HC Deb 14 February 1996 vol 271 cc1016-36

'.—(1) Nothing in this Act shall preclude or limit investigations by the Police Complaints Authority in respect of any actions undertaken by or on behalf of police officers in pursuit of activities authorised by this Act.

(2) It shall be the duty of the Police Complaints Authority to ensure that any complaint duly made to it by any person in respect of activities carried out in support of the police under the provisions of this Act by officers of the Security Service is forwarded for investigation by the Tribunal appointed under the Security Service Act 1989, which shall report to the Police Complaints Authority on the conclusions of any such investigation.'.—[Mr. Beith.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

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

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

I question whether we should proceed with this Bill and the new clauses and amendments today in the aftermath of Friday's terrible bombing. I do not want terrorists to imagine that there will be any let-up in the security and intelligence efforts directed against them; nor do I want the public to feel that there will be any transfer of resources to the detriment of the fight against terrorism, upon which they depend for their protection. If there is any resource or manpower in the security service which could be effectively used to reduce the risk of further bombing being carried out, it must be used.

Mr. David Winnick (Walsall, North)

Does the right hon. Gentleman agree that the situation has undoubtedly changed since Second Reading and the Committee stage, in which we both took part? At this stage we do not know whether the tragic bombing of last Friday is a one-off or whether terrorism will be renewed on a sustained basis. In those circumstances, would it not be better for this Bill to be delayed until we know whether the IRA intends to continue its terrorist campaign against this country?

Mr. Beith

The hon. Gentleman anticipates what I was about to say, which is that that was the argument I put to the Prime Minister and the Minister of State in an exchange on the wireless yesterday. It is open to the Government to let the Bill proceed to the statute book, suitably amended, and not to bring it into practical effect. I suspect that that is what may happen if any of the resources are needed in the fight against terrorism.

There are still some problems with the Bill with which the new clause attempts to deal and, because of that, it would have been advantageous to proceed in that way. There is less of a rush to put on the statute book the facility to deal with organised crime if the resources may be needed to deal with terrorism in the mean time.

We are talking about relatively few people. It has been argued during discussions on the Bill that only about 15 people may be effectively transferred from security work to work against organised crime. Nobody should imagine that we are talking about large numbers. However, it would have been advantageous in improving the Bill if we had not proceeded today and, at the same time, it would have given a clear signal to terrorists and the public that there will be no let-up in the efforts against terrorism. The Government came to a different conclusion, so it is right to try to ensure that the Bill is in the form that it should be. The new clause is directed precisely to that effect.

The new clause illustrates a number of respects in which the Bill does not relate properly to the existing work and structures of the police. The new clause relates to the police complaints machinery. The nature of the problem is illustrated when one realises that the National Criminal Intelligence Service, which is a police agency—although it is run by the Home Office by a chief constable seconded for the purpose—does not exist in statute. The Government have already had to resort to a formula to refer to the National Criminal Intelligence Service. They have had to incorporate an amendment which refers to "a chief constable", it being understood that that chief constable would be the head of the National Criminal Intelligence Service. It is one of the results of proceeding with the Bill without first sorting out the national structures and arrangements of the police service. It is one of the things that could have been done if progress on the Bill had been deferred.

In response to the intervention from the hon. Member for Walsall, North (Mr. Winnick), I must say that it would be unwise to assume that what happened on Friday was a one-off event. I am sure that all the security organisations—the police, the Army and the security services—are working and must work on the assumption that there are terrorists waiting to strike with further atrocities at any time. It is on that basis that we should all conduct our security arrangements.

On Second Reading we tabled a reasoned amendment which specified a number of respects in which we thought that the Bill was seriously deficient and should be put right. We argued that it must make express provision for the police to retain the lead in the fight against crime. We argued that the activities of the Security Service in that area should be subject to police authorisation and that there should be a new and uniform system of warrants to control interventions on property by either the Security Service or the police. We argued for clear arrangements for the national co-ordination of the police and Security Service and for clear arrangements for accountability and the consideration of complaints by the public. There were four points of criticism.

It is unusual to be able to say that two of those points were met in Committee. I recognise that the Government have responded to those criticisms and that the Bill has been improved significantly. However, two points of criticism remain and they both fall to be considered. One is the issue of warrants and the other is covered by the new clause, which is how the public can complain.

There is already an established machinery for complaints against the police. Not everybody is satisfied with it, but it is in extensive use and is provided for in statute. It is based on the existence of a Police Complaints Authority which supervises investigations carried out by police forces.

There is a different system for complaints against the Security Service, which involves a tribunal and a commissioner. There has been no attempt so far during discussions on the Bill to explain how those provisions can be matched up or how they will relate to each other.

Justice, the well-known human rights organisation run by eminent lawyers, said in its representations: A complaint against the security service is dealt with by a closed tribunal hearing that gives no reasons for its decision and is statutorily exempt from judicial review proceedings. By contrast, a complaint against the police is dealt with by the Police Complaints Authority which results in a public report with reasons and may be subject to judicial review proceedings. As importantly, police officers may be sued for damages for illegal conduct and abuse of their powers. This form of judicial redress will not be available to victims of misconduct by security service officials. How are we to match those two systems or ensure that the general public know to whom to complain when they find that some action by the Security Service, in pursuit of this legislation, results in damage or harm, whether through carelessness, abuse of power or excess of zeal?

The position is further complicated by the fact that the Security Service's main partner in dealing with organised crime—the body that will task it—is the National Criminal Intelligence Service. It is staffed by police officers, but a police officer, while at the National Criminal Intelligence Service, is not subject to Police Complaints Authority procedure. If a complaint is made as a result of an action taken by an officer who is working at the National Criminal Intelligence Service, he has to be sent back to the force from which he was seconded. Action can take place there and the Police Complaints Authority can become involved. The situation of NCIS is not entirely satisfactory and is complicated to manage.

What will happen if, in a joint operation against organised crime involving the police, NCIS and the Security Service, something goes wrong? A member of the public may be adversely affected, or believe that he has been adversely affected, and so make a complaint. Perhaps that person will go to the Police Complaints Authority. The authority will say, "Oh well, the individual concerned was not a police officer. He may have been a member of the Security Service, in which case you may have to make a complaint using the Security Service Tribunal and the Security Service Commissioner." But the member of the public may be completely unaware. He may just assume that the person concerned is a police officer and he will not know where to go.

That assumption is even more likely if the Security Service uses police cover to avoid identification of its personnel. It is in the nature of the Security Service that it cannot have its personnel readily identified because otherwise its ability to do a wide range of its important work would be fatally compromised. The Security Service might not be at all anxious for it to be known that one of the personnel involved in the operation is "one of theirs". That will not be apparent to the general public who will not, therefore, have obvious recourse to a proper complaints procedure.

