HC Deb 12 June 1996 vol 279 cc342-54

'—(1) Section 32A of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 shall be amended as follows.

(2) In subsection (3), paragraph (a) shall be omitted.

(3) After subsection (3) there shall be inserted—

"(3A) Where a video recording is to be tendered in evidence under this section the court may grant leave for a child witness to be cross-examined at a pre-trial hearing in informal surroundings at which only—

  1. (a) the judge;
  2. (b) counsel for the parties;
  3. (c) an appropriate adult to accompany the child as set out in the rules of court
shall be present in the same room as the child.

(3B) At any pre-trial hearing the defendant shall be permitted to see and hear the proceedings and to communicate with his legal advisor by such means as shall be laid down by the rules of court.

(3C) The pre-trial hearing of the cross-examination of the child witness shall be video recorded and the video recording shall, with leave of the court, be tendered in evidence before the jury.".'.—[Mrs. Golding.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

Mrs. Llin Golding (Newcastle-under-Lyme)

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

Mr. Deputy Speaker

With this, it will be convenient to discuss also the following: New clause 7—Time limits for pre-trial hearings'.—(1) Where permission is given under section 32A of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 subsection (3A), the pre-trial hearing shall be fixed within six weeks of the transfer or committal proceedings unless the court considers that it would be contrary to the interests of justice to do so. (2) Where the court does not consider that the usual time limit of six weeks would be in the interest of justice, an alternative time limit shall be fixed by the court.'. New clause 8—Recall of child witnesses'.—There shall be inserted after subsection (5) of section 32A of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 (5A) The court may grant leave for the recall of a child witness who was cross examined at a preliminary hearing if it appears to the court to be in the interests of justice to give such permission. (5B) Where the court allows a child witness to be recalled, a further out-of-court hearing should be held under the same conditions as the preliminary hearing".'. New clause 9—Evidence of absent children'.—(1) The Children and Young Persons Act 1933 shall be amended as follows. (2) In section 42, in subsection (1) the words "or by video recording" shall be inserted after the words "may take in writing". (3) In section 43, the words "he or" shall be omitted.'.

Mrs. Golding

I wish to declare an interest, in that I am a trustee of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children and the joint chairman of the all-party parliamentary group for children.

I pay tribute to the work that the NSPCC has done to achieve justice for children, and which has led to the production of these new clauses. The Minister has said that the Labour party has not been heavily involved in this issue, but I can refer him to three Acts that contain measures that were proposed by Labour Members and others in an effort to get the Government to do something to provide more justice for children. I also wish to pay tribute to Baroness Faithfull, who died recently. She was irrepressible, and will be irreplaceable as far as children are concerned.

Much has been done to improve our criminal justice system through a series of Criminal Justice Acts. Unrepresented defendants can no longer cross-examine a child witness. Child witnesses are allowed to give evidence through a live television link or from behind screens with the leave of the court. Video recording can be given in evidence in place of the examination-in-chief, as long as the child is available for cross-examination at the trial. The competency requirement for child witnesses has been abolished.

It is clear from research that, even when a child has given the evidence-in-chief on video and has then been cross-examined by live television link, he or she finds the experience of live cross-examination at trial extremely intimidating. Children suffer from high stress while waiting for our court system to move, and there can be long delays before they give evidence. These new clauses would go a long way towards remedying that problem.

Imagine, Mr. Deputy Speaker, having to speak in a court to a room full of strangers while being repeatedly told that you may be lying. Very often, that can be done until the witness breaks down in tears and does not know what to say. Imagine being six, seven, eight or nine years old and having to face our court system. It is bad enough for an adult—it must be much worse for a young child. Too many children face such abuse from a legal system that is supposed to protect them.

The NSPCC, which does much good work to help children who have to go to court to give evidence, told me that a 13-year-old child called Philip had to wait seven months to go to court. He attended the trial, but was unable to testify at the last moment. He said: I could have done it six months ago when I was so angry about what he did to me. I can't face it now. I've had too long to think about it". A problem for many children is that the stress and strain of waiting to go to court is too much for them. How can we protect other children if a child cannot give evidence? How can the accused defend himself if the case does not come to trial? How can we protect other children and break the cycle of abuse? We must obtain the best possible evidence from child witnesses without inflicting more emotional damage upon them. A court is no place for children, and we must do more to tackle that fact.

