HC Deb 22 June 1999 vol 333 cc982-95

  1. '(1) Every person exercising functions in connection with this Part must act, so far as possible, in a way which is compatible with the objectives set out in subsection (2).
  2. (2) The objectives are:
    1. (a) that persons have access to legal services and the machinery of justice which they would otherwise be unable to obtain on account of their means;
    2. (b) that such access is not to be impaired on account of racial grounds, gender, sexual orientation or disability (within the meaning of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995) or the place in England and Wales where any legal services are sought;
    3. (c) that legal services and facilities of high quality be available such that disputes may be resolved, and proceedings determined, expeditiously, fairly and with the parties placed on an equal footing;
    4. (d) that persons obtaining access to legal services under this part shall have the widest possible choice of provider or services.'.—[Mr. Garnier.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

6.55 pm
Mr. Edward Garnier (Harborough)

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

I declare an interest to the House. I am a practising barrister. My name on the amendment paper has been marked [R], as have those of my hon. Friend the Member for Surrey Heath (Mr. Hawkins) and my right hon. Friend the Member for North-East Hampshire (Mr. Arbuthnot).

I thank the Minister for his kind remarks. That will not be said again on Third Reading, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I do not ascribe the various promotions of my right hon. and hon. Friends to the reasons that the Minister cited, but one does not look askance at kind words from the Government, as they do not come often. I am grateful to my parliamentary neighbour for the kindness that he has just demonstrated.

While we are in that mood, may I briefly pay tribute to my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for North-East Bedfordshire (Sir N. Lyell), whose shadow office I now hold. He is the longest-serving Law Officer this century, and certainly the longest continuous serving Law Officer. He has given signal service to the House, the law and to the Attorney's chambers over 10 years, and he was in government two years before that in the Department of Social Security. He will be missed on the Front Bench, although his absence today is only temporary, and before long we shall hear much from him from the Back Benches. I congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Surrey Heath on his promotion.

I hope to persuade the House that the purpose and intent of new clause 13 is entirely proper and to be welcomed. It was introduced in the other place by Lord Lloyd of Berwick, with cross-party support. It was not an Opposition ambush. The Bill was amended in the other place by new clause 1, as it was at that stage, introduced by a retired Law Lord, a man of great wisdom and humanity. The new clause received all-party support because it was a good thing.

The Lord Chancellor demonstrated unusual hastiness and churlishness, which we do not often see from that august person, when he described Lord Lloyd's new clause as a gimmick. That was unfortunate and wrong. No intelligent person would have used such language, had he thought about the matter carefully.

That point is reinforced by the support that the new clause received in another place and in Committee, and which it has now, not only from lawyers, the Law Society, the Bar Council and me as an individual lawyer, but from the Child Poverty Action Group, the Institute of Legal Executives, the Law Centres Federation, Mencap, the Royal Association for Disability and Rehabilitation—RADAR, the Royal National Institute for the Blind, the Advice Services Alliance, the Consumers Association, Justice, the Legal Action Group, the National Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux, Refuge and the Royal National Institute for Deaf People. That is a cross-section of bodies and interest groups which represent a rather wider alliance than the somewhat party political groups that we find on the Opposition Benches.

7 pm

In Committee in early May, with the assistance of the new Minister, who played a silent role, the Government removed the clause. New clause 13 is slightly different from the clause in the Bill when it left the other place in that it widens the anti-discrimination provisions and provides access to the widest possible choice of provider or services.

There are four fundamental objectives by which to test access to justice—quality, access, choice and funding. New clause 13 is intended to make access to legal services and justice available to those who would otherwise be unable to obtain it on account of their means. That should be a fundamental principle to avoid the possibility that access to justice is available only to the rich.

The provisions for anti-discrimination should, in themselves, be unexceptionable. The purpose is to make that plain in the Bill, so that those who may otherwise face barriers to obtaining access to justice do not find their access impaired.

The Government appear, and they appeared on the previous two occasions on which the matter was debated, to object to the clause, both in terms of the principle of whether there should be such a clause at all and in terms of its individual provisions. Placing the parties on an equal footing appeared to the Government to mean that there was no proportionality or limit to the amount of costs. However, what is intended is a clear statement of principle, which is designed to govern part I of the Bill.

The rules of court already provide mechanisms to ensure that costs are reasonable and proportionate. The issue of principle is to ensure that there is equality of arms between parties to a dispute within the constraints of court management of cases. That does not mean that state-funded lawyers have to be paid the same rate of fees that privately funded lawyers are paid or can attract. It simply means that state-funded lawyers should be able to command fees that attract lawyers of quality to take up a case on behalf of the poor, disabled, elderly or disadvantaged.

