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Sir Nicholas Winterton: I want to follow up the points made by my right hon. Friend the Member for Suffolk, Coastal (Mr. Gummer). I fear that the powers in the Bill could well be misused. Let me put a specific question to the Minister, for whom I have had a high regard not just in his current role but in previous incarnations. As an Opposition Back Bencher, I should like an assurance from him.

Like my right hon. Friend, I am concerned about the proposals relating to roads. I am thinking of chicanes, concrete blocks and the blocking of roads. My right hon. Friend gave the example of Grosvenor square and the American embassy. I want to be certain that the
 
17 Nov 2004 : Column 1401
 
proposed mammoth, massive, overwhelming powers will not be abused by Government or police, and will be used and maintained only in the event of ongoing need. Roads often remain blocked almost ad infinitum.

Mr. Allan: Does the hon. Gentleman share my hope that the impact of the amendments will be such that a Secretary of State will have to make an order for works such as those in Grosvenor square, which will be challengeable in a court of law if people disagree with it? Surely that would be better than introducing these measures on an ad hoc basis.

Sir Nicholas Winterton: I can tell the hon. Gentleman that on this matter, at least, he and I are as one. I believe that such proposals should be made only in the context of an order. I seek a categorical assurance from the Minister that these mammoth powers will not be abused, and that the House will have an opportunity to comment on the Government's proposals. I do not suggest that the Government's powers to act in a proven emergency should be reduced, but the Minister should appreciate the view of Back Benchers in both Opposition parties that such huge powers should be used extremely sensitively and carefully.

Mr. Jamieson: I thank those who have contributed to this short debate for their generally consensual approach to these important matters.

The hon. Member for Newark (Patrick Mercer) spoke of the new suicide threat. Over many years we have, sadly, become used to bomb threats that have generally involved a warning and in which the bombers, because they did not wish to lose their lives, did not take quite as many chances as suicide bombers do. We are now living in a new world, and we should all accept that.

I do not think that the hon. Gentleman or anyone else would expect me to respond to his points in detail. I cannot, for instance, tell him exactly what is being done in the privacy of the House. However, I can reply to his question about the use of wider security forces. In many cases the police co-operate with security guards and forces in ports who are not part of the national police force. Many people join in a concerted effort to create a secure environment around a particular establishment.

There seems to be some confusion about the proposed powers. The debate seemed to centre on how they would be used, which I suppose is inevitable in a debate like this, but our proposals relate not to what we will do with the powers but to where they should lie. The hon. Member for Newark asked about specialised equipment. As I said in my opening remarks, powers allowing the use of such equipment, and allowing the Secretary of State to insist on its use in ports, airports or other places of entry, are already contained in existing legislation. The hon. Member for Sheffield, Hallam (Mr. Allan) suggested that we should have just one port of call. I suppose we could have brought all the provisions together in this Bill, but the Bill as it stands is not comprehensive and would not supplant what is in other legislation. That is our difficulty.

As was implied by the hon. Member for Macclesfield (Sir Nicholas Winterton) and the right hon. Member for Suffolk, Coastal (Mr. Gummer), the protocols for
 
17 Nov 2004 : Column 1402
 
implementation are terribly important. They are laid out much more clearly in other legislation. I think that, if used as the primary legislation to drive future action, Lords amendment No. 7 would prove inadequate. There are 1,000 ports in this country, and a single piece of legislation applying to them. That is understandable to those operating in ports, but airports are a different matter.

Powers already exist through my Department and through the Transport Security Directorate—TRANSEC—for the inspection of airports. We carry out such inspections with great thoroughness and rigour to ensure that the correct measures are taken, especially where there is the greatest danger. We take proportionate action: obviously larger ports involving sensitive goods or a considerable number of passengers will need much more attention than smaller, less significant ports.