We must implement the recommendations of the 1989 Judge Pigot report of the Home Office advisory group into the giving of video evidence, and allow children to give evidence at an early stage outside court. That key proposal is receiving strong backing from people and organisations directly involved with children. The Royal College of Psychiatrists has said: Overall, we consider that the Pigot Committee recommendations should be implemented fully. The report of the Commission on Children and Violence said: The proposals concerning child witnesses in the Pigot Report should be implemented in full. The British Association of Social Workers said: The recommendations of the Pigot Report should be implemented in full, which call for pre-trial hearings. The Law Society said: The Pigot Report recommended that a judge should be able to order that the cross-examination of a child witness takes place at a pre-trial hearing in informal surroundings and backed that recommendation.

The Criminal Bar Association and the Law Society back the proposal. the Government should certainly back it. It would go a long way to remove the unnecessary stress on child witnesses, and it would be better for the child's welfare if such cases came to court as quickly as possible. That would ensure that fuller and more accurate evidence was given, and it would be in the interests of the accused. In addition, the Director of Public Prosecutions said recently: A justice system where decisions of guilt or innocence are based on the fortitude of witnesses rather than the truth of allegations should not be permitted. New clause 6 is backed by a wide variety of people and groups. The Minister said that we should consult legal practitioners. We have, and we have received much backing. I hope that the Minister will support it. We have asked for this measure for a long time, and it is time that the Government supported it.

New clause 8 provides for the judge to recall a child witness if he deems it necessary. The Minister may say that that negates the benefits of new clause 6, but I do not see it that way. It is in the interests of the accused and of the accuser that there should be a mechanism for the recall of a witness who has testified if something unforeseen has occurred. Many sex abuse cases, I am told, are perfectly straightforward. The evidence is known to both sides, and it would be exceptional for a recall to be applied for. It is another recommendation of the Pigot committee.

Despite its contradictory appearance, the advantage of the pre-trial hearing is that the main evidence will have been dealt with and the child will be expected to deal only with the new points on application to the judge. That is fair to both sides, and that is what our justice system should be about.

New clause 9 deals with evidence from absent children. It is another proposal that has been made before, but it is no less relevant today. The Children and Young Persons Act 1933 very sensibly allowed for written evidence to be given by children who were not well enough to be brought to court. The new clause would extend that provision to the use of video recorded evidence. As technology moves on, so should we.

If a child is ill in hospital or immobile because of a fractured femur or because they are in traction, it is not possible to move them, or the bed, into the court. It makes sense to take a video recording of the evidence. There is no need to suppose that because a child is immobilised by broken bones, he or she will not be lucid or able to give evidence. That might occur rarely—I have not been able to find any cases of written evidence being taken from a hospital bed—but it is no reason why we should not have such a provision for the occasions when it is.

5.30 pm

New clause 7 deals with the time limit for pre-trial hearings and states: Where permission is given under section 32A of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 subsection (3A), the pre-trial hearing shall be fixed within six weeks of the transfer or committal proceedings unless the court considers that it would be contrary to the interests of justice to do so. All the Home Office Ministers to whom I have listened—and I have listened to many—have emphasised their commitment to children and the need to hold hearings as quickly as possible and to bring such cases to court quickly. New clause 7 seeks to ensure that the pre-trial hearing is fixed at an early date to reduce the stress suffered by children. Under the present system, there is an average of 10 months before cases come to court. All too often, they are thrown out. One case has been waiting 13 months to go to trial. What sort of court system is that? What does that say about a Government who allow it?

I had a letter from a lady from Carlisle about a man who had been brought to court charged with indecently assaulting her 14-year-old daughter. He was also charged with assaulting his daughter. The charge was brought in May 1995. The case went to Carlisle Crown court on 6 September 1995. On 16 October, the court arranged a trial date of 15 January, but the judge directed that there should be a hearing on 17 November, when he would consider whether to allow the two victims to give their evidence by video link.

I got this information from the chief executive of the Court Service's reply to my complaint. He said: On 17 November, the judge did not decide on this point but told the prosecution how he was likely to view such an application. The provision of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 about evidence by video link relates to child witnesses under the age of fourteen…The judge therefore told the prosecution that on the basis of the age of the witnesses alone it would be difficult to persuade him to agree to the application. I do not understand that, because the Criminal Justice Act was amended in 1991 to permit children up to the age of 17 to give their evidence in that way. It is obvious that the judge did not know about that. The judge also asked the prosecution to consider the likely effects on the other victim of giving evidence against her father. I do not know who the judge was or why he should think that fathers do not abuse their children. Often, someone in the family—and very often the father—is involved in abuse cases. If that judge is saying that children cannot give evidence against their father, hardly any cases would come to court. That would be nonsense.