On choice of provider, there may be restrictions on grounds of quality. However, where a provider of services can demonstrate quality and is prepared to work for the fees that the Government allow, there is no clear reason why access to justice should be arbitrarily limited by the Government. Although assurances have been given in some areas of work for the first round of any contracting scheme, those have not yet been extended. The network of services provided by local solicitors is a major asset to their communities. The new clause seeks to ensure the widest possible choice of provider and services. That would include representation not just in court, but in alternative methods of dispute resolution.

I do not need to take the House through new clause 13. It appears on the amendment paper for all to see and I trust that many will have read it before coming into the Chamber this evening. It is sensible, humane, civilised and does not undermine the Bill's overall purpose. It defies logic that any hon. Member should oppose its re-inclusion in the Bill.

The new clause had all-party support in the other place and was introduced by a majority of 71. Principles clauses are not foreign to our statute law. Yesterday, the House gave the Food Standards Bill its Second Reading; it has a principles clause. The Financial Services and Markets Bill, currently being debated in the House, has a purposes or objectives clause. Rule 1 of the brand new civil procedure rules, which came into force a couple of months ago, is an objectives rule—a principles rule—setting out precisely what is intended to happen as a consequence of the introduction of those rules.

I look forward to hearing from the Minister why, in all conscience, he, as a Labour Member, has the nerve, the gall and the indecency, to oppose new clause 13.

Mr. Charles Wardle (Bexhill and Battle)

I congratulate the hon. Member for Leicester, East (Mr. Vaz) on his appointment as Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department. We have sparred cheerfully on other matters in the past, and it is good to see him on the Treasury Bench.

My hon. and learned Friend the Member for Harborough (Mr. Garnier) has already reminded the House that an objectives clause seeking to define the Bill's basic purpose was introduced in another place but removed in Committee. It placed clients receiving legal aid on an equal footing with clients who could afford to pay for themselves. The Government, and particularly the Lord Chancellor, have been dismissive of the need for such a clause, as we heard from my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Harborough. But their dogmatic attitude means that an important opportunity to reform legal aid in a way that puts all clients on the same basis will have been squandered. As long as legal aid is a matter for the discretion of Legal Aid Board administrators rather than a question of basic entitlement, one law for the rich and one law for the poor will continue to be the norm.

I support new clause 13 because it would put back into the Bill that clear statement of objectives which an impressive coalition of their lordships, including Law Lords, introduced, but which, as we know, the Government have since removed.

To illustrate the reasons why I support new clause 13, I wish to draw to the attention of the House Lord Spens's action against the Bank of England, which recently came to an abrupt halt because legal aid was suddenly and inexplicably withdrawn on the eve of the trial.

I understand that many may associate an hereditary peerage, such as Lord Spens enjoys, with substantial wealth and financial security. That is not always so. It certainly has not applied to Lord Spens for more than a decade. He was a successful and highly paid merchant banker until the mid-1980s when he was arrested over the Guinness affair and put on trial in what became known as Guinness II. In the process of his defending himself, his wealth was soon exhausted.

On 4 June 1997, I spoke in the House about the unfairness of the inquisitorial nature of Department of Trade and Industry inspectors' inquiries, and I alluded to the Guinness case at some length. The interests that I declared in that debate apply here.

On that ocasion, I told the House that Lord Spens had been sacked from his merchant banking job because politicians and officials at the DTI and the Treasury were pressing the Bank of England to collect some well-known scalps. At a meeting with Rosalind Wright, who has since risen to the post of director of the Serious Fraud Office, another official, John Wood, said: We don't want rows and rows of defendants. We are looking for major offenders as understood by the media. The then Chancellor told the House that the Government would be taking action over the Guinness affair. His private secretary, now the permanent under-secretary at the Welsh Office, communicated with the Bank of England and the following day the Bank told the merchant bank to sack Spens or it would lose its banking licence. Spens was run out of the City and made unemployable. The Guinness II trial collapsed when Spens was about to produce evidence of the interference that I have just described. He was acquitted and awarded his full costs of £2 million, the first £500,000 of which he had raised privately, with the balance coming from legal aid.

It was common knowledge in the City and in Whitehall that, during a period of six days in January 1987, Bank of England officials had exceeded their powers, making ill-judged and indiscreet demands, because, to use the words of a Minister at the time, the Government "wanted handcuffs put on" ahead of the forthcoming general election.

Unable to work at his corporate finance trade, and dependent on legal aid, Spens fought on, despite two heart bypass operations. Advised by his solicitors, Russell Jones and Walker, he began proceedings against the Bank of England for unfair dismissal. He engaged Lord Neill of Bladen as his leading counsel. Lord Neill, who succeeded Lord Nolan as chairman of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, assured Spens—

Mr. Mark Todd (South Derbyshire)

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. May I question the relevance of this to the matter under debate?