The ultimate complication would be to have in one and the same operation, as is quite likely to happen, police officers from a local force, somebody who has been seconded to the National Criminal Intelligence Service and somebody from the Security Service. The complaint may land on the desk of the Police Complaints Authority, which may say, "We have a complicated situation here. We shall have to pass on the complaint against the Security Service chap to the Security Service Tribunal. We will institute complaint procedures, involving the chief constable of the force concerned, in the case of the local police force officers. We shall have to get the head of NCIS to send its man back to his force, wherever that is, to get an investigation instigated there." At that stage, it may not even be clear which of the officers concerned is properly the subject of complaint. The whole mechanism will have to be cranked into action in all three directions even though only one of the officers involved may appropriately be the subject of investigation.

The system is extremely untidy and does not adequately protect the public. I do not think that I am disclosing anything to Ministers by saying that the Police Complaints Authority does not know quite how complaints will be handled and is far from comfortable with the proposed system.

Dr. Norman A. Godman (Greenock and Port Glasgow)

If Security Service officials, acting under the instructions of the chief constable, misbehave in some way, cannot a complaint be levelled against the chief constable, given that he is responsible for those officials?

Mr. Beith

Not in those circumstances. The Security Service officials will not act under the direction of a chief constable. They will act under the Director-General of the Security Service, carrying out a function that the National Criminal Intelligence Service has agreed can be carried out. It is hoped that under the proposed arrangements, NCIS will have alerted the chief constable of the area concerned, if it is feasible to do so and if it is not an operation that involves many force areas, with people moving about quickly. It will not, however, be directly under the direction of any chief constable of any region. That route to complaining and accountability will, as I understand the Bill, not be available.

Mr. Robin Corbett (Birmingham, Erdington)

The right hon. Gentleman seems to suggest that Security Service personnel involved under the instruction of the police in these activities would act in similar ways to police officers. We were told by the Home Secretary and others in Committee that, in the battle against organised crime, those personnel would bring skills—in desk analysis, intelligence and all the rest of it—that were not widely available to the police. Does he envisage that a large number of Security Service personnel will be involved in what we might more properly describe as normal policing operations with regard to organised crime?

4 pm

Mr. Beith

No, but that does not mean that Security Service personnel will not be involved in situations that also involve police officers and that could give rise to a complaint. That could happen in a wide variety of circumstances. They include eavesdropping activity, in which both Security Service and police personnel were present, and similar activity undertaken as part of an inquiry agreed with the police but where the police were not present. There has been speculation in the press that, in some circumstances, the Security Service might seek to destabilise some criminal conspiracy. People familiar with police complaints procedure have suggested to me that that could easily generate complaints to the Police Complaints Authority which would turn out to be more appropriate to the Security Service tribunal. Is there some risk that the complaint will fall between the two and will not be adequately investigated?

Under the Bill, Security Service personnel will not arrest people or undertake such normal police operations, but many sorts of complaint can arise from the other level of work in which they would be involved—even analysis. An individual might wish to complain if information were being gathered and put together in a way that, because of its incompetence and carelessness, was seriously damaging to him. That could lead to questions at his place of work and many problems when the operation became known, even though it was a mistake—the individual had nothing to do with it. At no level can we preclude the possibility of a complaint being made. At some levels complaints are likely to take place.

We must get this matter right. The Bill does not deal with it properly. I hope that the Government will give some careful thought to how the issues can be resolved, not least so that the Police Complaints Authority and the Security Service Tribunal have some guidance on how to approach the matter. The Bill's provisions may initially involve a small number of people, but it introduces a significant change from a system in which policing activity is undertaken only by accountable police forces, with a structure of discipline and accountability and a well-known procedure for complaints.

Into that world, especially in relation to organised crime, will come a small element of an organisation that, because of the nature of much of its work in fighting terrorism and foreign intelligence, must operate in secret. Some public protections surround that organisation too, but they are not the same and they were not designed to cover the circumstances that arise in dealing with crime and with the greater contact with the public that such activities against crime could bring about.

We cannot put such a Bill on the statute book without ensuring that there is proper accountability and a proper procedure for the public's complaints to be dealt with in a fair and efficient way. So far, that has not been done.

Mr. Alun Michael (Cardiff, South and Penarth)

I am sorry that I cannot agree with the suggestions of the right hon. Member for Berwick-upon-Tweed (Mr. Beith). In proposing that the Bill should be set aside, he gave the reason why we supported the Bill in the first place. We believe that resources need to remain available for the fight against terrorism, but we all hope that peace will prevail.

Being able to move resources from terrorism to crime, and back again if circumstances so require, is just the way to create the necessary flexibility. We should certainly give out no signal that the resources to defeat terrorism will be moved away; nor should we give the slightest succour to those who hope that peace has ended by abandoning this Bill. We need to make sure that the lines between the usual work of MI5 and its work in support of the police are clearly drawn. Moving precipitately in either direction would be to risk the very dangers of which the right hon. Gentleman spoke.

We dealt with a number of serious issues in Committee, and it is fair to say that we made considerable progress there. There was agreement on the central role of the police in setting the tasks for the Security Service. Although a definition in law is difficult, we agreed that we were all in favour of using the Security Service to deal with serious and organised crime. The problem resembles that of the elephant: it is easy to recognise but difficult to define. Thirdly, we were very keen on putting systems in place to guarantee transparency and accountability.

It became clear in Committee that hon. Members shared a common will to make progress. In some debates, it was clear that we shared a common aspiration but experienced some difficulty in giving legislative form to the precise definitions that we wanted. Such flexibility led to the introduction of this piece of legislation in the first place. This place was shown at its best during our Committee debates; Members tried to come up with solutions, not problems. Sometimes the Opposition merely point out problems in Government legislation, and the Government content themselves with giving reasons why they will not accept our amendments. But this was an unusual case. We hope that some of the issues will be given further clarification today, on the record in Hansard; I am content to record the fact that our debates in Committee were healthy and positive.

With only minor modifications, the Minister accepted Labour's proposed mechanism to ensure that a chief officer of police sets the task, agrees the system and in effects acts as the guardian at the gate—an important step forward. So, too, is the understanding that the resources of the Security Service are to be used only in respect of what we would all recognise as serious, organised crime.

Another issue that we raised concerned accountability and how complaints should be dealt with. The Security Service has a separate system for dealing with complaints. It cannot by any stretch of the imagination be described as transparent in the way that the police complaints system can be. I hasten to add that I do not regard the police complaints system as wholly satisfactory. Like most constituency Members, I regard it with something of a jaundiced eye. Still, it is transparent and accountable, and this House is ultimately responsible for it.

