HC Deb 17 July 1995 vol 263 cc1352-65

Lords amendment: No. 1, after clause 2, to insert the following new clause—

Recommendation in case of life sentence for murder

(". After section 11 of the 1968 Act insert—

"Appeal against recommendation

Appeal against recommendation in case of life sentence for murder.

11A.—(1) Where under section 1(2) of the Murder (Abolition of Death Penalty) Act 1965 a court has made a recommendation to the Secretary of State as to the minimum period which should elapse before he orders the release on licence of a person convicted of murder, the person may appeal to the Court of Appeal against the recommendation.

(2) Subject to subsection (3) below, an appeal under this section lies only with the leave of the Court of Appeal.

(3) If the court which made the recommendation grants a certificate that the case is fit for appeal under this section, an appeal under this section lies without the leave of the Court of Appeal.

(4) On an appeal under this section the Court of Appeal, if they consider that a different recommendation should be made, may—

  1. (a) quash the recommendation; and
  2. (b) in place of it declare the period which they recommend to the Secretary of State as the minimum period which should elapse before he orders the appellant's release on licence."")

5.54 pm
The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. Michael Howard)

I beg to move, That this House doth disagree with the Lords in the said amendment.

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Sir Geoffrey Lofthouse)

With this, it will be convenient to discuss Lords amendment No. 46 and the Government motion to disagree.

Mr. Howard

The purpose of the motion is to remove a clause added to the Bill in the other place. The new clause was added by a majority of 16 on Report, against the advice of my right hon. Friend the Minister of State.

The new clause relates to the mandatory life sentence imposed on those convicted of murder. As the House knows, in such cases it is open to the trial judge, when passing sentence, to make a recommendation to the Secretary of State about the minimum period of imprisonment to be served. The judge is not obliged to do so and in practice, formal recommendations are made only in a minority of cases. The new clause would provide a right of appeal against a recommendation made in open court.

When the amendment was debated in the other place, those who spoke in its favour argued that it would rectify an anomaly between discretionary and mandatory life sentences. They believed that it would introduce greater openness into the tariff-setting process and they claimed that it would have no bearing on the role of the Secretary of State, whom Parliament has entrusted with the final decision about tariff in mandatory life sentence cases.

I have considered the arguments with great care, in deference to the noble Lords who spoke in favour of the new clause. However, I remain firmly of the view that the proposed right of appeal is not only unnecessary, but would introduce anomalies of its own into the tariff-setting procedure.

I would like to start by explaining exactly how the tariff—which is the minimum period required for retribution and deterrence—is now set in mandatory life sentence cases. The procedures were substantially overhauled in 1993 following the judgment of the House of Lords in the Doody case. I hope that the House agrees that for the prisoner, the current system is anything but secretive—indeed, it is extremely open.

In every case where an offender is convicted of murder, the trial judge completes a detailed report on the background to the case. Whether or not he has made a formal recommendation in open court, the judge sets out his advice on the minimum period that should be served for retribution and deterrence. This report goes first to the Lord Chief Justice, who adds his own comments and then forwards the report to me. All this normally happens within two or three weeks of the conviction.

The whole of the report, apart from opinions about future risk, is disclosed to the prisoner, together with any other relevant papers, such as details of previous convictions, which will be put to Ministers in due course. This means that in practice, the prisoner sees everything that is relevant to the setting of the tariff.

The prisoner is given the opportunity to make any representations he wishes on the judicial recommendations and the other contents of the report. It is, however, made clear to him that the judicial views are advisory and that the tariff will be set by the Secretary of State. The prisoner's representations, along with the judicial report, are then submitted to Ministers, who make the decision on tariff. This is communicated to the prisoner.

If, after considering the judicial advice and the prisoner's representations, I decide that a tariff higher than that recommended by the trial judge is required for deterrence and retribution, the prisoner is given detailed reasons for that decision and these reasons are, of course, open to scrutiny by the courts by way of judicial review.

To summarise, the prisoner is aware of the judicial view and has the opportunity to make representations. He is then told of the tariff set. If there is any departure from the judicial advice, he is given detailed reasons. Once the prisoner has been informed of the tariff, we are prepared to disclose both the tariff and the judicial recommendation in individual cases to anyone who asks. The process cannot therefore be described as secretive—it could hardly be more open.

The present procedures are fair, open and sensible. They ensure that proper weight is accorded to the advice of the trial judge, who has heard all the evidence, and the Lord Chief Justice, who can bring his wider experience to bear either to confirm the trial judge's advice or to offer a different view. The prisoner has every opportunity to make informed representations before a decision is taken on tariff. The final decision rests with the Secretary of State, who has been entrusted with that responsibility by Parliament as guardian of the public interest. Like my predecessors, I shall always attach great weight to the advice of the trial judge and the Lord Chief Justice. But I am not bound by it, and in the public interest I can, and do on occasion, take a different view.

