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Mr. Paice: I thank all who have contributed to the debate, many of whom have made their maiden contribution to proceedings on the Bill on this issue. I am appreciative of the support that has come from all quarters other than the Government Front Bench. I cannot but point out a contradiction in the Minister's position. He has sought, most vigorously, to assure us that all the Bill does is give the Secretary of State powers that she does not have to use unless she is absolutely happy that everything will be fine afterwards, but when we discussed part 1, on the Tote, he referred to the House instructing him to sell it. He cannot have it both ways. There is no difference between parts 1 and 2 in that respect: they are both pieces of enabling legislation.

6.45 pm

Mr. Caborn: It is clear that the hon. Gentleman has not followed the debate. There is that which is within our control, and that which is outside it. What is in the Government's control is to be able to sell the Tote, and the price and conditions that go with that. The one thing that we are not in control of—rightly—is the OFT. That is what has created the uncertainty in the provisions for

2 Feb 2004 : Column 578

abolishing the levy. I have reassured the House, and it can be seen in our correspondence with the OFT. That is the essential difference.

Mr. Paice: I am afraid that that has no relevance whatever to the point that I was making.

Mr. Caborn: I will read Hansard tomorrow.

Mr. Paice: I suggest that the Minister reads his own comments. He specifically said—it will be in Hansard—that the House is instructing the Government to sell the Tote, yet now he says that the Bill does not instruct the Government to abolish the levy but merely enables the Secretary of State to do so. The OFT investigation is not relevant in that context.

To reply to the hon. Member for Mansfield (Mr. Healel) on amendment No. 3, I certainly do not want more proliferation of organisations. We are at one on that, and that is not the intention behind the amendment. The intention—I find it difficult to see why the Minister cannot bring himself to accept this—is simply that the transfer scheme should be part of the order abolishing the levy board. It is a tiny issue, and for him to resist it seems to me to be obstinacy ruling reason.

Several hon. Members have talked about the value of small courses. I represent a large course, one of the two at Newmarket, and I clearly do not envisage that Newmarket is under threat from whatever the OFT may decide, but we must consider the small courses. We are not talking about the closure of one or two courses—nobody could reasonably argue that that would have a devastating effect on the industry as a whole, although it would on the locality—because all the commentators believe that if the rule 14 order stands, it could lead to the closure of tens of courses, if not more, and that would certainly have a catastrophic impact, not least because, as the hon. Member for Somerton and Frome (Mr. Heath) said, there is a structure of courses. He referred to Desert Orchid, but many horses never make it to the very famous courses but spend all their lives racing on smaller courses. Others start on the smaller courses and progress to the household names. All courses are important in the interdependent structure of racing, and many hon. Members have pointed out that the OFT seems completely to have failed to understand that.

The commercial approach to producing an income stream for racing, through the sale of data and media rights, must be the right one, and there is nothing between the Government and us in that objective, but it is unrealistic for the BHB, the race courses or any other grouping to start commercial negotiations to generate income to replace the levy until they know what the commercial legislative parameters of those negotiations are to be, as laid down by the OFT.

I welcome the Minister's fond beliefs that the negotiations with the OFT and the industry are going well and that a solution will be found. I very much hope that he is right. All I am suggesting through the amendments is that, in the absence of any conclusion to those negotiations, it would be premature to give the Government carte blanche to abolish the levy board. Amendment No. 3 is the barest minimum step away from that, and amendment No. 4 goes a little further in

2 Feb 2004 : Column 579

requiring a report from the Secretary of State. I was surprised when the Minister suggested that the outcome of those negotiations would be confidential. I cannot see how they can be confidential if they are to meet the requirement that everybody understands the marketing structure that could be adopted for the sale of data and media rights. Amendment No. 4 would require that a report be made, and that the House consider it and take a final decision.

It is clear that the Minister is determined to press on and to resist what are minor and reasonable amendments. In the light of his resistance, I shall press them to a vote.

Question put, That the amendment be made:—

The House divided: Ayes 134, Noes 289.