I am not sure that the mechanism suggested in the new clause is the right one. In Committee, we suggested other ways of dealing with accountability procedures. They might be dealt with by the House at an appropriate stage, so that the Home Secretary and others concerned with these issues can learn from the experience, instead of having to judge everything in advance. It is certainly important to give members of the public who want a complaint investigated a way of having it investigated in a manner that is not obscure or closed to them.

I therefore hope that, in response to our debates, here and in Committee, the Minister will be willing to assure us that the Government intend to enable proper complaints to be properly investigated. I hope, too, that these matters will be kept under review, and that a means of keeping the House informed will be searched for and found.

Dr. Godman

I promise to be brief. Unfortunately, I did not receive an invitation to serve on the Committee.

Mr. Michael

We missed my hon. Friend.

Dr. Godman

I am sure that I was deeply missed, especially by the Minister of State, the right hon. Member for Penrith and the Border (Mr. Maclean).

I have considerable sympathy for new clause 1. I have spoken to a couple of senior police officers about the need for assistance from MI5 in the pursuit of serious criminals. I regret to say that in the west of Scotland there are a few individuals who actively engage in trafficking arms to Northern Ireland. When I was a member of the review committee at Edinburgh prison at Saughton, I interviewed in a period of six months three men who were being assessed for parole and had been gaoled for running munitions to Northern Ireland. They had rightly received heavy sentences.

At a recent High Court hearing in Scotland, a prominent member of a loyalist paramilitary organisation, who will be known to some hon. Members, was rightly gaoled for 10 years for trafficking in arms. The Strathclyde police force job did an excellent job in tracking him and his henchmen down and bringing them to the High Court. The police officers to whom I have spoken would welcome any assistance from intelligence officers in tracking down criminals of that sort.

At the same time, how can innocent people make what they and perhaps their legal advisers believe to be legitimate complaints against harassment by intelligence officers, however laudable their objectives in tracking down criminals, especially of the sort that I have described? The rights of individuals who may, through mistaken identity, suffer harassment by intelligence officers are important. What redress do they have? What grievance procedure is there through which to pursue a legitimate complaint against such harassment? The Minister must come to the Dispatch Box and answer that question.

I am four square behind the Minister and my hon. Friend the Member for Cardiff, South and Penarth (Mr. Michael) in saying that, especially with the crimes to which I have referred, police should be assisted by intelligence officers where appropriate. However, such investigations must be always under the command of the appropriate chief constable.

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

This has been a short but important debate. Let me make it clear from the outset that the bomb in London docklands was a cowardly and outrageous act, and that the search for peace in Northern Ireland must and will go on, as my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister made clear.

The resumption of terrorist violence has implications for the Security Service, which will have to allocate its resources in the light of the demands that are placed upon it. My right hon. and learned Friend the Home Secretary made it clear on Second Reading that the Security Service's serious crime work would depend on resources being available for it. It is essential that the service retains the flexibility to respond to sudden demands in respect of any of its functions. The Government still believe that this measure should be enacted. There has been agreement that organised crime is a menace to society.

There has been agreement that the Security Service can bring valuable skills to bear in combating that menace, in support of the law enforcement agencies. The resources that the service will be able to devote to its new function will depend on a variety of factors, but I think that it would be wrong for us to deny ourselves the option of using the service's capability against serious crime as and when it can make a contribution.

4.15 pm

The right hon. Member for Berwick-upon-Tweed (Mr. Beith) spoke of the signal that could be given. We can certainly give a signal, as we have over the past few days, that no stone will be left unturned in the search for those responsible for last Friday's outrage. The Security Service will continue to do all that it can to bear down on terrorism. I would be worried about the signal that would be given if we did not proceed with the Bill, which has been programmed into the parliamentary calendar.

The IRA has already given a signal that it is afraid of the ballot box and of elections. The House of Commons works on the basis of the ballot box and elections. The Bill has received all-party support, has proceeded through Committee smoothly with all-party support and was scheduled to proceed through its remaining stages today. I fear that, if we abandoned it today because one bomb went off in London on Friday night, we would send a message that the IRA commanded the House's agenda, rather than elected Members of Parliament.

Mr. Winnick

Surely it would not be giving in to the IRA any more than we have in the past 25 years to say, in effect, that the intelligence and security services should always be willing to devote all their energies, as circumstances demand, to fighting terrorism. Such action would in no way conflict with the attempt to continue the peace process in Northern Ireland—far from it—but the fact remains that the position has changed somewhat since the period of the ceasefire. We do not know whether the IRA intends to continue a sustained campaign of murder and atrocities. In those circumstances, most people would think it sensible for all the energies of the Security Service to be used to fight terrorism.

Mr. Maclean

I thought that I had made it clear that the energies of the Security Service have been, are being and will continue to be used to combat terrorism. The hon. Gentleman seems to be labouring under a misapprehension. If the Bill would involve a huge transfer of resources from the Security Service into the handling of organised crime—resources that would then not be available to combat terrorism—I would agree with him, but that is not the case.

Mr. Winnick

I did not say that.

Mr. Maclean

That is how I interpreted the hon. Gentleman's remarks. I am not trying to put words into his mouth. Let me reassure him that it is perfectly safe for us to proceed with the Bill, on the basis that the Security Service has valuable resources. Although some of those resources could be used to fight organised crime, that would not deflect the Security Service from its leading role in combating terrorism.

I appreciate that new clause 1 stems from a desire for greater public accountability in the operation of the Security Service. That wish is understandable, but it would be a mistake to assume that, just because the Security Service will be acting in support of the police—as well as other law enforcement agencies—the same systems of accountability should apply to both bodies.

Sir Irvine Patnick (Sheffield, Hallam)

The Association of Chief Police Officers raised five key points in a paper which has, I believe, been circulated. I shall not go into the details, but will my right hon. Friend assure me that he has taken them into consideration?

Mr. Maclean

I can give my hon. Friend the assurance that he seeks. I believe that he is referring to the five key principles that were the basis of the agreement between the police and other law enforcement agencies and the Security Service. We have stated publicly—and I believe that my right hon. and learned Friend the Home Secretary has said it in the House—that those five key principles have been taken into account, and amendments that we made in Committee have ensured that they are incorporated in the Bill even more explicitly.

I consider the new clause misguided, because it attempts to graft part of the accountability arrangements for police officers on to members of the Security Service. The Police Complaints Authority can investigate only complaints against police officers; the Security Service Tribunal can investigate only complaints against members of the Security Service. Those procedures work very well in their separate contexts. The procedures of the tribunal are carefully tailored to provide rigorous, independent oversight without compromising the service's operational effectiveness by revealing sensitive information, or, indeed, by revealing whether the service has been involved, where that is not necessary.