6 pm

Those arrangements are working well, and appear to command public confidence. They have recently been scrutinised and upheld by the European Court of Human Rights, and fully reflect the Doody judgment, which I mentioned earlier. Against that background, I now turn to examine the new clause and the right of appeal that it proposes.

First, it is argued that a right of appeal against recommendations is necessary to rectify an anomaly as between mandatory and discretionary life sentences. But there are differences between the two. In the case of discretionary life sentences, the trial judge is now required by statute to specify the "relevant part" of the sentence in open court. That is the minimum period of detention that the prisoner must serve, and there is a right of appeal against the judge's order as to the relevant part.

In the case of discretionary lifers, however, I have no power to modify the relevant part of the sentence or to substitute a different order. It is therefore entirely right that a judge's a decision should be subject to appeal—otherwise it would be unchallengeable.

On the other hand, a formal recommendation in mandatory life sentence cases is just that: a recommendation. It is only one aspect of the tariff-setting process. While I naturally give very careful consideration to any recommendation, and to the views of the Lord Chief Justice, the role of the judiciary in mandatory life sentence cases is purely advisory. The final decision is mine, and my decision is, of course, open to challenge by way of judicial review.

As the trial judge's recommendation is only advisory, I see no good reason for building an appeal procedure around it. The recommendation is only one part of the tariff-setting process and it is not binding, unlike the relevant part in discretionary life sentence cases. The perceived anomaly does not therefore exist.

I said earlier that the proposed right of appeal, instead of resolving an anomaly, would introduce anomalies of its own. For example, the proposed right of appeal would be available where a recommendation had been made in open court, which happens only in a minority of cases. That means that some mandatory life sentence prisoners would have a right of appeal against the trial judge's advice on tariff while others would not, depending on whether the judge made his recommendation in open court or in his report to me.

I am aware that the Lord Chief Justice has said that, if the amendment became law, he would issue a practice direction to judges advising them to use their discretion to make minimum recommendations in all but the most exceptional cases. But I do not believe that it is necessarily good practice to introduce statutory provisions that depend on a practice direction being issued before they can work sensibly. In any event, such a direction would not be binding on judges.

Even if judges made minimum recommendations in all cases—which is entirely a matter for the judiciary—I am not persuaded that there should be a right of appeal against them. Where there are avenues of appeal against sentence, they are, almost without exception, in cases where the court has the final word on the subject—where the Executive has no power to substitute a different order. That is not the position here.

A further anomaly is that the Lord Chief Justice has indicated that, if a right of appeal were in place, he would no longer act independently in advising the Home Secretary on tariff lengths. Instead, he would sit in the Court of Appeal in any such case. That would deprive the Home Secretary of a second judicial opinion in cases where there was no appeal by the prisoner against the recommendation. That might be a considerable proportion of cases, and it would certainly include those cases where the judge had erred on the side of an unduly lenient recommendation. That means that, in precisely those cases where it is most necessary for the Secretary of State to consider imposing a longer tariff than that recommended, he would have no second judicial view to help him in reaching a decision.

The present arrangements for setting the tariff in mandatory life sentence cases were substantially overhauled following the judgment of the House of Lords in the Doody case and are working well. They are sensible, fair and open; and they offer the prisoner every opportunity to make informed representations before a decision is made on tariff. The present arrangements ensure that proper weight is accorded to judicial recommendations on tariff, but reflect the fact that Parliament has entrusted the final decision to the Secretary of State. For those reasons, they command public confidence in this highly sensitive category of cases.

I hope that the House will agree that it would be wrong to disturb those arrangements by introducing a new right of appeal that touches on only a part—and not the most significant part—of the tariff-setting process, and which would create anomalies rather than remove them.

Mr. John Hutton (Barrow and Furness)

Will the Home Secretary give way?

Mr. Howard

I was about to sit down, but I am happy to give way to the hon. Gentleman.

Mr. Hutton

If the present arrangements are as satisfactory as the Home Secretary says they are, would he care to reflect on the fact that seven out of the 10 Law Lords voted for the amendment moved by the Lord Chief Justice and five former Law Lords also supported that amendment? There would therefore seem to be a judicial consensus that the picture is not as rosy as that painted by the Home Secretary.

Mr. Howard

To a large extent, there is a judicial consensus on the proposition that the whole of our arrangements for mandatory life sentences should be changed and that the Secretary of State should no longer have a role in that decision-making process. I understand that that is not the view of the Labour Front Bench. In a television interview not long ago, the hon. Member for Blackburn (Mr. Straw) expressed his support—

Mr. Jack Straw (Blackburn)

A radio interview.

Mr. Howard

I think that I saw him make the same proposition in a television interview as well. Be that as it may, his views on the subject are reasonably clear: like me, he disagrees with the Law Lords' view to which the hon. Member for Barrow and Furness (Mr. Hutton) referred. Although, in supporting this amendment in the other place, those Law Lords disclaimed any intention of addressing, in this context and at this opportunity, the arrangements for mandatory life sentences, one must look at their arguments in the context of their opposition to the present arrangements as a whole. I differ from their views on the present arrangements as a whole, as does the hon. Member for Blackburn. That may be the best answer to the point made by the hon. Member for Barrow and Furness.

