HC Deb 25 February 2003 vol 400 cc219-24

6A(1) A person is not to hold a Channel 5 licence if—

  1. (a) he runs a national newspaper which for the time being has a national market share of 20 per cent. or more; or
  2. (b) he runs national newspapers which for the time being together have a national market share of 20 per cent. or more.

(2) For the purposes of this paragraph, each of the following shall be treated as holding a Channel 5 licence—

  1. the actual licence holder; and
  2. every person connected with the actual licence holder.

(3) The provisions of paragraphs 2 to 4 of this Schedule shall apply for the purposes of this Part of this Schedule insofar as they relate to national newspapers as if a Channel 5 licence were a licence to provide a Channel 3 service.'.

No. 115, in page 429, line 33, [Schedule 14], leave out 'any provision' and insert 'Parts 3 or 4'.

No. 13, in page 451, line 33 [Schedule 15], leave out subparagraph (4) and insert—

'(4) For paragraph 1(2) and (3) of Part 2, there shall be substituted— (2) Subparagraph (1) shall apply in relation to any Broadcasting Act licence other than a licence to provide a Channel 3 service and a Channel 5 licence as if paragraphs (a) and (b) (and the reference to those paragraphs in paragraph (i)) were omitted.".'.

No. 14, in page 550 [Schedule 19], leave out lines 3 to 5.

No. 15, in page 550, line 6 [Schedule 19], leave out '(2) and'.

Mr. Greenway

New clause 13 seeks to clarify the meaning of control for the purposes of schedule 2 to the 1990 Act, which contains the provisions restricting cross-media ownership, and for the purposes of clauses 339 to 342, which introduce new powers for Ofcom where there is a change in control of a Channel 3 or Channel 5 licence holder. So many important licensing issues depend on what is meant by control that it cannot be right to introduce uncertainty into its meaning now. We are, after all, a long way down the path of development of the law in this area. We should have learned enough to be clear and certain in any alteration that we make.

The new clause is proposed as an alternative to clause 347, which, for the benefit of hon. Members who were not on the Committee, introduces the concept that a holding of 20 per cent. of equity or voting power is, of itself, evidence of control. That clearly is not logical or sensible. If enacted, it would introduce considerable uncertainty into this important area of media law. The presumption is rebuttable, but we all know how difficult it is to prove a negative. The 20 per cent. participant will, in many cases, be able to show that he does not control the company only by showing that another person does. However, there is no reason why he should have the necessary information to prove that another person has control. How would he know? The Government, in their response in Committee, did not justify the change. The Minister suggested that the reason for the change was that a 20 per cent. holding was the level at which questions started to be asked. We entirely agree with that, but it is a quantum leap from that position to the proposition that a person with a 20 per cent. holding should be deemed to be a controller unless he can show that he is not.

The hon. Member for Sunderland, South (Mr. Mullin) made an impassioned plea on the need for more time to debate these matters. He knows about the criminal law; if we were dealing with a criminal offence, the Government would be the first to agree that it would be quite wrong to move from saying that someone is suspected of committing a crime to saying that he is guilty unless he can show that he is not. That is the philosophy that underpins clause 347. That is the effect that it will have.

New clause 13 would change things so that a person would be deemed to have control only if that person does, in fact, have control—whether or not the control is exercised directly or indirectly, and whether or not it is exercised consistently. That would be so whatever the level of shareholding, but there is no chance that the licence-holding restrictions would hit someone who did not have control.

I want to make it clear to the Minister that what we are seeking to say is not that a 20 per cent. holding can never constitute control, but that such a holding does not automatically constitute control. Indeed, the new clause would still allow for lower percentages than even 20 per cent. to constitute control, but real control, not a mythical control that can never exist, would be considered under our scheme.

