HC Deb 12 April 1994 vol 241 cc104-25

'-(1) If any person responsible for any dog or dogs, causes that dog or those dogs to enter land in contravention of the written instructions of the landowner or occupier, and the action of that dog or dogs causes damage to any form of property, disrupts any lawful activity, or interferes with the lawful enjoyment by the landowner or occupier of the property, he shall be guilty of an offence.

(2) A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months or a fine not exceeding level 4 on the standard scale, or both.'.—[Mr. Morley.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

Mr. Elliot Morley (Glanford and Scunthorpe)

I beg to move, That the clause be read a Second time.

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Michael Morris)

With this it will be convenient to discuss the following: New clause 22—Digging for wild animals'(1). If any person enters land equipped for the purpose of digging for a wild animal sheltering in a subterranean refuge, he shall be guilty of a criminal offence unless he can show that, at the material time, he had the permission of the landowner or occupier to dig for that wild animal. (2) A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months or a fine not exceeding level 4 on the standard scale, or both.'. New clause 23—Dogs (protection of livestock)'. In the Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953, in section (2A)(b) the word "or" is inserted after the words "a trained sheep dog", and the words "or a pack of hounds" are omitted.'. New clause 24—Dangerous dogs'. In the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, section 3, in subsection (3) there shall be inserted the following new paragraph "or (c) it injures any domestic animal either owned by, or authorised to be in that place by, the landowner or occupier.".'. Government amendments Nos. 186 and 187.

8.45 pm
Mr. Morley

I am grateful for the opportunity to speak to the new clauses, as I believe that some misleading information has been circulated among hon. Members concerning the way in which clause 58 will apply.

The Minister said that the intention is that clause 58 will apply equally to fox hunts which trespass on other people's land even when notice has been given to them that they are not welcome, and to those who trespass in terms of disrupting fox hunts, which is the intention of the new clause.

I am also grateful for the cross-party support which the clauses have attracted. It is clear that there is widespread concern about the way in which the new offence will be implemented. I am only sorry that the Government have applied a three-line Whip, because a free vote on the issue would demonstrate that there is a great deal of concern on all sides of the House about an attempt to criminalise an activity which is designed to assist one particular group in society, without making sure that such restrictions apply fairly.

Many people are surprised that the Government have given such a high priority to legislation of this kind simply at the behest of blood sports groups without any attempt at proper consultation with the wider community. Indeed, that contrasts sharply with issues such as offences involving racial attacks, on which the Government are reluctant to introduce legislation on the grounds that existing procedures deal with the matter. Under present law, there are procedures for dealing with the disruption caused by blood sports. I must also make it clear at this point that the Labour party opposes and unreservedly condemns violence, criminal damage and intimidation, whatever its source. It is totally untrue to suggest that such violence and intimidation come purely from one source.

Mr. Oliver Heald (Hertfordshire, North)

The hon. Gentleman will see that clause 58(1) requires that the offender intends to intimidate, obstruct or disrupt. Is not the problem with his new clause the fact that the offence is absolute and that proof of intention is not required, so that someone who committed the offence inadvertently, negligently, or without intending to do so would be liable not merely to a fine but to a sentence of imprisonment?

Mr. Morley

I shall touch upon that as I progress. The definition of intention is a key aspect. Because of the use of the word "intended" in the Bill it will be almost impossible to take any action against fox hunts that trespass on people's land, even when they have been given notice not to do so—I am not sure whether that was the intention. It is totally untrue that only hunt saboteurs are responsible for violence and intimidation. The evidence that I have collected suggests that it is the yobbish element associated with hunts who are responsible for violence, intimidation and convictions, rather than the other way round.

I only wish that I could be more precise, but unfortunately, although I tabled written questions to the Home Secretary asking him to provide details of convictions of people who had been involved in violent attacks on hunt supporters, he was unable to give me any figures. If he cannot provide such figures it begs the question, what is the scale of the problem? The Home Secretary does not know, but has seen fit to introduce legislation to deal with the problem.

I also understand that the police did not ask for the powers in the Bill and were not consulted about the clauses, how they would work in practice and their implications for police manpower and resources. My local force told me their grave reservations about the new clause and about the problems that they would have enforcing it.

A case can already be made to show that the new clause will give one group of people special protection—a group of people who pursue activities that the majority of people, including the majority of the rural community, totally oppose. If we are to provide powers of that sort—I am not convinced that they are necessary—they should also apply to trespasses by hunts, especially when the master has been given clear notice that the hunt is not welcome. Clause 58 does not do so.

Sir Nicholas Bonsor (Upminster)

I hesitate to interrupt the hon. Gentleman because his facts are so wildly inaccurate that they speak for themselves. However, he must know that the Government's new clause applies as much to hunts as to anyone else. If a hunt were intentionally trying to disrupt someone else's lawful pursuit it would be just as liable as anyone else under the Bill. The fact is that hunts would not have that intention and that is why the clause will not apply to them.

Mr. Morley

With respect, the hon. Gentleman is talking complete nonsense. I have a letter here from Lord Ferrers at the Home Office. In direct response to my question about whether the clause would deal with hunts that trespass deliberately on people's land, he states: simple trespass, by hunters or anyone else, would not be caught. That makes it clear that hunts would not be affected by clause 58, even when they persistently trespass on other people's land—farmland, gardens, parks and nature reserves—although they have been told not to do so. If we have to have such powers—

Mr. James Paice (Cambridgeshire, South-East)

Does not the hon. Gentleman understand that no one else would be prosecuted if they simply trespassed with no ulterior motive? As my hon. Friend the Member for Hertfordshire, North (Mr. Heald) explained, intent to disrupt must be proved, as clause 58 demonstrates, and that applies across the board. The act of simple trespass, to which he referred, remains a civil and not a criminal offence for anyone.

Mr. Morley

The hon. Gentleman is completely missing the point. As the Bill stands, even when a hunt persistently and deliberately trespasses—I can cite cases in which hunts have been given notice in writing that they are not to go on people's land but persistently do so—it will simply have to say that it was an accident, that it did not mean to trespass or to be disruptive, and there is no way that the landowner can take any action in the courts other than civil action. Why should landowners face the expense and trouble of civil action when hunts receive special protection from the law?

Mr. Tim Devlin (Stockton, South)

The hon. Gentleman is absolutely right. A case reported extensively in the Darlington and Stockton Times concerned just such a landowner. He attempted to prevent a hunt from crossing his property because he has a wildlife sanctuary. He wrote to the master of the hunt on five occasions, but has been ignored. The hunt has continued to go over his land. That is why I tabled amendment No. 60, which I am sorry has not been selected, which states: A person commits an offence of aggravated trespass if he trespasses on land in the open air with any horse or dog for the purpose of hunting, trapping or taking game. The hon. Gentleman is correct in saying that clause 58 will be applied unfairly to hunt saboteurs and not to hunters.

Mr. Morley

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman and I agree. I recognise that his amendment is similar to my new clause and his argument is clearly demonstrated in a brief circulated by the British Field Sports Society to Liberal Democrat Members of Parliament. Not surprisingly, the society complains about the new clauses, but states that at present the Bill will only make it a criminal offence to trespass with the intention of disrupting a lawful activity. The word "intention" is underlined. As a result, hunts will get off the hook, even when they deliberately cause problems and consistently cause damage. I mentioned the letter that I received from the Home Office Minister, which also makes that absolutely clear.

Having established, beyond doubt, that the law will be selective, one might question how new clause 21 attempts to apply it fairly. First, the new clause will not make inadvertent trespass a criminal offence, as suggested in the BFS brief. It applies to a person responsible for dogs who is informed in writing that the dogs are not allowed on an owner's land. It would not apply, for example, to an individual dog owner whose dog simply strayed on to a person's land when he was taking it for a walk, because the owner must be given notice in writing before such an offence takes place. Certain individual irresponsible dog owners may cause problems because their dogs persistently go on to people's land, and there may be an opportunity here as well for dealing with that kind of problem. I can think of a few examples myself where irresponsible dog owners have caused particular problems.