Any person—this will be of interest to the hon. Member for Greenock and Port Glasgow (Dr. Godman)—can complain to the tribunal about anything that he or she believes the Security Service has done to that person or to his or her property. That person can be an individual or an organisation, and a complaint about a person's property may include the place where he or she resides or works. Any complaint that is not trivial or vexatious will be examined. For complaints relating to action against property, the tribunal will involve the commissioner. The tribunal and commissioner have full powers to call on any official documents or information that they may need. All members of the tribunal are senior members of the legal profession. That is an important safeguard and it should not be taken lightly.

Dr. Godman


Mr. Chris Mullin (Sunderland, South)


Mr. Maclean

I give way first to the hon. Member for Greenock and Port Glasgow.

Dr. Godman

I am grateful to the Minister for showing his characteristic courtesy to me. He knows that my experience of tribunals relates to social security and medical tribunals. If there is a right of appeal against the tribunal's decision, how many cases were upheld in recent times?

Mr. Maclean

There is no right of appeal against the tribunal's decision. It was set up to be the final court of appeal in investigating these matters. The number of cases is on record, and I shall need to refresh my memory of it.

I now give way to the hon. Member for Sunderland, South (Mr. Mullin).

Mr. Mullin

Further to the point that was raised by my hon. Friend the Member for Greenock and Port Glasgow (Dr. Godman), will the Minister remind the House, so that we may know how seriously we should take the tribunal, how many complaints the tribunal upheld?

Mr. Maclean

The tribunal has not upheld any complaints of abuse by the Security Service. That is testimony to the fact that the Security Service has behaved properly, and the tribunal has not found any cause for complaint. It seems that the hon. Gentleman and I reach different conclusions from that fact. He obviously thinks that there is some cause to see something sinister or to suspect. It is a cause of pride that the machinery has worked well.

What of operations when the Security Service is acting in support of the police? It is not a new development for the service to be working closely with law enforcement agencies. That already happens under the service's existing functions, particularly in relation to counter-terrorism, counter-proliferation and counter-espionage. There is no reason, therefore, why new disciplinary procedures should be introduced for the service's new function. It would not be sensible for members of the service to be subject to different disciplinary procedures for work under different functions when the distinction between, for example, terrorism and organised crime may be extremely blurred. Furthermore, if a different procedure came into play in relation to a particular function, that could be exploited to reveal information about the basis for the service's inquiries into a particular target.

It may help hon. Members if we consider what will happen in practice. If a potential complainant suspects the involvement of the Security Service, he or she can complain direct to the tribunal. That is the same as now and the procedure is straightforward. I assume that it is more likely that the complainant will not know where to direct his or her complaint. In those circumstances, the complainant is most likely to go to the police. If the complaint consists of an alleged criminal offence, the police are the appropriate point of contact. Members of the Security Service are subject to the law, and if a criminal offence has been committed, the police will investigate.

I accept that it is difficult to think of a scenario in which the Security Service will be so up front that a complaint is likely, but if, say, misconduct occurs during surveillance—for example, assault—the police will record a complaint relating to the conduct of the operation and will then investigate. As I said, members of the Security Service are not above the law.

Every police force in the country has been sent a leaflet explaining the role of the tribunal and has been provided with forms to submit complaints. The tribunal intends to revise its leaflet to take account of the present Bill and to reissue it to every force.

Mr. Beith

I thank the Minister for making that clear. He is dealing with precisely the situation that worries me. If somebody complains to a police force and is unaware that the Security Service is involved and it becomes clear to the police that it was a Security Service matter, will the police tell the complainant that the Security Service is involved and direct him to the tribunal? What will the police response be and how will the complainant know what is happening to his complaint?

Mr. Maclean

As I understand the present position, the police will investigate. If the matter does not concern a police officer, the police will inform the person that there is no case to answer in the context of any of their people and will give the complainant the leaflet that I described, pointing him in the direction of other sources to which he can make a complaint.

Mr. Beith

This is a crucial issue. Does that mean that the police will disclose to the complainant, although they might not wish to do it, that the Security Service was involved in the operation? When they tell the complainant that a police officer was not involved, will they give him any idea at all of the person to whom he should complain?

Mr. Maclean

I understand that that would not be the usual procedure. It is difficult to deal with individual circumstances and hypothetical cases. In all operations, it is important to protect the integrity of the Security Service, but at the same time the police have a duty to use the complaints machinery. The solution that has been adopted of the Security Service designing new information leaflets for every police force in the country, one of which will be given to a complainant who has drawn a blank against a police officer, should be sufficient to ensure that nobody comes up against a brick wall. Currently, people have a right to complain to the Security Service Tribunal and they can complain to the Police Complaints Authority. Those two separate avenues will continue. Whether in the context of terrorism at the moment or of organised crime operations in future, any person with a complaint will still have the same two avenues.

Mr. Jack Straw (Blackburn)

I am following the right hon. Gentleman's argument with care. I understand, as I think does the House, that it would not be consistent with practice for the name of a Security Service officer to be given to a complainant. I should like this to be clear. Is the Minister saying that, if there was a joint operation in the unusual circumstances that he describes and the police were satisfied that a complaint did not relate to their officers, information would be given to the complainant in the form of the leaflet, which palpably draws the attention of the complainant to the fact that the complaint, if it is to be directed at anybody, is to be directed at members, albeit unnamed, of the Security Service? That must be the implication of giving a complainant the leaflet that the Minister describes.

Mr. Maclean

The leaflet not only contains information on the Security Service Tribunal but deals with the tribunals that were established under the Interception of Communications Act 1985 and the Intelligence Services Act 1994. The complainant is given a comprehensive list of alternative avenues for possible complaint. The end result is that a complainant is not left without someone to complain to. He may not be happy with the outcome, just as some people are not happy with the Police Complaints Authority procedure or with Security Service Tribunal procedures. Nevertheless, the aggrieved complainant will not fall through a net because of a joint operation.

Mr. Jim Cousins (Newcastle upon Tyne, Central)

Does the Minister regard the police as having a duty to hand over the forms without explanation, or is there simply a possibility of them doing that? As he rightly says, such action would lead the complainant to a likely conclusion.

Mr. Maclean

I would regard that as a duty. If someone comes to the police with a complaint, they have a duty to investigate it unless it is totally frivolous or vexatious. If mechanisms such as the Security Service Tribunal and others have been set up, the police have a duty to pass on the relevant information to the complainant.

