Previous SectionIndexHome Page

Ms Diane Abbott (Hackney, North and Stoke Newington) (Lab): Will the Minister give way?

Beverley Hughes: No, I will not.

Under amendments Nos. 16 and 19, support would be withdrawn from a failed asylum-seeking family 28 days after receipt of the Secretary of State's decision to certify. That period could then be varied under regulations by up to seven days. We discussed this in Committee, and I hope that the hon. Member for Woking will accept that I made it clear then that, although the clause specifies a minimum 14-day period, the earlier stages that I have committed to before certification—which are involved in the process that I have set out—mean that there will be at least 28 days from appeal rights being exhausted to certification, and probably longer in many cases. I hope that he will therefore accept that we do not need to extend that period in the Bill.

6 pm

Under amendment No. 17, support could be withdrawn from a failed asylum-seeking family only when a copy of the Secretary of State's certificate was sent both to the person involved and their legal representative.

Amendment No. 18 would reflect that by making it clear that a person should be regarded as having received the certificate only on the second day after it is sent, if it has been sent to him and to his legal representative. In Committee, I said that I have no

1 Mar 2004 : Column 656

difficulty with that principle but that it was not necessary to put it in the Bill. We will send letters to a legal representative, where there is one. The amendment is therefore unnecessary.

The Government amendments provide for an appeal by a failed asylum seeker to the asylum support adjudicator where the Secretary of State has certified that the family has failed, without reasonable excuse, to take reasonable steps to leave the UK voluntarily. I reiterate that the purpose of clause 7 is to encourage families to leave voluntarily, and I shall set out what the adjudicator might look at in such an appeal. We must remember that the appeal will not prevent removal. It is an appeal against certification, not a reopening of the asylum claim.

In reaching a decision to certify, the Secretary of State will have concluded that the family, without reasonable excuse, had failed to take reasonable steps to leave the UK or to place themselves in a position where they could do so. The adjudicator would look at any arguments put forward by the family as to why they had not done so and whether the Secretary of State was right to conclude that the necessary steps had not been taken. That will provide further confidence in the overall process that we envisage for clause 7 and further reassurance that if support is withdrawn—I expect that to occur in a minority of cases, if any—the decision is the correct one.

The hon. Member for Woking asked about a situation in which we could not enforce removal but a voluntary return was possible. I partly answered him by saying that, even in those circumstances, provided a family were co-operating with us to seek a voluntary route, support would continue and that we would deal with those difficult circumstances case by case.

We do not want families to be separated. We do not want people to be destitute. We want a managed system whereby people leave voluntarily after a fair hearing of their case and where people are clear that they cannot, and should not be able to, expect the state to support them indefinitely, regardless of the merits of their case.

On new clause 1 and amendment No. 33—

Mr. Iain Coleman (Hammersmith and Fulham) (Lab): Will my right hon. Friend give way?

Beverley Hughes: No, I will not. I thought that my hon. Friend the Member for Walthamstow (Mr. Gerrard), who tabled the new clause and the amendment, was trying to intervene. I would have given way to him, but I must respond to the debate if my hon. Friend the Member for Hammersmith and Fulham (Mr. Coleman) will forgive me.

Section 55 was designed to tackle a situation in which a significant number of people who had been in the country for some time were claiming asylum in order to get support. I agree with my hon. Friend the Member for Walthamstow that there were initial problems in the operation of section 55, but we have made changes where these were required and sensible. I hope that he recognises that the new approach whereby people who apply within three days are granted support has made a difference.

1 Mar 2004 : Column 657

In recent weeks, about 50 per cent. of applicants have been given support under section 55 and there has been a considerable improvement in the number of reconsiderations; these are completed in 24 hours in 87 per cent. of cases.

It being two and a half hours after the commencement of proceedings on consideration of the Bill, Mr. Deputy Speaker proceeded to put forthwith the Question already proposed from the Chair, pursuant to Order [this day].

The House proceeded to a Division.

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Sir Alan Haselhurst): I ask the Serjeant at Arms to investigate the delay in the Lobby.

The House having divided: Ayes 82, Noes 444.