There is a real problem of disruption caused by hunts. Hon. Members will have received the excellent document, entitled "Riot" and compiled by the League against Cruel Sports, which gives 270 recent examples of hunts trespassing on people's land, causing problems, damage and even intimidation. The 270 examples are only those which have appeared in newspapers or about which legal advice has been sought from the League. I am quite sure that many others go unreported.

I have two examples here of people who have written to me in response to a campaign by the International Fund for Animal Welfare. Both people live in the country. The first, a sheep farmer in Dyfed, writes: Three dogs broke away from the pack and went into a different valley from the rest. This was after giving notice to the local hunt that it was not to trespass on his land. He went on to say that, unattended, they entered his land (32 acres) which was being grazed by 39 pregnant ewes and one ram. Despite the intervention of my wife, myself and one of our border collies, the foxhounds chased all the sheep off our land, right through the next farm, and into the land of the farm beyond that. There, some half a mile distant, they merged them in with another flock of the same breed. It took 3 days to sort and recover the correct sheep … Despite the ewes having been climbing over each other to cross barbed wire fences". 9 pm

Why should a sheep farmer have to go to all that trouble after giving notice to the hunt that it was not to go through his land? He wrote to tell me that the hunt came to him beforehand to say that it would be coming through on Tuesday, not seeking permission to come through. It was then that he told them verbally, and in writing, that the members of the hunt would not be allowed to go through his land.

Mr. Michael Colvin (Romsey and Waterside)

The hon. Gentleman has quoted an isolated case and an extreme one. Will he also acknowledge that half a million lambs are killed each year by foxes? I do not think that he would find many sheep farmers opposed to the idea of the hunt being near or round their farms.

Mr. Morley

I do not want to be drawn into the ethics of fox-hunting when we are discussing these new clauses, as they go beyond what we are talking about. What evidence there is suggests that fox predation accounts for 0.5 per cent. of sheep, most of which are lambs that have died from hypothermia. That figure compares with 17 per cent. of sheep that die of hypothermia normally. The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food itself does not regard fox predation as significant. The hon. Gentleman is also wrong to suggest that this is an isolated case. I have already referred to 270 cases outlined in the document from the League against Cruel Sports. I have another letter, this time from a family in Barnstaple, Devon.

Mr. William Ross (Londonderry, East)

The hon. Gentleman will be aware that I do not hunt foxes on horseback although I have shot the creatures on a number of occasions. I must confess to him that from my own experience as a sheep farmer of a considerable number of years' standing the predation of foxes is rather higher than is indicated by the figures that he has just given. They are opportunist feeders and tend to pick up the twin lamb that is lying behind the hedge asleep when the mother and the other lamb are further off in the field, grazing. That is my personal experience.

In the incident to which the hon. Gentleman referred he said that the farmer had told the hunt not to come through his land, but he also said that it was three hounds that broke away from the main pack which came through the land, not the hunt.

Mr. Morley

My impression from the letter was that the three hounds that broke away from the pack were from the main hunt which was on his land and which drove the sheep to a particular valley. That is all that I want to say about fox predation, apart from the fact that it is not significant.

Returning to my other example, the letter says: During the afternoon we heard the hounds getting very close to our property and having several cats and a dog in the garden called them in. Ten minutes later the hunt charged through the garden in pursuit of a stag that had sought refuge there. As they went through the Huntmaster shouted, 'Stand back. We are the hunt.' The arrogance was truly amazing. The stag, poor thing, suffered as follows. The hounds chased it through the garden to a steep rise at the top, where it stood for twenty minutes, can you believe, being bitten, dragged and jumped on. One can hardly imagine the terror and pain it suffered before being shot. The stag was then dragged back through our garden, the children blooded and we were offered the liver. To myself, family and friends it was like some satanic ritual. Those are two examples—I need hardly quote more —of the kind of problem that hunts cause. We need to make sure that this law, if we are to have it, applies fairly to all concerned. It does riot do so at present. New clause 21 will deal with that, and new clauses 23 and 24 will also deal with the problem of hunts and stock.

I should have thought that clause 22 was far less controversial than the others. It relates to the problem of badger-baiting. At present, people involved in the sickening sport of badger-baiting, who are often stopped and challenged on people's land, will simply say, unless they are caught in the act of digging the badger set, that they are looking for a fox's earth or intend to dig out a fox, which is not illegal. New clause 22 will help the police and the landowner. If people are caught on a landowner's land, equipped to dig subterranean animals, with shovels and sacks and the associated paraphernalia, they will be guilty of an offence if they cannot show that they have the permission of the landowner to be on that land. That will go some way towards strengthening the powers to prevent badger-baiting, which is a real problem in this country.

In conclusion, I believe that we need to tackle this serious problem. I am only sorry that we have not had the opportunity of discussing and voting on whether blood sports should be allowed to continue. I believe that that vote will come sooner rather than later, at which time these clauses may be academic. At present it is unjustified to give special protection to any one group in society without applying that law fairly. That is why I believe that the House should support the new clauses.

Mr. Maclean

We should be aware that clause 58 has nothing to do with hunting; it is all about public order. I shall quote the words of the statute because it seems that the hon. Member for Glanford and Scunthorpe (Mr. Morley) has not followed them. The measures that we have taken to deal with disruptive trespassers apply only where anyone who trespasses on land in the open air and, in relation to any lawful activity which persons are engaging in or are about to engage in … does there anything which is intended by him to have the effect of intimidating those persons … so as to deter them…from engaging in that activity, or the effect of obstructing that activity, or …disrupting that activity. Yet, to listen to the hon. Gentleman, one would think that the whole debate was about hunting.

The statute would apply to disruption at the grand national, for example. Many examples have been cited, in Committee and by Opposition Members. The clause would apply to all sides. If a hunt or shooters or any other people in the countryside trespass on someone else's land with the intention of disrupting an activity, and deliberately disrupt that activity or threaten the people engaged in it—whether that activity be lambing, doing one's garden or holding a fete for the League Against Cruel Sports—this law will apply to them, and rightly so; they will deserve everything that they get.

Mr. Morley

Let me make two brief points. First, the Home Secretary himself emphasised in his speech to the Conservative party conference that the clause was aimed at hunt saboteurs, as the Minister well knows. Secondly, how does one prove that the trespass was intentional when a hunt goes on to people's land? That is the crux of the problem.

Mr. Maclean

No doubt if my right hon. and learned Friend the Home Secretary had been speaking at Aintree on Saturday, he would have emphasised the benefit of the clause there, and if he had been speaking to all the angling associations he would have emphasised the relevance of the clause there. This clause is relevant to all perfectly legal activities that can be liable to disruption. It is not right that they be disrupted.

Mr. Bill Etherington (Sunderland, North)

Will the Minister give way?

Mr. Maclean

No, because I want to answer the second argument advanced by the hon. Member for Glanford and Scunthorpe, about intention. It is up to the police and the prosecutor to prove intention in a variety of cases. We cannot have a law making simple trespass—circumstances in which someone, inadvertently or not, steps on to someone else's land—a criminal offence. Of course we must have intention. It would be necessary to prove intention on the part of saboteurs who go on to someone's land. If they go on to someone else's land and do not intimidate, threaten or obstruct the activity, they are not committing a criminal offence; the landowner will have to resort to the civil law, and rightly so. How could intention be proved? The difficulty of proving intention is common throughout the criminal law.

Mr. Michael


Mr. Maclean

I do not want to take up too much time in the debate, Mr. Deputy Speaker.

