HC Deb 15 March 2000 vol 346 cc381-419
Mr. McNamara

I beg to move amendment No. 122, in page 1, line 7, leave out from "means" to end of line 8 and insert—

'the commission of, or the threat to commit, any criminal act with the intention of—

  1. (a) putting the public or any section of the public in fear, or
  2. (b) coercing the institutions of democratic government, provided that the act'.

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Sir Alan Haselhurst)

With this, it will be convenient to discuss the following amendments: No. 190, in page 1, line 7, leave out from "use" to end of line 12 and insert—

'of serious violence against a person or persons, or the threat to use such violence, to intimidate or coerce a government, one or more political bodies or organisations, the public or any section of the public for political ends, and which—

  1. (a) endangers the life of any person; or
  2. (b) creates a serious risk to the health or safety of the public or a section of the public.'.

No. 194, in page 1, line 7, leave out from "threat" to "of in line 8 and insert "for political ends,".

No. 192, in page 1, leave out line 8 and insert— 'coercing, influencing or intimidating government, one or more political bodies, groups or organisations, the public or any section of the public, of actions which—'.

No. 146, in page 1, leave out line 9 and insert— '(a) involves violence against any person or serious violence against property'.'.

No. 193, in page 1, line 9, leave out "or property".

No. 123, in page 1, line 10,, after "(b)", insert "seriously".

No. 195, in page 1, line 14, leave out from "Kingdom" to "and" in line 16.

Mr. McNamara

Amendment No. 122 would alter the definition of terrorism. It would remove the phrase the use or threat, for the purpose of advancing a political, religious or ideological cause, of action. Amendment No. 123, which I also tabled, would insert "seriously" before "endangers" in subsection (1)(b).

The amendment is a straight response to the kind invitation that the Minister issued in Committee on 8 February. He said: if a better definition of terrorism emerges, we are prepared to consider it.-[Official Report, Standing Committee D, 8 February 2000; c. 325.] The definition of terrorism took up the time of the House and the Committee. Hon. Members were worried that the definition in the Bill was too wide, based on wrong principles, and could catch in its net people who simply opposed genetically modified foods.

The Government's attitude to those who oppose GM foods has altered since Second Reading. Someone who might once have been considered an eco-terrorist is now regarded merely as a person who has serious misgivings about the adequacy of the provision for GM plants and their long-term effect.

The amendment arises from discussions that I held with the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, which was worried about the wide scope and subjective nature of the definition. The amendment that the commission proposed has four main elements. First, it deals with the motivational basis. The commission suggests that the provision for advancing a political, religious or ideological cause should be removed.

Secondly, the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission insisted that the action should be contrary to the criminal law. Thirdly, it proposed that the prohibited action should put the public in fear, or coerce the institutions of democratic government.

The commission believes that the Bill should not provide for differential police powers that depend on the motive behind the relevant actions. It believes that triggering the special powers should depend on the nature of the intended consequences of the action. In its view, the two most undesirable consequences are putting the public or any section of the public in fear and

coercing the institutions of democratic government. Motivation is not the issue and should not be criminalised, although it would probably be appropriate to tackle it at the sentencing stage if someone was found guilty of an offence. As my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary said on 14 December:

If people are killed or injured, the fact that the bombs, the shrapnel and the glass carry a label marked "Animal rights" or the name of some foreign country is immaterial to those who suffer.— [Official Report, 14 December 1999; Vol. 341, c. 165.] Motivation is extremely hard to prove and the categories are not susceptible to clear delineation. The Bill's approach makes the development of a two-tier justice system more likely. Under it, some people will be afforded lesser rights on the basis of the motivation for their crimes.

Mr. Douglas Hogg (Sleaford and North Hykeham)

I am not opposed to the hon. Gentleman's objective, but does he realise that the amendment would make acts by, for example, hunt saboteurs, capable of falling within the definition of terrorism? I do not suppose that the hon. Gentleman wants that, but the amendment would achieve that effect.

8.45 pm
Mr. McNamara

I understand the right hon. and learned Gentleman's point and I would be prepared to take a verbal amendment to exclude hunt saboteurs. However, even though clause 1 is one of the most controversial in the Bill—he is probably aware of that as he took part in the exchanges on Second Reading—I do not intend to push the amendment to the vote. That shows the degree to which the House is searching for a satisfactory solution to this difficult problem that gets away from advancing a political, religious or ideological issue and achieves a better way of dealing with it.

Amendment No. 123, which would put the word "seriously" in front of the word "endangers", would meet the problems raised by the right hon. and learned Gentleman's hunt saboteur to some extent, but the essential point is that a criminal act should be committed, which would not necessarily make such an offence a terrorist offence. The problem is that, if we retain motivation in the definition, we will have a two-tier approach and certain people will be afforded lesser rights on the basis of the motivation for their crimes.

The inclusion of political, religious or ideological cause results in a definition of terrorism that is both too wide and too narrow. It is too wide because many of the problems with extending the definition in the manner proposed, which we discussed on Second Reading, show people's discomfort with the range of organisations and activities that we believe might be caught by the clause.

My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary gave the assurance that prosecutions would not ensue in many of the examples cited by colleagues from all parts of the House—for example, undertaking activities and fund raising on behalf of solidarity groups committed to major political changes in other countries—essentially on the basis that the Director of Public Prosecutions would use good sense in these matters. That is not in any way sufficient to allay the concerns expressed. Indeed, some decisions by the DPP to proceed with prosecutions, particularly under the Official Secrets Acts, make one wonder about whether that good sense is always proper and always accurate in these matters. Furthermore, a person's right to freedom of expression and of association cannot be contingent on the discretion of one person. The Bill should not be drawn wider than the threat justifies.

In addition, one of the principles underlying the European convention is that precision and certainty in the law is a key precept. A person is entitled to know whether the activities in which he or she wishes to engage or the right that he or she wishes to assert have been prescribed or limited by law. The Bill's definition is far too wide in terms of what a person may or may not say or express.

The definition is also too narrow because the clause excludes many organisations that use terror tactics—gangs involved in organised crime, racketeering or drug running, for example, which are not covered by a definition based on motivation. It is not certain that the Bill's definition would cover the Mafia. Surely, therefore, one should remember that the Bill's impact on society is what will be assessed and gaps in the existing criminal law for dealing with such infrastructure errors or failures should be closed. The commission's first point, therefore, is that—specifically and directly—the question of motivation is dangerous. Far better to be specific in terms of attitude and say that a criminal offence should have been committed. It is that to which I now turn my attention.

The Bill's definition leaves open the possibility that some actions could be classified as terrorist although they were not criminal offences, and I do not consider that acceptable. The objective of this element of the commission's proposed definition is to exclude certain activities that would be covered by the definition, but that most people would not regard as terrorist—for example, activities involved in industrial action. Many trade unions could be accused of endangering the lives and/or the health and safety of a section of the public in such circumstances. That would apply to electricity workers, firefighters, ambulance workers or nurses. Under the Bill as it stands, such actions could potentially be classed as terrorism. A requirement for the legislation to be otherwise—to be criminal—would exclude, for example, legitimate industrial action. Hunger strikes or suicide attempts would likewise be excluded by the criminality requirement in my proposed new definition.

The next requirement in the amendment is that the action involved should put the public "in fear". International human rights standards make it clear that the essence of terrorism lies in the effect that it would have on the public. For example, the first protocol of the Geneva convention of 1949 refers, in sub-paragraph 2 of article 51, to acts or threats of violence the primary purpose of which is to spread terror among the civilian population. Article 5 of the 1998 United Nations convention on the suppression of terrorist bombings states:

Each State Party shall adopt such measures as may be necessary, including, where appropriate, domestic legislation, to ensure that criminal acts within the scope of this Convention, in particular, where they are intended or calculated to provoke a state of terror in the general public or in a group of persons or particular persons. Interestingly, Lord Lloyd recommended a similar approach—that the definition should include the element of intimidating or coercing the public or any section of the public. His proposed definition was the use of serious violence against persons or property, or the threat to use such violence to intimidate or coerce a Government, the public or any section of the public in order to promote political, social or ideological objectives.

That is the whole definition. Although the commission does not accept the words in order to promote political, social or ideological objectives, it takes a similar approach to the European convention on human rights, the first protocol of the Geneva convention and the suppression of bombing convention.

The commission also considered the prohibition of action to coerce institutions of democratic government. The Minister of State, Home Office, my hon. Friend the Member for Norwich, South (Mr. Clarke), said in Committee: The fundamental thrust of what we should be trying to achieve is a definition of terrorism as an attempt to undermine democratic processes by the use of violence.—[Official Report, Standing Committee D, 18 January 2000; c.18.] We are trying to meet my hon. Friend's request, while meeting the spirit of Lord Lloyd's recommendation. That is the Government's intention, but it is not included in their definition.

The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission proposes an alternative to putting the public or any section of the public in fear. The use of a car bomb to put pressure on a totalitarian regime would be covered, as would the threat to coerce a democratic Government that did not put the public or any section of it in fear.

We have grounds for discussion about the possibility of improving the Government's definition, and getting away from their ideological, political or religious approach. Nevertheless, the amendment aims to achieve what the Government and, I believe, the whole House want to achieve: to get away from a definition that is hugely subjective, wide in some aspects and dangerous, placing individuals in a position where they do not know whether what they are doing is right or wrong in the eyes of the law.

Mr. Hogg

Again, I entirely respect the hon. Gentleman's motives, but his amendment is enlarging the class of activities that might be treated as terrorist, not restricting them. If the Bill removed the purpose test and included the test of putting the public, or any section of it, in fear, hunt saboteurs, for example, would be brought within its scope. I dislike hunt saboteurs, but they are not in any ordinary sense terrorists. However, that is what the amendment would achieve.

Mr. McNamara

With the greatest respect, let me say that, if one inserts the word "seriously" before "endangers" in line 10 of clause 1, that will ensure that the risk that would trigger the powers is a serious one. If that is there, it will meet the right hon. and learned Gentleman's point. When he makes his speech, as 1 am sure that he will, because the question of definition has engaged and worried us all, we will hear what he proposes.

It is not my intention to force the matter to a vote, but, because of the concerns expressed here, there should perhaps be an opportunity for those in the other place who are learned in the law to apply their minds to the matter, which is causing considerable difficulties among lawyers, who are concerned about the sweep of that definition. It has caused Lord Lloyd of Berwick some concern. As the legislation is based on many of his opinions, it is proper that we consider his concerns carefully, but I make the point: a person should be guilty of a specific criminal act. That should be what is judged, not whether it is politically, religiously or ideologically motivated, although that point could be taken into account in sentencing.

Mr. Mark Fisher (Stoke-on-Trent, Central)

My hon. Friend says that a person should be guilty of a specific act, but, from my reading of his amendment, it still encompasses the concept of threat. That is one of the things that I find most baffling and disturbing about the Government's wording in the Bill: the threat of serious violence against property constitutes terrorism. As I read their wording, a letter threatening to burn a field of GM crops would constitute an act of terrorism. I sympathise with much of what he says, but, by maintaining the idea of threat, is his amendment not perpetuating the problem that I have with the Government's wording?

Mr. McNamara

We all have that problem on the question of threat. I put it in a way that my hon. Friend might appreciate. If I seek to carry out an act and threaten to do it, but that threat is not carried out, for whatever reason—a bomb does not go off or something of that nature—that would still be a threat. The amendments talks about seriously endangering life. That would meet that point. On the point about GM crops and similar matters, that is why I am seeking to get rid of motivation, which would then become a question on sentencing. There is a world of difference between the motivation of a person who is seeking to blow up a building and the motivation of a person who wants to destroy a field of GM crops. That is the point at which the question arises of whether an act is criminal.

9 pm

Mr. Simon Hughes

The hon. Gentleman has shown what difficult territory we are in. Those of us who served on the Standing Committee left it with the same definition with which we had begun. We are a long way from having an adequate and precise definition of terrorism. We must get that definition right, even in this slightly odd forum—the best that we have—because "terrorism" is the word on which the structure of the Bill depends. Once we define something as being terrorist, much else follows.

For example, proscription of an organisation may follow. That cannot happen unless, under clause 3, the Secretary of State believes that the organisation involved "is concerned in terrorism". A whole set of offences follows from a definition of terrorism, and the burden of proof or the nature of the defence will change. Those offences include fundraising for a terrorist organisation or failing to co-operate with the police in relation to a terrorist organisation. Much more happens. The powers of the police are greater if they say that they are dealing with terrorism. A person can be detained for longer, or large areas may be cordoned off. The powers of the Bill are based on the point that someone is involved in what is defined as terrorism.

