§ Mr. Edwards
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what representations he has received to amend the law to make the life sentence the maximum rather than the mandatory sentence for murder;
(2) what action he intends to take in response to the House of Lords Select Committee report on murder and life imprisonment—House of Lords Paper 78 of Session 1988–89; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. John Patten
My right hon. Friend keeps the mandatory life sentence for murder under review in the light of the representations which he receives from time to time. During the passage of the Criminal Justice Act 1991, Parliament endorsed the Government's view that the mandatory life sentence should remain to mark the particular heinousness of murder.