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Mr. Greg Knight: I have to say that the more I listen to what my hon. Friend has to say, the more I feel that this whole situation is highly unsatisfactory. Has he suggested to the Minister that he consider withdrawing the motion and perhaps inviting us all round for a drink, to see whether that might produce an acceptable way forward?

Mr. Bellingham: I am grateful to my right hon. Friend. The Minister has invited us—one or two select colleagues—to the DTI for a drink, although perhaps I

25 Mar 2004 : Column 1076

should not mention that in public because I might destroy his reputation. It is possibly a little premature to go to the DTI to celebrate the completion of consideration of the Bill when we have not even agreed the programme motion. The motion will curtail debate, which is why we are very unhappy with it. I urge the House to vote against it.

1.33 pm

Malcolm Bruce (Gordon) (LD): For personal reasons, I have not been able to be in the House this week until today, which might be why I have not received any notice of or been consulted on the programme motion—or received an invitation to a drink. The serious point is that although we support the Bill, as the Minister well knows, and have not moved from that principle, I concur with the hon. Member for North-West Norfolk (Mr. Bellingham) that it is not entirely adequate to allow what is in effect a half day to complete consideration of the Bill, given that it has been changed and there are various Opposition issues to be debated. It is not a question of wanting x or y hours, but we want enough time to ensure that the Government new clauses and amendments are properly discussed, and that Opposition concerns are properly addressed. For example, we had a heated debate on the money resolution for additional union funding, about which both main Opposition parties expressed concern. The House might want a fuller debate on that, on the basis of what we have heard.

As the Government have said, the anti-discrimination clauses were difficult to draft. There is more or less universal support for them in principle, but some examination of how they will work in practice will clearly be relevant. As the hon. Member for North-West Norfolk pointed out, my hon. Friends and I have tabled amendments on issues that we continue to regard as important. I do not wish to detain the House by arguing in detail now which issues we think need to be expanded on, but I am a little surprised, given that the Bill has changed and there are important issues to resolve, that the Government feel justified in imposing such a tight timetable. On that basis, I concur with the hon. Gentleman in opposing the programme motion.

1.35 pm

Mr. Sutcliffe: I am shocked, saddened and surprised by this afternoon's events, although we know that Opposition Members often oppose programme motions. To answer the points made by the hon. Member for North-West Norfolk (Mr. Bellingham), the Government have not deviated in any way from their consultation process, which is why we are in this situation. There is a full consultation process, which involves talking to the employer organisations and trade unions, and we have not deviated from that. The Bill's progress has been excellent, and there have been good, meaningful debates on many issues. I am sure that we can have more of those debates on Monday within the time allotted.

This afternoon's debate has been about the Opposition's problems with programme motions. We have heard about bungs and baubles, and about shock and amazement. There are serious issues to discuss, but there is adequate time for that. I hope that the House

25 Mar 2004 : Column 1077

supports the work that has been going on through the usual channels, and that hon. Members will support the programme motion.

Question put:—

The House divided: Ayes 234, Noes 128.