Mr. Corbett

This is a serious matter, and the Minister is taking it seriously. The new clause envisages that other agencies apart from the Security Service could be involved. What happens when a complainant thinks that the Security Service was involved in an incident, but finds out that it was in fact Customs and Excise? Will there be a leaflet listing that service as one of the options? Such a situation could arise in drugs cases, for example.

Mr. Maclean

The hon. Gentleman makes a valid point, and I shall certainly consider that possibility. The police may find it helpful to ensure that any complainant who is not their direct responsibility has sufficient information on all possible avenues. It may be that Customs and Excise is already producing a leaflet, but I shall certainly look into that. I see no harm in taking on board the hon. Gentleman's suggestion—if that has not already been done—as it fits in with the principle that I described. If the police are unable to go further because it was not one of their officers, they can issue sufficient leaflets to point complainants in the appropriate direction.

4.30 pm

The process that I have described is not dissimilar to the standard procedure for complaints against police officers. Complaints must be submitted in the first instance to the local police force. If it is the responsibility of the chief officer to investigate the complaint, he must decide with reference to statutory guidelines whether the complaint should be referred to the Police Complaints Authority for supervision of the investigation. Only then does the PCA become involved.

To sum up, the PCA and the Security Service Tribunal have extremely important roles to play, but they carry out their roles in different ways that are appropriate to the organisations that they oversee. The accountability arrangements for the Security Service inevitably have to take some account of the organisation's need for secrecy, while ensuring that members of the public are protected. Similarly, the unique powers granted to police officers require appropriate controls to ensure that they are not abused. I believe that the present methods for dealing with complaints are sufficient, and I do not believe that we should confuse the two by attempting to amalgamate them. While I listened carefully to what the right hon. Member for Berwick-upon-Tweed said, I am afraid that I was not convinced by it.

Mr. Beith

I am sorry that the Minister does not think that the new clause would be a good way of dealing with the problem, and I would submit that it does not do as he suggested. The new clause does not provide an alternative system of discipline, nor does it amalgamate the two procedures. It simply asserts that the existing procedures of the Police Complaints Authority are unaffected in so far as they relate to anything done by police officers under the Bill. I take it that he confirmed in his reply that that was the case, and that he feels that that part of the new clause may be unnecessary.

The new clause goes on to provide a mechanism by which the PCA would pass on complaints to be dealt with by the Security Service mechanisms if a matter turned out to involve a Security Service officer. A report would be produced so that the complainant could see that the complaint had been attended to. The new clause does not make it clear what the body then has to tell the complainant, and that leads us into a difficulty to which I shall come.

The Minister focused precisely on a situation about which I am more than a little concerned. The complainant, having assumed that the police were responsible—accidentally, or because of carelessness or excessive zeal—for disrupting his home, causing his suitability for employment to be put into question or physically interfering with him in some way during an operation makes a complaint to the police machinery. He may suspect that there has been Security Service involvement or he may not; but it turns out that Security Service personnel were involved, and the police reply to him that no police officer was found in the investigation to have been involved in what went wrong. "Here is a leaflet," they will say, "which may be of assistance to you."

It is the practice not to identify the involvement of the Security Service in an operation in order to protect its activities. I understand that, and that makes me somewhat sympathetic to what the Minister is saying. But, perversely, that is precisely the effect achieved. When a complainant receives a leaflet, he will wonder why it has been sent to him. If no police officer was involved, his complaint must be sent to the Security Service Tribunal.

The only answer to this problem—as suggested by the hon. Member for Birmingham, Erdington (Mr. Corbett)—is for the Minister to ensure that not just one leaflet is sent, but several. There will be a selection of leaflets on the Security Service machinery, Customs and Excise—which, incidentally, does not have any machinery for complaints against its officers—the Inland Revenue, the General Synod of the Church of England, the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland and just about anybody else. The complainant will be told, "Sift through these and you may find that it is worth exploring one of those avenues, but we are not in a position to tell you which one."

Mr. Rupert Allason (Torbay)

I hope that we will not involve such sinister organisations as the Church of England.

I invite the right hon. Gentleman to speculate on the role of an intelligence officer who participates in a surveillance operation with a colleague who is a police officer. It is a golden recipe for muddle and confusion. Those two officers, who will be conducting a joint operation, will be subject to quite different codes of discipline. One is fairly overt, with the police officer being subject to the police complaints procedure, but the other protects the intelligence officer with a great panoply of secrecy, with the tribunal and the commissioner as the very last resort.

Does the right hon. Gentleman agree that that is a recipe for great mischief? Would it not be better for both officers to be subject to precisely the same discipline while part of a police joint operation? Should they not both be subject to the police complaints procedure?

Mr. Beith

I would have preferred just that solution. Indeed, the position described by the hon. Gentleman is dealt with not only in this new clause, but in amendment No. 1, which deals with the different warranting procedures that should apply in an eavesdropping operation. We will deal with that amendment later. The hon. Gentleman implied a transfer of personnel, which is not the route chosen by the Government in the Bill. In principle, I would have preferred that, although it removes the ability to switch resources between the various activities in which the Security Service is involved.

There is a dilemma. If we are not careful, we will create a situation in which anyone will be able to find out whether the Security Service has been involved in an operation against him—simply by submitting a complaint and waiting for the appropriate leaflets to arrive. That may be a slow process and the complainant may not find out what he wants to know for 12 months or so—but when he gets the leaflets, he will know.

The complainant will receive information and he will be invited to consider whether he wishes to use the complaints machinery of any of several organisations. I do not think that that is a good solution. It would have been better to give the Police Complaints Authority some responsibility for satisfying itself on that point. After all, it could inquire whether the Security Service was involved, pursue the complaint and then go back to the complainant—as it would with any genuine complaint—and say that not only did no police officer act improperly but that it was satisfied that no officer of any other agency was involved. The complainant would not then need to go elsewhere, because the PCA would have been able to establish that fact and relay it to the complainant, without providing an easy route by which a complainant could find out whether the Security Service was involved.

I do not think that some aspects of this matter have been sufficiently thought through. I do not have total confidence in the form that I have chosen, although, having listened to the debate, I genuinely believe that it is better than the leaflet procedure. I invite the Minister to consider it further before the Bill gets to the other place. Perhaps there could be further discussion with the PCA and the Security Service Tribunal and commissioner to find a way to ensure that there is no hole into which matters could fall and that the whole thing does not simply become a device through which a damaging disclosure could occur.

