HC Deb 01 March 2004 vol 418 cc718-24

Tor section 92(3) of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 (c. 41) (appeal from within United Kingdom: person with entry clearance or work permit) substitute— (3) This section also applies to an appeal against refusal of leave to enter the United Kingdom if—

  1. (a) at the time of the refusal the appellant is in the United Kingdom, and
  2. (b) on his arrival in the United Kingdom the appellant had entry clearance.

(3A) But this section does not apply by virtue of subsection (3) if subsection (3B) or (3C) applies to the refusal of leave to enter.

(3B) This subsection applies to a refusal of leave to enter which is a deemed refusal under paragraph 2A(9) of Schedule 2 to the Immigration Act 1971 resulting from cancellation of leave to enter by an immigration officerߞ

  1. (a) under paragraph 2A(8) of that Schedule, and
  2. (b) on the grounds specified in paragraph 2A(2A) of that Schedule.

(3C) This subsection applies to a refusal of leave to enter which specifies that the grounds for refusal are that the leave is sought for a purpose other than that specified in the entry clearance.

(3D) This section also applies to an appeal against refusal of leave to enter the United Kingdom if at the time of the refusal the appellant—

  1. (a) is in the United Kingdom,
  2. (b) has a work permit, and
  3. (c) is any of the following (within the meaning of the British Nationality Act 1981 (c. 61))ߞ
    1. (i) a British overseas territories citizen,
    2. (ii) a British Overseas citizen,
    3. (iii) a British National (Overseas),
    4. (iV) a British protected person, or
    5. (V) a British subject:.ߞ[Mr. Heppell]

Brought up, read the First and Second time, and added to the Bill.

Order for Third Reading read.

Peter Bottomley (Worthing, West) (Con)

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. How long do we have for Third Reading of this important and controversial Bill?

Mr. Speaker

The hon. Gentleman knows the answer to that as well as I do.

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

I beg to move, That the Bill be now read the Third time

I thank my ministerial colleagues from the Home Office and the Department for Constitutional Affairs, the Whips, all members of the Standing Committee and all hon. Members who participated today. The Bill has been properly and adequately considered. Once we got over using silly words, such as "despicable", about clause 7, we had a sensible debate.

I am pleased that we have amended the Bill to include trafficking offences to deal with forced labour, and tackled important subjects such as child slavery. I thank my hon. Friend the Member for Walthamstow (Mr. Gerrard), who does not always agree with me, for his work in Committee in drawing attention to that. i am glad that we could make important changes.

Clause 11 has caused controversy and will cause it in another place. It is a classic example, which shows that had people been more modest in their operation of the law and their approach to their job, they would not have cooked the goose that laid the golden egg. I am talking about lawyers who simply abused the judicial review system by dragging out cases for months and, in some instances, years. That is what happens when those who preach liberalism lead us down the wrong path so that those who try to protect human rights and individual interests find that the system has been so abused that we have to remove the golden thread. The legal aid budget has doubled to £174 million. That is public money that has not gone towards asylum seekers or people in the community but into lawyers' pockets. That is a disgrace that is coming to an end.

9.57 pm
Mr. Malins

The Home Secretary is quick to condemn lawyers, but if he had heard today's debate he would realise that the rule of law is under attack from an illiberal Government. If any of us had been asked to accept that, one day, the Executiveߞthe Government of this country ߞwould be exempt from judicial oversight or scrutiny, we would have been, first, amazed, secondly, angry and thirdly, ashamed.

All the people within this country's jurisdiction should be treated equally under the law. The Government have been universally condemned by their own supporters. Speaker after speaker from the Labour Benches condemned the Government's proposals. Not one hon. Member supported the Government's approach; even the Under-Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs, the hon. Member for Tottenham (Mr. Lammy) was lame in his support.

On Second Reading, Conservative Members said that we wanted the Bill to be improved in Committee, but it has been improved only a little. The Government have made far too few improvements. Lest it be believed that we debate matters sensibly in the House, I stress that the Government tabled 64 amendments and new clauses today. Many aspects of the Bill have simply not been debated in the House of Commons, either in Committee or the Chamber.