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Sir Alan Haselhurst)

I am certainly hoping that the hon. Member for Bexhill and Battle (Mr. Wardle) can make that very clear very soon.

Mr. Wardle

I hope to do so and, as I have said, I shall not detain the House for long, but this matter concerns legal aid and the importance of having a principle enshrined in the Bill that will ensure that legal redress is available to people regardless of their means.

Lord Neill said that he abhorred the abuse of power and predicted a successful outcome. The Bank's attempt to strike out the case failed. Only weeks before the trial, however, Lord Neill was pressed by another member of the Committee on Standards in Public Life to drop Spens's case, on the grounds that he could not reasonably devote so much time to his own legal work and chair the Committee at the same time. Lord Neill saw nothing untoward or ironic about that intervention; he said that he would continue as legal counsel—this is relevant to legal aid—but recommended the engagement of a second counsel to make most of the running, and Russell Jones and Walker made an application for extra legal aid to cover that.

John Baker, the Legal Aid Board executive who had handled the case for several years, was replaced by David Williams three weeks later, and eight weeks after that, Williams served a show-cause notice on Russell Jones and Walker, placing an embargo on the legal aid certificate against which Lord Neill and Russell Jones and Walker successfully appealed. The same process was repeated in the following month and, at the end of that appeal hearing, the chairman stated that the decision had been taken to reinstate the certificate of legal aid to—

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. I am increasingly unhappy about the trend of the hon. Gentleman's speech. It strikes me that it would be much more appropriate to raise the specific case in an Adjournment debate, or at some other opportunity, rather than tying it, by a very thin line indeed, to the new clause. I must advise him that, if he cannot bring his remarks back within the terms and meaning of the new clause, he should desist.

Mr. Wardle

I always respect your guidance, Mr. Deputy Speaker, and, although I feel strongly that there is no more vivid illustration than this of what can go wrong with legal aid and why the new clause should be added to the Bill, I shall conclude my remarks. The unhappy experience of Lord Spens leaves the words spoken about the Bill by the Lord Chancellor on the "Today" programme sounding rather hollow. He said: The highest priority will be accorded to cases in which people allege abuse of power by authority. That is precisely what I was hoping to illustrate to the House by referring to the Spens case; it underlines the urgent necessity to enshrine in the Bill the fundamental principle set out in the new clause: people should have access to legal services and the machinery of justice, which they would otherwise be unable to obtain because of their lack of means. That is what the case and the experience of Lord Spens are all about.

Mr. John Burnett (Torridge and West Devon)

This is the first opportunity I have had on the Floor of the House to congratulate not only the Minister, but the hon. Member for Surrey Heath (Mr. Hawkins) and the hon. and learned Member for Harborough (Mr. Garnier) on their respective promotions. I hope that, with a new Minister, we will have a new wind, if that is the right expression, and a bit more fresh thinking on this important Bill.

I support new clause 13, which is important. I remind the House that, in the White Paper "Modernising Justice", the Lord Chancellor set out in his foreword and in chapter 1 his aims and objectives for the Bill. He asserted: It is not enough for people to have rights; they must be confident they can enforce those rights if need be. He went on: The justice system should serve everyone, regardless of their means. He also said: The disadvantaged and the socially excluded will find help with the issues that affect their everyday lives at the heart of the new service. The Government's twin aims are to achieve a significant increase in access to justice and to obtain the best value for taxpayers' money spent on legal services and in the courts.

Effectively, new clause 13 embodies the Lord Chancellor's aspirations for the Bill. We discussed a similar measure in Committee, but the Government objected that there was no proportionality or limit on costs. The new clause is a statement of principle embodying the Lord Chancellor's own principles for the Bill and it is proportionate in so far as it is qualified, in subsection (1), by the words "so far as possible". The proposal does not invite open-ended expenditure but highlights the important principles stated by the Lord Chancellor himself—quality, access, choice and fair funding.

7.15 pm

On quality, the Liberal Democrats have strongly supported the establishment of panels of solicitors with expertise. On 27 January, we debated in Committee the draft Legal Aid (Prescribed Panels) Regulations 1998, which set up a clinical negligence panel within the Law Society. We supported that, and the setting up of other expert panels, because we believe that such expertise is in the public interest and in the interests of those who use the legal system. They will also provide better value for money; indeed, they will save money. The legal professions have rightly become more specialist, and it is not in the interests of clients or of the state to pay for lawyers learning on the job.

Nevertheless, this objectives new clause will act as vital spur to those administering the Legal Services Commission, which will ensure quality, access, choice and fair funding. That is particularly important in rural towns and rural areas. During the first sitting of the Committee, on 27 April 1999, I intervened on the then Minister and asked whether firms should automatically be entitled to a contract if they achieved the quality standards. The hon. Gentleman ended his response by saying that the Government were looking for the most effective way in which to ensure that there was access to justice throughout the country which will guarantee—I emphasise that word—that those who seek advice receive it from those who are best qualified to do the work. That is the essence of the new clause. It is vital that there should be availability and choice in all geographical areas, including the sparsely populated rural areas. The new clause would go some way towards ensuring real access to justice and living up to the aims and objectives for the Bill set by the Lord Chancellor.

