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Mr. Djanogly: To answer the hon. Gentleman's last point, the reason such an amendment was not tabled is that the Government inserted the provision in Committee at the last minute, so we had no alternative.

I am grateful to be able to speak on this bung clause the sort of law that most people would not believe could be introduced. It is unbelievable that the Government are not saying how much they will give to the unions. Will it be £5 million or £10 million? Presumably £6.4 million would be the benchmark, as that is the amount that the unions provided to the Labour party last year.

John Mann (Bassetlaw) (Lab): The money that unions give as donations is governed by their political fund ballot rules. Is the hon. Gentleman aware of those rules?

Mr. Djanogly: I am indeed.

Do unions need modernisation in the first place? They probably do. In January, ASLEF wrote to 40 of its employees listing penalties, including the sack if they went on strike, and derecognition of the GMB union. It looks as though ASLEF does need a bit of modernisation. Last year, the GMB had its own problems. A leaked report shows that 60 employment tribunal cases lodged against the GMB cost it some £4 million. They included cases of sexual harassment, bullying, discrimination, and unfair dismissal; and it had a £19 million deficit in its employee pension fund to boot no wonder The Guardian reported that it must rank among the worst employers in Britain. Unions probably do need a bit of modernisation, but the question is: should the taxpayer pay for it? My answer would be no.

John Mann: I appreciate that the hon. Member for Huntingdon (Mr. Djanogly) is rather too young to recall some of the activities of previous Governments, but it may help him if I remind him of the moneys given in the late 1980s by the Department of Trade and Industry under Lord Tebbit for the modernisation of trade unions. The hon. Gentleman may also be interested to know that from 1979 to 1992, under successive Governments, the education Department gave money for the modernisation of trade unions.

Mr. Bellingham: During the course of the Conservative Administrations, well over £20 million was given to the trade unions for specific ring-fenced items such as running secret ballots, but this money is completely open-ended.

John Mann: The hon. Gentleman is not too young, but again he gets it wrong. When I applied for money from those two Departments and from others such as the Department of Employment, there was no ring-fencing. The forms were absolutely clear that it was money for modernisation. This is a fine tradition, and I back the proposal.

29 Mar 2004 : Column 1371

9.30 pm

Mr. Sutcliffe: I am pleased that we reached the amendment because the discussion demonstrates again the Conservative party's prejudice against trade unions. Conservative Members talk about being pro-trade union. They have held two meetings with Brendan Barber, and I am pleased that they have got into dialogue but I wonder whether they spoke to the unions about modernisation.

Conservative Members' attitude is unsurprising but deeply disappointing because the Bill has tried to foster a new mood of co-operation and a culture change. However, we have the same old Tories saying the same old things about trade unions. I tried to give assurances and explanations in Committee, and I believed that Opposition Members agreed with me about the structure that we were trying to achieve. That certainly applied to Liberal Democrat Members, who opposed the money resolution but accepted some of the points that I made about the culture.

Some trade unions have amalgamated for a variety of reasons. We require a modern approach to employment relations, and that means that trade unions must have the skills to deal with the modern environment. The idea that the money will be used for donations to trade unions is not correct. The suggestion that the money is a bung is simply untrue and part of the scare stories that Conservative Members have presented.

Rob Marris: Will my hon. Friend clarify a point that the hon. Member for Huntingdon (Mr. Djanogly) made? He appeared to suggest that Conservative Members had not had time to table a reasoned amendment to clause 46 commensurate with their views of it.

Mr. Sutcliffe: I am grateful to my hon. Friend for raising that point. From day one of the Committee proceedings, the hon. Member for Huntingdon (Mr. Djanogly) attacked the trade union movement in any way that he saw fit. He stuck to the employers without speaking to them. If he had spoken to them, he would realise that they are impressed by the new culture that the Government are introducing. There is a framework agreement on information and consultation.

The law on political forums is contained in the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992, which was tightly drawn. Neither the clause that we are considering nor any provisions in our previous Bill have changed that legal framework. Unions cannot spend money on political objects, including donations to political parties, unless they have established a separate political fund for that purpose. They are prevented by law from using money from their general fund for such purposes. I therefore ask the hon. Member for North-West Norfolk to apologise for describing the money as a bung.

Mr. Bellingham: I shall not apologise because the Minister said that approximately £6 million would be paid to the unions for modernisation. Would not it be better if the £6 million that the trade unions pay the Labour party were used for that modernisation?

Mr. Sutcliffe: I do not understand the hon. Gentleman's point. It is clear that we are entering a new era of employment relations.

29 Mar 2004 : Column 1372

I must apologise to the House because I made a slip of the tongue in the debate on the money resolution when I said that employers' organisations, especially the EEF, had received money for structural changes. That was not correct, and I apologise for it. They had received money for projects. Indeed, £500 million has gone into developing business projects, and that is right. It is a commendable exercise by the Government to enhance and develop business and its activities.