6.45 pm

The new clause does not include the changes proposed in clause 347(1). We are still not sure what those proposals are intended to achieve—no clear explanation was given in Committee—but they appear to add to the uncertainty that we are trying to remove. After all, if a person is to be judged according to whether he can get his own wishes carried out, he will be so judged whether or not he actually does that. In so far as clause 347(1) is an attempt to extend the definition of control to cases of limited control, it clearly adds to the uncertainty.

What is meant by the word "significant"? What will happen if individuals take a genuine view that something is not significant, but Ofcom takes the view that it is significant? For example, finance directors can determine many significant financial dealings without generally being thought to control the company. Most executive directors make executive decisions of some importance. Are all those directors to be considered as controllers now?

Any director with specific managerial responsibilities is likely to be able to get the company to carry out his wishes so far as they relate to those responsibilities, but can that director be described, in all seriousness, as controlling the company just because he has that kind of influence? We think not. The proposals in clause 347(1) appear to extend the notion of control to almost anyone with any influence. The Government need to give much more information to justify those proposals.

The final part of the new clause—subsection (5)—would move what is now subsection (5)(1) of part 1 of schedule 2 to the Broadcasting Act 1990 into part 2 of that schedule. That is intended to clarify the meaning of subsection (5)(1), which, if left where it is, appears at first sight to have a much broader application.

I now turn to amendment No. 184, which relates to the ownership of ITN by ITV. Colleagues will know that the 1990 legislation introduced the requirement for a majority shareholding in ITN not to be owned by ITV companies. As I made clear in Committee, I opposed those measures in the 1990 legislation against my own Government from the Back Benches, and the consequences that I predicted, chief among which was reduced investment by ITV in ITN, have come true. We can see no logical argument as to why ITV, or Channel 3, should not own its own news services in precisely the way that the BBC does.

The Minister will know that I teased him in Committee by suggesting that perhaps he might like to ring up Mr. Greg Dyke and say that, in future, BBC news will be provided by someone else. That is not a case of BBC bashing; on the contrary, I am simply asking why, if the channel funded by public money is allowed to own its news provider, a commercial channel, which has no public money and pays money into the Treasury, is not.

The changes in the 1990 legislation were intended to give ITN access to increased investment in news programming, but the opposite is the case, as ITN has to bid competitively on price with other news providers and, in the latest competitive round, against Sky News. That drives down the price that ITV has to pay to ITN, thereby reducing investment. The result is that the investment value of the ITN contract from ITV went down from £80 million to just £38.5 million. In consequence, the value of non-ITV majority ownership is also undermined. So we propose in amendment No. 184 that we should sweep away the provisions in the 1990 Act to require a majority shareholding from non-Channel 3 companies.

I want to remind Labour Members, should we have the opportunity to vote on this matter, of what happened when it was discussed in the 1990 Committee. All the spokespersons of the then Labour Opposition spoke generally against the provisions, including the current Secretary of State for Transport and several prominent Back Benchers, as did the Liberal Democrats and Plaid Cymru spokespersons. The only two Conservative Members who were able to speak in favour of the proposal were Mr. David Mellor and Mrs. Edwina Currie. Not only will Labour Members therefore be in extraordinary company if they continue to support the proposal but, if they stick with it, the lesson is that they will lose their seat at the next election, although they will have a career in radio—

Mr. Andrew Miller (Ellesmere Port and Neston)

Egg on their face!

Mr. Greenway

As the hon. Gentleman says from a sedentary position, they could get egg on their face. There are many more jokes that could be made.

In all seriousness, ITN itself wants the system scrapped—it is not just ITV Channel 3 companies saying that they would prefer to own their news provider. ITN can see that the time to reverse the proposal has come. Even if the nominated news provider system is retained, which is dealt with in another range of amendments and new clauses that we are unlikely to reach, amendment No. 184, which I commend to the House, at least scraps the nonsense of having to have majority shareholders other than those from ITV companies.