At the same time, the public need to be sure that they will not be led a dance and that, if there is a proper complaint, it will be directed to wherever it can best be properly investigated. At the end of the day, the public need to be satisfied that, in so far as the complaints bodies are effective, the complaint has been examined and found to be either justified or not justified. We are not yet at that point. I wonder if the Minister can tell me—perhaps in an intervention—whether he is prepared to examine the implications of that. It is an important issue, and I will happily give way to him if he is prepared to deal with it. We have not yet reached a satisfactory conclusion.

Mr. Maclean

I may not have described a solution in such a manner that the right hon. Gentleman has been convinced, but I cannot see any alternative to it. It may be that those in the other place will find refinements to add to it, but we shall have to consider those when we see the proposed amendments. The only solution that the right hon. Gentleman suggested, which he himself then rejected, would mean transferring resources to the police service and giving Security Service personnel the offices and duties of a constable so that they would be subject to the police complaints machinery. That would entail the loss of the current tremendous flexibility. That is the only alternative of which I can think; we have rejected it, as has the right hon. Gentleman.

Mr. Beith

That alternative was suggested by the hon. Member for Torbay (Mr. Allason), or it was implicit in the criticism that he made, and I have considered it. However, there are other arguments against taking that course. I have suggested to the Minister—formally in the new clause and less formally in what I have been telling him—that permitting the Police Complaints Authority to have a role in ensuring that a complaint is processed right the way through will ensure that the involvement of Security Service personnel will not serve as a route by which members of the public are simply fobbed off and not provided with the certainty that their complaints are being dealt with.

That would ensure that members of the public were not left in the position in which a hint was dropped to them that it might be worth complaining to the Security Service or some other, unspecified body, and the public would at least have some assurance that there was a body with the power and capacity to check whether that really was the case and to direct the complaint appropriately.

I do not think that the Minister has responded satisfactorily to my argument. That matter remains a serious problem in the Bill, and I shall therefore press the new clause.

Mr. Allason

I invite my right hon. Friend the Minister to examine one loophole in the existing arrangement. If there is a joint operation and an individual makes a complaint to the Security Service Tribunal, it is possible that, under the current legislation, had that individual been the subject of a Security Service file that existed before December 1989, neither the tribunal nor the commissioner could investigate the complaint.

There could, therefore, be circumstances in which an individual feels that he has a legitimate complaint and the complaint cannot be directed to the police complaints procedure. The complaint should properly be directed towards the Security Service commissioner or the tribunal, but, because that person had become the subject of a Security Service file before the passage of the Security Service Act 1989, the Security Service Tribunal would of course decline to conduct an investigation.

The loophole has consistently been in operation. Many people can put different interpretations on the fact that the tribunal and the commissioner have not upheld a single complaint since 1989 and have not disclosed the number of complaints which have been made to them, but I am concerned that the loophole will disadvantage a great many people.

The potential for muddle between both disciplines in a joint operation is considerable. I should remind the House of the events that took place in Northern Ireland when there was precisely such an overlap. It occurred at the beginning of the Stalker affair, when there was a Security Service surveillance operation on a barn in which some suspects were shot dead by the RUC. The House will recall that John Stalker was invited to investigate the matter and it was discovered that, in a clandestine surveillance operation, the Security Service had taped all the events that took place on the day of the shooting, including conversations between the RUC officers involved.

Thereafter, the tapes of those recordings went missing. John Stalker became very aggravated about what took place and Colin Sampson subsequently conducted an inquiry and recommended that two security officers should be prosecuted for perverting the course of justice. The House will also recall that, quite properly, the decision was taken that it was not in the public interest to proceed with those prosecutions.

The reason why I cite that case is that it is a classic example of overlap and confusion between two services and two disciplines in separate organisations, operating in extremely difficult circumstances. Indeed, one can scarcely imagine more difficult circumstances. We may be able to debate such issues in a calm and relaxed atmosphere, but while attempting to execute a warrant for the interference of property, adrenalin runs very high.

I find the idea of both officers being subject to totally different disciplines so full of loopholes that I am sure as eggs is eggs that conflict will occur sooner or later and create precisely the problems eventually discovered by John Stalker and Colin Sampson, which were certainly to John Stalker's cost.

4.45 pm
Dr. Godman

I am grateful to the Minister for his response to my question. If the proposed leaflet was discussed in Committee, did his officials discuss it with Scottish chief constables?

I am concerned that, while investigating cases such as those I mentioned, about traffic in arms between Scotland and Northern Ireland, an intelligence officer may make inquiries of the employers of suspected persons. In a case of mistaken identity, an innocent employee's job prospects may suffer severely, although I pray to heaven that such cases are very rare. A person could face losing his employment, especially if the case were publicised as much as the recent gaoling of the loyalist paramilitary.

I am not being facetious when I suggest that it might be an idea to give Members copies of leaflets. I am sure that all Members have heard constituents in their surgeries—or advice bureaux or whatever they are called these days—complaining about the local police. In the west of Scotland, an employee who is confronted by an irate employer who has been questioned about an employee's suspected involvement in gun running to Belfast and elsewhere might face dismissal. In those circumstances, the first person he might approach for help would be his local Member of Parliament.

Those are my questions to the Minister. Was the leaflet discussed in Committee? Has it been discussed with chief constables north of the border and, if so, what was their reaction to it? What is likely to happen to those persons whose employers are approached in the cases that I have used by way of illustration?

Mr. Michael

With the leave of the House, Mr. Deputy Speaker. This is an important issue and it has been an interesting short debate. However, it is clear that there are no simple easy answers to the problem. The right hon. Member for Berwick-upon-Tweed (Mr. Beith) accepted that his solution does not do the job, so the House is left without a solution.

The Minister accepted, as we do, that the public should have a simple means of raising an issue that gives rise to concern—one in which they feel they have been threatened, intimidated or otherwise wronged. The means of reaching such an accommodation should be simple. However, there are the reservations to which the Minister rightly referred. We do not want to open the books or destroy the confidentiality of the work of the Security Service.

The idea that every form of discipline should be the same is patently ludicrous. Many professions operate under different types of discipline. That applies even to professions such as banisters and solicitors, which laymen might regard as the same. In my experience, teachers and youth workers work under a different structure of accountability and discipline, but that does not stop them working effectively together.

Perhaps closer and more germane to the issue is what happens when customs and police work together. Obviously, we want them to work together effectively and obviously we want a system that will deal with complaints. At some point, we may come to the question of accountability and complaints in relation to the customs. The House should consider that matter, because the situation is not perfect.

The Security Service has a problem with regard to transparency and accountability in its ordinary work. That is what the tribunal is about. It is not perfect, but it is a means of trying to address complaints. That becomes all the more important when, as a result of the Bill, the Security Service is drawn into joint working with the police and other law enforcement agencies.

