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6.53 pm

Mr. Dominic Grieve (Beaconsfield): Once again, we have had the opportunity to engage in a serious and important debate. I am grateful to the Leader of the House for outlining possible proposals for modernisation that would address some of the criticisms advanced today. There is no doubt that if that is done he will have the Opposition's co-operation and support, as has already been made clear to him.

16 Jul 2001 : Column 75

The fact that that is being promised, however, does not mean we should suspend our judgment on the motions. We have a right and a duty to exercise our judgment, and if what is coming from the Committee of Selection is wholly unfortunate and misplaced we should examine each motion and have the courage to reject those that appear flagrantly to fly in the face of common sense.

I hope that the House will be willing to consider particularly the motions relating to transport and foreign affairs, and decide whether the interests of the House are being properly served in the rejection of Members whose views have been valid and trusted in the past. I await some reassurance from the Minister that the problems raised by so many today are being addressed.

6.55 pm

The Parliamentary Secretary, Privy Council Office (Mr. Stephen Twigg): I thank all who have spoken. I shall try to respond to some of their comments, but I have only five minutes in which to do so.

The hon. Member for Hazel Grove (Mr. Stunell) suggested that speed was getting in the way of reform. The Government have no desire for that to happen. As my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House has said on many occasions, we have tried to have the Select Committees up and running in time for the summer, and that is still our intention. As has been acknowledged by Members on both sides of the House, however, and as we have made clear, reform will now take place.

As my right hon. Friend said, when the Modernisation Committee meets on Wednesday—assuming that we appoint it tonight—he will want it to give priority to the way in which Committee members are appointed. I do not think we could have a clearer indication that there are no delaying tactics, and no attempts by my right hon. Friend to ensure that that speed gets in the way of reform.

My right hon. Friend the Member for Birkenhead (Mr. Field) said that there was no conflict between good government and strong Select Committees. My right hon. Friend the Member for Swansea, West (Mr. Williams) gave the House the benefit of his considerable experience, and described Select Committees as the best innovation he had seen during his time in the House. I think Members in all quarters want to ensure that that innovation is advanced, and that reform takes place.

As a number of Members said, we have benefited not just from the Liaison Committee's report—my right hon. Friend said that it would form a basis for the Modernisation Committee's consideration on Wednesday—but from the important contributions of the Hansard Society, chaired by Lord Newton, and the Norton commission, appointed by the official Opposition. All those studies and reports will contribute to the important debate that the Modernisation Committee will launch on Thursday.

The right hon. Member for North-West Hampshire (Sir G. Young) could not stay, but passed me a note to explain why. Both he and the hon. Member for South Staffordshire (Sir P. Cormack) again raised the question of my right hon. Friend's chairing the Modernisation Committee. I think that my right hon. Friend's commitment to chairing the Committee reaffirms his personal commitment to making modernisation a priority.

16 Jul 2001 : Column 76

I see no contradiction between that and saying that we want to modernise, strengthen and improve the House. What my right hon. Friend and the Government are saying by proposing that he chair the Committee is that we place reform, renewal and improvement of the House and its Select Committee system at the heart of our priorities. That is reflected in what my right hon. Friend has said today, as well as in his important speech to the Hansard Society last week. We place modernisation of the House at the head of the priorities of its Leader.

My hon. Friend the Member for Crewe and Nantwich (Mrs. Dunwoody) raised the question of payment of Committee Chairs. The proposal has appeared in a number of the reports to which I have referred, and we have made it clear that we will consult widely on it. It will form part of the inquiry conducted by the Modernisation Committee, and only if it enjoys wide support will it be put to the SSRB.

We have an opportunity to settle the issue, and to allow the work of the Select Committees to begin. Labour Members have a free vote. This is a matter for the House to decide, but I commend our proposals.

Question put and agreed to.


It being 7 o'clock, Mr. Speaker proceeded, pursuant to Order [this day], to put the Questions necessary to dispose of the business to be concluded at that hour.



