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Mr. Gregory Campbell: I want to draw the attention of the House to the fact that, in the original Select Committee consideration of the inclusion of national insurance numbers, it was my hon. Friend the Member for Belfast, East (Mr. Robinson) who proposed that they should be included. A significant number of people over the past 30 years have engaged in electoral malpractice in Northern Ireland, and it is no coincidence that thousands of absent-vote applications have mounted up in the constituencies where Sinn Fein either has a Member of Parliament or is endeavouring to win the seat.

My party welcomes the Bill. It is not perfect, but it will be a substantial improvement if it is implemented in time. I hope that the Minister will take note that a court case may well end up in the House of Lords that might not permit the Assembly elections to be in May 2003; they might be earlier. That being the case, I hope that he will ensure that the legislation will be proceeded with as quickly as possible, to prevent further malpractice. There are those in Northern Ireland, principally Sinn Fein-IRA, who have mastered the art of the abuse of the electoral system to the tune of many thousands of votes. They have done that in election after election, and will no doubt do so again unless this Bill is implemented as speedily as possible. We therefore welcome the Bill, even if it costs the £750,000 that it appears from the notes that it will cost. We welcome it none the less.

Lords amendment agreed to.

It being Seven o'clock, Mr. Deputy Speaker, pursuant to Orders [28 June and this day], put forthwith the Questions necessary to dispose of the Business to be concluded at that hour.

Subsequent Lords Amendments agreed to.

15 Apr 2002 : Column 414

City of London (Ward Elections) Bill

As amended, further considered.

7.3 pm

John McDonnell (Hayes and Harlington): On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker.

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Sir Alan Haselhurst): Order. If the hon. Gentleman will indulge me, perhaps I might make a point of order myself, which I hope may be of assistance to the House. It may be for the convenience of right hon. and hon. Members if I remind them that, just before proceedings were adjourned on the last occasion, the promoters' new clause 1 was read a second time. The amendments to the new group were grouped with it, so they cannot be further debated at this stage, but I am prepared to allow a Division on amendment (a), which stands in the name of Mr. John McDonnell, if he wishes to press it to a vote.

After the questions on new clause 1 have been disposed of, including the Question that the clause be added to the Bill, we will come to the debate headed by new clause 3, on the European convention on human rights. The promoters' other amendments in the group headed by new clause 1, which I call to be moved, will be moved formally as and when we reach them in going through the amendment paper. Unless the hon. Gentleman's point of order relates to the matters immediately before the House—the business remaining from the previous time that the House sat—I would prefer to take it after we have decided on those matters.

John McDonnell: My point of order relates to this evening's business of the House and this evening's process.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: With the indulgence of the House, I shall therefore take that point of order after I have disposed of those other matters, which follow on from the previous time that the House sat. That is the logical way in which to proceed. Do you wish to press amendment (a) to a vote, Mr. McDonnell?

John McDonnell: Yes.

New Clause 1

Exclusion of Crown Property

Amendment proposed: (a) to new clause 1.

Question put, That the amendment be made:—

The House divided: Ayes 50, Noes 357.

Division No. 208
[7.2 pm


Abbott, Ms Diane
Allan, Richard
Barnes, Harry
Barrett, John
Berry, Roger
Best, Harold
Borrow, David
Burgon, Colin
Cable, Dr Vincent
Chaytor, David
Clarke, Tony (Northampton S)
Cook, Frank (Stockton N)
Corbyn, Jeremy
Cousins, Jim
Cryer, John (Hornchurch)
Davidson, Ian
Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli)
Efford, Clive
Etherington, Bill
Flynn, Paul
Foster, Don (Bath)
Gerrard, Neil
Hamilton, David (Midlothian)
Hancock, Mike
Hinchliffe, David
Hood, Jimmy
Hopkins, Kelvin
Hurst, Alan
Iddon, Dr Brian
Illsley, Eric
Keen, Alan (Feltham & Heston)
Lewis, Terry (Worsley)
McDonnell, John
Mahon, Mrs Alice
Marsden, Paul (Shrewsbury)
Martlew, Eric
Mullin, Chris
Organ, Diana
Pike, Peter
Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)
Russell, Bob (Colchester)
Salter, Martin
Shaw, Jonathan
Skinner, Dennis
Steinberg, Gerry
Stunell, Andrew
Taylor, David (NW Leics)
Vis, Dr Rudi
Wareing, Robert N
Wright, Anthony D (Gt Yarmouth)

Tellers for the Ayes:

Andrew Mackinlay and
Mr. Andrew Dismore.