Like the hon. Member for Hull, North (Mr. McNamara) and the right hon. and learned Member for Sleaford and North Hykeham (Mr. Hogg), I felt concern that we were going too far. To a lesser extent, the hon. Member for Aylesbury (Mr. Lidington) felt it, and it was certainly felt by the hon. Members for Fermanagh and South Tyrone (Mr. Maginnis) and—if I may say so in his absence; I know that he intends to come back after a constituency party meeting—for Basingstoke (Mr. Hunter).

I shall set out where the consensus lay. As the Minister appreciates, it is important to note that there was consensus to some extent over the need for a change to the definition. The hon. Gentleman has not yet signed up to that need, but there was a broad view across part of the Committee, as there is across the House—it includes people of such differing political perspectives as the hon. Members for Basingstoke and for Fermanagh and South Tyrone and hon. Members on the Labour and Liberal Democrat Benches—that a Bill that allows us to define as terrorism something that targets any organisation in the world goes too far.

Mr. Charles Clarke

This is a perfectly legitimate debate, just as it was in Committee, but the hon. Gentleman takes too much on himself in seeking to speak for all members of that Committee. He should allow hon. Members to speak for themselves.

Mr. Hughes

They will. I merely put it to the Minister that a widespread view was expressed on Second Reading—and to a lesser extent by the somewhat more restricted membership of the Committee—that the definition is too wide. Although we may not yet have a form of wording that unites the hon. Member for Hull, North with the hon. Members for Fermanagh and South Tyrone and for Basingstoke, the right hon. and learned Member for Sleaford and North Hykeham and me, some common elements in the direction that all of us seek to follow would take us away from the definition given by the Minister and the Government. We want a better, tighter, more specific definition.

Mr. Gapes

Will the hon. Gentleman confirm that, although we had a discussion on the matter in Committee, the Committee did not accept his position on it—as we did not accept other positions on it? I shall certainly speak for myself later in the debate. The hon. Gentleman used the word "consensus", but there was not a consensus on the matter—there are different points of view on it. Those views are held by hon. Members from different parties—none of whom, I suspect, would necessarily agree with one another on the matter.

Mr. Hughes

I do not want to misrepresent the situation—nor do I want the hon. Gentleman to misrepresent me. I did not say that there was a consensus in the House—

Mr. Maginnis

A large body of opinion.

Mr. Hughes

Yes. There was a large body of dissatisfaction about the matter, and there is a large body of agreement on it between those whom I identified. I was not including everyone in that. I was not including the hon. Member for Ilford, South (Mr. Gapes), his colleagues in Committee who supported the Government when we voted on the provision, or the Minister. However, there is a consensus among a wide body of opinion in the House—that body; not everybody—that we should amend the legislation.

Mr. Clarke

The only reason that I am intervening—I had not intended to do so; I am very happy to listen to the hon. Gentleman's arguments—is that I must object to the proposition that he is speaking on behalf of some cross-party consensus in the Committee or in the House. He is speaking for himself, as he should.

Mr. Hughes

I do not want to be distracted by this issue. I shall make the point even more bluntly. The definition is not acceptable to many hon. Members on both sides of the House. I hope that the Minister understands that, and that the Government will amend the definition. The Liberal Democrats will seek to divide the House on amendment No. 192—unless, as I hope, Ministers have said by then that they will move in our direction.

I am not too bothered about whether the Government move in the direction that we propose, or in the direction proposed by the hon. Member for Hull, North or the hon. Member for Fermanagh and South Tyrone, as long as we move away from the breadth of the Government's definition—which will cover all sorts of activities which, until now, no one, not even Lord Lloyd, has argued should be defined as terrorism. We shall be stretching the definition of terrorism beyond any definition previously accepted in the United Kingdom, including that in the dictionary and that in common parlance. We should not do it.

Mr. Hogg

There is general unease about the Bill's definition of terrorism, which I share and will be expressing in my own words—if I have the good fortune to catch your eye, Mr. Deputy Speaker. One of the conclusions to which we may well come is that we cannot define terrorism in acceptable terms in clause 1 if we are properly to balance that definition with civil liberties. If that is right, the Bill itself is inherently flawed, both in part I and in consequential parts, and by seeking further and other definitions, we are simply thrashing about.

Mr. Hughes

That is certainly a theoretical conclusion to the debate, and it may even be the practical conclusion. In a moment, I shall try to deal with the Minister's objections to the proposed alternative definitions that we have included in some of our amendments.

Amendment No. 122, which was tabled by the hon. Member for Hull, North, seems to deal well with the point that, if we include motivation in the definition, we shall begin to be in trouble. If we start saying that we have to read someone's mind to determine whether their motivation is political, religious or ideological, huge numbers of people may be covered. I gave an example in Committee. In terms of motivation, someone who hears voices telling them that they must stalk serial adulterers will be considered to be ideologically driven. Such a person would potentially come within the definition of terrorism, provided that he or she fulfilled the other criteria. Someone who believed that he or she had a duty to be an environmentalist and therefore decided to attack property as a way of protesting against a particular development would also come within the definition in the Bill.

Until now, nobody has argued that that is terrorism. The dictionary definition of terrorism—we looked it up in Committee—makes no such reference. The Bill stretches the English language too far. We should not do that because we have the criminal law: it is not as if we do not have the rest of the law. If someone set off a bomb for no reason that anyone could divine—we do not know the conclusion of the case, but let us say that nobody ever discovered why those terrible nail bombs were set off in London—that would be covered by the explosive substances legislation. It is perfectly good criminal law. If someone attacks a field of corn, there is perfectly good legislation dealing with criminal damage and damage to property. The Bill is not meant to cover any of that; it is meant to provide for cases that are not already covered by the law, and we should provide only for cases that are not already covered.

Mr. Hogg

That is not right. The purpose of the Bill is not to tackle a range of activities that are not yet subject to the criminal law but to attach to those individuals and organisations the full weight of the other powers to which the hon. Gentleman has referred, such as the restrictions on the right to finance.

Mr. Hughes

The right hon. Gentleman is correct. The law already exists, but the Bill will ratchet it up and suddenly apply the criminal law and a whole range of other powers. As the hon. Member for Fermanagh and South Tyrone knows—and he has had more practical experience of such legislation than most of us—it will then sweep into the legislation cases that no one wants swept in.

Amendments Nos. 190, 194 and 192 seek to direct the Bill at those who threaten political targets. The hon. Members for Fermanagh and South Tyrone and for Basingstoke and I—among others—believe that we should try to limit it in that way. The Minister will recall that in Committee we debated whether the Bill should be directed only at those who wanted to attack Government. We concluded that that would not do, as it would make it illegal to attack a Government who were not legal, or another political organisation. In Northern Ireland, if one political organisation attacked another political organisation, neither of which were in government, that would be understood as terrorism. We understood that we had to widen the definition of terrorism to include attacks on political organisations. That is why amendment No. 190 includes the phrase

to intimidate or coerce a government, one or more political bodies or organisations, the public or any section of the public … The amendments also seek to remove the ideological and religious definitions because they are dangerously wide. They allow the crazed, deluded individual who is mentally ill or has a personality disorder to be swept in. We should not seek to do that. Such people are not terrorists just because they have an ideological fixation.

We also tried to make sure that the Bill did not include attacks on property where there was no risk to the public. In amendments Nos.193 and 195 we seek to remove the provisions in relation to property. To take the example of London, it would be callous to attack Canary Wharf or a building in docklands because people might be killed, but if someone decided to attack an empty building in the middle of a field and their the only intention was to attack the building—

Mr. Gapes

Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

9.15 pm
Mr. Hughes

No, not at the moment.

An attack on an empty building would not normally be regarded as in the same league as acts that involve serious violence against persons or endanger their health or create a serious risk to their safety.

I agree with the hon. Member for Hull, North that we must avoid legislation that would make the nurse who took political action in the course of his or her duty potentially guilty of terrorism, with all the panoply of consequences. That is disgraceful nonsense. Lord Lloyd may have come to nearly the same conclusion, but the Government have gone further than him and further than their own consultation paper.

The Government may say that there are various safeguards and that the Director of Public Prosecutions will not order prosecutions, but legislation should not do what it is not intended to do. The Bill creates a whole set of new powers against the individual. That is bad legislation, as it neither defends the liberty of the subject nor helps make credible the argument for legislating against terrorism.

We have not found a solution that has the consensus of the whole House, but we have tabled amendments that would considerably improve the Bill. In due course, I will ask colleagues to support us in a vote on amendment No. 192.

The Home Office was shown one of many proposed amendments—the Human Rights Commission and Liberty have done some very good work, and I pay tribute to them—and said: Whilst acknowledging the sensitivities surrounding violence against property alone, we do not think the answer can be to make all such violence "off limits". We are not arguing that; we are arguing that violence that has only a property implication and can have no other should not be included.

The Government's only other objection was to ask about a bomb or threat in connection with the Grand National or a laboratory where experiments on animals take place. If that carries no risk to any member of the public and has nothing to do with threatening the institutions of the state, it should not be considered a terrorist activity and should be dealt with by the criminal law in the normal way.

Mr. Clarke

As I understand it, amendment No. 192 would have no impact whatever on the question of property. Is that right?

Mr. Hughes

Amendment No. 192 has to be read with the consequential amendments, Nos. 193 and 195. If they were made, property would disappear from the Bill unless the attack on property had a consequence for individuals. The amendments go together, with one narrowing the group affected and the others removing acts with property-only implications, although as a matter of practicality we do not seek to divide the House on every amendment on the list.

Mr. Gapes

Amendment No. 195 would, as I understand it, delete reference to activities that take place outside the United Kingdom. If the amendment were adopted, would the legislation apply only within the United Kingdom?

Mr. Hughes

The answer is no. I can show the hon. Gentleman the relevant wording later, but the problem is that we are considering seven or eight different amendments that are intended to deal only with property outside and inside the UK. They do not address the issue that we should have the power to deal here with activities that may arise abroad, subject to the qualification—which is always raised by the hon. Member for Fermanagh and South Tyrone—that they should be political activities.

Mr. Gapes

If somebody in this country planned a terrorist action to destroy property in another country, would it be subject to this legislation?

Mr. Hughes

It would be subject to the legislation if it posed a threat to an individual or group of individuals and if it had a political aim. If no person were at risk, the activity would be excluded, because there are provisions in the criminal law to deal with such issues.

The European convention does not define terrorism as including property-only offences. The precedent is that terrorism is defined by threats and damage to individuals, not property. I hope that the Government have received the clear message that their definition is dangerously wide and should be changed.

Mr. Alan Simpson

I support amendments Nos. 122 and 123, tabled by my hon. Friend the Member for Hull, North (Mr. McNamara). I also support amendments to the definition in the Bill. I was sad that my new clause 7 was not selected for debate, but I shall try to address the principal issues that it covered.

I feel considerable disquiet about the Government's definition and, yesterday, I discussed it with my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary, at the Home Office. As I was waiting to be allowed in, I saw on the Lobby notice board that the security status was black. I asked what that meant and was told that it meant that there was no threat. It is important to realise that we are having this debate at a time when there is at least the prospect of being able to step back from the rigid, brittle frontiers of terrorist legislation that have blighted much of the democratic debates that the House has had on the issue in recent years.

Members of Parliament can go about their normal business without being surrounded by a House security system on high alert. That is something that we should celebrate. As a caveat to that, I can reveal that my meeting with my right hon. Friend carried a certain amount of risk to me. The Home Secretary was delayed unavoidably at a meeting in Downing street, and a Division was due in the House. I received a pager message telling me that the vote was imminent and I had to notify my right hon. Friend's staff that, if he did not arrive in time, I would have to race out of Queen Anne's gate to reach the House in time for the Division. The Division was called, and I bade a fast farewell, was escorted to the lift and began legging it for all I was worth along the road to try to get back here. Unfortunately, I almost collided with a vehicle as I crossed the road. It turned out to be my right hon. Friend's vehicle. He made excuses for me to the Whips, but I pointed out to him that we were likely to face threats from the Whips—in my case because I had missed the vote and in his case because he had missed me. That was about the level of the risk that we faced.

However, the Bill's definition of terrorism spreads the notion of threat and risk in a way that raises serious questions about the Bill's credibility and about the erosion of civil liberties in our society. I am certain that this definitional clause, which is pivotal to the Bill, must be re-examined. Sadly, the Government declined to do so on Second Reading and in Committee.

The definition is far too wide. The concept of terrorism that it advances is fundamentally flawed. It is deeply damaging to the openness of our society, to the primacy of civil and criminal law in our society, and to the respect in which that law is held.