16 Jul 2001 : Column 77

Motion made, and Question put,

The House divided: Ayes 232, Noes 301.

Division No. 26
[7 pm


Adams, Mrs Irene (Paisley N)
Ainger, Nick
Ainsworth, Bob (Cov'try NE)
Alexander, Douglas
Anderson, Janet (Rossendale)
Armstrong, Rt Hon Ms Hilary
Atkins, Charlotte
Baird, Vera
Banks, Tony
Barron, Kevin
Bayley, Hugh
Beckett, Rt Hon Margaret
Begg, Miss Anne
Bell, Stuart
Benn, Hilary
Benton, Joe
Blackman, Liz
Blears, Ms Hazel
Blizzard, Bob
Blunkett, Rt Hon David
Boateng, Rt Hon Paul
Bradley, Rt Hon Keith (Withington)
Bradshaw, Ben
Brown, Rt Hon Gordon
(Dunfermline E)
Brown, Russell (Dumfries)
Browne, Desmond
Bryant, Chris
Buck, Ms Karen
Burnham, Andy
Byers, Rt Hon Stephen
Caborn, Rt Hon Richard
Cairns, David
Campbell, Alan (Tynemouth)
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)
Caplin, Ivor
Cawsey, Ian
Challen, Colin
Chapman, Ben (Wirral S)
Clark, Dr Lynda
(Edinburgh Pentlands)
Clark, Paul (Gillingham)
Clarke, Charles (Norwich S)
Coaker, Vernon
Coffey, Ms Ann
Cook, Rt Hon Robin (Livingston)
Cooper, Yvette
Corston, Jean
Cox, Tom
Cranston, Ross
Crausby, David
Cruddas, Jon
Cunningham, Rt Hon Dr Jack
Cunningham, Jim (Cov'try S)
Cunningham, Tony (Workington)
Darling, Rt Hon Alistair
Davies, Geraint (Croydon C)
Dean, Mrs Janet
Dhanda, Parmjit
Dismore, Andrew
Dobson, Rt Hon Frank
Doran, Frank
Dowd, Jim
Drew, David
Eagle, Angela (Wallasey)
Eagle, Maria (L'pool Garston)
Ennis, Jeff
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Fitzsimons, Mrs Lorna
Flint, Caroline
Foster, Michael (Worcester)
Foulkes, George
Gapes, Mike
Gilroy, Linda
Goggins, Paul
Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)
Hain, Peter
Hall, Mike (Weaver Vale)
Hall, Patrick (Bedford)
Hanson, David
Harman, Rt Hon Ms Harriet
Harris, Tom (Glasgow Cathcart)
Healey, John
Henderson, Ivan (Harwich)
Hendrick, Mark
Heppell, John
Hewitt, Rt Hon Ms Patricia
Heyes, David
Hill, Keith
Hodge, Margaret
Hood, Jimmy
Hope, Phil
Howells, Dr Kim
Hoyle, Lindsay
Hughes, Beverley (Stretford)
Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)
Humble, Mrs Joan
Hutton, John
Illsley, Eric
Ingram, Rt Hon Adam
Jackson, Glenda (Hampstead)
Jackson, Helen (Hillsborough)
Jamieson, David
Jenkins, Brian
Johnson, Alan (Hull W & Hessle)
Johnson, Miss Melanie
(Welwyn Hatfield)
Jones, Helen (Warrington N)
Jones, Kevan (N Durham)
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S)