Division No. 41
[6:50 pm


AYES


Allan, Richard
Amess, David
Arbuthnot, rh James
Atkinson, Peter (Hexham)
Bacon, Richard
Baker, Norman
Baldry, Tony
Barker, Gregory
Beith, rh A. J.
Bercow, John
Boswell, Tim
Bottomley, Peter (Worthing W)
Brady, Graham
Brake, Tom (Carshalton)
Brazier, Julian
Breed, Colin
Brooke, Mrs Annette L.
Burnett, John
Burt, Alistair
Carmichael, Alistair
Chapman, Sir Sydney (Chipping Barnet)
Chidgey, David
Chope, Christopher
Clarke, rh Kenneth (Rushcliffe)
Collins, Tim
Conway, Derek
Curry, rh David
Davis, rh David (Haltemprice & Howden)
Djanogly, Jonathan
Duncan, Alan (Rutland)
Fabricant, Michael
Fallon, Michael
Field, Mark (Cities of London & Westminster)
Flight, Howard
Foster, Don (Bath)
Gale, Roger (N Thanet)
Garnier, Edward
Gillan, Mrs Cheryl
Goodman, Paul
Grayling, Chris
Greenway, John
Gummer, rh John
Hawkins, Nick
Heald, Oliver
Heath, David
Heathcoat-Amory, rh David
Hendry, Charles
Holmes, Paul
Howarth, Gerald (Aldershot)
Hughes, Simon (Southwark N)
Hunter, Andrew
Jack, rh Michael
Jackson, Robert (Wantage)
Jenkin, Bernard
Keetch, Paul
Key, Robert (Salisbury)
Kirkwood, Sir Archy
Knight, rh Greg (E Yorkshire)
Lait, Mrs Jacqui
Lamb, Norman
Lansley, Andrew
Laws, David (Yeovil)
Leigh, Edward
Lewis, Dr. Julian (New Forest E)
Liddell-Grainger, Ian
Lidington, David
Lilley, rh Peter
Llwyd, Elfyn
Loughton, Tim
Luff, Peter (M-Worcs)
McIntosh, Miss Anne
Maclean, rh David
McLoughlin, Patrick
Malins, Humfrey
Mawhinney, rh Sir Brian
May, Mrs Theresa
Mitchell, Andrew (Sutton Coldfield)
Moore, Michael
Moss, Malcolm
Murrison, Dr. Andrew
Oaten, Mark (Winchester)
O'Brien, Stephen (Eddisbury)
Osborne, George (Tatton)
Ottaway, Richard
Page, Richard
Paice, James
Portillo, rh Michael
Prisk, Mark (Hertford)
Pugh, Dr. John
Randall, John
Redwood, rh John
Rendel, David
Robathan, Andrew
Robertson, Angus (Moray)
Robertson, Hugh (Faversham & M-Kent)
Robertson, Laurence (Tewk'b'ry)
Roe, Mrs Marion
Ruffley, David
Russell, Bob (Colchester)
Salmond, Alex
Shephard, rh Mrs Gillian
Shepherd, Richard
Simmonds, Mark
Simpson, Keith (M-Norfolk)
Smith, Sir Robert (W Ab'd'ns & Kincardine)
Soames, Nicholas
Spelman, Mrs Caroline
Spicer, Sir Michael
Spink, Bob (Castle Point)
Stanley, rh Sir John
Streeter, Gary
Stunell, Andrew
Swayne, Desmond
Swire, Hugo (E Devon)
Syms, Robert
Taylor, John (Solihull)
Taylor, Matthew (Truro)
Taylor, Sir Teddy
Teather, Sarah
Tonge, Dr. Jenny
Tyrie, Andrew
Viggers, Peter
Walter, Robert
Watkinson, Angela
Webb, Steve (Northavon)
Whittingdale, John
Widdecombe, rh Miss Ann
Wiggin, Bill
Wilkinson, John
Willetts, David
Williams, Roger (Brecon)
Willis, Phil
Wilshire, David
Young, rh Sir George

Tellers for the Ayes:


Mr. James Gray and
Mr. Mark Francois


NOES


Abbott, Ms Diane
Ainger, Nick
Ainsworth, Bob (Cov'try NE)
Alexander, Douglas
Allen, Graham
Armstrong, rh Ms Hilary
Atherton, Ms Candy
Atkins, Charlotte
Austin, John
Bailey, Adrian
Baird, Vera
Banks, Tony
Barnes, Harry
Barron, rh Kevin
Battle, John
Bayley, Hugh
Beard, Nigel
Begg, Miss Anne
Benn, rh Hilary
Bennett, Andrew
Berry, Roger
Best, Harold
Betts, Clive
Blackman, Liz
Blears, Ms Hazel
Blizzard, Bob
Boateng, rh Paul
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
Caborn, rh Richard
Cairns, David
Campbell, Alan (Tynemouth)
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V)
Caplin, Ivor
Cawsey, Ian (Brigg)
Challen, Colin
Chapman, Ben (Wirral S)
Chaytor, David
Clapham, Michael
Clark, Mrs Helen (Peterborough)
Clark, Dr. Lynda (Edinburgh Pentlands)
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
Cook, rh Robin (Livingston)
Cooper, Yvette
Corston, Jean
Cox, Tom (Tooting)
Crausby, David
Cruddas, Jon
Cryer, Ann (Keighley)
Cryer, John (Hornchurch)
Cummings, John
Cunningham, Jim (Coventry S)
Cunningham, Tony (Workington)
Dalyell, Tam
Darling, rh Alistair
Davey, Valerie (Bristol W)
David, Wayne
Davidson, Ian
Davies, rh Denzil (Llanelli)
Davies, Geraint (Croydon C)
Dawson, Hilton
Dean, Mrs Janet
Denham, rh John
Dhanda, Parmjit
Dobbin, Jim (Heywood)
Dobson, rh Frank
Donohoe, Brian H.
Doran, Frank
Dowd, Jim (Lewisham W)
Drew, David (Stroud)
Eagle, Angela (Wallasey)
Eagle, Maria (L'pool Garston)
Edwards, Huw
Ennis, Jeff (Barnsley E)
Etherington, Bill
Field, rh Frank (Birkenhead)
Fisher, Mark
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Fitzsimons, Mrs Lorna
Flint, Caroline
Flynn, Paul (Newport W)
Follett, Barbara
Foster, rh Derek
Foster, Michael (Worcester)
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings & Rye)
Francis, Dr. Hywel
Gardiner, Barry
George, rh Bruce (Walsall S)
Gibson, Dr. Ian
Gilroy, Linda
Goggins, Paul
Griffiths, Jane (Reading E)
Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Grogan, John
Hain, rh Peter
Hall, Mike (Weaver Vale)
Hall, Patrick (Bedford)
Hamilton, David (Midlothian)
Hanson, David
Harris, Tom (Glasgow Cathcart)
Havard, Dai (Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney)
Henderson, Doug (Newcastle N)
Henderson, Ivan (Harwich)
Hendrick, Mark
Hepburn, Stephen
Hesford, Stephen
Heyes, David
Hood, Jimmy (Clydesdale)
Hoon, rh Geoffrey
Hope, Phil (Corby)
Hopkins, Kelvin
Howarth, George (Knowsley N & Sefton E)
Howells, Dr. Kim
Hoyle, Lindsay
Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)
Humble, Mrs Joan
Hurst, Alan (Braintree)
Hutton, rh John
Iddon, Dr. Brian
Irranca-Davies, Huw
Jackson, Glenda (Hampstead & Highgate)
Jackson, Helen (Hillsborough)
Jamieson, David
Jenkins, Brian
Johnson, Alan (Hull W)
Jones, Helen (Warrington N)
Jones, Kevan (N Durham)
Jones, Lynne (Selly Oak)
Jowell, rh Tessa
Joyce, Eric (Falkirk W)
Kaufman, rh Gerald
Keeble, Ms Sally
Keen, Alan (Feltham)
Keen, Ann (Brentford)
Kemp, Fraser
Khabra, Piara S.
Kidney, David
Kilfoyle, Peter
King, Andy (Rugby)
Knight, Jim (S Dorset)
Kumar, Dr. Ashok
Ladyman, Dr. Stephen
Lammy, David
Lawrence, Mrs Jackie
Laxton, Bob (Derby N)
Lazarowicz, Mark
