HC Deb 12 April 1994 vol 241 cc68-86

'.—(1)Where a police officer of or above the rank of superintendent reasonably believes that—

  1. (a) incidents involving serious violence may take place in any locality in his area, and
  2. (b) it is expedient to do so to prevent their occurrence,
he may give an authorisation that the powers to stop and search persons and vehicles conferred by this section shall be exercisable at any place within that locality for a period not exceeding twenty four hours.

(2) The power conferred by subsection (1) above may be exercised by an inspector if he reasonably believes that incidents involving serious violence are imminent and no superintendent is available.

(3) If it appears to the officer who gave the authorisation or to a superintendent that it is expedient to do so, having regard to offences which have, or are reasonably suspected to have, been committed in connection with any incident falling within the authorisation, he may direct that the authorisation shall continue in being for a further six hours.

(4) This section confers on any constable in uniform power—

  1. (a) to stop any pedestrian and search him or anything carried by him for offensive weapons or dangerous instruments;
  2. (b) to stop any vehicle and search the vehicle, its driver and any passenger for offensive weapons or dangerous instruments.

(5) A constable may, in the exercise of those powers, stop any person or vehicle and make any search he thinks fit whether or not he has any grounds for suspecting that the person or vehicle is carrying weapons or articles of that kind.

(6) This section applies (with the necessary modifications) to ships, aircraft and hovercraft as it applies to vehicles.

(7) A person who fails to stop or (as the case may be) to stop the vehicle when required to do so by a constable in the exercise of his powers under this section shall be liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one month or to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale or both.

(8) Any authorisation under this section shall be in writing signed by the officer giving it and shall specify the locality in which and the period during which the powers conferred by this section are exercisable and a direction under subsection (3) above shall also be given in writing or, where that is not practicable, recorded in writing as soon as it is practicable to do so.

(9) Where a vehicle is stopped by a constable under this section, the driver shall be entitled to obtain a written statement that the vehicle was stopped under the powers conferred by this section if he applies for such a statement not later than the end of the period of twelve months from the day on which the vehicle was stopped and similarly as respects a pedestrian who is stopped and searched under this section.

(10) In this section— dangerous instruments" means instruments which have a blade or are sharply pointed; offensive weapon" has the meaning given by section 1(9) of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984; and vehicle" includes a caravan as defined in section 29(1) of the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960.

(11) The powers conferred by this section are in addition to and not in derogation of, any power otherwise conferred.'.— [Mr. Maclean.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

The Minister of State, Home Office (Mr. David Maclean)

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

Mr. Deputy Speaker

With this, it will be convenient to discuss also amendment (a) to the proposed new clause, at end insert— '( ) Subsection (1) above shall not come into force until the Secretary of State has laid an order, subject to affirmative resolution of both Houses of Parliament, specifying the conditions to be satisfied for the powers conferred under this section to be exercised, including:

  1. (a) what may reasonably constitute "a locality";
  2. (b) what would constitute a reasonable belief that incidents involving serious violence may take place.'.

Mr. Maclean

The question of police powers of stop and search has always been a matter of understandable sensitivity. Present police powers to stop and search can be exercised only when a constable has a reasonable suspicion that a person is carrying an offensive weapon or other prohibited article. We continue to believe that that power is the right one for day-to-day circumstances, but are persuaded that the need to meet the test of reasonable suspicion seriously inhibits effective preventive action by the police when they believe that violence is likely to break out.

In Committee, an amendment was tabled that would have given the police powers to stop and search without reasonable suspicion after a violent incident. That was a valiant attempt to introduce a new power, but the amendment struck the wrong balance. It raised familiar concerns about police powers to stop and search, without providing the benefit of enabling the police to take preventive action.

6.30 pm

I undertook to consult the police further about how we could most effectively meet their concerns and the clause is a result of those consultations. My right hon. and learned Friend the Home Secretary and I are grateful to the police for their comments. We also attempted to keep Opposition Members informed as our thinking developed. I am well aware of their concerns and will deal with them in a moment, but I can say that we do not consider that there is a great deal between us on the matter.

Amendment (a) deals with what constitutes "a locality" and a reasonable belief that incidents involving serious violence may take place"— [Interruption.]

Madam Deputy Speaker (Dame Janet Fookes)

Order. It is clear that there is much private conversation in the Chamber. It would be a courtesy to the Minister and to those of us who wish to listen to him if people could be quiet.

Mr. Maclean

Our new power could deal with similar incidents outside this House.

In practice, "locality" and "reasonable belief' will be well understood, but they cannot sensibly be spelt out in more detail in the Bill or in secondary legislation because their precise meaning will depend on the circumstances.

Mr. Alan Howarth (Stratford-on-Avon)

My hon. Friend the Minister and my right hon. and learned Friend the Home Secretary are right to look urgently for ways in which to prevent the appalling assaults on police officers that we have witnessed. However, history and experience show that if men and women in uniform are given powers to deal arbitrarily with their fellow men and women, in all too short a time some will begin to abuse those powers. A Government of a party that lays such stress on personal freedom and believes in protecting the citizen from an oppressive state should not introduce such a measure.

Mr. Maclean

I am disappointed that that is my hon. Friend's view. I can assure him that the power cannot be used arbitrarily or abused because it will be highly circumscribed. It can be used only for a maximum of 24 hours, will have to be authorised by a very senior police officer and will be limited to a defined geographical area. There will be detailed monitoring of the power to ensure that there is no abuse of the type to which my hon. Friend referred.

Mr. David Trimble (Upper Bann)

I am sympathetic to the principle underlying the new clause, but one aspect concerns me. How will a citizen in one of the localities in respect of which direction has been made, where the new powers are operating, know that the new power exists? The reasonable man might be prepared to co-operate with the police—I am sure that most would do so if they were stopped—but if someone were in a hurry, for example, and said no when the policeman tried to stop him, he would have committed an offence although he might not have known that the power existed in the locality at the time. How is the citizen to know that the additional powers are in force in a locality?

Mr. Maclean

I am afraid that we must fall back on ignorantia juris neminen excusat. Some citizens may not realise that many offences exist and that they are committing an offence by what they may think is perfectly legitimate conduct. In all seriousness, I can see no mechanism for declaring that a locality is a certain zone. I will happily consider police proposals aimed at drawing to the attention of people in an area the fact that the powers exist there. I will also happily consider the hon. Gentleman's suggestions if he writes to me.