For all the reasons that I gave before I gave way to the hon. Member for Barrow and Furness, I invite the House to reject the amendments proposed in another place.

Mr. Straw

The debate is not about the merits of the discretionary versus the mandatory system of life sentences. The Secretary of State anticipated me by referring to remarks which, according to the evidence that he gave on my behalf to the Select Committee on 29 March, I made on Radio 4's "Today" programme on 10 December last year. There is no reason why I should not have repeated those remarks on the television programme, except that I do not remember doing so. In that interview, I expressed my view about where the balance of advantage lay between mandatory and discretionary sentences, and that remains my view.

We shall look carefully, as I hope the Home Secretary will, at the report of the Select Committee that is currently considering this matter. We need to do that because, in the words of Baroness Blatch, the Minister of State, Home Office, speaking in the other place, there should be no suggestion that the current procedures surrounding the setting of tariffs should remain immutable. Having made a strong argument in the other place in favour of the system of discretionary life sentences, Baroness Blatch went on to say: There may, however, be a case for greater transparency within those procedures where the general public is concerned. May I say in parenthesis to the Secretary of State that I am grateful to him for the fact that he set out his views in a letter to me and the right hon. Member for Berwick-upon-Tweed (Mr. Beith) on Friday, because that was very helpful?

I approached this issue from the position of supporting in principle the mandatory life sentence system and I therefore considered the arguments that were advanced with some scepticism. Having done so, I am persuaded of the sense of the amendments moved by their Lordships.

On whether the system can be made more transparent, in the other place, the Minister of State accepted that there could be a case for greater transparency. The Secretary of State referred to the changes that have been made for the better since the Doody judgment. He went on to say that it was therefore wrong to categorise or describe the current system as secret, but that was not exactly the word that the learned Lord Chief Justice Lord Taylor used in the other place. There is a subtle difference here. He used, not "secret" but "secretive". He went on to say: Justice in our system is administered in public. It is fundamental that proceedings which lead to conviction and sentence should, wherever practicable, be conducted openly and be subject to appeal. The current procedure involves a quite unnecessary and counter-productive deception on the public."—[Official Report, House of Lords, 8 June 1995; Vol. 564, c. 1478–84.] The public, therefore, do not know what life means in the view of the trial judge when he makes his recommendation, unless he makes it in open court.

The Secretary of State sought to recognise some of the strength in the Lord Chief Justice's point when he said that the recommendation was disclosed to the prisoner, and that the prisoner can see everything. Since Doody, that has been true, although it was not true before. It would be interesting to know what view his Department took before that. I assume that it accepted the view that there should be no disclosure.

The Secretary of State also said that, once he as Home Secretary had made a recommendation, he would be prepared to disclose that recommendation and what had preceded it to anyone who asked. That is okay as far as it goes, but it represents not an administration of justice in public, but a willingness to disclose retrospectively the trial judge's recommendation if he does not make it in open court, the Lord Chief Justice's recommendation, and of course ultimately the Secretary of State's decision. On any analysis, however, that could not be regarded as an open administration of justice. A real distinction exists between the process as it operates at present, especially where no recommendation is made in public, and the process as the Lord Chief Justice has proposed it.

The Secretary of State suggested that, if there were a right of appeal against the trial judge's recommendation in open court, that would produce its own anomaly because, at present, the law does not require that recommendation and a recommendation could be made in open court at the discretion of the trial judge which was subject to appeal. Plainly, however, there could not be an appeal where no recommendation was made by the trial judge. In a sense, one then ends up with three different systems for settling life sentences—the discretionary, and then a split system of two rather than one mandatory system—rather than two.

Again, the Secretary of State sought to deal with that by picking up the point made by the Lord Chief Justice that that apparent consequential anomaly could be dealt with by a practice direction. As I understood him, the Secretary of State said that it was wrong for a practice direction essentially to make law.

We sought to deal with that issue head on in amendments that we tried to include in the Bill. We wanted to make it a requirement on the trial judge to make his recommendation in open court and for any practice directions to be subject to approval by the House. Should the Secretary of State have wished to achieve that position, he could have provided for amendments to be made in the other place so that, in all cases, recommendations were made in open court.

6.15 pm

On the merits of why recommendations should be made in open court, it is important that the offender has the right to challenge the judge's recommendation and to advance arguments against it in a judicial setting. I shall come on to the issue of whether that undermines in practice the Secretary of State's discretion. I do not accept that it does; neither did the Lord Chief Justice, who said that he as Lord Chief Justice was placed in a difficult position when it came to making recommendations about a convicted murderer. He said: I hesitate to say the number of occasions on which he"— the Home Secretary— departs from the advice of the Lord Chief Justice. He continued: it would be quite unnecessary for him to seek the views of the Lord Chief Justice in all cases. He goes on: And may I make it clear that when I give my views under the present convention I have very little information. I have not been at the trial. I do not have the benefit of hearing representations and I have only a brief report from the trial judge."—[Official Report, House of Lords, 26 June 1995; Vol. 565, c. 538.] I found most persuasive of all the Lord Chief Justice's recommendation to the other place that the system should be changed. Here was the Lord Chief Justice, in a sense at the centre of this process, saying that he did not think that the current arrangements were working well because he did not have the benefit of the representation that could be made in open court about the length of sentence.

