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Mr. Hogg: Might it not be helpful to remind ACPO that an officer who sells a bit of information is committing a criminal offence?

Paul Goggins: Indeed. The right hon. and learned Gentleman is right to point out that that is a criminal offence. Disclosure of information on a suspect is clearly a serious matter, and it is almost certainly a breach of the ACPO code. It already leads to disciplinary action, and I can confirm that 61 cases were substantiated last year. ACPO is considering how to strengthen the guidelines.

Mr. Heath: The Minister touches on a point that I have already raised in an intervention. I have seen footage of police raids carried out with an accompanying camera and heard the chief constable applauding that fact and seeing it as an advertisement for his force that the footage shows people being carried away in handcuffs. That cannot be right, and ACPO needs to address the issue much more seriously.

Paul Goggins: There are instances in which that sort of thing happens because it is in the public interest. Clearly, no money changes hands in those cases, and that is the point. As the right hon. and learned Member for Sleaford and North Hykeham (Mr. Hogg) said, that would be a criminal offence, which would not be the case with the circumstances outlined by the hon. Member for Somerton and Frome (Mr. Heath).

Discussions are also ongoing with senior media representatives. They are taking place in a positive atmosphere, although, like our debate tonight, they reflect the complexity arising from the fact that the media are not confined to our islands but are truly international—we live in the age of the internet. It is clearly a complex area, but the Government still believe that the self-regulation route is preferable and that it can help us to achieve our objectives.

6 pm

Sandra Gidley: The Minister says that self-regulation is preferable, but he has almost conceded that it is practically unworkable because of the internet and so forth. If in the long term the all-too-familiar examples continue to appear on the front pages of the media, will he review that route? On occasion, people's lives are ruined by the publicity that is generated. There will be a time when a story is so big that one of the tabloid newspapers—or even a broadsheet newspaper—will not be able to resist paying for an exclusive.

Paul Goggins: I have not conceded that that route is not possible. Indeed, I am involved in some of the discussions on it with the firm intention that they can be concluded positively. That is the spirit in which I am working, notwithstanding the fact that we live in the age of the internet and face many challenges.

Simon Hughes: I realise that my point comes on top of other pressure from the Opposition Benches, but as the

3 Nov 2003 : Column 575

Minister cannot yet tell us that he has delivered an agreement with the chief police officers and the media, will he tell us whether he expects to deliver much tighter, agreed guidelines before the legislation reaches the statute book? Will those be published, and will breaches be punished under criminal law if the media or the police breach the rules?

Paul Goggins: It is important to make the point that I shall not be the one who delivers. It will be the police and the media who deliver, and they understand the issue. They know that we are debating it in the House today, and they know that the pressure is building. Both are looking at their internal guidelines to see whether they can be strengthened in a way that helps us to achieve a solution that is short of the legislative route.

Mr. Andrew Turner: Will the Minister address an issue that he has not addressed so far? If the new clause becomes law, it will cover publicity of the reasons for suspensions, such as the suspension of head teachers. What is the Minister's equivalent process in his case for rejecting the new clause?

Paul Goggins: I shall reflect on the hon. Gentleman's point. Indeed, I was reflecting on his earlier point about the circumstances of the constituent to whom he referred, and the place of professional people who are suspended when such information comes into the public domain. We obviously need to safeguard against those connections. Again, I believe that such a safeguard can be achieved within the voluntary route.

I conclude by saying that, in a very good speech, the hon. Member for Beaconsfield conceded that the voluntary route may deliver the sort of solution that we all seek. He said that it might prove to be a possible way forward. He then speculated about the message that we are sending from this House to the other place. I hope that he will share that message, which is to ask those in the other place not to pre-empt the possibility that the voluntary route may work by trying to force the statutory route upon us. He concedes that the voluntary route may be possible. Let us see if it can be made to work.

We should send a united message to the other place: we want to see whether that route can work, rather than jump to the legislative solution too soon. In that spirit, I hope that, even at this stage, the hon. Gentleman will agree to withdraw the new clause and send that united message to the other place.