On Second Reading, I urged the Government to look again at the definition of terrorism contained in the Reinsurance (Acts of Terrorism) Act 1993, which is currently in force. That Act defines acts of terrorism as the acts of

persons acting on behalf of, or in connection with, any organisation which carries out activities directed towards the overthrowing or influencing, by force or violence, of Her Majesty's government in the United Kingdom or any other government de jure or de facto. I accept that that definition is probably insufficient, as it talks of threats to the Government rather than to governance. We must acknowledge that terrorist threats can be directed against all parties in a Parliament, not just the Government. We must also accept that terrorist threats can seek to disrupt civil society to coerce or undermine the functioning of governance.

I would have had no qualms if the Government had returned with a definition that had been expanded in those terms. I understand that the definition proposed by my hon. Friend the Member for Hull, North is based on suggestions from the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission. My attempt is based on the wording used in the Australian criminal code, and I am sure that Liberty has offered advice on the wording used in the Liberal Democrat version. However, any of those alternatives would be a welcome departure from the broad-brush definition in the Bill.

The definitions proposed in the amendments would help the House to avoid the sophistry or the confusion involved in redefining terrorism in terms of threats to person or property, rather than to the prospects of governance and to civil society. Briefly, my preference would be that terrorist acts would be defined as acts that create public fear in order to coerce or undermine institutions of democratic governance.

The important point is that terrorist acts threaten the functioning of society and state, not the security of individuals and property within that society. That is adequately covered in our framework of civil and criminal law—as it should be—but it is wrong for the House to be confused about the reach of anti-terrorist legislation and the reliability of criminal and civil legislation. By failing to grasp this point, the Government have produced a definition that must be amended if we are to avoid the horrendous social division and wretched undermining of civil rights that would follow from it.

9.30 pm

I should like to illustrate some of the catch-all consequences of not amending the definition. Clause 1 refers to serious violence against any person or property as part of advancing a political, religious or ideological cause. We need to take stock of where that leads. Almost all Labour Members would have to list a long catalogue of causes with which they have been directly associated, in their careers in Parliament and outside, and which would be caught under the new rubric of the definition of terrorism.

People participating in the miners' strike and Grunwick were responsible for serious damage to property. Their motivation was undoubtedly political or ideological. Regardless of whether they were dealt with well or badly, they were properly dealt with under the framework of industrial and criminal law. It would be wrong for us simply to presume that what was missing at the time was the ability of the Government of the day to redefine those activities as acts of terrorism.

Mr. Hogg

The hon. Gentleman is looking back on his youth, when he was no doubt a participant in some of the anti-Vietnam demonstrations. In his middle years, he may well have been a participant in the community charge demonstrations in Trafalgar square. Will he reflect on the fact that both those activities undoubtedly fall within the scope of clause 1 and are therefore potentially terrorist acts?

Mr. Simpson

I accept the right hon. and learned Gentleman's propositions. I will try and list the other charges that I would like to be taken into account.

Mr. John McDonnell (Hayes and Harlington)

There is no time for that.

Mr. Simpson

The causes with which Labour Members have identified and which would be caught under the definition would include activities at Greenham common and those of the women at Menwith Hill, who regularly take down the fencing at the American spy base. They would include the activities of the women involved in the Trident Ploughshares campaign and those who broke in and damaged the Hawk aircraft. They would include the activities of animal rights protesters, activists who knowingly destroy fields of genetically modified crops and those who oppose live animal exports. From a different political perspective, they would also include the activities of anti-abortion campaigners.

It is not a matter of whether I agree with those campaigns. If people commit breaches of the criminal law, they should be dealt with under that criminal law. But it is quite wrong for us to give the Government the power to redefine whole tranches of social protest movements as though they were acts of terrorism. The implications for society are horrendous.

Mr. Robert Marshall-Andrews (Medway)

Will my hon. Friend reflect on an example that he has not given? I refer to support for the African National Congress during the course of the apartheid struggle. It is a singular problem for one of our distinguished Ministers of State in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office that last week he would have lost his right to jury trial in respect of the bank theft with which he was unjustly charged, and this week he would be prosecuted under clause 1 for his activities regarding the ANC. As the same can be said for most of us, it would have been a happy band of brothers in the dock.

Mr. Simpson

I thank my hon. and learned Friend for those comments. As usual, he is several steps ahead of where I intended to go, but he is right.

Where would those caught in the net of the new definition of terrorism find themselves? Clause 1(1)(c) refers to terrorism if there is a serious risk to the health or safety of the public. Again, such terrorism could be driven by support for a political or ideological cause. Where would that place the threat of strikes within essential public services—the national health service or the fire service—or by air traffic control and power workers? Could many of those workers find themselves not in breach of employment law, but being charged with terrorist offences?

The decision warrants much more serious thought and reflection, rather than calling on an in-built majority, which may be used in pursuit of an act of folly.

People who are so charged would face a number of consequences, which are defined in later clauses. They would certainly be exposed to the prospect of arrest without warrant, which is defined in clause 40. They might also be guilty by association. Clauses 15 to 18 define the framework within which groups of people will be committing terrorist offences if they raise funds for such causes and organisations or encourage others to do so. If they are found guilty of those charges, they will face a prison sentence of up to 14 years.

Clause 19 almost provides for guilt by suspicion. If one suspects that a person—perhaps a relation, someone who lives next door or whom one works alongside—supports one of the proscribed causes, but one fails to notify a constable, one is also guilty of an offence, for which one could be imprisoned for up to five years. Many hon. Members who were not directly involved in some of the campaigns that I listed would certainly have attended meetings and fund-raising events in support of those self same causes.

Mr. Norman Baker (Lewes)

The hon. Gentleman's case is persuasive. He has set out the huge implications for civil liberties if the clause is not amended. That case could have been made by any principled Labour or Liberal Democrat Member in the past 20 years. Can he explain why the Government are failing to hear his logic or that of my hon. Friend the Member for Southwark, North and Bermondsey (Mr. Hughes)?

Mr. Simpson

I am afraid that the hon. Gentleman will have to wait a long time for such an explanation. I cannot come up with one for myself, let alone for anyone else. It is utterly perplexing that we should apparently be wedded to a definition that threatens to undermine so sweepingly civil liberties and the credibility of governance itself. I cannot fathom why we should feel propelled to charge down such a catastrophic path.

However, it does not end there. As my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Medway (Mr. Marshall-Andrews) pointed out, clause 1(2)(c), which sets the provision in an international context, means that large numbers of us who actively supported the anti-apartheid campaign, the case for freeing Nelson Mandela, and the African National Congress, would clearly have been in breach of this Bill. It would be a wonderful way to get shot of a Labour majority at a stroke—it might even clear our Benches entirely. That would be the electoral aspiration of most of the Opposition parties. However, such heroic acts of self-sacrifice are not to be recommended to the Government—certainly not from within the Labour party.

Mr. Jeremy Corbyn (Islington, North)

My hon. Friend has made much of the past in South Africa. Is he aware that, at present, in many countries, even wholly peaceful opposition forces to military dictatorships are routinely labelled as terrorist organisations by their Governments? Under the Bill, someone from a country that is deemed to have an independent judicial service— however doubtful some of us might be about that definition—could be prosecuted in this country for being part of a peaceful, exiled opposition to the Government of such a country.

Mr. Simpson

I realise that. It is important to make the serious point that the international dimension is not only reminiscence; it relates to conditions in today's world. The definition would apply not only to conflict with a Government; it could apply equally to the Ogoni people's conflict with Shell and Shell's property. It could apply to the conflict between Amazonian Indians and the logging corporations that would destroy their natural habitat, their lives and livelihood. The reach of this definitional clause is frightening in its implications.

Moreover, there is a serious prospect that the international roles played by organisations such as Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, Christian Aid or War on Want could be defined as collusively involved in active terrorism, because those organisations support actions that confront the power of corporations and may damage their property. We have made a fundamental misjudgment of what a relevant and appropriate definition of terrorism should be in the Bill.

In the world in which we are trying to function and of which we are trying to make sense, one of the strong motive forces is power and pressure from global corporations. They want terrorist legislation to protect their property. They want us to put the protection of corporate fiefdoms at the head of civil societies. By including the property reference in our definition, we would be doing precisely that.

Global organisations are already conducting a battle of language through much of the campaign literature that they produce. They refer to environmental protesters as "environmental terrorists". They want us to describe those who protest against the building of roads, dams and oil extraction plants and against forest exploitation not as eco-protesters, but as eco-terrorists. That is what the Bill would do. It would give a facade of protection to corporate fiefdoms through repressive legislation.

Mr. McNamara

Does my hon. Friend agree that many corporate organisations are themselves arming dissidents to protect their property?

Mr. Simpson

Indeed. The one solace that I might have drawn from the measure would have been if it gave the House the power to prosecute those corporations under terrorism provisions, rather than to prosecute those who protest against the corporations. Sadly, the opposite will be true; the exploitation of people and the planet will not be reined in by the Bill.

If the House is to understand anti-terrorism legislation, that legislation must address extraordinary circumstances. It is not legislation for all seasons and, because it addresses extraordinary circumstances, it must have extraordinary clarity. The definitional clause does not offer that. On the contrary, it offers confusion and a potential threat to the security and stability of civil society, which is in excess of any threat that it could claim to remove or to offer protection from. That is why I ask the House, and the Government, to support the amendment.

The existing definition will be as counter-productive as it is repressive. What begins by putting society in chains will end by putting the Government on trial. If we do not amend the definition, the House will be found wanting.

9.45 pm
Mr. Hogg

I find myself in considerable sympathy with the points made by the hon. Member for Nottingham, South (Mr. Simpson), and I broadly support what he said.

We need to understand that this debate is right at the heart of the Bill because the definition of terrorism is the Bill's essential focus for the reason advanced by the hon. Member for Southwark, North and Bermondsey (Mr. Hughes), which is that if an activity falls within the definition, the whole weight of the Bill falls on the individuals and institutions concerned. He cited some of those consequences, which include restrictions on the power to raise money, the rights of entry of the police and the right to require answers to questions. They are all detailed in the Bill.

The question that we must all ask about any activity is not whether it should be criminal, but whether the additional consequences contained in the Bill should fall on the individuals and institutions involved. In my view, there are many activities that are manifestly criminal but that should not in any circumstances be deemed terrorist. I think of two groups who perform activities that I particularly dislike. The first is hunt saboteurs. The second is GM protesters, of whom I do not think very much. However, I ask myself whether their activities should be deemed terrorist. The hon. Member for Nottingham, South mentioned many activities, and some of them should be criminal and some should not, but none of them should be deemed terrorist.

Those who demonstrated in Trafalgar square against the community charge committed serious offences against the criminal law, but I ask myself whether that was intrinsically a terrorist activity. I think back to the days of the anti-apartheid demonstrations, which the hon. and learned Member for Medway (Mr. Marshall-Andrews) cited. The great majority of hon. Members, whether or not they approved of the demonstrations and what happened in them, would agree that in no sense should they be classed as terrorist. An example from my youth is the anti-Vietnam demonstrations. To be honest, I do not like demonstrations of any kind because they almost always involve violence and their character is often criminal, but in no sense should they be deemed terrorist.

Once one starts from the proposition that that range of activities should not be classed as terrorist, one goes to the Bill and, I regret to say, the amendments, and starts by considering the Government's definition of terrorism. I am sure that Ministers will forgive me for saying that the definition means that all the activities to which I have referred run the risk of falling within the category of a terrorist activity, which is not to say that they would always fall within that category. That risk cannot be right.

Mr. Marshall-Andrews

Will the right hon. and learned Gentleman reflect on the fact that these proceedings in the House are intrinsically linked to last week's proceedings? The truth is that if many of those offences were charged as terrorism, a jury would have no problem in throwing out such nonsense. The offences would plainly fall within the definition of terrorism, but no jury would have any of it. However, taken with the erosion of the right to jury trial, these two parallel moves are deeply worrying.

Mr. Hogg

I agree only in part with the hon. and learned Gentleman. He and I have agreed in many ways for 30 years, even though we come from different political traditions; we have known and worked with each other for many years. I shall not digress far, Mr. Deputy Speaker, but he and I stood together against the legislation that restricted trial by jury, because we both disagreed with the proposals that it contained. One of the reasons was that juries act as the public conscience: sometimes, when the elements of an offence are made out, the consequences appear so absurd that the jury as the public conscience recognises the absurdity and refuses to convict. The point on which I disagree with him is that he appears to be affected by a slight misconception. Clause 1 does not create new offences; it triggers consequences and attracts penalties and sanctions to those individuals who are doing things that are classified as terrorist. Therefore, his point is not quite the same as mine, although it is very nearly the same.

