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Mr. Letwin: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. This morning, I expected that the Home Secretary would wish to make an immediate statement to the House on the intrusion into Windsor castle. [Interruption.]

Mr. Speaker: Order. There now seems to be a habit of shouting down Members when they are addressing the House. It is wrong.

23 Jun 2003 : Column 825

Mr. Letwin: When it became apparent that the Home Secretary did not intend to do so, I submitted—as you know, Mr. Speaker—a request to you for an urgent question. When it became apparent that the request would not be granted, but that the Home Secretary would make a statement tomorrow, I did not demur, thinking that he wanted time, quite reasonably, to consider the reports he received before explaining them to the House.

I imagine that you, Mr. Speaker, will have been as surprised as I was to discover this evening that the Home Secretary had chosen instead to make his statement through a range of press, radio and television interviews. If the House of Commons is no longer to be the place in which the Home Secretary of the day answers for the safety of the monarch and the protection of the people, what is this House?

Mr. Eric Forth (Bromley and Chislehurst): Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. Given that what my right hon. Friend the Member for West Dorset (Mr. Letwin) describes is in direct contravention of your own rulings and directions from the Chair and that a Division on item 2 on the Order Paper is imminent, would you like to consider whether the period of that Division will give the Home Secretary time to come to the House and put right what is patently very wrong? The Home Secretary is persisting in doing what you have repeatedly said from the Chair must not be done: Ministers making statements outside the House before they come to the House.

Sir Brian Mawhinney (North-West Cambridgeshire): Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. For six years, you have been encouraging, instructing and making rulings from the Chair that Ministers should bring their business to the House first before they take it to the media. This is another example in which your rulings have been flouted. I wonder whether you would reflect on whether you need more authority from the House to ensure that Ministers take seriously the rulings that you make about the primacy of this place.

Sir Peter Tapsell (Louth and Horncastle): Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. You will recall that when, some years ago, an intruder found his way into the Queen's bedroom in Buckingham palace, the Home Secretary of the day, William Whitelaw, came immediately to the Dispatch Box to make a full statement about that serious intrusion and breach of security. He took full personal responsibility, and it subsequently transpired that he had offered his resignation to the Prime Minister. Is not that in the most stark contrast to the behaviour of today's Home Secretary?

Mr. Andrew Mackay (Bracknell): Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. May I seek your guidance, as a number of my constituents work at Windsor castle and have contacted me today to ask me to ask questions of the Home Secretary? What do I say to them when it becomes clear that you legitimately turned down a request for an urgent question because you believed that the first opportunity they would have to hear what the Home Secretary had to say was in the House answering

23 Jun 2003 : Column 826

questions from hon. Members? Instead, they hear him on radio and on television tonight, which is an abuse. What can I say to my constituents?

Simon Hughes (Southwark, North and Bermondsey): Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. First, can you rule whether the security of the institutions of the state—Parliament, Government, the monarchy or the courts—should be a matter for which the Home Secretary is accountable? Secondly, if the Home Secretary is making a statement when he is no longer the police authority for London, does that not have implications for the proper ability of the authorities in the Thames valley or London to discipline the police? The Home Secretary has clearly pre-empted matters by making statements to the public.

Mr. Paul Tyler (North Cornwall) rose—

Mr. Speaker: Order. Ministerial responsibility is nothing to do with the Speaker. A number of right hon. and hon. Members have raised points of order, and I know of their concern. Tomorrow is the day that these questions can be put to the Home Secretary. I know about the arguments that even I have had with Government Ministers regarding statements, but my deep concern is always about policy matters, which I prefer to be put before the House.

If it is a matter of gathering information, of course it is preferable for Ministers to come to the House, but that does not debar a Minister, such as the Home Secretary, from saying something outside the Chamber. The important thing is that I need not give a reason for refusing an urgent question. It is clear to all Members of the House that, had the Home Secretary come to the Dispatch Box at the usual time, the information might not have been available then as it is now.

There is no more I can say at the moment, except that I will take hon. Members' concerns to the Home Secretary. I ask the House for patience. Tomorrow is the day when hon. Members can put their concerns to the Home Secretary. [Interruption.] Well, if it is too late, I could always tell the Home Secretary not to come. [Laughter.] Perhaps the hon. Gentleman would share that view.

Mr. Tyler: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I seek your guidance. Clearly, some extremely important issues are at stake, and you have on a number of occasions identified the importance of coming to the House with information. You have clarified that point now, but will you give consideration to whether it would be appropriate and helpful to you and to the Chair to have clarity on the circumstances in which you could require a Minister to come to the House and make a statement? My colleagues and I would be happy to put a proposition to the Select Committee on Modernisation so that this matter could be clarified, if that would be helpful to you.