Mr. Grieve: The Minister tempts me, and I put on record, as I have on many occasions, that my pleasure in the passage of the Bill has been the degree of consensus that we have been able to achieve and the rational debate that has taken place as a result. In that sense, it has been a remarkable piece of legislation to see through Committee, so I am sorry that I shall have to disappoint the Minister on this occasion.

As always happens with legislation, the problem is that we are running out of time. The Minister wants the legislation on the statute book by the end of the Session, which I support, but we have to send a message about the remaining areas of concern to us. This is the second reading of a new clause and, in the absence of concrete

3 Nov 2003 : Column 576

proposals from the Minister on self-regulation, the House ought to be very concerned about what I see as a deteriorating situation. I am mindful of what has been said and of the point that we make a distinction for sex offences if we go down this road. Having said that, it is noteworthy that this is the very point that the past Director of Public Prosecutions said should be of great concern. He has highlighted the fact that the current contempt of court provisions are not sufficient to meet that concern. In those circumstances, it is right that the House should pronounce on the principles in the new clause.

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

The House divided: Ayes 158, Noes 276.

Division No. 348
[6:06 pm


Ainsworth, Peter (E Surrey)
Allan, Richard
Amess, David
Arbuthnot, rh James
Baker, Norman
Barker, Gregory
Baron, John (Billericay)
Barrett, John
Bellingham, Henry
Bercow, John
Beresford, Sir Paul
Blunt, Crispin
Boswell, Tim
Bottomley, Peter (Worthing W)
Brady, Graham
Brake, Tom (Carshalton)
Brazier, Julian
Breed, Colin
Brooke, Mrs Annette L.
Browning, Mrs Angela
Burns, Simon
Burstow, Paul
Butterfill, John
Cable, Dr. Vincent
Calton, Mrs Patsy
Cameron, David
Carmichael, Alistair
Cash, William
Chapman, Sir Sydney (Chipping Barnet)
Clappison, James
Clarke, rh Kenneth (Rushcliffe)
Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey
Collins, Tim
Conway, Derek
Cormack, Sir Patrick
Cotter, Brian
Cran, James (Beverley)
Curry, rh David
Davis, rh David (Haltemprice & Howden)
Djanogly, Jonathan
Doughty, Sue
Duncan, Alan (Rutland)
Duncan, Peter (Galloway)
Duncan Smith, rh Iain
Evans, Nigel
Fallon, Michael
Field, Mark (Cities of London & Westminster)
Flight, Howard
Flook, Adrian
Forth, rh Eric
Foster, Don (Bath)
Fox, Dr. Liam
Gidley, Sandra
Goodman, Paul
Gray, James (N Wilts)
Grayling, Chris
Green, Damian (Ashford)
Greenway, John
Grieve, Dominic
Gummer, rh John
Hague, rh William
Hammond, Philip
Harris, Dr. Evan (Oxford W & Abingdon)
Harvey, Nick
Hawkins, Nick
Hayes, John (S Holland)
Heald, Oliver
Heath, David
Hendry, Charles
Hermon, Lady
Hoban, Mark (Fareham)
Horam, John (Orpington)
Hughes, Simon (Southwark N)
Jack, rh Michael
Jenkin, Bernard
Johnson, Boris (Henley)
Keetch, Paul
Key, Robert (Salisbury)
Kirkbride, Miss Julie
Kirkwood, Sir Archy
Laing, Mrs Eleanor
Lansley, Andrew
Laws, David (Yeovil)
Letwin, rh Oliver
Lewis, Dr. Julian (New Forest E)
Liddell-Grainger, Ian
Lidington, David
Loughton, Tim
Luff, Peter (M-Worcs)
McIntosh, Miss Anne
Mackay, rh Andrew
Maclean, rh David
McLoughlin, Patrick
Maples, John
Mawhinney, rh Sir Brian
Mercer, Patrick
Mitchell, Andrew (Sutton Coldfield)
Moore, Michael
Moss, Malcolm
Norman, Archie
Oaten, Mark (Winchester)
O'Brien, Stephen (Eddisbury)
Ottaway, Richard
Page, Richard
Paice, James
Paterson, Owen
Pickles, Eric
Portillo, rh Michael
Price, Adam (E Carmarthen & Dinefwr)
Pugh, Dr. John
Randall, John
Redwood, rh John
Rendel, David
Robathan, Andrew
Robertson, Hugh (Faversham & M-Kent)
Robertson, Laurence (Tewk'b'ry)
Roe, Mrs Marion
Rosindell, Andrew
Ruffley, David
Russell, Bob (Colchester)
Sanders, Adrian
Selous, Andrew
Shephard, rh Mrs Gillian
Shepherd, Richard
Simmonds, Mark
Simpson, Keith (M-Norfolk)
Soames, Nicholas
Spelman, Mrs Caroline
Spicer, Sir Michael
Spink, Bob (Castle Point)
Spring, Richard
Stanley, rh Sir John
Steen, Anthony
Stunell, Andrew
Syms, Robert
Tapsell, Sir Peter
Taylor, John (Solihull)
Taylor, Matthew (Truro)
Taylor, Dr. Richard (Wyre F)
Taylor, Sir Teddy
Thurso, John
Tonge, Dr. Jenny
Tredinnick, David
Turner, Andrew (Isle of Wight)
Walter, Robert
Waterson, Nigel
Watkinson, Angela
Webb, Steve (Northavon)
Weir, Michael
Whittingdale, John
Wiggin, Bill
Willetts, David
Williams, Hywel (Caernarfon)
Williams, Roger (Brecon)
Willis, Phil
Wilshire, David
Wishart, Pete
Young, rh Sir George