The Attorney-General should also have the right to make representations against what the Secretary of State rightly describes as a too lenient sentence. The phrase that he used was that the Home Secretary would be deprived of the Lord Chief Justice's advice in cases where there was no appeal. He was especially concerned about cases where the trial judge had, in the view of the Lord Chief Justice, been unduly lenient. There is an argument about whether the Lord Chief Justice would not be able to make recommendations in such a case. I cannot understand that argument. If there has been no appeal, but the Home Secretary still has, as he will have, a legitimate interest in making his own judgment on the merits of the case and in the public interest, about the appropriate sentence, the Lord Chief Justice's position, as someone who will give internal advice, could not be compromised by the possibility that he would sit on the appeal as, by definition, there is no appeal in that case.

We are dealing with an issue not only of openness, but—here we are completely in agreement—of maintaining public confidence in the system by which prisoners are sentenced and serve sentences for the most heinous of cases, for which there is rightly the greatest public revulsion. It would be appropriate therefore for the Attorney-General to have the right of appeal against the recommendation made by the trial judge. I know what the argument was in the other place against that, but I do not accept it.

The changes that the Lord Chief Justice has recommended would not only improve the administration of justice, which is often seen, wrongly, exclusively in terms of the offender and the prosecution; it would improve the administration of justice from the point of view of the victim's family, who are the victims as the victim has, by definition, died.

That point was made by the national chair of Victim Support, Sir Louis Blom-Cooper, in a letter which was sent to the Clerk of the Home Affairs Select Committee on 28 March 1995. He said that there had been much discussion when Victim Support gave oral evidence about who should set the tariff. He said: Victim Support and SAMM both agreed in favour of the judge determining and announcing the period to be spent in custody. As far as I can judge, the argument was not about discretionary sentences versus mandatory ones, but whether the recommendation should be made in open court. Whatever the argument, there is no doubt that Victim Support wants that recommendation to be made in open court. I believe it is right, because there is every advantage in the system being as open as conceivably possible from the point of view of the victim's family.

Is it appropriate for there to be an appeal within the judicial system against what is just a recommendation to the Secretary of State, not a decision? The argument advanced by the Secretary of State today was that made by the Minister of State in another place on 8 June. She said: I cannot accept the argument that a right of appeal ought to exist against those … recommendations. Where there are avenues of appeal against sentence they are, almost without exception, in cases where the court has the final word on the subject: where the Executive has no power to substitute a different order. That argument had been shot down in flames earlier by the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Taylor of Gosforth, who spoke in support of the proposed changes. He said that another of his noble Friends had suggested there was an important distinction between a judge who was making a decision and a judge who merely made a recommendation. He accepted that that was a distinction, but he went on to say: but it does not go to the merit of this amendment because at present the recommendation for deportation which a judge makes is only a recommendation. It is not binding on the Home Secretary."—[Official Report, House of Lords, 8 June 1995; Vol. 564, c.1479–82.] He went on to say, however, that within the statute there is a right of appeal in respect of a recommendation for deportation.

How much more appropriate it would be if the long period of years that a defendant may have to serve in custody as a result of a recommendation about the length of the term he should serve was also subject to the right of appeal. Given that Lord Taylor spoke before Baroness Blatch, I am surprised that she did not pick up his argument and answer it.

It is usual for appeals to be made in court against decisions, not recommendations. The example offered by Lord Taylor reveals that there are cases, quite correctly in my view, when the Secretary of State exercises the judgment that Parliament has given him because wider considerations than simply narrow judicial matters exist. That is one of the arguments in favour of the mandatory system. Despite that, however, Parliament has also decided that that judgment is consistent with the Secretary of State having the benefit of advice, determined through a judicial process, of both the trial judge and a judge at the Court of Appeal.

I am the first to admit that this is not an easy matter. I acknowledge that the Secretary of State has thought long and hard about it, as I have—I hope that is apparent from what I have said. I am sorry that we are on different sides of the argument because it is important on such issues that we should, as far as possible, reach a consensus, particularly at a time when the argument between different sides of the House about capital punishment is largely over.

I have studied the matter with great care and I believe that their Lordships were correct; I therefore urge the House to resist the motion moved by the Secretary of State.

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

I apologise to the Home Secretary for missing his opening remarks. That apology is made on behalf of British Rail, whose train, which customarily takes four hours to travel to London, took eight hours instead. I left the train while an argument ensued about which operating company was responsible for the track to which the train might be diverted. That argument seemed further to delay the train, so I fled the scene at Alexandra Palace and resorted to other means of transport.