In this instance, the Crown Prosecution Service—that well-known defender of children—told the court that it no longer wished to continue the prosecution and offered no evidence. The man got off scot free and still lives with his daughter. Nothing has been done about him.

The Government are always promising action to reduce delay. New clause 7 should at least concentrate their mind. Both the Bar Association and the Law Society think that something can be done. It is time that the courts and the Government did more than they have up to now and concentrated more on giving justice to our young children.

Ms Ann Coffey (Stockport)

I support my hon. Friend's new clause. She has campaigned hard and long for changes in the way in which children are allowed to present evidence in court. The crucial part of the proposals would allow pre-trial cross-examination of children and speed up the court process.

Appearing as a witness in court can be an intimidating experience for anyone, and it can be particularly traumatic for children, especially when they are being asked to give evidence involving descriptions of incidents in which they have been sexually or physically abused. Such evidence may be against a parent or step-parent. The child is already traumatised by shame, guilt, anger and deep distress. The initial disclosure by the child can cause great difficulties for the family of which he or she was a member. The family's emotional disturbance will continue for months. The child and the family have to cope with that.

It is not only the immediate families that have to cope. If the family member accused of assault is still in the house, the child will probably be moved to foster parents or to a children's home. The foster parents, or staff of the home, have to cope with deeply disturbed children for a long time. The child may ask about what is happening or when he or she can go home. Children, especially young children, do not have the maturity to understand the complexities of the justice system.

Speeding the system up is important. The longer the delay in resolution by the court process, the longer it is before counselling and therapy can begin, not only for the child, but for other family members. The longer the delay in beginning counselling, the harder it is to repair the damage—if it can be repaired. No one should underestimate the effect of sexual abuse on children. I am not an expert, but I worked for 20 years in child care before I was elected to the House, and I know enough to understand how complicated, sensitive and difficult the subject is.

We must have a court system that delivers justice so that, as far as possible, the innocent go free and the guilty are convicted. Sexual abuse is a serious offence. In difficult cases, where forensic evidence may not exist or be inconclusive, the evidence of the child is crucial. The new clauses acknowledge that such evidence must be credible and open to proper examination. Pre-trial cross-examination takes nothing away from that process, but would ensure that it took account of the special vulnerability of child witnesses.

There is often a great gap between the Government's rhetoric on an issue and their actions. On this matter, the gap is very evident. The new clauses have cross-party support and give the Minister the opportunity to close the gap. Accepting their principle would give justice to children who are traumatised by the way in which the court process is set up, and further traumatised by the way that they have to give evidence, on top of the trauma that they have suffered as victims of assault.

Mr. Roger Sims (Chislehurst)

The hon. Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme (Mrs. Golding) is a doughty champion of children's causes. She and the hon. Member for Stockport (Ms Coffey) have effectively deployed the case for the new clauses, to which I was glad to add my name to ensure that these issues were discussed today.

I shall not detain the House by repeating the arguments, but I was much involved in the early stages of legislation to make the video recording of children's evidence admissible in the courts. I drew on my experience as a magistrate, as chairman of my local juvenile court before I entered Parliament, and on my close knowledge of the work of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. I was a predecessor of the hon. Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme as a trustee of that society. I saw something of the pioneering work that was done in Bexley to work out ways in which evidence could be taken on video.

When the idea was first proposed, the hope was that, when an accused person was confronted with a video recording of evidence given by the child as soon as possible after the offence was revealed, and realised that the evidence would be produced in court, he—it is usually he, but could. of course be she—would change his plea to avoid the child having to appear in court and realise that such evidence would be difficult for him to refute.

Unfortunately, although that hope has been realised in some cases, it has not happened to the extent to which many of us had hoped. As a result, a number of such charges still find their way to court. That being so, it is all the more important that the recommendations of the Pigot report are implemented. I remind my hon. Friend the Minister that the Government specifically requested the Pigot report. The committee was set up by the Government to advise them on how such matters should be handled. That the report's recommendations have been implemented only in part has shown the potential value of video evidence, and, now, there is surely a need to implement them in full.