However, we also need to tackle the other side of the equation. As I said earlier, the number of amalgamations between unions has meant that they have experienced a reduction in numbers. It is important that union officials can understand company balance sheets and work out the issues that affect the future of companies, especially, for example, the information and consultation directive.

It is vital to approach the matter in an adult and consensual way and for the fund to be set up in the same way as the partnership fund. It is also vital that there should be much consultation in the summer with employers and employers' organisations. Their representatives will sit on bodies to determine the allocation of the funds in the same way as happened with the partnership fund. The yah-boo-sucks politics of Conservative Members shows that they do not want to have a serious look at the fund; they simply want to scaremonger. They do not support the need for modernisation. They have approached the issues in this part of the Bill in a very negative way, and have not understood the opportunities that exist for a modern approach to employment relations by ensuring that both unions and employers have the same capabilities, and that the highly productive, high-performance workplaces that we want can be achieved. We are going through a critical period of global competition, and the union modernisation fund will be a positive step towards ensuring that trade unions

It being three hours after the commencement of proceedings on consideration of the Bill, Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Order [25 March], put forthwith the Question already proposed from the Chair.

The House divided: Ayes 157, Noes 315.

Division No. 114
[9:35 pm


Ainsworth, Peter (E Surrey)
Amess, David
Ancram, rh Michael
Arbuthnot, rh James
Atkinson, David (Bour'mth E)
Atkinson, Peter (Hexham)
Bacon, Richard
Baldry, Tony
Barker, Gregory
Baron, John (Billericay)
Barrett, John
Beith, rh A. J.
Bellingham, Henry
Bercow, John
Beresford, Sir Paul
Blunt, Crispin
Boswell, Tim
Brady, Graham
Brooke, Mrs Annette L.
Browning, Mrs Angela
Bruce, Malcolm
Burnett, John
Burns, Simon
Burnside, David
Butterfill, Sir John
Cable, Dr. Vincent
Calton, Mrs Patsy
Cameron, David
Carmichael, Alistair
Chapman, Sir Sydney (Chipping Barnet)
Chope, Christopher
Clappison, James
Clarke, rh Kenneth (Rushcliffe)
Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey
Collins, Tim
Conway, Derek
Cormack, Sir Patrick
Cotter, Brian
Davies, Quentin (Grantham & Stamford)
Davis, rh David (Haltemprice & Howden)
Djanogly, Jonathan
Dorrell, rh Stephen
Doughty, Sue
Duncan, Alan (Rutland)
Duncan, Peter (Galloway)
Fabricant, Michael
Fallon, Michael
Flook, Adrian
Gale, Roger (N Thanet)
Garnier, Edward
George, Andrew (St. Ives)
Gibb, Nick (Bognor Regis)
Goodman, Paul
Gray, James (N Wilts)
Grayling, Chris
Greenway, John
Grieve, Dominic
Gummer, rh John
Hague, rh William
Hammond, Philip
Hancock, Mike
Harvey, Nick
Hawkins, Nick
Hayes, John (S Holland)
Heald, Oliver
Heath, David
Heathcoat-Amory, rh David
Hoban, Mark (Fareham)
Holmes, Paul
Horam, John (Orpington)
Howard, rh Michael
Howarth, Gerald (Aldershot)
Jack, rh Michael
Jackson, Robert (Wantage)
Jones, Nigel (Cheltenham)
Key, Robert (Salisbury)
Kirkbride, Miss Julie
Kirkwood, Sir Archy
Knight, rh Greg (E Yorkshire)
Laing, Mrs Eleanor
Lait, Mrs Jacqui
Lamb, Norman
Lansley, Andrew
Letwin, rh Oliver
Liddell-Grainger, Ian
Lilley, rh Peter
Loughton, Tim
Luff, Peter (M-Worcs)
McIntosh, Miss Anne
Mackay, rh Andrew
Maclean, rh David
McLoughlin, Patrick
Malins, Humfrey
Maude, rh Francis
Mawhinney, rh Sir Brian
May, Mrs Theresa
Mercer, Patrick
Mitchell, Andrew (Sutton Coldfield)
Moore, Michael
Moss, Malcolm
Murrison, Dr. Andrew
Norman, Archie
O'Brien, Stephen (Eddisbury)
Osborne, George (Tatton)
Ottaway, Richard
Page, Richard
Paice, James
Paterson, Owen
Pickles, Eric
Portillo, rh Michael
Prisk, Mark (Hertford)
Pugh, Dr. John
Randall, John
Redwood, rh John
Rendel, David
Robathan, Andrew
Robertson, Laurence (Tewk'b'ry)
Rosindell, Andrew
Ruffley, David
Russell, Bob (Colchester)
Sanders, Adrian
Sayeed, Jonathan
Selous, Andrew
Shephard, rh Mrs Gillian
Shepherd, Richard
Simmonds, Mark
Simpson, Keith (M-Norfolk)
Smith, Sir Robert (W Ab'd'ns & Kincardine)
Spelman, Mrs Caroline
Spink, Bob (Castle Point)
Stanley, rh Sir John
Streeter, Gary
Stunell, Andrew
Swayne, Desmond
Syms, Robert
Taylor, Ian (Esher)
Taylor, John (Solihull)
Taylor, Dr. Richard (Wyre F)
Taylor, Sir Teddy
Teather, Sarah
Thurso, John
Tredinnick, David
Turner, Andrew (Isle of Wight)
Tyler, Paul (N Cornwall)
Tyrie, Andrew
Walter, Robert
Watkinson, Angela
Webb, Steve (Northavon)
Whittingdale, John
Wiggin, Bill
Willetts, David
Willis, Phil
Wilshire, David
Winterton, Ann (Congleton)
Winterton, Sir Nicholas (Macclesfield)
Young, rh Sir George
Younger-Ross, Richard