I approach the matter from a different standpoint from that of the hon. Member for Blackburn (Mr. Straw). I disagree with him about the value of the mandatory life sentence. It is undesirable in principle for the Executive to impose sentences and visibly unsatisfactory in practice when it leads to problems as diverse as excessively lenient sentences and those arising from the Private Clegg case. This is not the occasion for that argument.

Suffice it to say, the hon. Member for Blackburn, arguing from the rather conservative standpoint of one who does not want to change the current position, nevertheless demonstrated that it is possible to support the Lords amendment whether one approves or disapproves of the mandatory life sentence. I approach the argument from a different standpoint. The particular value of the argument put by the hon. Member for Blackburn is that it underlines to Conservative Members that it is possible to support the Lords amendment while nevertheless wishing the mandatory life sentence to continue to be imposed.

I do not want the mandatory life sentence to remain in operation and I find myself in agreement with the Law Lords who were leading figures in tabling the amendment. My reason for supporting the amendment is slightly different from that put by those Law Lords. If we are to have a system of Executive determination of sentence it should be an open one, so that we can know what is happening at each stage.

Lord Ackner argued strongly that the Government's primary reason for resisting their Lordships amendment was the inconvenience caused when it became clear in which cases the Home Secretary had overturned strong judicial opinion, whether in favour of a shorter sentence or a longer one.

It is desirable that the process should be an open one. The existence of a process of appeal is a natural part of such openness. That particular proposal commanded support from many in the other place as well as the overwhelming support of members and ex-members of the judiciary, for example, Lord Hailsham of St. Marylebone among others.

The arguments adduced against the change range from those that are merely arguments about Government convenience and the avoidance of embarrassment to those that construct a delicate constitutional distinctiveness for the process of Executive decision of sentences. It is argued that that mechanism is so unique that it is not appropriate to subject it to a process of appeal.

I do not accept either of those types of argument and I urge my hon. Friends to support the noble Lords in the sensible change that they have made to the Bill.

Mr. Howard

I can be brief as the hon. Member for Blackburn (Mr. Straw) was kind enough to say that I had anticipated most of the arguments that he intended to put. I believe that I did so, and therefore I do not propose to repeat them.

The issue of openness was dwelt upon by the hon. Gentleman and the right hon. Member for Berwick-upon-Tweed (Mr. Beith). I do not believe that the amendment has anything to do with that. I gave an account of our existing system. There are ways in which it could be made even more open. It is true, as the hon. Member for Blackburn said, that there could be a requirement on the trial judge to say in every case in open court what his recommendation would be. Quite how helpful that would be, bearing in mind that that recommendation is only the first part of a three-part process, I am far from clear. That is something that could be changed. Perhaps that proposal will be recommended in the report of the Select Committee on Home Affairs, to which the hon. Gentleman referred. I know not. We should have to look at such a proposal with great care in the context of that Select Committee report. But that is an entirely separate matter from the right of appeal against that recommendation which is what the amendments are essentially about. It is that right of appeal to which I object, for the reasons which I gave earlier, and in particular because I cannot see the sense or logic in having a right of appeal against a recommendation that is the first stage of a multi-stage process.

The decision made by the Secretary of State on these matters is not immune from the scrutiny of the courts. The right hon. Member for Berwick-upon-Tweed seemed to give the impression—no doubt inadvertently—that that was so. But it is not because the decision of the Secretary of State is subject to judicial review. That is an important safeguard and it is right that it should be there. It is not the case under the existing arrangements that the decision of the Secretary of State cannot be subjected to judicial scrutiny. It can be, and it is.

On the point made by the hon. Member for Blackburn about the precedent for an appeal against an advisory decision—the deportation order recommendation—with respect to the hon. Gentleman and the Lord Chief Justice, that is significantly different. The recommendation of deportation is part of the order of the court and unless such a recommendation is made, the Secretary of State cannot deport on the ground that the person concerned has been guilty of a criminal offence. There may be other grounds on which the Secretary of State can deport, but if the Secretary of State wished to deport solely because that criminal offence was committed, he could not do so unless there had been a recommendation to that effect by the judge.

So although it is true that in one sense that recommendation is advisory, it plays a much more significant role in the decision-making process in that context because it is a sine qua non of the Secretary of State's decision, than does the trial judge's recommendation of what the tariff should be, which is just the first stage in the multi-stage process which I have described.

6.30 pm
Mr. Straw

I am grateful to the right hon. and learned Gentleman for making that point. I accept that there is some distinction, but I do not think that in principle there is any serious distinction. In the other place, Baroness Blatch said words to the effect that there were no circumstances in which a recommendation from a trial judge was subject to a judicial process of appeal where the final decision was made by the Secretary of State. In deportation situations, it is a recommendation—albeit the Secretary of State cannot act without it—it can be the subject of appeal and the Secretary of State has, as I understand it, complete discretion as to what to do about it.

