HC Deb 28 March 1994 vol 240 cc725-47

'(1) The Secretary of State shall within one month of the date of Royal Assent of this Act lay before both Houses of Parliament a report describing what plans he has to set up an independent body to investigate alleged miscarriages of justice in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and the timetable within which he proposes to do so.

(2) The White Paper referred to in subsection (1) above shall describe the Secretary of State's intentions in respect to the following:—

  1. (a) the membership of and method of appointment to the body;
  2. (b) the numbers and functions of the employed staff of the body;
  3. (c) the powers of the staff and members of the body and those of the body itself;
  4. (d) the provision of legal aid for those alleging that they are the victim of a miscarriage of justice;
  5. (e) the method and criteria by which the body will select cases for investigation;
  6. (f) the method and criteria by which cases and issues of law will be referred to the Court of Appeal and the relationship between the two bodies;
  7. (g) the extent to which the body should disclose documents and the results of its investigations to the alleged victim of the miscarriage of justice; and
  8. (h) the extent to which the body will employ its own staff or will use others for the investigations.'.—[Mr. Mullin.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

Mr. Chris Mullin (Sunderland, South)

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

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Geoffrey Lofthouse)

With this we may discuss new clause 7—Miscarriages of justice (No.1)'The Secretary of State shall, within one month of Royal Assent, publish a report setting out his proposals for the establishment of a body to investigate alleged miscarriages of justice in the light of the report of the Royal Commission on Criminal Justice.'.—

Mr. Mullin

This is the third occasion on which I have tabled a new clause to establish an independent review tribunal to examine alleged miscarriages of justice. On 16 June 1988, Sir John Farr, the former Member of Parliament for Harborough, and I tabled an amendment to the Criminal Justice Bill which would have established such a tribunal. I recall that my speech on that occasion attracted some derision, not least from the right hon. and learned Member for Grantham (Mr. Hogg), who is now a Minister in the Foreign Office, but who was then a Minister at the Home Office, and the right hon. Member for Oxford, West and Abingdon (Mr. Patten), who now presides over the education of our children, but who was at that time the Minister in charge of locking up innocent people.

What attracted derision in particular was my assertion, which is still controversial in some circles, that innocent people had been convicted of the M62 coach bombing, the Guildford and Woolwich bombings and the Birmingham bombings. It is a matter of record that, today, all 18 of those to whom I referred on 16 June 1988 have had their convictions quashed and are walking the streets with compensation in their pockets.

In July 1990, prompted by the collapse of the Guildford and Woolwich cases, Sir John Farr and I tabled an amendment to the Courts and Legal Services Bill along the lines of the new clause today. It was opposed on the Government's behalf by the then Attorney-General, the right hon. and learned Member for Tunbridge Wells (Sir P. Mayhew), who professed himself satisfied with the present procedures. In particular, he expressed the view that the powers of the Court of Appeal were adequate to deal with alleged miscarriages of justice.

Much water has passed under the bridge since then. Besides the collapse of all the main terrorist cases of the mid-1970s, to which I have already referred, there has been a long series of other cases in which convictions have had to be quashed after evidence given at trial by police officers, forensic scientists and others was found to be mistaken, false or doctored. There have also been cases in which vital evidence has been deliberately suppressed, not only by police officers, but by senior lawyers acting on behalf of the Crown, one or two of whom have gone on to high judicial office.

Twenty-three people have so far had their convictions quashed following the discovery that the West Midlands serious crimes squad had been systematically forging confessions over a long period, although not one of the officers involved in any of those cases has been charged, let alone convicted of a criminal offence. The three men convicted of the murder of PC Blakelock at Broadwater Farm have had their convictions quashed, as have two young women, the Taylor sisters, who were convicted of a murder with which, from the outset, it never seemed likely that they had anything to do. Among the saddest cases was that of Stefan Kiszko, whose conviction was quashed in February 1992 after he had spent 16 years in prison for an offense that scientific evidence available at the time proved that he could not have committed. Tragically, Mr. Kiszko died earlier this year.

I make no complaint about the fact that our legal system makes mistakes; that is inevitable under any system of justice. What I complain about is that we lack a mechanism for facing up to mistakes even when it becomes obvious to sensible people of all political persuasions that something is seriously wrong. In most of the cases to which I have referred, a gargantuan effort was required to persuade our criminal justice system to own up to what had gone wrong. It involved years of campaigning by the victims themselves, by their relatives, by journalists and broadcasters and, occasionally, by that rare animal, a lawyer prepared to work without payment.

Such campaigns have often had to be waged in the teeth of bitter abuse in the Murdoch press and elsewhere, some of it, in the past at least, orchestrated by Ministers. In the Guildford and Woolwich cases, it was only when faced with representations over a long period by a delegation comprising two former Home Secretaries, two Law Lords, the broadcaster Mr. Robert Kee and Cardinal Basil Hume that the Home Secretary of the day was persuaded to refer the case back to the Court of Appeal. To begin with, even representations from that distinguished body, to which I pay tribute, were insufficient to move the hard hearts in the Home Office.

Miscarriages of justice have many victims. First, they destroy or seriously damage the lives of those unjustly sentenced and the lives of their families. Secondly, the long campaigns that have to be waged to put right such miscarriages are distressing for the families of the victims of the crimes for which innocent people are sentenced. They have to see the gory details constantly raked over in public. Thirdly, a miscarriage of justice often means that the real criminal is still at large and free to commit other offences Finally, the criminal justice system is brought into disrepute by the stubborn refusal of those who preside over it to face up to realities that are often obvious to those of us who are not Home Office Ministers or Appeal Court judges.

Who can deny that the events of the past few years have brought the British criminal justice system into discredit around the world? The new clause is intended, in part at least, to remedy that position. I should have preferred it to have required the Home Secretary to amend the Bill, but I am advised that it can be in order only in the form that it appears on the amendment paper; therefore, it requires the Home Secretary to present detailed plans within a month of the Bill's enactment.

I note that the Home Office chose last Friday, after months of inactivity, to publish a discussion paper inviting comments on the proposed new review body. I welcome its appearance—belated though it is—although I cannot help wondering whether the timing has more to do with providing the Home Secretary with something to say in the debate this evening than with genuinely facing up to a problem that has been in his in-tray since the day he took office. The fact that, when I inquired this morning, it was not available even in the Vote Office—although I have now received a copy—suggests that this could be little more than a cosmetic exercise. I see that the Home Secretary is shaking his head. I hope that I am wrong.

I shall comment briefly on what should be the main features of an independent review tribunal. First, it must be composed of persons of an inquiring frame of mind, preferably with a track record of scepticism towards the official version of events. Secondly, while it will of course need to contain some persons with legal training, it should not be dominated by lawyers since, with honourable exceptions, this is a subject where lawyers have traditionally been part of the problem rather than the solution. Thirdly, the tribunal must have powers to summon persons and papers and to conduct its own investigation. Fourthly, it must not be dependent on officers of one police force to investigate the alleged misdemeanours of another. It is essential that it has its own dedicated force of investigators or the powers and resources to commission such a force.

Fifthly, the tribunal should be able, if it wishes, to recommend to the Court of Appeal that a conviction be quashed. It is not good enough simply to pass on new material without comment, which I gather is what is presently envisaged. Although the Court of Appeal has to a considerable extent cleaned up its act in recent years, history records that the legendary stubbornness of its judges has prolonged many celebrated scandals in the past 15 years. Sixthly, the tribunal should conduct itself with a sense of urgency and not at the leisurely pace with which the C3 department of the Home Office currently proceeds, bearing in mind the fact that it deals with people who may already have spent many years in prison for offences of which they are innocent. Seventhly, the tribunal should apply to Scotland and Northern Ireland, where many alleged miscarriages of justice have occurred. Finally, if the tribunal is to be credible, it will not be good enough simply to transfer to some outside agency the functions of the C3 department.

