primarolo, Dawn
Janner, Greville Purchase, Ken
Jones, Barry (Alyn and D'side) Quin, Ms Joyce
Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C) Radice, Giles
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd, SW) Randall, Stuart
Jones, Nigel (Cheltenham) Raynsford, Nick
Jowell, Tessa Reid, Dr John
Keen, Alan Robertson, George (Hamilton)
Kennedy, Jane (Lpool Brdgn) Robinson, Geoffrey (Co'try NW)
Khabra, Piara S. Roche, Mrs. Barbara
Kilfoyle, Peter Rogers, Allan
Kinnock, Rt Hon Neil (Islwyn) Rooney, Terry
Kirkwood, Archy Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)
Leighton, Ron Rowlands, Ted
Lestor, Joan (Eccles) Ruddock, Joan
Lewis, Terry Sheerman, Barry
Litherland, Robert Shore, Rt Hon Peter
Livingstone, Ken Short, Clare
Lloyd, Tony (Stretford) Simpson, Alan
Llwyd, Elfyn Skinner, Dennis
Lynne, Ms Liz Smith, Andrew (Oxford E)
McAllion, John Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
McCartney, Ian Snape, Peter
Macdonald, Calum Soley, Clive
McFall, John Spearing, Nigel
McKelvey, William Spellar, John
Mackinlay, Andrew Squire, Rachel (Dunfermline W)
Maclennan, Robert Steel, Rt Hon Sir David
McMaster, Gordon Steinberg, Gerry
McNamara, Kevin Stevenson, George
McWilliam, John Strang, Dr. Gavin
Madden, Max Taylor, Mrs Ann (Dewsbury)
Mandelson, Peter Tipping, Paddy
Marek, Dr John Turner, Dennis
Marshall, David (Shettleston) Walker, Rt Hon Sir Harold
Marshall, Jim (Leicester, S) Wallace, James
Martin, Michael J. (Springburn) Walley, Joan
Martlew, Eric Wardell Gareth (Gower)
Meacher, Michael Wareing, Robert N
Michael, Alun Watson, Mike
Michie, Bill (Sheffield Heeley) Wicks, Malcolm
Milburn, Alan Williams, Rt Hon Alan (Sw'n W)
Miller, Andrew Williams, Alan W (Carmarthen)
Moonie, Dr Lewis Winnick, David
Morgan, Rhodri Wise, Audrey
Morley, Elliot Wolfson, Mark
Morris, Rt Hon A. (Wy'nshawe) Worthington, Tony
Morris, Estelle (B'ham Yardley) Wray, Jimmy
Mowlam, Marjorie Wright, Dr Tony
Mudie, George Young, David (Bolton SE)
Mullin, Chris
Murphy, Paul Tellers for the Noes:
Oakes, Rt Hon Gordon Mr. Thomas McAvoy and
O'Brien, Michael (N W'kshire) Mr. Alan Meale.
O'Hara, Edward

Question accordingly agreed to.


That the draft Criminal Justice Act 1991 Contracted Out Prisons) (No. 2) Order 1992, which was laid before this House on 16th December, be approved.