Jowell, Rt Hon Tessa
Joyce, Eric
Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald
Keeble, Ms Sally
Keen, Ann (Brentford & Isleworth)
Kelly, Ruth
Kemp, Fraser
Kennedy, Jane (Wavertree)
Khabra, Piara S
Kilfoyle, Peter
King, Ms Oona (Bethnal Green)
Knight, Jim (S Dorset)
Ladyman, Dr Stephen
Lammy, David
Laxton, Bob
Lazarowicz, Mark
Lepper, David
Leslie, Christopher
Levitt, Tom
Lewis, Ivan (Bury S)
Liddell, Rt Hon Mrs Helen
Love, Andrew
Luke, Iain
Lyons, John
McAvoy, Thomas
McCartney, Rt Hon Ian
McDonagh, Siobhain
MacDougall, John
McFall, John
McGuire, Mrs Anne
McIsaac, Shona
McKechin, Ann
McKenna, Rosemary
MacShane, Denis
Mactaggart, Fiona
McWilliam, John
Mahmood, Khalid
Mandelson, Rt Hon Peter
Mann, John
Marris, Rob
Marsden, Gordon (Blackpool S)
Marsden, Paul (Shrewsbury)
Meale, Alan
Merron, Gillian
Michael, Rt Hon Alun
Milburn, Rt Hon Alan
Miliband, David
Miller, Andrew
Moffatt, Laura
Moonie, Dr Lewis
Moran, Margaret
Morley, Elliot
Morris, Rt Hon Estelle
Munn, Ms Meg
Murphy, Jim (Eastwood)
Murphy, Rt Hon Paul (Torfaen)
Norris, Dan
O'Brien, Mike (N Warks)
Olner, Bill
O'Neill, Martin
Osborne, Sandra (Ayr)
Pearson, Ian
Perham, Linda
Picking, Anne
Pike, Peter
Pond, Chris
Pope, Greg
Pound, Stephen
Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lewisham E)
Primarolo, Dawn
Purchase, Ken
Purnell, James
Quinn, Lawrie
Rammell, Bill
Rapson, Syd
Raynsford, Rt Hon Nick
Robertson, John
(Glasgow Anniesland)
Robinson, Geoffrey (Cov'try NW)
Roche, Mrs Barbara
Rooney, Terry
Ross, Ernie
Ruddock, Joan
Russell, Ms Christine (Chester)
Ryan, Joan
Salter, Martin
Sawford, Phil
Sheridan, Jim
Shipley, Ms Debra
Simon, Siôn
Singh, Marsha
Smith, Rt Hon Andrew (Oxford E)
Smith, Rt Hon Chris (Islington S)
Smith, Jacqui (Redditch)
Soley, Clive
Southworth, Helen
Spellar, John
Starkey, Dr Phyllis
Stewart, David (Inverness E)
Stewart, Ian (Eccles)
Stoate, Dr Howard
Stringer, Graham
Stuart, Ms Gisela
Sutcliffe, Gerry
Tami, Mark
Taylor, Ms Dari (Stockton S)
Thomas, Gareth (Clwyd W)
Thomas, Gareth R (Harrow W)
Timms, Stephen
Touhig, Don
Turner, Dennis (Wolverh'ton SE)
Turner, Neil (Wigan)
Twigg, Derek (Halton)
Twigg, Stephen (Enfield)
Tynan, Bill
Ward, Ms Claire
Watson, Tom
White, Brian
Whitehead, Dr Alan
Wicks, Malcolm
Wills, Michael
Wilson, Brian
Winterton, Ms Rosie (Doncaster C)
Woodward, Shaun
Woolas, Phil
Wright, David (Telford)