In 1982, the distinguished solicitor Sir David Napley told the Select Committee on Home Affairs that he was unable to recall a single case where the Home Office has, as a result of its own investigations, felt able to recommend a pardon or any other recognition that a conviction was necessarily wrongful. There may have been one or two exceptions since, but the same is broadly true today. It is a depressing fact that the C3 department generally sees its role as merely poking holes in evidence submitted by others. By way of example, one need look no further than the way in which it has mishandled the Carl Bridgewater case. It is obvious to all sensible people that the case against the four men convicted of that crime has now collapsed. There have been six police inquiries and still amateurs continue to turn up evidence that the police have failed to find or have wilfully misinterpreted. A mountain of new evidence has emerged. The foreman of the jury has called for the case to be reopened. Even an expert, Dr. E.W. Shepherd, commissioned by the Home Office to rebut the assertions made by other experts on behalf of the defendants, has come down on their side. 9.30 pm

On 14 January this year, Dr. Shepherd wrote as follows to the Home Secretary: For my part I still have faith that you will choose to act … expeditiously given the gravity of the issues involved and the threat posed to public confidence in the criminal justice system and in the commitment of the police service to act with integrity. I look forward to early confirmation that this faith is well-founded. Since then, Dr. Shepherd has heard nothing from the Home Office except a bland letter of acknowledgement. I cannot stress too strongly that he was an expert employed by police officers acting on behalf of the Home Office to examine the case. That shows how difficult it is to persuade the C3 department to take action.

The recent discussion document issued by the Home Office contains some ominous references to the Police Complaints Authority as a possible model for how the new body should operate. The only lesson to be learnt from the Police Complaints Authority is what not to do. I mean no disrespect to many of the honourable people who work for it and I suspect that some of them would agree with my view. It is a powerless, timorous and generally useless body. What is more, even when it has recommended action, its advice has usually been ignored by the Crown Prosecution Service and others in authority. Most solicitors of my acquaintance would not touch the PCA with a barge pole. If the proposed independent review tribunal is to be modelled on it, we might as well all go home.

The tribunal that I envisage must be properly funded and empowered—above all, it must consist of men and women possessed of steely determination, bearing in mind the fact that they will have to confront some of the mightiest vested interests in the land. Talking of which, what has become of Sir John May's inquiry into the Guildford and Woolwich case? The House may be surprised to hear that the Scott inquiry is not the only judicial inquiry proceeding at present. Sir John May's inquiry was set up in the autumn of 1989—four and a half years ago—in the wake of the collapse of the case against those convicted of the Guildford and Woolwich bombings.

Sir John got off to a promising start, with public inquiries into the subsidiary, but related issue—the conviction of Mrs. Annie Maguire and her family—and then he went underground and nothing has been heard from him since. He is said to be interviewing witnesses in private. I understand that some of the principal officials involved have declined to answer his questions and that some of his old chums in the judiciary are no longer on speaking terms with him because he is thought to have pursued the first part of his inquiry a mite too rigorously.

I mention that inquiry only to raise a wider point. If a judicial inquiry that is set up by the Home Secretary and the Attorney-General in an atmosphere of urgency can be derailed in that way, we should be under no illusions about the fate that awaits an independent review tribunal that is not properly empowered and resourced.

The idea has been around for a long time. It was first suggested by Lord Devlin in the mid-1970s. It was recommended in a unanimous report of the Select Committee on Home Affairs as long ago as 1982. It was so uncontroversial that it attracted the support of even the hon. Members for Birmingham, Edgbaston (Dame J. Knight) and for Reigate (Sir G. Gardiner). It was recommended by the Government's own Royal Commission on criminal justice, which reported in July last year. It is preposterous for the Home Secretary to claim that he has had insufficient time to consult. He has had a lot longer to reflect on that issue than on many of the other more controversial issues in the Bill. That is why tonight I and my colleagues will press new clause 6 to a Division. I commend it to the House.

Mr. Jeremy Corbyn (Islington, North)

I fully endorse what my hon. Friend the Member for Sunderland, South (Mr. Mullin) said. He has an unenviable and wonderful record. It is unenviable because of the work that has gone into it, but wonderful because of his efforts to fight and to expose miscarriages of justice, principally the wrongful imprisonment of the Birmingham Six.

The House should listen carefully to what my hon. Friend has to say because I can recall dozens of occasions on which Home Secretaries and Home Office Ministers informed the House at the Dispatch Box, with absolute certainty, that the Birmingham Six, Guildford Four, Tottenham Three, Judith Ward and so on were guilty. They should be a little more cautious and be prepared to look into other evidence.

Miscarriages of justice give rise to three enormous problems: the innocent are imprisoned; their families suffer and the abuse that they suffer is as bad as being in prison: and the guilty go free.

The work that has been done to expose such miscarriages of justice is important. Hon. Members would do well to read the books written by the Guildford Four and the Birmingham Six and to see the film, "In the Name of the Father", which shows what really happens when there is a serious miscarriage of justice.

The hon. and learned Member for Burton (Sir I. Lawrence) seems to find this extremely amusing, but if someone is imprisoned for one third or half of their lives for an offence that he or she did not commit and receives nothing but abuse while trying to get justice, the hon. and learned Member should remember that, as elected Members of Parliament, our job is to act as a check on the Executive and to be prepared to speak up for causes that are often very unpopular. My hon. Friend the Member for Sunderland, South has bravely done so often.

Sir Ivan Lawrence

Does not the hon. Gentleman agree that the theme of the film "In the Name of the Father" is that the prosecution deliberately hid the fact that it had a witness to the alibi of the accused, Gerry Conlon, who was not present at the crime? That theme was completely concocted and has no relevance to the facts of the case or to the reason why the appeal was upheld.

Mr. Corbyn

The film that the hon. and learned Member is leading us to discuss emphasises what happens when a miscarriage of justice takes place. It is not a book or a record of every detail. It contains inaccuracies and everyone is prepared to admit that.

Mr. Mullin

I do not wish to discuss the film, except to say that the facts of the Guildford case are far worse than it makes out. The Court of Appeal released the Guildford Four because early drafts of forged confessions were found in regard to Patrick Armstrong. Since confessions account for the entire case against them, they were released.

Mr. Corbyn

I am grateful for my hon. Friend's intervention. He and other hon. Members are trying to stress the fact that all those miscarriages of justice exposed a method of preventing defence counsel from getting rightful access to information that could have prevented prosecution in the first place. That is a common thread, as is the thread of confessional evidence that is used to obtain conviction.

When one talks to people who have confessed to commiting a crime that they could not have committed and to being somewhere that they were not, one begins to realise what is happening in police stations and prisons throughout the country and what has led to those dreadful miscarriages of justice.

The cases that I listed received enormous publicity. If the hon. and learned Member for Burton is not prepared to watch a film—I understand that he is a busy man, with many commitments in the courts and elsewhere—he may care to find time to read a book—perhaps those written by Hugh Callaghan and Paul Hill. Some very good books have been written by people who suffered in prison for years and he might benefit from spending a few hours reading them.

I recognise that we are dealing with only one part of a very comprehensive piece of legislation. I echo what my hon. Friend the Member for Sunderland, South said about promised inquiries. I accept that we have had the May inquiry, a royal commission and other examinations of the issues. We had, coincidentally, a statement on Friday about a review process to enable people to gain access to the Court of Appeal. That is long overdue.

The cases that I have mentioned gained a great deal of publicity because of the dedication of the families and the supporters of those who had been wrongfully convicted and their preparedness to campaign on the issue. Many other people, however, who are in prison may have an equally strong claim to be victims of miscarriages of justice. The problem is that there is no one to campaign for them. They have no access to legal aid to get their cases brought forward. It is a matter of chance whether their cases are picked up by someone who is willing to give up the time necessary to ensure that those cases are heard in the Court of Appeal. That problem is at the core of the argument for some access to that court. It is not good enough to rely, hit or miss, on who happens to pick up a case. The campaign for the release of the Birmingham Six started with no money and just four people at a meeting. After a few years, however, that had developed into a magnificent campaign, which went far wider than just the release of those innocent men from prison on that important day.

