HC Deb 12 December 2001 vol 376 cc894-5

Lords amendments considered.

7.5 pm

Madam Deputy Speaker (Sylvia Heal)

I must draw the attention of the House to the fact that privilege is involved in Lords amendment No. 43, which is to be considered today. If the House agrees to this Lords amendment, I shall ensure that the appropriate entry is made in the Journal.

Simon Hughes (Southwark, North and Bermondsey)

On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. For the convenience of the House, it would be helpful, given that we have groups of Government motions and amendments from the other place, if you could tell us what will happen when we reach each of the cut-off deadlines, in terms of what could be voted on, what must be voted on, what will be taken separately and what will be taken together. That would spare us the confusion that we, not surprisingly, got into last week, when we got into slightly difficult procedural areas.

Madam Deputy Speaker

I think that there could be quite an involved answer to the hon. Gentleman's question. May I suggest that he confers with the Clerk at the Table, so that we can proceed with the business of the day?

Jeremy Corbyn (Islington, North)

Further to that point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. I recognise your advice to the hon. Member for Southwark, North and Bermondsey (Simon Hughes) to go and talk to the Clerk, but may their conversation be broadcast to the rest of us, so that we can have some understanding of exactly what voting there is to be and when, and what we are voting on?

The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. David Blunkett)

Further to that point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. I might be able to help here. I hope that there is consensus on being able to vote on each collective part of the Bill as returned to us from the House of Lords, so that, on the cut-off points, we are able to vote on the substantive main amendment with those taken with it—so that there is an understanding of the terms in which we are doing that—rather than spend all the time having to vote on individual items. We would be very happy to accommodate that with all Members of the House.

Madam Deputy Speaker

All motions to disagree and Lords amendments will be voted on separately

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

On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. I think that you might just have answered my point of order. However, although I am sure that the Home Secretary was trying to be helpful to the House, it is perhaps a failing on my part that I did not understand exactly what he was saying.

Madam Deputy Speaker

Could I perhaps clarify my response? All motions to agree will be taken together, and amendments to Lords amendments will be taken separately. Motions to disagree will be taken separately as well.

Jeremy Corbyn

On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. I understand the advice that you have just given to the House. Are those votes going to be taken at the conclusion of each section, or are we going to have a mammoth voting session at midnight?

Madam Deputy Speaker

Under the programme motion that was agreed, you will see that there are set times for those votes to be taken.

Mr. Fisher

On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. So far as I can see, that means that there are potentially at least seven votes in the first section, which could take at least an hour and a half. We have only an hour and a quarter to debate the whole of the next section.

Madam Deputy Speaker

May I remind the hon. Gentleman that that is a consequence of the programme motion that was agreed to?

Simon Hughes

On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. This is my last point of order. I am trying to be helpful to the House in responding to the Home Secretary's helpful intervention. Certainly, those on our Benches—and I think that I am right in saying the Conservatives, too—would seek to test the opinion of the House on an issue at the beginning of a group, rather than detain the House by voting on all the subsequent matters. We will choose—I hope with the compliance, as it were, of the Government—the substantive main point, and seek to divide on it, and then move on to the next section.

Madam Deputy Speaker

I thank the hon. Gentleman for that.

Mr. Oliver Letwin (West Dorset)

On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. I rise just to confirm that that is also our intention.

Mr. Blunkett

On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. I had better confirm that that is my understanding as well.

Madam Deputy Speaker

I think that we are now all in agreement.

  1. Clause 17
    1. cc895-911
    2. EXTENSION OF EXISTING DISCLOSURE POWERS 10,882 words, 1 division
  2. Clause 21
    1. cc911-29
  3. Clause 39
    1. cc929-59
    2. RELIGIOUS HATRED OFFENCES 16,153 words, 2 divisions
  4. Clause 11
    1. cc959-67
    3. c967
    5. cc967-8
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