Finally, I come to amendment No. 179, which deals with an issue that I am sure will be familiar to every right hon. and hon. Member in the Chamber this evening: the vexed question of the existing restrictions on ownership of broadcast channels applying to religious organisations. I am sure that every Member present has received representations on the matter, and the Opposition have believed for some time that that unjustified discrimination should end. The amendment provides an opportunity for the Government to signal that they agree.

Andrew Selous (South-West Bedfordshire)

I am grateful to my hon. Friend—and to other hon. Friends on the Front Bench—for tabling the amendment. I congratulate him on supporting the removal of broadcasting disqualifications for religious bodies. Does he agree that if amendment No. 170 is defeated tonight, the House should have a further opportunity on Report to discuss amendment No. 86 to clause 4? That will allow the supposed reasons for the disqualification of religious broadcasters to be debated in the House. Furthermore, does he agree that it is out of order that religious broadcasters are still disqualified from using eight different types of licence under the Bill as it stands?

Mr. Greenway

I am grateful to my hon. Friend. I believe that he is right—subject to your selection of amendments for the second day of Report, Mr. Speaker—that we may have an opportunity to consider this matter again. As we are almost out of time, other hon. Members who might have wanted to contribute on this matter may wish to take that opportunity. My hon. Friend is also right that there are several broadcast stations that religious organisations are prohibited from owning. We are in danger of dismissing the arguments of religious organisations, so the Government should take a much more realistic view of the requests of those organisations. They are not asking to be awarded licences; they are asking to have the opportunity to apply for licences and to make their case in the same way as everyone else.

We understand that the Centre for Justice and Liberty has expressed gratitude to the Government for allowing religious organisations to apply for digital programme services. However, that is not the request of such organisations. Instead of having to apply under exceptional determinations while still being disqualified, why cannot the religious disqualification be removed so that religious organisations can apply for licences on a level playing field with other citizens and secular competitors? That is what amendment No. 179 seeks to achieve.

The religious organisations ask why they cannot have the same rights in our communications and broadcasting law that are proposed for citizens of non-EU member states, such as Mexico, the USA and Canada. That is a fair point. Why is a profession entered into by people as a vocation to serve the community rewarded by the Government with a legal disqualification? That is what happens for practitioners of this profession. Disqualification means, at the starting point in law, that religious organisations do not have the right to apply to broadcast.

This issue has been long debated and the arguments are not unlike those that my hon. Friends have made in respect of the BBC audit. The matter has been under discussion for a long time, and we strongly believe that this part of our broadcasting law is no longer justified. The time has come for the Government to grasp the issue, so I commend amendment No. 179 to the House.

Mr. Mullin

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I wonder whether you can assist me. There are relating major issues in the Bill to ownership—an issue on which we were just about to touch—but they have not been discussed either on Report or in Committee. However, a further day has been allocated for consideration of the Bill, so would it be possible to amend the timetable so that debate on the amendments dealing with ownership could be carried over?

Mr. Speaker

Order.I interrupt the hon. Gentleman to say to him that I am bound by the programme motion to which the House agreed. How we proceed is a matter for the House. I am therefore bound by the programme motion.

Mr. Greenway

Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. May I remind the hon. Member for Sunderland, South (Mr. Mullin) and the House that the programme motion originally agreed by the House allowed for only one day of debate and—

Mr. Speaker

Order. We are not going into that, because I must allow the new clause that the hon. Gentleman has moved to be debated.

Mr. Mullin

Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker

Order. I am not going to allow any further points of order. Does the Minister wish to speak to the new clause? No. I call the hon. Member for Great Grimsby (Mr. Mitchell).

Mr. Austin Mitchell (Great Grimsby)

In the minute or so that remains, may I remind the House that the question of ownership has not been debated? Amendments Nos. 12 and 2 in this group deal with that very issue. They would prohibit American takeovers that would drive down the market and would prevent people and organisations, such as Murdoch and Sky, from taking over Channel 5 and changing the whole ecology of the broadcasting system by creating a monster competitor that is largely unregulated. That is the issue that we should be discussing and I am grateful to you, Mr. Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to mention it if only briefly.