I could mention many cases, but I shall restrict myself to one, which is well known to the Home Secretary. A delegation has met the Minister of State, Home Office to discuss the Bridgewater Three. The Home Secretary is aware of a request that he should refer that case to the Court of Appeal, because fresh evidence has been submitted to him to suggest that the three men who remain in prison—the fourth tragically died in prison—did not and could not have committed the awful atrocity of the murder of Carl Bridgewater. No one is trying to minimise the appalling crime of that terrible death, but it does nothing for Carl's memory or for his family if the wrong people are in prison. We want justice to be seen to be done, which means, first, that those men should be released.

New evidence has been submitted to the Home Secretary concerning in particular the case of Pat Molloy, one of those convicted of the murder of Carl Bridgewater. The detailed evidence submitted to the Home Secretary reveals that Molloy was not the author of the confession, which he supposedly gave, as the police claimed at the trial. An investigation carried out, on commission, by a leading forensic psychologist, Dr. Eric Shepherd, agrees with the defence experts' reports. The alleged confession was obtained by the late detective constable John Perkins, who Pat Molloy said broke his teeth. Other evidence has been submitted about the way in which Molloy was treated and the manner in which he eventually made his confession, which resulted in his conviction and imprisonment and three others.

The Home Secretary is well aware of the evidence. A thorough inquiry has already been held about it and delegations have visited the Home Office. Two books have been written on the case, and that by Paul Foot has been published in a revised edition. There is a mountain of evidence to suggest that those in prison for the murder of Carl Bridgewater did not carry out and could not have carried out that crime.

It should not be in the gift of the Home Secretary to decide whether the enormous weight of evidence, which I believe is in favour of those in prison now, should be given the right to be heard in open court. That is the kernel of our argument. Those people should have a right of access to the Court of Appeal in any event.

The Bridgewater case is one of several hundred cases being considered by the Home Office officials. The process of reconsidering evidence is not new, but we want that evidence to be considered in the open. We want equal and real access to justice to be given to all people who believe that they have been wrongfully convicted. That is the basis of our argument and the basis of the argument of those who have served prison sentences.

I urge the Home Secretary, if he has the time, to look at a number of books written by the victims of miscarriages of justice in this country. He must appreciate that he has a responsibility as Home Secretary to ensure that real justice is available to all people, irrespective of who campaigns for them or the resources at their disposal. At the moment there is no access to legal aid for those who believe they have been wrongfully convicted. There are few lawyers who are prepared to work for nothing and a limited number of people who are prepared to endure the kind of subterranean media abuse that is heaped on those who campaign against miscarriages of justice. For those reasons, many cases are simply not heard. We need real access to justice. That is the synthesis of what we are arguing for in new clause 6, and I look forward to its support. Above all, I look forward to the day when we can say that everyone has real access to the courts.


Mr. Cyril D. Townsend (Bexleyheath)

I need to detain the House for only a moment, but I thought it appropriate that a Conservative Member should be identified with new clause 6. I begin by congratulating the hon. Member for Sunderland, South (Mr. Mullin) not only on putting the case very clearly, as he did back in 1990, but, I thought, on making all the major arguments.

It is a pleasure to follow Lord Devlin, 18 years ago, and my Conservative colleagues on the Home Affairs Select Committee in 1981–82. The key point I found, reading through that sixth report, was in paragraph 11. The Committee reached the following conclusion: All our witnesses, apart from the Home Office themselves, felt that some opportunity for independent review would both add to the quality of the advice given to the Home Secretary and at the same time help to persuade petitioners and the public that each case had been given full and fair consideration. I suggest that that is the kernel of the case that is being made tonight.

I draw to the attention of the House another brief quotation from the report. In paragraph 10, the Committee says: Both Justice and the Criminal Bar Association suggested that the chances of a petition ultimately being 'successful' might sometimes depend less on its intrinsic merits than on the amount of external support and publicity that it was able to attract. I think that that is true. That should worry us, too.

I believe that, since Lord Devlin set to work, the climate of public concern about miscarriages of justice has greatly altered. I shall not rehearse the details of the Birmingham and Guildford cases. I think that it is now the talk in the pubs and clubs of our country; it is not a rarefied matter simply for lawyers and Home Office officials.

I believe that the onus is on the Home Secretary, if he does not wish to support new clause 6, to say what he will do instead, because there is a genuine problem. I do not believe that the status quo is acceptable to another decade. I therefore hope that the House will, after due deliberation, support this important new clause.

Mr. Menzies Campbell (Fife, North-East)

I support the eloquent case made by the hon. Member for Sunderland, South (Mr. Mullin), who, as has been observed, has a distinguished and deserved reputation for his tenacity in seeing through some especially unpopular, but ultimately, no doubt—from his personal point of view—satisfying, campaigns to resolve substantial miscarriages of justice.

As the House will have observed, new clause 6 embraces not only England and Wales and Northern Ireland, but Scotland. It is sometimes thought, especially by lawyers in Scotland, that our system is immune from miscarriages of justice of the type that has been mentioned. However, the cases of Preece and of Meehan, to which reference was recently made when we debated capital punishment, are eloquent testimony to the fact that miscarriages of justice can occur in any of the legal jurisdictions in the United Kingdom. For that reason, the clause as currently framed refers to Scotland as well.

There is nothing wrong in the law reacting to a disturbing series of cases. What could be more disturbing than the series of cases to which the hon. Member for Sunderland, South referred? Although I do not propose to rehearse them, it is worth pointing out from an historical point of view that a case that was equally celebrated in its time—that of Oscar Slater in Scotland—forced the legislature to introduce into that jurisdiction a right of appeal in cases where guilt had been determined by a jury. Recent history makes the clause not so much desirable as essential in order to establish public confidence in the judicial system.

No matter how the powers of the appellate courts are drawn, the existing machinery will inevitably be inadequate to get to the truth of some cases. That is particularly so in a system that leaves the determination of fact at first instance to juries, because appellate courts are reluctant to interfere with conclusions that juries have reached.

In general, that must be correct, but in cases like those of which we have heard this evening, the appellate courts' restrictive powers are inadequate to get at the truth of issues raised by allegations of miscarriage of justice. It is also important to remember that appellate courts deal with an adversarial system and are bound by the rules of evidence as they apply in the jurisdictions for which they are responsible.

The Select Committee on Home Affairs was remarkably prescient in the report to which reference has already been made. One cannot help but think that, had the terms of that report been speedily implemented, some of the events of the past 12, 13 or 14 years might have been avoided, to the advantage of our judicial system.

One need not be seduced by film reconstructions of previous cases, because the real evidence is as compelling as any that might be required. Mistakes occur in the legal system. No one can prosecute or defend over a period without being aware that he or she has made a mistake in the course of presenting a case. No judge can sit over an extended period without being aware that he or she has made a mistake in determining a case. Lawyers must acknowledge the fallibility of the legal system.

On that footing, I have little hesitation in commending the new clause to the House.

Mr. Gunnell

I shall not delay the House for long because, as other hon. Members have said, my hon. Friend the Member for Sunderland, South (Mr. Mullin) has set out clearly what is needed with regard to a criminal cases review authority. We all await the Home Secretary's reply. Although I welcome the fact that he has published something, I was disappointed that the document had no time scale attached to it—apart from that related to the consultation process—because the matter is urgent.

My disappointment was accentuated by the fact that it was clear from the Home Secretary's comments in the debate on capital punishment that he takes miscarriages of justice seriously. He used the West Yorkshire case of Stefan Kiszko in a telling way when presenting his reasons for changing his position on capital punishment. He is clearly concerned that the issue of miscarriages of justice is extremely serious.

I share the view of my hon. Friend the Member for Islington, North (Mr. Corbyn). The Carl Bridgewater case has been in the public domain for a long time, and significant new evidence has arisen. I hope that the Home Secretary will take that potential miscarriage of justice equally seriously. Those three men have been in prison for a long time. The case therefore needs to come before the Court of Appeal as rapidly as possible. Even if the Home Secretary judges that it should go back, there will still be a considerable delay before those people can be released.