Mr. McDonnell

The right hon. and learned Gentleman will agree that clause 1 also confers new powers, specifically in respect of the police. If the clause had been in force, the poll tax demonstration could have been prevented—he might think that would have been a good thing—as could any demonstration on the say so of one constable saying that a terrorism investigation was under way.

Mr. Hogg

The hon. Gentleman is wholly right, and that point lies at the core of my objections.

I hear mutterings from the Treasury Bench, so I shall face their source. Ministers say that clause 1 does not have the wide effect that we say that it does; well, let us examine clause 1 and see whether two activities—those I especially dislike: the actions of hunt saboteurs, and the anti-poll tax demonstration—fall within the class of clause 1 terrorist activity.

The clause states: terrorism" means the use or threat, for the purpose of advancing a political, religious or ideological cause, of action. Let us start with the purpose test. Hunt saboteurs are certainly advancing an ideological cause—they would say so and, as a matter of law, they would be right; so would the police, and they would be right too. The community charge demonstrators in Trafalgar square were certainly advancing a political cause and, for that matter, an ideological cause. Therefore, the purpose test is made out.

Of course, such activities are not "terrorist" unless they fall foul of subsections (1)(a), (b) and (c). Subsection (1)(a) speaks of action that involves serious violence against any person or property. In Trafalgar square, there was serious violence against both persons and property. In many demonstrations against fox hunting, serious violence is committed against persons and property. The clause continues, referring to action that endangers the life of any person. In Trafalgar square, the police were very much at risk and they said so at the time. Subsection (1)(c) refers to action that creates a serious risk to the health or safety of the public or a section of the public. Fox hunters consider themselves to be at serious risk, and the Trafalgar square rioters certainly put the public at serious risk.

There is absolutely no doubt that the classes of activity that I have described fall within the scope of clause 1. It is misleading for Ministers to deny that.

Mr. Fisher

The right hon. and learned Gentleman lays great emphasis on the word "action", but is not clause 1 more complicated, and its implications worse, than he has said, in that the threat of action triggers the same consequences as action itself? Therefore a letter to a newspaper threatening to commit such action, or an interview on a local radio station in which a person announces his intention, or hope, of burning a field of GM crops, would bring all the consequences triggered under clause 1. Does not the definition used in the clause throw our definition of terrorism far too wide?

Mr. Hogg

I was focusing on the most graphic examples, but the hon. Gentleman is wholly right. The threat is sufficient to constitute the activity as potentially terrorist. The House would agree a wrong thing if it accepted the clause.

There have been attempts to address the problem in several amendments, my own included. The hon. Member for Hull, North (Mr. McNamara) produced one set of amendments, the hon. Member for Southwark, North and Bermondsey another. I modestly produced a third—amendment No. 200, which was not selected.

I hope that the hon. Gentlemen will forgive me if I say that they have not resolved the problem. If they ask themselves the rhetorical question—I shall not take them through the detail, as I have already done so—"Would the fox hunting saboteurs be caught by their amendments?", the answer is yes.

I see the hon. Member for Southwark, North and Bermondsey looking at his amendment No. 190. In the purpose section, it states: to intimidate or coerce a government, one or more political bodies or organisations, the public or— this is what I underline—

any section of the public for political ends. Let us consider the last set of phrases and ask ourselves whether hunt saboteurs fall within that group. They certainly create a serious risk to the health or safety of the public—that is, fox hunters—with the purpose of coercing those who go fox hunting. I am using the example of fox hunting because I must use an example, but the same applies to the demonstrators in Trafalgar square, and I can perform exactly the same exercise with exactly the same consequences to the amendment moved by the hon. Member for Hull, North.

We must come to a conclusion. I believe that none of the amendments sufficiently addresses the problem that I have identified. I tried to do so through amendment No. 200, which narrows the definition of "violence" so that violence constitutes only threats to life. Even that is imperfect. The truth, I suspect, is that we cannot properly reconcile what the Government seek to do—I accept their good motives—with the aims of those of us who want to defend civil liberties and political freedoms.

My belief is that the difficulties associated with the definition are so great as to mean that the Bill is fatally flawed. That is the conclusion to which I think I come. It may be that others cleverer than I, here or in another place, can so define "terrorism" that it does not have the objectionable consequences which I believe that the present definition has. However, they have not done so yet. They have tried, but I suspect that they will not succeed. If that is indeed the case, the clause and most of the Bill should be rejected.

Mr. Gapes

I shall try to be brief. I speak as someone who supported the African National Congress, opposed the Vietnam war and supported non-violent direct action. The past hour has been a litany of scare stories and worst-case scenarios such as I have seldom heard.

My constituents and most people in the United Kingdom want to be able to travel on international aircraft without threat of being blown up. They want to be able to have a meal in McDonald's, as two of my close friends were doing when damage to the ceiling was caused by the Canary wharf bombing. They want to be able to go about their lives without the threat of internationally motivated, funded and organised terrorism. That is the essence of the Bill.

My hon. Friend the Member for Nottingham, South (Mr. Simpson) said that there was no threat. I do not know which world he is living in. The world contains well-organised, well-funded international terrorist organisations which operate in one country, plan their activities in a second country, have members who live in a third country, and get their finance from a fourth country. The Bill is trying to provide for effective anti-terrorism legislation. We can debate definitions of terrorism, and I accept that there are difficulties. However, we should not put ourselves in a position where, because of arguments about definition—

It being Ten o'clock, the debate stood adjourned.

Motion made, and Question put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 15 (Exempted business),

That, at this day's sitting, the Terrorism Bill may be proceeded with, though opposed, until any hour.—[Mrs. McGuire.]

The House divided: Ayes 279, Noes 40.

Division No. 110] [10 pm
Ainger, Nick Begg, Miss Anne
Ainsworth, Robert (Cov'try NE) Beggs, Roy
Alexander, Douglas Bell, Martin (Tatton)
Allen, Graham Benn, Hilary (Leeds C)
Anderson, Donald (Swansea E) Bennett, Andrew F
Anderson, Janet (Rossendale) Benton, Joe
Armstrong, Rt Hon Ms Hilary Bermingham, Gerald
Ashton, Joe Berry, Roger
Atkins, Charlotte Best, Harold
Austin, John Blackman, Liz
Banks, Tony Blears, Ms Hazel
Barnes, Harry Boateng, Rt Hon Paul
Battle, John Borrow, David
Beard, Nigel Bradley, Keith (Withington)
Beckett, Rt Hon Mrs Margaret Bradshaw, Ben
Brinton, Mrs Helen Hall, Mike (Weaver Vale)
Browne, Desmond Hall, Patrick (Bedford)
Burgon, Colin Hamilton, Fabian (Leeds NE)
Butler, Mrs Christine Hanson, David
Campbell, Alan (Tynemouth) Harman, Rt Hon Ms Harriet
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge) Heal, Mrs Sylvia
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V) Healey, John
Campbell-Savours, Dale Hepburn, Stephen
Cann, Jamie Heppell, John
Caplin, Ivor Hill, Keith
Casale, Roger Hinchliffe, David
Cawsey, Ian Hodge, Ms Margaret
Chapman, Ben (Wirral S) Hope, Phil
Chaytor, David Howarth Alan (Newport E)
Clapham, Michael Howells, Dr Kim
Hoyle, Lindsay
Clark, Dr Lynda (Edinburgh Pentlands) Hughes, Ms Beverley (Stretford)
Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)
Clark, Paul (Gillingham) Hurst, Alan
Clarke, Charles (Norwich S) Hutton, John
Clelland, David Iddon, Dr Brian
Clwyd, Ann Illsley, Eric
Coaker, Vernon Ingram, Rt Hon Adam
Coffey, Ms Ann Jackson, Helen (Hillsborough)
Cohen, Harry Jenkins, Brian
Colman, Tony Johnson, Alan (Hull W & Hessle)
Connarty, Michael Johnson, Miss Melanie (Welwyn Hatfield)
Cook, Frank (Stockton N)
Cooper, Yvette Jones, Rt Hon Barry (Alyn)
Corbyn, Jeremy Jones, Mrs Fiona (Newark)
Corston, Jean Jones, Helen (Warrington N)
Cousins, Jim Jones, Ms Jenny (Wolverh'ton SW)
Cox, Tom
Cranston, Ross Jones Jon Owen (Cardiff C)
Crausby, David Jones, Dr Lynee (Selly Oak)
Cryer, Mrs Ann (Keighley) Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S)
Cryer, John (Honrchurch) Keeble, Ms Sally
Cummings, John Keen, Alan (Feltham & Heston)
Cunningham, Jim (Cov'try S) Kemp, Fraser
Curtis-Thomas, Mrs Claire Kennedy, Jane (Wavertree)
Darvill, Keith Khabra, Piara S
Davey, Valerie (Bristol W) Kidney, David
Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli) Kilfoyle, Peter
Davies Geraint (Croydon C) Kumar, Dr Ashok
Laxton, Bob
Dawson, Hilton Lepper, David
Donaldson, Jeffrey Leslie, Christopher
Dowd, Jim Levitt, Tom
Drew, David Lewis, Ivan (Bury S)
Eagle, Angela (Wallasey) Linton, Martin
Eagle, Maria (L'pool Garston) Lock, David
Edwards, Huw Love, Andrew
Ennis, Jeff McAvoy, Thomas
Etherington, Bill McCabe, Steve
Fisher, Mark McDonagh, Siobhain
Flint, Caroline McDonnell, John
Flynn, Paul McFall, John
Forsythe, Clifford McGuire, Mrs Anne
Foster, Rt Hon Derek McIsaac, Shona
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings) Mackinlay, Andrew
Foster, Michael J (Worcester) McNamara, Kevin
Gapes, Mike Mactaggart, Fiona
George, Bruce (Walsall S) McWalter, Tony
Gibson, Dr Ian McWilliam, John
Maginnis, Ken
Gilroy, Mrs Linda Mahon, Mrs Alice
Godman, Dr Norman A Mallaber, Judy
Godsiff, Roger Marsden, Paul (Shrewsbury)
Goggins, Paul Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)
Golding, Mrs Llin Marshall-Andrews, Robert
Gordon, Mrs Eileen Maxton, John
Griffiths, Jane (Reading E) Meacher, Rt Hon Michael
Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S) Meale, Alan
Griffiths, Win (Bridgend) Merron, Gillian
Grogan, John Miller, Andrew
Gunnell, John Moffatt, Laura
Moonie, Dr Lewis Smith, Miss Geraldine (Morecambe & Lunesdale)
Moran, Ms Margaret
Morgan, Ms Julie (Cardiff N) Smith, Jacqui (Redditch)
Morley, Elliot Smith, John (Glamorgan)
Morris, Rt Hon Ms Estelte (B'ham Yardley) Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
Smyth, Rev Martin (Belfast S)
Mountford, Kali Soley, Clive
Murphy, Denis (Wansbeck) Southworth, Ms Helen
Murphy, Rt Hon Paul (Torfaen) Squire, Ms Rachel
Naysmith, Dr Doug Starkey, Dr Phyllis
O'Brien, Bill (Normanton) Steinberg, Gerry
O'Brien, Mike (N Warks) Stewart, David (Inverness E)
O'Hara, Eddie Stinchcombe, Paul
Olner, Bill Stoate, Dr Howard
O'Neill, Martin Strang, Rt Hon Dr Gavin
Organ, Mrs Diana Straw, Rt Hon Jack
Pearson, Ian Stringer, Graham
Pendry, Tom Stuart, Ms Gisela
Pickthall, Colin Sutcliffe, Gerry
Pike, Peter L Taylor, Rt Hon Mrs Ann (Dewsbury)
Plaskitt, James
Pollard, Kerry Taylor, Ms Dari (Stockton S)
Pond, Chris Taylor, David (NW Leics)
Pope, Greg Taylor, Rt Hon John D (Strangford)
Pound, Stephen Thomas, Gareth R (Harrow W)
Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lewisham E) Thompson, William
Prosser, Gwyn Timms, Stephen
Purchase, Ken Tipping, Paddy
Quin, Rt Hon Ms Joyce Todd, Mark
Quinn, Lawrie Touhig, Don
Radice, Rt Hon Giles Trickett, Jon
Rammell, Bill Turner, Dennis (Wolverth'ton SE)
Rapson, Syd Turner, Dr Desmond (Kemptown)
Raynsford, Nick Turner, Neil (Wigan)
Robinson, Peter (Belfast E) Twigg, Stephen (Enfield)
Roche, Mrs Barbara Tynan, Bill
Rogers, Allan Vis, Dr Rudi
Rooker, Rt Hon Jeff Ward, Ms Claire
Rooney, Terry Watts, David
Ross, Ernie (Dundee W) White, Brian
Rowlands, Ted Williams, Rt Hon Alan (Swansea W)
Ruane, Chris Williams, Alan W (E Carmarthen)
Russell, Ms Christine (Chester) Williams, Mrs Betty (Conwy)
Ryan, Ms Joan Winnick, David
Salter, Martin Winterton, Ms Rosie (Doncaster C)
Sawford, Phil Wise, Audrey
Sedgemore, Brian Wood, Mike
Shaw, Jonathan Woolas, Phil
Shipley, Ms Debra Worthington, Tony
Short, Rt Hon Clare Wright, Anthony D (Gt Yarmouth)
Simpson, Alan (Nottingham S) Wyatt, Derek
Singh, Marsha
Skinner, Dennis Tellers for the Ayes:
Smith, Rt Hon Andrew (Oxford E) Mr. David Jamieson and
Smith, Angela (Basildon) Mr. Clive Betts.
Allan, Richard Heath, David (Somerton & Frome)
Ashdown, Rt Hon Paddy Hogg, Rt Hon Douglas
Ballard, Jackie Hughes, Simon (Southwark N)
Beith, Rt Hon A J Kennedy, Rt Hon Charles (Ross Skye & Inverness W)
Breed, Colin
Bruce, Malcolm (Gordon) Livsey, Richard
Burnett, John Llwyd, Elfyn
Burstow, Paul Maclennan, Rt Hon Robert
Campbell, Rt Hon Menzies (NE Fife) Michie, Mrs Ray (Argyll & Bute)
Moore, Michael
Chidgey, David Morgan, Alasdair (Galloway)
Cotter, Brian Oaten, Mark
Davey, Edward (Kingston) Rendel, David
Fearn, Ronnie Russell, Bob (Colchester)
Foster, Don (Bath) Sanders, Adrian
George, Andrew (St Ives) Smith, Sir Robert (W Ab'd'ns)
Hancock, Mike Stunell, Andrew
Harris, Dr Evan Taylor, Matthew (Truro)
Thomas, Simon (Ceredigion) Willis, Phil
Tonge, Dr Jenny
Tyler, Paul Tellers for the Noes:
Wallace, James Mr. Tom Brake and
Webb, Steve Mr. Norman Baker.