Mr. Michael

But will the Minister acknowledge that the clauses on disruptive trespass contain a power for a constable in uniform who reasonably suspects that a person is committing an offence to arrest him without a warrant? Does the Minister accept that the extensive proof is not as strong as he is suggesting in his own clauses?

Mr. Maclean

No, not at all. Of course, under the laws of our land, if a policeman reasonably suspects someone of wrongdoing, he may make an arrest. There is no automatic right of arrest; we are not giving any draconian power to landlords or old-fashioned lairds to summon the police automatically and order them to do their duty—or what those landlords believe to be their duty—to haul anyone and everyone off their land.

Some of the rumours flying around Scotland at the moment are quite appalling. There is a rumour that this power will be used to stop people hill walking in the Scottish mountains. It is quite an extraordinary concept that the powers that we have introduced to deal with people who are intimidating, threatening or obstructing would ever be used by any sensible policeman against hill walkers in the Scottish mountains. It is just not on.

The other point is that only a policeman may make an arrest. If a policeman does not come to the reasonable assumption—

Mr. Etherington

Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Mr. Maclean

I want to make this very important point.

There are many misconceptions about what the power involves. If a policeman does not conclude that someone is a trespasser on someone else's land and engaged in intimidating people who are involved in a lawful activity or in threatening, deterring, obstructing or disrupting them, he does not have the power to arrest that person and cannot do so.

Mr. Etherington

I note that the Minister is stressing the term "lawful activity". What would be the position if a hunt were trespassing against the explicit wishes of a landowner and if hunt saboteurs, who perhaps had the sympathy of the landowner, were trying to do something about it? What would happen in that case, because that is the sort of situation that the clause would help to bring about?

Mr. Maclean

A decision would have to be made by policemen on the ground as to whether the conditions of the clause were satisfied. I cannot give an exact answer in every hypothetical case. What would be the position if saboteurs had gone on to someone's land and were not engaged in intimidating, obstructing or disrupting anyone? Many people do not want others to come on to their land. Many people with footpaths would much prefer members of the public and their dogs to keep off the footpaths. But that is tough luck; people have a right to use footpaths. Sometimes their dogs stray from the path—[Interruption.] That would be getting into a different argument. The idea that we should make simple trespass in those circumstances a criminal offence is quite extraordinary.

Mr. Michael

Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Mr. Maclean

I want to conclude my remarks; then the hon. Gentleman can make his own speech.

New clause 21 would create a new offence if a dog entered land without the landowner's consent and it subsequently caused damage or nuisance. That would pose a risk for every dog owner who allowed his or her dog to stray on to private land, or even from the footpath, if that dog caused damage or distress as described in the new clause.

Mr. Michael

I am grateful to the Minister for giving way. In order to restore some balance to the consideration of the clause, the Minister needs to show what thought he has given to dealing with the problems raised by my hon. Friend the Member for Sunderland, North (Mr. Etherington).

Under the Minister's proposals, even if it could be proved that a hunt was reckless in trespassing and had ignored repeated attempts by the landowner to protect his property, it would not be committing an offence. Why has the Minister not brought forward something in the Bill to deal with the issues raised by my hon. Friends rather than simply picking holes in what we proposed in Committee, so giving him plenty of time to consider how to deal with the matter?

Mr. Maclean

The civil law is there to deal with that sort of trespass where there are no threats, no obstruction and no damage. Exactly the same law would apply to hunt saboteurs. The landowner could write to them and say, "Keep off my land. I don't want you to come." If they constantly ignored the landowner and came on to his land, they could not be arrested under this clause unless they intended to intimidate him, obstruct him or disrupt any lawful activity. If they did that, they would be caught. If a hunt or anyone else goes on to private land—whether or not any notification has been received about it—with the intention to disrupt any activities of other people, they will be caught as well, and rightly so.

Mr. Michael

This is an important matter because the Minister is making a point that needs to be understood. As a result of decisions in the House of Lords, what is said in this House is important in the interpretation of the law. Is the Minister asserting that in the circumstances to which my hon. Friend the Member for Sunderland, North has referred—where there has been an invasion of land by the hunt on a number of occasions—that evidence would be addressed by the measure that is in the Bill already? Is he saying that, just as hunt saboteurs can be dealt with under criminal law subject to the evidence that he has discussed, a hunt that trespassed in that way could be dealt with in that way?

Mr. Maclean

I am saying that repeated trespass by anyone is not a criminal offence and will not be a criminal offence under this provision as civil law can be used to stop it. I am also saying that, if anyone—whoever he or she may be—trespasses on someone else's land and commits the offence in the new clause, intending to intimidate, obstruct or disrupt any lawful activity, he or she will be committing an offence and a policeman may take action against that person.

9.15 pm
Mr. A. J. Beith (Berwick-upon-Tweed)

I agree with the Minister's criticisms of the new clause but I am anxious about the stories that I have been hearing all day to the effect that the provision may not apply to Scotland. Hunts in my constituency operate on both sides of the border and I am a little concerned that people may be able to disrupt or intimidate the hunt when it gets that far down the road, whereas they cannot do so at this end of the road. Will the Minister advise me on that matter?

Mr. Maclean

I advise the right hon. Gentleman to take the matter up with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland. I am afraid that I cannot be more helpful than that. It must be for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State to decide what laws he wishes to apply in Scotland. I wish to conclude my remarks on new clause 21 before coming to some important Government amendments. If a real mischief is being caused because dogs are being allowed deliberately to enter private land and encouraged thereafter to behave in the disruptive ways described in the new clause, the person responsible may be committing the aggravated trespass offence already provided for in clause 58:

Sir Terence Higgins (Worthing)

The new clause does not say what my hon. Friend says it says. It does not mention "encouraging" the dogs. That is not the point made in the new clause.

Mr. Maclean

No, it does not have to. The hon. Member for Glanford and Scunthorpe suggested that people may put their dogs on to land and encourage them to cause disruption. Whether they encourage them or not, if they intend to disrupt a lawful activity and threaten others in their lawful activity, they will be caught by the new clause. We use the words "intend" and "intimidate" rather than "encourage", but the practical effect is the same. If people encourage them, they must have some intention to do so.

Mr. Colvin

New clause 21 contains a fundamental flaw because it refers to circumstances in which any person responsible for any dog or dogs … causes that dog or those dogs to enter land". It does not state whether the cause is intentional or unintentional. The dictionary defines "cause" as a thing that makes something happen. For the clause to have an effect in law, it must stipulate whether an action is intentional or inadvertent. The new clause as drafted does not do so, so it must be defective.

Mr. Maclean

My hon. Friend makes a good point but I am not relying on that. It is wrong in principle to go down the route suggested by the hon. Member for Glanford and Scunthorpe.

New clause 22 proposes to make it a criminal offence to enter land equipped for the purpose of digging for a wild animal. That proposal is unworkable because until a person actually engaged in digging for a wild animal, there would be no positive means of determining his purpose in entering the land as a trespasser. It would not be acceptable to make it an offence for a person simply to walk on to someone else's property carrying a spade, for example, but that is what the provision would mean. If damage is caused to the land by digging activity, that could constitute an offence; indeed, it is already an offence under the Criminal Damage Act 1971.

Mr. Morley

Does the Minister think that it is normal activity to go strolling around people's land equipped with a spade?

Mr. Maclean

It may not be normal activity for many people to stroll around the countryside carrying a spade, although I can think of some who have done it. [Interruption.] Hon. Members acknowledge that they have done it. It is already an offence to dig out wild animals. It is nonsense to suggest that the police should anticipate that someone may be about to do that.

Mr. Michael

Will the Minister give way?

Mr. Maclean

No. The hon. Gentleman can make his own speech in his own time. I must make progress.