Tellers for the Ayes:

Hugh Robertson and
Mr. Mark Francois


Ainsworth, Bob (Cov'try NE)
Alexander, Douglas
Allen, Graham
Anderson, Janet (Rossendale & Darwen)
Armstrong, rh Ms Hilary
Atherton, Ms Candy
Atkins, Charlotte
Austin, John
Baird, Vera
Banks, Tony
Barnes, Harry
Barron, rh Kevin
Battle, John
Bayley, Hugh
Beard, Nigel
Begg, Miss Anne
Bell, Sir Stuart
Benn, rh Hilary
Bennett, Andrew
Benton, Joe (Bootle)
Berry, Roger
Best, Harold
Betts, Clive
Blackman, Liz
Blears, Ms Hazel
Blizzard, Bob
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
Buck, Ms Karen
Burden, Richard
Burgon, Colin
Burnham, Andy
Caborn, rh Richard
Cairns, David
Campbell, Alan (Tynemouth)
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V)
Caplin, Ivor
Casale, Roger
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 Charles (Norwich S)
Clarke, rh Tom (Coatbridge & Chryston)
Clelland, David
Clwyd, Ann (Cynon V)
Coaker, Vernon
Coffey, Ms Ann
Cohen, Harry
Coleman, Iain
Colman, Tony
Cook, Frank (Stockton N)
Cook, rh Robin (Livingston)
Corbyn, Jeremy
Cousins, Jim
Crausby, David
Cruddas, Jon
Cryer, Ann (Keighley)
Cryer, John (Hornchurch)
Cunningham, rh Dr. Jack (Copeland)
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
Dhanda, Parmjit
Dismore, Andrew
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)
Ellman, Mrs Louise
Ennis, Jeff (Barnsley E)
Farrelly, Paul
Field, rh Frank (Birkenhead)
Fisher, Mark
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Flynn, Paul (Newport W)
Follett, Barbara
Foster, rh Derek
Foster, Michael (Worcester)
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings & Rye)
Gapes, Mike (Ilford S)
Gardiner, Barry
Gerrard, Neil
Gibson, Dr. Ian
Gilroy, Linda
Godsiff, Roger
Goggins, Paul
Griffiths, Jane (Reading E)
Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)
Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Hain, rh Peter
Hall, Mike (Weaver Vale)
Hall, Patrick (Bedford)
Hamilton, David (Midlothian)
Hanson, David
Harman, rh Ms Harriet
Havard, Dai (Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney)
Healey, John
Henderson, Doug (Newcastle N)
Henderson, Ivan (Harwich)
Hendrick, Mark
Hermon, Lady
Hesford, Stephen
Hewitt, rh Ms Patricia
Heyes, David
Hinchliffe, David
Hodge, Margaret
Hoey, Kate (Vauxhall)
Hood, Jimmy (Clydesdale)
Hope, Phil (Corby)
Hopkins, Kelvin
Howarth, rh Alan (Newport E)
Howells, Dr. Kim
Hoyle, Lindsay
Hughes, Beverley (Stretford & Urmston)
Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)
Humble, Mrs Joan
Hurst, Alan (Braintree)
Hutton, rh John
Iddon, Dr. Brian
Illsley, Eric
Ingram, rh Adam
Irranca-Davies, Huw
Jackson, Glenda (Hampstead & Highgate)
Jackson, Helen (Hillsborough)
Jamieson, David
Jenkins, Brian
Johnson, Alan (Hull W)
Jones, Helen (Warrington N)
Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C)
Jones, Kevan (N Durham)
Joyce, Eric (Falkirk W)
Keeble, Ms Sally
Keen, Alan (Feltham)
Kemp, Fraser
Khabra, Piara S.
Kidney, David
Kilfoyle, Peter
King, Andy (Rugby)
Knight, Jim (S Dorset)
Kumar, Dr. Ashok
Ladyman, Dr. Stephen
Lammy, David
Laxton, Bob (Derby N)
Lazarowicz, Mark
Lepper, David