It is important that our legal procedures provide justice for the accused—of course I understand that in this context—but it is also important that there should be justice for children. For all the reasons described by the hon. Members for Newcastle-under-Lyme and for Stockport, that is not always so at the moment.

I hope that my hon. Friend the Minister will feel able to accept some or all of the new clauses—at least in spirit, if not to the letter. Failing that, I hope that he will be able to give some convincing explanation why he cannot do so.

Mr. Alex Carlile

I shall start by paying tribute to the hon. Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme (Mrs. Golding). Since she came into the House, she has dedicated herself to this issue and has already achieved a great deal. I hope that she will achieve more tonight.

I want to try to offer some apolitical, practical observations on what is proposed in the light of what is already available. As it happens, and as the House knows, I am a practising barrister. I have practised in cases during which the existing video provisions have been used—as a prosecutor in some and as a defender in others. I have also been a recorder of the Crown court for a number of years and, as a judge, I have conducted cases in which video equipment has been used.

My observation is that, although there were many doubts among practitioners about the way in which the video system would work, it has worked very well. It has been possible to prosecute and defend effectively, and judges, after all, have had to learn only how to control a box with three buttons on it, which most of them have managed without too much difficulty. The system is simple and effective.

In accordance with the recommendations of the Pigot committee, it is proposed that, having tried and tested the system, we should extend it to cover cross-examination.

It would not be a very dramatic extension, and I believe that all practitioners with experience regard it as feasible. It would not remove from the trial judge discretion— indeed, it specifically preserves it—where appropriate to have a live cross-examination in open court with the defendant and witness present, which would undoubtedly remain appropriate in some cases, although I suspect not very many.

In contrast to new clause 5, this group of new clauses seem peculiarly well drafted. I hope that the Government will see fit to take not a very bold step, but a sensible and logical step, to allow the next stage to proceed.

5.45 pm
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. Timothy Kirkhope)

I do not think that there is any particular difference between hon. Members on the need to look after the interests of children in what might often be an extremely stressful situation. I add my tribute to my hon. Friend the Member for Chislehurst (Mr. Sims) and the hon. Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme (Mrs. Golding). I know of their enormous work, especially as trustees of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, and in other ways, looking after the interests of children. The Government also want to try to preserve those interests. Because of that, I am unable to recommend that the House should accept the new clauses, and I shall explain why.

The new clauses reflect the concern that we all share. We must be responsive to the needs of children in such a difficult situation. It was, of course, that concern that prompted the Government to include in the Bill provisions on binding rulings on applications to give evidence by means of a video recording or live television link. The new clauses go further in a way in which, as I shall explain, we do not believe is in the best interests of children.

New clause 6, which repeats some of the recommendations of the 1989 Pigot report, provides for a scheme of pre-trial cross-examination of children to be video recorded for use at trial. The hon. Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme suggests that, in that way, cross-examination could be conducted sooner, that the child would never have to appear in court, and that there would be no constraints on the provision of therapy. I am sure that those are all laudable objectives, but neither we nor the former Lord Chief Justice, whose views we sought, are satisfied that they can be achieved. Indeed, we are concerned that such an approach could result in more stress for the child rather than less.

Implementation of the Pigot report's recommendations has been mentioned. I should like to clarify that—I am sure hon. Members are aware of it—we have implemented the vast majority of the Pigot recommendations, mostly in the Criminal Justice Act 1991. Many helpful recommendations were implemented. If they were thought to be practical, they were introduced in that Act. I am sure that they have done much to help the way in which we deal with children in court or procedural settings.

The fundamental difficulty with the approach proposed by the hon. Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme is that a proper cross-examination cannot take place until the defence is fully prepared to proceed with the trial. At that stage, the aim should be to proceed with the trial as soon as possible. I acknowledge the hon. Lady's remarks about the need to proceed with the trial as soon as possible, but it is unlikely that pre-trial cross-examination could take place very much earlier than it does at present.

New clause 7 seeks to address that problem by imposing a time limit within which cross-examination must be completed following committal proceedings. In effect, as I have just explained, that time limit would be one within which both sides must be ready, not only for cross-examination, but for the trial to proceed. New clause 7 also provides for extensions of the time limit. It is likely that such a power would be used frequently, and that there would, therefore, be no practical improvement.