New clause 23 seeks to make it an offence for a pack of hounds to be in a field in which there are sheep. Currently, a pack of hounds is one of several exemptions to the general provisions in the Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953, which makes it an offence for an owner to allow his dog to be at large in a field or enclosure in which there are sheep. I am not aware that packs of hounds, as opposed to any other type of dogs also exempted by the law, pose such a particular threat to sheep that would justify an amendment to the 1953 Act.

New clause 24 seeks to create a new offence in circumstances in which an owner allows his dog to enter private property and injure an animal. The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 already creates wide-ranging and effective powers in respect of dogs which are dangerously out of control or injure any person. At the same time, under the Dogs Act 1871, magistrates courts have the power to make a control order over a dog that is considered dangerous —a dog that attacks people or animals. Such an order may specify how the control should be exercised—for instance, by requiring a dog to be muzzled or kept on a lead or excluded from specific places such as school playgrounds. I do not consider it necessary to introduce additional controls of the sort envisaged in the new clause.

Some of the proposals seek to criminalise simple trespass per se. Unless there are significant aggravated factors, such as disruption of a lawful activity or threatening behaviour or intimidation, trespass should not be caught by the criminal law but should remain a matter for the civil law. As I have stressed, the powers are not solely about hunting: they are about the disruption of any lawful activity in which people may be engaged. They are entirely even-handed in their effect.

I want to speak to Government amendments Nos. 186 and 187. I said in Committee that I would give careful consideration to the proposals to tackle the nuisance caused by groups who trespass on private land to indulge in the criminal activity of illegal hare coursing, terrorising local people in the process. I congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Hertfordshire, North (Mr. Heald) on his persistence in Committee in coming up with amendment after amendment to try to focus more carefully on the mischief involved. My hon. Friend was of considerable help to the Government and I must give him most of the credit for coming up with the eventual solution.

We have now produced amendments Nos. 186 and 187, which are amendments to the Game Act 1831 and the equivalent Scottish legislation, the Game (Scotland) Act 1832. They will increase the fine maxima for offences of trespass in search or pursuit of game, which will cover the evil of hare coursing. For England and Wales, where the mischief is more of a problem than in Scotland, we shall give the courts a specific power under the Game Laws (Amendment) Act 1960, so that when convicting a person of more serious poaching offences, they can order the forfeiture of vehicles that have been used to commit or facilitate the commission of the offence.

The measures represent an appropriate response to a distressing and intrusive phenomenon. I hope that they will have a welcome deterrent effect. I hope that they will be welcomed by hon. Members on both sides of the House as, in Committee, Opposition Members were keen to introduce them.

Mr. Maclennan

For the avoidance of doubt, will the Minister say a word about the Government's intentions regarding Scotland? His reply to my right hon. Friend the Member for Berwick-upon-Tweed (Mr. Beith) was a little misleading. The Minister suggested that it was a matter for Scotland as to whether the provisions on disruptive trespass would apply in Scotland. As I understand it, the Government have tabled an amendment to delete the application of the measures to Scotland—amendment No. 28, which will be considered later.

Mr. Maclean

It is a matter for the Secretary of State for Scotland whether or not he wishes the powers to apply in Scotland. He does not consider it necessary for the confiscation power to apply in Scotland at present. If a time comes when he considers it to be necessary, no doubt he will introduce the relevant Scottish legislation.

Clause 58 is a sensible, balanced measure that will be of help to all those who wish to participate lawfully in any activity in the countryside and do not wish to have it disrupted by people of whatever nature or persuasion who want to disrupt it. The Government amendments introduce proposals to deal with the mischief of illegal hare coursing which I believe will be welcomed by hon. Members on both sides of the House. I commend the amendments to the House.

Mr. Heald

Farmers in north Hertfordshire have been frightened by gangs of men coming up to bet on illegal hare coursing, who threatened the farmers and their wives. Gangs come up for the weekend and drive their four-wheel drive vehicles on to the land, often with shotguns hanging out of the windows. They shoot out of the windows of their vehicles, shout and scream. When they are approached by farmers or the local police, they mouth abuse and make threats. On occasions, haystacks have mysteriously burnt down a few days after a farmer has intervened, windscreens have been smashed and so on. It is a public order issue.

In Committee, I tabled a large number of amendments designed to increase the penalties for what are basically poaching offences and to allow the courts to confiscate the motor vehicles used to commit such offences. In Committee, my hon. Friend the Minister said that he would consider my amendments and, true to his word, he has returned on Report with Government amendments which I am perfectly satisfied deal with a major problem. I thank my hon. Friend for the seriousness with which he has dealt with the matter and for the result that he has produced.

I thank also the Police Federation, the Country Landowners Association and the National Farmers Union for all the support that they gave me in tabling my amendments in Committee. I just want to say thank you very much to them all.

Mr. Andrew Bowden (Brighton, Kemptown)

I support new clauses 21 and 22. I make it clear that I totally condemn violence and intimidation by a minority of animal extremists and huntsmen. Both activities are totally unacceptable. It is on record that more huntsmen have been found guilty of acts of violence while involved in hunts than animal extremists, but both must be clearly and roundly condemned.

In dispute is our rule of law, which the House surely accepts must be fair and equitable. On 21 January, my noble Friend the Minister of State, Lord Ferrers, stated in a letter to the hon. Member for Streatham (Mr. Hill): The new powers would protect anyone whose lawful activity was disrupted by trespassers whoever they might be. In the House, my hon. Friend the Minister said that the powers apply to everyone equally. In practice, that is not true. For an offence to be committed, it will have to be proved that the person was trespassing and that he intended —that is the key word—to obstruct, disrupt or intimidate.

In recent years, there have been scores of cases in which hounds and huntsmen invaded private gardens, property and farmland. To prove such cases is virtually impossible. I shall illustrate that with a specific example, given in a letter from a lady living in Petersfield: In October 1992, we had foxhounds riot through our garden … When a hunt official finally arrived, he was rude and arrogant and even appeared to think that the incident was funny … I dread to think what could have happened had my animals been free and dozing in the autumn sunshine as they usually do … There is no excuse for them to trespass, and claiming that they cannot control their dogs is a weak excuse and not acceptable. The law requires me to keep my dog under control, which is quite right … Especially in areas such as ours, where there are many sheep, beef and dairy farms and their animals are extremely vulnerable to a pack of rioting dogs … 'For at least six months of the year, I live in fear when I let my domestic animals outside, I do not suppose you could possibly imagine what that feels like. Some hon. Members could not give a damn what those people feel like anyway. But the fact is that, under the proposed legislation, it would be impossible for that lady to take action to protect herself. That is why the law as proposed is not equitable and fair.

Every year, some 11,000 hunts meet. When chasing a defenceless wild animal, the hounds will attempt to follow their quarry wherever it runs, whether to railway lines, roads, private gardens, village streets or nature reserves. Some hon. Members have intervened on colleagues and pretended that hunting or controlling foxes in that way makes a difference to the total fox population. As they and the House know, that is sheer undiluted rubbish. At any one time, there could be anything between 300,000 and 500,000 foxes in this country. The hunts kill at the most 20,000 a year. Hunting makes no difference to the fox population whatever.

I regard blood sports as a cowardly and loathsome activity, but this debate is about justice and fairness. I hope that the House will support the new clauses.

9.30 pm
Mr. Paice

I shall comment quickly on Government amendments Nos. 186 and 187, and follow on from what was said by my hon. Friend the Member for Hertfordshire, North (Mr. Heald). I echo what the Minister said about my hon. Friend's amendments, to which I have added my name although I was not a member of the Standing Committee.

