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Mr. Simon Hughes: If ever there were an argument for not going from Committee stage to Report without interruption, the past three and three quarter hours have made the case. Like the Home Secretary, I commend colleagues in all parts of the House--Scots and English colleagues--for making important contributions on various matters, demonstrating the need for us to proceed slowly and with caution if we are not to produce legislation that we will live to regret.

The right hon. Member for Suffolk, Coastal (Mr. Gummer) reminded us that although we can speak at length about the drafting, we are discussing real people--often young people--going on innocent journeys, who might find themselves face to face with the law.

That is why I take a different view from that of the hon. Member for West Ham (Mr. Banks), with whom I often agree, the hon. Member for Gedling (Mr. Coaker)

17 Jul 2000 : Column 129

and the hon. Member for Watford (Ms Ward), who, in summary, argued that we must provide the powers so that when the authorities suspect people who, in the words of the hon. Member for West Ham, might cause the trouble, they can take their liberties away. That is not a view that we share.

The hon. Member for Gedling seemed to suggest that protecting the liberties of the many is sufficient justification for risking the liberties of the few. That is not the principle on which we have worked. Historically, we have been willing to let off the few in order to protect the liberties of the many. The hon. Member for Watford said that it was all about what people had done in the past. It is not; it is about what the police might think that people had done in the past, which is an entirely different question.

In a way, this is back-to-front legislation. We should have decided in what circumstances a ban is appropriate, decided whether a previous conviction should be the precondition of a ban, and then decided what power we wanted to give the authorities to detain people, with the prospect of a ban being imposed.

In their contributions, our two Scots colleagues, the hon. Member for Kilmarnock and Loudoun (Mr. Browne) and my hon. Friend the Member for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine (Sir R. Smith) suggested that in some respects we could learn from Scotland, and that the Bill would benefit from the inclusion of those points.

My hon. Friends and I will shortly ask the Committee to vote on amendment No. 20. The Committee has a straightforward choice between accepting the fourth power, amended as it may be by Government amendments, or deciding that there is now such a muddle and so many unanswered questions that it is better to take it out, not necessarily for ever, but until there is some agreement about what it might do, what it might mean, how it might be enacted and what the practical implications might be. I hope that in a few moments colleagues in all parts of the House, other than those who take the Government pay and are on the Government payroll vote, will join us and decide that we should not support the measure.

To address the question posed by the Home Secretary, of course there must be a power so that people can be apprehended and dealt with in the courts. However, we take the view that people should be apprehended in certain circumstances, and that it must be clear that they have a record of violence before the authorities have the power to detain them.

Although the police might have said in principle that they supported the Bill, one of the obvious outcomes of the debate is that if they had heard the questions raised by colleagues from the courts, I am not sure that they would have been at all happy, but there is no chance to ask the police or to speak to the Association of Chief Police Officers or the Police Superintendents Association. There is no chance to discuss with them the objections that have been raised.

The right hon. Member for Maidstone and The Weald (Miss Widdecombe) slightly misrepresented us. We think that amendment No. 33 is an improvement. We are in favour of amendment No. 37 being accepted, and we think that amendment No. 35 is worth considering. We entirely understand why she may want to move amendment No. 9 later in our oh-too-limited proceedings.

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Four colleagues raised questions of practicality--the hon. Member for Woking (Mr. Malins), the right hon. and learned Member for North-East Bedfordshire (Sir N. Lyell), my hon. Friend the Member for Portsmouth, South (Mr. Hancock) and the hon. Member for Hayes and Harlington (Mr. McDonnell).

Practicalities are as important as anything else. Will the courts and the police be able to handle the measure? We are not simply considering Euro 2000 or a world cup tournament, but every year's European cup or cup-winner's cup. The measure will be used regularly, and it will affect all the ports and airports. As the right hon. and learned Member for North-East Bedfordshire said, it contains a sweeping definition that covers anyone who might have been guilty of violence and disorder.

The right hon. Member for Suffolk, Coastal reminded us that the Bill will take away not only a few hours' liberty, but people's passports and potentially their ability to travel abroad for many years. The right hon. Member for Hitchin and Harpenden (Mr. Lilley) reminded us that it may be sufficient for someone to have contributed marginally to violence and disorder. Someone who was around the edges of, for example, a student demonstration or civil rights protest in the past could be picked up under the Bill. We do not claim that the police will necessarily intervene, but if they are in the front line and getting some grief, they will have the power to do so.