Appeals provisions are vital for the freedom of the individual, whether he or she is of our nationality or from abroad. All deserve equal treatment. The Bill remains seriously flawed and we cannot actively support it. We shall try to amend it as best we can in the House of Lords. We hope that the Government will have the sense to permit some form of judicial oversight of the Executive.

The Bill is not only illiberal but grossly unfair to tens of thousands of people. I hope to goodness that I speak for all Conservative Members and most of the Labour party when I say that the Bill needs to be improved in the House of Lords.

Question put, That the Bill be now read the Third time: —

The House divided: Ayes 304, Noes 65.

Division No. 67] [10:00pm
Adams, Irene (Paisley N) Cook, Frank (Stockton N)
Ainsworth, Bob (Cov'try NE) Cook, rh Robin (Livingston)
Alexander, Douglas Cooper, Yvette
Allen, Graham Cranston, Ross
Anderson, rh Donald (Swansea E) Crausby, David
Anderson, Janet (Ftossendale & Cruddas, Jon
Darwen) Cryer, Ann (Keighley)
Armstrong, rh Ms Hilary Cryer, John (Hornchurch)
Atherton, Ms Candy Cummings, John
Atkins, Charlotte Cunningham, rh Dr. Jack
Bailey, Adrian (Copeland)
Baird, Vera Cunningham, Jim (Coventry S)
Barron, rh Kevin Cunningham, Tony (Workington)
Battle, John Curtis-Thomas, Mrs Claire
Bayley, Hugh Dalyell, Tarn
Beard, Nigel Davey, Valerie (Bristol W)
Begg, Miss Anne David, Wayne
Bell, Sir Stuart Davies, Geraint (Croydon C)
Benn, rh Hilary Dean, Mrs Janet
Benton, Joe (Bootle) Dhanda, Parmjit
Berry, Roger Dobbin, Jim (Heywood)
Betts, Clive Dobson, rh Frank
Blackman, Liz Donohoe, Brian H.
Blears, Ms Hazel Doran, Frank
Blizzard, Bob Dowd, Jim (Lewisham W)
Blunkett, rh David Eagle, Maria (L'pool Garston)
Boateng, rh Paul Efford, Clive
Borrow, David Ennis, Jeff (Barnsley E)
Bradley, rh Keith (Withington) Farrelly, Paul
Bradley, Peter (The Wrekin) Field, rh Frank (Birkenhead)
Bradshaw, Ben Fitzpatrick, Jim
Brennan, Kevin Fitzsimons, Mrs Lorna
Brown, rh Nicholas (Newcastle E Flint, Caroline
Wallsend) Flynn, Paul (Newport W)
Brown, Russell (Dumfries) Foster, rh Derek
Browne, Desmond Foster, Michael (Worcester)
Bryant, Chris Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings &
Burden, Richard Rye)
Burgon, Colin Foulkes, rh George
Burnham, Andy Francis, Dr. Hywel
Burnside, David Gapes, Mike (llford S)
Byers, rh Stephen Gardiner, Barry
Caborn, rh Richard George, rh Bruce (Walsall S)
Cairns, David Gibson, Dr. Ian
Campbell, Alan (Tynemouth) Gilroy, Linda
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge) Godsiff, Roger
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V) Goggins, Paul
Casale, Roger Griffiths, Jane (Reading E)
Cawsey, Ian (Brigg) Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)
Challen, Colin Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Chapman, Ben (WirralS) Grogan, John