The problems to which my hon. Friend referred are widespread throughout East Anglia. They are not unique to north Hertfordshire. In my constituency every Sunday, gangs of people are illegally coursing. It is necessary for us to come to the House and persuade the Government to increase the penalties because, every week, there are people out coursing who the previous week were in court and fined a pathetic £150, or something of that order, which compares unfavourably with the bets that are laid on their dogs every Sunday morning. It is quite commonplace for bets of £1,000, £2,000 or £3,000 to be wagered, which makes the small fines insignificant and simply part of the occupational hazard. The proposed measures will be welcomed by magistrates, because they wanted the power to confiscate vehicles—something which the magistrates in Cambridgeshire asked for—and by the police, because it will improve the morale of the police who go out and try to arrest those individuals or gangs, when they are coursing illegally, and find it demoralising to arrest them week after week knowing full well that any prosecution will end up with a derisory fine. Most important, the new measures will be welcomed by the many farm owners, landowners and their employees, who suffer intimidation, victimisation and, sometimes, violence at the hands of those gangs. I, too, express my thanks on behalf of my constituents for the fact that the Government have introduced the amendments.

Mr. Roger Gale (Thanet, North)

It gives me no pleasure to have to oppose our own Ministers. I am, as is well known, opposed to the hunt. I voted against it in the past and will do so at every opportunity that I am afforded in future. But, equally, I hold no brief for those who indulge in illegal activity, violence and intimidation.

I welcome the Government's proposals in so far as they go, but they do not go as far as my hon. Friend the Minister and my right hon. and learned Friend the Home Secretary claim. They afford considerable protection to those who seek to hunt. They afford no protection whatever in real terms to those people who wish to enjoy their land without the hunt trampling over it.

I shall have to detain the House for a few moments because I want to place on record details of one or two more cases of people who have written to me. They are the type of cases that I hope my hon. Friend the Member for Upminster (Sir N. Bonsor) will be proud to endorse.

From Badger cottage in Hampshire, Eric Ashby, who won the MBE for his services to wildlife, wrote to me on 22 March: We have a 10 acre wildlife sanctuary here in the New Forest and have banned the hunts from trespassing for very many years. Eventually, after many incursions, some years ago we obtained a Court Injunction against the New Forest Hounds, but as the Masters have all been changed we no longer have the advantage of the Injunction. We have a badger sett on our boundary and several hound visits have reduced numbers and since the Injunction expired we had within a few weeks three serious invasions of hounds. Now the once thriving badger sett has declined so much that the sett is no longer occupied. But even worse, our seven rescued foxes in their grass pens, have been so traumatised that even people talking loudly on the road outside of our boundary frightens them, reminding them that a possible hunt visit might be starting. This year we already have over 50 families hoping to see and stroke at least one or two of the foxes as they used to be able to do. Now great care has to be taken to persuade them to come to strangers, this is a great strain on us as we do want each visit to be a success. In the past all our foxes would welcome visitors, coming running to meet them with tails wagging. All that has gone. It really is a terrible situation we now find ourselves in. If hounds are making their way towards our property, hunt followers line our boundary, and the sound of shouting, cracking whips and galloping horses and hounds added together drives our poor foxes frantic … The situation has become quite unacceptable and we dread the thought that we shall have to undergo another season. That was this year. In 1992, Eric Ashby wrote: Our foxes were even more panic stricken than when the buckhounds invaded eight days ago, they were climbing the fences, tearing at the wire, running around as if demented. This evening they appear completely exhausted—and so are we This has been going on for a long time. In 1991, he wrote: It is not right and fair that we should be subject to the stress and worry of it all, plus the shyness of our badgers and our foxes being now so wary and fearful of strangers owing to hunt disturbance. This is real damage to our way of life and to our animals. Four breeding seasons… have now gone by without any badger cubs being born in our natural badger sett. A letter from Essendon Hill in Hertfordshire states: I have a 10½ acre small holding in the village with 3 sheep, 2 goats, 2 pigs, a Shetland pony, pigmy donkey, 40 chickens and six doves. The whole affair is run for the benefit of David, a profoundly handicapped Down's syndrome 7½ year old boy. The writer says that he is the boy's custodian and father. The letter states in respect of an incident: I raced to the scene shouting and hollering—the dogs had ripped the backside out of the deer but it was still very much alive. I let the dogs finish the job—the poor animal screaming. From Eyton, Leominster in Herefordshire, a letter about the Ludlow hunt states: I could see my own animals just fleeing in terror … and many more were chased in pure terror down my long drive … We were met with what I can only describe as arrogant indifference from the Master of the hounds—we were barely acknowledged when I told him how undisciplined I thought the hounds were as not one had obeyed the horn or the calling of the 'whipper-in' … Some of my animals were stuck … in hedges and had to be pulled out backwards". The letter continues in a similar vein.

A letter from Pett Bottom in Canterbury states: To my knowledge our land has been invaded by the East Kent Hunt on at least six separate occasions. I have a stack of such letters which go on and on. Each one is from a person who wanted to enjoy his own property in peace, without having a hunt trample all over it.

When the measure was first mooted, long before the Bill was published, I wrote to my right hon. and learned Friend the Home Secretary because I and the all-party animal welfare group, which I have the privilege to chair, were concerned about whether the measure would be even handed. I wrote on 8 November last year. On 29 November my right hon. and learned Friend replied: The proposals do not apply solely to any specific group of people. The purpose, of the proposed legislation is to provide protection for those engaging in lawful activities, whoever and whatever they may be, from trespassers using disruptive behaviour. Let us keep that letter on one side for the moment.

On 24 January this year, my right hon. and learned Friend wrote to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Social Security: We therefore also take the view that it is for landowners, including local authorities, to choose whether or not to allow hunting on their land". Are local authorities to be given the right under the Bill to choose whether to allow huntsmen to cross their land? The letter continues: It is quite unacceptable for hunters or hunt saboteurs—or anyone else—to assume that they have the right to enter private land without the occupier's permission. The new powers, outlined in my earlier reply, would protect anyone whose lawful activity was disrupted by trespassers, whoever they may be. It is clear that my right hon. and learned Friend believes that the clauses in the Bill as it stands afford protection to all, not only to some. Indeed, to be fair, my hon. Friend the Minister reaffirmed that tonight.

A letter to the hon. Member for Glanford and Scunthorpe (Mr. Morley) on 11 February stated: Where hunters commit other offences, such as criminal damage, the general criminal law applies. My hon. Friend the Minister wrote to me on 21 March and said that aggravated trespass will deal with the activities of those who deliberately try and disrupt or obstruct a perfectly lawful activity or intimidate those involved in that activity". However, for hunters, like hunt protesters, the letter said: unless they enter that land with the intent to obstruct or disrupt a lawful activity, then they will not have committed the offence of aggravated trespass. All that is absolutely clear and, indeed, that is precisely what my hon. Friend the Minister has said tonight.

I shall return to the letter of 29 November from my right hon. and learned Friend the Home Secretary. It said: The proposals do not apply solely to any specific group of people. The purpose of the proposed legislation is to provide protection for those engaging in lawful activities whoever and whatever they may be". In other words, my right hon. and learned Friend and my hon. Friend the Minister believe that the Bill is even-handed.

I have taken counsel's opinion. I am not at liberty to name him, but I am at liberty to say—[HON. MEMBERS: "Name him."] I shall not, only because I have not sought the man's permission to name him. [HON. MEMBERS: "You should have."] Perhaps I should have, but let me quote what he says; if, in due course, he reads the report of the debate and chooses to make his name known, it would seem to be entirely proper. My hon. Friend the Member for Upminster is a very learned silk. I went to the Queen's Counsel and sought his advice, because my right hon. and learned Friend is also a learned silk, I am not a lawyer and I wanted to match legal brain power with legal brain power. The counsel's opinion was: You ask three questions: Does the Bill at present reflect the stated intentions of the Home Secretary? Answer: Yes, and no."—[Interruption.] Fortunately, I was not-paying the bill—

The clause will, so far as the criminal law can be effective,"—

Sir Nicholas Bonsor

Will my hon. Friend give way?