Mr. Vaz

I thank the hon. and learned Member for Harborough (Mr. Garnier) and the hon. Member for Torridge and West Devon (Mr. Burnett) for their kind comments and I associate myself with what was said about the right hon. and learned Member for North-East Bedfordshire (Sir N. Lyell), who served with great distinction as a Law Officer.

As the hon. and learned Member for Harborough said, new clause 13 is similar to a clause that was added to the Bill by the other place and deleted in Standing Committee. The original clause was pressed to a vote in the other place, although the Government were proposing their own amendments to set out more clearly the separate purposes of the community legal service and the criminal defence service. Those two purpose clauses are now clauses 4(1) and 12(1) respectively—they are already in the Bill.

The purpose of the CDS is to provide the advice, assistance and representation that suspects and defendants require in the interests of justice. That is very clear, and the same absolute entitlement that exists now is retained. Briefly, the purpose of the CLS is to secure appropriate legal services, but not only lawyers' services, to meet people's needs effectively, subject to the constraint of available resources and according to priorities.

The Government have always made it clear that we are sympathetic to many of the concerns underlying this so-called principles new clause. That is why, when we sought to remove the previous version in Standing Committee, we tabled our own amendments to add three specific objectives for the CLS. These measures are in clause 4(4) and include objectives on quality and access—two of the points mentioned by the hon. and learned Member for Harborough—and the swift and fair resolution of disputes.

I find it hard to see what more is needed and, after so many debates on the issue, I am a little disappointed that the proponents of a separate principles new clause have tabled one again. None the less, I welcome the opportunity to explain in more detail to the whole House why the new clause, although mostly laudable in aspiration, is unnecessary and in parts unacceptable.

Our first objection is that, by seeking to cover two separate schemes with a single set of objectives, a principles clause overarching the whole of part I would undermine the structure of the Bill, which makes a clear distinction between the community legal service and the criminal defence service. This reflects the different policy objectives behind the public funding of legal services in civil and in criminal cases, the different mix of services required—criminal legal aid is, for example, far more court-centred—and the very different factors driving demand and cost.

Moreover, like its predecessor, new clause 13 expresses some unrealistic aspirations. Subsection (2)(a) states that persons should have access to services which they would otherwise be unable to obtain on account of their means". However, there is no mention of any test of merits or priorities, or any indication that the services provided should be appropriate and proportionate to the problems that they address. Nor is there any hint that people can obtain legal services other than with their own or the taxpayer's money. No doubt that is because legal expenses insurance and conditional fees did not exist in 1949, when this particular formulation was first used.

Subsection (2)(b) is intended to ensure that access to services is not impaired by discrimination on grounds of race, sex or disability. The Government fully share that objective, but, having considered the matter carefully, we have concluded that nothing can usefully be added to the Bill. The Legal Services Commission and those whom it engages to provide services are already subject, as employers and service providers, to the provisions of the sex, race and disability discrimination Acts. Moreover, as a public body the commission will be covered by the Human Rights Act 1998, which outlaws discrimination on a wide range of grounds in relation to people's access to their rights under the convention.

We are determined to ensure that the reformed legal aid system delivers help to those who need it, irrespective of their race, sex or disability. That is why we need flexible machinery that can respond to the changing needs and priorities of the community.

Under the Bill, for the first time in legal history we shall be able to address the particular needs of any parts of the community—the needs of the disabled, or the needs of people with an ethnic minority background. Clause 6(5) refers to "areas or communities" specifically so that the commission can target non-geographical communities. The Legal Aid Board has directed its regional legal services committees that their strategies for assessing the needs and priorities of their communities should discuss the needs of specific client groups such as ethnic minorities, the disabled, the elderly, carers and remote communities. The board's franchise standard makes it mandatory for firms to have a written equal opportunities policy that is in effective operation. The policy must make it clear that the firm will not discriminate on grounds of race, gender, religion, disability or sexual orientation.

Only last week, the Lord Chancellor instructed the board to report to him by September on its proposals for monitoring the ethnic origin and gender both of the clients receiving services under its contracts and of the providers supplying those services. He said that he intended in due course to direct the Legal Services Commission to take over those monitoring systems, and to include information about the impact of the reform on minority groups in its annual report. The Lord Chancellor also asked the board to report to him, by the end of this year, the options for monitoring the impact of reform on access for the disabled.