Ainger, Nick
Ainsworth, Peter (E Surrey)
Ainsworth, Bob (Cov'try NE)
Allen, Graham
Armstrong, Rt Hon Ms Hilary
Atherton, Ms Candy
Atkins, Charlotte
Atkinson, David (Bour'mth E)
Atkinson, Peter (Hexham)
Bacon, Richard
Bailey, Adrian
Baldry, Tony
Barker, Gregory
Baron, John
Battle, John
Bayley, Hugh
Beard, Nigel
Benn, Hilary
Bercow, John
Beresford, Sir Paul
Blackman, Liz
Blears, Ms Hazel
Blizzard, Bob
Blunt, Crispin
Boswell, Tim
Bottomley, Peter (Worthing W)
Bottomley, Rt Hon Virginia
Bradley, Rt Hon Keith (Withington)
Bradshaw, Ben
Brady, Graham
Brazier, Julian
Brooke, Mrs Annette L
Brown, Rt Hon Nicholas
(Newcastle E & Wallsend)
Browne, Desmond
Browning, Mrs Angela
Bruce, Malcolm
Bryant, Chris
Burnham, Andy
Burns, Simon
Burt, Alistair
Butterfill, John
Cairns, David
Campbell, Alan (Tynemouth)
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)
Campbell, Gregory (E Lond'y)
Caplin, Ivor
Challen, Colin
Chapman, Sir Sydney
(Chipping Barnet)
Chidgey, David
Chope, Christopher
Clappison, James
Clark, Dr Lynda
(Edinburgh Pentlands)
Clark, Paul (Gillingham)
Clarke, Rt Hon Charles
(Norwich S)
Clarke, Rt Hon Tom (Coatbridge)
Clwyd, Ann
Coaker, Vernon
Coffey, Ms Ann
Collins, Tim
Colman, Tony
Conway, Derek
Cooper, Yvette
Cormack, Sir Patrick
Corston, Jean
Cotter, Brian
Cox, Tom
Cran, James
Crausby, David
Cruddas, Jon
Cummings, John
Cunningham, Jim (Cov'try S)
Cunningham, Tony (Workington)
Curry, Rt Hon David
Darling, Rt Hon Alistair
Davey, Edward (Kingston)
Davies, Geraint (Croydon C)
Denham, Rt Hon John
Dhanda, Parmjit
Djanogly, Jonathan
Dodds, Nigel
Donohoe, Brian H
Dowd, Jim
Drown, Ms Julia
Duncan, Alan (Rutland & Melton)
Duncan, Peter (Galloway)
Eagle, Angela (Wallasey)
Eagle, Maria (L'pool Garston)
Ellman, Mrs Louise
Ennis, Jeff
Fabricant, Michael
Fallon, Michael
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Fitzsimons, Mrs Lorna
Flight, Howard
Flint, Caroline
Follett, Barbara
Forth, Rt Hon Eric
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings)
Foulkes, George
Fox, Dr Liam
Francis, Dr Hywel
Francois, Mark
Gale, Roger
Galloway, George
Gapes, Mike
Gardiner, Barry
Garnier, Edward
George, Rt Hon Bruce (Walsall S)
Gillan, Mrs Cheryl
Gilroy, Linda
Goggins, Paul
Gray, James
Grayling, Chris
Green, Damian (Ashford)
Greenway, John
Grieve, Dominic
Hall, Mike (Weaver Vale)
Hamilton, Fabian (Leeds NE)
Hammond, Philip
Hanson, David
Harman, Rt Hon Ms Harriet
Harris, Tom (Glasgow Cathcart)
Harvey, Nick
Hayes, John
Heald, Oliver
Henderson, Ivan (Harwich)
Hendrick, Mark
Hendry, Charles
Heppell, John
Hermon, Lady
Hewitt, Rt Hon Ms Patricia
Hill, Keith
Hoban, Mark
Hoey, Kate
Holmes, Paul
Hope, Phil
Horam, John
Howard, Rt Hon Michael
Howarth, Gerald (Aldershot)
Hoyle, Lindsay
Hughes, Beverley (Stretford)
Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)
Humble, Mrs Joan
Hunter, Andrew
Hutton, Rt Hon John
Ingram, Rt Hon Adam
Irranca–Davies, Huw
Jack, Rt Hon Michael
Jamieson, David
Jenkin, Bernard
Jenkins, Brian
Johnson, Miss Melanie
(Welwyn Hatfield)
Jones, Kevan (N Durham)
Jones, Lynne (Selly Oak)
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S)
Jowell, Rt Hon Tessa
Joyce, Eric
Keeble, Ms Sally
Keen, Ann (Brentford & Isleworth)
Kelly, Ruth
Kemp, Fraser
Kennedy, Rt Hon Charles
(Ross Skye & Inverness W)
Kennedy, Jane (Wavertree)
Key, Robert
Kilfoyle, Peter
King, Ms Oona (Bethnal Green)
Kirkbride, Miss Julie
Kirkwood, Archy
Knight, Jim (S Dorset)
Ladyman, Dr Stephen
Lait, Mrs Jacqui
Lamb, Norman
Lammy, David
Lansley, Andrew
Lawrence, Mrs Jackie
Laws, David
Laxton, Bob
Leigh, Edward
Leslie, Christopher
Levitt, Tom
Lewis, Ivan (Bury S)