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

The House divided: Ayes 138, Noes 367.

Division No. 94] 6:59 pm AYES
Ainsworth, Peter(E Surrey) Conway, Derek
Amess, David Cormack, Sir Patrick
Ancram, rh Michael Cran, James(Beverley)
Arbuthnot, rh James Curry, rh David
Atkinson, David(Bour'mth E) Davis, rh David(Haltemprice & Howden)
Bacon, Richard
Baldry, Tony Djanogly, Jonathan
Barker, Gregory Donaldson, Jeffrey M.
Baron, John(Billericay) Dorrell, rh Stephen
Bellingham, Henry Duncan, Peter(Galloway)
Bercow, John Duncan Smith, rh Iain
Beresford, Sir Paul Evans, Nigel
Blunt, Crispin Fabricant, Michael
Bottomley, Peter(Worthing W) Fallon, Michael
Brady, Graham Field, Mark(Cities of London & Westminster)
Brazier, Julian
Browning, Mrs Angela Flight, Howard
Burns, Simon Flook, Adrian
Burnside, David Forth, rh Eric
Burt, Alistair Fox, Dr. Liam
Cameron, David Francois, Mark
Cash, William Gibb, Nick(Bognor Regis)
Chapman, Sir Sydney(Chipping Barnet) Goodman, Paul
Green, Damian(Ashford)
Chope, Christopher Greenway, John
Clappison, James Gummer, rh John
Clarke, rh Kenneth(Rushcliffe) Hayes, John(S Holland)
Collins, Tim Heald, Oliver
Heathcoat-Amory, rh David Robertson, Hugh(Faversham & M-Kent)
Hendry, Charles
Hogg, rh Douglas Robinson, Mrs Iris(Strangford)
Horam, John(Orpington) Roe, Mrs Marion
Howard, rh Michael Rosindell, Andrew
Howarth, Gerald(Aldershot) Ruffley, David
Hunter, Andrew Selous, Andrew
Jack, rh Michael Shepherd, Richard
Jackson, Robert(Wantage) Simmonds, Mark
Jenkin, Bernard Simpson, Keith(M-Norfolk)
Johnson, Boris(Henley) Soames, Nicholas
Key, Robert(Salisbury) Spelman, Mrs Caroline
Kirkbride, Miss Julie Spicer, Sir Michael
Knight, rh Greg(E Yorkshire) Spink, Bob(Castle Point)
Laing, Mrs Eleanor Spring, Richard
Lansley, Andrew Stanley, rh Sir John
Leigh, Edward Steen, Anthony
Lewis, Dr. Julian(New Forest E) Streeter, Gary
Liddell-Grainger, Ian Swayne, Desmond
Lidington, David Syms, Robert
Lilley, rh Peter Tapsell, Sir Peter
Loughton, Tim Taylor, Ian(Esher)
Luff, Peter(M-Worcs) Taylor, John(Solihull)
Mcintosh, Miss Anne Taylor, Sir Teddy
Mackay, rh Andrew Tredinnick, David
Maclean, rh David Turner, Andrew(Isle of Wight)
McLoughlin, Patrick Tyrie, Andrew
Malins, Humfrey Viggers, Peter
Maples, John Walter, Robert
Mawhinney, rh Sir Brian Waterson, Nigel
Mercer, Patrick Watkinson, Angela
Mitchell, Andrew(Sutton Coldfield) Whittingdale, John
Widdecombe, rh Miss Ann
Moss, Malcolm Wiggin, Bill
Murrison, Dr. Andrew Wilkinson, John
O'Brien, Stephen(Eddisbury) Willetts, David
Osborne, George(Tatton) Wilshire, David
Ottaway, Richard Winterton, Ann(Congleton)
Page, Richard Winterton, Sir Nicholas(Macclesfield)