As the hon. and learned Member for Harborough pointed out, subsection (2)(b) of new clause 13 also deals with geographic access generally. It states that access should not be impaired on account of the place in England and Wales where legal services are sought. I have two difficulties with that formulation. First, the emphasis is entirely on physical location. There is not even any recognition that much can be done perfectly well on the telephone. There is no hint of the larger role that information technology could play in future, and no suggestion that a lawyer should ever be troubled to leave his office to visit a client. Secondly, the subsection implies that people who live in rural areas can enjoy the same degree of geographic access as people who live in large cities. That is obviously unachievable.

The Government have sought to address legitimate concerns about access in clause 4(4)(a), which establishes the objective of promoting improvements in the range and quality of services and in the ways in which they are made accessible to people. We are committed to providing effective access through the community legal service, but without limiting the concept of access to the number and location of lawyers' offices. The ability to tailor contracts to specific circumstances will make it possible to address areas in which access is inadequate now.

Mr. Dominic Grieve (Beaconsfield)

I welcome the Minister to his post, but let me take him back a few sentences. Surely a moment's thought would lead him to acknowledge that his argument that the new clause fails to reflect people's ability to obtain legal services on the telephone is nonsense. The new clause clearly does not preclude the person exercising the function from taking that into account. Nothing in the new clause suggests that it concerns the precise geographical location of services; it merely states that that should be taken into account. Surely the Minister must accept that this is a very weak part of his argument.

Mr. Vaz

No, I do not accept that. I believe that the drafting of new clause 13 means, in effect, that physical location will have to be taken into consideration, which will have exactly the effect that I have described.

Subsection (2)(c) covers quality, speed and fairness. The Government share those objectives, and have already dealt with them in clause 4(4). To that extent, the new subsection is wholly unnecessary. Subsection (2)(c) also refers to placing the parties on an "equal footing"—I shall deal shortly with what was said by the hon. Member for Bexhill and Battle (Mr. Wardle)—but the danger of those apparently admirable words is that they might compel the commission to match the spending of a wealthy private party, regardless of the importance or complexity of the case.

Subsection (2)(d) states that people obtaining legal services should have the widest possible choice of provider or services". That goes much too far. As the Opposition know from their experience in government, the task is to balance competing desirable objectives, of which choice may be only one. An overriding objective of providing the widest possible choice would trump consideration of quality or value for money—a point made in the White Paper published by the last Government. It is almost always desirable for an accused person to have a choice—but not necessarily an unlimited choice—of legal representative, as that helps to promote confidence in that person's lawyer and the criminal justice system. Clause 15 already secures that objective.

In the case of civil litigation, which most people fortunately experience only once in a lifetime, I am not sure that it is particularly helpful to single out the choice of provider as such, as opposed to, for example, access; and it is positively undesirable to have as an objective the widest possible choice of services when the aim of the community legal service is to provide the most appropriate means of dealing with a particular problem.

The hon. Member for Bexhill and Battle mentioned Lord Spens. I must tell him—he knows that I am going to say this—that this is a matter for the Legal Aid Board: it is not possible for Ministers to comment on individual cases. As the hon. Gentleman will know, it is possible for people to make representations, and Lord Spens has done so. I think that Lord Spens has done pretty well out of the legal aid fund, but I must tell the hon. Gentleman that, if he raises the matter on the Adjournment, the debate will be pretty short because I shall not be able to comment on the specific circumstances of the case.

The Government firmly believe that the Bill already meets the legitimate concerns that underlie new clause 13, and that the new clause would merely add confusion and create unrealistic expectations. I therefore invite the House to reject it.

Mr. Grieve

I had not intended to speak on new clause 13, as I had already spoken in Committee about a similar clause at the time the Government deleted it. However, I could not fail to respond to the Minister's comments, some of which struck me as extraordinary.

For example—I shall put this as nicely as possible—the Minister rubbished the suggestion that there was any need for a provision ensuring that access would not be impaired on account of the place in England and Wales where any legal services are sought". Of course I acknowledge that one of the matters that would have to be taken into consideration by any person exercising functions is the fact that, with modern communications, access to legal services may be possible even in an area where there are no franchise solicitors dealing with particular matters. Nevertheless, the fact remains that the geographical location of a person seeking legal services in relation to where those services are available will be a relevant matter. The matter greatly exercised the Committee because of anxieties that such legal services would not be available in future.

7.30 pm

It strikes me as very odd that we have a Government who, largely with my support, have been prepared to entrust to the United Kingdom judiciary the task of interpreting human rights—notwithstanding the fact that that may require, when the Government choose finally to implement the Human Rights Act 1998, occasionally casting aspersions on ministerial decisions—but who are totally reluctant to accept an aims clause in the Bill because of a deadly fear that, were they to do so, a time would come when, in a judicial review, there would be a challenge to the fact that some of the aims were incompatible with the way in which the Bill's provisions were working, excluding people from access to justice. That was why the aims clause was so important when it was moved in the other place by people who were well versed in how the system worked, and why it had so much to commend it.