Such factors underline the urgency of the problem. I hope that the Home Secretary will be able to tell us this evening what timetable he has in mind. We were disappointed that such a review body was not included in the Bill—

Ms Corston

Does my hon. Friend agree that another factor contributing to the urgency that the Home Secretary should feel is the fact that, because people who are the victims of miscarriages of justice continue to claim their innocence while in prison, they are ineligible for parole? That means, ludicrously, that the innocent serve longer sentences than the guilty.

Mr. Gunnell

I entirely agree—that is indeed an anomaly.

The son of two constituents of mine, Alan Dodson, who is in Full Sutton prison, was convicted in 1987 of the murder of his fiancee in 1986. From the moment of his arrest and first interview, he has always maintained his innocence. Division 3C of the Home Office entertains some worries about that, because of the representations about it that have been made to the Home Office. It has asked me for any helpful information that I might be able to provide. That goes to show the difficulty of making any progress on the case.

The original request for an appeal came from my predecessor, Lord Merlyn-Rees, and was turned down on the ground that there was no new evidence. At the time, that seemed a fair decision, but in some cases it is, by definition, extremely hard to come up with new evidence—when a murder is alleged to have been committed by a person acting alone, and when the police have formed a conclusion from the outset about who the guilty person was. That can mean that the police do not properly investigate other possible leads. It is thus extremely difficult to produce further evidence.

Sometimes one cannot even procure a copy of the judge's summing-up. That applies in this case; no such copy exists, because the transcript has never been translated from the shorthand. Indeed, some of the shorthand notes of the six days of the trial that preceded the judge's summing up have been lost and can therefore never be recovered. It is clearly impossible to obtain a complete picture of the trial.

To obtain a copy of the summing up, a Member of Parliament would have to find £600—and I am told that we cannot ask for that to be done at public expense, or even pay for it out of our office expenses, if we are prepared to do so. It is hard to make progress without the summing-up by the judge in such a case.

The police seem to have formed a single-minded judgment. It seems that the defence may not have been conducted in a way that was helpful to the person in question. All this shows why many people are concerned about a delay in the appearance of a criminal cases review authority on the statute book.

We are also worried that the Bill will increase the potential for miscarriages of justice. For instance, we regret the way in which the right to silence has been dealt with, but that is a subject for another debate. We also regret the rejection of the many constructive Opposition amendments that sought to restrict the time at which that might take effect to formal situations. That would have meant that people could not be held responsible for everything that happened from the moment they were spoken to on the street, in the police car or at the station without a solicitor being present. Such safeguards should be in place if we are to avoid further miscarriages of justice.

That being the case, it is particularly important that the miscarriages of justice that have occurred should be capable of investigation and should be put right as rapidly as possible on the broader base, which is simply that they are or may be unsafe.

It being 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. Patnick.]

Question agreed to.

Question again proposed, That the clause be read a Second time.

Sir Richard Body (Holland with Boston)

I, too, congratulate the hon. Member for Sunderland, South (Mr. Mullin) on his new clause. Twenty years ago, it would have been quite unnecessary, and I would have said that after 20 years at the criminal bar. Over the past two decades there have been far too many injustices that have not been put right by the Court of Appeal because of its procedures and various inhibitions. I suppose that many of us can think of constituents who have been convicted, not in such dramatic circumstances as those that we have heard about, but in a lesser way.

I can think of one very prominent constituent who was convicted of murder. It was what the French would call a crime passionnel. He was het up and emotionally charged when he went to the police station and was undoubtedly coaxed into making a statement which I do not think would have held water and would have been put right by the kind of independent body about which the hon. Member for Sunderland, South has spoken.

As I have said, there have been far too many injustices and it is intolerable to permit them to go on without a body such as that which the new clause proposes. Sooner or later, that body will be set up. Let us do it now rather than postpone it and in the intervening time have more injustices.

Mr. Trimble

I rise primarily to show my support and that of my hon. Friends for the principle behind the new clause proposed by the hon. Member for Sunderland, South (Mr. Mullin). I welcome the form of the new clause in that it refers not only to England and Wales but to Scotland and Northern Ireland.

No system will be perfect, and no matter what the circumstances, mistakes are bound to occur in any situation. Several years ago I spoke to a visiting group of American lawyers who were concerned about the criminal justice system in Northern Ireland. I told them the remarkable fact that over the many years of operation of the Diplock courts, there had until then been no cases in which any person convicted in the courts was imprisoned protesting innocence. That, of course, is no longer true. We have had the UDR Four case, with which my hon. Friend the Member for Fermanagh and South Tyrone (Mr. Maginnis) has been particularly associated.

Since the Court of Appeal overturned three of the four convictions in that case, other cases have come forward, at least one of which appears to me to have some merit. Therefore, we cannot claim to be immune from problems, although I must tell the hon. Member for Morley and Leeds, South (Mr. Gunnell) that at least we have the advantage of always getting transcripts of cases and judgments and automatic rights of appeal.

None the less, I am satisfied that there should be a review authority and that it is not right to leave the matter purely to the Home Secretary or the Secretaries of State for Scotland, Northern Ireland or Wales, as the case might be.

Further, the review authority must operate in what one might call an inquisitorial manner. It must free itself from the adversarial approach that dominates the courts and appears to have dominated also the attitudes of the Home Office and administrators. Although the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland has not yet responded to the Adjournment debate that my hon. Friend the Member for Fermanagh and South Tyrone obtained on the Neil Latimer case a few weeks ago, it seemed from listening to his response that he was still far too much trapped within the habit of thought of someone who operates within the adversarial system. He seemed primarily concerned with defending and vindicating the judges and the judicial decision, rather than with taking an independent view and being motivated primarily by the search for truth, which must be the purpose of the review authority.

It is strange that lawyers who present cases and judges who decide them are comfortable with the thought that they may make mistakes when dealing with civil actions, and feel no rebuke when an appeal court overrules or varies their decision, but that they become desperately defensive about criminal actions—as if they were fallible only in respect of civil actions and infallible in criminal matters. That is not a rational view.

I welcome the publication of the Home Office discussion paper. As the hon. Member for Sunderland, South said, his new clause and this debate might have set its timetable and target. If so, that is a good thing. Perhaps it is a pity that it was not published earlier. I hope that the Home Office will not adopt a purely parochial attitude and consider only England and Wales, but that like and speedy consideration will be given to Northern Ireland and the other jurisdiction.

I agree that the wider grounds for appeal referred to in paragraph 44 of the paper should be adopted. The right approach is that adopted in Northern Ireland for county court appeals, when a complete new hearing is started. By complete, I mean that all the evidence is considered afresh—there is not the technical rehearing that occurs in the English Court of Appeal.

There should be judicial review of the review authority's actions, and it should be under an obligation to make wider disclosure than paragraph 73 of the paper envisages. Most important of all, there should be no limitation on the royal prerogative. The discussion paper makes the mistake of suggesting that the royal prerogative's future scope must be limited, but I believe that it should be available to cover the exceptional case—and by definition, the exceptional case cannot be predicted. An opportunity must exist for recourse to the royal prerogative.

Another problem that concerns me as a Northern Ireland Member is that of small jurisdictions. I am not sure of the extent to which that is a problem in Scotland, but I suspect that it is one. Northern Ireland has one Lord Chief Justice, a few Lord Justices of Appeal and a few puisne judges—a total of 10. A criminal case will be heard by one of them in the first instance. Under the Diplock courts, there is an automatic right of appeal to a hearing by a further three judges. That accounts for four judges out of 10. If the case is referred back to the criminal court of appeal, another three judges will be required. With the referral of the UDR Four case, one prosecuting counsel had been promoted to the Bench, so was ruled out of consideration. What will happen if such a case is referred back to the Court of Appeal, when it has already run through half the judiciary? Is it reasonable to expect that an entirely fresh view will be taken by judges capable of taking such a view?