Division No. 62
[6:04 pm


Abbott, Ms Diane
Allan, Richard
Austin, John
Barnes, Harry
Barrett, John
Beith, rh A. J.
Bennett, Andrew
Brake, Tom (Carshalton)
Breed, Colin
Brooke, Mrs Annette L.
Burnett, John
Burstow, Paul
Cable, Dr. Vincent
Campbell, rh Sir Menzies (NE Fife)
Carmichael, Alistair
Caton, Martin
Chidgey, David
Cohen, Harry
Coleman, Iain
Cook, Frank (Stockton N)
Corbyn, Jeremy
Cotter, Brian
Davey, Edward (Kingston)
Dawson, Hilton
Doughty, Sue
Drew, David (Stroud)
Dunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth
Ellman, Mrs Louise
Etherington, Bill
Ewing, Annabelle
Fisher, Mark
Foster, Don (Bath)
George, Andrew (St. Ives)
Gidley, Sandra
Green, Matthew (Ludlow)
Harvey, Nick
Heath, David
Holmes, Paul
Hopkins, Kelvin
Hughes, Simon (Southwark N)
Jackson, Glenda (Hampstead & Highgate)
Jones, Lynne (Selly Oak)
Jones, Nigel (Cheltenham)
Keetch, Paul
Kennedy, rh Charles (Ross Skye & Inverness)
Kirkwood, Sir Archy
Lamb, Norman
Laws, David (Yeovil)
Llwyd, Elfyn
McDonnell, John
Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)
Marshall-Andrews, Robert
Moore, Michael
Oaten, Mark (Winchester)
Öpik, Lembit
Price, Adam (E Carmarthen & Dinefwr)
Pugh, Dr. John
Reid, Alan (Argyll & Bute)
Rendel, David
Russell, Bob (Colchester)
Salmond, Alex
Sanders, Adrian
Sedgemore, Brian
Shepherd, Richard
Simpson, Alan (Nottingham S)
Skinner, Dennis
Stunell, Andrew
Taylor, Dr. Richard (Wyre F)
Teather, Sarah
Thomas, Simon (Ceredigion)
Thurso, John
Tonge, Dr. Jenny
Tyler, Paul (N Cornwall)
Vis, Dr. Rudi
Walter, Robert
Wareing, Robert N.
Webb, Steve (Northavon)
Weir, Michael
Williams, Roger (Brecon)
Willis, Phil
Wishart, Pete
Younger-Ross, Richard

Tellers for the Ayes:

Mr. Neil Gerrard and
Ms Karen Buck


Adams, Irene (Paisley N)
Ainger, Nick
Ainsworth, Peter (E Surrey)
Alexander, Douglas
Allen, Graham
Amess, David
Ancram, rh Michael
Anderson, rh Donald (Swansea E)
Anderson, Janet (Rossendale & Darwen)
Arbuthnot, rh James
Armstrong, rh Ms Hilary
Atherton, Ms Candy
Atkins, Charlotte
Atkinson, Peter (Hexham)
Bacon, Richard
Bailey, Adrian
Baird, Vera
Baldry, Tony
Banks, Tony
Barker, Gregory
Baron, John (Billericay)
Barron, rh Kevin
Battle, John
Bayley, Hugh
Beard, Nigel
Beckett, rh Margaret
Begg, Miss Anne
Bell, Sir Stuart
Bellingham, Henry
Benn, rh Hilary
Benton, Joe (Bootle)
Berry, Roger
Betts, Clive
Blackman, Liz
Blair, rh Tony
Blears, Ms Hazel
Blizzard, Bob
Blunkett, rh David
Blunt, Crispin
Boateng, rh Paul
Borrow, David
Boswell, Tim
Bottomley, Peter (Worthing W)
Bottomley, rh Virginia (SW Surrey)
Bradley, rh Keith (Withington)
Bradley, Peter (The Wrekin)
Bradshaw, Ben
Brady, Graham
Brennan, Kevin
Brown, rh Gordon (Dunfermline E)
Brown, rh Nicholas (Newcastle E Wallsend)
Brown, Russell (Dumfries)
Browne, Desmond
Browning, Mrs Angela
Bryant, Chris
Burden, Richard
Burgon, Colin
Burnham, Andy
Burns, Simon
Burnside, David
Burt, Alistair
Butterfill, Sir John
Byers, rh Stephen
Caborn, rh Richard
Cairns, David
Cameron, David
Campbell, Alan (Tynemouth)
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V)
Casale, Roger
Cash, William
Cawsey, Ian (Brigg)
Challen, Colin
Chapman, Ben (Wirral S)
Chapman, Sir Sydney (Chipping Barnet)
Chaytor, David
Chope, Christopher
Clappison, James
Clark, Mrs Helen (Peterborough)
Clark, Dr. Lynda (Edinburgh Pentlands)
Clark, Paul (Gillingham)
Clarke, rh Kenneth (Rushcliffe)
Clarke, rh Tom (Coatbridge & Chryston)
Clelland, David
Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey
Coaker, Vernon
Coffey, Ms Ann
Collins, Tim
Colman, Tony
Conway, Derek
Cook, rh Robin (Livingston)
Cooper, Yvette
Cormack, Sir Patrick
Corston, Jean
Cranston, Ross
Crausby, David
Cruddas, Jon
Cryer, Ann (Keighley)
Cryer, John (Hornchurch)
Cummings, John
Cunningham, rh Dr. Jack (Copeland)
Cunningham, Jim (Coventry S)
Cunningham, Tony (Workington)
Curtis-Thomas, Mrs Claire
Dalyell, Tam
Davey, Valerie (Bristol W)
David, Wayne
Davies, Geraint (Croydon C)
Davis, rh David (Haltemprice & Howden)
Dean, Mrs Janet
Dhanda, Parmjit
Djanogly, Jonathan
Dobbin, Jim (Heywood)
Dobson, rh Frank
Doran, Frank
Dowd, Jim (Lewisham W)
Duncan, Alan (Rutland)
Duncan Smith, rh Iain
Eagle, Maria (L'pool Garston)
Edwards, Huw
Efford, Clive
Ennis, Jeff (Barnsley E)
Evans, Nigel
Fabricant, Michael
Fallon, Michael
Farrelly, Paul
Field, rh Frank (Birkenhead)
Field, Mark (Cities of London & Westminster)
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Flight, Howard
Flint, Caroline
Flook, Adrian
Flynn, Paul (Newport W)
Forth, rh Eric
Foster, rh Derek
Foster, Michael (Worcester)
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings & Rye)
Foulkes, rh George
Francis, Dr. Hywel
Francois, Mark
Gale, Roger (N Thanet)
Gapes, Mike (Ilford S)
Gardiner, Barry
Garnier, Edward
George, rh Bruce (Walsall S)
Gibb, Nick (Bognor Regis)
Gibson, Dr. Ian
Gillan, Mrs Cheryl
Gilroy, Linda
Godsiff, Roger
Goggins, Paul
Goodman, Paul
Gray, James (N Wilts)
Grayling, Chris
Green, Damian (Ashford)
Greenway, John
Grieve, Dominic
Griffiths, Jane (Reading E)
Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)
Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Grogan, John
Gummer, rh John
Hain, rh Peter
Hall, Mike (Weaver Vale)
Hall, Patrick (Bedford)
Hamilton, David (Midlothian)
Hamilton, Fabian (Leeds NE)
Hammond, Philip
Hanson, David
Harman, rh Ms Harriet
Harris, Tom (Glasgow Cathcart)
Havard, Dai (Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney)
Hawkins, Nick
Hayes, John (S Holland)
Heald, Oliver
Healey, John
Heathcoat-Amory, rh David
Henderson, Doug (Newcastle N)
Henderson, Ivan (Harwich)
Hendrick, Mark
Hendry, Charles
Hepburn, Stephen
Heppell, John
Hermon, Lady
Hesford, Stephen
Hewitt, rh Ms Patricia
Heyes, David
Hinchliffe, David
Hoban, Mark (Fareham)
Hood, Jimmy (Clydesdale)
Hoon, rh Geoffrey
Hope, Phil (Corby)
Horam, John (Orpington)
Howard, rh Michael
Howarth, George (Knowsley N & Sefton E)
Howarth, Gerald (Aldershot)
Hoyle, Lindsay
Hughes, Beverley (Stretford & Urmston)
Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)
Humble, Mrs Joan
Hunter, Andrew
Hurst, Alan (Braintree)
Hutton, rh John
Iddon, Dr. Brian
Illsley, Eric
Ingram, rh Adam
Irranca-Davies, Huw
Jack, rh Michael
Jackson, Helen (Hillsborough)
Jackson, Robert (Wantage)
Jamieson, David
Jenkin, Bernard
Jenkins, Brian
Johnson, Alan (Hull W)
Johnson, Boris (Henley)
Johnson, Miss Melanie (Welwyn Hatfield)
Jones, Helen (Warrington N)
Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C)
Jones, Kevan (N Durham)
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S)
Jowell, rh Tessa
Joyce, Eric (Falkirk W)
Kaufman, rh Gerald
Keeble, Ms Sally
Keen, Alan (Feltham)
Kelly, Ruth (Bolton W)
Kemp, Fraser
Key, Robert (Salisbury)
Khabra, Piara S.
Kidney, David
Kilfoyle, Peter
King, Andy (Rugby)
King, Ms Oona (Bethnal Green & Bow)
Kirkbride, Miss Julie
Knight, rh Greg (E Yorkshire)
Kumar, Dr. Ashok
Ladyman, Dr. Stephen
Lait, Mrs Jacqui
Lammy, David
Lansley, Andrew
Lawrence, Mrs Jackie
Laxton, Bob (Derby N)
Lazarowicz, Mark
Leigh, Edward
Leslie, Christopher
Lewis, Dr. Julian (New Forest E)
Liddell, rh Mrs Helen
Liddell-Grainger, Ian
Lidington, David
Lilley, rh Peter
Linton, Martin
Loughton, Tim
Love, Andrew
Lucas, Ian (Wrexham)
Luff, Peter (M-Worcs)
Lyons, John (Strathkelvin)
McAvoy, Thomas
McCabe, Stephen
McCafferty, Chris
McCartney, rh Ian
McDonagh, Siobhain
MacDonald, Calum
MacDougall, John
McGuire, Mrs Anne
McIntosh, Miss Anne
McIsaac, Shona
Mackay, rh Andrew
McKechin, Ann
McKenna, Rosemary
Mackinlay, Andrew
McNulty, Tony
MacShane, Denis
McWalter, Tony
McWilliam, John
Mahmood, Khalid
Malins, Humfrey
Mallaber, Judy
Mandelson, rh Peter
Mann, John (Bassetlaw)
Maples, John
Marris, Rob (Wolverh'ton SW)
Marsden, Gordon (Blackpool S)
Marshall, David (Glasgow Shettleston)
Martlew, Eric
Mawhinney, rh Sir Brian
May, Mrs Theresa
Meale, Alan (Mansfield)
Michael, rh Alun
Milburn, rh Alan
Miliband, David
Miller, Andrew
Mitchell, Austin (Gt Grimsby)
Moffatt, Laura
Mole, Chris
Moonie, Dr. Lewis
Morley, Elliot
Morris, rh Estelle
Moss, Malcolm
Mountford, Kali
Mullin, Chris
Munn, Ms Meg
Murphy, Denis (Wansbeck)
Murphy, Jim (Eastwood)
Murrison, Dr. Andrew
Naysmith, Dr. Doug
Norman, Archie
O'Brien, Bill (Normanton)
O'Brien, Mike (N Warks)
O'Brien, Stephen (Eddisbury)
O'Hara, Edward
Olner, Bill
O'Neill, Martin
Organ, Diana
Osborne, George (Tatton)
Osborne, Sandra (Ayr)