Division No. 110
[1:36 pm


AYES


Ainger, Nick
Ainsworth, Bob (Cov'try NE)
Alexander, Douglas
Allen, Graham
Austin, John
Bailey, Adrian
Baird, Vera
Banks, Tony
Barnes, Harry
Barron, rh Kevin
Battle, John
Bayley, Hugh
Beard, Nigel
Begg, Miss Anne
Benton, Joe (Bootle)
Berry, Roger
Blackman, Liz
Blizzard, Bob
Brennan, Kevin
Brown, Russell (Dumfries)
Browne, Desmond
Bryant, Chris
Buck, Ms Karen
Burgon, Colin
Byers, rh Stephen
Cairns, David
Campbell, Alan (Tynemouth)
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)
Casale, Roger
Caton, Martin
Challen, Colin
Chapman, Ben (Wirral S)
Chaytor, David
Clark, Mrs Helen (Peterborough)
Clarke, rh Tom (Coatbridge & Chryston)
Clarke, Tony (Northampton S)
Clwyd, Ann (Cynon V)
Coaker, Vernon
Coffey, Ms Ann
Cohen, Harry
Coleman, Iain
Colman, Tony
Connarty, Michael
Cousins, Jim
Crausby, David
Cruddas, Jon
Cryer, Ann (Keighley)
Cunningham, rh Dr. Jack (Copeland)
Cunningham, Jim (Coventry S)
Cunningham, Tony (Workington)
Curtis-Thomas, Mrs Claire
Dalyell, Tam
Darling, rh Alistair
Davey, Valerie (Bristol W)
Davidson, Ian
Davies, Geraint (Croydon C)
Davis, rh Terry (B'ham Hodge H)
Dawson, Hilton
Dean, Mrs Janet
Denham, rh John
Dhanda, Parmjit
Dismore, Andrew
Dobson, rh Frank
Donohoe, Brian H.
Doran, Frank
Dowd, Jim (Lewisham W)
Drew, David (Stroud)
Drown, Ms Julia
Eagle, Angela (Wallasey)
Efford, Clive
Ellman, Mrs Louise
Ennis, Jeff (Barnsley E)
Farrelly, Paul
Fisher, Mark
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Follett, Barbara
Foster, rh Derek
Foster, Michael (Worcester)
Foulkes, rh George
Francis, Dr. Hywel
Gapes, Mike (Ilford S)
Gardiner, Barry
George, rh Bruce (Walsall S)
Gerrard, Neil
Gibson, Dr. Ian
Grogan, John
Hain, rh Peter
Hall, Patrick (Bedford)
Hamilton, David (Midlothian)
Hanson, David
Harman, rh Ms Harriet
Harris, Tom (Glasgow Cathcart)
Havard, Dai (Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney)
Healey, John
Hendrick, Mark
Hepburn, Stephen
Heppell, John
Hesford, Stephen
Heyes, David
Hill, Keith (Streatham)
Hinchliffe, David
Hood, Jimmy (Clydesdale)
Hoon, rh Geoffrey
Hopkins, Kelvin
Howells, Dr. Kim
Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)
Humble, Mrs Joan
Hurst, Alan (Braintree)
Hutton, rh John
Iddon, Dr. Brian
Ingram, rh Adam
Jackson, Glenda (Hampstead & Highgate)
Jenkins, Brian
Johnson, Miss Melanie (Welwyn Hatfield)
Jones, Helen (Warrington N)
Jones, Kevan (N Durham)
Jones, Lynne (Selly Oak)
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S)
Kaufman, rh Gerald
Keen, Alan (Feltham)
Keen, Ann (Brentford)
Kemp, Fraser
Khabra, Piara S.
King, Andy (Rugby)
King, Ms Oona (Bethnal Green & Bow)
Knight, Jim (S Dorset)
Kumar, Dr. Ashok
Ladyman, Dr. Stephen
Lammy, David
Laxton, Bob (Derby N)
Lazarowicz, Mark
Leslie, Christopher
Levitt, Tom (High Peak)
Linton, Martin
Lloyd, Tony (Manchester C)
Love, Andrew
Lucas, Ian (Wrexham)
McAvoy, Thomas
McCabe, Stephen
McDonagh, Siobhain
MacDougall, John
McFall, John
McGrady, Eddie
McIsaac, Shona
Mackinlay, Andrew
McWalter, Tony
McWilliam, John
Mahon, Mrs Alice
Mallaber, Judy
Marris, Rob (Wolverh'ton SW)
Marsden, Gordon (Blackpool S)
Meale, Alan (Mansfield)
Merron, Gillian
Michael, rh Alun
Miller, Andrew
Moffatt, Laura
Moran, Margaret
Morgan, Julie
Mountford, Kali
Munn, Ms Meg
Naysmith, Dr. Doug
O'Brien, Bill (Normanton)
O'Brien, Mike (N Warks)
Osborne, Sandra (Ayr)
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)
Prescott, rh John
Primarolo, rh Dawn
Purchase, Ken
Purnell, James
Quin, rh Joyce
Quinn, Lawrie
Raynsford, rh Nick
Reed, Andy (Loughborough)
Reid, rh Dr. John (Hamilton N & Bellshill)
Robertson, John (Glasgow Anniesland)
Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)
Ruane, Chris
Ruddock, Joan
Ryan, Joan (Enfield N)
Sawford, Phil
Sedgemore, Brian
Shaw, Jonathan
Sheerman, Barry
Sheridan, Jim
Short, rh Clare
Singh, Marsha
Skinner, Dennis
Smith, Angela (Basildon)
Smith, Geraldine (Morecambe & Lunesdale)
Smith, John (Glamorgan)
Spellar, rh John
Squire, Rachel
Starkey, Dr. Phyllis
Steinberg, Gerry
Stewart, Ian (Eccles)
Stinchcombe, Paul
Stoate, Dr. Howard
Strang, rh Dr. Gavin
Straw, rh Jack
Stuart, Ms Gisela
Sutcliffe, Gerry
Taylor, Dari (Stockton S)
Thomas, Gareth (Clwyd W)
Tipping, Paddy
Trickett, Jon
Truswell, Paul
Turner, Dennis (Wolverh'ton SE)
Turner, Dr. Desmond (Brighton Kemptown)
Twigg, Derek (Halton)
Tynan, Bill (Hamilton S)
Ward, Claire
Wareing, Robert N.
White, Brian
Whitehead, Dr. Alan
Wicks, Malcolm
Williams, rh Alan (Swansea W)
Winnick, David
Wood, Mike (Batley)
Woodward, Shaun
Woolas, Phil
Wright, Anthony D. (Gt Yarmouth)
Wright, Tony (Cannock)
Wyatt, Derek