Small jurisdictions also produce a better cohesion among the jury—everybody knows everybody else. I am sure that problem exists also in Scotland. One constituent of mine is in prison in Scotland, and there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that the decision in that case was not safe. I encounter in the representations that I make exactly the same defensive attitude that we have seen among the judges and lawyers in Northern Ireland. So there is a particular problem there.

I finish with one general observation. Details have been given this evening of several serious miscarriages of justice. In some of those cases, although not all—it is not the sole problem—the problem was unethical conduct by the police, the prosecutors and others. That is a general problem. No review authority would be able to cope with that, but it has to be emphasised that part of the process that is adopted must be to reassert the ethical standards that ought to apply in the police and among prosecutors.

If I recall rightly, when Lord Denning referred on that celebrated occasion to an appalling vista, he had in mind that if the appellant's case was true, it meant that the police had lied and the lawyers has failed in their duty. That was what he saw as the appalling vista: those whom we relied on to behave honourably had behaved dishonourably. That is something that we have to deal with.

In Northern Ireland, another factor has aggravated the matter. As well as over-enthusiasm among the police and prosecutors, political pressure has been exerted, and corrupted the process. That may also have been a factor in some of the miscarriages of justice in England and Wales too. It has certainly been a factor in Northern Ireland in the case with which I am dealing. The miscarriages of justice in England and Wales have also had another effect. It has been significant in one case that affected us in Northern Ireland. It has resulted in a tendency by juries to disbelieve evidence. That perhaps follows on from what Lord Denning saw as the appalling vista.

I am glad that the Home Office has published its discussion paper. I hope that the matter will be progressed as speedily as possible. I hope that the other jurisdictions, Scotland and Northern Ireland, will be kept on board and that legislation will be introduced soon which will deal with the matter on a United Kingdom basis, with all the jurisdictions at the same time. I appreciate that, because of its background, there will have to be slight differences for Scotland. There is no significant difference on the matter between the legal systems in Northern Ireland and in England and Wales. I hope that the Home Secretary can assure us this evening that the Northern Ireland Office will be fully on board on this issue and that changes will be made simultaneously.

Mr. Blair

I rise to speak in support of new clause 6, tabled by my hon. Friend the Member for Sunderland, South (Mr. Mullin). I pay tribute to my hon. Friend for the work that he has done on the subject and the manner in which he moved the new clause today. I also pay tribute to my hon. Friend the Member for Bristol, East (Ms Corston), whose Bill on the subject has also helped to move the argument forward.

I wish to be brief and I intend to confine myself to one point. It is right that new clause 6 has been tabled. Like my hon. Friend, I suspect that if it had not been tabled we might not have had such a prompt response from the Home Office last Friday in the form of a discussion paper, although the Home Secretary is doubtless about to stretch our credulity a little more and tell us that it was a marvellous coincidence.

Of course there are problems of detail. For example, who would conduct the investigations of the new body? However, there is broad agreement in principle about the authority. There is agreement that the review body should be independent of the courts and should have its own procedure for investigations. There is a wide consensus as to the need for the body and a fair degree of consensus as to its powers.

The hon. Member for Bexleyheath (Mr. Townsend) was right when he said that one of the important things about such a body is that questions of miscarriages of justice would no longer depend on the arbitrary swings of publicity, taking up a particular cause at any one time, but would be on the more objective basis of a proper and thorough investigation.

The argument for such a body has been concluded and won long since. I make that point in support of the new clause. The Royal Commission on criminal justice, which was in a sense the reason for the legislation before us, was set up on 14 March 1991—the day the Court of Appeal quashed the convictions of the Birmingham Six, who had long and in vain relied on the usual procedures to obtain justice. It followed the 1989 inquiry of Sir John May into the convictions of the Guildford Four and the Maguires. In the course of that inquiry, Sir John made clear his belief that the present system should change, which was also the view of successive Home Secretaries. The inquiry had itself succeeded the report of the Select Committee on Home Affairs, produced more than a decade ago.

On page 6, the royal commission report—published nine months ago, in July 1993—states: The widely publicised miscarriages of justice which have occurred in recent years have created a need to restore public confidence in the criminal justice system. That need has not diminished since we were appointed. 10.15 pm

A royal commission set up to investigate the need for such a body recommended its establishment. It has been debated for literally years, with a growing consensus on all sides that it is necessary. There is no substantial disagreement about the need or purposes of it. In those circumstances, it is scandalous that there is no provision for it in the Bill. Such provision should and could have been in the Bill, and would have attracted enormous support from all quarters in the House.

I venture to say that if anyone had suggested back in March 1991—when the royal commission was set up—that a recommendation for such a review body in its report would be the one proposal not included in the Bill, people would have been deeply surprised. The Home Secretary may shake his head, but I think that that is obvious. The commission was set up on the very day when the convictions were quashed and it was set up in part, at least, to look into the need for such a body. There was already a strong consensus in its favour, and the commission found definitively that it should be set up. Now, nine months on, we still have only a consultation paper from the Home Office. I believe that there is no good reason why we could not have proceeded in a much quicker and more effective way.

If we are to restore confidence within the criminal justice system, of course we must be keen to convict the criminal; but we must also be keen to provide justice for the innocent. That is the purpose of any good criminal justice system—not to favour the prosecution or the accused, but to seek and obtain the truth, wherever it may lie. We know that there has been a history of miscarriages of justice over the past few decades, and a royal commission set up to inquire into the purpose of a review body recommended its establishment. Establishing the review body, and including it in the Bill, would constitute an important statement on behalf of the House about the right balance in the criminal justice system.

There is no good reason for delay. I believe that if the Home Secretary proceeded now he would be doing a service to the entire criminal justice system, and establishing confidence within that system. I urge him to accept calls that have come from hon. Members on both sides of the House, and to act now to put the matter right.

Sir Ivan Lawrence

I, too, shall be brief.

There is no doubt that a string of miscarriages of justice has marred the high reputation of British justice; equally, there is no doubt that the hon. Member for Sunderland, South (Mr. Mullin) deserves praise rather than vilification for the part that he has played. I must point out, however, that many—although not all—of those miscarriages of justice took place 16 years ago. Since then, a number of things have already happened to reduce the likelihood of such miscarriages, although not to seal off all possibility of them.

The miscarriages of justice took place before the establishment of an independent Crown Prosecution Service, genetic testing, the electro-static document analysis system, the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984—which protects suspects—and the changes in criminal trial procedure whereby judges warn juries to be ultra-careful in identification cases. These miscarriages mostly took place before the new training of lawyers and judges and, in particular, before the introduction of tape-recorded interviews. That will have reduced substantially, but not sufficiently, the likelihood of miscarriages of justice.

Immediately after the string of miscarriages, the Government set up the Runciman royal commission. They have accepted in particular the recommendation that there should be a criminal cases review authority, which is long overdue. What is wrong with the present system is simply that it misses some of the miscarriages of justice.

The Society of Conservative Lawyers gave evidence to Runciman. That evidence was a bit stronger than some of the Runciman proposals that the Government are now considering. We suggested that the Court of Appeal should always acquit if it has a lurking doubt, that more use should be made of the power of the Court of Appeal to order a retrial, that there should be legal aid to cover reasonable search for new evidence and that there should be a widening of principles whereby new evidence could be admitted.

We also said, however, that the Court of Appeal even in a reformed state would not be enough to remove some of the miscarriages of justice and we, too, suggested an independent review board. We made the point that it should not be the responsibility of the Home Secretary to decide whether or not matters should be considered for reference back to the Court of Appeal, as advised by Home Office officials, who sometimes seem to believe that there must be positive proof of innocence before anything is referred back. One cannot, by looking at papers, detect whether a police officer has been dishonest, whether a forensic scientist has made a mistake or whether a witness was in error.