Ottaway, Richard
Page, Richard
Paice, James
Palmer, Dr. Nick
Paterson, Owen
Pearson, Ian
Picking, Anne
Pickles, Eric
Pickthall, Colin
Pike, Peter (Burnley)
Plaskitt, James
Pollard, Kerry
Pond, Chris (Gravesham)
Pope, Greg (Hyndburn)
Portillo, rh Michael
Pound, Stephen
Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lewisham E)
Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)
Prescott, rh John
Primarolo, rh Dawn
Prisk, Mark (Hertford)
Prosser, Gwyn
Purchase, Ken
Purnell, James
Quin, rh Joyce
Quinn, Lawrie
Randall, John
Rapson, Syd (Portsmouth N)
Raynsford, rh Nick
Redwood, rh John
Reed, Andy (Loughborough)
Reid, rh Dr. John (Hamilton N & Bellshill)
Robertson, Hugh (Faversham & M-Kent)
Robertson, John (Glasgow Anniesland)
Robertson, Laurence (Tewk'b'ry)
Robinson, Geoffrey (Coventry NW)
Rooney, Terry
Rosindell, Andrew
Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)
Roy, Frank (Motherwell)
Ruane, Chris
Ruddock, Joan
Ruffley, David
Russell, Ms Christine (City of Chester)
Ryan, Joan (Enfield N)
Salter, Martin
Savidge, Malcolm
Sayeed, Jonathan
Shaw, Jonathan
Sheerman, Barry
Sheridan, Jim
Simmonds, Mark
Simon, Siôn (B'ham Erdington)
Smith, rh Andrew (Oxford E)
Smith, Angela (Basildon)
Smith, Geraldine (Morecambe & Lunesdale)
Smith, Jacqui (Redditch)
Soames, Nicholas
Spelman, Mrs Caroline
Spicer, Sir Michael
Spink, Bob (Castle Point)
Spring, Richard
Squire, Rachel
Stanley, rh Sir John
Starkey, Dr. Phyllis
Steen, Anthony
Steinberg, Gerry
Stewart, David (Inverness E & Lochaber)
Stewart, Ian (Eccles)
Stinchcombe, Paul
Stoate, Dr. Howard
Strang, rh Dr. Gavin
Streeter, Gary
Stringer, Graham
Stuart, Ms Gisela
Sutcliffe, Gerry
Swayne, Desmond
Swire, Hugo (E Devon)
Syms, Robert
Tami, Mark (Alyn)
Tapsell, Sir Peter
Taylor, Dari (Stockton S)
Taylor, David (NW Leics)
Taylor, Ian (Esher)
Taylor, John (Solihull)
Taylor, Sir Teddy
Thomas, Gareth (Harrow W)
Timms, Stephen
Tipping, Paddy
Todd, Mark (S Derbyshire)
Touhig, Don (Islwyn)
Trickett, Jon
Truswell, Paul
Turner, Andrew (Isle of Wight)
Turner, Dennis (Wolverh'ton SE)
Turner, Dr. Desmond (Brighton Kemptown)
Turner, Neil (Wigan)
Twigg, Derek (Halton)
Twigg, Stephen (Enfield)
Tynan, Bill (Hamilton S)
Tyrie, Andrew
Viggers, Peter
Walley, Ms Joan
Ward, Claire
Waterson, Nigel
Watkinson, Angela
Watson, Tom (W Bromwich E)
Watts, David
White, Brian
Whitehead, Dr. Alan
Whittingdale, John
Wicks, Malcolm
Wiggin, Bill
Wilkinson, John
Willetts, David
Williams, Betty (Conwy)
Wills, Michael
Wilshire, David
Winnick, David
Winterton, Sir Nicholas (Macclesfield)
Winterton, Ms Rosie (Doncaster C)
Woolas, Phil
Worthington, Tony
Wright, Anthony D. (Gt Yarmouth)
Wright, David (Telford)
Wright, Tony (Cannock)
Wyatt, Derek
Yeo, Tim (S Suffolk)
Young, rh Sir George

Tellers for the Noes:

Gillian Merron and
Margaret Moran

Question accordingly negatived.

1 Mar 2004 : Column 661

Mr. Deputy Speaker then proceeded to put forthwith the Questions necessary for the disposal of the business to be concluded at that hour.

Amendments made: No. 74, in page 8, line 40, after 'of', insert 'a provision of'.

No. 75, in page 8, line 41, after '2002', insert 'other than paragraph 7A'.

No. 76, in page 8, line 42, after 'Schedule', insert 'other than paragraph 7A'.

No. 77, in page 8, line 43, at end insert—

Next Section

IndexHome Page