A further difficulty with pre-trial cross-examination is that it could lead to a child having to be recalled to answer further questions at the trial and so being caused further distress. New clause 8 recognises the potential for such recalls. That was also an aspect of the proposals on which we sought the views of the former Lord Chief Justice at an earlier stage in the passage of the Bill. He and his senior colleagues took the view that further questions might easily arise and that, bearing in mind the judge's responsibility to ensure a fair trial, the judge could not reasonably refuse the defence the chance to do so. Further cross-examination would also be video recorded, but could place further stress on the child who had to go through the process two or more times, perhaps at short notice.

New clause 9 appears to be designed to create a similar scheme by a different route. Sections 42 and 43 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 provide for a child's evidence to be given in the form of a written deposition taken down by a magistrate. The offence must be one involving sexual assault or violence and a qualified medical practitioner has to give evidence that attendance at court would involve serious danger to the child's life or health. The provisions were intended to provide a method of getting so-called "sick-bed" evidence by children tested at the bedside and admitted into court. The provisions are hardly ever used, as the hon. Lady suggested—no doubt because the test of serious danger to the child's life or health is very difficult to meet. In addition, evidence taken in that way is admissible only if the defence has had an opportunity to cross-examine the child.

The new clause would, therefore, allow the child's evidence and the cross-examination to be video recorded in advance of the trial. For that reason, it raises all the difficulties about pre-trial cross-examination to which I have just referred. A child in such a condition should be protected from stress as far as is humanly possible. In any event, if a child is seriously ill it must be doubtful whether he or she should be expected to have to video record evidence or undergo cross-examination.

The Government are unable to accept the new clauses, not because we doubt in any way the strong views that have been expressed, or the commitment of those who have expressed them to the interests of children, but because, for the reasons that I have explained, we do not believe that they are in the best interests of the child. Rather than embark on changes of the kind proposed in the new clauses, we are pursuing a range of practical improvements to the present arrangements for child witnesses to give evidence.

I was most interested to hear the hon. and learned Member for Montgomery (Mr. Carlile) endorse the current processes, although he support the new clauses. We shall be engaging the Criminal Justice Consultative Council in further consideration of ways to reduce delays and practical measures to ease stress on children by familiarising them with the court and preparing them for what to expect. We are conducting further research to promote best practice for video recorded interviews with children, and we have contributed £35,000 to help fund the preparation of a video to encourage best practice in dealing with children in court.

We are also considering what more can be done to encourage greater use of video recordings of evidence-in-chief and to make the use of the live television link less stressful for children. We believe that that is the best way to secure practical improvements for children—not, I regret, the approach reflected in the new clauses.

Mr. Michael

We are rather disappointed in the Minister's response. He does not appreciate what is happening in practice, the trauma involved for children and the scandalously low levels of prosecution and conviction. All that makes it necessary to change the procedures governing how children should be dealt with.

I should like to point out to the House that before the Bill went into Committee, I asked the Minister of State whether the Government would be sympathetic to using the Bill to change the current procedure for the prosecution of child sex abuse cases. Arrangements are still extremely unsatisfactory, despite the improvement that has been made largely through the efforts of Opposition and Conservative Back Benchers rather than through the initiatives of Ministers. That is extremely disappointing.

The Minister of State responded to my letter by saying that the Government would pursue practical improvements to the present arrangements and consult widely with all interested groups. That assurance has been repeated by the Minister in response to the debate. Unfortunately, his letter added: But we do not envisage making further amendments to the Bill on this subject. We pressed him further about that in Committee, and suggested further amendments. A useful debate took place, but the Government did not accept our argument. In Committee, we appealed to the Minister to reconsider whether improvements could be made on Report—today. We took on board the technical difficulties in our new clauses in order to allow a debate to take place in Committee. We tried to be as mild as possible in our support of such measures, because, rather than tabling official Opposition amendments, we stood back because we felt it was better for the cross-party concern in the House to be reflected in amendments tabled by Back Benchers.

It must therefore be particularly disappointing to the hon. Member for Chislehurst (Mr. Sims) and my hon. Friend the Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme (Mrs. Golding) that the Government have not accepted their proposals. I should like to pay tribute to the unflagging determination with which my hon. Friend has pursued this issue, year after year, despite discouragement, and despite the fact that a great deal of effort seems to be needed for the odd small step forward to be taken. I am certain that her efforts on behalf of vulnerable and damaged children will be rewarded in the end. Frankly, the Government should be taking the lead.