There was always a fundamental flaw in leaving it to the Home Secretary—who, of course, is subject to approaches by archbishops and everybody else—to give the impression that some of his decisions may be made on a political or other basis when nobody has the slightest reason for thinking that that ever happens. Obviously we could remove that sort of decision from the Home Secretary and put it in the hands of an independent review body. That would be much better, but such a body must be properly staffed and properly funded and must have full investigative powers. In this regard I agree with much of what has been said during the debate. The body must take up its position as soon as possible, and the discussion paper is a good start.

We are considering the wrongful conviction of the innocent—a type of miscarriage of justice that is deplorable in every sense. But there is another type of miscarriage of justice—the wrongful acquittal of the guilty. It may be that every year there are tens of miscarriages of justice involving wrongful conviction of the innocent, but there are tens of thousands of miscarriages of justice involving acquittal of the guilty. These people then go out and commit more crimes and are responsible for more suffering and misery in society. Runciman has addressed that matter, too. My plea is that my right hon. and learned Friend the Home Secretary should implement those changes as quickly as possible, as he is doing in the Criminal Justice Bill and beyond, so that society may be rid of all kinds of miscarriages of justice—not just the conviction of the innocent but also the acquittal of the guilty.

Rev. William McCrea (Mid-Ulster)

The hon. Member for Sunderland, South (Mr. Mullin) and I often have very different opinions, and that will certainly continue to be the case. However, there is wide consensus in the House and in the country that there should be an independent body to investigate alleged miscarriages of justice. The establishment of such a body would be in the interests of British justice. I trust that the Home Secretary is listening attentively to the views of hon. Members and will agree to the establishment of an independent body.

There have been unjust attacks on British justice, and the impression has been given—and is still being given—that in every case in the past few years in which people have been released from prison they were innocent. I do not believe that that is what the courts said: they said that the convictions were not safe, which is very different from suggesting that every individual involved was wholly innocent.

Mr. Mullin


Rev. William McCrea

No, I shall not give way as I intend to speak for only a few minutes.

I stress that I am not interested in putting behind bars anyone who is innocent. British justice does not accept that the innocent should suffer, but I do not believe that the guilty should go free. I want there to be a genuine search for the truth. If those who have been released were guilty, I hope that we can somehow get to the very depths of the case, whether it be the Birmingham, Guildford or Ulster Defence Regiment cases. The House should be seeking the truth, irrespective of what the individual involved represents or of whether, in terms of Northern Ireland, he is from one section of the community or the other.

I have not heard much from Opposition Members about the UDR Four—[Interruption.] The hon. Member for Sunderland, South was one of the few who mentioned them. From the very beginning, my colleagues genuinely believed in the innocence of the UDR Four, while others have recently joined the bandwagon who in the past wrote that they were guilty.

Lawyers are not perfect; nor are judges, Ministers or Members of Parliament. Errors can be made and, if they have been made, they must be put right, which is why we should have an independent body to investigate matters. My colleagues will certainly support that notion tonight because it is important. I ask the Home Secretary to take the matter seriously and to accept that there is widespread concern in the community.

I make a further appeal to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and to the Home Secretary about the case of one member of the UDR Four who still lies in prison. He is innocent of the crime of which he has been accused. Three of the UDR Four were let out but one has been left in, and the only possible reason for that is political. There are plenty of reasons why Neil Latimer should be let out and I trust that he will be released.

I ask the House to support the new clause as I believe that it is being forced to a Division. I trust that the right decision will be taken and that we shall strike a blow for good British justice.

Mr. Howard

I, too, pay tribute to the hon. Member for Sunderland, South (Mr. Mullin) for the way in which he moved the new clause and for the way in which he has conducted his campaigns down the years. I agree that he must look back on some of his successes with considerable satisfaction.

Like every other hon. Member, I believe that one innocent person convicted is one too many. I want to put in place the best criminal justice system that it is possible to provide—a system that contains all necessary safeguards to minimise the possibility of a wrongful conviction, the most effective appeals procedures that we can devise, so that if there are any wrongful convictions they can be corrected at the earliest possible stage, and the best machinery for investigating alleged miscarriages of justice to ensure that, in the last resort, appropriate cases are referred back to the courts for review.

As the House will know, the Government have accepted the royal commission's recommendation that the powers to investigate and refer cases to the Court of Appeal should be removed from the Home Secretary and that a new body—the criminal cases review authority—should be set up to carry out those functions. We are committed to establishing the new authority as soon as possible.

That is a firm decision by the Government on the principle, but a decision in principle is not enough to provide the basis for detailed legislation. The royal commission considered the issues carefully and, we think, came to the right conclusion. However, its proposals do not amount to a detailed blueprint for the new authority. They do not answer all the questions that need to be settled before effecting this major constitutional change—probably the biggest in the area since the Criminal Appeal Act 1907.

There are further important issues to consider. Some are points of detail, but they nevertheless have to be decided before an effective scheme can be set in place. Others are more substantial. I shall say a word or two about some of them in a few moments. There may be different views on them, in the House and elsewhere, but they need to be resolved before we can proceed.

10.30 pm

We have been devoting a great deal of thought to identifying the issues and examining possible solutions. The results are set out in the discussion paper that I published on Friday. We have invited comments from those interested in this area of the criminal justice system by 31 May 1994. There are many people, practitioners and others, with a long-standing interest in miscarriage of justice cases—there is no doubt that the hon. Member for Sunderland, South is among them—with experience and insights to offer. I want to hear from them and to benefit from their views.

Mr. Michael

The Secretary of State is basically asking us to be patient. Is not he aware that when those of us who were involved with the Criminal Justice Bill in 1993 moved similar propositions, we were were encouraged to be patient because, we were told, they were to be the basis, the heart, of the Bill currently before the House?

Mr. Howard

Whatever was said at that time was said before the royal commission's report was published. The royal commission might have come up with a detailed blueprint that would have enabled us to include provision for that body in the Bill. I can tell the House that no one would have been more pleased than I to include those provisions in the Bill. I was extremely keen to do it. It is perfectly clear, however, for the reasons that I have set out, that it is not a practical proposition.

The paper that I published on Friday discusses a range of important issues. They include the authority's relationship with the courts and with the Government, the composition, working methods, procedures and powers of the authority, the criteria for investigating cases and referring them back to the courts, the circumstances in which the royal prerogative should be exercised in the future, how members should be appointed and to whom the authority should be accountable.

The Lord Chief Justice, when he spoke in another place last October in a debate on the royal commission's report, stressed the importance of not rushing to creating new machinery for looking at alleged miscarriages of justice. He said: It is necessary to have a review procedure and it should be conducted by an independent body". But he also said: it is extremely important …that we should not proceed too quickly. It is important that the new body should be properly constituted and set up."— [Official Report, House of Lords, 26 October 1993; Vol. 549, c. 795–98.] I agree with him and I can assure him, and the House, that when the new authority is established, it will be after very careful consideration of, and consultation on, all the issues. The new authority will be properly constituted and set up. That is the right way forward, rather than the new clauses.

I know that many hon. Members are impatient to see that change introduced and so am I, but we should not do anyone any service if we rushed the legislation through without having attended to all the detailed questions that are set out in the discussion paper. It is for those reasons that I urge the House to reject the new clause.

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

The House divided: Ayes 278, Noes 308.