Tellers for the Ayes:

Mr. George Osborne and
Mr. Mark Francois


Abbott, Ms Diane
Adams, Irene (Paisley N)
Ainsworth, Bob (Cov'try NE)
Allen, Graham
Anderson, rh Donald (Swansea E)
Anderson, Janet (Rossendale & Darwen)
Armstrong, rh Ms Hilary
Atkins, Charlotte
Bailey, Adrian
Baird, Vera
Barron, rh Kevin
Bayley, Hugh
Beckett, rh Margaret
Bell, Stuart
Bennett, Andrew
Benton, Joe (Bootle)
Berry, Roger
Betts, Clive
Blackman, Liz
Blunkett, rh David
Borrow, David
Bradley, rh Keith (Withington)
Bradley, Peter (The Wrekin)
Brennan, Kevin
Brown, rh Nicholas (Newcastle E Wallsend)
Brown, Russell (Dumfries)
Browne, Desmond
Bryant, Chris
Buck, Ms Karen
Burnham, Andy
Byers, rh Stephen
Cairns, David
Campbell, Alan (Tynemouth)
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V)
Caplin, Ivor
Casale, Roger
Caton, Martin
Cawsey, Ian (Brigg)
Challen, Colin
Chapman, Ben (Wirral S)
Clapham, Michael
Clark, Mrs Helen (Peterborough)
Clarke, rh Tom (Coatbridge & Chryston)
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)
Cousins, Jim
Crausby, David
Cruddas, Jon
Cryer, John (Hornchurch)
Cummings, John
Cunningham, Jim (Coventry S)
Cunningham, Tony (Workington)
Curtis-Thomas, Mrs Claire
Davey, Valerie (Bristol W)
Davies, rh Denzil (Llanelli)
Davies, Geraint (Croydon C)
Dawson, Hilton
Dean, Mrs Janet
Denham, rh John
Dhanda, Parmjit
Dismore, Andrew
Dobbin, Jim (Heywood)
Dobson, rh Frank
Donohoe, Brian H.
Dowd, Jim (Lewisham W)
Drew, David (Stroud)
Dunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth
Eagle, Angela (Wallasey)
Eagle, Maria (L'pool Garston)
Edwards, Huw
Efford, Clive
Ennis, Jeff (Barnsley E)
Farrelly, Paul
Fisher, Mark
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Flint, Caroline
Flynn, Paul (Newport W)
Follett, Barbara
Foster, Michael (Worcester)
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings & Rye)
Foulkes, rh George
Francis, Dr. Hywel
Gapes, Mike (Ilford S)
Gerrard, Neil
Gibson, Dr. Ian
Godsiff, Roger
Goggins, Paul
Griffiths, Jane (Reading E)
Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)
Hain, rh Peter
Hall, Mike (Weaver Vale)
Hall, Patrick (Bedford)
Hamilton, David (Midlothian)
Harman, rh Ms Harriet
Harris, Tom (Glasgow Cathcart)
Havard, Dai (Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney)
Healey, John
Henderson, Ivan (Harwich)
Hendrick, Mark
Hepburn, Stephen
Heppell, John
Hesford, Stephen
Hewitt, rh Ms Patricia
Hill, Keith (Streatham)
Hodge, Margaret
Hood, Jimmy (Clydesdale)
Hopkins, Kelvin
Howarth, rh Alan (Newport E)
Howells, Dr. Kim
Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)
Humble, Mrs Joan
Hurst, Alan (Braintree)
Iddon, Dr. Brian
Illsley, Eric
Ingram, rh Adam
Irranca-Davies, Huw
Jackson, Glenda (Hampstead & Highgate)
Jones, Helen (Warrington N)
Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C)
Jones, Kevan (N Durham)
Jones, Lynne (Selly Oak)
Jowell, rh Tessa
Joyce, Eric (Falkirk W)
Kaufman, rh Gerald
Keen, Alan (Feltham)
Kemp, Fraser
Kennedy, Jane (Wavertree)