Mr. Howard

He does not have complete discretion as to what to do about it because, as I said a moment ago, he cannot deport without that recommendation.

Mr. Straw

He can confirm or reject it.

Mr. Howard

He can confirm or reject it, but if there is no recommendation, he cannot deport. It is for that reason that the deportation recommendation is part of the order of the court and is very significantly different in effect from the kind of advisory recommendation which we are discussing.

For all those reasons, therefore, in addition to those which I gave earlier, I invite the House to reject the amendments. They would add a quite unnecessary stage to procedures that are on the whole working well. I do not believe that the case for them has been made out and I invite the House to disagree with the Lords in the amendments.

Question put, That this House doth disagree with the Lords in the said amendment:—

The House divided: Ayes 254, Noes 225.

Division No. 205] [6.33 pm
Ainsworth, Peter (East Surrey) Carrington, Matthew
Alexander, Richard Carttiss, Michael
Alison, Rt Hon Michael (Selby) Cash, William
Allason, Rupert (Torbay) Clappison, James
Arbuthnot, James Clarke, Rt Hon Kenneth (Ru'clif)
Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham) Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey
Arnold, Sir Thomas (Hazel Grv) Colvin, Michael
Ashby, David Congdon, David
Atkins, Rt Hon Robert Conway, Derek
Atkinson, David (Bour'mouth E) Coombs, Anthony (Wyre For'st)
Atkinson, Peter (Hexham) Coombs, Simon (Swindon)
Baker, Rt Hon Kenneth (Mole V) Cope, Rt Hon Sir John
Baker, Nicholas (North Dorset) Cran, James
Banks, Matthew (Southport) Curry, David (Skipton & Ripon)
Banks, Robert (Harrogate) Davies, Quentin (Stamford)
Bates, Michael Day, Stephen
Batiste, Spencer Deva, Nirj Joseph
Bellingham, Henry Devlin, Tim
Bendall, Vivian Dicks, Terry
Beresford, Sir Paul Dorrell, Rt Hon Stephen
Biffen, Rt Hon John Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James
Bonsor, Sir Nicholas Dover, Den
Booth, Hartley Duncan, Alan
Boswell, Tim Duncan-Smith, Iain
Bottomley, Peter (Eltham) Dunn, Bob
Bottomley, Rt Hon Virginia Durant, Sir Anthony
Bowden, Sir Andrew Elletson, Harold
Bowis, John Emery, Rt Hon Sir Peter
Boyson, Rt Hon Sir Rhodes Evans, David (Welwyn Hatfield)
Brandreth, Gyles Evans, Jonathan (Brecon)
Brazier, Julian Evans, Roger (Monmouth)
Bright, Sir Graham Evennett, David
Brooke, Rt Hon Peter Faber, David
Browning, Mrs Angela Fabricant, Michael
Bruce, Ian (Dorset) Fenner, Dame Peggy
Burns, Simon Field, Barry (Isle of Wight)
Burt, Alistair Fishburn, Dudley
Butcher, John Forth, Eric
Butler, Peter Fowler, Rt Hon Sir Norman
Butterfill, John Fox, Dr Liam (Woodspring)
Carlisle, John (Luton North) Fox, Sir Marcus (Shipley)
Carlisle, Sir Kenneth (Lincoln) Freeman, Rt Hon Roger
French, Douglas Maitland, Lady Olga
Fry, Sir Peter Malone, Gerald
Gale, Roger Mans, Keith
Gallie, Phil Marland, Paul
Gardiner, Sir George Marlow, Tony
Garnier, Edward Marshall, Sir Michael (Arundel)
Gill, Christopher Martin, David (Portsmouth S)
Goodlad, Rt Hon Alastair Mawhinney, Rt Hon Dr Brian
Goodson-Wickes, Dr Charles Merchant, Piers
Gorman, Mrs Teresa Mills, Iain
Grant, Sir A (SW Cambs) Mitchell, Andrew (Gedling)
Greenway, Harry (Ealing N) Mitchell, Sir David (NW Hants)
Greenway, John (Ryedale) Monro, Rt Hon Sir Hector
Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth, N) Montgomery, Sir Fergus
Gummer, Fit Hon John Selwyn Newton, Rt Hon Tony
Hague, Rt Hon. William Nichcolls, Patrick
Hamilton, Rt Hon Sir Archibald Nicholson, Emma (Devon West)
Hampson, Dr Keith Onslow, Rt Hon Sir Cranley
Hanley, Rt Hon Jeremy Oppenheim, Phillip
Hannam, Sir John Ottaway, Richard
Hargreaves, Andrew Page, Richard