Chaytor, David Hain, rh Peter
Clark, Mrs Helen (Peterborough) Hall, Mike (Weaver Vale)
Clark, Dr. Lynda (Edinburgh Hamilton, David (Midlothian)
Pentlands) Hamilton, Fabian (Leeds NE)
Clark, Paul (Gillingham) Hanson, David
Clarke, rh Tom (Coatbridge & Harris, Tom (Glasgow Cathcart)
Chryston) Healey, John
Clelland, David Henderson, Doug (Newcastle N)
Coaker, Vernon Henderson, Ivan (Harwich)
Coffey, Ms Ann Hendrick, Mark
Colman, Tony Hepburn, Stephen
Heppell, John Marris, Rob (Wo/verh'ton SW)
Hermon, Lady Marsden, Gordon (Blackpool S)
Hesford, Stephen Marshall, David (Glasgow
Heyes, David Shettleston)
Hood, Jimmy (Clydesdale) Martlew, Eric
Hoon, rh Geoffrey Meale, Alan (Mansfield)
Hope, Phil (Corby) Michael, rh Alun
Howarth, rh Alan (Newport E) Milburn, rh Alan
Howarth, George (Knowsley N & Miliband, David
Sefton E) Miller, Andrew
Hoyle, Lindsay Mitchell, Austin (Gt Grimsby)
Hughes, Beverley (Stretford & Moffatt, Laura
Urmston) Mole, Chris
Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N) Moonie, Dr. Lewis
Humble, Mrs Joan Moran, Margaret
Hurst, Alan (Braintree) Morley, Elliot
Hutton, rh John Morris, rh Estelle
Iddon, Dr. Brian Mountford, Kali
lllsley, Eric Mullin, Chris
Ingram, rh Adam Munn, Ms Meg
Irranca-Davies, Huw Murphy, Denis (Wansbeck)
Jackson, Helen (Hillsborough) Murphy, Jim (Eastwood)
Jamieson, David Naysmith, Dr. Doug
Jenkins, Brian O'Brien, Mike (TV Warks)
Johnson, Alan (Hull W) O'Hara, Edward
Johnson, Miss Melanie (Welwyn Olner, Bill
Hatfield) O'Neill, Martin
Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C) Organ, Diana
Jones, Kevan (TV Durham) Osborne, Sandra (Ayr)
Jones, Martyn (C/wydS) Owen, Albert
Joyce, Eric (Fa/kirk W) Palmer, Dr. Nick
Kaufman, rh Gerald Pearson, Ian
Keeble, Ms Sally Perham, Linda
Keen, Alan (Feltham) Picking, Anne
Kelly, Ruth (Bolton W) Pickthall, Colin
Kemp, Fraser Pike, Peter (Burnley)
Khabra, Piara S. Plaskitt, James
Kidney, David Pollard, Kerry
Kilfoyle, Peter Pond, Chris (Gravesham)
King, Andy (Rugby) Pope, Greg (Hyndburn)
King, Ms Oona (Bethnal Green & Pound, Stephen
Bow) Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lewisham
Knight, Jim (S Dorset) E)
Kumar, Dr. Ashok Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)
Ladyman, Dr. Stephen Primarolo, rh Dawn
Lammy, David Prosser, Gwyn
Lawrence, Mrs Jackie Purchase, Ken
Laxton, Bob (Derby N) Purnell, James
Lazarowicz, Mark Quin, rh Joyce
Lepper, David Quinn, Lawrie
Leslie, Christopher Rapson, Syd (Portsmouth N)
Linton, Martin Raynsford, rh Nick
Love, Andrew Reed, Andy (Loughborough)
Lucas, Ian (Wrexham) Robertson, John (Glasgow
Lyons, John (Strathkelvin) Anniesland)
McAvoy, Thomas Robinson, Geoffrey (Coventry
McCabe, Stephen NW)
McCafferty, Chris Rooney, Terry
McCartney, rh Ian Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)
McDonagh, Siobhain Roy, Frank (Motherwell)
MacDonald, Calum Ruddock, Joan