Mr. Trimble

It is not enough to say that ignorance of the law is no excuse, because, in the situations that the police will be dealing with, some people may be relying on their knowledge of the law—a knowledge that the police have the power only to stop a person if there are reasonable grounds and that they do not have the automatic right to stop people. If someone is relying on their knowledge of the law in general and is doing something that is reasonable, is it right to expose them to committing an offence when they do not know that the law has been changed in the locality for a short time?

Mr. Maclean

If they are relying on their knowledge of the law, that knowledge will be defective when the clause comes into effect because the law will permit the police, in defined localities and if authorised by a senior police officer, to conduct stop-and-search operations for a limited time.

When the power is introduced, the Home Office will take steps to try to draw it to the attention of the public. I suspect that the media will wish to draw attention to the fact that the new powers exist. However, I cannot guarantee that everyone outside a night club or a pub will suddenly realise that the new law applies to them. I cannot even guarantee that for any existing law.

I was telling the House why I did not think that the inclusion of amendment (a) was necessary, although it is well intentioned and sensible. The precise size of the locality will vary according to the circumstances. For example, if the police are concerned about violence outside a pub or a club, the locality specified might be a few streets only. If the police are concerned about the possibility of violence before and after a football match, the locality might be wider.

The concept of "reasonableness" occurs frequently in statute and the courts are well used to interpreting it. We are concerned with a belief, based on sound professional judgment. If a judgment were shown to be arbitrary or irrational, there would be grounds for considering it to be unlawful. Again, that would be a matter for the courts to consider, if a decision were challenged. It would not be right to try to define the concept of "reasonableness" further in legislation.

We accept that fuller elaboration of some operational matters, such as the nature of record-keeping arrangements and how long authorisations should last, will be necessary. Those were the substance of some other Opposition amendments, which were not called. The code of practice on statutory powers of stop and search, issued under section 66 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, is the right place for such elaboration and I can assure the House and the Opposition that we shall want to make the necessary amendments.

Mr. Neil Gerrard (Walthamstow)

The hon. Gentleman suggested that if an irrational decision were taken it could be challenged in court. Can he elaborate? I find it difficult to see how that could be done with a power that lasts for a maximum of 24 hours. By what method could something be put right after the event? It seems that it would be impossible to deal with it through the courts.

Mr. Maclean

Exactly the same method could be used as exists at present. If anyone believes that a servant of the state or the police has acted unlawfully, irrationally or in abuse of his or her powers, the action can be challenged in court.

The hon. Gentleman is questioning whether a group of citizens, who thought that implementation of the power outside a pub, for example, was unnecessary, could have it suspended. I accept that that would require very quick court action. I envisage that, through the power of judicial review, if the police or any police force behaved irrationally a court would judge against them. I care to bet that no other police forces or superintendents would then authorise the power in similar circumstances to those in which the courts had ruled that it was irrational.

On the important question of community relations in respect of the new powers, we understand the anxiety that they might be used to the disadvantage of members of ethnic minority communities. Before tabling the amendment, my right hon. and learned Friend the Home Secretary explained our intention to the chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality. The commission has welcomed the new powers, which it recognises will help prevent racially motivated violence as well as other kinds of violent incidents. It understandably draws attention to the need for effective monitoring to ensure that the powers are not used in a racially discriminatory way, and I can confirm that it is our intention that such monitoring take place.

The police themselves want close monitoring of the use of the powers. They are well aware that effective policing of inner city areas depends on the trust of the communities who live there, and they are as determined as the Government that such trust should not be damaged by heavy-handed or improper use of these powers. It is, therefore, critical that their use is properly monitored to ensure that this does not happen, and I hope that Opposition Members will accept our good faith in that matter as well, as it was part of the substance of their amendments.

Police forces have been required since last April to collect statistics on the ethnic origin of people who are stopped and searched. The figures are to be published as part of each force's package of performance indicators. We intend that separate figures for stops and searches under the new power will also be published in this way.

I commend the new clause to the House and I invite the House to accept it. I hope that, in view of the assurances that I have given, the Opposition will feel that their amendment (a) is not necessary on the face of the Bill.

Mr. Alun Michael (Cardiff, South and Penarth)

I am glad to see that a Labour amendment in Committee has been effective in getting the Government to recognise the need for action against violence on our streets and in a variety of other situations.

I also welcome the positive response of the Minister of State to our offer to seek an acceptable formula for a search power and the exchanges that we have had on this issue. I commend it because it is clear that hon. Members on both sides of the House have made a serious attempt to find a formula that will balance the requirement to provide the power with the safeguards that will reassure those who are concerned about the misuse of the power—a concern already expressed by Back-Bench Members on both sides of the Chamber.

What we need is a power that allows the police to take the initiative and to search people in appropriate circumstances, but which avoids the dangers of the old "sus" laws which did enormous damage to trust and confidence between the police and many local communities.

Having said that, it is only fair to point out that there was no attempt to deal with this issue in the original Bill, and it is one of a series of pieces of evidence that prove beyond all doubt that the present Home Secretary brought forward this ragbag of a Bill without proper care and thought and without addressing the real issues that are so important to individuals, families and communities throughout the country as well as to the police who are at the sharp end of so many serious problems.

I remind the House that the Bill as drafted contained nothing to deal with racial violence, which we have just dealt with, nothing to deal with drugs and drug-related crime, nothing to deal with violence on our streets and nothing to deal with possession of guns or trading in weapons. When the Bill emerges with something to deal with some of these issues, the Labour Members on the Standing Committee, to whose work I pay tribute, will have good reason to feel proud of their work there. The new clause moved by the Minister does the job of providing the power when it is needed. We would all agree, for instance, that when it is known that two gangs are heading for a pre-planned venue for a fight it is desirable for the police to have the power to intervene and to search those in the area of such events and to prevent violence from taking place. It is the general theme of Labour policy that more needs to be done to prevent crime rather than just depending on punishment which can be delivered only after the event when violence has already created victims.

Our new clause in Committee achieved the balance between providing the power and the necessary safeguards in regard to some situations—although only some—because it required the trigger of an objective fact, an event of violence, for the power of search to be used. We said then that we would be willing to consider a preventive power if a clause could be drafted that would include an equally careful formula, balancing power and responsibility.

I believe that the amendments that we have tabled are helpful to the work of the police and helpful in achieving such a balance. They seek to provide in legislation clarity for the superintendent or other senior officer who has to decide to permit the exercise of the power contained in the clause.