It is a scandal that such a small proportion of offences end up with convictions. It is disappointing that Ministers have not accepted our suggestion that the vast resources of the Home Office should be used to introduce relevant measures on Report to alleviate the traumatic experiences currently suffered in the courts by youngsters who have already been traumatised by events that we all agree are horrendous to them and unacceptable to society.

I am disappointed that the Minister is unable to offer support for the new clause, but I am in a position to offer Labour party support for the cross-party measures that have been proposed.

Mrs. Golding

I am extremely disappointed that the Minister has refused to do anything further to help children. He need only speak to people who must deal with traumatised children to realise how much we need to implement all the Pigot recommendations. I am sorry that, in the dying months of the Government, they have not sought to accept it in full. I assure him that an incoming Labour Government will do so.

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

The House divided: Ayes 186, Noes 238.

Division No. 143] [5.57 pm
Adams, Mrs Irene Coffey, Ms Ann
Ainger, Nick Connarty, Michael
Ainsworth, Robert (Cov'try NE) Cook, Frank (Stockton N)
Allen, Graham Corston, Jean
Alton, David Cox, Tom
Anderson, Donald (Swansea E) Cunningham, Jim (Covy SE)
Anderson, Ms Janet (Ros'dale) Cunningham, Rt Hon Dr John
Ashton, Joe Darling, Alistair
Austin-Walker, John Davies, Bryan (Oldham C'tral)
Banks, Tony (Newham NW) Davies, Chris (L'Boro & S'worth)
Barnes, Harry Davies, Ron (Caerphilly)
Barron, Kevin Denham, John
Battle, John Dewar, Donald
Bayley, Hugh Dixon, Don
Beckett, Rt Hon Margaret Dowd, Jim
Beggs, Roy Eagle, Ms Angela
Bell, Stuart Eastham, Ken
Benn, Rt Hon Tony Etherington, Bill
Bennett, Andrew F Evans, John (St Helens N)
Betts, Clive Fatchett, Derek
Blair, Rt Hon Tony Faulds, Andrew
Blunkett, David Field, Frank (Birkenhead)
Bradley, Keith Forsythe, Clifford (S Antrim)
Bray, Dr Jeremy Foster, Rt Hon Derek
Brown, Gordon (Dunfermline E) Fraser, John
Brown, N (N'c'tle upon Tyne E) Fyfe, Maria
Burden, Richard Galbraith, Sam
Byers, Stephen Gapes, Mike
Caborn, Richard George, Bruce
Callaghan, Jim Gerrard, Neil
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge) Godsiff, Roger
Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE) Golding, Mrs Llin
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V) Graham, Thomas
Campbell-Savours, D N Grant, Bernie (Tottenham)
Carlile, Alexander (Montgomery) Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Chisholm, Malcolm Grocott, Bruce
Clark, Dr David (South Shields) Hain, Peter
Clarke, Eric (Midlothian) Hall, Mike
Clarke, Tom (Monklands W) Hattersley, Rt Hon Roy
Clwyd, Mrs Ann Henderson, Doug
Heppell, John Olner, Bill
Hill, Keith (Streatham) Orme, Rt Hon Stanley
Hinchliffe, David Pearson, Ian
Hoey, Kate Pendry, Tom
Hoon, Geoffrey Pope, Greg
Howells, Dr Kim (Pontypridd) Powell, Ray (Ogmore)
Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N) Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)
Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N) Prescott, Rt Hon John
Hughes, Simon (Southwark) Primarolo, Dawn
Hutton, John Reid, Dr John
Illsley, Eric Rendel, David
Ingram, Adam Robertson, George (Hamilton)
Jackson, Helen (Shef'ld, H) Rogers, Allan
Jenkins, Brian (SE Staff) Rooker, Jeff