Mr. Speaker: Order. I think that these matters should be left as they are at the moment. The points are now on the record.

23 Jun 2003 : Column 827


Order for Second Reading read.

Motion made, and Question put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 56 (Consolidated Fund Bills), That the Bill be now read a Second time.

The House divided: Ayes 286, Noes 137.

Division No. 248
[10:35 pm


Ainsworth, Bob (Cov'try NE)
Alexander, Douglas
Allen, Graham
Anderson, rh Donald (Swansea E)
Armstrong, rh Ms Hilary
Atherton, Ms Candy
Atkins, Charlotte
Austin, John
Bailey, Adrian
Barnes, Harry
Bayley, Hugh
Beard, Nigel
Beckett, rh Margaret
Benn, Hilary
Benton, Joe (Bootle)
Betts, Clive
Blackman, Liz
Blears, Ms Hazel
Boateng, rh Paul
Borrow, David
Bradley, rh Keith (Withington)
Bradley, Peter (The Wrekin)
Bradshaw, Ben
Brennan, Kevin
Brown, rh Nicholas (Newcastle E Wallsend)
Brown, Russell (Dumfries)
Browne, Desmond
Bryant, Chris
Burden, Richard
Burgon, Colin
Burnham, Andy
Byers, rh Stephen
Cairns, David
Campbell, Alan (Tynemouth)
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V)
Caplin, Ivor
Caton, Martin
Cawsey, Ian (Brigg)
Chaytor, David
Clapham, Michael
Clark, Mrs Helen (Peterborough)
Clark, Paul (Gillingham)
Clarke, rh Tom (Coatbridge & Chryston)
Clarke, Tony (Northampton S)
Clelland, David
Clwyd, Ann (Cynon V)
Coaker, Vernon
Coffey, Ms Ann
Cohen, Harry
Coleman, Iain
Colman, Tony
Connarty, Michael
Cook, Frank (Stockton N)
Cook, rh Robin (Livingston)
Corston, Jean
Cousins, Jim
Crausby, David
Cruddas, Jon
Cryer, Ann (Keighley)
Cryer, John (Hornchurch)
Cunningham, Jim (Coventry S)
Cunningham, Tony (Workington)
Dalyell, Tam
Darling, rh Alistair
Davey, Valerie (Bristol W)
David, Wayne
Davies, rh Denzil (Llanelli)
Davies, Geraint (Croydon C)
Dawson, Hilton
Denham, rh John
Dobson, rh Frank
Donohoe, Brian H.
Doran, Frank
Drew, David (Stroud)
Eagle, Angela (Wallasey)
Eagle, Maria (L'pool Garston)
Edwards, Huw
Efford, Clive
Ellman, Mrs Louise
Ennis, Jeff (Barnsley E)
Farrelly, Paul
Field, rh Frank (Birkenhead)
Fisher, Mark
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Fitzsimons, Mrs Lorna
Follett, Barbara
Foster, rh Derek
Foster, Michael (Worcester)
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings & Rye)
Francis, Dr. Hywel
Gapes, Mike (Ilford S)
George, rh Bruce (Walsall S)
Gerrard, Neil
Gibson, Dr. Ian
Gilroy, Linda
Godsiff, Roger
Goggins, Paul
Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)
Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Grogan, John
Hain, rh Peter
Hall, Mike (Weaver Vale)
Hall, Patrick (Bedford)
Hamilton, David (Midlothian)
Hamilton, Fabian (Leeds NE)
Hanson, David
Harman, rh Ms Harriet
Havard, Dai (Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney)
Healey, John
Henderson, Doug (Newcastle N)
Henderson, Ivan (Harwich)
Hendrick, Mark
Hepburn, Stephen
Heppell, John
Hesford, Stephen
Heyes, David
Hill, Keith (Streatham)
Hinchliffe, David
Hoey, Kate (Vauxhall)
Hoon, rh Geoffrey
Hope, Phil (Corby)
Hopkins, Kelvin
Howarth, George (Knowsley N & Sefton E)
Howells, Dr. Kim
Hughes, Beverley (Stretford & Urmston)
Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)
Humble, Mrs Joan
Hurst, Alan (Braintree)