Lewis, Dr Julian (New Forest E)
Liddell–Grainger, Ian
Lidington, David
Linton, Martin
Lloyd, Tony
Loughton, Tim
Lucas, Ian
Luff, Peter
Luke, Iain
McAvoy, Thomas
McCabe, Stephen
McCafferty, Chris
McCartney, Rt Hon Ian
MacDougall, John
McFall, John
McGuire, Mrs Anne
McIntosh, Miss Anne
McIsaac, Shona
MacKay, Rt Hon Andrew
McKenna, Rosemary
Maclean, Rt Hon David
McLoughlin, Patrick
McNulty, Tony
MacShane, Denis
Mahmood, Khalid
Malins, Humfrey
Mallaber, Judy
Mandelson, Rt Hon Peter
Mann, John
Maples, John
Marsden, Gordon (Blackpool S)
Mates, Michael
Mawhinney, Rt Hon Sir Brian
May, Mrs Theresa
Mercer, Patrick
Merron, Gillian
Miller, Andrew
Mitchell, Andrew (Sutton Coldfield)
Moffatt, Laura
Mole, Chris
Moonie, Dr Lewis
Moore, Michael
Moran, Margaret
Morley, Elliot
Morris, Rt Hon Estelle
Moss, Malcolm
Munn, Ms Meg
Murphy, Jim (Eastwood)
Murrison, Dr Andrew
Norman, Archie
Norris, Dan
Oaten, Mark
O'Brien, Bill (Normanton)
O'Brien, Mike (N Warks)
O'Brien, Stephen (Eddisbury)
Öpik, Lembit
Osborne, George (Tatton)
Osborne, Sandra (Ayr)
Ottaway, Richard
Page, Richard
Paterson, Owen
Pearson, Ian
Picking, Anne
Pickles, Eric
Pickthall, Colin
Plaskitt, James
Pond, Chris
Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lewisham E)
Primarolo, Dawn
Prisk, Mark
Pugh, Dr John
Purchase, Ken
Quinn, Lawrie
Randall, John
Raynsford, Rt Hon Nick
Redwood, Rt Hon John
Rendel, David
Robathan, Andrew
Robertson, Hugh (Faversham)
Robertson, Laurence (Tewk'b'ry)
Robinson, Geoffrey (Cov'try NW)
Robinson, Mrs Iris (Strangford)
Robinson, Peter (Belfast E)
Roche, Mrs Barbara
Roe, Mrs Marion
Rooney, Terry
Rosindell, Andrew
Ross, Ernie
Roy, Frank
Ruane, Chris
Ruddock, Joan
Ruffley, David
Russell, Ms Christine (Chester)
Ryan, Joan
Sanders, Adrian
Sarwar, Mohammad
Savidge, Malcolm
Sayeed, Jonathan
Sedgemore, Brian
Sheerman, Barry
Shephard, Rt Hon Mrs Gillian
Sheridan, Jim
Shipley, Ms Debra
Simmonds, Mark
Simpson, Keith (Mid–Norfolk)
Smith, Rt Hon Andrew (Oxford E)
Smith, Angela (Basildon)
Smith, Geraldine (Morecambe)
Smith, Jacqui (Redditch)
Smith, John (Glamorgan)
Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
Smith, Sir Robert (W Ab'd'ns)
Soley, Clive
Southworth, Helen
Spellar, Rt Hon John
Spelman, Mrs Caroline
Spicer, Sir Michael
Spink, Bob
Spring, Richard
Squire, Rachel
Stanley, Rt Hon Sir John
Starkey, Dr Phyllis
Steen, Anthony
Stewart, David (Inverness E)
Stewart, Ian (Eccles)
Stoate, Dr Howard
Streeter, Gary
Stringer, Graham
Sutcliffe, Gerry
Swayne, Desmond
Swire, Hugo
Syms, Robert
Tami, Mark
Tapsell, Sir Peter
Taylor, Ms Dari (Stockton S)
Taylor, Ian (Esher & Walton)
Taylor, John (Solihull)
Taylor, Sir Teddy
Thomas, Gareth (Clwyd W)
Thomas, Gareth R (Harrow W)
Thurso, John
Timms, Stephen
Tipping, Paddy
Tredinnick, David
Trickett, Jon
Turner, Andrew (Isle of Wight)
Turner, Neil (Wigan)
Twigg, Stephen (Enfield)
Tynan, Bill
Tyrie, Andrew
Walter, Robert
Ward, Ms Claire
Waterson, Nigel
Watkinson, Angela
Watson, Tom
Watts, David
White, Brian
Whitehead, Dr Alan
Whittingdale, John
Wicks, Malcolm
Widdecombe, Rt Hon Miss Ann
Wiggin, Bill
Wilkinson, John
Williams, Mrs Betty (Conwy)
Williams, Roger (Brecon)
Willis, Phil
Wilshire, David
Winterton, Mrs Ann (Congleton)
Winterton, Nicholas (Macclesfield)
Woodward, Shaun
Woolas, Phil
Worthington, Tony
Wray, James
Wright, David (Telford)
Yeo, Tim
Young, Rt Hon Sir George

Tellers for the Noes:

Mr. James Arbuthnot and
Mr. Mark Field.

Question accordingly negatived.

15 Apr 2002 : Column 417

Motion made, and Question put, That the clause be read a Second time:—

The House divided: Ayes 341, Noes 44.

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