Leslie, Christopher
Levitt, Tom (High Peak)
Lewis, Ivan (Bury S)
Lewis, Terry (Worsley)
Linton, Martin
Lloyd, Tony (Manchester C)
Love, Andrew
Lucas, Ian (Wrexham)
Luke, Iain (Dundee E)
McAvoy, Thomas
McCabe, Stephen
McDonagh, Siobhain
McDonnell, John
MacDougall, John
McFall, John
McGuire, Mrs Anne
McIsaac, Shona
McKechin, Ann
McKenna, Rosemary
Mackinlay, Andrew
McNamara, Kevin
McWalter, Tony
McWilliam, John
Mahmood, Khalid
Mahon, Mrs Alice
Mandelson, rh Peter
Mann, John (Bassetlaw)
Marris, Rob (Wolverh'ton SW)
Marsden, Gordon (Blackpool S)
Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)
Martlew, Eric
Meacher, rh Michael
Meale, Alan (Mansfield)
Michael, rh Alun
Milburn, rh Alan
Miller, Andrew
Mitchell, Austin (Gt Grimsby)
Moffatt, Laura
Mole, Chris
Moonie, Dr. Lewis
Moran, Margaret
Morley, Elliot
Mountford, Kali
Mudie, George
Munn, Ms Meg
Murphy, Denis (Wansbeck)
Naysmith, Dr. Doug
Norris, Dan (Wansdyke)
O'Brien, Bill (Normanton)
O'Hara, Edward
Osborne, Sandra (Ayr)
Palmer, Dr. Nick
Perham, Linda
Picking, Anne
Pickthall, Colin
Pike, Peter (Burnley)
Plaskitt, James
Pollard, Kerry
Pope, Greg (Hyndburn)
Pound, Stephen
Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lewisham E)
Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)
Quinn, Lawrie
Rapson, Syd (Portsmouth N)
Reed, Andy (Loughborough)
Reid, rh Dr. John (Hamilton N & Bellshill)
Rooney, Terry
Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)
Roy, Frank (Motherwell)
Ruane, Chris
Russell, Ms Christine (City of Chester)
Ryan, Joan (Enfield N)
Salter, Martin
Sarwar, Mohammad
Savidge, Malcolm
Sedgemore, Brian
Shaw, Jonathan
Sheerman, Barry
Sheridan, Jim
Simon, Siôn (B'ham Erdington)
Simpson, Alan (Nottingham S)
Skinner, Dennis
Smith, Geraldine (Morecambe & Lunesdale)
Smith, Jacqui (Redditch)
Soley, Clive
Southworth, Helen
Starkey, Dr. Phyllis
Steinberg, Gerry
Stevenson, George
Stewart, David (Inverness E & Lochaber)
Stewart, Ian (Eccles)
Stinchcombe, Paul
Stoate, Dr. Howard
Straw, rh Jack
Stringer, Graham
Stuart, Ms Gisela
Sutcliffe, Gerry
Tami, Mark (Alyn)
Taylor, rh Ann (Dewsbury)
Taylor, Dari (Stockton S)
Taylor, David (NW Leics)
Tipping, Paddy
Todd, Mark (S Derbyshire)
Touhig, Don (Islwyn)
Trickett, Jon
Truswell, Paul
Turner, Dennis (Wolverh'ton SE)
Turner, Dr. Desmond (Brighton Kemptown)
Vis, Dr. Rudi
Walley, Ms Joan
Ward, Claire
Watson, Tom (W Bromwich E)
Watts, David
White, Brian
Whitehead, Dr. Alan
Wicks, Malcolm
Wills, Michael
Winnick, David
Winterton, Ms Rosie (Doncaster C)
Woodward, Shaun
Woolas, Phil
Wright, Anthony D. (Gt Yarmouth)
Wright, Tony (Cannock)
Wyatt, Derek

Tellers for the Noes:


Mr. John Heppell and
Mr. Jim Murphy

Question accordingly negatived.

2 Feb 2004 : Column 582

Mr. Oliver Heald (North-East Hertfordshire) (Con): On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. You will be aware of the widespread speculation that a statement may be made by the Prime Minister on establishing an inquiry into weapons of mass destruction. Have you, Sir, heard any news in that respect, and would it be possible to ask for at least 45 minutes notice of the deployment of such a statement?


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