MacDougall, John Russell, Ms Christine (City of
McGuire, Mrs Anne Chester)
Mclsaac, Shona Ryan, Joan (Enfield N)
McKechin, Ann Salter, Martin
McKenna, Rosemary Savidge, Malcolm
Mackinlay, Andrew Shaw, Jonathan
McNulty, Tony Sheerman, Barry
MacShane, Denis Sheridan, Jim
Mactaggart, Fiona Simon, Sion (B'ham Erdington)
McWalter, Tony Smith, rh Andrew (Oxford E)
McWilliam, John Smith, Angela (Basildon)
Mahmood, Khalid Smith, Geraldine (Morecambe &
Mallaber, Judy Lunesdale)
Mandelson, rh Peter Smith, Jacqui (Redditch)
Mann, John (Bassetlaw) Squire, Rachel
Starkey, Dr. Phyllis Twigg, Stephen (Enfield)
Steinberg, Gerry Tynan, Bill (Hamilton S)
Stewart, David (Inverness E & Vaz, Keith (Leicester E)
Lochaber) Walley, Ms Joan
Stewart, Ian (Eccles) Ward, Claire
Stinchcombe, Paul Watson, Tom (W Bromwich E)
Stoate, Dr. Howard Watts, David
Strang, rh Dr. Gavin White, Brian
Stringer, Graham Whitehead, Dr. Alan
Stuart, Ms Gisela Wicks, Malcolm
Sutcliffe, Gerry Williams, Betty (Conwy)
Tami, Mark (Alyn) Wills, Michael
Taylor, Dari (Stockton S) Winnick, David
Taylor, David (NW Leics) Winterton, Ms Rosie (Doncaster
Thomas, Gareth (Harrow W) C)
Timms, Stephen Woolas, Phil
Tipping, Paddy Worthington, Tony
Todd, Mark (S Derbyshire) Wright, Anthony D. (Gt
Touhig, Don (Islwyn) Yarmouth)
Trickett, Jon Wright, David (Telford)
Truswell, Paul Wright, Tony (Cannock)
Turner, Dennis (Wolverh'ton SE) Wyatt, Derek
Turner, Dr. Desmond (Brighton
Kemptown) Tellers for the Ayes:
Turner, Neil (Wigan) Gillian Merron and
Twigg, Derek (Halton) Mr. Nick Ainger
Allan, Richard Keetch, Paul
Baker, Norman Kirkwood, Sir Archy
Barnes, Harry Lamb, Norman
Barrett, John Laws, David (Yeovil)
Beith, rh A. J. McDonnell, John
Bottomley, Peter (Worthing W) Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)
Brake, Tom (Carshalton) Marshall-Andrews, Robert
Breed, Colin Moore, Michael
Bumeitt, John Oaten, Mark (Winchester)
Burstow, Paul Opik, Lembit
Cable, Dr. Vincent Price, Adam (E Carmarthen &
Carmichael, Alistair Dinefwr)
Chidgey, David Pugh, Dr. John
Corbyn, Jeremy Reid, Alan (Argyll & Bute)
Cotter, Brian Rendel, David
Davey, Edward (Kingston) Russell, Bob (Colchester)
Dawson, Hilton Salmond, Alex
Doughty, Sue Sanders, Adrian
Drew, David (Stroud) Sedgemore, Brian
Ewing, Annabelle Spink, Bob (Castle Point)
Foster, Don (Bath) Stunell, Andrew
Galloway, George Taylor, Dr. Richard (Wyre F)
George, Andrew (St. Ives) Teather, Sarah
Gerrard, Neil Thurso, John
Green, Matthew (Ludlow) Tonge, Dr. Jenny
Hancock, Mike Tyler, Paul (N Cornwall)
Harris, Dr. Evan (Oxford W & Webb, Steve (Northavon)
Abingdon) Weir, Michael
Harvey, Nick Williams, Hywel (Caernarfon)
Heath, David Williams, Roger (Brecon)
Holmes, Paul Willis, Phil
Hopkins, Kelvin Wishart, Pete
Jackson, Glenda (Hampstead &
Highgate) Tellers for the Noes:
Jones, Lynne (Selly Oak) Richard Younger-Ross and
Jones, Nigel (Cheltenham) Mrs. Annette L. Brooke