Tellers for the Ayes:

Mr. Tony McNulty and
Angela Smith.


Abbott, Ms Diane
Allan, Richard
Amess, David
Ancram, Rt Hon Michael
Anderson, Rt Hon Donald
(Swansea E)
Atkinson, David (Bour'mth E)
Austin, John
Bacon, Richard
Bailey, Adrian
Barker, Greg
Barnes, Harry
Baron, John
Barrett, John
Beggs, Roy
Beith, Rt Hon A J
Bennett, Andrew
Bercow, John
Beresford, Sir Paul
Berry, Roger
Best, Harold
Blunt, Crispin
Boswell, Tim
Bottomley, Peter (Worthing W)
Bottomley, Rt Hon Virginia
Bradley, Peter (The Wrekin)
Brake, Tom
Brazier, Julian
Brennan, Kevin
Brinton, Mrs Helen
Browning, Mrs Angela
Bruce, Malcolm
Burgon, Colin
Burnett, John
Burns, Simon
Burstow, Paul
Burt, Alistair
Butterfill, John
Cable, Dr Vincent
Calton, Patsy
Cameron, David
Campbell, Rt Hon Menzies
(NE Fife)
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V)
Cann, Jamie
Casale, Roger
Cash, William
Caton, Martin
Chapman, Sir Sydney
(Chipping Barnet)
Chaytor, David
Chope, Christopher
Clapham, Michael
Clappison, James
Clarke, Rt Hon Kenneth
Clarke, Tony (Northampton S)
Clwyd, Ann
Cohen, Harry
Coleman, Iain
Collins, Tim
Connarty, Michael
Cook, Frank (Stockton N)
Corbyn, Jeremy
Cormack, Sir Patrick
Cotter, Brian
Cousins, Jim
Cryer, Mrs Ann (Keighley)
Cryer, John (Hornchurch)
Cummings, John
Curry, Rt Hon David
Davey, Edward (Kingston)
Davey, Valerie (Bristol W)
David, Wayne
Davidson, Ian
Davies, Quentin (Grantham)
Davis, Rt Hon David (Haltemprice)
Davis, Rt Hon Terry
(B'ham Hodge H)
Dawson, Hilton
Djanogly, Jonathan
Dobbin, Jim
Dodds, Nigel
Donohoe, Brian H
Doughty, Sue
Duncan, Alan
Duncan Smith, Iain
Dunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth
Efford, Clive
Ellman, Mrs Louise
Etherington, Bill
Evans, Nigel
Fabricant, Michael
Fallon, Michael
Farrelly, Paul
Field, Mark (Cities of London)
Fisher, Mark
Flight, Howard
Flook, Adrian
Flynn, Paul
Forth, Rt Hon Eric
Foster, Rt Hon Derek
Foster, Don (Bath)
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings)
Fox, Dr Liam
Francis, Dr Hywel
Gale, Roger
Gardiner, Barry
Garnier, Edward
George, Rt Hon Bruce (Walsall S)
Gerrard, Neil
Gibb, Nick
Gibson, Dr Ian
Gidley, Sandra
Gillan, Mrs Cheryl
Goodman, Paul
Grayling, Chris
Green, Damian (Ashford)
Green, Matthew (Ludlow)
Greenway, John
Grieve, Dominic
Griffiths, Jane (Reading E)
Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Hague, Rt Hon William
Hamilton, David (Midlothian)
Hammond, Philip
Hancock, Mike
Harris, Dr Evan (Oxford W)
Harvey, Nick
Havard, Dai
Hawkins, Nick
Hayes, John
Heald, Oliver
Heath, David
Heathcoat–Amory, Rt Hon David
Henderson, Doug (Newcastle N)
Hendry, Charles
Hermon, Lady
Hinchliffe, David
Hoban, Mark
Hoey, Kate
Hogg, Rt Hon Douglas
Holmes, Paul
Hopkins, Kelvin
Horam, John
Howard, Rt Hon Michael
Hughes, Simon (Southwark N)
Hurst, Alan
Iddon, Dr Brian
Jack, Rt Hon Michael
Jackson, Robert (Wantage)
Jenkin, Bernard
Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C)
Jones, Lynne (Selly Oak)
Jones, Nigel (Cheltenham)
Keetch, Paul
Key, Robert
Kidney, David
King, Andy (Rugby & Kenilworth)