Iddon, Dr. Brian
Illsley, Eric
Ingram, rh Adam
Irranca-Davies, Huw
Jamieson, David
Jenkins, Brian
Johnson, Miss Melanie (Welwyn Hatfield)
Jones, Helen (Warrington N)
Jones, Kevan (N Durham)
Jones, Lynne (Selly Oak)
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S)
Joyce, Eric (Falkirk W)
Kaufman, rh Gerald
Keeble, Ms Sally
Kemp, Fraser
Khabra, Piara S.
Kidney, David
King, Andy (Rugby)
King, Ms Oona (Bethnal Green & Bow)
Knight, Jim (S Dorset)
Kumar, Dr. Ashok
Ladyman, Dr. Stephen
Lammy, David
Lawrence, Mrs Jackie
Lazarowicz, Mark
Lepper, David
Leslie, Christopher
Levitt, Tom (High Peak)
Lewis, Terry (Worsley)
Linton, Martin
Love, Andrew
McAvoy, Thomas
McCabe, Stephen
McCartney, rh Ian
McDonagh, Siobhain
McDonnell, John
MacDougall, John
McFall, John
McGuire, Mrs Anne
McIsaac, Shona
McKechin, Ann
Mackinlay, Andrew
McNulty, Tony
MacShane, Denis
Mactaggart, Fiona
McWalter, Tony
McWilliam, John
Mahon, Mrs Alice
Mallaber, Judy
Marris, Rob (Wolverh'ton SW)
Marsden, Gordon (Blackpool S)
Marshall-Andrews, Robert
Martlew, Eric
Meacher, rh Michael
Merron, Gillian
Michael, rh Alun
Miller, Andrew
Moffatt, Laura
Mole, Chris
Moonie, Dr. Lewis
Moran, Margaret
Morley, Elliot
Morris, rh Estelle
Mountford, Kali
Mudie, George
Mullin, Chris
Munn, Ms Meg
Murphy, Denis (Wansbeck)
Murphy, Jim (Eastwood)
Naysmith, Dr. Doug
Norris, Dan (Wansdyke)
O'Brien, Bill (Normanton)
O'Brien, Mike (N Warks)
Olner, Bill
O'Neill, Martin
Organ, Diana
Osborne, Sandra (Ayr)
Owen, Albert
Palmer, Dr. Nick
Perham, Linda
Picking, Anne
Pickthall, Colin
Pike, Peter (Burnley)
Plaskitt, James
Pollard, Kerry
Pond, Chris (Gravesham)
Pope, Greg (Hyndburn)
Pound, Stephen
Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lewisham E)
Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)
Prosser, Gwyn
Purchase, Ken
Purnell, James
Quinn, Lawrie
Rammell, Bill
Rapson, Syd (Portsmouth N)
Raynsford, rh Nick
Reed, Andy (Loughborough)
Robertson, John (Glasgow Anniesland)
Rooney, Terry
Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)
Roy, Frank (Motherwell)
Ruane, Chris
Ruddock, Joan
Salter, Martin
Sarwar, Mohammad
Savidge, Malcolm
Sawford, Phil
Sedgemore, Brian
Shaw, Jonathan
Sheerman, Barry
Sheridan, Jim
Simpson, Alan (Nottingham S)
Singh, Marsha
Smith, rh Andrew (Oxford E)
Smith, Jacqui (Redditch)
Smith, John (Glamorgan)
Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
Spellar, rh John
Starkey, Dr. Phyllis
Steinberg, Gerry
Stevenson, George
Stewart, David (Inverness E & Lochaber)
Stoate, Dr. Howard
Stringer, Graham
Stuart, Ms Gisela
Sutcliffe, Gerry
Tami, Mark (Alyn)
Taylor, Dari (Stockton S)
Taylor, David (NW Leics)
Thomas, Gareth (Clwyd W)
Thomas, Gareth (Harrow W)
Todd, Mark (S Derbyshire)
Touhig, Don (Islwyn)
Trickett, Jon
Truswell, Paul
Turner, Dennis (Wolverh'ton SE)
Turner, Neil (Wigan)
Twigg, Derek (Halton)
Tynan, Bill (Hamilton S)
Wareing, Robert N.
Watson, Tom (W Bromwich E)
White, Brian
Whitehead, Dr. Alan
Wicks, Malcolm
Williams, rh Alan (Swansea W)
Williams, Betty (Conwy)
Wills, Michael
Wilson, Brian
Winterton, Ms Rosie (Doncaster C)
Wood, Mike (Batley)
Woodward, Shaun
Woolas, Phil
Wright, Anthony D. (Gt Yarmouth)
Wright, David (Telford)
Wright, Tony (Cannock)
Wyatt, Derek

Tellers for the Ayes:

Mr. Nick Ainger and
Joan Ryan


Ainsworth, Peter (E Surrey)
Ancram, rh Michael
Atkinson, Peter (Hexham)
Bacon, Richard
Baker, Norman
Barker, Gregory
Baron, John (Billericay)
Barrett, John
Bellingham, Henry
Bercow, John
Beresford, Sir Paul
Boswell, Tim
Brady, Graham
Brazier, Julian
Brooke, Mrs Annette L.
Browning, Mrs Angela
Burnett, John
Burns, Simon
Calton, Mrs Patsy
Cameron, David
Chope, Christopher
Clarke, rh Kenneth (Rushcliffe)
Collins, Tim
Conway, Derek
Cotter, Brian
Davies, Quentin (Grantham & Stamford)
Davis, rh David (Haltemprice & Howden)
Doughty, Sue
Duncan, Alan (Rutland)
Duncan, Peter (Galloway)
Evans, Nigel
Ewing, Annabelle
Field, Mark (Cities of London & Westminster)
Flight, Howard
Flook, Adrian
Forth, rh Eric
Foster, Don (Bath)
Fox, Dr. Liam
Gale, Roger (N Thanet)
George, Andrew (St. Ives)
Gidley, Sandra
Gillan, Mrs Cheryl
Goodman, Paul
Gray, James (N Wilts)
Green, Matthew (Ludlow)
Grieve, Dominic
Gummer, rh John
Harris, Dr. Evan (Oxford W & Abingdon)
Heald, Oliver
Heath, David
Hendry, Charles
Hermon, Lady
Hoban, Mark (Fareham)
Holmes, Paul
Howard, rh Michael
Hughes, Simon (Southwark N)
Jackson, Robert (Wantage)
Jenkin, Bernard
Johnson, Boris (Henley)
Keetch, Paul
Kennedy, rh Charles (Ross Skye & Inverness)
Kirkbride, Miss Julie
Kirkwood, Sir Archy
Laing, Mrs Eleanor
Lait, Mrs Jacqui
Lamb, Norman
Lansley, Andrew
Letwin, rh Oliver
Lewis, Dr. Julian (New Forest E)
Liddell-Grainger, Ian
Lidington, David
Luff, Peter (M-Worcs)
McIntosh, Miss Anne
Mackay, rh Andrew
Maclean, rh David
McLoughlin, Patrick
Marsden, Paul (Shrewsbury & Atcham)
Maude, rh Francis
Mawhinney, rh Sir Brian
May, Mrs Theresa
Mitchell, Andrew (Sutton Coldfield)
Moore, Michael
Murrison, Dr. Andrew
Norman, Archie
Oaten, Mark (Winchester)
O'Brien, Stephen (Eddisbury)
Öpik, Lembit
Osborne, George (Tatton)
Ottaway, Richard
Paice, James
Paterson, Owen
Pickles, Eric
Portillo, rh Michael
Prisk, Mark (Hertford)
Pugh, Dr. John
Redwood, rh John
Reid, Alan (Argyll & Bute)
Robathan, Andrew
Robertson, Angus (Moray)
Robertson, Hugh (Faversham & M-Kent)
Robertson, Laurence (Tewk'b'ry)
Rosindell, Andrew
Russell, Bob (Colchester)
Sanders, Adrian
Selous, Andrew
Shephard, rh Mrs Gillian
Simmonds, Mark
Smith, Sir Robert (W Ab'd'ns & Kincardine)
Spelman, Mrs Caroline
Spicer, Sir Michael
Spring, Richard
Stanley, rh Sir John
Steen, Anthony
Stunell, Andrew
Swire, Hugo (E Devon)
Syms, Robert
Tapsell, Sir Peter
Taylor, Ian (Esher)
Taylor, Matthew (Truro)
Taylor, Dr. Richard (Wyre F)
Thomas, Simon (Ceredigion)
Tonge, Dr. Jenny
Tredinnick, David
Turner, Andrew (Isle of Wight)
Tyler, Paul (N Cornwall)
Tyrie, Andrew
Viggers, Peter
Webb, Steve (Northavon)
Weir, Michael
Whittingdale, John
Wiggin, Bill
Williams, Roger (Brecon)
Wilshire, David
Winterton, Ann (Congleton)
Winterton, Sir Nicholas (Macclesfield)
Yeo, Tim (S Suffolk)
Younger-Ross, Richard

Tellers for the Noes:

Angela Watkinson and
Mr. Mark Francois

Question accordingly agreed to.

23 Jun 2003 : Column 830

Bill read a Second time.

Question put forthwith, That the Bill be now read the Third time.

The House divided: Ayes 275, Noes 116.

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