Paice, James
Paterson, Owen Yeo, Tim(S Suffolk)
Pickles, Eric Young, rh Sir George
Portillo, rh Michael
Randall, John Tellers for the Ayes:
Redwood, rh John Mr. Mark Hoban and
Robathan, Andrew Mr. Laurence Robertson
Ainsworth, Bob(Cov'try NE) Bradley, Peter(The Wrekin)
Alexander, Douglas Bradshaw, Ben
Allan, Richard Brake, Tom(Carshalton)
Allen, Graham Breed, Colin
Anderson, rh Donald(Swansea E) Brennan, Kevin
Anderson, Janet(Rossendale & Darwen) Brooke, Mrs Annette L.
Brown, rh Nicholas(Newcastle E Wallsend)
Armstrong, rh Ms Hilary
Atherton, Ms Candy Brown, Russell(Dumfries)
Austin, John Bruce, Malcolm
Baird, Vera Bryant, Chris
Baker, Norman Buck, Ms Karen
Banks, Tony Burden, Richard
Barrett, John Burgon, Colin
Barron, rh Kevin Burnett, John
Bayley, Hugh Burnham, Andy
Beard, Nigel Burstow, Paul
Beckett, rh Margaret Byers, rh Stephen
Begg, Miss Anne Cable, Dr. Vincent
Beith, rh A. J. Cairns, David
Benn, Hilary Calton, Mrs Patsy
Benton, Joe(Bootle) Campbell, Ronnie(Blyth V)
Berry, Roger Caplin, Ivor
Best, Harold Carmichael, Alistair
Blackman, Liz Caton, Martin
Blizzard, Bob Cawsey, Ian(Brigg)
Borrow, David Challen, Colin
Bradley, rh Keith(Withington) Chapman, Ben(Wirral S)
Chaytor, David Hall, Mike(Weaver Vale)
Chidgey, David Hall, Patrick(Bedford)
Clapham, Michael Hamilton, Fabian(Leeds NE)
Clark, Paul(Gillingham) Hancock, Mike
Clarke, rh Tom(Coatbridge & Chryston) Hanson, David
Harris, Dr. Evan(Oxford W & Abingdon)
Clelland, David
Coaker, Vernon Harris, Tom(Glasgow Cathcart)
Coffey, Ms Ann Harvey, Nick
Coleman, Iain Havard, Dai(Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney)
Colman, Tony
Connarty, Michael Healey, John
Cook, Frank(Stockton N) Heath, David
Cook, rh Robin(Livingston) Henderson, Doug(Newcastle N)
Cotter, Brian Henderson, Ivan(Harwich)
Cousins, Jim Hendrick, Mark
Cox, Tom(Tooting) Hepburn, Stephen
Cruddas, Jon Heppell, John
Cryer, John(Hornchurch) Hesford, Stephen
Cummings, John Heyes, David
Cunningham, rh Dr. Jack(Copeland) Hill, Keith(Streatham)
Hoey, Kate(Vauxhall)
Cunningham, Jim(Coventry S) Holmes, Paul
Cunningham, Tony(Workington) Hood, Jimmy(Clydesdale)
Dalyell, Tam Hopkins, Kelvin
Darling, rh Alistair Howarth, rh Alan(Newport E)
Davey, Valerie(Bristol W) Howarth, George(Knowsley N & Sefton E)
David, Wayne
Davies, rh Denzil(Llanelli) Howells, Dr. Kim
Davies, Geraint(Croydon C) Hoyle, Lindsay
Davis, rh Terry(B'ham Hodge H) Hughes, Beverley(Stretford & Urmston)
Dawson, Hilton
Dean, Mrs Janet Hughes, Kevin(Doncaster N)
Dobbin, Jim(Heywood) Hughes, Simon(Southwark N)
Donohoe, Brian H. Humble, Mrs Joan
Doran, Frank Hurst, Alan(Braintree)
