HL Deb 03 April 2003 vol 646 cc1503-5

17B The Board shall not give an authorisation under section 47B(1) unless a proposal to make a request has been approved by a majority of the Board present and voting on the question at a meeting of the Board."

Lord Rogan

My Lords, I beg to move, as amendments to Commons Amendment No. 22, Amendments Nos. 22A to 22D.

It is not my intention to detain the House unnecessarily. Noble Lords will be well aware of our objections to the discriminatory recruitment policy for the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

I am reminded of words I used during the Report stage of consideration of the Bill: 50:50 has created a Catch 22 situation. Aware that the discriminatory recruitment policy has not worked—the Police Service of Northern Ireland is struggling to attract the number of recruits required to police Northern Ireland effectively—the Government have given themselves several get-out clauses. In the words of my party colleague in another place, Lady Hermon, the Government clearly want to have their cake and eat it. By allowing the Chief Constable to recruit constables with specified skills outside the 50:50 recruitment policy, the Government are prolonging the period for which discrimination will be applied.

The principle of equality of opportunity is central to the Belfast agreement. Policing should not be regarded as an exception; 50:50 recruitment denies equality of opportunity—it is nothing short of discrimination. It is a great source of grievance for a very large number of people across Northern Ireland. We in the Ulster Unionist Party have always been consistent in our opposition to 50:50 recruitment.

Amendments Nos. 22A, 22B, 22C and 22D provide that, at the request of a majority of the Policing Board, when the Chief Constable has a shortfall in recruits the provisions of Section 46–50:50—could be suspended for six months. It seems to me that while not ideal—we would very much welcome the complete withdrawal of Section 46—this is an extremely sensible amendment, designed to assist the Chief Constable to police Northern Ireland effectively and efficiently.

We were pleased to note that both Conservative and Liberal Democrat Members of Parliament in another place joined my party colleagues in the Lobbies last week on a similar amendment. I hope that I can enjoy the same privilege.

Moved, as amendments to Commons Amendment No. 22, Amendments Nos. 22A to 22D —(Lord Rogan.)

5.19 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said amendments shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 63; Not-Contents, 118.

Division No. 4
Anelay of St Johns, B. Maginnis of Drumglass, L.
Ashcroft, L. Mancroft, L.
Astor of Hever, L. Marlesford, L.
Biffen,L. Marsh, L.
Blackwell,L. Mayhew of Twysden, L.
Blaker, L. Molyneaux of Killead, L.
Blatch, B. Monro of Langholm, L.
Bridgeman, V. [Teller] Monson, L.
Brooke of Sutton Mandeville, L. Montrose, D.
Brougham and Vaux, L. Moynihan, L.
Burnham, L. Newton of Braintree, L.
Byford, B. Noakes, B.
Campbell of Alloway, L. Norton of Louth, L.
Carlisle of Bucklow, L. O'Cathain, B.
Chadlington, L. Onslow, E.
Cope of Berkeley, L. Park of Monmouth, B.
Denham, L. Peel, E.
Plumb, L,
Dixon-smitn, L. Quinton, L.
Elliott of Morpeth, L. Rees, L
Elton, L. Renton, L.
Feldman, L. Roberts of Conwy, L.
Ferrers, E. Rogan, L.
Glentoran, L. Seccombe, B.
Goschen, V. Selborne, E.
Hanham, B. Shaw of Northstead, L.
Hanningfield, L. Skelmersdale, L.
Howe, E. Strathclyde, L.
Howe of Aberavon, L. Swinfen, L.
Laird, L.[Teller] Tebbit,L.
Luke, L. Wakeham, L.
McColl of Dulwich, L. Wilcox, B.
Acton, L. Donoughue, L.
Addington, L. Dormand of Easington, L.
Ahmed, L. Elder, L.
Alli,L. Evans of Temple Guiting, L.
Alton of Liverpool, L. Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Andrews, B. Faulkner of Worcester, L.
Archer of Sandwell, L. Gale,B.
Ashton of Upholland, B. Gibson of Market Rasen, B.
Barker, B. Gilbert, L.
Bassam of Brighton, L. Golding, B.
Bernstein of Craigweil, L. Goldsmith, L.
Brennan, L. Goodhart, L.
Brooke of Alverthorpe, L. Goudie, B.
Brookman, L. Gould of Potternewton, B.
Campbell-Savours, L. Grabiner, L.
Carter, L. Graham of Edmonton, L.
Christopher, L. Grocott, L. [Teller]
Clarke of Hampstead, L. Hamwee, B.
Clement-Jones, L. Hardy of Wath, L.
Cohen of Pimlico, B. Harris of Richmond, B.
Corbett of Castle Vale, L. Harrison, L.
Crawley, B. Haskel, L.
David, B. Hayman, B.
Davies of Coity. L. Hilton of Eggardon, B.
Davies of Oldham, L. Hollick,L.
Dean of Thornton-le-Fylde, B. Hollis of Heigham, B.
Desai.L. Howells of St. Davids, B.
Dixon, L. Hoyle,L.
Hylton, L. Rooker, L.
Janner of Braunstone, L. Roper, L.
Jay of Paddington, B. Russell, E.
King of West Bromwich, L. Sawyer, L.
Lipsey, L. Scott of Needham Market. B.
Livsey of Talgarth, L. Sewel, L.
Macdonald of Tradeston, L. Shutt of Greetland, L.
McIntosh of Haringey, L. Simon, V.
[Teller] Smith of Clifton, L.
MacKenzie of Culkein, L. Smith of Leigh, L.
McNally, L. Stone of Blackheath, L.
Maddock. B. Strabolgi, L.
Miller of Chilthorne Domer, B. Symons of Vemham Dean, B.
Mishcon, L. Taylor of Blackburn, L.
Morgan of Huyton, B. Temple-Morris, L.
Morris of Aberavon, L. Thomas of Walliswood, B.
Newby, L. Thomson of Monifieth, L.
Nicol, B. Turnberg, L.
Northover, B. Turner of Camden, B.
Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay, L. Walker of Doncaster, L.
Patel, L. Wallace of Saltaire,L.
Patel of Blackburn, L. Walmsley.B.
Pendry, L. Warwick of Undercliffe, B.
Pitkeathley. B. Whitaker, B.
Prys-Davies, L. Whitty, L.
Ramsay of Cartvale, B. Williams of Crosby, B.
Rea,L. Williams of Elvel, L.
Rendell of Babergh, B. Williams of Mostyn, L. (Lord
Richard, L. Privy Seat)
Rodgers of Quarry Bank, L. Winston, L.
Rogers of Riverside, L. Woolmer of Leeds, L.
Roll of Ipsden, L. Young of Old Scone, B.

Resolved in the negative, and Motion disagreed to accordingly.

5.28 p.m.

On Question, Commons Amendment No. 22 agreed to.