The Minister has undertaken to address these issues within the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 rules and to bring formulations before the House, but let me explain the importance of the issues that we addressed in the amendment that has been selected and also in the other amendments, with which there were technical difficulties —not surprisingly, I may say, given the half hour we had in which to meet the deadline for submitting amendments on Friday.

The hon. Member for Stratford-on-Avon (Mr. Howarth) said that we needed to be sure that there was no way in which this power could be arbitrarily used, and he was absolutely right. It is also right that the House should ensure, in the drafting, that that is the case, and that both the House and another place have a chance to scrutinise any limitations on the exercise of the power, so as to be satisfied that such a requirement is met.

The danger with the power of stop and search is that it can be abused. It can be used in a way that is not intended by Parliament. We need a safeguard against such abuse. We all know, from the operation of the "sus" laws and the use of other powers of search, that very often, for instance, young black males will be stopped to a disproportionate extent and that confidence between police and the local community can be undermined or even fail as a result.

6.45 pm

We have seen in recent times the throwing of the "ring of steel" round the City of London. We all recognise its importance in dealing with the serious problem of terrorism and in the avoidance of such incidents if possible. But I venture to suggest that the Metropolitan police, because of their experience in recent years, would have exercised the power a little differently than the City of London police, simply because the experience of the two forces is quite different. The subject of frequent comment has been the surprisingly large number of black drivers who are stopped when it is not generally thought that there is an excessive number of black members of the IRA, yet the IRA is the clear objective of the ring of steel round the City. It is a serious point, and it is recognised by the police as being serious.

It is to ensure that there is no misuse of a power that we all consider desirable for the appropriate circumstances that it is important for the amendments, which the Minister has recognised as being sensible and helpful, to be accepted and properly enshrined in the law.

The Minister said that there should be rigorous ethnic monitoring. The letter in which, on behalf of the three police associations, the chief constable of Hampshire sets out the nature of the clause that they wish to see, says: This power would be subject to rigorous ethnic monitoring and would be an effective measure with which to combat racial violence against the ethnic minority communities. It is an aspiration which we all share, but the requirement for monitoring is not in the new clause as it stands.

As a result of talking to the chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality, I have received the view from him and from that organisation that our suggested amendments are helpful. If the Minister is to accept what we intend in the amendments, and if those intentions are to be in the requirements under which police must exercise this power, we are very close, as the Minister said at the beginning of the debate, to an agreement across the House on both the intention in regard to the new power and the limitations that should be placed on it.

The four amendments that we tabled would not create problems for the police in exercising the powers that they seek. I have spoken to a number of police representatives in the past few days, and the president of the Association of Chief Police Officers has confirmed that he cannot see that our proposal would be restrictive: it allows the power in the Government's new clause and does not impose constraints that would make it unworkable. It would simply put into effect the intention of the police in seeking this power, without allowing them to go beyond the requirements that they seek.

Many police representatives said originally that they would be happy with a six-hour period rather than a 24-hour period. Senior officers have made that comment to me. We have not sought in our amendments to restrict that period, because we think that it is important that there should be flexibility, but that the minimum period possible should be used.

A senior police officer said to me, as recently as yesterday, that the great danger is that the maximum becomes the norm—that one says, "We can give 24 hours; let us give as many hours as possible." That is why we feel that there should be a balancing constraint; that the superintendent or senior officer should act under a constraint of the maximum number of hours consistent with effective use of the power.

A representative of the Police Superintendents Association of England and Wales said to me that it would welcome the clarification that would be provided to its members in exercising that power. It would be clear what Parliament intended. It would be clear that there were constraints on them in exercising those powers.

I refer in passing, as the Minister referred to them positively, to the amendments that were not selected for debate. Amendment (d) requires a record to be kept, in a form prescribed by the Secretary of State, of the full circumstances of every occasion on which the powers in the new clause are exercised and requires a regular review of those records by Her Majesty's inspectorate of constabulary. That would require the co-monitoring by the Commission for Racial Equality and the inspectorate, which is the aspiration and would meet one of the major concerns about the operation of the new clause.

Amendment (c) proposes that the senior officer who allows the exercise of the powers would have oversight of the use of the power and would be responsible for ensuring that a post-operational report and review be submitted to the chief constable or, in the case of the Metropolitan police, the Commissioner, and to the police authority. I think that that is accepted by the Minister as the right way to proceed, because it reminds the person exercising the power that the decision is to be reviewed. Superintendents have said to me that they would have to record their thought processes in reaching the decision and that would be helpful in ensuring that it was done in the way that Parliament intends.

Amendment (b) refers to the use of the power for the minimum number of hours consistent with the effective use of the power. I am sure that that is the right balance to achieve.

Finally, amendment (a) seeks a definition from the Government of what may reasonably constitute a locality and of what would constitute a reasonable belief that incidents involving serious violence may take place. The advice that has been given to us is consistent with what the Minister said—that the courts would decide those matters if they were not decided by Parliament. I ask the House: is it reasonable or right to ask a senior police officer to guess what the courts would describe as being responsible if he exercises the power? I suggest that it is not.

It is the responsibility of Parliament to define a locality, not in a limiting way that says—as the Minister seems to suggest—that it can only be 200 yd in one direction and 300 yd in another, but by stating the considerations that a senior officer should take into account in deciding that the circumstances are right for the power to be exercised. It is only right for Parliament to give guidance on that. I hope that the Minister will accept amendment (a), because that will enshrine the principle that that definition—that expression of intent by Parliament—should be in the legislation.

I welcome the fact that the Minister said that he would take the gist of our four amendments into the guidance that will be provided in the PACE requirements and will be subject to consideration by Parliament. I believe that he has gone a long way towards meeting our concerns in his responses in correspondence and in the debate. We believe, however, that it would be best for the principle that is enshrined in amendment (a) to be in the Bill. We would therefore seek to divide the House if the Minister is unable to accept that amendment.

Mr. Michael Shersby (Uxbridge)

I declare an interest, as I am parliamentary adviser to the Police Federation of England and Wales.

I am sorry that the hon. Member for Cardiff, South and Penarth (Mr. Michael) gave the impression that new clause 124 was Labour-inspired. It was nothing of the kind. It was the result of an all-party initiative, which started out asking for 28 days; it was reduced to seven days; eventually, the Labour party said that it would consider six hours and now we have increased it to 24 hours. That is an example of an effective all-party parliamentary initiative to break the deadlock that has existed for the past decade, in which the police have found it difficult to do their job properly because of the severe restrictions that exist on the stop-and-search powers.