Question accordingly agreed to.

As amended in the Standing Committee, again considered.

Question again proposed, That the amendment be made.

Mr. Gapes

As I was saying, the legislation is important in enabling the country to play its role in the international fight against terrorism. We were told by earlier speakers that, for some reason the definition should be changed to exclude—[Interruption.]

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. I am sorry to interrupt, but we are in the middle of a serious debate, and the hon. Member for Ilford, South (Mr. Gapes) is entitled to a reasonable hearing.

Mr. Gapes

Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker.

The Liberal Democrats have told us that they want to exclude reference to property. I want to raise two issues which I think show the error of their position.

First, let us suppose that a terrorist organisation decided to blow up the Eros statue, Nelson's column or the Palace of Westminster, having, in the latter case, given considerable notice allowing the evacuation of the Houses of Parliament. Presumably, according to the Liberal Democrats' definition, those perpetrating the crime would not be subject to a charge of terrorism.

Secondly, there is the problem of the intentions of those who commit crimes. Presumably, at least according to the Liberal Democrats' barristers, if a person attacked a building or monument with the intention of not injuring human life, but if someone happened to be in the building or was passing it, that person's defence would be that he had had no intention of endangering life, and he would therefore be acquitted.

Mr. Hogg

The hon. Gentleman is making a fundamental error. Those involved in his two examples could be charged with other substantive offences under the criminal law, but the Bill does not create an offence of terrorism.

Mr. Gapes

I refer the right hon. and learned Gentleman to the definition in clause 1, which states that terrorism" means the use or threat, for the purpose of advancing a political, religious or ideological cause, of action which … involves serious violence … endangers … life … or … creates a serious risk to … health or safety. My hon. Friend the Member for Nottingham, South implied that the word "which" did not appear in the definition. His argument was based on the assumption that the first sentence in itself would make a person guilty of terrorism—that someone who was committed to an ideological cause would be, by definition, a terrorist. That is absurd.

10.15 pm

I do not believe that, under the Bill, Nelson Mandela could ever have been put on trial. He certainly could not have been convicted in any court under it. Any Crown Prosecution Service prosecutor who decided to go through that process would not have put him on trial under the Bill. It is palpably absurd to think that there would ever be a conviction.

Similarly, we could use criminal damage or some other legislation, but we could not use terrorism legislation when people destroy crops in fields—one of the scare stories that we have heard. It is fanciful. It is based on worst-case, scare-story scenarios that are designed to frighten people off from introducing effective legislation to combat terrorism.

This country needs legislation, so that it is not a safe haven for people who plan crimes in one country and seek refuge in another. We have had examples of that. We know that the people who perpetrated the fascist bombing in Bologna have been living in Brighton for many years. They planned it, organised it and have been running neo-Nazi book shops in Brighton. It is time that we had effective measures to combat international terrorism, whatever the source.

I hope that the Liberal Democrats will think carefully about their position. This country must be at the forefront of international co-operation. That is what internationalism is about. The Liberal Democrats do themselves and their internationalist ideals a disservice by not being prepared to take internationally effective action to combat terrorism.

Mr. Maginnis

I am sorry that the hon. Member for Hull, North (Mr. McNamara) is not in the Chamber on this unique occasion: for the first time in 17 years, he and I have the same objective. That objective is to define terrorism. However, in case he takes what I say too seriously, may I allude to amendment No. 122, which suggests that we insert the commission of, or the threat to commit, any criminal act with the intention of (a) putting the public or any section of the public in fear. That is such a flawed amendment. It shows the difficulty that we have with the definition of terrorism.

It is a criminal act for a young hooligan to throw fireworks through the letter box of a pensioner and thus endanger that person's life. Under the amendment, that would be not a criminal act, which can be dealt with under normal legislation, but a terrorist offence. That would be folly.

While I am talking about folly, I am rather puzzled by amendment No. 123, which wants to change the phrase endangers the life of any person to seriously endangers the life of any person. I wonder what the difference is. If the hon. Gentleman endangered my life, I might end up dead. I presume that he means that, if he seriously endangered it, I would end up very dead.

Dr. Godman

Seriously dead.

Mr. Maginnis


At the same time, I have serious concerns about the definition of terrorism in the Bill. I would delete virtually all of clause 1. It is a catch-all, but it does not adequately define what we mean by terrorism.

My definition of terrorism is that it is a conspiracy by three or more persons to use or threaten violence against society and/or property for the purpose of undermining or destroying institutions of the state. In Committee, the Minister displayed commodities that have become rarer during the 17 years that I have been in the House—considerable patience and courtesy. I hope that he will take what I say about the Bill in the spirit in which I intend it.

The Minister inherited an absolute mish-mash. We should have two Bills—one to deal with national terrorism against this democratic state, and another to deal with international terrorism being carried out from within this state against another. That would enable us clearly and meaningfully to define terrorism for, dare I say, the selfish, introverted needs of our own nation.

The problems of legislation on terrorism were highlighted by earlier mentions of that which followed the Omagh bombing. Whatever the good intentions behind it, it has proved unnecessary and has not been used. The Terrorism Bill also contains elements that will never be used because they are impracticable and do not relate to activities that endanger or undermine institutions of the state.

We have a democratic system, and we know what we mean by the institutions of state. The amendment tabled by the hon. Member for Southwark, North and Bermondsey (Mr. Hughes) is too explicit, listing political parties, groups and organisations, all of which are part of the institutions of state, as we understand that phrase. The Minister may be unable to deal with this point now, but when the Bill moves on to another place, I ask him seriously to consider the possibility of defining terrorism in terms of needs within this state and in terms of what can be implemented understandably.

I have nothing more to say. We need two Bills, not one. We need a simple definition of terrorism, based on violence or the threat of violence intended to undermine the institutions of this democratic state.

Mr. Fisher

It is a privilege to follow the hon. Member for Fermanagh and South Tyrone (Mr. Maginnis), who has had to live under the shadow of terrorism as hon. Members from English or Welsh constituencies have not had to do. I listened carefully to his comments and to all of the debate. I was not a Committee member, and therefore was not party to the detailed speculation on the various definitions of terrorism in use in international conventions, in the United Nations and in other countries.

My hon. Friend the Member for Ilford, South (Mr. Gapes), who was on the Committee, seems confused about the Bill. As the right hon. and learned Member for Sleaford and North Hykeham (Mr. Hogg) said, the Bill does not create an offence of terrorism. The offences created by the Bill are in clauses 11, 12 and 13—which deal with belonging to a proscribed organisation, supporting that organisation and wearing the uniform of that organisation. Clause 1 defines terrorism and, by doing so, triggers the very serious and sombre treatment of someone who is so defined. It is essential—not because we are creating an offence of terrorism, which we are not doing, but because we are creating a sequence of treatment—that we get that definition right. The definition in the Bill is totally baffling and incorrect.

My hon. Friend the Member for Ilford, South is the only person who has spoken in support of the Bill's definition. However, with due respect to him, he did not support the Bill's definition; he supported its aims—to be tough on terrorism. Not a single hon. Member or other person in the United Kingdom has any time for terrorism at all. My hon. Friend therefore chose the wrong subject. We are all with him and the Government in seeking to eliminate terrorism from society. However, in clause 1, we are doing something completely different—we are redefining what we mean by terrorism. Therefore, the wording of clause 1 is crucial.

It is no good my hon. Friend the Member for Ilford, South simply saying that we need not pay attention to worst-case scenarios or to hysterical thinking. If the Bill defines terrorism in such and such a manner, that would become the legal definition of terrorism. However, the Bill's definition of terrorism makes no sense whatsoever.

The crucial words in clause 1 are, first, "use" and "threat"; secondly, "political, religious and ideological" causes; and, thirdly, serious violence against any person or property. If we put those three things together, all the possibilities described by my hon. Friend the Member for Nottingham, South (Mr. Simpson), the right hon. and learned Member for Sleaford and North Hykeham and the hon. Member for Southwark, North and Bermondsey (Mr. Hughes) would become real.

A threat is a part of the Bill's definition of terrorism. Therefore, a statement in an interview on a radio station or in a letter to a newspaper that "I intend to burn a crop of GM food" would become part of a terrorist activity. Subsequently, the terrorist activity would be compounded if there were violence, such as burning a crop. If the violence were directed against property—such as a crop—it would also fall within the definition, especially if the violence were being done to serve an ideological purpose, such as pursuing a vendetta against GM crops.

It does not matter whether the purpose of the activity is good or bad. The consequence of the Bill's definition is that it would be a terrorist activity to write a letter saying that one will burn a crop of GM corn. There is no way of getting around that. I do not think that my hon. Friend the Member for Ilford, South would consider that to be a worst-case scenario, but that is what the Bill would entail.

I agree with the right hon. and learned Member for Sleaford and North Hykeham. I am not very keen on hunt saboteurs or some of the actions of people who are against animal experiments. They may have virtuous intent, but their actions are often pretty unpleasant. However, it is nonsense to propose that such people should be defined by our society as terrorists, yet the Bill would do just that.

As my hon. Friend the Member for Nottingham, South said, certainly Labour Members—I suspect Liberal Democrats too—have all been guilty of these things. Certainly during the miners' strike we all pushed down fences and gates. I did it at the Hem Heath colliery, the Florence colliery and elsewhere—

10.30 pm
Mr. Hogg

Surely not.

Mr. Fisher

I certainly did and I would do it again as it was in a good cause. The idea that I was committing an act of terrorism is absolute nonsense. I believe that would be generally accepted. As my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Medway (Mr. Marshall-Andrews) who is no longer in his place said, a jury would probably acquit one, but that misses the point of the Bill. It is not about whether or not one would be convicted of terrorism; it is about what is in the Bill. The Bill redefines terrorism in a totally nonsensical way.

Mr. Frank Cook (Stockton, North)

Will my hon. Friend comment on the case of an individual who sought my help? He was in custody on suspicion of robbing a post office but, for the sake of avoiding the restrictions in criminal law, he had been detained under the PTA. If that can happen under the existing system, what prospect is there of protecting people under the system that is about to be introduced?

