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Ms Keeble: The entire debate has turned on those points. We have listened carefully. We have taken on board the points that were made. My hon. Friend herself referred not to the ending of forfeiture but to some of the

13 Mar 2002 : Column 970

safeguards that have been set up because it was not possible to come up with a workable system within the time constraints. We have come forward—

Mr. Cash: Will the hon. Lady give way?

Ms Keeble: No, I do not intend to give way. I have made it clear that I do not intend to give way. We have spent a large amount of time listening to the hon. Gentleman during the two days of debate on Report.

We have drawn up the most stringent safeguards and protections consistent with orderly arrangements for people's homes. We also have to consider carefully the financial arrangements for people's homes. That is why—even at a late stage—I asked officials to discuss the proposals made by the hon. Member for Stone with the Council of Mortgage Lenders. We take seriously the need to protect and safeguard people's homes.

My hon. Friend the Member for Brighton, Pavilion rightly raised concerns not only about the impact of forfeiture but about the threat to vulnerable leaseholders, especially the elderly. Those issues are dealt with by our amendments. A comprehensive range of measures will oblige freeholders to go through a two-stage legal process before they can even begin to consider forfeiture. A variety of safeguards will be provided to ensure that leaseholders are thoroughly informed of their rights and have the opportunity to deal with all the issues. There is a de minimis level so that people do not lose their homes over a small amount of money. We have provided for further safeguards and protection through secondary legislation so that hon. Members can be consulted and can debate the issues.

Together, those measures will provide a real charter to safeguard leaseholders. Although we have not been able to set up the compensation arrangements that we discussed on many occasions, the Government have produced some workable proposals and amendments to safeguard leaseholders and to ensure that there are proper sanctions for non-payment, consistent with good property management. Those measures will also ensure that the cases raised by hon. Members on Second Reading and in Committee are a thing of the past and that we do not hear of such things again. So I urge hon. Members to support the Government amendment, which will do a very real service for the millions of leaseholders throughout the country.

Amendment agreed to.

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Sir Michael Lord): In the light of the debate, I am prepared to allow the House to divide on new clause 3 and new clause 19 if that is desired.

Dr. Iddon: On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I should like the House to divide on new clause 8.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Is the hon. Member for Torbay (Mr. Sanders) happy with new clause 8? I shall not allow Divisions on lots of new clauses.

Mr. Don Foster: Further to that point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. Perhaps you could explain to the House whether it would be possible to combine new

13 Mar 2002 : Column 971

clause 3 with new clause 8. I understand that that would not be possible, and we would therefore wish to press new clause 3 to a Division.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: In that case, the House will divide on new clause 3.

John McDonnell (Hayes and Harlington): Further to that point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. May I ask you to reconsider your decision not to select new clause 8? We are dealing with two distinct issues, the first of which is the abolition of the forfeiture altogether and the other relates specifically to compensation. They involve two distinct principles, so I urge you to consider allowing Divisions on new clause 3 and new clause 8.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: It is for the occupant of the Chair to decide such matters, and I will so decide.

It being after Nine o'clock, Mr. Deputy Speaker pursuant to Orders [31 January and 11 March], put forthwith the Questions necessary for the disposal of the business to be concluded at that hour.

New Clause 3

Abolition of forfeiture

'A right of re-entry or forfeiture under any proviso or stipulation in a lease of a dwelling for a breach of covenant or condition in the lease shall not be enforceable by action or otherwise.'.—[Mr. Sanders.]

Brought up, and read the First and Second time.

Motion made, and Question put, That the clause be added to the Bill:—

The House divided: Ayes 48, Noes 278.

Division No. 195
[9.2 pm


Allan, Richard
Barrett, John
Beith, Rt Hon A J
Brooke, Mrs Annette L
Burnett, John
Burstow, Paul
Calton, Mrs Patsy
Carmichael, Alistair
Corbyn, Jeremy
Cotter, Brian
Foster, Don (Bath)
George, Andrew (St Ives)
Gerrard, Neil
Hancock, Mike
Harris, Dr Evan (Oxford W)
Heath, David
Holmes, Paul
Hopkins, Kelvin
Iddon, Dr Brian
Jones, Lynne (Selly Oak)
Keetch, Paul
Kirkwood, Archy
Lamb, Norman
Laws, David
Lepper, David
Llwyd, Elfyn
McDonnell, John
Marsden, Paul (Shrewsbury)
Marshall–Andrews, Robert
Moore, Michael
Price, Adam
Pugh, Dr John
Reid, Alan (Argyll & Bute)
Rendel, David
Russell, Bob (Colchester)
Sanders, Adrian
Sedgemore, Brian
Smith, Sir Robert (W Ab'd'ns)
Taylor, Matthew (Truro)
Taylor, Dr Richard (Wyre F)
Thomas, Simon (Ceredigion)
Thurso, John
Tonge, Dr Jenny
Tyler, Paul
Wareing, Robert N
Williams, Roger (Brecon)
Willis, Phil
Younger–Ross, Richard

Tellers for the Ayes:

Mr. Andrew Stunell and
Sue Doughty.