Kirkbride, Miss Julie
Kirkwood, Archy
Knight, Rt Hon Greg (E Yorkshire)
Kumar, Dr Ashok
Laing, Mrs Eleanor
Lait, Mrs Jacqui
Lansley, Andrew
Lawrence, Mrs Jackie
Laws, David
Leigh, Edward
Letwin, Oliver
Lewis, Dr Julian (New Forest E)
Lewis, Terry (Worsley)
Liddell–Grainger, Ian
Lidington, David
Lilley, Rt Hon Peter
Lloyd, Tony
Llwyd, Elfyn
Loughton, Tim
Lucas, Ian
McCafferty, Chris
McDonnell, John
MacKay, Rt Hon Andrew
Mackinlay, Andrew
Maclean, Rt Hon David
McNamara, Kevin
McWalter, Tony
Mahon, Mrs Alice
Marshall–Andrews, Robert
Martlew, Eric
Mates, Michael
Maude, Rt Hon Francis
Mawhinney, Rt Hon Sir Brian
May, Mrs Theresa
Mercer, Patrick
Mitchell, Andrew (Sutton Coldfield)
Mitchell, Austin (Gt Grimsby)
Moore, Michael
Moss, Malcolm
Mudie, George
Mullin, Chris
Murphy, Denis (Wansbeck)
Murrison, Dr Andrew
Naysmith, Dr Doug
Norman, Archie
Oaten, Mark
O'Brien, Stephen (Eddisbury)
O'Hara, Edward
Öpik, Lembit
Organ, Diana
Osborne, George (Tatton)
Ottaway, Richard
Owen, Albert
Page, Richard
Paice, James
Palmer, Dr Nick
Paterson, Owen
Pickles, Eric
Pickthall, Colin
Pollard, Kerry
Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)
Price, Adam
Prosser, Gwyn
Pugh, Dr John
Redwood, Rt Hon John
Rendel, David
Robathan, Andrew
Robertson, Angus (Moray)
Robertson, Hugh (Faversham)
Robinson, Iris (Strangford)
Robinson, Peter (Belfast E)
Rosindell, Andrew
Ruffley, David
Russell, Bob (Colchester)
Salmond, Alex
Sanders, Adrian
Savidge, Malcolm
Sayeed, Jonathan
Sedgemore, Brian
Selous, Andrew
Shaw, Jonathan
Shephard, Rt Hon Mrs Gillian
Shepherd, Richard
Simmonds, Mark
Simpson, Alan (Nottingham S)
Simpson, Keith (Mid–Norfolk)
Skinner, Dennis
Smith, Geraldine (Morecambe)
Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
Smith, Sir Robert (W Ab'd'ns)
Soames, Nicholas
Spelman, Mrs Caroline
Spicer, Sir Michael
Spink, Dr Robert
Spring, Richard
Squire, Rachel
Stanley, Rt Hon Sir John
Steen, Anthony
Steinberg, Gerry
Stevenson, George
Stinchcombe, Paul
Strang, Rt Hon Dr Gavin
Streeter, Gary
Stunell, Andrew
Swayne, Desmond
Syms, Robert
Taylor, David (NW Leics)
Taylor, Ian (Esher & Walton)
Taylor, John (Solihull)
Taylor, Matthew (Truro)
Taylor, Dr Richard (Wyre F)
Taylor, Sir Teddy
Thomas, Simon (Ceredigion)
Thurso, John
Tonge, Dr Jenny
Trend, Michael
Trickett, Jon
Truswell, Paul
Turner, Andrew (Isle of Wight)
Turner, Dr Desmond (Kemptown)
Tyler, Paul
Tyrie, Andrew
Viggers, Peter
Vis, Dr Rudi
Walley, Ms Joan
Wareing, Robert N
Waterson, Nigel
Webb, Steve
Weir, Michael
Whittingdale, John
Wiggin, Bill
Wilkinson, John
Willetts, David
Williams, Rt Hon Alan
(Swansea W)
Williams, Mrs Betty (Conwy)
Williams, Roger (Brecon)
Willis, Phil
Winterton, Nicholas (Macclesfield)
Wishart, Pete
Wood, Mike
Worthington, Tony
Wright, Anthony D (Gt Yarmouth)
Wright, Tony (Cannock)
Wyatt, Derek
Yeo, Tim
Young, Rt Hon Sir George
Younger–Ross, Richard

Tellers for the Noes:

Mr. Frank Field and
David Winnick.

Question accordingly negatived.

16 Jul 2001 : Column 80


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