I therefore congratulate the Minister for State, my hon. Friend the Member for Penrith and The Border (Mr. Maclean), on the Government's decision to provide those new proactive powers to search for offensive weapons in carefully defined circumstances, and I must say to the hon. Member for Cardiff, South and Penarth that I am glad to know that the new clause has the support of his colleagues and that he feels that we can now make progress on what has, until now, been a very difficult issue.

The decision to introduce the new clause has been warmly welcomed by the Police Federation and by the other police staff associations. It is the result of a discussion that has taken place, not only with my hon. Friend the Minister a few days before the easter recess, but with successive Home Secretaries, to my certain knowledge, for the past five years, ever since I have been parliamentary adviser to the Police Federation.

I congratulate my hon. Friend the Minister on listening to the advice of the police staff associations and finding a way to enable a senior police officer to authorise the use of powers by a uniformed constable to stop and search persons and vehicles for a period not exceeding 24 hours or, in circumstances where an offence has been, or is reasonably suspected to have been, committed, for a further two hours.

Since 1984, police stop-and-search powers have been prescribed by the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, and they are confined to very narrow and specific circumstances. At present, a police officer must have grounds for suspecting that a person is carrying an offensive weapon before a search can take place in the street and the power to search is limited by the codes of practice which are part of the 1984 Act. If, for example, an officer wishes to search beyond a suspect's outer clothing, that search must take place in a police station.

The problem that confronts the police today, a decade after the enactment of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act, is that there is at present no power to search groups of people, even when the police have grounds to believe that an offensive weapon—a knife, for example—may be carried by some members of the group or that a violent incident is likely or has just taken place. Modern policemen and women throughout the country have to face that situation every day of the week. They need the powers to deal with that situation, especially in relation to knives, which are the bane of the life of every police officer in every part of the country. At present, there is no power to detain a group for searching after such an incident has occurred. Any search in such a situation must be based on suspicion that each individual is carrying a weapon, and that is quite impractical.

In practice, the absence of those powers has caused great difficulties for the police. For that reason, the Police Federation and the other staff associations have repeatedly mentioned the matter to successive Home Secretaries during the past five years and previously. The police need to be able to act to prevent violence. That is what the new clause is all about. They need adequate powers to investigate following an incident and to recover weapons —for example, the weapon or weapons that may have been used in a specific incident.

The new clause enables the police to deal with incidents involving groups of people when trouble is likely to occur or has occurred. An example of that would be the aftermath of a stabbing incident inside or outside a pub. There is widespread concern in the House, and outside, about racially motivated attacks and the activities of racist gangs.

The new powers would enable the police to take action before trouble occurred or to search suspected perpetrators before an incident occurred. Surely it is ridiculous that although the police may have received prior information that trouble is expected at a football match, for example, they lack the power to search fans near the ground although stewards inside the ground can do so.

Some people outside the House may mistakenly take the view that these new powers represent a return to the "sus" law. If they think that, I can reassure them—and, indeed, the hon. Member for Cardiff, South and Penarth who referred to the "sus" law—that that is not so. I think that it is important for the House to recognise, as I am sure the hon. Gentleman does, that the old "sus" law had absolutely nothing whatever to do with stop and search. It was a power given to the police to arrest persons who were suspected of loitering in a public place in order to commit a crime.

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Mr. Michael

I want to reassure the hon. Gentleman. I do not think that we need a lecture about the definition of the "sus" law; we recognise the difference between the powers. But the communities that will be affected and which have an important relationship with the police should understand it precisely. That was the whole point of the intervention by the hon. Member for Stratford-on-Avon (Mr. Howarth); it is a concern which is shared across the House.

Mr. Shersby

I agree with the hon. Gentleman: it is vital that people should understand the powers, and that was the reason for my remarks. It is important to remember that loitering in those circumstances was, in itself, an arrestable offence. Those who will rightly be concerned about these matters will be reassured to know that the new clause has been carefully and narrowly drafted. It permits only the searching of people for weapons, and then only in the specific circumstances to which my hon. Friend the Minister of State referred.

As we have heard, a search has to be authorised by a senior officer. It is subject to a time limit and has to occur in a specific place. I welcome the assurances that my hon. Friend has given that the operation of the time limit and the place where the powers are to be exercised will be dealt with in the codes of practice.

I also believe that there is nothing in the proposed new powers to alarm the ethnic minority communities. Earlier this evening, a number of hon. Members on both sides of the House referred to concern in the ethnic communities. No one should attempt to alarm these communities by giving them the impression that police will use the powers to discriminate against them. On the contrary, the police have been strongly criticised for failing to act when racist gangs have caused trouble in multiracial neighbourhoods. In fact, the new powers will enable the police to act against the troublemakers and protect innocent members of minority groups.

I hope that in the consultation process my hon. Friend will ensure that the local police and community liaison groups are fully aware of the new law and the way in which it will operate. These groups have the very considerable ability to communicate with local councillors and others who work with the police to make sure that people are aware of the way in which the law is supposed to operate.

For those reasons, I strongly support and warmly welcome the new clause. It demonstrates once again that both the Home Office and Ministers are prepared to listen to the expert advice that they receive from the police staff associations. I am particularly pleased that the new clause has come about as a result of considerable discussions between hon. Members on both sides of the House, both in and outside the Standing Committee.

Mr. Maclennan

The power to stop and search has proved extremely controversial and sensitive. I should have preferred the Government to incorporate their proposals in this area much earlier in the proceedings and to bring something forward in the Bill when it was published.

It does not seem to me to be a satisfactory way to legislate to produce a significant amendment to the Bill at a relatively late stage without much open consultation and without giving hon. Members on both sides of the House who well remember the consequences of the old law the opportunity to consult fully about precisely what the Government have in mind. I think it fair to say that it has been a rather hurried process: I share the views of the hon. Member for Stratford-on-Avon (Mr. Howarth), who said that it may be taken ill.

Having looked at the new clause as carefully as I could and having consulted, in the very short time available, as widely as I could, I think that it holds out the prospect of making a power available to the police which could be of value in preventing violent action. I strongly favour prevention and I know that the police also favour that. They are also concerned to ensure that the power should be used only when it is truly required.

I think that the most important matters that the Minister referred to are not included in the Bill, but are those that will be included in the revision of the codes of practice flowing from the Police and Criminal Evidence Act. We will certainly want to look at them.

The powers are plainly intended to be used only in exceptional circumstances. The hon. Member for Uxbridge (Mr. Shersby) referred to the possibility of their being invoked in the event of a perceived threat of violence at a football match. I hope that it is not the intention to use these powers at just any football match. Of course violence often occurs, to a greater or lesser extent, in close proximity to football matches; but there would have to be a particular reason associated with a particular match and locality before it would be appropriate to invoke these powers.