Khabra, Piara S.
Kidney, David
King, Ms Oona (Bethnal Green & Bow)
Kumar, Dr. Ashok
Ladyman, Dr. Stephen
Lammy, David
Lawrence, Mrs Jackie
Laxton, Bob (Derby N)
Lazarowicz, Mark
Lepper, David
Leslie, Christopher
Levitt, Tom (High Peak)
Lewis, Ivan (Bury S)
Lewis, Terry (Worsley)
Linton, Martin
Love, Andrew
Lucas, Ian (Wrexham)
Lyons, John (Strathkelvin)
McAvoy, Thomas
McCabe, Stephen
McDonagh, Siobhain
MacDonald, Calum
McDonnell, John
MacDougall, John
McIsaac, Shona
McKechin, Ann
McKenna, Rosemary
Mackinlay, Andrew
MacShane, Denis
Mactaggart, Fiona
McWalter, Tony
McWilliam, John
Mahon, Mrs Alice
Mann, John (Bassetlaw)
Marris, Rob (Wolverh'ton SW)
Marsden, Gordon (Blackpool S)
Marshall, David (Glasgow Shettleston)
Martlew, Eric
Meacher, rh Michael
Meale, Alan (Mansfield)
Michael, rh Alun
Miliband, David
Miller, Andrew
Moffatt, Laura
Mole, Chris
Moran, Margaret
Morley, Elliot
Morris, rh Estelle
Mountford, Kali
Munn, Ms Meg
Murphy, Denis (Wansbeck)
Murphy, Jim (Eastwood)
Naysmith, Dr. Doug
O'Brien, Bill (Normanton)
Organ, Diana
Osborne, Sandra (Ayr)
Owen, Albert
Palmer, Dr. Nick
Picking, Anne
Pickthall, Colin
Pike, Peter (Burnley)
Plaskitt, James
Pope, Greg (Hyndburn)
Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lewisham E)
Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)
Primarolo, rh Dawn
Prosser, Gwyn
Purchase, Ken
Purnell, James
Quin, rh Joyce
Quinn, Lawrie
Rapson, Syd (Portsmouth N)
Reed, Andy (Loughborough)
Reid, rh Dr. John (Hamilton N & Bellshill)
Robertson, John (Glasgow Anniesland)
Robinson, Geoffrey (Coventry NW)
Roche, Mrs Barbara
Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)
Roy, Frank (Motherwell)
Ruane, Chris
Ruddock, Joan
Russell, Ms Christine (City of Chester)
Ryan, Joan (Enfield N)
Salter, Martin
Sarwar, Mohammad
Savidge, Malcolm
Sawford, Phil
Sedgemore, Brian
Shaw, Jonathan
Simon, Siôn (B'ham Erdington)
Simpson, Alan (Nottingham S)
Singh, Marsha
Skinner, Dennis
Smith, Geraldine (Morecambe & Lunesdale)
Smith, Jacqui (Redditch)
Smith, John (Glamorgan)
Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
Soley, Clive
Spellar, rh John
Squire, Rachel
Stevenson, George
Stewart, David (Inverness E & Lochaber)
Stewart, Ian (Eccles)
Stinchcombe, Paul
Straw, rh Jack
Stringer, Graham
Stuart, Ms Gisela
Sutcliffe, Gerry
Taylor, rh Ann (Dewsbury)
Taylor, Dari (Stockton S)
Taylor, David (NW Leics)
Thomas, Gareth (Clwyd W)
Thomas, Gareth (Harrow W)
Timms, Stephen
Tipping, Paddy
Todd, Mark (S Derbyshire)
Trickett, Jon
Turner, Dennis (Wolverh'ton SE)
Turner, Dr. Desmond (Brighton Kemptown)
Twigg, Derek (Halton)
Tynan, Bill (Hamilton S)
Walley, Ms Joan
Ward, Claire
Wareing, Robert N.
Watts, David
White, Brian
Whitehead, Dr. Alan
Wicks, Malcolm
Williams, rh Alan (Swansea W)
Williams, Betty (Conwy)
Wills, Michael
Winnick, David
Wood, Mike (Batley)
Woodward, Shaun
Woolas, Phil
Worthington, Tony
Wright, Anthony D. (Gt Yarmouth)
Wright, David (Telford)
Wright, Tony (Cannock)
Wyatt, Derek