Johnston, Sir Russell Rooney, Terry
Jones, Barry (Alyn and D'side) Ross, William (E Londonderry)
Jones, Ieuan Wyn (Ynys Môn) Rowlands, Ted
Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C) Sheldon, Rt Hon Robert
Jones, Lynne (B'ham S O) Short, Clare
Jowell, Tessa Simpson, Alan
Keen, Alan Skinner, Dennis
Kennedy, Jane (L'pool Br'dg'n) Smith, Chris (Isl'ton S & F'sbury)
Khabra, Piara S Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
Kirkwood, Archy Soley, Clive
Liddell, Mrs Helen Spearing, Nigel
Livingstone, Ken Spellar, John
LIwyd, Elfyn Squire, Rachel (Dunfermline W)
McAllion, John Steinberg, Gerry
McAvoy, Thomas Stevenson, George
McCartney, Ian Stott, Roger
Macdonald, Calum Strang, Dr. Gavin
McKelvey, William Straw, Jack
McLeish, Henry Taylor, Mrs Ann (Dewsbury)
McNamara, Kevin Taylor, Rt Hon John D (Strgfd)
McWilliam, John Taylor, Matthew (Truro)
Madden, Max Timms, Stephen
Maginnis, Ken Tipping, Paddy
Mahon, Alice Touhig, Don
Mandelson, Peter Trickett, Jon
Marek, Dr John Turner, Dennis
Marshall, David (Shettleston) Tyler, Paul
Marshall, Jim (Leicester, S) Walker, Rt Hon Sir Harold
Martlew, Eric Wallace, James
Michael, Alun Wardell, Gareth (Gower)
Michie, Bill (Sheffield Heeley) Wicks, Malcolm
Michie, Mrs Ray (Argyll & Bute) Wigley, Dafydd
Milburn, Alan Williams, Rt Hon Alan (Sw'n W)
Mitchell, Austin (Gt Grimsby) Williams, Alan W (Carmarthen)
Molyneaux, Rt Hon Sir James Winnick, David
Moonie, Dr Lewis Wise, Audrey
Morgan, Rhodri Worthington, Tony
Mowlam, Marjorie
Mudie, George Tellers for the Ayes:
Mullin, Chris Mr. David Clelland and Mr. Joe Benton.
Murphy, Paul
Ainsworth, Peter (East Surrey) Bonsor, Sir Nicholas
Aitken, Rt Hon Jonathan Boswell, Tim
Alexander, Richard Bottomley, Peter (Eltham)
Alison, Rt Hon Michael (Selby) Bowis, John
Allason, Rupert (Torbay) Brandreth, Gyles
Amess, David Brazier, Julian
Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham) Bright, Sir Graham
Arnold, Sir Thomas (Hazel Grv) Brooke, Rt Hon Peter
Atkinson, Peter (Hexham) Browning, Mrs Angela
Baker, Rt Hon Kenneth (Mole V) Bruce, Ian (South Dorset)
Baker, Nicholas (North Dorset) Budgen, Nicholas
Banks, Matthew (Southport) Burns, Simon
Bates, Michael Burt, Alistair
Batiste, Spencer Butcher, John
Bellingham, Henry Butler, Peter
Bendall, Vivian Carlisle, John (Luton North)
Beresford, Sir Paul Carlisle, Sir Kenneth (Lincoln)
Biffen, Rt Hon John Carrington, Matthew
Body, Sir Richard Carttiss, Michael
Cash, William Johnson Smith, Sir Geoffrey
Channon, Rt Hon Paul Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N)
Clappison, James Kellett-Bowman, Dame Elaine
Clark, Dr Michael (Rochford) Key, Robert
Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey Kirkhope, Timothy
Coe, Sebastian Knapman, Roger
Congdon, David Knight, Mrs Angela (Erewash)
Conway, Derek Knight, Rt Hon Greg (Derby N)
Coombs, Anthony (Wyre For'st) Knight, Dame Jill (Bir'm E'st'n)
Cope, Rt Hon Sir John Knox, Sir David
Cormack, Sir Patrick Kynoch, George (Kincardine)
Couchman, James Lamont, Rt Hon Norman
Cran, James Lang, Rt Hon Ian
Currie, Mrs Edwina (S D'by'ire) Lawrence, Sir Ivan
Curry, David (Skipton & Ripon) Legg, Barry
Davies, Quentin (Stamford) Lennox-Boyd, Sir Mark
Day, Stephen Lester, Sir James (Broxtowe)
Deva, Nirj Joseph Lidington, David
Devlin, Tim Lilley, Rt Hon Peter
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James Lord, Michael
Dover, Den MacGregor, Rt Hon John
Duncan, Alan MacKay, Andrew