Harris, David Paice, James
Haselhurst, Sir Alan Patrick, Sir Irvine
Hawkins, Nick Patten, Rt Hon John
Hawksley, Warren Pawsey, James
Hayes, Jerry Peacock, Mrs Elizabeth
Heald, Oliver Porter, Barry (Wirral S)
Heathcoat-Amory, David Porter, David (Waveney)
Hendry, Charles Powell, William (Corby)
Heseltine, Rt Hon Michael Riddick, Graham
Hicks, Robert Robathan, Andrew
Higgins, Rt Hon Sir Terence Robertson, Raymond (Ab'd'n S)
Hill, James (Southampton Test) Robinson, Mark (Somerton)
Horam, John Roe, Mrs Marion (Broxbourne)
Howard, Rt Hon Michael Rowe, Andrew (Mid Kent)
Howarth, Alan (Strat'rd-on-A) Rumbold, Rt Hon Dame Angela
Howell, Rt Hon David (G'dford) Sackville, Tom
Howell, Sir Ralph (N Norfolk) Sainsbury, Rt Hon Sir Timothy
Hughes, Robert G (Harrow W) Scott, Rt Hon Sir Nicholas
Hunt, Rt Hon David (Wirral W) Shaw, David (Dover)
Hunt, Sir John (Ravensbourne) Shaw, Sir Giles (Pudsey)
Hunter, Andrew Shephard, Rt Hon Gillian
Jack, Michael Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)
Jackson, Robert (Wantage) Shepherd, Richard (Aldridge)
Jenkin, Bernard Shersby, Sir Michael
Jessel, Toby Smith, Sir Dudley (Warwick)
Johnson Smith, Sir Geoffrey Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)
Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N) Spencer, Sir Derek
Jones, Robert B (W Hertfdshr) Spicer, Michael (S Worcs)
Kellett-Bowman, Dame Elaine Spink, Dr Robert
Key, Robert Spring, Richard
King, Rt Hon Tom Sproat, Iain
Knapman, Roger Squire, Robin (Hornchurch)
Knight, Mrs Angela (Erewash) Stanley, Rt Hon Sir John
Knight, Rt Hon Greg (Derby N) Steen, Anthony
Knox, Sir David Stephen, Michael
Kynoch, George (Kincardine) Stern, Michael
Lait, Mrs Jacqui Stewart, Allan
Lamont, Rt Hon Norman Streeter, Gary
Lang, Rt Hon Ian Sumberg, David
Lawrence, Sir Ivan Sweeney, Walter
Legg, Barry Sykes, John
Lennox-Boyd, Sir Mark Tapsell, Sir Peter
Lester, Jim (Broxtowe) Taylor, Ian (Esher)
Lidington, David Taylor, John M (Solihull)
Lightbown, David Taylor, Sir Teddy (Southend, E)
Lilley, Rt Hon Peter Temple-Morris, Peter
Lloyd, Rt Hon Sir Peter (Fareham) Thomason, Roy
Lord, Michael Thompson, Sir Donald (C'er V)
Luff, Peter Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N)
MacGregor, Rt Hon John Thornton, Sir Malcolm
MacKay, Andrew Thurnham, Peter
Maclean, Rt Hon David Townsend, Cyril D (Bexl'yh'th)
McLoughlin, Patrick Tredinnick, David
McNair-Wilson, Sir Patrick Trend, Michael
Madel, Sir David Trotter, Neville
Twinn, Dr Ian Wiggm, Sir Jerry
Vaughan, Sir Gerard Willetts, David
Waldegrave, Rt Hon William Wilshire, David
Walden, George Wolfson, Mark
Walker, Bill (N Tayside) Wood, Timothy
Waller, Gary Yeo, Tim
Waterson, Nigel Young, Rt Hon Sir George
Watts, John
Whitney, Ray Tellers for the Ayes:
Whittingdale, John Mr. Timothy Kirkhope and
Widdecombe, Ann Mr. Bowen Wells.
Abbott, Ms Diane Dobson, Frank
Adams, Mrs Irene Donohoe, Brian H
Ainger, Nick Dowd, Jim
Ainsworth, Robert (Cov'try NE) Eagle, Ms Angela
Anderson, Donald (Swansea E) Eastham, Ken
Anderson, Ms Janet (Ros'dale) Etherington, Bill
Ashton, Joe Evans, John (St Helens N)
Austin-Walker, John Ewing, Mrs Margaret
Banks, Tony (Newham NW) Faulds, Andrew
Barnes, Harry Reid, Frank (Birkenhead)
Barron, Kevin Flynn, Paul
Battle, John Foster, Rt Hon Derek
Bayley, Hugh Foster, Don (Bath)
Beckett, Rt Hon Margaret Foulkes, George
Beith, Rt Hon A J Fraser, John
Bell, Stuart Fyfe, Maria
Benn, Rt Hon Tony Galbraith, Sam
Bennett, Andrew F Galloway, George
Benton, Joe Gapes, Mike
Berry, Roger Garrett, John
Betts, Clive George, Bruce
Blunkett, David Gerrard, Neil
Boateng, Paul Godman, Dr Norman A
Bradley, Keith Godsiff, Roger
Bray, Dr Jeremy Golding, Mrs Llin
Brown, Gordon (Dunfermline E) Graham, Thomas