Doughty, Sue Hutton, rh John
Dowd, Jim(Lewisham W) Illsley, Eric
Drown, Ms Julia Ingram, rh Adam
Eagle, Angela(Wallasey) Irranca-Davies, Huw
Eagle, Maria(L'pool Garston) Jackson, Glenda(Hampstead & Highgate)
Edwards, Huw
Efford, Clive Jackson, Helen(Hillsborough)
Ellman, Mrs Louise Jamieson, David
Ennis, Jeff(Barnsley E) Jenkins, Brian
Ewing, Annabelle Johnson, Alan(Hull W)
Farrelly, Paul Jones, Jon Owen(Cardiff C)
Field, rh Frank(Birkenhead) Jones, Kevan(N Durham)
Fisher, Mark Jones, Lynne(Selly Oak)
Fitzpatrick, Jim Jones, Martyn(Clwyd S)
Fitzsimons, Mrs Lorna Kaufman, rh Gerald
Flint, Caroline Keeble, Ms Sally
Flynn, Paul(Newport W) Keen, Alan(Feltham)
Follett, Barbara Keen, Ann(Brentford)
Foster, rh Derek Keetch, Paul
Foster, Don(Bath) Kemp, Fraser
Foster, Michael(Worcester) Kennedy, rh Charles(Ross Skye & Inverness)
Foster, Michael Jabez(Hastings & Rye)
Khabra, Piara S.
Foulkes, rh George Kidney, David
Francis, Dr. Hywel Kilfoyle, Peter
Galloway, George King, Andy(Rugby)
Gardiner, Barry King, Ms Oona(Bethnal Green & Bow)
George, Andrew(St. Ives)
George, rh Bruce(Walsall S) Kirkwood, Sir Archy
Gerrard, Neil Knight, Jim(S Dorset)
Gibson, Dr. Ian Kumar, Dr. Ashok
Gidley, Sandra Ladyman, Dr. Stephen
Gilroy, Linda Lamb, Norman
Godsiff, Roger Lammy, David
Green, Matthew(Ludlow) Lawrence, Mrs Jackie
Griffiths, Jane(Reading E) Laws, David(Yeovil)
Griffiths, Nigel(Edinburgh S) Laxton, Bob(Derby N)
Griffiths, Win(Bridgend) Lazarowicz, Mark
Grogan, John Lepper, David
Hain, rh Peter Leslie, Christopher
Levitt, Tom(High Peak) Prentice, Gordon(Pendle)
Lewis, Ivan(Bury S) Price, Adam(E Carmarthen & Dinefwr)
Lewis, Terry(Worsley)
Linton, Martin Primarolo, rh Dawn
Lloyd, Tony(Manchester C) Prosser, Gwyn
Llwyd, Elfyn Pugh, Dr. John
Love, Andrew Purchase, Ken
Lucas, Ian(Wrexham) Purnell, James
Luke, Iain(Dundee E) Quin, rh Joyce
Lyons, John(Strathkelvin) Rapson, Syd(Portsmouth N)
McAvoy, Thomas Raynsford, rh Nick
McCafferty, Chris Reed, Andy(Loughborough)
McDonagh, Siobhain Reid, Alan(Argyll & Bute)
MacDonald, Calum Rendel, David
McDonnell, John Robertson, John(Glasgow Anniesland)
MacDougall, John
McFall, John Robinson, Geoffrey(Coventry NW)
McGuire, Mrs Anne
McIsaac, Shona Roche, Mrs Barbara
McKechin, Ann Ross, Ernie(Dundee W)
McKenna, Rosemary Roy, Frank(Motherwell)
Mackinlay, Andrew Ruane, Chris
McNamara, Kevin Russell, Bob(Colchester)
MacShane, Denis Russell, Ms Christine(City of Chester)
McWalter, Tony
Mahmood, Khalid Ryan, Joan(Enfield N)
Mahon, Mrs Alice Salmond, Alex
Mallaber, Judy Salter, Martin
Mandelson, rh Peter Sanders, Adrian
Mann, John(Bassetlaw) Sarwar, Mohammad
Marris, Rob(Wolverh'ton SW) Savidge, Malcolm