The Minister has acknowledged, as we have in Committee and again today, that there is a problem that needs to be addressed. I do not think that there is an instant solution. I hope that in concluding the debate the Minister will agree that this important issue should be kept under scrutiny and that we should seek the best possible way to deal with it.

Mr. Richard Shepherd (Aldridge-Brownhills)

Surely the difficulty for people such as me is that, by introducing the Security Service into what are traditionally criminal matters, you are importing into our system of policing the apparatus and special legal arrangements, which are unique in a democracy, of the security services. That is what causes anxiety here. The appeal system or review should be a policing matter, not under the security services.

Mr. Michael

I am sure that neither you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, nor I are importing this into legislation. It is the Government who seek to do so.

My hon. Friend the Member for Greenock and Port Glasgow (Dr. Godman) said earlier that matters such as trafficking in weapons and the impact of that on his constituency and other parts of Scotland cannot be divided into crime on the one hand and terrorism on the other. We all want such things to be tackled, because they cause problems in our society.

The hon. Member for Aldridge-Brownhills (Mr. Shepherd) might learn something from reading our debates in Committee, because we were trying then, as now, to tease out the precise definitions that could be put in legislation and Ministers' precise understandings so that both the intention of Parliament and the legislation were clear. That is what we have been endeavouring to achieve during the past few weeks.

These complaints are being made over-complex. Such a complexity currently exists because the Security Service is beginning to assist the police service. I am concerned that unsolved business may exist. In the future, this must be examined in the light of practice and experience. It should not be dismissed—it is a serious matter—but it should not delay the legislation. If the Minister agrees with us on the area of concern to which we should apply our minds in the future, the intention of Parliament will be clear.

Mr. Maclean

I agree with the hon. Member for Cardiff, South and Penarth (Mr. Michael). In the past hour, hon. Members have agonised over hypothetical cases—which we expect to be few and far between—where, for some reason, the Security Service will be involved in a joint operation, will be behind the front line of intelligence gathering and analysis, and will come in contact with a member of the public, and then there is a complaint.

As the hon. Gentleman said, we are currently in that scenario because of the help that the Security Service is giving the Metropolitan police in leading the fight against terrorism in Britain. At the present time, it is possible that members of the public will come up against a member of the Security Service when they think that they are dealing with a police complaint. Those twin tracks exist at the moment. I know that hon. Members would like the Security Service Tribunal machinery to be different, but that is the way it is, and that is what was agreed by the House. There are no plans to change that, nor should we change it just because we are now dealing with organised crime.

I am sorry that the hon. Member for Greenock and Port Glasgow (Dr. Godman) was not a member of the Committee. I am certain that, if he had been a member, every matter relating to Scotland would have been raised, and we could have discussed his honourable career as a red cap. There is no equivalent to the Police Complaints Authority in Scotland—there is different machinery—but the initiating stages are the same: an individual makes a complaint to the local police force and it is the duty of the chief constable to investigate it. That will apply equally in Scotland and in England. We shall ensure that the leaflets have valid currency in Scotland. I shall draw the Security Service's attention to the points that the hon. Gentleman made, but I see no reason for them to be any different to take account of Scotland.

I am not sure whether my hon. Friend the Member for Torbay (Mr. Allason) was correct. The tribunal's remit extends to any inquiries by the Security Service that have been initiated since November 1989—when the tribunal came into being—and any inquiries that were initiated before November 1989 where no decision had been taken to discontinue them in the intervening period. Any investigation by the service that ceased before the tribunal came into being is outside the tribunal's remit—although, in exceptional circumstances, it can pass a complaint to the commissioner. So that I do not delay the proceedings, I shall write a detailed letter to my hon. Friends and place it in the Library.

Mr. Allason


Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Michael Morris)

Order. The hon. Gentleman cannot make a second contribution. On Report, only the mover of an amendment or a new clause and the Minister responsible may speak twice. All other hon. Members must collect their thoughts and make only one contribution.

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

The House divided: Ayes 31, Noes 267.

