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Dr. Evan Harris (Oxford, West and Abingdon): The Home Secretary will be aware that, between 1997 and 2001, in the light of two critical reports by successive chief inspectors of prisons, his Department was urged to close Campsfield House. Every year, however, the Department said no, and that Campsfield House was fit

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for the 20th and 21st centuries. Today, the Home Secretary has suddenly decided that it is not fit for the 21st century, which is welcome. Does he not think it unfit because it is too small to accommodate the large numbers of people he wishes to detain, including those who are not due for removal and, for the first time, families, who—according to the White Paper—are now liable for detention, even when they are not due for removal? Is it not time for a radical review of the Government's detention regime, to stop people who have been persecuted, and who are later granted asylum, being detained for months in unsuitable detention centres?

Mr. Blunkett: First, I am setting up accommodation centres. Only when someone has failed to establish their right to remain through the appeals process am I using secure removal centres. Secondly, I am sorry that the hon. Gentleman was so churlish. If I was closing Campsfield House only because it was not big enough, I would have waited to close it—and to announce the closure—until the accommodation and removal numbers were up to an acceptable level. I have not done that, because I believe—and the hon. Gentleman appears to agree—that Campsfield is unsuitable. I would have welcomed a little more warmth from him.

Shona McIsaac (Cleethorpes): As a site in my constituency is being considered for an accommodation centre, I have tried to reassure local residents that they will be consulted fully about the proposals, should South Killingholme be selected. Will my right hon. Friend reassure those residents that they will be involved in the consultation process? Will he similarly reassure the three parish councils and the unitary authority affected?

Mr. Blunkett: Yes, I can give my hon. Friend that assurance. It is important that people understand what is on offer, so that they do not badly misunderstand what is to take place. It is also important, when establishing such centres, that people genuinely feel that they have a contribution to make, not least because the centres will provide substantial opportunities for jobs for local people.

Several hon. Members rose

Mr. Speaker: Order. We now come to the business statement and I must advise Back Benchers once again that one question to the Leader of the House is sufficient.

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Business of the House

1.22 pm

The President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons (Mr. Robin Cook): The business for next week will be as follows:

Monday 11 February—Remaining stages of the Land Registration Bill [Lords].

Tuesday 12 February—Remaining stages of the Employment Bill.

Wednesday 13 February—Debate on the appointment of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards.

Remaining stages of the British Overseas Territories Bill [Lords].

Thursday 14 February—Debate on defence policy on a motion for the Adjournment of the House.

Friday 15 February—The House will not be sitting.

The provisional business for the week following the constituency week will be:

Monday 25 February—Progress on remaining stages of the Proceeds of Crime Bill.

Tuesday 26 February—Conclusion of remaining stages of the Proceeds of Crime Bill.

Wednesday 27 February—Opposition Day [11th Allotted Day]. There will be a debate on an Opposition motion. Subject to be announced.

Thursday 28 February—Debate on Welsh Affairs on a motion for the Adjournment of the House.

Friday 1 March—Debate on the achievements of the national lottery on a motion for the Adjournment of the House.

I should also like to inform the House that the business in Westminster Hall before Easter will be:

Thursday 28 February—Debate on the report from the International Development Committee on the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and the surrounding region.

Thursday 7 March—Debate on increasing access to heritage attractions.

Thursday 14 March—Debate on Government policy on health and safety at work.

Thursday 21 March—Debate on the report from the Public Administration Committee on ministerial accountability and parliamentary questions.

The House will be aware that London Underground will make an announcement this afternoon on the value-for-money review of the public-private partnership plans for the tube. I am pleased to inform the House that, with the permission of Mr. Speaker, the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions will make a statement at the close of Third Reading of the Tax Credits Bill at 7 pm today.

Mr. Eric Forth (Bromley and Chislehurst): I thank the Leader of the House for his statement. You have told the House more than once recently, Mr. Speaker, that you deprecate Ministers' habit of making announcements outside the House before making them here, especially, if I may say so, on something as important as a White Paper.

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However, this morning's edition of The Sun includes the headline:

Indeed, the Home Secretary seemed to take pride in the fact that he appeared on Radio 4 this morning, telling us most of the contents of his White Paper. When will Ministers end their persistent practice of appearing on the media to make announcements before coming to the House to do so?

In connection with what the Leader of the House has just told us about the odd device of a statement at 7 o'clock this evening on the important matter of the London tube, word has reached me, though I can scarce believe it is true, that there will be a press briefing this afternoon, probably arranged by Jo Moore on behalf of the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions.

I hope that the Leader of the House will assure us that there will be no such press briefing this afternoon on a matter that will be announced to the House by the Secretary of State this evening. If, for any reason, the Leader of the House cannot give us that assurance, I hope that he will be able to make his peace with you, Mr. Speaker. It appears that Ministers are persistently flouting what you have made absolutely clear—statements must be made here before they are made anywhere else.

I draw the Leader of the House's attention to early-day motion 821, on the conduct of the right hon. Member for Blackburn (Mr. Straw).

[That this House is concerned by the exchange between the hon. Member for Liverpool, Riverside and the Foreign Secretary (5th February, Official Report, columns 745-6) about Gibraltar, in which the Foreign Secretary told his honourable Friend that she had asked him a "disobliging question" and that "she should not judge the Government by her own standards"; believes that Back Bench honourable Members have the right to ask searching questions of Ministers without being subjected to insult or innuendo; and calls upon the Foreign Secretary to clarify his remarks forthwith or to withdraw them.]

You will recall, Mr. Speaker, that on 5 February, just a couple of days ago, the hon. Member for Liverpool, Riverside (Mrs. Ellman) asked the Foreign Secretary to

The Foreign Secretary, a very senior member of the Government, replied:

What protection do you believe you can give Labour Back Benchers against their Secretaries of State? It seems that relations in the Labour party have reached such a state that the Opposition must table early-day motions to try to protect Labour Members from Ministers. I hope that the Leader of the House will give us some idea of when he will give hon. Members his assurances on what he proposes to do to protect his own colleagues.

You know, Mr. Speaker, that the House has been joining in this week's celebrations of Her Majesty's jubilee. She is a septuagenarian who has been in office for 50 years, but the House may not know that, next

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Monday, we will have our own septuagenarian, who will have been in office for 30 years. I refer, of course, to the hon. Member for Bolsover (Mr. Skinner).

I hope that the Leader of the House will approach the appropriate authorities, perhaps through you, Mr. Speaker, to see whether we can arrange a street party for the hon. Gentleman to celebrate the fact that he has shown sufficient flexibility not to retire at 65. I hope that the House will join me in wishing him a happy joint jubilee with Her Majesty.

Mr. Cook: I am very happy to join the right hon. Gentleman in congratulating my hon. Friend. I am available to attend any street party that he thinks may be appropriate. Whether my hon. Friend will invite Her Majesty, I will leave to him—I am not entirely sure that she will be on the guest list.

The statement about English being required for British citizenship was made last October, not in The Sun this morning. I listened with care to my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary on the "Today" programme and again this afternoon. There is a breadth of policy statements in the White Paper that was totally untouched in the "Today" interview.

The shadow Home Secretary said at the Dispatch Box that he would only gently rebuke my right hon. Friend for appearing on the "Today" programme.

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