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Mr. William Ross: Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Mr. Ingram: No. I am concluding my remarks. We have had a long debate on this issue, as we did in Committee. I have tried to explain why I have come this conclusion. It is a difficult issue, and I have taken account of the views of the Parades Commission and others.

I shall close my remarks by responding to the pointed question of the hon. Member for East Londonderry (Mr. Ross). He asked whether we have a replacement for

4 Feb 1998 : Column 1164

Roy Magee. The answer is no, but I hope that the Secretary of State will make an announcement in the next two weeks. I ask the House to support the amendment.

Question put, That the amendment be made:-- The House divided: Ayes 174, Noes 26.

Division No. 151
[11.32 pm


Ainsworth, Robert (Cov'try NE)
Alexander, Douglas
Atherton, Ms Candy
Atkins, Charlotte
Austin, John
Barnes, Harry
Begg, Miss Anne
Benton, Joe
Blackman, Liz
Blears, Ms Hazel
Boateng, Paul
Bradley, Peter (The Wrekin)
Bradshaw, Ben
Brown, Rt Hon Nick (Newcastle E)
Browne, Desmond
Burden, Richard
Burgon, Colin
Caborn, Richard
Campbell, Alan (Tynemouth)
Campbell-Savours, Dale
Chapman, Ben (Wirral S)
Clapham, Michael
Clark, Dr Lynda
(Edinburgh Pentlands)
Clark, Paul (Gillingham)
Clarke, Tony (Northampton S)
Clelland, David
Clwyd, Ann
Coffey, Ms Ann
Connarty, Michael
Corston, Ms Jean
Cousins, Jim
Crausby, David
Cryer, Mrs Ann (Keighley)
Davidson, Ian
Davies, Geraint (Croydon C)
Davies, Rt Hon Ron (Caerphilly)
Dawson, Hilton
Dewar, Rt Hon Donald
Dobbin, Jim
Donohoe, Brian H
Doran, Frank
Dowd, Jim
Drown, Ms Julia
Edwards, Huw
Ennis, Jeff
Fitzsimons, Lorna
Flint, Caroline
Foulkes, George
Fyfe, Maria
George, Bruce (Walsall S)
Gilroy, Mrs Linda
Godman, Norman A
Godsiff, Roger
Golding, Mrs Llin
Grogan, John
Hain, Peter
Hall, Mike (Weaver Vale)
Hanson, David
Healey, John
Henderson, Ivan (Harwich)
Heppell, John
Hill, Keith
Home Robertson, John
Howarth, Alan (Newport E)
Howarth, George (Knowsley N)
Howells, Dr Kim
Hoyle, Lindsay
Hughes, Ms Beverley (Stretford)
Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)
Humble, Mrs Joan
Hutton, John
Iddon, Dr Brian
Ingram, Adam
Jackson, Ms Glenda (Hampstead)
Jackson, Helen (Hillsborough)
Jenkins, Brian
Johnson, Miss Melanie
(Welwyn Hatfield)
Jones, Mrs Fiona (Newark)
Jones, Helen (Warrington N)
Jones, Dr Lynne (Selly Oak)
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S)
Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald
Kennedy, Jane (Wavertree)
Kilfoyle, Peter
King, Andy (Rugby & Kenilworth)
Kumar, Dr Ashok
Levitt, Tom
Lewis, Terry (Worsley)
Lock, David
McAllion, John
McAvoy, Thomas
McCabe, Steve
McCartney, Ian (Makerfield)
McFall, John
McGrady, Eddie
McGuire, Mrs Anne
McIsaac, Shona
McKenna, Mrs Rosemary
McNulty, Tony
Mactaggart, Fiona
McWilliam, John
Mallaber, Judy
Marek, Dr John
Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)
Meale, Alan
Michael, Alun
Michie, Bill (Shef'ld Heeley)
Miller, Andrew
Moonie, Dr Lewis
Moran, Ms Margaret
Morgan, Ms Julie (Cardiff N)
Morgan, Rhodri (Cardiff W)
Mountford, Kali
Mudie, George
Mullin, Chris
Norris, Dan
O'Brien, Mike (N Warks)
O'Hara, Eddie
Palmer, Dr Nick
Pickthall, Colin
Pike, Peter L
Pope, Greg
Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lewisham E)
Primarolo, Dawn
Prosser, Gwyn
Purchase, Ken
Quin, Ms Joyce
Radice, Giles
Reed, Andrew (Loughborough)
Roche, Mrs Barbara
Rooker, Jeff
Rooney, Terry
Rowlands, Ted
Roy, Frank
Ruddock, Ms Joan
Ryan, Ms Joan
Savidge, Malcolm
Sedgemore, Brian
Sheerman, Barry
Simpson, Alan (Nottingham S)
Singh, Marsha
Skinner, Dennis
Smith, Rt Hon Andrew (Oxford E)
Smith, Miss Geraldine
(Morecambe & Lunesdale)
Smith, Jacqui (Redditch)
Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
Spellar, John
Starkey, Dr Phyllis
Steinberg, Gerry
Stewart, Ian (Eccles)
Stinchcombe, Paul
Stott, Roger
Stringer, Graham
Sutcliffe, Gerry
Taylor, Ms Dari (Stockton S)
Taylor, David (NW Leics)
Thomas, Gareth (Clwyd W)
Timms, Stephen
Tipping, Paddy
Todd, Mark
Trickett, Jon
Turner, Dennis (Wolverh'ton SE)
Turner, Dr Desmond (Kemptown)
Twigg, Derek (Halton)
Vaz, Keith
Vis, Dr Rudi
Wareing, Robert N
Watts, David
Williams, Alan W (E Carmarthen)
Wise, Audrey
Wood, Mike
Worthington, Tony
Wright, Anthony D (Gt Yarmouth)
Wright, Dr Tony (Cannock)