Leslie, Christopher
Levitt, Tom (High Peak)
Lewis, Ivan (Bury S)
Lewis, Terry (Worsley)
Linton, Martin
Lloyd, Tony (Manchester C)
Love, Andrew
Lucas, Ian (Wrexham)
McAvoy, Thomas
McCabe, Stephen
McCafferty, Chris
McCartney, rh Ian
McDonagh, Siobhain
MacDonald, Calum
McDonnell, John
MacDougall, John
McFall, John
McIsaac, Shona
Mackinlay, Andrew
McNamara, Kevin
McNulty, Tony
MacShane, Denis
Mactaggart, Fiona
McWalter, Tony
McWilliam, John
Mahmood, Khalid
Mahon, Mrs Alice
Mallaber, Judy
Mann, John (Bassetlaw)
Marris, Rob (Wolverh'ton SW)
Marsden, Gordon (Blackpool S)
Marshall, David (Glasgow Shettleston)
Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)
Marshall-Andrews, Robert
Martlew, Eric
Meacher, rh Michael
Meale, Alan (Mansfield)
Merron, Gillian
Michael, rh Alun
Miliband, David
Miller, Andrew
Moffatt, Laura
Mole, Chris
Moonie, Dr. Lewis
Moran, Margaret
Morris, rh Estelle
Mountford, Kali
Mudie, George
Mullin, Chris
Murphy, Denis (Wansbeck)
Murphy, Jim (Eastwood)
Naysmith, Dr. Doug
O'Brien, Bill (Normanton)
O'Brien, Mike (N Warks)
O'Hara, Edward
Olner, Bill
O'Neill, Martin
Organ, Diana
Palmer, Dr. Nick
Perham, Linda
Picking, Anne
Pickthall, Colin
Pike, Peter (Burnley)
Plaskitt, James
Pollard, Kerry
Pond, Chris (Gravesham)
Pope, Greg (Hyndburn)
Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lewisham E)
Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)
Prescott, rh John
Price, Adam (E Carmarthen & Dinefwr)
Primarolo, rh Dawn
Purchase, Ken
Purnell, James
Quin, rh Joyce
Rammell, Bill
Rapson, Syd (Portsmouth N)
Raynsford, rh Nick
Reed, Andy (Loughborough)
Reid, rh Dr. John (Hamilton N & Bellshill)
Robertson, John (Glasgow Anniesland)
Robinson, Geoffrey (Coventry NW)
Rooney, Terry
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
Sheerman, Barry
Sheridan, Jim
Short, rh Clare
Simpson, Alan (Nottingham S)
Skinner, Dennis
Smith, rh Andrew (Oxford E)
Smith, Geraldine (Morecambe & Lunesdale)
Smith, Jacqui (Redditch)
Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
Soley, Clive
Squire, Rachel
Starkey, Dr. Phyllis
Steinberg, Gerry
Stewart, David (Inverness E & Lochaber)
Stewart, Ian (Eccles)
Stinchcombe, Paul
Stoate, Dr. Howard
Stringer, Graham
Stuart, Ms Gisela
Sutcliffe, Gerry
Taylor, rh Ann (Dewsbury)
Thomas, Gareth (Clwyd W)
Thomas, Gareth (Harrow W)
Timms, Stephen
Tipping, Paddy
Touhig, Don (Islwyn)
Trickett, Jon
Truswell, Paul
Turner, Dennis (Wolverh'ton SE)
Turner, Dr. Desmond (Brighton Kemptown)
Twigg, Derek (Halton)
Tynan, Bill (Hamilton S)
Vis, Dr. Rudi
Walley, Ms Joan
Ward, Claire
Wareing, Robert N.
Watson, Tom (W Bromwich E)
Watts, David
White, Brian
Whitehead, Dr. Alan
Wicks, Malcolm
Williams, rh Alan (Swansea W)
Williams, Betty (Conwy)
Williams, Hywel (Caernarfon)
Winnick, David
Winterton, Ms Rosie (Doncaster C)
Wood, Mike (Batley)
Woodward, Shaun
Woolas, Phil
Wright, Anthony D. (Gt Yarmouth)
Wright, David (Telford)
Wyatt, Derek

Tellers for the Noes:

Mr. John Heppell and
Mr. Nick Ainger

Question accordingly negatived.

29 Mar 2004 : Column 1376

Order for Third Reading read.

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