Tellers for the Noes:

Mr. Nick Ainger and
Paul Clark

Question accordingly negatived.

3 Nov 2003 : Column 579

New Clause 5


'(1) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 28 of the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000 (c.43) an individual—
(a) who is convicted of any offence under sections 6 to 17 inclusive of this Act, and
(b) who receives a qualifying sentence
is, subject to subsections (2) to (4) below, disqualified from working with children.
(2) Where an individual believes that he should not be disqualified from working with children then he shall, at the time of advancing a plea of mitigation, apply to the court for a declaration that he is not disqualified.
(3) Where a court hears an application from an individual under subsection (2) above—
(a) it shall hear representation from both the individual and the prosecution, and
(b) it shall only declare a person is not disqualified to work with children if, having regard to all the circumstances, he is satisfied that the individual is unlikely to commit any further offence against a child.
(4) Where a court does declare that a person is not disqualified from working with children—
(a) it shall say in open court the reasons for making this declaration; and
(b) the provisions of subsection (1) will not apply to the individual named in the declaration.
(5) For the purposes of this section "a qualifying sentence" shall mean—
(a) a term of imprisonment of at least twelve months;
(b) a community rehabilitation order of twenty-four or more months duration;
(c) a community punishment order of one hundred and twenty or more hours duration;

3 Nov 2003 : Column 580

(d) a community rehabilitation and punishment order, where the rehabilitation order component is of at least eighteen months' duration, and the punishment order component is of at least sixty hours duration.
(6) A person who is disqualified from working with children under this Act shall be disqualified from working with children for the purposes of section 28 of the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000 (c.43).'.—[Sir Paul Beresford.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

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