Similarly, the powers should not be invoked on just any Saturday night outside any pub in a rough area of town. I hope that they will be invoked only in respect of a particular perceived threat. I hope that the rules that the Minister will be bringing forward in the code of practice will make that clear.

I do not believe that amendment (a) is practical. I do not think that it is possible to spell out in a statutory instrument precisely the sorts of circumstances in which the powers might be used. It is clear that some flexibility and discretion must lie with the senior police officers who wish to invoke the powers.

Mr. Michael

Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Mr. Maclennan

Certainly, in a moment.

A width of discretion is necessary if the powers are to be useful.

Mr. Michael

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman. I thought that I had made clear the processes that have to be gone through and the considerations that have to be taken into account. There should not be an over-restrictive definition. We clearly seek flexibility and that is why the amendment is drafted as it is.

Mr. Maclennan

I think that it would be extremely difficult for the House to define what would constitute a reasonable belief that incidents involving serious violence may take place". They are the words that the hon. Gentleman has used in his amendment (a). Whether or not a belief is reasonable is an objective test, and it must be for the police officer to decide whether that test is discharged properly. I cannot see how crystal ball gazing by Parliaments and legislatures about the sorts of circumstances in which it might be reasonable to use the powers will assist. The hon. Gentleman no doubt wished to come in on the act in some way at this stage. I quite understand that; it is perfectly normal for Oppositions to take that view.

We must regard this important new power as exceptional. I entirely endorse what the hon. Member for Uxbridge said about the reassurance that should be given to members of ethnic minority communities who may fear that the power will be used against them. It should be designed to protect those communities against the abuses, harassment and violence that have given rise to such concern.

For those reasons, I offer my support to the Government in bringing forward the new clause.

Mr. Greville Janner (Leicester, West)

The new clause has much good in it, as we all share the same concerns. What worries us is the fact that the Minister is prepared to put only into guidance what should be contained in the Bill. The law has little faith in guidance, because breach of guidance gives no one any rights, whereas breach of a statute or regulations made under a statute is an offence. Breach of a code may be taken into account in any proceedings—civil or criminal—to which it is relevant.

My constituents are immensely worried about crime in general and violent crime in particular. Last week, I attended a meeting in Leicester of people in a mixed race neighbourhood who were worried about both staying home or going out at night. I discussed with police officers what could be done about the prodigious and awful growth of crime in my constituency. It was not suggested that there was a difficulty with the right to search. Rather, the difficulty was the growth of crime, the decrease in policing and the weakness of the law in dealing with racial harassment and racial crime, none of which is dealt with in the Bill.

Nor does the Bill deal with the anxieties of the Muslim community, which is not regarded as an ethnic minority and does not have the same legal protection as the Sikh or Jewish communities. Nor does the Bill answer the recommendations made by Eldred Tabachnik, leading Queen's Counsel and leading member of the Jewish community, in a report that he submitted to the Home Secretary and which the Home Secretary undertook to take into account.

Furthermore, the Bill shows no acceptance of the recommendations of the Home Office Select Committee, chaired by the hon. and learned Member for Burton (Sir I. Lawrence). As Chairman of another Select Committee, I deeply deplore the fact that the Government take no notice of Select Committee reports. One might understand the Government taking no notice if the Select Committee is chaired by an Opposition Member, but one does not understand it when the Committee is chaired by such a staunch Government supporter who has never been accused of being on the far left of any party, least of all his own.

The Government have shown no concern for the anxieties of the black, Asian, Muslim or Jewish communities. Even more important in parliamentary terms, they have shown no concern for what they have been told in the unanimous report of the Select Committee.

We accept the right to search, although I wish that it had been put in a better form. The hon. Member for Uxbridge (Mr. Shersby) made some important points. He knows what this matter is about. He said that the new clause would not alarm the ethnic communities and, to an extent, he is right. But it is not a conscious alarm; it is built in because they believe, rightly or wrongly, that the police do not understand them and that too many members of the police do not care about them. I believe that they are often wrong, but they do not have the security which we want them to have. They are worried about the return of the "sus" laws. The Government and the hon. Member for Uxbridge should understand that, as many police officers do.

7.15 pm

The hon. Member for Uxbridge said that the right to search must be given before violence takes place. He is right, but he should know what the fascists are up to. They do not just settle down in places like Tower Hamlets or inhabit the terraces at football matches. They arrange meetings—often with neo-Nazis from other countries—that move from place to place, and the police do not know in advance where those meetings will be.

The hon. Gentleman rightly said that the police are given permission to search only for weapons. But when one searches for weapons, other things may turn up. Nobody will believe that the police are looking only for weapons. Although the police should have powers, they should be ringed properly and carefully, as the Opposition amendment suggests.

Will the Minister take another look at the matter? If he accepts that those rights should be approved by the police and embedded in the police's reasoning so that a senior police officer's decision to search is reasonable, why should not a reasonable Government include them in the Bill? I hope that, on reconsideration, that is what the Minister will do.

Mr. Gerrard

I shall be brief because we are pressed for time and I do not wish to repeat some of the arguments that have already been made.

Clearly, the Commission for Racial Equality has accepted that there are some good points about the new clause, but it has also emphasised the need for monitoring. Many powers, including stop and search, could be extended to have an effect on crime. But one must think carefully about whether those powers should go ahead because of their impact on civil liberties. While the Minister has mentioned the welcome from some people, organisations that deal with civil liberties have expressed concern about the new clause.

There are several areas of concern. The hon. Member for Upper Bann (Mr. Trimble) raised the issue of temporary powers and how people will know whether a power is in force in a particular area. I see the potential for problems when a power is applied temporarily in a small area. A person who is stopped will not know whether the policeman has the right to stop and search him, as it will depend whether the power is in force.

I am concerned about powers that allow the anticipation of an event. If a violent incident has occurred, that fact can be clearly established. But anticipation of an event that might happen and powers taken as a result are a different matter, as they will depend on subjective judgments. A few years ago in my constituency, a funeral took place of an Asian man who had been killed in an arson attack on his house. It happened to be at almost the same time as riots in Brixton and other parts of London. Large numbers of people were expected to turn up for the funeral. As a result of the police anticipating trouble—in the event, there was none—shops the length of the main road were boarded up. The police had stirred up disquiet as a result of anticipating trouble. I see exactly the same thing happening under this power when trouble is anticipated.