Division No. 182] [10.35 pm
Abbott, Ms Diane Barron, Kevin
Adams, Mrs Irene Battle, John
Ainger, Nick Bayley, Hugh
Ainsworth, Robert (Cov'try NE) Beckett, Rt Hon Margaret
Allen, Graham Benn, Rt Hon Tony
Alton, David Bennett, Andrew F.
Anderson, Donald (Swansea E) Benton, Joe
Anderson, Ms Janet (Ros'dale) Bermingham, Gerald
Armstrong, Hilary Berry, Dr. Roger
Ashton, Joe Betts, Clive
Austin-Walker, John Blair, Tony
Banks, Tony (Newham NW) Blunkett, David
Barnes, Harry Boateng, Paul
Body, Sir Richard Hain, Peter
Boyes, Roland Hall, Mike
Bray, Dr Jeremy Hanson, David
Brown, Gordon (Dunfermline E) Hardy, Peter
Brown, N. (N'c'tle upon Tyne E) Harman, Ms Harriet
Burden, Richard Harvey, Nick
Byers, Stephen Hattersley, Rt Hon Roy
Caborn, Richard Henderson, Doug
Callaghan, Jim Heppell, John
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge) Hill, Keith (Streatham)
Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE) Hinchliffe, David
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V) Hoey, Kate
Campbell-Savours, D. N. Hogg, Norman (Cumbernauld)
Canavan, Dennis Home Robertson, John
Cann, Jamie Hood, Jimmy
Carlile, Alexander (Montgomry) Hoon, Geoffrey
Chisholm, Malcolm Howarth, George (Knowsley N)
Clapham, Michael Howells, Dr. Kim (Pontypridd)
Clark, Dr David (South Shields) Hoyle, Doug
Clarke, Eric (Midlothian) Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)
Clarke, Tom (Monklands W) Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)
Clwyd, Mrs Ann Hughes, Roy (Newport E)
Coffey, Ann Hume, John
Cohen, Harry Hutton, John
Connarty, Michael Illsley, Eric
Cook, Frank (Stockton N) Ingram, Adam
Cook, Robin (Livingston) Jackson, Glenda (H'stead)
Corbett, Robin Jackson, Helen (Shef'ld, H)
Corbyn, Jeremy Jamieson, David
Corston, Ms Jean Jones, Barry (Alyn and D'side)
Cousins, Jim Jones, Ieuan Wyn (Ynys Môn)
Cox, Tom Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C)
Cryer, Bob Jones, Lynne (B'ham S O)
Cunliffe, Lawrence Jones, Martyn (Clwyd, SW)
Cunningham, Jim (Covy SE) Jones, Nigel (Cheltenham)
Dalyell, Tarn Jowell, Tessa
Darling, Alistair Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald
Davidson, Ian Keen, Alan
Davies, Bryan (Oldham C'tral) Kennedy, Jane (Lpool Brdgn)
Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli) Khabra, Piara S.
Davies, Ron (Caerphilly) Kilfoyle, Peter
Davis, Terry (B'ham, H'dge H'I) Kinnock, Rt Hon Neil (Islwyn)
Denham, John Kirkwood, Archy
Dewar, Donald Lestor, Joan (Eccles)
Dixon, Don Lewis, Terry
Dobson, Frank Litherland, Robert
Donohoe, Brian H. Livingstone, Ken
Dowd, Jim Lloyd, Tony (Stretford)
Dunnachie, Jimmy Llwyd, Elfyn
Eagle, Ms Angela Loyden, Eddie
Eastham, Ken Lynne, Ms Liz
Enright, Derek McAllion, John
Etherington, Bill McAvoy, Thomas
Evans, John (St Helens N) McCartney, Ian
Ewing, Mrs Margaret McCrea, Rev William
Fatchett, Derek Macdonald, Calum
Faulds, Andrew McFall, John
Field, Frank (Birkenhead) McKelvey, William
Fisher, Mark Mackinlay, Andrew
Flynn, Paul McLeish, Henry
Foster, Rt Hon Derek Maclennan, Robert
Foster, Don (Bath) McMaster, Gordon
Foulkes, George McNamara, Kevin
Fraser, John McWilliam, John
Fyfe, Maria Madden, Max
Galloway, George Maginnis, Ken
Gapes, Mike Mahon, Alice
Garrett, John Mallon, Seamus
George, Bruce Mandelson, Peter
Gerrard, Neil Marek, Dr John
Gilbert, Rt Hon Dr John Marshall, David (Shettleston)
Godman, Dr Norman A. Marshall, Jim (Leicester, S)
Godsiff, Roger Martin, Michael J. (Springburn)
Golding, Mrs Llin Martlew, Eric
Gordon, Mildred Maxton, John
Grant, Bemie (Tottenham) Meacher, Michael
Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S) Meale, Alan
Griffiths, Win (Bridgend) Michael, Alun
Grocott, Bruce Michie, Bill (Sheffield Heeley)
Gunnell, John Milburn, Alan
Miller, Andrew Sheerman, Barry
Mitchell, Austin (Gt Grimsby) Sheldon, Rt Hon Robert
Molyneaux, Rt Hon James Shore, Rt Hon Peter
Morgan, Rhodri Simpson, Alan
Morley, Elliot Skinner, Dennis
Morris, Estelle (B'ham Yardley) Smith, Andrew (Oxford E)
Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon) Smith, C. (Isl'ton S & F'sbury)
Mowlam, Marjorie Smith, Rt Hon John (M'kl'ds E)
Mudie, George Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
Mullin, Chris Smyth, Rev Martin (Belfast S)
Murphy, Paul Snape, Peter
Oakes, Rt Hon Gordon Soley, Clive
O'Brien, Michael (N W'kshire) Spearing, Nigel
O'Hara, Edward Spellar, John
Olner, William Squire, Rachel (Dunfermline W)
O'Neill, Martin Steel, Rt Hon Sir David
Orme, Rt Hon Stanley Steinberg, Gerry
Paisley, Rev Ian Stevenson, George
Parry, Robert Stott, Roger
Patchett, Terry Strang, Dr. Gavin
Pendry, Tom Straw, Jack
Pickthall, Colin Taylor, Mrs Ann (Dewsbury)
Pike, Peter L. Taylor, Rt Hon John D. (Strgfd)
Pope, Greg Thompson, Jack (Wansbeck)
Powell, Ray (Ogmore) Townsend, Cyril D. (Bexl'yh'th)
Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lew'm E) Trimble, David
Prentice, Gordon (Pendle) Tyler, Paul
Prescott, John Vaz, Keith
Primarolo, Dawn Walker, A. Cecil (Belfast N)
Purchase, Ken Walker, Rt Hon Sir Harold
Quin, Ms Joyce Walley, Joan
Radice, Giles Wardell, Gareth (Gower)
Randall, Stuart Wareing, Robert N
Raynsford, Nick Welsh, Andrew
Redmond, Martin Wicks, Malcolm
Reid, Dr John Wigley, Dafydd
Rendel, David Williams, Rt Hon Alan (Sw'n W)
Robertson, George (Hamilton) Williams, Alan W (Carmarthen)
Robinson, Geoffrey (Co'try NW) Winnick, David
Robinson, Peter (Belfast E) Wise, Audrey
Roche, Mrs. Barbara Worthington, Tony
Rogers, Allan Wray, Jimmy
Rooker, Jeff Wright, Dr Tony
Rooney, Terry Young, David (Bolton SE)
Ross, William (E Londonderry)
Rowlands, Ted Tellers for the Ayes:
Ruddock, Joan Mr. John Cummings and
Sedgemore, Brian Mr. Dennis Turner.
Ainsworth, Peter (East Surrey) Bottomley, Rt Hon Virginia
Aitken, Jonathan Bowden, Andrew
Alexander, Richard Bowis, John
Alison, Rt Hon Michael (Selby) Boyson, Rt Hon Sir Rhodes
Allason, Rupert (Torbay) Brandreth, Gyles
Amess, David Brazier, Julian
Arbuthnot, James Bright, Graham
Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham) Brooke, Rt Hon Peter
Arnold, Sir Thomas (Hazel Grv) Brown, M. (Brigg & Cl'thorpes)
Ashby, David Browning, Mrs. Angela