As much as I welcome the Minister to his new post, I very much regret that today the matter should have been dealt with glibly. The Government should have the courage of their convictions. If Ministers believe, as I am perfectly prepared to acknowledge they do, that the Access to Justice Bill will facilitate access to justice, which is what the Minister has been telling us repeatedly, they should have nothing to fear from the aims clause, with which the Act should be fully compatible. It fills me with foreboding to see the Government's reluctance to accept the new clause if the Bill will, in fact, do what the Government say it will.

Mr. Garnier

I have listened with care to what the Minister has said, but I am afraid that I and my right hon. and hon. Friends are not in the least bit convinced by it. I think that the hon. Member for Torridge and West Devon (Mr. Burnett), too, would agree with me that nothing that has fallen from the Minister's lips answers the questions at all. I therefore invite the House to support the re-inclusion of the provisions of new clause 13 in the Bill.

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

The House divided: Ayes 146, Noes 313.

Division No. 215] [7.32 pm
Allan, Richard Gorman, Mrs Teresa
Ancram, Rt Hon Michael Gray, James
Arbuthnot, Rt Hon James Green, Damian
Baldry, Tony Greenway, John
Beggs, Roy Grieve, Dominic
Bercow, John Hamilton, Rt Hon Sir Archie
Beresford, Sir Paul Hammond, Philip
Blunt, Crispin Harris, Dr Evan
Body, Sir Richard Hawkins, Nick
Boswell, Tim Hayes, John
Bottomley, Rt Hon Mrs Virginia Heald, Oliver
Brady, Graham Heath, David (Somerton & Frome)
Brazier, Julian Hogg, Rt Hon Douglas
Breed, Colin Howard, Rt Hon Michael
Brooke, Rt Hon Peter Howarth, Gerald (Aldershot)
Browning, Mrs Angela Hunter, Andrew
Bruce, Ian (S Dorset) Jack, Rt Hon Michael
Burnett, John Jenkin, Bernard
Burns, Simon Johnson Smith, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey
Burstow, Paul
Butterfill, John Key, Robert
Campbell, Rt Hon Menies (NE Fife) King, Rt Hon Tom (Bridgwater)
Kirkbride, Miss Julie
Chope, Christopher Kirkwood, Archy
Clappison, James Laing, Mrs Eleanor
Clark, Dr Michael (Rayleigh) Lansley, Andrew
Clarke, Rt Hon Kenneth (Rushcliffe) Leigh, Edward
Letwin, Oliver
Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey Lewis, Dr Julian (New Forest E)
Collins, Tim Lidington, David
Cormack, Sir Patrick Livsey, Richard
Cran, James Lloyd, Rt Hon Sir Peter (Fareham)
Curry, Rt Hon David Loughton, Tim
Dafis, Cynog Luff, Peter
Davey, Edward (Kingston) MacKay, Rt Hon Andrew
Davies, Quentin (Grantham) Maclean, Rt Hon David
Davis, Rt Hon David (Haltemprice) McLoughlin, Patrick
Duncan, Alan Madel, Sir David
Duncan Smith, Iain Major, Rt Hon John
Emery, Rt Hon Sir Peter Malins, Humfrey
Fabricant, Michael Maples, John
Fallon, Michael Mates, Michael
Fearn, Ronnie Mawhinney, Rt Hon Sir Brian
Flight, Howard Moore, Michael
Forth, Rt Hon Eric Moss, Malcolm
Fox, Dr Liam Öpik, Lembit
Fraser, Christopher Ottaway, Richard
Gale, Roger Page, Richard
Garnier, Edward Paice, James
George, Andrew (St Ives) Paterson, Owen
Gibb, Nick Pickles, Eric
Gill, Christopher Prior, David
Gillan, Mrs Cheryl Redwood, Rt Hon John
Robathan, Andrew Taylor, Sir Teddy
Robertson, Laurence (Tewk'b'ry) Thompson, William
Roe, Mrs Marion (Broxbourne) Tonge, Dr Jenny
Ross, William (E Lond'y) Tredinnick, David
Ruffley, David Trend, Michael
Russell, Bob (Colchester) Tyler, Paul
St Aubyn, Nick Viggers, Peter
Sanders, Adrian Walter, Robert
Sayeed, Jonathan Waterson, Nigel
Shephard, Rt Hon Mrs Gillian Webb, Steve