The Opposition amendments would achieve monitoring and the Minister has said that he wants to achieve that. It is not just a matter of monitoring on an ethnic basis, although that is important, but of how often the power will be used. We have been told that it is intended for emergency use only. I have a suspicion that, once a power exists and has been used, it will quickly stop being something exceptional that is used only in emergencies.

What will happen if the monitoring shows that there is an imbalance in the use of the stop-and-search powers, and that they are being used disproportionately, particularly against young black males? We know that the "sus" laws were used in that way, although they involved a different power. Many young black males feel that they are stopped in their cars much more often than anyone else. We know that, around the City of London, the powers are being used disproportionately against young blacks.

I have serious doubts about the wisdom of the power. If it is misused, it will cause serious damage to community relations. I suspect that, even if it is not misused, but is used precisely as drafted, it will still cause trouble and damage community relations. The new clause introduces an extremely dangerous power—one which we may live to regret introducing.

Mr. Mike O'Brien (Warwickshire, North)

I declare an interest as a parliamentary adviser to the Police Federation of England and Wales.

As the hon. Member for Uxbridge (Mr. Shersby) mentioned, the police are pleased with the new clause, and the fact that stop-and-search powers are to be granted. Some 16 police officers have been either stabbed or shot in the past 10 years, besides the many civilians who have been victims of guns and knives. There is clearly a rising problem, with which the police increasingly have to deal, not only at football matches and public events, but when there are violent incidents in public houses. The police want to enter, but they do not know who may be holding a gun or knife. They want to be able to make people turn out their pockets. That sort of power is necessary.

I am pleased that the Government have recognised the nature of the increasing problem of guns and knives. They seem to have realised it only since the Committee stage of the Bill. As late as Christmas, the Home Office was telling the police that it would not guarantee further extensions of stop-and-search powers. It is only as the result of pressure, from not only Conservative Back Benchers but Opposition Members, that the Government are now prepared to accept changes. Conservative Members withdrew their amendments, but Opposition Members tabled amendments in Committee and, in those circumstances, the Minister and the Home Office were forced to make the sort of change that we are now seeing.

I shall not embarrass the Minister by reading back to him all the comments that he made about my new clause 184, which sought to introduce stop-and-search powers.

Mr. Paul Boateng (Brent, South)

Go on, embarrass him.

Mr. O'Brien

I am greatly tempted to do so, but I am conscious that we are pressed for time so I shall not give way to temptation.

I shall paraphrase the Minister of State, Home Office, who said that the phrase "reasonable belief' was deficient and that reasonable suspicion should provide the basis and criterion for any search. He said that that was a fundamental principle of PACE. He said that my new clause was too widely drawn as it allowed a six-hour period. Government new clause 124 uses the phrase "reasonably believes" and ignores the idea of reasonable suspicion being necessary. It is even more widely drawn than my new clause and grants a 24-hour period.

The Minister seems to have been involved in a political leapfrog from one side of the Labour party's position to the other. I am curious about how he made that intellectual jump. I am not sure whether he will wind up the debate, but if he does perhaps he will explain how he made his intellectual jump—he might have been forced to do so out of embarrassment. The Minister has given reassurances that the codes of practice will contain safeguards. Those safeguards will not only protect the public, which is important, but the police, which is also important. We must ensure that we maintain and improve good community-police relations.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause read a Second time.

Amendment proposed to the proposed new clause: (a), at end insert— '( ) Subsection (1) above shall not come into force until the Secretary of State has laid an order, subject to affirmative resolution of both Houses of Parliament, specifying the conditions to be satisfied for the powers conferred under this section to be exercised, including:

  1. (a) what may reasonably constitute "a locality";
  2. (b) what would constitute a reasonable belief that incidents involving serious violence may take place.'.—[Mr. Michael.]

Question put, That the amendment be made:—

The House divided: Ayes 246, Noes 304.