Mr. Gale

No. The opinion continues: The clause will, so far as the criminal law can be effective, protect landowners and others lawfully on the land from trespassers using disruptive behaviour. The draftsman has chosen to make the offence, not one of strict liability but requiring the prosecution to prove mens rea. This obviously makes it more difficult to bring home a conviction. It will obviously be easier to persuade a Court that hunt saboteurs intend the necessary consequences of their actions, than it will be to demonstrate an intent by the hunts to do so. Indeed I think it would be difficult to obtain a conviction against a hunt which is trespassing. Would the suggested new clause reflect the stated intentions of the Home Secretary? Answer: No. It would not be evenhanded. It is focused almost exclusively on the hunts.

Mr. Alex Carlile

Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Mr. Gale

I have said no once. We are short of time.

Hon. Members

He is a QC.

Mr. Alex Carlile

I do not want to enter into a contest of lawyers, but does the hon. Gentleman really believe that it is right to render people liable to punishment even by imprisonment if they commit an act inadvertently?

Mr. Gale

I am grateful to the hon. and learned Gentleman—

Mr. Michael Colvin (Romsey and Waterside)

Answer the question.

9.45 pm
Mr. Gale

I shall answer the question. I am grateful to the hon. and learned Gentleman for placing in order a comment that I might otherwise not have been able to make. I do not propose to support the new clause tonight. [HON. MEMBERS: "Why not?"] I shall not support it because I have tabled two amendments to a later part of the Bill, which I intend to move tomorrow night, if necessary, and to press to a vote, unless I can secure some form of undertaking from my hon. Friend.

My amendments are based on the counsel's opinion, which said: Q.3 Is there a reasonably simple way of amending clause 52, to reflect the intentions of the Home Secretary or otherwise? A.3 Yes. 'A person commits the offence of aggravated trespass if he trespasses on land in the open air, and in relation to any lawful activity which persons are engaging in or about to engage in on that or adjoining land in the open air which has the effect of" doing various things. That would remove the mens rea, so that is an answer to the hon. and learned Member for Montgomery (Mr. Carlile).

The counsel continued: Since the wording would lessen the degree of criminality, in that it would become a strict"—

Mr. Alex Carlile

Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Mr. Gale


Mr. Carlile

On that very point?

Hon. Members

Go on.

Mr. Gale

Let me finish, and then I shall give way." Since the wording would lessen the degree of criminality, in that it would become a strict liability offence, I would amend sub-clause 3 to make the penalty non-imprisonable. The benefit of making the offence one of strict liability will be more nearly to equate the level of criminal responsibility between the huntsman and hunt saboteur.

Mr. Carlile

Does the hon. Gentleman realise that one consequence of his proposal would be that if, for example, I happened to lose control of my car because it burst a tyre, and it went through his hedge into his garden, I would be guilty of his suggested criminal offence? Surely that is an absurd proposition of law. Yet it follows clearly from the words that he read out, to which I listened with extreme care.

Mr. Gale

That would be an absurd proposition, and it is not what my amendment suggests.

I realise that there are many hon. Members who will choose to rubbish any suggestion made tonight or in future to try to make the measure—half of which most of us support—more even-handed. However, I must tell the Home Secretary and the Minister that I entirely accept the possibility that the new clause may be flawed. I am also prepared to accept that there are likely to be differences of opinion between lawyers and that my amendments, which may or may not be debated tomorrow night, may not be perfect either.

However, I am certain that the Home Secretary has given a clear undertaking that he intended to introduce even-handed legislation, and that the Minister of State has expressed his belief that the legislation is even-handed. I am equally certain that not one animal welfare organisation believes that it is even handed. Many people believe that the measure as it stands is likely to prove a legal dog's breakfast that will make the Dangerous Dogs Act 1989 pale into insignificance—we heard some intimation of that a few moments ago.

I seek from the Minister, and hope to obtain, a clear confirmation that he will take the idea away and consider it with the Home Secretary, and if necessary introduce an amendment in another place that will make. the Bill the even-handed legislation that we all believe is necessary.

Mr. Michael

I commend the courage of some Conservative Members, such as the hon. Member for Thanet, North (Mr. Gale), who have sought to inject balance into an ill-considered part of the Bill. There may be deficiencies in the new clauses or in the amendments tabled by the hon. Member for Thanet, North, but there are also certainly failings in the Bill as it stands.

Unlike some of his Back Benchers, the Minister has not sought to condemn or to deal with hunts that disrupt lawful activities, as he has sought to tackle those who seek to disrupt hunts. The lack of balance lies in the fact that opponents of hunting can be arrested because a police officer thinks that they intend to do something. They can be banned from returning to an area for three months. That is more draconian than what happens to those who offend by rape, violence or other serious offences.

In Committee, hon. Members who support hunting said that the code of conduct for masters of hunts would prevent the irresponsibility that has been well documented by hon. Members on both sides of the House, the League against Cruel Sports and others. All we seek is balance. Those matters are not being dealt with by the Bill, whereas the disruption of hunting is. If the code of conduct is so stringent, no responsible hunt would be at risk from the new clause.

With regard to the new clause relating to badgers, the Minister ridiculed the real problem and ignored the fact that people have been able to use a gap in the law to dig for badgers and pretend that they have been doing other things. Those are two gaps in the law which need to be addressed. They are addressed by new clauses 21 and 22 and that is why we should support both of them.

Sir Nicholas Bonsor

I had not intended to speak, but I have been provoked into doing so by my hon. Friend the Member for Thanet, North (Mr. Gale). There are three short points that need to be put on the record. First, those who support the new clause, which proposes to attack hunting, are clearly not capable of distinguishing between an inadvertent act of trespass and a deliberate act of trespass to disrupt the lawful pursuit of someone else. It is only the latter that the new clause seeks to address. In addressing the problem, the new clause is even-handed in its treatment of those who participate in such activities, and any argument to the contrary is ill-founded.

Secondly, it was alleged that much of the violence has come from the hunting side. I certainly accept that some people have been successfully prosecuted for violence in those circumstances. However, there is a clear distinction, which fair hon. Members will accept, between those who are pursuing a lawful pursuit, who are being harried, chased and attacked by others and who retaliate in a way which is not allowed under the law but which is the result of extreme provocation, and those who pursue others and attack them deliberately in order to make it impossible for them to carry out their lawful activities. The latter is indulged in by hunt saboteurs, and members of the hunt who have been convicted of violence are convicted only in circumstances in which there has been extreme provocation. I am not saying that that is an excuse. It is not an excuse in law, but it is a distinction.

Thirdly, I come to the Queen's Counsel's opinion that my hon. Friend said he had received—I have no doubt that he received it. It would be interesting to know who that QC was. It would also be interesting to know who paid for the opinion, as my hon. Friend told us that he did not. I do not think that there is any value in the opinion because, as any lawyer knows, the value that comes out of an opinion depends on the brief that has gone in to instruct it. If the brief went in from an organisation such as the League against Cruel Sports, it would be a case of rubbish in, rubbish out.

Question put, That the clause be read a Second time:—

The House divided: Ayes 248, Noes 303.