Tellers for the Ayes:


Charlotte Atkins and
Paul Clark


NOES


Ainsworth, Peter (E Surrey)
Allan, Richard
Amess, David
Atkinson, David (Bour'mth E)
Atkinson, Peter (Hexham)
Bacon, Richard
Baldry, Tony
Barker, Gregory
Baron, John (Billericay)
Beggs, Roy (E Antrim)
Bellingham, Henry
Beresford, Sir Paul
Blunt, Crispin
Bottomley, Peter (Worthing W)
Brady, Graham
Breed, Colin
Brooke, Mrs Annette L.
Browning, Mrs Angela
Burnett, John
Burns, Simon
Burstow, Paul
Butterfill, Sir John
Calton, Mrs Patsy
Cameron, David
Carmichael, Alistair
Chapman, Sir Sydney (Chipping Barnet)
Chope, Christopher
Clarke, rh Kenneth (Rushcliffe)
Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey
Collins, Tim
Conway, Derek
Cotter, Brian
Djanogly, Jonathan
Duncan, Alan (Rutland)
Evans, Nigel
Fabricant, Michael
Fallon, Michael
Field, Mark (Cities of London & Westminster)
Flight, Howard
Flook, Adrian
Fox, Dr. Liam
Francois, Mark
Gibb, Nick (Bognor Regis)
Goodman, Paul
Gray, James (N Wilts)
Grayling, Chris
Hague, rh William
Hammond, Philip
Harris, Dr. Evan (Oxford W & Abingdon)
Heald, Oliver
Heath, David
Heathcoat-Amory, rh David
Hendry, Charles
Hoban, Mark (Fareham)
Holmes, Paul
Howarth, Gerald (Aldershot)
Hunter, Andrew
Jack, rh Michael
Jenkin, Bernard
Keetch, Paul
Kennedy, rh Charles (Ross Skye & Inverness)
Kirkbride, Miss Julie
Kirkwood, Sir Archy
Knight, rh Greg (E Yorkshire)
Laing, Mrs Eleanor
Lait, Mrs Jacqui
Lamb, Norman
Lansley, Andrew
Laws, David (Yeovil)
Letwin, rh Oliver
Liddell-Grainger, Ian
Llwyd, Elfyn
Loughton, Tim
Luff, Peter (M-Worcs)
McIntosh, Miss Anne
Mackay, rh Andrew
McLoughlin, Patrick
May, Mrs Theresa
Murrison, Dr. Andrew
O'Brien, Stephen (Eddisbury)
Osborne, George (Tatton)
Ottaway, Richard
Page, Richard
Pickles, Eric
Prisk, Mark (Hertford)
Pugh, Dr. John
Redwood, rh John
Reid, Alan (Argyll & Bute)
Robathan, Andrew
Robertson, Hugh (Faversham & M-Kent)
Robertson, Laurence (Tewk'b'ry)
Robinson, Mrs Iris (Strangford)
Rosindell, Andrew
Ruffley, David
Russell, Bob (Colchester)
Selous, Andrew
Shepherd, Richard
Smith, Sir Robert (W Ab'd'ns & Kincardine)
Soames, Nicholas
Spelman, Mrs Caroline
Spicer, Sir Michael
Spring, Richard
Streeter, Gary
Stunell, Andrew
Swayne, Desmond
Syms, Robert
Taylor, Ian (Esher)
Teather, Sarah
Thomas, Simon (Ceredigion)
Thurso, John
Tonge, Dr. Jenny
Trend, Michael
Trimble, rh David
Tyler, Paul (N Cornwall)
Tyrie, Andrew
Walter, Robert
Waterson, Nigel
Watkinson, Angela
Weir, Michael
Whittingdale, John
Wilkinson, John
Willetts, David
Williams, Hywel (Caernarfon)
Williams, Roger (Brecon)
Willis, Phil
Wilshire, David
Wishart, Pete
Young, rh Sir George

Tellers for the Noes:


Mr. John Randall and
Mr. Hugo Swire

Question accordingly agreed to.

25 Mar 2004 : Column 1079

25 Mar 2004 : Column 1080


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