The choice for the Committee is whether we want to go along with such a Bill or whether we have a duty to say that we shall not make such legislation, that we cannot ignore the plethora of objections or risk people's liberties. When so many hon. Members from different parties have raised so many objections to what one colleague described as the tapestry of the Bill, I hope that the Committee will realise that we are not considering fiction but fact, and that we owe it to people to get the measure right. I hope that a great coalition, consisting of those who want to remove the provision and those who want to go back to the drawing board and start again, will support the amendment.

I hope that the Government realise that they cannot continue to legislate in such a manner. In the words of the hon. Member for West Ham, we have had enough.

Question put, That the amendment be made:--

The Committee divided: Ayes 58, Noes 211.

Division No. 270
[10.42 pm


Abbott, Ms Diane
Allan, Richard
Baker, Norman
Ballard, Jackie
Barnes, Harry
Beith, Rt Hon A J
Bell, Martin (Tatton)
Bottomley, Peter (Worthing W)
Brake, Tom
Brand, Dr Peter
Breed, Colin
Bruce, Malcolm (Gordon)
Burnett, John
Burstow, Paul
Chidgey, David
Corbyn, Jeremy
Cotter, Brian
Davey, Edward (Kingston)
Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli)
Fearn, Ronnie
Flynn, Paul
Foster, Don (Bath)
Gale, Roger
George, Andrew (St Ives)
Gidley, Sandra
Gummer, Rt Hon John
Hancock, Mike
Harris, Dr Evan
Harvey, Nick
Heath, David (Somerton & Frome)
Hopkins, Kelvin
Hughes, Simon (Southwark N)
Jones, Dr Lynne (Selly Oak)
Keetch, Paul
Kennedy, Rt Hon Charles
(Ross Skye & Inverness W)
Kirkwood, Archy
Leigh, Edward
Lilley, Rt Hon Peter
Livsey, Richard
McDonnell, John
Maclennan, Rt Hon Robert
Marshall-Andrews, Robert
Moore, Michael
Oaten, Mark
Öpik, Lembit
Rendel, David
Ross, William (E Lond'y)
Russell, Bob (Colchester)
Sanders, Adrian
Simpson, Alan (Nottingham S)
Skinner, Dennis
Stunell, Andrew
Taylor, Matthew (Truro)
Thomas, Simon (Ceredigion)
Tonge, Dr Jenny
Tyler, Paul
Webb, Steve
Willis, Phil

Tellers for the Ayes:

Sir Robert Smith and
Mr. Donald Gorrie.