Division No. 196] 9.53 pm
Abbott, Ms Diane Corston, Ms Jean
Adams, Mrs Irene Cousins, Jim
Ainger, Nick Cummings, John
Ainsworth, Robert (Cov'try NE) Cunningham, Jim (Covy SE)
Allen, Graham Dafis, Cynog
Alton, David Dalyell, Tam
Anderson, Donald (Swansea E) Darling, Alistair
Anderson, Ms Janet (Ros'dale) Davidson, Ian
Armstrong, Hilary Davies, Bryan (Oldham C'tral)
Ashton, Joe Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli)
Austin-Walker, John Davies, Ron (Caerphilly)
Banks, Tony (Newham NW) Denham, John
Barnes, Harry Dewar, Donald
Barron, Kevin Dixon, Don
Battle, John Dobson, Frank
Bayley, Hugh Donohoe, Brian H.
Beckett, Rt Hon Margaret Dowd, Jim
Bell, Stuart Dunnachie, Jimmy
Benn, Rt Hon Tony Eagle, Ms Angela
Bennett, Andrew F. Enright, Derek
Benton, Joe Etherington, Bill
Bermingham, Gerald Evans, John (St Helens N)
Berry, Roger Ewing, Mrs Margaret
Betts, Clive Fatchett, Derek
Blair, Tony Faulds, Andrew
Blunkett, David Field, Frank (Birkenhead)
Boateng, Paul Fisher, Mark
Bowden, Andrew Flynn, Paul
Boyes, Roland Foster, Rt Hon Derek
Bradley, Keith Foulkes, George
Bray, Dr Jeremy Fraser, John
Brown, Gordon (Dunfermline E) Fyfe, Maria
Brown, N. (N'c'tle upon Tyne E) Galbraith, Sam
Burden, Richard Galloway, George
Byers, Stephen Gapes, Mike
Caborn, Richard Garrett, John
Callaghan, Jim George, Bruce
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge) Gerrard, Neil
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V) Godman, Dr Norman A.
Campbell-Savours, D. N. Golding, Mrs Llin
Cann, Jamie Gordon, Mildred
Chisholm, Malcolm Graham, Thomas
Clapham, Michael Grant, Bemie (Tottenham)
Clark, Dr David (South Shields) Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Clarke, Eric (Midlothian) Grocott, Bruce
Clarke, Tom (Monklands W) Gunnell, John
Clelland, David Hain, Peter
Clwyd, Mrs Ann Hall, Mike
Coffey, Ann Hanson, David
Connarty, Michael Hattersley, Rt Hon Roy
Cook, Frank (Stockton N) Henderson, Doug
Cook, Robin (Livingston) Hendron, Dr Joe
Corbett, Robin Heppell, John
Corbyn, Jeremy Hill, Keith (Streatham)
Hinchliffe, David Morris, Rt Hon J.(Aberavon)
Hoey, Kate Mowlam, Marjorie
Hogg, Norman (Cumbernauld) Mudie, George
Home Robertson, John Mullin, Chris
Hood, Jimmy Murphy, Paul
Hoon, Geoffrey O'Brien, Michael (N W'Shire)
Howarth, George (Knowsley N) O'Brien, William (Normanton)
Howells, Dr. Kim (Pontypridd) O'Hara, Edward
Hoyle, Doug Olner, William
Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N) O'Neil, Martin
Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N) Parry, Robert
Hughes, Roy (Newport E) Patchett, Terry
Hume, John Pendry, Tom
Hutton, John Pickthall, Colin
Ingram, Adam Pike, Peter L.
Jackson, Glenda (H'stead) Pope, Greg
Jackson, Helen (Shef'ld, H) Powell, Ray (Ogmore)
Jamieson, David Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lew'm E)
Janner, Greville prentice, Gordon (Pendle)
Jones, Ieuan Wyn (Ynys Môn) Prescott, John
Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C) Primarolo, Dawn
Jones, Lynne (B'ham S O) Purchase, Ken
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd, SW) Quin, Ms Joyce
Jowell, Tessa Randall, Stuart
Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald Raynsford, Nick
Keen, Alan Reid, Dr John
Kennedy, Jane (Lpool Brdgn) Robertson, George (Hamilton)
Khabra, Piara S. Robinson, Geoffrey (Co'trt NW)
Kilfedder, Sir James Roche, Mrs. Barbara
Kilfoyle, Peter Rogers, Allan
Kinnock, Rt Hon Neil (Islwyn) Rooker, Jeff
Lestor, Joan (Eccles) Rooney, Terry
Lewis, Terry Ross, Emie (Dundee W)
Livingstone, Ken Rowlands, Ted
Lloyd, Tony (Stretford) Ruddock, Joan
Llwyd, Elfyn Sedgemore, Brian
Loyden, Eddie Sheerman, Barry
Lynne, Ms Liz Sheldon, Rt Hon Robert
McAllion, John Short, Clare
McAvoy, Thomas Skinner, Dennis
McCartney, Ian Smith, Andrew (Oxford E)
Macdonald, Calum Smith, C. (Isl'ton S & F'sbury)
McFall, John Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
McGrady, Eddie Soley, Clive
McKelvey, William Spearing, Nigel
Mackinlay, Andrew Spellar, John
McLeish, Henry Squire, Rachel (Dunfermline W)
McMaster, Gordon Steinberg, Gerry
McNamara, Kevin Stevenson, George
McWilliam, John Stott, Roger
Madden, Max Strang, Dr. Gavin
Mahon, Alice Taylor, Mrs Ann (Dewsbury)
Mallon, Seamus Vaz, Keith
Mendelson, Peter Walker, Rt Hon Sir Harold
Marek, Dr John Walley, Joan
Marshall, David (Shettleston) Wardell, Gareth (Gower)
Marshall, Jim (Leicester, S) Wareing, Robert N
Martin, Michael J. (Springburn) Watson, Mike
Martlew, Eric Welsh, Andrew
Maxton, John Williams, Rt Hon Alan (Sw'n w)
Meacher, Michael Williams, Alan W (Carmarthen)
Meale, Alan Wilson, Brian
Michael, Alun Winnick, David
Michie, Bill (Sheffield Heeley) Wise, Audrey
Milburn, Alan Worthington, Tony
Miller, Andrew Wray, Jimmy
Mitchell, Austin (Gt Grimsby) Wright, Dr Tony
Moonie, Dr Lewis Young, David (Bolton SE)
Morgan, Rhodri
Morley, Elliot Tellers for the Ayes:
Morris, Rt Hon A. (Wy'nshawe) Mr. Eric Illsley and
Morris, Estelle (B'ham Yardley) Mr. Dennis Turner.
Ainsworth, Peter (East Surrey) Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham)
Aitken, Jonathan Arnold, Sir Thomas (Hazel Grv)
Alison, Rt Hon Michael (Selby) Ashby, David
Allason, Rupert (Torbay) Aspinwall, Jack
Amess, David Atkins, Robert
Ancram, Michael Atkinson, David (Bour'mouth E)
Atkinson, Peter (Hexham) Fishburn, Dudley
Baker, Rt Hon K. (Mole Valley) Forman, Nigel
Baker, Nicholas (Dorset North) Forsyth, Michael (Strirling)
Baldry, Tony Forth, Eric
Banks, Matthew (Southport) Fox, Dr Liam (Woodspring)
Banks, Robert (Harrogate) Fox, Sir Marcus (Shipley)
Bates, Michael Freeman, Rt Hon Roger
Beggs, Roy French, Douglas
Beith, Rt Hon A. J. Gallie, Phil
Bellingham, Henry Gardiner, Sir George
Bendall, Vivian Garel-Jones, Rt Hon Tristan
Beresford, Sir Paul Garnier, Edward
Biffen, Rt Hon John Gill, Christopher
Blackburn, Dr John G. Gillan, Cheryl
Body, Sir Richard Goodlad, Rt Hon Alastair
Bonsor, Sir Nicholas Goodson-Wickes, Dr Charles