Mr. Fisher

I do not know that case, which is an interesting inversion of the proposal we are discussing. I should have thought that the criminal law gave the police and the prosecuting authorities perfectly adequate means of dealing with a person who had committed a criminal offence. As the right hon. and learned Member for Sleaford and North Hykeham, who knows the law better than most of us, has said several times, the criminal law can deal with actions against property and against the person. I cannot think of anything that the criminal law does not cover. That requires us to be much more detailed and specific about what we mean by an act of terrorism that is distinct from normal criminal activity. I was interested in what the hon. Member for Southwark, North and Bermondsey said about the debate in Committee and the various speculations. I am sorry that I was not party to that discussion. It is extremely difficult to establish a definition, and we are not doing so by any of the proposed amendments, well intentioned though they are.

In amendment No. 122, my hon. Friend the Member for Hull, North (Mr. McNamara) concentrates on motivation. I sympathise with the intention behind the amendment, but the criticisms that have been made are valid. Motivation rather misses the point.

Mr. McNamara

My amendment proposes that motivation should not be taken into consideration, but that it should be concentrated on as the cause.

Mr. Fisher

I beg my hon. Friend's indulgence. I am sorry if I misled the House as I would not want to misinterpret his speech.

I sympathise with the thrust of amendment No. 190, but as it retains the words "violence against the person" and the word "threat", it does not overcome some of my objections.

Mr. Simon Hughes

We are all seeking a way forward. Between us, at least we have proposed a way of getting rid of some of the mischief. For example, amendment No. 193 would exclude violence to property with no risk to the public or individuals. I am sure that the hon. Gentleman realises that to make the Bill perfect may require a combination of factors, but after tonight at least it will be better—and narrower—than it was when it first came to the House.

Mr. Fisher

I do not want to go too far down that path, because the House wants to make progress, but I think that the amendments are all designed to pare away certain elements rather than identifying what is specific about terrorism. Surely a threat to the security of the state is at the heart of what most of us mean by terrorism as well as of most dictionary and legal definitions. None of the amendments quite achieves the aim.

The hon. Member for Southwark, North and Bermondsey says that we are doing our best, but now that we are launched on the path of legislation we have to get it right, in another place if not here. I feel that we are very far from an adequate definition that would not be too wide for anybody with any flicker of libertarianism. As a libertarian, I am offended and deeply worried by the definition in the Bill. I will not vote for any of the amendments, but I cannot do what I presume the Government will ask and vote against them, because by so doing I would be implicitly supporting the definition in the Bill, which is dangerous, misguided and inadequate. I do not understand what led the Government to it. It is totally baffling.

If the Government are simply sending a message that they are tough on terrorism and tough on the causes of terrorism, as my hon. Friend the Member for Ilford, South said, we would all say yea to that, but the definition goes much wider than that, and it is tough on many things that many of us would feel are totally outwith the ambit of terrorism.

The fact that we have so many Government amendments says something about the inadequacy of resources for parliamentary drafting in recent years, but on so crucial a matter I do not believe that bad drafting can be blamed. I wait to hear what the Minister and the Government are seeking to do, but I am perfectly convinced that the definition in the Bill simply will not do.

Mr. Lidington

The thrust of the amendments is to limit the scope of the definition of terrorism in clause 1. Some of them are designed to define terrorism more closely in terms of people with political rather than other objectives and others to delete references to attacks on property or to actions affecting persons and property overseas.

I want to put my party's approach on the record. We accept that, as the Minister has acknowledged at all previous stages of our proceedings, there is a difficult balancing act to strike between effective counter-terrorism law and civil liberties. It is right that, throughout the Bill's passage through both Houses of Parliament, the detail of the definition of terrorism should be kept under review.

I firmly believe that we need to have on the statute book powers for the police and the Executive against terrorist organisations. We need powers to search, to restrict fundraising and to detain. Those conclusions are shared not only by Conservative Members but by independent examiners of the legislation, including Lord Lloyd of Berwick and Professor Wilkinson, who were appointed by the Government to carry out a thorough-going review of the law on terrorism.

I believe, too, that it is right that this legislation should cover acts in respect of property. We surely cannot put ourselves in the lunatic situation in which an attack by the Provisional IRA on an empty office block, a railway junction, an airport building or Westminster Hall should somehow fall outwith the scope of anti-terrorism legislation because it had taken care to ensure that no human being would be at risk. If we adopted that approach, we would be saying to the police, "You may know from your intelligence that the Provisional IRA is responsible for that act of terrorism but, because of the way that we have drafted the definition, you are not allowed to use the powers of detention, stop and search and arrest that we have provided for you and other agencies in this legislation."

In amendment No. 146, I have sought to address the worries that have been expressed that the Bill allows too wide a scope for actions against property alone to be brought within the law, and I welcome the Minister's comments on that in due course.

Dr. Lynne Jones (Birmingham, Selly Oak)

I take the hon. Gentleman's point that the Bill should apply to the IRA in the circumstances that he has described, but surely it should be possible to word the clause that would catch such action. For example, the action against property could be coupled with the endangering of life, because the blowing up of such a large piece of property would be certain to endanger human life.

Mr. Lidington

As regards property, it is right that the Bill should contain a general provision of the kind that the Government suggest. We can argue about the exact words that we would prefer but, given the ruthlessness and dedication of terrorist organisations, we need to include attacks against property, because they can be used to disrupt life in this country and other democratic societies as a means of intimidating the population and their Governments.

Mr. Hogg

I do not think that many people would disagree with some parts of what my hon. Friend has said, but he needs to answer this question—if the result of drafting clauses that catch the IRA in the way that he has described is that they also catch many other organisations that are not trying to subvert the state, is it right to follow the course that he advocates?

Mr. Lidington

It was made clear in Committee when the Minister responded to the concerns that had been expressed by several hon. Members about the matter that the Government envisaged that, in the normal course of events, most criminal offences would continue to be dealt with under the normal procedures of the criminal law. My right hon. and learned Friend is obviously worried that to trust in the judgment of the police and the courts is inadequate and that a new definition needs to be written into the law. However, I feel that we would fail in our duty if we narrowed the definition to such an extent that it failed to provide adequate protection against terrorist groups that have shown repeatedly that they are utterly careless of human life and well-being.

It is also right that the Bill should cover domestic terrorism and more than purely political objectives. We have seen the example of the Aum sect in Tokyo and the havoc that it wrought against innocent civilians. Some of the extreme, well-organised animal rights groups might also properly be treated as terrorist, because they are organised and have in the past used car bombs and like measures to harm men and women who are not politicians but research scientists or otherwise connected with a company whose policies on experimentation the groups seek to influence.

It is right that the Bill should cover action overseas as well as in the United Kingdom, but I retain some reservations about that and 1 hope that the Government will reflect on the definition that they have applied. Given the attack on the United States embassy in Kenya, the outrages in the middle east and the assassination of democratic leaders such as Rajiv Gandhi, it seems right that our anti-terrorist legislation should catch the perpetrators of such crimes.

10.45 pm

Genuine unease has been expressed about whether the safeguards suggested by the Bill are adequate. One man's terrorist is another's freedom fighter: how does one deal with that problem? How does one deal with the difficulty caused when a group of people in the United Kingdom call for the overthrow by force of a tyrant in another country? The examples of Saddam Hussein and others were mentioned frequently earlier.

Hon. Members have been right to draw such matters to the Minister's attention. I hope that the Government will continue to reflect on them as the Bill continues its passage through Parliament.

Mr. Charles Clarke

From the outset, the Government have been keen to emphasise the difficulty of defining this important matter. We have said, clearly and explicitly, that a balance must be drawn between the need to fight international terrorism—many reports confirm that that is a real threat in the modern world, which we must combat if we are to protect our citizens—and the need to protect individual liberties. That is a very hard question of judgment.

On Second Reading on 14 December—three months and one day ago—my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary and I both stated that we were ready to consider other, better wordings and definitions to deal with these matters. We said that we were prepared to look at better forms of definition, and I repeated that commitment more than once in Committee. Much of this evening's debate has centred on questions of wording.

I want to take this opportunity to thank Liberty and the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission. Both organisations have made serious efforts to draft alternative clauses in response to the invitation from me and my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary. Their work is to be commended. Although I do not agree with every word that they offered, I accept that they took on the challenge, acknowledged the importance of addressing the problem of international terrorism, and sought a better definition than the one offered by the Government.

It would be churlish not to acknowledge those two pieces of work, which underlie the amendments tabled by my hon. Friend the Member for Hull, North (Mr. McNamara) and by the hon. Member for Southwark, North and Bermondsey (Mr. Hughes).

The Government started from the viewpoint that the definitions in the prevention of terrorism and emergency provisions legislation had operated effectively and that changes should be made only where they could be justified. We were also firmly of the view that it was no longer defensible to confine the legislation to Irish and international terrorism, and to exclude the application of the definition to acts connected solely to the affairs of the United Kingdom.

It is striking that, although there is much debate about what actions constitute so-called domestic terrorism, it appears to be generally agreed that the time has come to accept that some such actions should be caught. In deciding on a definition to put before the House, we also considered carefully the advice of Lord Lloyd. I shall not rehearse earlier debates, but we took very careful account of what he had to say.

Finally, and most importantly, we bore in mind the purpose of the new definition as we worked it up. As I have stressed many times, there is no linked offence of terrorism. As is the case now, most terrorists will continue to be charged with offences under the ordinary criminal law. That is the essence of what we are talking about. The definition is in the Bill to trigger the availability, primarily to the police, of certain additional powers and specific offences that we believe are needed to disrupt and investigate terrorism in all its aspects. Although I acknowledge that it would be wrong to make these additional powers available too widely—that is one reason for raising the threshold to "serious violence" and tightening the definition that appears in previous prevention of terrorism Acts—it would be a massive mistake if we constructed a definition of terrorism that was too narrow and constrained the law enforcement agencies in their critical responsibility to fight terrorism.

Mr. Baker

We heard earlier a litany of examples of what could be caught by the definition, from the Trafalgar square poll tax riots to pulling up GM crops. Is it the Minister's view that those activities would be caught by the definition and, if so, is it a price worth paying?

Mr. Clarke

No, it is not my view, but I will be dealing at some length with the points that have been made in this discussion, and I will deal with that point then.

We have consulted the police closely, and discussed the various acts with them. We believe that this definition will assist the law enforcement agencies. Should we go for a definition broad enough to catch the range of activities that we believe terrorists may undertake but that could potentially catch other activities? Or should we go for a narrow definition that limits the chances of catching actions some believe to be non-terrorist but which, by definition, involve serious violence or the like, but would fail to catch all the terrorist activity of which we are aware? That is the balance that the House must judge and that we have been trying to judge in the three months and a day since Second Reading.

I come now to the amendments before us. Let me deal first with some of the points made by my hon. Friend the Member for Hull, North. Amendment No. 122 refers to putting the public in fear. The proposition that any seriously violent act carried out to put the public in fear should be caught by the definition of terrorism could lead to an unacceptably wide definition—even wider than the one in the Bill.

The right hon. and learned Member for Sleaford and North Hykeham (Mr. Hogg) referred to hunt saboteurs, but other examples are equally controversial. The Yorkshire Ripper certainly put the public in fear—would that be categorised as a terrorist act? I do not think that it could be described as terrorist behaviour, but it would certainly have put the public in fear and would have been caught by the proposed definition. Apart from controversial activities such as demonstrations and hunt saboteurs, very serious crimes would, quite inappropriately, be caught by that definition.

I agree that the notion of fear of terrorism is key to the concept of terrorism, but it is an over-simplification to suggest that all actions carried out to put the public in fear are acts of terrorism or could be so defined. They clearly are not. I believe that we need a different or additional filter, which is why we believe that the motivational approach which my hon. Friend does not like and seeks to remove by his amendment—that the act was carried out to advance a political, religious or ideological cause—is the right one. The motivation is what distinguishes other actions that put the public in fear from acts of terrorism.

Mr. John Cryer (Hornchurch)

Would the definition in the Bill have caught the striking miners of 15 years ago and/or the people who supported the anti-apartheid movement during the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s?

Mr. Clarke

As I said on Second Reading and thereafter, I believe that the answer to both questions is no.

Mr. Hogg

The hon. Gentleman has just conceded that hunt saboteurs, beastly though they are, should not be treated as terrorists. Will he accept that they are carrying out an act that falls within the scope of an act that is capable of being defined as terrorism under clause 1?

Mr. Clarke

I do not accept that. That is the burden of what I will say when I come to the specific points that have been made. If I accepted the right hon. and learned Gentleman's point, I would accept some of the comments that have been made in the debate, but I do not accept it.