Tellers for the Ayes:

Janet Anderson and
Mr. David Jamieson.


Ballard, Mrs Jackie
Beggs, Roy
Brand, Dr Peter
Burstow, Paul
Davey, Edward (Kingston)
Forsythe, Clifford
Foster, Don (Bath)
George, Andrew (St Ives)
Hunter, Andrew
Jones, Nigel (Cheltenham)
McCartney, Robert (N Down)
Moore, Michael
Öpik, Lembit
Paisley, Rev Ian
Rendel, David
Robinson, Peter (Belfast E)
Ross, William (E Lond'y)
Russell, Bob (Colchester)
Sanders, Adrian
Stunell, Andrew
Taylor, Rt Hon John D (Strangford)
Thompson, William
Trimble, Rt Hon David
Walker, Cecil
Webb, Steve
Willis, Phil

Tellers for the Noes:

Rev. Martin Smyth and
Mr. Ken Maginnis.

Question accordingly agreed to.

4 Feb 1998 : Column 1165

Clause 3

Code of conduct

Amendments made: No. 17, in page 2, line 10, after 'procession' insert 'or protest meeting'.
No. 18, in page 2, line 12, at end insert 'or protest meeting'.--[Mr. Ingram.]

Clause 7

Procedural rules

Amendment made: No. 19, in page 5, line 14, leave out 'or any previous procession' and insert
'or any related protest meeting or in relation to any previous procession or protest meeting'.--[Mr. Ingram.]

4 Feb 1998 : Column 1166

Clause 10

Secretary of State's powers to prohibit public processions

11.45 pm

Mr. Ingram: I beg to move amendment No. 20, in page 7, line 14, at end insert 'and'.

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Michael J. Martin): With this, it will be convenient to discuss Government amendments Nos. 21 and 29 to 32.

Mr. Ingram: This group of amendments would remove the duty on the Secretary of State to consult, where practicable, the Police Authority for Northern Ireland public order committee before imposing a banning order. Amendments Nos. 20 and 21 remove the obligation in the Bill, while amendments Nos. 29 to 32 are consequential on that. The amendments are by no means a vote of no confidence in PANI. Rather, they reflect its changing responsibilities as a result both of this Bill and of the Police (Northern Ireland) Bill, which we hope will be on the statute book shortly.

There are two main reasons why it is no longer necessary for the Secretary of State to consult the committee. The first is that establishing the Parades Commission has provided a forum for the sort of community representation work in this area that formerly fell to PANI. We have recognised the frustration from many people in the nationalist community that the legislative framework concerning parades has not enabled it to express its feelings adequately. The North report recognised--indeed, supported--the perception that a mainly public order-based approach did not enable wider considerations of the conflicting rights and responsibilities at issue to be taken into account.

The setting up the Parades Commission will enable extensive consultation and, we hope, lead to more brokered local accommodation. That is the central thrust of what we hope to achieve. Of course, that will be the commission's main objective. When the commission issues its determination, it will be able to do so with full knowledge of the views of all sides of the community, by the means that we have discussed in earlier debates. The Government believe that this is a considerable improvement on existing legislation, so consultation with another body with community-representation responsibility is no longer necessary.

The second reason is that the changes that the Police (Northern Ireland) Bill, which has received its Second Reading, will bring about in structures governing policing mean that the PANI will no longer have responsibility for day-to-day resource issues. Under the old system, resource issues would, of course, have been one of the main reasons for consulting the PANI committee. That is not to say that PANI will have no interest in the policing of public processions and counter-demonstrations. Indeed, the Chief Constable will remain accountable to the police authority for the policing of such controversial events.

Some Committee amendments sought to extend the number of people whom the Secretary of State should consult before imposing a banning order. Our commitment to consultation in the Bill has been well rehearsed, both in Committee and elsewhere during the

4 Feb 1998 : Column 1167

presentation of the Bill's main thrust, but we do not believe that extensive consultation over such sensitive and urgent decisions as imposing a ban would be sensible. Given the shortage of time in these exceptional circumstances, we believe that the Secretary of State needs to be able to make effective decisions quickly.

PANI was consulted--

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