Booth, Hartley Gorman, Mrs Teresa
Boswell, Tim Gorst, John
Bottomley, Peter (Eltham) Grant, Sir A.(Cambs SW)
Bottomley, Rt Hon Virginia Greenway, Harry (Ealing N)
Bowis, John Greenway, John (Ryedale)
Boyson, Rt Hon Sir Rhodes Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth, N)
Brandreth, Gyles Gummer, Rt Hon John Selwyn
Brazier, Julian Hague, William
Bright, Graham Hamilton, Neil (Tatton)
Brooke, Rt Hon Peter Hampson, Dr Keith
Brown, M. (Brigg & Cl'thorpes) Hanley, Jeremy
Browning, Mrs. Angela Hannam, Sir John
Bruce, Ian (S Dorset) Hargreaves, Andrew
Budgen, Nicholas Harris, David
Burns, Simon Harvey, Nick
Burt, Alistair Haselhurst, Alan
Butcher, John Hawkins, Nick
Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE) Hawksley, Warren
Carlile, Alexander (Montgomry) Hayes, Jerry
Carlisle, John (Luton North) Heald, Oliver
Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln) Heathcoat-Amory, David
Carrington, Matthew Hendry, Charles
Carttiss, Michael Hicks, Robert
Cash, William Hill, James (Southampton Test)
Chapman, Sydney Hogg, Rt Hon Douglas (G'tham)
Churchill, Mr Horam, John
Clappison, James Hordern, Rt Hon Sir Peter
Clark, Dr Michael (Rochford) Howard, Rt Hon Michael
Clarke, Rt Hon Kenneth (Ruclif) Howarth, Alan (Strat'rd-on-A)
Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey Howell, Rt Hon David (G'dford)
Coe, Sebastian Hughes Robert G. (Harrow W)
Colvin, Michael Hunt, Rt Hon David (Wirral W)
Congdon, David Hunter, Andrew
Conway, Derek Hurd, Rt Hon Douglas
Coombs, Simon (Swindon) Jackson, Robert (Wantage)
Cope, Rt Hon Sir John Jenkin, Bemard
Couchman, James Jessel, Toby
Cran, James Johnson Smith, Sir Geoffrey
Currie, Mrs Edwina (S D'by'ire) Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N)
Curry, David (Skipton & Ripon) Jones, Nigel (Cheltenham)
Davies, Quentin (Stamford) Jones, Robert B. (W Hertfdshr)
Davis, David (Boothferry) Jopling, Rt Hon, Michael
Day, Stephen Kellett-Bowman, Dame Elaine
Deva, Nirj Joseph Key, Robert
Devlin, Tim King, Rt Hon Tom
Dickens, Geoffrey Kirkwood, Timothy
Dorrell, Stephen Kirkwood, Archy
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James Knapman, Roger
Dover, Den Knight, Mrs Angela (Erewash)
Duncan, Alan Knight, Greg (Derby N)
Duncan-Smith, Iain Knight, Dame Jill (Bir'm E'st'n)
Dunn, Bob Knox, Sir David
Dykes, Hugh Kynoch, George (Kincardine)
Eggar, Tim Lait, Mrs Jacqui
Elletson, Harold Lang, Rt Hon Ian
Evans, David (Welwyn Hatfield) Lawrence, Sir Ivan
Evans, Jonathan (Brecon) Legg, Barry
Evans, Nigel (Ribble Valley) Leigh, Edward
Evans, Roger (Monmouth) Lennox-Boyd, Mark
Evennett, David Lester, Jim (Broxtowe)
Faber, David Lidington, David
Fabricant, Michael Lightbown, David
Fairbairn, Sir Nicholas Lilley, Rt Hon Peter
Field, Barry (Isle of Wight) Lloyd, Rt Hon Peter (Fareham)
Lord, Michael Shersby, Michael
Luff, Peter Sims, Roger
Lyell, Rt Hon Sir Nicholas Skeet, Sir Trevor
MacGregor, Rt Hon John Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)
MacKay, Andrew Smyth, Rev Martin (Belfast S)
Maclean, David Soames, Nicholas
Maclennan, Robert Spicer, Sir James (W Doret)
McLoughlin, Patrick Spicer, Michael (S Worcs)
McNair-Wilson, Sir Patrick Spink, Dr Robert
Madel, Sir David Spring, Richard
Maginnis, Ken Sproat, Iain
Maitland, Lady Olga Squire, Robin (Hornchurch)
Major, Rt Hon John Stanley, Rt Hon Sir John
Malone, Gerald Steen, Anthony
Mans, Keith Stephen, Michael
Marland, Paul Stewart, Allan
Marlow, Tony Streeter, Gary
Marshall, John (Hendon S) Sumberg, David
Martin, David (Portsmouth S) Sweeney, Walter
Mates, Michael Sykes, John
Mawhinney, Rt Hon Dr Brian Tapsell, Sir Peter
Merchant, Piers Taylor,Ian (Esher)
Michie, Mrs Ray (Argyll Bute) Taylor, Rt Hon John D. (Strgfd)
Mills, Iain Taylor, John M. (Solihull)
Mitchell, Andrew (Gedling) Temple-Morris, Peter
Mitchell, Sir David (Hants NW) Thomason, Roy
Moate, Sir Roger Thompson, Sir Donald (C'er V)
Molyneaux, Rt Hon James Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N)
Monro, Sir Hector Thornton, Sir Malcolm
Moss, Malcolm Thurnham, Peter
Needham, Richard Townsend, Cyril D. (Bexl'yh'th)
Nelson, Anthony Tracey, Richard
Neubert, Sir Michael Tredinnick, David
Newton, Rt Hon Tony Trend, Michael
Nicholls, Patrick Trimble, David
Nicholson, David (Taunton) Trotter, Neville
Nicholson, Emma (Devon West) Twinn, Dr Ian
Norris, Steve Tyler, Paul
Onslow, Rt Hon Sir Cranley Vaughan, Sir Gerard
Oppenheim, Phillip Viggers, Peter
Ottaway, Richard Walden, George
Page, Richard Walker, A. Cecil (Belfast N)
Paice, James Walker, Bill (N Tayside)
Patten, Rt Hon John Wallace, James
Pawsey, James Waller, Gary
Peacock, Mrs Elizabeth Wardle, Charles (Bexhill)
Pickles, Eric Waterson, Nigel
Porter, Barry (Wirral S) Watts, John
Porter, David (Waveney) Wells, Bowen
Portillo, Rt Hon Michael Wheeler, Rt Hon Sir John
Redwood, Rt Hon John Whitney, Ray
Renton, Rt Hon Tim Whittingdale, John
Richards, Rod Widdecombe, Ann
Riddick, Graham Wiggin, Sir Jerry
Robathan, Andrew Wilkinson, John
Roberts, Rt Hon Sir Wyn Willetts, David
Robertson, Raymond (Ab'd'n S) Wilshire, David
Robinson, Mark (Somerton) Winterton, Mrs Ann (Congleton)
Roe, Mrs Marion (Broxbourne) Winterton, Nicholas (Macc'f'ld)
Ross, William (E Londonderry) Wolfson, Mark
Rumbold, Rt Hon Dame Angela Wood, Timothy
Ryder, Rt Hon Richard Yeo, Tim
Sackville, Tom Young, Rt Hon Sir George
Scott, Rt Hon Nicholas
Shaw, David (Dover) Teller for the Noes:
Shaw, Sir Giles (Pudsey) Mr. Irvine Patnick and
Shephard, Rt Hon Gillian Mr. James Arbuthnot.
Shepherd, Richard (Aldridge)

Question accordingly negatived.

It being after Ten o'clock, further consideration of the Bill stood adjourned.

Motion made, and Question put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 14 (Exempted business), That, at this day's sitting, the Criminal Justice and Public Order Bill may be proceeded with, though opposed, until any hour.—[Mr. Andrew Mitchell.]

Question agreed to.

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