Marsden, Paul(Shrewsbury & Atcham) Sawford, Phil
Sedgemore, Brian
Marshall, David(Glasgow Shettleston) Shaw, Jonathan
Sheerman, Barry
Marshall, Jim(Leicester S) Sheridan, Jim
Marshall-Andrews, Robert Shipley, Ms Debra
Martlew, Eric Short, rh Clare
Meale, Alan(Mansfield) Simon, Siôn(B'ham Erdington)
Merron, Gillian Simpson, Alan(Nottingham S)
Michael, rh Alun Singh, Marsha
Miliband, David Skinner, Dennis
Miller, Andrew Smith, rh Andrew(Oxford E)
Mitchell, Austin(Gt Grimsby) Smith, rh Chris(Islington S & Finsbury)
Moffatt, Laura
Mole, Chris Smith, Geraldine(Morecambe & Lunesdale)
Moonie, Dr. Lewis
Moore, Michael Smith, Jacqui(Redditch)
Morgan, Julie Smith, John(Glamorgan)
Morley, Elliot Smith, Llew(Blaenau Gwent)
Mountford, Kali Smith, Sir Robert(W Ab'd'ns & Kincardine)
Mudie, George
Mullin, Chris Southworth, Helen
Munn, Ms Meg Spellar, rh John
Murphy, Denis(Wansbeck) Starkey, Dr. Phyllis
Murphy, Jim(Eastwood) Steinberg, Gerry
Naysmith, Dr. Doug Stevenson, George
Norris, Dan(Wansdyke) Stewart, Ian(Eccles)
Oaten, Mark(Winchester) Stinchcombe, Paul
O'Brien, Mike(N Warks) Strang, rh Dr. Gavin
O'Hara, Edward Straw, rh Jack
Olner, Bill Stringer, Graham
O'Neill, Martin Stunell, Andrew
Öpik, Lembit Sutcliffe, Gerry
Organ, Diana Taylor, David(NW Leics)
Osborne, Sandra(Ayr) Taylor, Matthew(Truro)
Owen, Albert Thomas, Gareth(Clwyd W)
Perham, Linda Thomas, Gareth(Harrow W)
Picking, Anne Thomas, Simon(Ceredigion)
Pickthall, Colin Thurso, John
Pike, Peter(Burnley) Timms, Stephen
Plaskitt, James Tipping, Paddy
Pollard, Kerry Todd, Mark(S Derbyshire)
Pond, Chris(Gravesham) Tonge, Dr. Jenny
Prentice, Ms Bridget(Lewisham E) Trickett, Jon
Truswell, Paul
Turner, Dennis(Wolverh'ton SE) Williams, Betty(Conwy)
Turner, Dr. Desmond(Brighton Kemptown) Williams, Hywel(Caernarfon)
Williams, Roger(Brecon)
Tyler, Paul(N Cornwall) Willis, Phil
Tynan, Bill(Hamilton S) wills. Michael
Vaz, Keith(Leicester E) Wishart, Pete
Vis Dr Rudi Wood, Mike(Batley)
Walley, Ms Joan Woolas, Phil
Ward, Claire Worthington, Tony
Wareing, Robert N. Wright, Anthony D.(Gt Yarmouth)
Watts, David Wright David(Telford)
Webb, Steve(Northavon) Wright Tony(Cannock)
Weir, Michael Younger-Ross, Richard
White, Brian
Whitehead, Dr. Alan Tellers for the Noes:
Wicks, Malcolm Charlotte Atkins and
Williams, rh Alan(Swansea W) Mr. Nick Ainger

Question accordingly negatived.

It being after Seven o'clock, MR. SPEAKERput the Question necessary to dispose of the remaining business to be concluded at that hour, pursuant to Order [10 February].

Remaining Government amendments agreed to.

Bill, as amended in the Standing Committee, to be further considered tomorrow.