Brown, N (N'c'tle upon Tyne E) Grant, Bernie (Tottenham)
Burden, Richard Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Byers, Stephen Gunnell, John
Callaghan, Jim Hain, Peter
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge) Hardy, Peter
Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE) Harman, Ms Harriet
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V) Harvey, Nick
Campbell-Savours, D.N. Henderson, Doug
Cann, Jamie Hill, Keith (Streatham)
Chisholm, Malcolm Hinchliffe, David
Church, Judith Hoey, Kate
Clapham, Michael Hogg, Norman (Cumbemauld)
Clark, Dr David (South Shields) Hood, Jimmy
Clarke, Eric (Midlothian) Hoon, Geoffrey
Clarke, Tom (Monklands W) Howarth, George (Knowsley North)
Clelland, David Howells, Dr. Kim (Pontypridd)
Clwyd, Mrs Ann Hoyle, Doug
Coffey, Ann Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)
Cohen, Harry Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)
Connarty, Michael Hughes, Roy (Newport E)
Cook, Frank (Stockton N) Hutton, John
Cook, Robin (Livingston) Illsley, Eric
Corbett, Robin Ingram, Adam
Corbyn, Jeremy Jackson, Glenda (H'stead)
Corston, Jean Jackson, Helen (Shef'ld, H)
Cousins, Jim Jamieson, David
Cox, Tom Jones, Barry (Alyn and D'side)
Cummings, John Jones, Lynne (B'ham S O)
Cunliffe, Lawrence Jones, Martyn, (Clwyd South West)
Cunningham, Jim (Covy SE)
Darting, Alistair Jones, Nigel (Cheltenham)
Davies, Bryan (Oldham C'tral) Jowell, Tessa
Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli) Keen, Alan
Davies, Ron (Caerphilly) Kennedy, Jane (L'pool Br'dg'n)
Davis, Terry (B'ham, H'dge H'l) Khabra, Piara S
Denham, John Kilfoyle, Peter
Dixon, Don Kirkwood, Archy
Lestor, Joan (Eccles) Prescott, Rt Hon John
Lewis, Terry Primarolo, Dawn
Litherland, Robert Purchase, Ken
Livingstone, Ken Quin, Ms Joyce
Lloyd, Tony (Stretford) Randall, Stuart
Loyden, Eddie Raynsford, Nick
Lyme, Ms Liz Rendel, David
McAllion, John Rogers, Allan
McCartney, Ian Rooker, Jeff
Macdonald, Calum Rooney, Terry
McKelvey, William Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)
Mackinlay, Andrew Ross, William (E Londonderry)
McLeish, Henry Rowlands, Ted
Maclennan, Robert Ruddock, Joan
McMaster, Gordon Sedgemore, Brian
McNamara, Kevin Sheldon, Rt Hon Robert
MacShane, Denis Short, Clare
McWilliam, John Skinner, Dennis
Madden, Max Smith, Chris (Isl'ton S & F'sbury)
Maddock, Diana Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
Mahon, Alice Smyth, The Reverend Martin
Marek, DrJohn Snape, Peter
Marshall, David (Shettleston) Spearing, Nigel
Marshall, Jim (Leicester, S) Spellar, John
Martin, Michael J (Springburn) Steel, Rt Hon Sir David
Martlew, Eric Steinberg, Gerry
Maxton, John Stevenson, George
Meale, Alan Strang, Dr. Gavin
Michael, Alun Straw, Jack
Michie, Bill (Sheffield Heeley) Sutcliffe, Gerry
Michie, Mrs Ray (Argyll & Bute) Taylor, Mrs Ann (Dewsbury)
Milbum, Alan Taylor, Matthew (Truro)
Mitchell, Austin (Gt Grimsby) Thompson, Jack (Wansbeck)
Molyneaux, Rt Hon James Timms, Stephen
Moonie, Dr Lewis Tipping, Paddy
Morgan, Rhodri Touhig, Don
Morris, Rt Hon Alfred (Wy'nshawe) Trimble, David
Morris, Estelle (B'ham Yardley) Turner, Dennis
Morris, Rt Hon John (Aberavon) Wareing, Robert N
Mowlam, Marjorie Watson, Mike
Mullin, Chris Wicks, Malcolm
Oakes, Rt Hon Gordon Williams, Rt Hon Alan (Sw'n W)
O'Brien, Mike (N W'kshire) Williams, Alan W (Carmarthen)
O'Brien, William (Normanton) Winnick, David
Olner, Bill Wise, Audrey
O'Neill, Martin Worthington, Tony
Orme, Rt Hon Stanley Wright, Dr Tony
Pearson, Ian Young, David (Bolton SE)
Pendry, Tom
Pike, Peter L Tellers for the Noes:
Powell, Ray (Ogmore) Mr. George Mudie and
Prentice, Gordon (Pende) Mrs. Barbara Roche.

Question accordingly agreed to.

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