The hon. Member for Newark asked about Programme Cyclamen. I am sure he will understand why I cannot give him a full answer. I cannot put operational deployment on the public record, but I should be happy to have a private discussion with the hon. Gentleman. He also asked about the role of the military. We use the military quite widely. As the existing military aid arrangements are well established and work extremely well, there is no need to place legal duties on the armed forces. The armed forces are closely linked with the civil regional resilience arrangements, and provisions in the new chapter in the strategic defence review, including the creation of civil contingencies reaction forces, will enhance their ability to respond to emergencies.

The hon. Gentleman asked what practical measures we have taken. Unfortunately, there is not enough time left in the debate for me to go through the three-page list of things that we have done; suffice it to say that many sensible, practical measures have been taken at both national and local level to ensure that we tackle the issue of terrorism. It is not a fixed feast; such matters are constantly renewed in the light of our knowledge and understanding of how the threat to us is changing.

The hon. Gentleman asked about exercises. We have in place a co-ordinated, cross-governmental programme for exercises, which covers a comprehensive range of domestic, disruptive challenges, including accidents, natural disasters and acts of terrorism. I can confirm that one such exercise is happening in my constituency over the weekend and during next week—[Interruption.] It is happening over several days, not just on a Sunday. Sometimes those are table-top exercises, but at other times they are full and live.

The right hon. Member for Suffolk, Coastal made a very good point—the hon. Member for Macclesfield made a similar one—about what is in existing law. In existing law, but not, I am afraid, in the amendment, there are some checks and balances; for example, a permanent fixture on a road would require a local inquiry. The local authority would be required to post a direction to say what was happening and, if necessary, a public inquiry would be held in some cases.

I shall conclude my remarks. The Opposition may want to push the motion to a vote and if I continue talking they will be unable to do so, but if there are any further points I shall be happy to respond to them in writing.
 
17 Nov 2004 : Column 1403
 

Question put, That this House disagrees with the Lords in the said amendment:—

The House divided: Ayes 304, Noes 189.