Mr. Simon Hughes

Will the Minister give way?

Mr. Clarke

No, I will not. I wish to make more progress.

Several hon. Members mentioned property. The Government stand by their view that violence against property can be terrorism—it is not necessarily, but it can be. The hon. Member for Aylesbury (Mr. Lidington) gave some examples. The Canary wharf bombing is the most striking example in our recent history.

What about a bomb, such as the one at Canary wharf, for which a lengthy and accurate warning is given and which destroys buildings? It does not seem logical that empty targets could be bombed and livelihoods and communities destroyed as a result, but that the police would not have at their disposal the powers and offences triggered by the definition of terrorism. The serious violence against property limb must be retained to deal with those far from fanciful examples.

Mr. Hughes

The definition of terrorism is that it has to have a motivation—it could apply to property—that, in the Government's wording, is "political, religious or ideological". In reality, anyone could define what they do in such a context. To be honest, that definition does not take anyone any further. Someone could say, "For me, this is an ideological matter. It is subjective; it is incapable of objective analysis by the court."

Mr. Clarke

It is capable of objective analysis. The Bill establishes a massive process whereby the courts and the House will consider the definitions. We will all make our judgments, as will the courts. The Bill sets the context.

Mr. David Winnick (Walsall, North)

I have no difficulty with the international terrorism provisions and I said so in an intervention on Second Reading. The powers are essential. However, I have many reservations about the matters raised by my hon. Friends the Members for Stoke-on-Trent, Central (Mr. Fisher) and for Hornchurch (Mr. Cryer). Although the Minister dismissed the possibility, I am concerned, for example, that the miners' strike of 15 years ago and other actions—industrial or otherwise—could be included in the definition of terrorism. As someone who believes strongly in civil liberties, the right to demonstrate and the rest, I remain concerned about those aspects.

Mr. Clarke

I hear my hon. Friend's comments and I appreciate the support that he offered on Second Reading and subsequently on other matters. I will deal with them.

In Committee and today, the hon. Member for Fermanagh and South Tyrone (Mr. Maginnis) openly argued for two Bills. First, I understand his arguments but, whether we have two Bills or one, we will not avoid having the definition. In either or both of the Bills, the issue would have to be dealt with. That could be done in the same way in both Bills, or in different ways, which would cause difficulties.

Secondly, the hon. Gentleman said that some legislation was not used. In Committee, he argued forcefully for the principle of deterrence that is used in much anti-terrorism legislation—to dissuade people from becoming involved in any way with terrorist activity. The fact that aspects of legislation have not been used is not a convincing argument.

The right hon. and learned Member for Sleaford and North Hykeham and my hon. Friend the Member for Nottingham, South (Mr. Simpson) gave much the same speeches today as on Second Reading, although they were more lengthy and—to be frank—a little less coherent today. The logic of their argument is that we cannot find a definition. The right hon. and learned Gentleman clearly suggested that, although I am not sure whether my hon. Friend would say the same.

The logic of the right hon. and learned Gentleman's position would be to vote against Third Reading because we should not have the Bill. In the balance that he weighs between the need to fight international terrorism and the need to protect individual liberties, he comes to the view that we should not use more legislation—I was going to say that we should forget the fight against international terrorism, but I do not mean that quite so pejoratively. He thinks that the liberties would be so challenged that we should forget the idea of taking extra powers. I see the logic of that position. However, it is not the same position as that of those who argue that our definition is amendable.

My hon. Friend the Member for Nottingham, South gave a long list of examples and other hon. Members gave similar examples on Second Reading and at other times. I repeat what I said on those occasions: the legislation will give rise to no fears about the domestic political and industrial relations activities and so on that have been described during the debate. Part of the debate has been fanciful. A string of arguments have been pushed out that bear no relationship to the facts or to the potential of the Bill.

11 pm

Mr. Winnick

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for allowing me to intervene again. Will he give us a further explanation as to why we should not be worried about the domestic position? He said that those activities would not be covered by the Bill. Why should they not be? I apologise to the House because I was not in the Chamber for some of the earlier speeches, but I heard the powerful speech of my hon. Friend the Member for Stoke-on-Trent, Central—as did the Minister. Much concern and worry were expressed that certain activities would be defined as terrorism when in my view, and that of some of my hon. Friends, they should not be.

Mr. Clarke

None of us thinks that the activities about which my hon. Friend is concerned should be defined as terrorism—no one in the whole House believes that.

Mr. Tony Benn (Chesterfield)


Mr. Frank Cook


Mr. Clarke

I shall not give way to my right hon. Friend the Member for Chesterfield (Mr. Benn) who was not in the Chamber for the debate. I give way to my hon. Friend the Member for Stockton, North (Mr. Cook).

Mr. Cook:

I refer my hon. Friend to the example I gave earlier this evening. An individual was detained on suspicion of robbing a post office. Under the PTA provisions, he was detained without charge for an extraordinarily long period. His wife and his two sons were detained under the same provisions and subsequently released without charge. He was tried, sentenced and served his time. If that is permissible at present, what redress would people have against such abuse in the future?

Mr. Clarke

I know nothing of the detail of the case, apart from what my hon. Friend said in his earlier intervention. Based on his description, it would seem to be an abuse of current law and would thus be an abuse of future law. No doubt, my hon. Friend will take up the case in the proper way.

Mr. McDonnell


Mr. McNamara


Mr. Clarke

I give way to my hon. Friend the Member for Hull, North.

Mr. McNamara

My hon. Friend said categorically that offences such as those listed by many hon. Members would not be caught by the legislation. Why?

Mr. Clarke

As I said earlier, under the definition in clause 1, it is clear that the cause of the actions in the demonstrations that have been mentioned would not have been to endanger people's lives, nor to engage in serious violence and so on. That is why—

Several hon. Members


Mr. Clarke

I shall not continue to give way, but I give way to my hon. Friend the Member for Hayes and Harlington (Mr. McDonnell).

Mr. McDonnell

I am grateful to the Minister. I hope that, if I were to come up before a court on such matters, he would be sitting on the bench. The miners' strike has been mentioned several times. That was an ideological cause. There is no doubt that the general secretary of the miners union at that time was pursuing a socialist cause in that strike. Furthermore, the strike involved serious violence against persons and property. Indeed, some of the Members who spoke in the debate admitted to that. The strike endangered life; it created a serious risk to the health and safety of the public. With the greatest respect to my hon. Friend, it is not up to him to decide on the definitions; a judge would do so—on that basis, we should be guilty.

Mr. Clarke

My hon. Friend is right to say that, at the end of the day, it would be for a judge to decide. However, I was asked for my view as to whether the miners' strike and various other actions could be caught by the legislation. I do not believe that they would. I said that on Second Reading, and have continued to say so all through the Bill's proceedings.

Dr. Lynne Jones rose—

Mr. Clarke

I shall not give way again except to the hon. Member for Southwark, North and Bermondsey because I want to make a point about the Liberal Democrat position that he may need to address.

I have tried to point out that the issue in the balance is whether we have such legislation at all. The right hon. and learned Member for Sleaford and North Hykeham has concluded that we should not.

If one takes the view that there ought to be such legislation, the consequence is that one must have a definition of terrorism. I acknowledge the difficulty in drafting that definition, as I have done throughout the proceedings, and I have invited proposals for reaching a better definition. I have explained why we are not in a position to accept any of the amendments. They would not provide a better definition that the one offered in the Bill.

When the Liberal Democrats decide whether to proceed with amendments Nos. 192 or 193—they are not consequential amendments but independent and separate amendments operating in different ways—they must consider what types of terrorist activity might not be covered if either of their amendments were to be carried. Would, for example, the Tokyo sarin attack be covered if amendment No. 192 were accepted? I suspect that it might not. There might well be other activities that would not be covered. The hon. Gentleman and his party will make a judgment on that, but there is a genuine issue of balance that has to be resolved.

Mr. Simon Hughes

The Minister knows that my position has consistently been to seek a definition that achieved widespread support; I have never renounced the idea of a definition. On that basis, will the Minister undertake to convene, before the Bill goes to the other place, a round table of all parties, legal advisers and interested groups? Will he undertake to get and place in the Library a legal opinion on whether the questions asked in the House about the implications—

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Michael J. Martin)

Order. The hon. Gentleman is not the only Member who has been guilty of making long interventions. I appeal to hon. Members to keep their interventions brief.

Mr. Clarke

I will not convene a round table meeting. I have allowed three months and a day for people to make positive propositions. I have congratulated those organisations that have genuinely worked to that end and sought to analyse their ideas. Even at this late stage, I say again that, if there are further propositions, I will be happy to consider them before the Bill goes to the other place. However, I have not yet seen alternative definitions that are better than the one offered by the Government. On that basis, I hope that the amendment will be withdrawn or defeated.

Mr. McNamara

I said at the start of the debate that I did not intend to divide the House on the amendment because I thought that there might be time for further thought. I have listened carefully to my hon. Friend's reply to the questions that were raised. I am extremely disappointed by what he has said and by his attitude. This is a difficult matter, and it has caused grave concern in the House. Because of that, and because I do not believe that my hon. Friend has advanced sufficient reason for rejecting the amendment, I intend to divide the House, if I get the support of my colleagues.

Question put, That the amendment be made:—

The House divided: Ayes 15, Noes 235.