Ainsworth, Bob (Cov'try NE)
Allen, Graham
Anderson, Janet (Rossendale)
Armstrong, Rt Hon Ms Hilary
Atherton, Ms Candy
Atkins, Charlotte
Barron, Kevin
Beard, Nigel
Begg, Miss Anne
Benton, Joe
Berry, Roger
Betts, Clive
Blackman, Liz
Blears, Ms Hazel
Blizzard, Bob
Bradley, Rt Hon Keith (Withington)
Bradley, Peter (The Wrekin)
Bradshaw, Ben
Brennan, Kevin
Brown, Rt Hon Nicholas
(Newcastle E & Wallsend)
Brown, Russell (Dumfries)
Bryant, Chris
Burgon, Colin
Burnham, Andy
Campbell, Alan (Tynemouth)
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V)
Caplin, Ivor
Casale, Roger
Cawsey, Ian
Challen, Colin
Chapman, Ben (Wirral S)
Chaytor, David
Clapham, Michael
Clark, Mrs Helen (Peterborough)
Clark, Paul (Gillingham)
Clarke, Rt Hon Tom (Coatbridge)
Clelland, David
Coffey, Ms Ann
Cohen, Harry
Cousins, Jim
Cranston, Ross
Crausby, David
Cryer, Mrs Ann (Keighley)
Cummings, John
Cunningham, Jim (Cov'try S)
Cunningham, Tony (Workington)
Curtis–Thomas, Mrs Claire
Darling, Rt Hon Alistair
Davey, Valerie (Bristol W)
David, Wayne
Davidson, Ian
Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli)
Davis, Rt Hon Terry
(B'ham Hodge H)
Dawson, Hilton
Dean, Mrs Janet
Denham, Rt Hon John
Dobbin, Jim
Dobson, Rt Hon Frank
Doran, Frank
Dowd, Jim
Eagle, Angela (Wallasey)
Eagle, Maria (L'pool Garston)
Edwards, Huw
Efford, Clive
Ellman, Mrs Louise
Ennis, Jeff
Etherington, Bill
Fisher, Mark
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Fitzsimons, Mrs Lorna
Flint, Caroline
Flynn, Paul
Foster, Michael (Worcester)
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings)
Foulkes, George
Francis, Dr Hywel
Galloway, George
Gapes, Mike
George, Rt Hon Bruce (Walsall S)
Gibson, Dr Ian
Gilroy, Linda
Godsiff, Roger
Goggins, Paul
Griffiths, Jane (Reading E)
Grogan, John
Hain, Rt Hon Peter
Hall, Patrick (Bedford)
Hamilton, David (Midlothian)
Hanson, David
Harris, Tom (Glasgow Cathcart)
Havard, Dai
Healey, John
Henderson, Ivan (Harwich)
Hendrick, Mark
Heppell, John
Hermon, Lady
Heyes, David
Hill, Keith
Hinchliffe, David
Hodge, Margaret
Hoey, Kate
Hood, Jimmy
Hope, Phil
Howarth, Rt Hon Alan (Newport E)
Howells, Dr Kim
Hoyle, Lindsay
Hughes, Beverley (Stretford)
Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)
Humble, Mrs Joan
Hutton, Rt Hon John
Ingram, Rt Hon Adam
Irranca–Davies, Huw
Jackson, Helen (Hillsborough)
Jenkins, Brian
Johnson, Alan (Hull W & Hessle)
Jones, Helen (Warrington N)
Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C)
Jones, Kevan (N Durham)
Jowell, Rt Hon Tessa
Joyce, Eric
Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald
Keeble, Ms Sally
Keen, Alan (Feltham & Heston)
Keen, Ann (Brentford & Isleworth)
Kemp, Fraser
Kennedy, Jane (Wavertree)
Khabra, Piara S
Kidney, David
Kilfoyle, Peter
King, Andy (Rugby & Kenilworth)
King, Ms Oona (Bethnal Green)
Knight, Jim (S Dorset)
Kumar, Dr Ashok
Ladyman, Dr Stephen
Lammy, David
Lawrence, Mrs Jackie
Lazarowicz, Mark
Levitt, Tom