Division No. 334
[3:30 pm


AYES

Abbott, Ms Diane
Adams, Irene (Paisley N)
Ainger, Nick
Ainsworth, Bob (Cov'try NE)
Alexander, Douglas
Allen, Graham
Anderson, rh Donald (Swansea E)
Anderson, Janet (Rossendale & Darwen)
Armstrong, rh Ms Hilary
Atherton, Ms Candy
Atkins, Charlotte
Bailey, Adrian
Baird, Vera
Banks, Tony
Barron, rh Kevin
Battle, rh John
Bayley, Hugh
Beard, Nigel
Beckett, rh Margaret
Begg, Miss Anne
Berry, Roger
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
Burgon, Colin
Burnham, Andy
Byrne, Liam (B'ham Hodge H)
Caborn, rh Richard
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
Chaytor, David
Clark, Mrs Helen (Peterborough)
Clark, Dr. Lynda (Edinburgh Pentlands)
Clark, Paul (Gillingham)
Clarke, rh Tom (Coatbridge & Chryston)
Clarke, Tony (Northampton S)
Coaker, Vernon
Coffey, Ms Ann
Colman, Tony
Corbyn, Jeremy
Corston, Jean
Cox, Tom (Tooting)
Cranston, Ross
Cruddas, Jon
Cunningham, Jim (Coventry S)
Cunningham, Tony (Workington)
Curtis-Thomas, Mrs Claire
Darling, rh Alistair
Davey, Valerie (Bristol W)
David, Wayne
Davidson, Ian
Davies, rh Denzil (Llanelli)
Dawson, Hilton
Dean, Mrs Janet
Denham, rh John
Dhanda, Parmjit
Dismore, Andrew
Dobbin, Jim (Heywood)
Donohoe, Brian H.
Doran, Frank
Dowd, Jim (Lewisham W)
Drew, David (Stroud)
Drown, Ms Julia
Dunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth
Eagle, Angela (Wallasey)
Eagle, Maria (L'pool Garston)
Edwards, Huw
Efford, Clive
Ellman, Mrs Louise
Ennis, Jeff (Barnsley E)
Etherington, Bill
Field, rh Frank (Birkenhead)
Fisher, Mark
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Fitzsimons, Mrs Lorna
Flint, Caroline
Foster, rh Derek
Foster, Michael (Worcester)
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings & Rye)
Francis, Dr. Hywel
Gapes, Mike (Ilford S)
Gardiner, Barry
Gerrard, Neil
Gilroy, Linda
Godsiff, Roger
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
Harman, rh Ms Harriet
Havard, Dai (Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney)
Healey, John
Henderson, Ivan (Harwich)
Hendrick, Mark
Hepburn, Stephen
Hesford, Stephen
Heyes, David
Hill, Keith (Streatham)
Hinchliffe, David
Hodge, Margaret
Hood, Jimmy (Clydesdale)
Hope, Phil (Corby)
Hopkins, Kelvin
Howarth, rh Alan (Newport E)
Howarth, George (Knowsley N & Sefton E)
Hughes, Beverley (Stretford & Urmston)
Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)
Humble, Mrs Joan
Hume, John (Foyle)
Hurst, Alan (Braintree)
Hutton, rh John
Irranca-Davies, Huw
Jackson, Glenda (Hampstead & Highgate)
Jackson, Helen (Hillsborough)
Jamieson, David
Jenkins, Brian
Johnson, Miss Melanie (Welwyn Hatfield)
Jones, Helen (Warrington N)
Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C)
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S)
Joyce, Eric (Falkirk W)
Kaufman, rh Sir Gerald
Keen, Alan (Feltham)
Keen, Ann (Brentford)
Kelly, Ruth (Bolton W)
Kennedy, Jane (Wavertree)
Khabra, Piara S.
Kidney, David
Kilfoyle, Peter
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
Lepper, David
Leslie, Christopher
Levitt, Tom (High Peak)
Lewis, Terry (Worsley)
Linton, Martin
Lloyd, Tony (Manchester C)
Love, Andrew
Lucas, Ian (Wrexham)
Luke, Iain (Dundee E)
McAvoy, Thomas
McCabe, Stephen
McCafferty, Chris
McDonagh, Siobhain
MacDonald, Calum
McDonnell, John
McFall, rh John
McGrady, Eddie
McGuire, Mrs Anne
McIsaac, Shona
McKechin, Ann
McKenna, Rosemary
Mackinlay, Andrew
McNamara, Kevin
McNulty, Tony
Mactaggart, Fiona
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)
Martlew, Eric
Meacher, rh Michael
Meale, Alan (Mansfield)
Merron, Gillian
Michael, rh Alun
Miller, Andrew
Mitchell, Austin (Gt Grimsby)
Moffatt, Laura
Morgan, Julie
Morley, Elliot
Morris, rh Estelle
Mullin, Chris
Munn, Ms Meg
Murphy, Jim (Eastwood)
Naysmith, Dr. Doug
Norris, Dan (Wansdyke)
O'Brien, Bill (Normanton)
O'Hara, Edward
Olner, Bill
O'Neill, Martin
Organ, Diana
Osborne, Sandra (Ayr)
Owen, Albert
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)
Prosser, Gwyn
Purchase, Ken
Purnell, James
Quin, rh Joyce
Quinn, Lawrie
Rapson, Syd (Portsmouth N)
Reed, Andy (Loughborough)
Robertson, John (Glasgow Anniesland)
Robinson, Geoffrey (Coventry NW)
Roche, Mrs Barbara
Rooney, Terry
Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)
Roy, Frank (Motherwell)
Ruane, Chris
Ruddock, Joan
Salter, Martin
Sarwar, Mohammad
Savidge, Malcolm
Sawford, Phil
Sedgemore, Brian
Shaw, Jonathan
Sheerman, Barry
Sheridan, Jim
Shipley, Ms Debra
Simon, Siôn (B'ham Erdington)
Singh, Marsha
Skinner, Dennis
Smith, rh Andrew (Oxford E)
Smith, Angela (Basildon)
Smith, rh Chris (Islington S & Finsbury)
Smith, Geraldine (Morecambe & Lunesdale)
Smith, Jacqui (Redditch)
Smith, John (Glamorgan)
Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
Soley, Clive
Spellar, rh John
Starkey, Dr. Phyllis
Steinberg, Gerry
Stewart, David (Inverness E & Lochaber)
Stewart, Ian (Eccles)
Stinchcombe, Paul
Stoate, Dr. Howard
Strang, rh Dr. Gavin
Stringer, Graham
Stuart, Ms Gisela
Sutcliffe, Gerry
Tami, Mark (Alyn)
Timms, Stephen
Tipping, Paddy
Todd, Mark (S Derbyshire)
Touhig, Don (Islwyn)
Trickett, Jon
Truswell, Paul
Turner, Dennis (Wolverh'ton SE)
Turner, Neil (Wigan)
Twigg, Derek (Halton)
Tynan, Bill (Hamilton S)
Vis, Dr. Rudi
Walley, Ms Joan
Ward, Claire
Wareing, Robert N.
Watson, Tom
Watts, David
White, Brian
Whitehead, Dr. Alan
Wicks, Malcolm
Wills, Michael
Winnick, David
Winterton, Ms Rosie (Doncaster C)
Wood, Mike (Batley)
Woolas, Phil
Worthington, Tony
Wright, Anthony D. (Gt Yarmouth)
Wright, David (Telford)
Wright, Iain (Hartlepool)
Wright, Tony (Cannock)
Wyatt, Derek

