HC Deb 30 June 2004 vol 423 cc282-4
Q7. Ms Oona King (Bethnal Green and Bow) (Lab)

On the subject of antisocial behaviour, does the Prime Minister agree with a survey of Tower Hamlets residents that concluded that the key drivers of antisocial behaviour were lack of parental control and drug misuse, and that the key solutions were more police and youth services? We have had more police appointed, so will he tell us what further improvements might be made and what can be done to alter the Cinderella status of youth services, which are important to the future of our young people?

The Prime Minister

I hope that we will be able to ensure that our youth services are put on a stable footing in the long term through the comprehensive spending review, because they are immensely important. My hon. Friend will agree that the new measures on antisocial behaviour are also important. It is important for us to continue to ensure that fixed penalty notices are issued for disorderly behaviour, that we close down drugs dealers' houses and that we place antisocial behaviour orders on people who continually abuse the rights of their local communities. We are tightening up the law for those who are on drugs but refuse to have treatment. I only hope that when new measures are brought before the House, we will for once have the support of the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats in taking them forward.

Mr. Alex Salmond (Banff and Buchan) (SNP)

Will the Prime Minister confirm that in the 1960s the islanders of Diego Garcia were cleared from their island to make way for a military base? In 2000, they won a High Court judgment that established their right to return, but in the past few weeks he has overturned that with an Order in Council because America wants to hang on to the base, perhaps to use it as another Guantanamo Bay. How is any of that compatible with natural justice for the 2,000 islanders and their descendents? How can the Prime Minister pursue a shoulder-to-shoulder relationship with George Bush when he seems to spend most of his time on his knees?

The Prime Minister

First, in respect of Diego Garcia, my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary set out the position in a recent statement. Secondly, there is no question of using Diego Garcia as another Guantanamo Bay and, thirdly, I am sorry that the hon. Gentleman exhibits his usual lack of judgment in thinking it a bad thing for this country be a key ally of the United States of America. That may be something that the Scottish National party resents, but I think that the vast majority of people in this country realise it is an important part of our security.