Simpson, Keith (Mid-Norfolk) Wells, Bowen
Smith, Sir Robert (W Ab'd'ns) Whitney, Sir Raymond
Smyth, Rev Martin (Belfast S) Whittingdale, John
Spring, Richard Widdecombe, Rt Hon Miss Ann
Stanley, Rt Hon Sir John Willetts, David
Steen, Anthony Willis, Phil
Streeter, Gary Winterton, Mrs Ann (Congleton)
Swayne, Desmond Winterton, Nicholas (Macclesfield)
Syms, Robert Woodward, Shaun
Tapsell, Sir Peter Young, Rt Hon Sir George
Taylor, Ian (Esher & Walton) Tellers for the Ayes:
Taylor, John M (Solihull) Mr. Stephen Day and
Taylor, Matthew (Truro) Mrs. Jacqui Lait.
Abbott, Ms Diane Clark, Paul (Gillingham)
Adams, Mrs Irene (Paisley N) Clarke, Rt Hon Tom (Coatbridge)
Ainger, Nick Clarke, Tony (Northampton S)
Alexander, Douglas Clelland, David
Allen, Graham Clwyd, Ann
Anderson, Donald (Swansea E) Coaker, Vernon
Armstrong, Rt Hon Ms Hilary Coffey, Ms Ann
Ashton, Joe Cohen, Harry
Atkins, Charlotte Coleman, Iain
Austin, John Colman, Tony
Banks, Tony Connarty, Michael
Barnes, Harry Cook, Frank (Stockton N)
Barron, Kevin Corbett, Robin
Bayley, Hugh Corbyn, Jeremy
Beard, Nigel Corston, Ms Jean
Beckett, Rt Hon Mrs Margaret Cousins, Jim
Begg, Miss Anne Cranston, Ross
Benn, Hilary (Leeds C) Crausby, David
Benton, Joe Cryer, John (Hornchurch)
Betts, Clive Cummings, John
Blackman, Liz Cunningham, Jim (Cov'try S)
Blears, Ms Hazel Dalyell, Tam
Blunkett, Rt Hon David Darling, Rt Hon Alistair
Boateng, Paul Darvill, Keith
Borrow, David Davey, Valerie (Bristol W)
Bradley, Keith (Withington) Davidson, Ian
Bradley, Peter (The Wrekin) Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli)
Bradshaw, Ben Dawson, Hilton
Brinton, Mrs Helen Dean, Mrs Janet
Brown, Rt Hon Gordon (Dumfries) Denham, John
Dismore, Andrew
Brown, Russell (Dumfries) Dobbin, Jim
Browne, Desmond Donohoe, Brian H
Buck, Ms Karen Doran, Frank
Burden, Richard Drew, David
Burgon, Colin Drown, Ms Julia
Caborn, Rt Hon Richard Dunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth
Campbell, Alan (Tynemouth) Eagle, Angela (Wallasey)
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge) Eagle, Maria (L'pool Garston)
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V) Edwards, Huw
Campbell-Savours, Dale Efford, Clive
Cann, Jamie Ennis, Jeff
Casale, Roger Fisher, Mark
Cawsey, Ian Fitzsimons, Lorna
Chapman, Ben (Wirral S) Flint, Caroline
Chaytor, David Follett, Barbara
Clapham, Michael Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings)
Clark, Rt Hon Dr David (S Shields) Foster, Michael J (Worcester)
Clark, Dr Lynda (Edinburgh Pentlands) Foulkes, George
Galloway, George
Gapes, Mike Liddell, Rt Hon Mrs Helen
Gardiner, Barry Livingstone, Ken
George, Bruce (Walsall S) Lloyd, Tony (Manchester C)
Gerrard, Neil Lock, David
Gibson, Dr Ian Love, Andrew
Gilroy, Mrs Linda McAvoy, Thomas
Godman, Dr Norman A McCabe, Steve
Godsiff, Roger McCartney, Rt Hon Ian (Makerfield)
Goggins, Paul
Golding, Mrs Llin McDonagh, Siobhain
Gordon, Mrs Eileen Macdonald, Calum
Griffiths, Jane (Reading E) McDonnell, John
Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S) McGuire, Mrs Anne
Griffiths, Win (Bridgend) McIsaac, Shona
Grocott, Bruce McKenna, Mrs Rosemary
Grogan, John McNulty, Tony
Gunnell, John Mactaggart, Fiona
Hall, Patrick (Bedford) McWalter, Tony
Hamilton, Fabian (Leeds NE) McWilliam, John
Hanson, David Mahon, Mrs Alice
Harman, Rt Hon Ms Harriet Mallaber, Judy
Healey, John Marsden, Paul (Shrewsbury)
Henderson, Ivan (Harwich) Marshall, David (Shettleston)
Hepburn, Stephen Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)
Heppell, John Marshall-Andrews, Robert
Hesford, Stephen Martlew, Eric