Duncan Smith, Iain Maclean, Rt Hon David
Dunn, Bob McNair-Wilson, Sir Patrick
Dykes, Hugh Madel, Sir David
Eggar, Rt Hon Tim Maitland, Lady Olga
Emery, Rt Hon Sir Peter Malone, Gerald
Evans, David (Welwyn Hatfield) Mans, Keith
Evans, Jonathan (Brecon) Marland, Paul
Evans, Nigel (Ribble Valley) Marshall, John (Hendon S)
Evans, Roger (Monmouth) Marshall, Sir Michael (Arundel)
Evennett, David Merchant, Piers
Fabricant, Michael Mills, Iain
Field, Barry (Isle of Wight) Mitchell, Andrew (Gedling)
Fishburn, Dudley Mitchell, Sir David (NW Hants)
Forman, Nigel Moate, Sir Roger
Forth, Eric Monro, Rt Hon Sir Hector
Fox, Rt Hon Sir Marcus (Shipley) Montgomery, Sir Fergus
French, Douglas Needham, Rt Hon Richard
Fry, Sir Peter Nelson, Anthony
Gale, Roger Neubert, Sir Michael
Gardiner, Sir George Newton, Rt Hon Tony
Garnier, Edward Nicholls, Patrick
Gill, Christopher Nicholson, David (Taunton)
Gillan, Cheryl Norris, Steve
Goodlad, Rt Hon Alastair Oppenheim, Phillip
Goodson-Wickes, Dr Charles Ottaway, Richard
Gorman, Mrs Teresa Page, Richard
Gorst, Sir John Paice, James
Greenway, Harry (Ealing N) Patnick, Sir Irvine
Greenway, John (Ryedale) Patten, Rt Hon John
Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth, N) Pattie, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey
Hampson, Dr Keith Pawsey, James
Hanley, Rt Hon Jeremy Peacock, Mrs Elizabeth
Hannam, Sir John Pickles, Eric
Hargreaves, Andrew Porter, David (Waveney)
Haselhurst, Sir Alan Powell, William (Corby)
Hawkins, Nick Rathbone, Tim
Hawksley, Warren Redwood, Rt Hon John
Hayes, Jerry Renton, Rt Hon Tim
Heald, Oliver Richards, Rod
Heathcoat-Amory, Rt Hon David Riddick, Graham
Hendry, Charles Rifkind, Rt Hon Malcolm
Hill, James (Southampton Test) Robathan, Andrew
Horam, John Roberts, Rt Hon Sir Wyn
Hordern, Rt Hon Sir Peter Robertson, Raymond (Ab'd'n S)
Howard, Rt Hon Michael Robinson, Mark (Somerton)
Howell, Rt Hon David (G'dford) Rowe, Andrew (Mid Kent)
Hughes, Robert G (Harrow W) Rumbold, Rt Hon Dame Angela
Hunt, Rt Hon David (Wirral W) Sackville, Tom
Hunt, Sir John (Ravensboume) Scott, Rt Hon Sir Nicholas
Hunter, Andrew Shaw, David (Dover)
Jack, Michael Shaw, Sir Giles (Pudsey)
Jackson, Robert (Wantage) Shephard, Rt Hon Gillian
Jenkin, Bernard Shepherd, Sir Colin (Hereford)
Jessel, Toby Shersby, Sir Michael
Skeet, Sir Trevor Tredinnick, David
Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield) Trotter, Neville
Speed, Sir Keith Twinn, Dr Ian
Spencer, Sir Derek Vaughan, Sir Gerard
Spicer, Sir James (W Dorset) Viggers, Peter
Spicer, Sir Michael (S Worcs) Waldegrave, Rt Hon William
Spink, Dr Robert Walden, George
Sproat, Iain Walker, Bill (N Tayside)
Squire, Robin (Hornchurch) Wardle, Charles (Bexhill)
Stanley, Rt Hon Sir John Waterson, Nigel
Steen, Anthony Watts, John
Stephen, Michael Wells, Bowen
Stern, Michael Whittingdale, John
Stewart, Allan Widdecombe, Ann
Streeter Gary Willetts, David
Wilshire, David
Sweeney, Walter Winterton, Mrs Ann (Congleton)
Sykes, John Winterton, Nicholas (Macc'f'ld)
Tapsell, Sir Peter Wolfson, Mark
Taylor, Ian (Esher) Wood, Timothy
Taylor, John M (Solihull) Yeo, Tim
Temple-Morris, Peter Young, Rt Hon Sir George
Thomason, Roy
Thompson, Sir Donald (C'er V) Tellers for the Noes:
Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N) Mr. Patrick McLoughlin and Dr. Liam Fox.
Townsend, Cyril D (Bexl'yh'th)
Tracey, Richard

Question accordingly negatived.

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