Division No. 54] [4.58 pm
Allason, Rupert (Torbay) Maclennan, Robert
Berth, Rt Hon A J Maddock, Diana
Bruce, Malcolm (Gordon) Michie, Mrs Ray (Argyll & Bute)
Campbell-Savours, D N Nicholson, Emma (Devon West)
Canavan, Dennis Rendel, David
Chidgey, David Simpson, Alan
Corbyn, Jeremy Skinner, Dennis
Dafis, Cynog Steel, Rt Hon Sir David
Godman, Dr Norman A Taylor, Matthew (Truro)
Tyler, Paul
Harvey, Nick Wallace, James
Hinchliffe, David Welsh, Andrew
Jones, Ieuan Wyn (Ynys MÔn) Wigley, Dafydd
Jones, Nigel (Cheltenham) Winnick, David
Kennedy, Charles (Ross,C&S)
Loyden, Eddie Tellers for the Ayes:
Lynne, Ms Liz Mr. Alex Carlile and
McCartney, Robert Mr. Archy Kirkwood.
Ainsworth, Peter (East Surrey) Beggs, Roy
Alexander, Richard Bellingham, Henry
Alison, Rt Hon Michael (Selby) Beresford, Sir Paul
Amess, David Biffen, Rt Hon John
Ancram, Rt Hon Michael Body, Sir Richard
Arbuthnot, James Bonsor, Sir Nicholas
Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham) Booth, Hartley
Arnold, Sir Thomas (Hazel Grv) Boswell, Tim
Ashby, David Bottomley, Peter (Eltham)
Atkins, Rt Hon Robert Bowden, Sir Andrew
Atkinson, David (Bour'mouth E) Bowis, John
Atkinson, Peter (Hexham) Boyson, Rt Hon Sir Rhodes
Baker, Nicholas (North Dorset) Brandreth, Gyles
Baldry, Tony Brazier, Julian
Banks, Matthew (Southport) Bright, Sir Graham
Banks, Robert (Harrogate) Brooke, Rt Hon Peter
Bates, Michael Brown, M (Brigg & Cl'thorpes)
Browning, Mrs Angela Haselhurst, Sir Alan
Bruce, Ian (South Dorset) Hawkins, Nick
Butcher, John Hawksley, Warren
Butler, Peter Heald, Oliver
Butterfill, John Heathcoat-Amory, Rt Hon David
Carlisle, John (Luton North) Hendry, Charles
Carlisle, Sir Kenneth (Lincoln) Hicks, Robert
Carrington, Matthew Higgins, Rt Hon Sir Terence
Carttiss, Michael Hill, James (Southampton Test)
Cash, William Hogg, Rt Hon Douglas (G'tham)
Channon, Rt Hon Paul Horam, John
Chapman, Sir Sydney Howard, Rt Hon Michael
Clappison, James Howell, Rt Hon David (G'dford)
Clark, Dr Michael (Rochford) Howell, Sir Ralph (N Norfolk)
Clarke, Rt Hon Kenneth (Ru'clif) Hughes, Robert G (Harrow W)
Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey Hunt, Rt Hon David (Wirral W)
Coe, Sebastian Hunt, Sir John (Ravensbourne)
Congdon, David Hunter, Andrew
Coombs, Simon (Swindon) Hurd, Rt Hon Douglas
Cope, Rt Hon Sir John Jack, Michael
Cormack, Sir Patrick Jenkin, Bernard
Couchman, James Jessel, Toby
Cran, James Johnson Smith, Sir Geoffrey
Davies, Quentin (Stamford) Jones, Robert B (W Hertfdshr)
Davis, David (Boothferry) Jopling, Rt Hon Michael
Day, Stephen Key, Robert
Deva, Nirj Joseph King, Rt Hon Tom
Dicks, Terry Kirkhope, Timothy
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James Knapman, Roger
Duncan, Alan Knight, Mrs Angela (Erewash)
Duncan-Smith, Iain Knight, Rt Hon Greg (Derby N)
Dunn, Bob Knight, Dame Jill (Bir'm E'st'n)
Durant, Sir Anthony Knox, Sir David
Dykes, Hugh Kynoch, George (Kincardine)
Eggar, Rt Hon Tim Lang, Rt Hon Ian
Elletson, Harold Lawrence, Sir Ivan
Emery, Rt Hon Sir Peter Legg, Barry
Evans, David (Welwyn Hatfield) Lennox-Boyd, Sir Mark
Evans, Jonathan (Brecon) Lester, Sir James (Broxtowe)
Evans, Nigel (Ribble Valley) Lidington, David
Evans, Roger (Monmouth) Lilley, Rt Hon Peter
Evennett, David Lloyd, Rt Hon Sir Peter (Fareham)
Faber, David Lord, Michael
Fabricant, Michael Luff, Peter
Fenner, Dame Peggy Lyell, Rt Hon Sir Nicholas
Field, Barry (Isle of Wight) MacGregor, Rt Hon John
Fishburn, Dudley MacKay, Andrew
Forsyth, Rt Hon Michael (Stirling) Maclean, Rt Hon David
Forsythe, Clifford (S Antrim) McNair-Wilson, Sir Patrick
Forth, Eric Madel, Sir David
Fox, Dr Liam (Woodspring) Maitland, Lady Olga
Fox, Rt Hon Sir Marcus (Shipley) Malone, Gerald
Freeman, Rt Hon Roger Mans, Keith
French, Douglas Marland, Paul
Fry, Sir Peter Marlow, Tony
Gale, Roger Marshall, John (Hendon S)
Gallie, Phil Marshall, Sir Michael (Arundel)
Gardiner, Sir George Martin, David (Portsmouth S)
Garnier, Edward Mawhinney, Rt Hon Dr Brian
Gill, Christopher Mayhew, Rt Hon Sir Patrick
Gillan, Cheryl Merchant, Piers
Goodlad, Rt Hon Alastair Mills, Iain
Goodson-Wickes, Dr Charles Mitchell, Austin (Gt Grimsby)
Gorman, Mrs Teresa Mitchell, Sir David (NW Hants)
Grant, Sir A (SW Cambs) Molyneaux, Rt Hon Sir James
Greenway, Harry (Ealing N) Monro, Rt Hon Sir Hector
Greenway, John (Ryedale) Montgomery, Sir Fergus
Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth, N) Needham, Rt Hon Richard
Gummer, Rt Hon John Selwyn Nelson, Anthony
Hague, Rt Hon William Neubert, Sir Michael
Hamilton, Neil (Tatton) Nicholls, Patrick
Hampson, Dr Keith Nicholson, David (Taunton)
Hanley, Rt Hon Jeremy Norris, Steve
Hannam, Sir John Onslow, Rt Hon Sir Cranley
Hargreaves, Andrew Page, Richard
Harris, David Paice, James
Patnick, Sir Irvine Sykes, John
Pattie, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Tapsell, Sir Peter
Pawsey, James Taylor, Rt Hon John D (Strgfd)
Peacock, Mrs Elizabeth Taylor, Sir Teddy (Southend, E)
Pickles, Eric Temple-Morris, Peter
Porter, Barry (Wirral S) Thomason, Roy
Porter, David (Waveney) Thompson, Sir Donald (C'er V)
Portillo, Rt Hon Michael Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N)
Powell, William (Corby) Thornton, Sir Malcolm
Rathbone, Tim Thurnham, Peter
Redwood, Rt Hon John Townend, John (Bridlington)
Renton, Rt Hon Tim Townsend, Cyril D (Bexl'yh'th)
Riddick, Graham Tracey, Richard
Robathan, Andrew Tredinnick, David
Roberts, Rt Hon Sir Wyn Trend, Michael
Robertson, Raymond (Ab'd'n S) Trotter, Neville
Robinson, Mark (Somerton) Twinn, Dr Ian
Roe, Mrs Marion (Broxbourne) Vaughan, Sir Gerard
Rowe, Andrew (Mid Kent) Waldegrave, Rt Hon William
Sainsbury, Rt Hon Sir Timothy Walden, George
Scott, Rt Hon Sir Nicholas Walker, Bill (N Tayside)
Shaw, David (Dover) Waller, Gary
Shaw, Sir Giles (Pudsey) Wardle, Charles (Bexhill)
Waterson, Nigel
Shephard, Rt Hon Gillian Watts, John
Shepherd, Sir Colin (Hereford)
Shersby, Sir Michael Wells, Bowen
Smith, Sir Dudley (Warwick) Whitney, Ray
Whittingdale, John
Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield) Widdecombe, Ann
Smyth, The Reverend Martin Wiggin, Sir Jerry
Spencer, Sir Derek Wilkinson, John
Spicer, Sir James (W Dorset) Willetts, David
Spicer, Sir Michael (S Worcs) Wilshire, David
Spink, Dr Robert Winterton, Mrs Ann (Congleton)
Spring, Richard Winterton, Nicholas (Macc'f'ld)
Sproat, Iain Wolfson, Mark
Squire, Robin (Hornchurch) Wood, Timothy
Steen, Anthony Yeo, Tim
Stern, Michael Young, Rt Hon Sir George
Stewart, Allan
Streeter, Gary Tellers for the Noes:
Sumberg, David Mr. Derek Conway and
Sweeney, Walter Mr. Patrick McLoughlin.

Question accordingly negatived.

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