Hewitt, Ms Patricia Maxton, John
Hill, Keith Meale, Alan
Hinchliffe, David Merron, Gillian
Hodge, Ms Margaret Michie, Bill (Shef'ld Heeley)
Hood, Jimmy Milburn, Rt Hon Alan
Hoon, Geoffrey Miller, Andrew
Hope, Phil Mitchell, Austin
Hopkins, Kelvin Moonie, Dr Lewis
Howarth, George (Knowsley N) Moran, Ms Margaret
Howells, Dr Kim Morgan, Ms Julie (Cardiff N)
Hoyle, Lindsay Morley, Elliot
Hughes, Ms Beverley (Stretford) Mountford, Kali
Humble, Mrs Joan Mudie, George
Hurst, Alan Mullin, Chris
Hutton, John Murphy, Denis (Wansbeck)
Iddon, Dr Brian Murphy, Jim (Eastwood)
Illsley, Eric Naysmith, Dr Doug
Jackson, Ms Glenda (Hampstead) Norris, Dan
Jackson, Helen (Hillsborough) O'Brien, Bill (Normanton)
Jamieson, David O'Brien, Mike (N Warks)
Jenkins, Brian Olner, Bill
Johnson, Alan (Hull W & Hessle) Organ, Mrs Diana
Johnson, Miss Melanie (Welwyn Hatfield) Osborne, Ms Sandra
Palmer, Dr Nick
Jones, Barry (Alyn & Deeside) Pearson, Ian
Jones, Mrs Fiona (Newark) Pendry, Tom
Jones, Helen (Warrington N) Pickthall, Colin
Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C) Pike, Peter L
Jones, Dr Lynne (Selly Oak) Plaskitt, James
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S) Pollard, Kerry
Jowell, Rt Hon Ms Tessa Pope, Greg
Keeble, Ms Sally Pound, Stephen
Keen, Alan (Feltham & Heston) Powell, Sir Raymond
Keen, Ann (Brentford & Isleworth) Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lewisham E)
Kelly, Ms Ruth Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)
Kemp, Fraser Prescott, Rt Hon John
Kennedy, Jane (Wavertree) Primarolo, Dawn
Khabra, Piara S Purchase, Ken
Kidney, David Quinn, Lawrie
Kilfoyle, Peter Radice, Giles
King, Andy (Rugby & Kenilworth) Rammell, Bill
King, Ms Oona (Bethnal Green) Raynsford, Nick
Kumar, Dr Ashok Reed, Andrew (Loughborough)
Ladyman, Dr Stephen Reid, Rt Hon Dr John (Hamilton N)
Lawrence, Ms Jackie Robinson, Geoffrey (Cov'try NW)
Lepper, David Roche, Mrs Barbara
Leslie, Christopher Rooker, Jeff
Levitt, Tom Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)
Lewis, Ivan (Bury S) Rowlands, Ted
Lewis, Terry (Worsley) Roy, Frank
Ruane, Chris Taylor, Ms Dari (Stockton S)
Ruddock, Joan Thomas, Gareth (Clwyd W)
Russell, Ms Christine (Chester) Thomas, Gareth R (Harrow W)
Ryan, Ms Joan Timms, Stephen
Salter, Martin Tipping, Paddy
Sarwar, Mohammad Todd, Mark
Savidge, Malcolm Touhig, Don
Sawford, Phil Trickett, Jon
Sedgemore, Brian Turner, Dennis (Wolverh'ton SE)
Sheerman, Barry Turner, Dr Desmond (Kemptown)
Sheldon, Rt Hon Robert Twigg, Derek (Halton)
Short, Rt Hon Clare Twigg, Stephen (Enfield)
Simpson, Alan (Nottingham S) Vaz, Keith
Singh, Marsha Walley, Ms Joan
Skinner, Dennis Ward, Ms Claire
Smith, Angela (Basildon) Wareing, Robert N
Smith, Rt Hon Chris (Islington S) Watts, David
Smith, Jacqui (Redditch) White, Brian
Smith, John (Glamorgan) Wicks, Malcolm
Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent) Williams, Rt Hon Alan (Swansea W)
Snape, Peter
Soley, Clive Williams, Alan W (E Carmarthen)
Squire, Ms Rachel Wills, Michael
Starkey, Dr Phyllis Winnick, David
Steinberg, Gerry Winterton, Ms Rosie (Doncaster C)
Stewart, David (Inverness E) Wise, Audrey
Stewart, Ian (Eccles) Wood, Mike
Stinchcombe, Paul Woolas, Phil
Stoate, Dr Howard Worthington, Tony
Strang, Rt Hon Dr Gavin Wright, Anthony D (Gt Yarmouth)
Straw, Rt Hon Jack Wright, Dr Tony (Cannock)
Stringer, Graham Wyatt, Derek
Stuart, Ms Gisela Tellers for the Noes:
Taylor, Rt Hon Mrs Ann (Dewsbury) Mr. Mike Hall and
Mr. Jim Dowd.

Question accordingly negatived.

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