Aspinwall, Jack Bruce, Ian (S Dorset)
Atkins, Robert Budgen, Nicholas
Atkinson, David (Bour'mouth E) Burns, Simon
Atkinson, Peter (Hexham) Butcher, John
Baker, Rt Hon K. (Mole Valley) Butterfill, John
Baker, Nicholas (Dorset North) Carlisle, John (Luton North)
Baldry, Tony Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)
Banks, Matthew (Southport) Carrington, Matthew
Banks, Robert (Harrogate) Carttiss, Michael
Bates, Michael Cash, William
Batiste, Spencer Churchill, Mr
Bellingham, Henry Clappison, James
Bendall, Vivian Clark, Dr Michael (Rochford)
Beresford, Sir Paul Clarke, Rt Hon Kenneth (Ruclif)
Biffen, Rt Hon John Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey
Blackburn, Dr John G. Coe, Sebastian
Bonsor, Sir Nicholas Colvin, Michael
Booth, Hartley Congdon, David
Boswell, Tim Conway, Derek
Bottomley, Peter (Eltham) Coombs, Anthony (Wyre For'st)
Coombs, Simon (Swindon) Howard, Rt Hon Michael
Cope, Rt Hon Sir John Howarth, Alan (Strat'rd-on-A)
Couchman, James Howell, Rt Hon David (G'dford)
Cran, James Howell, Sir Ralph (N Norfolk)
Currie, Mrs Edwina (S D'by'ire) Hughes Robert G. (Harrow W)
Curry, David (Skipton & Ripon) Hunt, Rt Hon David (Wirral W)
Davies, Quentin (Stamford) Hunt, Sir John (Ravensbourne)
Davis, David (Boothferry) Hunter, Andrew
Day, Stephen Hurd, Rt Hon Douglas
Deva, Nirj Joseph Jack, Michael
Devlin, Tim Jackson, Robert (Wantage)
Dickens, Geoffrey Jenkin, Bernard
Dicks, Terry Jessel, Toby
Dorrell, Stephen Johnson Smith, Sir Geoffrey
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N)
Dover, Den Jones, Robert B. (W Hertfdshr)
Duncan, Alan Jopling, Rt Hon Michael
Duncan-Smith, Iain Kellett-Bowman, Dame Elaine
Dunn, Bob Key, Robert
Durant, Sir Anthony King, Rt Hon Tom
Dykes, Hugh Kirkhope, Timothy
Eggar, Tim Knapman, Roger
Elletson, Harold Knight, Mrs Angela (Erewash)
Emery, Rt Hon Sir Peter Knight, Greg (Derby N)
Evans, David (Welwyn Hatfield) Knight, Dame Jill (Bir'm E'st'n)
Evans, Jonathan (Brecon) Knox, Sir David
Evans, Nigel (Ribble Valley) Kynoch, George (Kincardine)
Evans, Roger (Monmouth) Lait, Mrs Jacqui
Evennett, David Lang, Rt Hon Ian
Faber, David Lawrence, Sir Ivan
Fabricant, Michael Legg, Barry
Fairbairn, Sir Nicholas Leigh, Edward
Fenner, Dame Peggy Lennox-Boyd, Mark
Field, Barry (Isle of Wight) Lester, Jim (Broxtowe)
Fishburn, Dudley Lidington, David
Forman, Nigel Lightbown, David
Forsyth, Michael (Stirling) Lilley, Rt Hon Peter
Forth, Eric Lloyd, Rt Hon Peter (Fareham)
Fowler, Rt Hon Sir Norman Lord, Michael
Fox, Dr Liam (Woodspring) Luff, Peter
Fox, Sir Marcus (Shipley) Lyell, Rt Hon Sir Nicholas
Freeman, Rt Hon Roger MacGregor, Rt Hon John
French, Douglas MacKay, Andrew
Fry, Sir Peter Maclean, David
Gale, Roger McLoughlin, Patrick
Gallie, Phil McNair-Wilson, Sir Patrick
Gardiner, Sir George Madel, Sir David
Garnier, Edward Maitland, Lady Olga
Gill, Christopher Malone, Gerald
Gillan, Cheryl Mans, Keith
Goodlad, Rt Hon Alastair Marland, Paul
Goodson-Wickes, Dr Charles Marlow, Tony
Gorman, Mrs Teresa Marshall, John (Hendon S)
Gorst, John Marshall, Sir Michael (Arundel)
Grant, Sir A. (Cambs SW) Martin, David (Portsmouth S)
Greenway, Harry (Eating N) Mates, Michael
Green way, John (Ryedale) Mawhinney, Rt Hon Dr Brian
Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth, N) Mellor, Rt Hon David
Grylls, Sir Michael Merchant, Piers
Gummer, Rt Hon John Selwyn Mills, Iain
Hague, William Mitchell, Andrew (Gedling)
Hamilton, Rt Hon Sir Archie Mitchell, Sir David (Hants NW)
Hamilton, Neil (Tatton) Moate, Sir Roger
Hanley, Jeremy Monro, Sir Hector
Hannam, Sir John Montgomery, Sir Fergus
Hargreaves, Andrew Moss, Malcolm
Harris, David Nelson, Anthony
Haselhurst, Alan Neubert, Sir Michael
Hawkins, Nick Newton, Rt Hon Tony
Hawksley, Warren Nicholls, Patrick
Hayes, Jerry Nicholson, David (Taunton)
Heald, Oliver Nicholson, Emma (Devon West)
Hendry, Charles Norris, Steve
Heseltine, Rt Hon Michael Onslow, Rt Hon Sir Cranley
Hicks, Robert Oppenheim, Phillip
Higgins, Rt Hon Sir Terence L. Ottaway, Richard
Hill, James (Southampton Test) Page, Richard
Hogg, Rt Hon Douglas (G'tham) Paice, James
Horam, John Patnick, Irvine
Hordern, Rt Hon Sir Peter Patten, Rt Hon John
Pattie, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Sweeney, Walter
Pawsey, James Sykes, John
Peacock, Mrs Elizabeth Tapsell, Sir Peter
Pickles, Eric Taylor, Ian (Esher)
Porter, Barry (Wirral S) Taylor, John M. (Solihull)
Porter, David (Waveney) Taylor, Sir Teddy (Southend, E)
Portillo, Rt Hon Michael Temple-Morris, Peter
Rathbone, Tim Thomason, Roy
Redwood, Rt Hon John Thompson, Sir Donald (C'er V)
Renton, Rt Hon Tim Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N)
Richards, Rod Thornton, Sir Malcolm
Riddick, Graham Thurnham, Peter
Rifkind, Rt Hon. Malcolm Townend, John (Bridlington)
Roberts, Rt Hon Sir Wyn Tracey, Richard
Robertson, Raymond (Ab'd'n S) Tredinnick, David
Robinson, Mark (Somerton) Trend, Michael
Roe, Mrs Marion (Broxbourne) Trotter, Neville
Rowe, Andrew (Mid Kent) Twinn, Dr Ian
Rumbold, Rt Hon Dame Angela Vaughan, Sir Gerard
Ryder, Rt Hon Richard Viggers, Peter
Sackville, Tom Waldegrave, Rt Hon William
Sainsbury, Rt Hon Tim Walden, George
Scott, Rt Hon Nicholas Walker, Bill (N Tayside)
Shaw, David (Dover) Waller, Gary
Shaw, Sir Giles (Pudsey) Ward, John
Shepherd, Colin (Hereford) Wardle, Charles (Bexhill)
Shepherd, Richard (Aldridge) Waterson, Nigel
Shersby, Michael Watts, John
Sims, Roger Wells, Bowen
Skeet, Sir Trevor Wheeler, Rt Hon Sir John
Smith, Sir Dudley (Warwick) Whitney, Ray
Soames, Nicholas Whittingdale, John
Speed, Sir Keith Widdecombe, Ann
Spencer, Sir Derek Wiggin, Sir Jerry
Spicer, Michael (S Worcs) Wilkinson, John
Spink, Dr Robert Willetts, David
Spring, Richard Wilshire, David
Sproat, Iain Winterton, Mrs Ann (Congleton)
Squire, Robin (Hornchurch) Winterton, Nicholas (Macc'fld)
Stanley, Rt Hon Sir John Wolfson, Mark
Steen, Anthony Yeo, Tim
Stephen, Michael Young, Rt Hon Sir George
Stern, Michael
Stewart, Allan Tellers for the Noes:
Streeter, Gary Mr. Sydney Chapman and
Sumberg, David Mr. Timothy Wood.

Question accordingly negatived.

Forward to