Division 193] [7.25 pm
Abbott, Ms Diane Armstrong, Hilary
Adams, Mrs Irene Ashton, Joe
Ainger, Nick Austin-Walker, John
Ainsworth, Robert (Cov'try NE) Barnes, Harry
Allen, Graham Barron, Kevin
Anderson, Donald (Swansea E) Battle, John
Anderson, Ms Janet (Ros'dale) Bayley, Hugh
Beckett, Rt Hon Margaret Grant, Bemie (Tottenham)
Bell, Stuart Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Benn, Rt Hon Tony Grocott, Bruce
Benton, Joe Gunnell, John
Bermingham, Gerald Hain, Peter
Berry, Dr. Roger Hall, Mike
Betts, Clive Hanson, David
Blair, Tony Hattersley, Rt Hon Roy
Blunkett, David Henderson, Doug
Boateng, Paul Hendron, Dr Joe.
Boyes, Roland Heppell, John
Bradley, Keith Hill, Keith (Streatham)
Bray, Dr Jeremy Hinchliffe, David
Brown, Gordon (Dunfermline E) Hoey, Kate
Brown, N. (N'c'tle upon Tyne E) Hogg, Norman (Cumbernauld)
Burden, Richard Home Robertson, John
Byers, Stephen Hood, Jimmy
Caborn, Richard Hoon, Geoffrey
Callaghan, Jim Howarth, George (Knowsley N)
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge) Howells, Dr. Kim (Pontypridd)
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V) Hoyle, Doug
Campbell-Savours, D. N. Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)
Cann, Jamie Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)
Chisholm, Malcolm Hughes, Roy (Newport E)
Clapham, Michael Hume, John
Clark, Dr David (South Shields) Hutton, John
Clarke, Eric (Midlothian) Ingram, Adam
Clarke, Tom (Monklands W) Jackson, Glenda (H'stead)
Clelland, David Jackson, Helen (Shef'ld, H)
Clwyd, Mrs Ann Jamieson, David
Coffey, Ann Janner, Greville
Connerty, Michael Jones, Ieuan Wyn (Ynys Môn)
Cook, Frank (Stockton N) Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C)
Cook, Robin (Livingston) Jones, Lynne (B'ham S O)
Corbett, Robin Jones, Martyn (Clwyd, SW)
Corbyn, Jeremy Jowell, Tessa
Corston, Ms Jean Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald
Cousins, Jim Keen, Alan
Cummings, John Kennedy, Jane (Lpool Brdgn)
Cunningham, Jim (Covy SE) Khabra, Piara S.
Cunningham, Rt Hon Dr John Kilfoyle, Peter
Dafis, Cynog Kinnock, Rt Hon Neil (Islwyn)
Dalyell, Tam Lestor, Joan (Eccles)
Darling, Alistair Lewis, Terry
Davidson, Ian Livingstone, Ken
Davies, Bryan (Oldham C'tral) Lloyd, Tony (Stretford)
Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli) Llwyd, Elfyn
Davies, Ron (Caerphilly) Loyden, Eddie
Denham, John McAllion, John
Dewar, Donald McAvoy, Thomas
Dixon, Don McCartney, Ian
Dobson, Frank Macdonald, Calum
Donohoe, Brian H. McFall, John
Dowd, Jim McGrady, Eddie
Dunnachie, Jimmy McKelvey, William
Eagle, Ms Angela Mackinlay, Andrew
Enright, Derek McLeish, Henry
Etherington, Bill McMaster, Gordon
Evans, John (St Helens N) McNamara, Kevin
Ewing, Mrs Margaret McWilliam, John
Fatchett, Derek Madden, Max
Faulds, Andrew Mahon, Alice
Field, Frank (Birkenhead) Mallon, Seamus
Fisher, Mark Mendelson, Peter
Flynn, Paul Marek, Dr John
Foster, Rt Hon Derek Marshall, David (Shettleston)
Foulkes, George Marshall, Jim (Leicester, S)
Fraser, John Martin, Michael J. (Springburn)
Fyfe, Maria Martlew, Eric
Galbraith, Sam Maxton, John
Galloway, George Meacher, Michael
Gapes, Mike Meale, Alan
Garrett, John Michael, Alun
George, Bruce Michie, Bill (Sheffield Heeley)
Gerrard, Neil Milburn, Alan
Godman, Dr Norman A. Miller, Andrew
Golding, Mrs Llin Mitchell, Austin (Gt Grimsby)
Gordon, Mildred Moonie, Dr Lewis
Gould, Bryan Morgan, Rhodri
Graham, Thomas Morley, Elliot
Morris, Rt Hon A. (Wy'nshawe) Sheldon, Rt Hon Robert
Morris, Estelle (B'ham Yardley) Shore, Rt Hon Peter
Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon) Short, Clare
Mowlam, Marjorie Skinner, Dennis
Mudie, George Smith, Andrew (Oxford E)
Mullin, Chris Smith, C. (Isl'ton S & F'sbury)
Murphy, Paul Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
O'Brien, Michael (N W'kshire) Soley, Clive
O'Brien, William (Normanton) Spearing, Nigel
O'Hara, Edward Speller, John
Olner, William Squire, Rachel (Dunfermline W)
O'Neill, Martin Steinberg, Gerry
Parry, Robert Stevenson, George
Patchett, Terry Stott, Roger
Pendry, Tom Strang, Dr. Gavin
Pickthall, Colin Straw, Jack
Pike, Peter L. Taylor, Mrs Ann (Dewsbury)
Pope, Greg Turner, Dennis
Powell, Ray (Ogmore) Vaz, Keith
Prentice, Gordon (Pendle) Walker, Rt Hon Sir Harold
Prescott, John Walley, Joan
Primarolo, Dawn Wardell, Gareth (Gower)
Purchase, Ken Wareing, Robert N
Quin, Ms Joyce Watson, Mike
Radice, Giles Welsh, Andrew
Randall, Stuart Williams, Rt Hon Alan (Sw'n W)
Raynsford, Nick Williams, Alan W (Carmarthen)
Reid, Dr John Wilson, Brian
Robertson, George (Hamilton) Winnick, David
Roche, Mrs. Barbara Wise, Audrey
Rooker, Jeff Worthington, Tony
Rooney, Terry Wray, Jimmy
Ross, Emie (Dundee W) Wright, Dr Tony
Rowlands, Ted Young, David (Bolton SE)
Ruddock, Joan
Salmond, Alex Tellers for the Ayes:
Sedgemore, Brian Mr. Eric Illsley and
Sheerman, Barry Mr. Andrew F. Bennett.
Ainsworth, Peter (East Surrey) Browning, Mrs. Angela
Aitken, Jonathan Bruce, Ian (S Dorset)
Alison, Rt Hon Michael (Selby) Bruce, Malcolm (Gordon)
Allason, Rupert (Torbay) Burns, Simon
Alton, David Burt, Alistair
Amess, David Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE)
Ancram, Michael Carlile, Alexander (Montgomry)
Arbuthnot, James Carlisle, John (Luton North)
Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham) Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)
Arnold, Sir Thomas (Hazel Grv) Carrington, Matthew
Ashby, David Carttiss, Michael
Aspinwall, Jack Cash, William
Atkins, Robert Churchill, Mr
Atkinson, Peter (Hexham) Clappison, James
Baker, Rt Hon K. (Mole Valley) Clark, Dr Michael (Rochford)
Baker, Nicholas (Dorset North) Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey
Baldry, Tony Coe, Sebastian