Ainger, Nick
Ainsworth, Robert (Cov'try NE)
Alexander, Douglas
Allen, Graham
Anderson, Janet (Rossendale)
Banks, Tony
Barron, Kevin
Battle, John
Beard, Nigel
Beckett, Rt Hon Mrs Margaret
Benn, Hilary (Leeds C)
Best, Harold
Betts, Clive
Blackman, Liz
Blizzard, Bob
Boateng, Rt Hon Paul
Bradley, Keith (Withington)
Bradley, Peter (The Wrekin)
Brown, Russell (Dumfries)
Browne, Desmond
Buck, Ms Karen
Burden, Richard
Burgon, Colin
Butler, Mrs Christine
Caborn, Rt Hon Richard
Campbell-Savours, Dale
Cann, Jamie
Chisholm, Malcolm
Clark, Rt Hon Dr David (S Shields)
Clark, Paul (Gillingham)
Clarke, Charles (Norwich S)
Clelland, David
Clwyd, Ann
Coaker, Vernon
Cohen, Harry
Colman, Tony
Connarty, Michael
Corbett, Robin
Corston, Jean
Cousins, Jim
Cox, Tom
Cranston, Ross
Crausby, David
Cummings, John
Cunningham, Rt Hon Dr Jack
Cunningham, Jim (Cov'try S)
Curtis-Thomas, Mrs Claire
Dalyell, Tam
Darvill, Keith
Davidson, Ian
Davies, Geraint (Croydon C)
Davis, Rt Hon Terry
(B'ham Hodge H)
Dawson, Hilton
Dismore, Andrew
Drew, David
Dunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth
Eagle, Maria (L'pool Garston)
Edwards, Huw
Efford, Clive
Ellman, Mrs Louise
Field, Rt Hon Frank
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Fitzsimons, Mrs Lorna
Flint, Caroline
Follett, Barbara
Foster, Michael J (Worcester)
Galloway, George
Gibson, Dr Ian
Gilroy, Mrs Linda
Godsiff, Roger
Goggins, Paul
Golding, Mrs Llin
Gordon, Mrs Eileen
Griffiths, Jane (Reading E)
Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)
Grogan, John
Hain, Peter
Hall, Mike (Weaver Vale)
Hall, Patrick (Bedford)
Hamilton, Fabian (Leeds NE)
Harman, Rt Hon Ms Harriet
Healey, John
Henderson, Doug (Newcastle N)
Hepburn, Stephen
Heppell, John
Hesford, Stephen
Hewitt, Ms Patricia
Hoey, Kate
Home Robertson, John
Hood, Jimmy
Hope, Phil
Howarth, Alan (Newport E)
Howells, Dr Kim
Hoyle, Lindsay
Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)
Humble, Mrs Joan
Hurst, Alan
Hutton, John
Iddon, Dr Brian
Jackson, Helen (Hillsborough)
Jamieson, David
Jenkins, Brian
Jones, Rt Hon Barry (Alyn)
Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C)
Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald
Kemp, Fraser
Kennedy, Jane (Wavertree)
Khabra, Piara S
Kidney, David
Kilfoyle, Peter
King, Andy (Rugby & Kenilworth)
Kumar, Dr Ashok
Ladyman, Dr Stephen
Lammy, David
Lepper, David
Levitt, Tom
Lewis, Ivan (Bury S)
Liddell, Rt Hon Mrs Helen
Love, Andrew
McAvoy, Thomas
McCartney, Rt Hon Ian
Macdonald, Calum
McGuire, Mrs Anne
McIsaac, Shona
Mackinlay, Andrew
McNulty, Tony
MacShane, Denis
Mactaggart, Fiona
McWalter, Tony
McWilliam, John
Marsden, Gordon (Blackpool S)
Marsden, Paul (Shrewsbury)
Marshall, David (Shettleston)
Martlew, Eric
Meacher, Rt Hon Michael
Meale, Alan
Michael, Rt Hon Alun
Miller, Andrew
Moonie, Dr Lewis
Moran, Ms Margaret
Morris, Rt Hon Ms Estelle
(B'ham Yardley)
Mountford, Kali
Mowlam, Rt Hon Marjorie
Mullin, Chris
Murphy, Jim (Eastwood)
Naysmith, Dr Doug
Olner, Bill
O'Neill, Martin
Palmer, Dr Nick
Pickthall, Colin
Pollard, Kerry
Pope, Greg
Pound, Stephen
Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lewisham E)
Prescott, Rt Hon John
Prosser, Gwyn
Purchase, Ken
Quinn, Lawrie
Rapson, Syd
Reed, Andrew (Loughborough)
Rooker, Rt Hon Jeff
Rooney, Terry
Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)
Rowlands, Ted
Roy, Frank
Ruane, Chris
Ryan, Ms Joan
Salter, Martin
Sarwar, Mohammad
Savidge, Malcolm
Shaw, Jonathan
Short, Rt Hon Clare
Smith, Angela (Basildon)
Smith, Miss Geraldine
(Morecambe & Lunesdale)
Smith, Jacqui (Redditch)
Smith, John (Glamorgan)
Snape, Peter
Soley, Clive
Squire, Ms Rachel
Steinberg, Gerry
Stewart, David (Inverness E)
Stewart, Ian (Eccles)
Stinchcombe, Paul
Straw, Rt Hon Jack
Stringer, Graham
Taylor, Rt Hon Mrs Ann
Taylor, David (NW Leics)
Temple-Morris, Peter
Thomas, Gareth (Clwyd W)
Thomas, Gareth R (Harrow W)
Tipping, Paddy
Todd, Mark
Turner, Dennis (Wolverh'ton SE)
Turner, Dr Desmond (Kemptown)
Turner, Dr George (NW Norfolk)
Turner, Neil (Wigan)
Twigg, Derek (Halton)
Twigg, Stephen (Enfield)
Vis, Dr Rudi
Walley, Ms Joan
Ward, Ms Claire
Watts, David
Williams, Rt Hon Alan
(Swansea W)
Williams, Alan W (E Carmarthen)
Williams, Mrs Betty (Conwy)
Winterton, Ms Rosie (Doncaster C)
Woolas, Phil
Worthington, Tony
Wright, Anthony D (Gt Yarmouth)
Wright, Tony (Cannock)
Wyatt, Derek

Tellers for the Noes:

Mr. Jim Dowd and
Mr. Gerry Sutcliffe.

Question accordingly negatived.

17 Jul 2000 : Column 132

Clause 1 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clause 2 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

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