Question accordingly agreed to.

Mr. Eric Forth (Bromley and Chislehurst) (Con)

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. If one of the Tellers standing before the Mace to announce the vote was not the same Teller who counted the Division, is the Division still valid? Is there any precedent for what happened, and are you preparedߞif not now, after a period of reflectionߞto consider whether the Third Reading Division was valid, owing to the fact that the hon. Member for Somerton and Frome (Mr. Heath) sprang forward from the Liberal Democrat Front Bench, even though he was not a Teller, and purported to announce the vote? It is a serious matter, Mr. Speaker. The House should take such matters seriously; and I believe that we could have established a very dangerous precedent. I hope that you will reflect on the issue, Mr. Speaker, before you tell the House that the Division was valid and substantive.

Mr. Andrew Stunell (Hazel Grove) (LD)

Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. No discourtesy was intended to the House, and I hope that you will feel that what happened was, in all the circumstances, proper and in order.

Mr. Edward Leigh (Gainsborough) (Con)


Mr. Speaker

Order. Let me respond to the points of order, after which the hon. Member for Gainsborough (Mr. Leigh) may not need to raise another one.

I felt that it was tidy to have four Tellers to report to the House. [Interruption.] The right hon. Member for Bromley and Chislehurst (Mr. Forth) has asked me a question, and I am in the process of explaining what is in order. I invited the hon. Member for Somerton and Frome (Mr. Heath) to fill the space. The House has to move quickly and the Speaker has to take snap decisions. My snap decision will go into "Erskine May"— [Interruption.] Perhaps in 100 years from now, when a Teller is missing, the House will refer to the precedent that has been established today. I assure the right hon. Gentleman that the vote that was delivered was perfectly valid, and that there is no need for a re-run.

Mr. Leigh

Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. Of course, I would never seek to question any of your rulings, but surely the whole point of the Teller system is to have one person who counts and another who checks that; the two then report back to the House. Of course this would not happen now, but there might have been difficulties in the past, and there might be misreporting. I should not want the age-old custom to be in any way upset.

Mr. Speaker

Order. I can assure the hon. Gentleman that the age-old custom has been protected, because it has been clearly reported to me that there were four Tellers, two counting the Aye votes and two counting the No votes. Therefore, that stage was well and truly completed; only the reporting was different. Three of the original Tellers out of four have reported. That is very tidy, and I do not know what is worrying the hon. Gentleman. If he wants a re-run, I can assure him that it certainly will not be tonight.

Mr. Forth

Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. Surely the whole point of our voting procedure is to have one Teller for one side of the argument and one for the other. It seems that there was a Government Teller in the Lobby, but we know not whether the other Teller verified what the Government Teller told the Clerks. The House is now in the invidious position of not being able to rely on the fact that there were two Tellers, of different points of view, reporting back to the House. That surely must—

Mr. Speaker

Order. Let me tell the right hon. Gentleman that three Tellers out of four have reported the result—

Mr. Forth


Mr. Speaker

Order. Three Tellers out of four have reported the result to the House. I can assure the right hon. Gentleman that both the Government Teller and the Liberal Teller were in the appropriate Lobby, counting the votes. I can tell the right hon. Gentleman, so that he does not have a sleepless night, that if the Speaker is wrong, and there was no Teller in that Lobby, he can report to me and I shall deal with the matter. However, I can assure him that the Teller was in the Lobby.

It must be borne in mind that the Teller concerned was somewhat inexperienced.

Mr. Forth

That is worse.

Mr. Speaker

Well, that may be worse, but I have seen the right hon. Gentleman from time to time coaching and helping inexperienced Tellers, and a very nice practice it is too, to help those who are less experienced than he is.

Perhaps I can now go on to the Northern Ireland orders.

Mr. Stunell

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. May I draw your attention to the fact that the right hon. Member for Bromley and Chislehurst (Mr. Forth), who has been raising points of order on the conduct of the vote, did not in fact pass through either Lobby, and therefore cannot offer the House any useful information?

Mr. Speaker

The hon. Gentleman must know that I have, rather rapidly, moved on to the next item of business.