Division No. 111] [11.8 pm
Benn, Rt Hon Tony (Chesterfield) Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)
Cook, Frank (Stockton N) Marshall-Andrews, Robert
Cryer, Mrs Ann (Keighley) Morgan, Alasdair (Galloway)
Cryer, John (Hornchurch) Simpson, Alan (Nottingham S)
Flynn, Paul Thomas, Simon (Ceredigion)
Hancock, Mike Wise, Audrey
Jones, Dr Lynne (Selly Oak) Tellers for the Ayes:
Llwyd, Elfyn Mr. John McDonnell and
McNamara, Kevin Mr. Jeremy Corbyn.
Ainger, Nick Benn, Hilary (Leeds C)
Ainsworth, Robert (Cov'try NE) Bennett, Andrew F
Allen, Graham Benton, Joe
Anderson, Donald (Swansea E) Bermingham, Gerald
Anderson, Janet (Rossendale) Berry, Roger
Armstrong, Rt Hon Ms Hilary Betts, Clive
Atkins, Charlotte Blackman, Liz
Austin, John Blears, Ms Hazel
Banks, Tony Boateng, Rt Hon Paul
Barnes, Harry Borrow, David
Beard, Nigel Bradley, Keith (Withington)
Beckett, Rt Hon Mrs Margaret Bradshaw, Ben
Begg, Miss Anne Browne, Desmond
Burden, Richard Johnson, Alan (Hull W & Hessle)
Burgon, Colin Johnson, Miss Melanie (Welwyn Hatfield)
Butler, Mrs Christine
Campbell, Alan (Tynemouth) Jones, Rt Hon Barry (Alyn)
Campbell-Savours, Dale Jones, Mrs Fiona (Newark)
Cann, Jamie Jones, Helen (Warrington N)
Caplin, Ivor Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C)
Casale, Roger Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S)
Cawsey, Ian Keeble, Ms Sally
Chapman, Ben (Wirral S) Keen, Alan (Feltham & Heston)
Clapham, Michael Kemp, Fraser
Clark, Dr Lynda (Edinburgh Pentlands) Kennedy, Jane (Wavertree)
Khabra, Piara S
Clark, Paul (Gillingham) Kidney, David
Clarke, Charles (Norwich S) Kilfoyle, Peter
Clelland, David Kumar, Dr Ashok
Clwyd, Ann Laxton, Bob
Coaker, Vernon Lepper, David
Coffey, Ms Ann Leslie, Christopher
Colman, Tony Levitt, Tom
Connarty, Michael Lewis, Ivan (Bury S)
Corston, Jean Lidington, David
Cousins, Jim Linton, Martin
Cox, Tom Lock, David
Cranston, Ross Love, Andrew
Crausby, David McAvoy, Thomas
Cummings, John McCabe, Steve
Cunningham, Jim (Cov'try S) McDonagh, Siobhain
Curtis-Thomas, Mrs Claire McFall, John
Darvill, Keith McGuire, Mrs Anne
Davey, Valerie (Bristol W) McIsaac, Shona
Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli) MacKay, Rt Hon Andrew
Dawson, Hilton Mackinlay, Andrew
Dowd, Jim Mactaggart, Fiona
Drew, David McWalter, Tony
Eagle, Angela (Wallasey) Mahon, Mrs Alice
Eagle, Maria (L'pool Garston) Mallaber, Judy
Edwards, Huw Marsden, Gordon (Blackpool S)
Ennis, Jeff Marsden, Paul (Shrewsbury)
Flint, Caroline Maxton, John
Foster, Rt Hon Derek Meacher, Rt Hon Michael
Foster, Michael J (Worcester) Meale, Alan
Gapes, Mike Merron, Gillian
George, Bruce (Walsall S) Miller, Andrew
Gerrard, Neil Moffatt, Laura
Gibson, Dr Ian Moonie, Dr Lewis
Gilroy, Mrs Linda Moran, Ms Margaret
Godsiff, Roger Morgan, Ms Julie (Cardiff N)
Goggins, Paul Morley, Elliot
Golding, Mrs Llin Morris, Rt Hon Ms Estelle (B'ham Yardley)
Gordon, Mrs Eileen
Griffiths, Jane (Reading E) Mountford, Kali
Griffiths, Win (Bridgend) Murphy, Denis (Wansbeck)
Grogan, John Murphy, Rt Hon Paul (Torfaen)
Hall, Patrick (Bedford) Naysmith, Dr Doug
Hamilton, Fabian (Leeds NE) O'Brien, Bill (Normanton)
Hanson, David O'Brien, Mike (N Warks)
Heal, Mrs Sylvia O'Hara, Eddie
Healey, John Olner, Bill
Hepburn, Stephen O'Neill, Martin
Heppell, John Organ, Mrs Diana
Hill, Keith Pearson, Ian
Hinchliffe, David Pendry, Tom
Hodge, Ms Margaret Pickthall, Colin
Hope, Phil Pike, Peter L
Howarth, Alan (Newport E) Plaskitt, James
Hoyle, Lindsay Pollard, Kerry
Hughes, Ms Beverley (Stretford) Pond, Chris
Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N) Pope, Greg
Hurst, Alan Pound, Stephen
Hutton, John Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lewisham E)
Iddon, Dr Brian Prosser, Gwyn
Illsley, Eric Purchase, Ken
Ingram, Rt Hon Adam Quin, Rt Hon Ms Joyce
Jackson, Helen (Hillsborough) Quinn, Lawrie
Jenkins, Brian Rammell, Bill
Rapson, Syd Taylor, Rt Hon Mrs Ann (Dewsbury)
Raynsford, Nick
Reed, Andrew (Loughborough) Taylor, Ms Dari (Stockton S)
Roche, Mrs Barbara Taylor, David (NW Leics)
Rooker, Rt Hon Jeff Taylor, John M (Solihull)
Rooney, Terry Thomas, Gareth R (Harrow W)
Ross, Ernie (Dundee W) Timms, Stephen
Rowlands, Ted Tipping, Paddy
Ruane, Chris Todd, Mark
Russell, Ms Christine (Chester) Touhig, Don
Ryan, Ms Joan Trickett, Jon
Salter, Martin Turner, Dennis (Wolverh'ton SE)
Sawford, Phil Turner, Dr Desmond (Kemptown)
Sedgemore, Brian Turner, Neil (Wigan)
Shaw, Jonathan Twigg, Stephen (Enfield)
Singh, Marsha Tynan, Bill
Smith, Rt Hon Andrew (Oxford E) Walley, Ms Joan
Smith, Angela (Basildon) Ward, Ms Claire
Smrth, Miss Geraldine (Morecambe & Lunesdale) Watts, David
White, Brian
Smith, John (Glamorgan) Williams, Rt Hon Alan (Swansea W)
Soley, Clive
Squire, Ms Rachel Williams, Alan W (E Carmarthen)
Starkey, Dr Phyllis Williams, Mrs Betty (Conwy)
Steinberg, Gerry Winterton, Ms Rosie (Doncaster C)
Stewart, David (Inverness E) 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 Wyatt, Derek
Stringer, Graham Tellers for the Noes:
Stuart, Ms Gisela Mr. Mike Hall and
Sutcliffe, Gerry Mr. David Jamieson.

Question accordingly negatived.

Amendment proposed: No. 193, in page 1, line 9, leave out 'or property'.—[Mr. Simon Hughes.]

Question put, That the amendment be made:—

The House divided: Ayes 41, Noes 249.

Division No. 112] [11.19 pm
Allan, Richard Llwyd, Elfyn
Ashdown, Rt Hon Paddy Maclennan, Rt Hon Robert
Baker, Norman Michie, Mrs Ray (Argyll & Bute)
Ballard, Jackie Moore, Michael
Beith, Rt Hon A J Morgan, Alasdair (Galloway)
Breed, Colin Oaten, Mark
Bruce, Malcolm (Gordon) Öpik, Lembit
Burnett, John Rendel, David
Burstow, Paul Russell, Bob (Colchester)
Campbell, Rt Hon Menzies (NE Fife) Smith, Sir Robert (W Ab'd'ns)
Stunell, Andrew
Chidgey, David Taylor, Matthew (Truro)
Cotter, Brian Thomas, Simon (Ceredigion)
Davey, Edward (Kingston) Tonge, Dr Jenny
Fearn, Ronnie Tyler, Paul
Foster, Don (Bath) Wallace, James
George, Andrew (St Ives) Webb, Steve
Hancock, Mike Willis, Phil
Harris, Dr Evan Wise, Audrey
Heath, David (Somerton & Frome)
Hogg, Rt Hon Douglas Tellers for the Ayes:
Hughes, Simon (Southward N) Mr. Adrian Sanders and
Livsey, Richard Mr. Tom Brake.
Ainger, Nick Armstrong, Rt Hon Ms Hilary
Ainsworth, Robert (Cov'try NE) Atkins, Charlotte
Allen, Graham Austin, John
Anderson, Donald (Swansea E) Banks, Tony
Anderson, Janet (Rossendale) Barnes, Harry
Beard, Nigel Hamilton, Fabian (Leeds NE)
Beckett, Rt Hon Mrs Margaret Hanson, David
Beggs, Roy Heal, Mrs Sylvia
Benn, Hilary (Leeds C) Healey, John
Bennett, Andrew F Hepburn, Stephen
Benton, Joe Heppell, John
Bermingham, Gerald Hill, Keith
Berry, Roger Hinchliffe, David
Betts, Clive Hodge, Ms Margaret
Blackman, Liz Hope, Phil
Blears, Ms Hazel Howarth, Alan (Newport E)
Boateng, Rt Hon Paul Hoyle, Lindsay
Borrow, David Hughes, Ms Beverley (Stretford)
Bradley, Keith (Withington) Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)
Bradshaw, Ben Hurst, Alan
Browne, Desmond Hutton, John
Burden, Richard Iddon, Dr Brian
Burgon, Colin Illsley, Eric
Butler, Mrs Christine Ingram, Rt Hon Adam
Campbell, Alan (Tynemouth) Jackson, Helen (Hillsborough)
Campbell-Savours, Dale Jenkins, Brian
Cann, Jamie Johnson, Alan (Hull W & Hessle)
Caplin, Ivor Johnson, Miss Melanie (Welwyn Hatfield)
Casale, Roger
Cawsey, Ian Jones, Rt Hon Barry (Alyn)
Chapman, Ben (Wirral S) Jones, Mrs Fiona (Newark)
Clapham, Michael Jones, Helen (Warrington N)
Clark, Dr Lynda (Edinburgh Pentlands) Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C)
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S)
Clark, Paul (Gillingham) Keeble, Ms Sally
Clarke, Charles (Norwich S) Keen, Alan (Feltham & Heston)
Clelland, David Kemp, Fraser
Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey Kennedy, Jane (Wavertree)
Coaker, Vernon Khabra, Piara S
Coffey, Ms Ann Kidney, David
Cohen, Harry Kilfoyle, Peter
Colman, Tony Kumar, Dr Ashok
Connarty, Michael Laxton, Bob
Corston, Jean Lepper, David
Cousins, Jim Leslie, Christopher
Cox, Tom Levitt, Tom
Cranston, Ross Lewis, Ivan (Bury S)
Crausby, David Lewis, Dr Julian (New Forest E)
Cummings, John Lidington, David
Cunningham, Jim (Cov'try S) Linton, Martin
Curtis-Thomas, Mrs Claire Lock, David
Darvill, Keith Love, Andrew
Davey, Valerie (Bristol W) Luff, Peter
Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli) McAvoy, Thomas
Dawson, Hilton McCabe, Steve
Donaldson, Jeffrey McDonagh, Siobhain
Drew, David McFall, John
Eagle, Angela (Wallasey) McGuire, Mrs Anne
Eagle, Maria (L'pool Garston) McIsaac, Shona
Edwards, Huw MacKay, Rt Hon Andrew
Ennis, Jeff Mackinlay, Andrew
Flint, Caroline Mactaggart, Fiona
Flynn, Paul McWalter, Tony
Forsythe, Clifford Maginnis, Ken
Foster, Rt Hon Derek Mahon, Mrs Alice
Foster, Michael J (Worcester) Mallaber, Judy
Gapes, Mike Marsden, Gordon (Blackpool S)
George, Bruce (Walsall S) Marsden, Paul (Shrewsbury)
Gerrard, Neil Maxton, John
Gibson, Dr Ian Meacher, Rt Hon Michael
Gilroy, Mrs Linda Meale, Alan
Godman, Dr Norman A Merron, Gillian
Godsiff, Roger Miller, Andrew
Goggins, Paul Moffatt, Laura
Golding, Mrs Llin Moonie, Dr Lewis
Gordon, Mrs Eileen Moran, Ms Margaret
Griffiths, Jane (Reading E) Morgan, Ms Julie (Cardiff N)
Griffiths, Win (Bridgend) Morley, Elliot
Grogan, John Morris, Rt Hon Ms Estelle (B'ham Yardley)
Hall, Mike (Weaver Vale)
Hall, Patrick (Bedford) Mountford, Kali
Murphy, Denis (Wansbeck) Soley, Clive
Murphy, Rt Hon Paul (Torfaen) Squire, Ms Rachel
Naysmith, Dr Doug Starkey, Dr Phyllis
O'Brien, Bill (Normanton) Steinberg, Gerry
O'Brien, Mike (N Warks) Stewart, David (Inverness E)
O'Hara, Eddie Stinchcombe, Paul
Olner, Bill Stoate, Dr Howard
O'Neill, Martin Strang, Rt Hon Dr Gavin
Organ, Mrs Diana Straw, Rt Hon Jack
Pearson, Ian Stringer, Graham
Pendry, Tom Stuart, Ms Gisela
Pickthall, Colin Sutcliffe, Gerry
Pike, Peter L Taylor, Rt Hon Mrs Ann (Dewsbury)
Plaskitt, James
Pollard, Kerry Taylor, Ms Dari (Stockton S)
Pond, Chris Taylor, David (NW Leics)
Pope, Greg Thomas, Gareth R (Harrow W)
Pound, Stephen Thompson, William
Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lewisham E) Timms, Stephen
Prosser, Gwyn Tipping, Paddy
Purchase, Ken Todd, Mark
Quin, Rt Hon Ms Joyce Touhig, Don
Quinn, Lawrie Trickett, Jon
Rammell, Bill Turner, Dennis (Wolverh'ton SE)
Rapson, Syd Turner, Dr Desmond (Kemptown)
Raynsford, Nick Turner, Neil (Wigan)
Reed, Andrew (Loughborough) Twigg, Stephen (Enfield)
Robinson, Peter (Belfast E) Tynan, Bill
Roche, Mrs Barbara Vis, Dr Rudi
Rooker, Rt Hon Jeff Walley, Ms Joan
Rooney, Terry Ward, Ms Claire
Ross, Ernie (Dundee W) Watts, David
Ross, William (E Lond'y) White, Brian
Rowlands, Ted Wilkinson, John
Ruane, Chris Williams, Rt Hon Alan (Swansea W)
Russell, Ms Christine (Chester) Williams, Alan W (E Carmarthen)
Ryan, Ms Joan Williams, Mrs Betty (Conwy)
Salter, Martin Wilshire, David
Sawford, Phil Winnick, David
Sedgemore, Brian Winterton, Ms Rosie (Doncaster C)
Shaw, Jonathan Woolas, Phil
Singh, Marsha Worthington, Tony
Smith, Rt Hon Andrew (Oxford E) Wright, Anthony D (Gt Yarmouth)
Smith, Angela (Basildon) Wyatt, Derek
Smith, Miss Geraldine (Morecambe & Lunesdale)
Tellers for the Noes:
Smith, John (Glamorgan) Mr. Jim Dowd and
Smyth, Rev Martin (Belfast S) Mr. David Jamieson.

Question accordingly negatived.

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