Banks, Matthew (Southport) Colvin, Michael
Banks, Robert (Harrogate) Congdon, David
Bates, Michael Conway, Derek
Beggs, Roy Coombs, Simon (Swindon)
Beith, Rt Hon A. J. Cope, Rt Hon Sir John
Bellingham, Henry Couchman, James
Bendell, Vivian Cran, James
Beresford, Sir Paul Currie, Mrs Edwina (S D'by'ire)
Biffen, Rt Hon John Curry, David (Skipton & Ripon)
Blackburn, Dr John G. Davies, Quentin (Stamford)
Body, Sir Richard Davis, David (Boothferry)
Bonsor, Sir Nicholas Day, Stephen
Booth, Hartley Deva, Nirj Joseph
Boswell, Tim Devlin, Tim
Bottomley, Peter (Eltham) Dickens, Geoffrey
Bottomley, Rt Hon Virginia Dorrell, Stephen
Bowden, Andrew Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James
Bowis, John Dover, Den
Boyson, Rt Hon Sir Rhodes Duncan, Alan
Brandreth, Gyles Duncan-Smith, Iain
Brazier, Julian Dunn, Bob
Bright, Graham Dykes, Hugh
Brooke, Rt Hon Peter Eggar, Tim
Elletson, Harold Knight, Dame Jill (Bir'm E'st'n)
Emery, Rt Hon Sir Peter Knox, Sir David
Evans, David (Welwyn Hatfield) Kynoch, George (Kincardine)
Evans, Jonathan (Brecon) Lait, Mrs Jacqui
Evans, Nigel (Ribble Valley) Lang, Rt Hon Ian
Evans, Roger (Monmouth) Lawrence, Sir Ivan
Evennett, David Legg, Barry
Fabricant, Michael Leigh, Edward
Fairbairn, Sir Nicholas Lennox-Boyd, Mark
Field, Barry (Isle of Wight) Lester, Jim (Broxtowe)
Fishburn, Dudley Lidington, David
Forman, Nigel Lightbown, David
Forth, Eric Lilley, Rt Hon Peter
Fowler, Rt Hon Sir Norman Lloyd, Rt Hon Peter (Fareham)
Fox, Dr Liam (Woodspring) Lord, Michael
Fox, Sir Marcus (Shipley) Luff, Peter
Freeman, Rt Hon Roger Lyell, Rt Hon Sir Nicholas
French, Douglas Lynne, Ms Liz
Gale, Roger MacGregor, Rt Hon John
Gallie, Phil MacKay, Andrew
Gardiner, Sir George Maclean, David
Garel-Jones, Rt Hon Tristan Maclennan, Robert
Garnier, Edward McLoughlin, Patrick
Gill, Christopher McNair-Wilson, Sir Patrick
Gillan, Cheryl Maginnis, Ken
Goodlad, Rt Hon Alastair Maitland, Lady Olga
Goodson-Wickes, Dr Charles Major, Rt Hon John
Gorman, Mrs Teresa Malone, Gerald
Gorst, John Mans, Keith
Grant, Sir A. (Cambs SW) Marland, Paul
Greenway, Harry (Ealing N) Marlow, Tony
Greenway, John (Ryedale) Marshall, John (Hendon S)
Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth, N) Martin, David (Portsmouth S)
Gummer, Rt Hon John Selwyn Mates, Michael
Hague, William Mawhinney, Rt Hon Dr Brian
Hamilton, Neil (Tatton) Mellor, Rt Hon David
Hampson, Dr Keith Merchant, Piers
Hanley, Jeremy Michie, Mrs Ray (Argyll Bute)
Hannam, Sir John Mills, Iain
Hargreaves, Andrew Mitchell, Andrew (Gedling)
Harris, David Mitchell, Sir David (Hants NW)
Harvey, Nick Molyneaux, Rt Hon James
Haselhurst, Alan Monro, Sir Hector
Hawkins, Nick Montgomery, Sir Fergus
Hawksley, Warren Moss, Malcolm
Hayes, Jerry Nelson, Anthony
Heald, Oliver Neubert, Sir Michael
Heathcoat-Amory, David Newton, Rt Hon Tony
Hendry, Charles Nicholls, Patrick
Heseltine, Rt Hon Michael Nicholson, David (Taunton)
Hicks, Robert Nicholson, Emma (Devon West)
Higgins, Rt Hon Sir Terence L. Norris, Steve
Hill, James (Southampton Test) Onslow, Rt Hon Sir Cranley
Hogg, Rt Hon Douglas (G'tham) Oppenheim, Phillip
Horam, John Ottaway, Richard
Hordern, Rt Hon Sir Peter Page, Richard
Howard, Rt Hon Michael Paice, James
Howell, Rt Hon David (G'dford) Patnick, Irvine
Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N) Pawsey, James
Hunt, Rt Hon David (Wirral W) Peacock, Mrs Elizabeth
Hunter, Andrew Pickles, Eric
Hurd, Rt Hon Douglas Porter, Barry (Wirral S)
Jackson, Robert (Wantage) Porter, David (Waveney)
Jenkin, Bemard Portillo, Rt Hon Michael
Jessel, Toby Redwood, Rt Hon John
Johnson Smith, Sir Geoffrey Richards, Rod
Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N) Riddick, Graham
Jones, Nigel (Cheltenham) Robathan, Andrew
Jones, Robert B. (W Hertfdshr) Roberts, Rt Hon Sir Wyn
Jopling, Rt Hon Michael Robertson, Raymond (Ab'dn S)
Kellett-Bowman, Dame Elaine Robinson, Mark (Somerton)
Kennedy, Charles (Ross,C&S) Roe, Mrs Marion (Broxbourne)
Key, Robert Ross, William (E Londonderry)
Kilfedder, Sir James Rumbold, Rt Hon Dame Angela
King, Rt Hon Tom Ryder, Rt Hon Richard
Kirkhope, Timothy Sackville, Tom
Kirkwood, Archy Scott, Rt Hon Nicholas
Knapman, Roger Shaw, David (Dover)
Knight, Mrs Angela (Erewash) Shaw, Sir Giles (Pudsey)
Knight, Greg (Derby N) Shephard, Rt Hon Gillian
Shepherd, Richard (Aldridge) Tracey, Richard
Shersby, Michael Tredinnick, David
Sims, Roger Trend, Michael
Skeet, Sir Trevor Trimble, David
Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield) Trotter, Neville
Smyth, Rev Martin (Belfast S) Twinn, Dr Ian
Soames, Nicholas Tyler, Paul
Spicer, Sir James (W Dorset) Vaughan, Sir Gerard
Spicer, Michael (S Worcs) Viggers, Peter
Spink, Dr Robert Walden, George
Spring, Richard Walker, Bill (N Tayside)
Sproat, Iain Wallace, James
Stanley, Rt Hon Sir John Waller, Gary
Steel, Rt Hon Sir David Wardle, Charles (Bexhill)
Steen, Anthony Waterson, Nigel
Stephen, Michael Watts, John
Stewart, Allan Wells, Bowen
Streeter, Gary Wheeler, Rt Hon Sir John
Sumberg, David Whitney, Ray
Sweeney, Walter Whittingdale, John
Sykes, John Widdecombe, Ann
Tapsell, Sir Peter Wiggin, Sir Jerry
Taylor, Ian (Esher) Willetts, David
Taylor, Rt Hon John D. (Strgfd) Wilshire, David
Taylor, John M. (Solihull) Winterton, Mrs Ann (Congleton)
Taylor, Matthew (Truro) Winterton, Nicholas (Macc'f'ld)
Taylor, Sir Teddy (Southend, E) Wolfson, Mark
Temple-Morris, Peter Wood, Timothy
Thomason, Roy Yeo, Tim
Thompson, Sir Donald (C'er V) Young, Rt Hon Sir George
Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N)
Thornton, Sir Malcolm Tellers for the Noes:
Thurnham, Peter Mr. Sydney Chapman and
Townsend, Cyril D. (Bexl'yh'th) Mr. Michael Brown.

Question accordingly negatived.

Clause added to the Bill.