Lewis, Ivan (Bury S)
Lewis, Terry (Worsley)
Liddell, Rt Hon Mrs Helen
Lloyd, Tony
Love, Andrew
Lucas, Ian
Lyons, John
McAvoy, Thomas
McCafferty, Chris
McDonagh, Siobhain
MacDonald, Calum
MacDougall, John
McGuire, Mrs Anne
McIsaac, Shona
McKechin, Ann
McKenna, Rosemary
Mackinlay, Andrew
McNamara, Kevin
McNulty, Tony
MacShane, Denis
Mactaggart, Fiona
McWalter, Tony
McWilliam, John
Mahmood, Khalid
Mahon, Mrs Alice
Mallaber, Judy
Mann, John
Marris, Rob
Marsden, Gordon (Blackpool S)
Marshall, David (Shettleston)
Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)
Martlew, Eric
Meacher, Rt Hon Michael
Meale, Alan
Merron, Gillian
Michael, Rt Hon Alun
Milburn, Rt Hon Alan
Miliband, David
Miller, Andrew
Moffatt, Laura
Mole, Chris
Moran, Margaret
Morgan, Julie
Mudie, George
Mullin, Chris
Munn, Ms Meg
Murphy, Jim (Eastwood)
Murphy, Rt Hon Paul (Torfaen)
Naysmith, Dr Doug
O'Brien, Mike (N Warks)
O'Hara, Edward
Olner, Bill
O'Neill, Martin
Osborne, Sandra (Ayr)
Owen, Albert
Palmer, Dr Nick
Pearson, Ian
Perham, Linda
Picking, Anne
Pickthall, Colin
Pike, Peter
Plaskitt, James
Pollard, Kerry
Pond, Chris
Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)
Primarolo, Dawn
Prosser, Gwyn
Purchase, Ken
Purnell, James
Quin, Rt Hon Joyce
Rammell, Bill
Rapson, Syd
Reed, Andy (Loughborough)
Robertson, John
(Glasgow Anniesland)
Robinson, Geoffrey (Cov'try NW)
Roche, Mrs Barbara
Rooney, Terry
Roy, Frank
Ruane, Chris
Salter, Martin
Sarwar, Mohammad
Savidge, Malcolm
Sawford, Phil
Shaw, Jonathan
Sheridan, Jim
Simon, Siôn
Simpson, Alan (Nottingham S)
Singh, Marsha
Skinner, Dennis
Smith, Rt Hon Andrew (Oxford E)
Smith, Angela (Basildon)
Smith, Geraldine (Morecambe)
Smith, Jacqui (Redditch)
Smith, John (Glamorgan)
Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
Soley, Clive
Southworth, Helen
Spellar, Rt Hon John
Squire, Rachel
Starkey, Dr Phyllis
Steinberg, Gerry
Stewart, Ian (Eccles)
Stinchcombe, Paul
Stoate, Dr Howard
Strang, Rt Hon Dr Gavin
Stringer, Graham
Sutcliffe, Gerry
Taylor, Rt Hon Ann (Dewsbury)
Taylor, Ms Dari (Stockton S)
Taylor, David (NW Leics)
Thomas, Gareth (Clwyd W)
Thomas, Gareth R (Harrow W)
Timms, Stephen
Trickett, Jon
Turner, Dennis (Wolverh'ton SE)
Turner, Dr Desmond (Kemptown)
Turner, Neil (Wigan)
Twigg, Derek (Halton)
Twigg, Stephen (Enfield)
Vis, Dr Rudi
Walley, Ms Joan
Ward, Ms Claire
Watson, Tom
Watts, David
White, Brian
Whitehead, Dr Alan
Wicks, Malcolm
Williams, Rt Hon Alan
(Swansea W)
Williams, Mrs Betty (Conwy)
Wills, Michael
Winnick, David
Winterton, Ms Rosie (Doncaster C)
Wood, Mike
Woolas, Phil
Wray, James
Wright, Anthony D (Gt Yarmouth)
Wright, David (Telford)
Wright, Tony (Cannock)
Wyatt, Derek

Tellers for the Noes:

Mr. Nick Ainger and
Dan Norris.

Question accordingly negatived.

13 Mar 2002 : Column 973

Mr. Deputy Speaker: I understand that the hon. Member for Stone (Mr. Cash) wants to divide on new clause 19.

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