Tellers for the Ayes:

Joan Ryan and
Mr. John Heppell


NOES

Ainsworth, Peter (E Surrey)
Allan, Richard
Amess, David
Arbuthnot, rh James
Bacon, Richard
Baker, Norman
Baldry, Tony
Barrett, John
Beggs, Roy (E Antrim)
Beith, rh A. J.
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
Bruce, Malcolm
Burns, Simon
Burnside, David
Burstow, Paul
Burt, Alistair
Butterfill, Sir John
Cable, Dr. Vincent
Calton, Mrs Patsy
Cameron, David
Campbell, Gregory (E Lond'y)
Campbell, rh Sir Menzies (NE Fife)
Carmichael, Alistair
Cash, William
Chapman, Sir Sydney (Chipping Barnet)
Chope, Christopher
Clappison, James
Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey
Conway, Derek
Cotter, Brian
Curry, rh David
Davey, Edward (Kingston)
Davies, Quentin (Grantham & Stamford)
Davis, rh David (Haltemprice & Howden)
Djanogly, Jonathan
Dodds, Nigel
Donaldson, Jeffrey M.
Doughty, Sue
Duncan, Alan (Rutland)
Duncan, Peter (Galloway)
Duncan Smith, rh Iain
Ewing, Annabelle
Fabricant, Michael
Fallon, Michael
Field, Mark (Cities of London & Westminster)
Flight, Howard
Flook, Adrian
Forth, rh Eric
Foster, Don (Bath)
Francois, Mark
Gale, Roger (N Thanet)
George, Andrew (St. Ives)
Gibb, Nick (Bognor Regis)
Gidley, Sandra
Gill, Parmjit Singh
Goodman, Paul
Gray, James (N Wilts)
Grayling, Chris
Green, Damian (Ashford)
Green, Matthew (Ludlow)
Greenway, John
Grieve, Dominic
Gummer, rh John
Hague, rh William
Hammond, Philip
Hancock, Mike
Hawkins, Nick
Hayes, John (S Holland)
Heald, Oliver
Heath, David
Heathcoat-Amory, rh David
Hendry, Charles
Hermon, Lady
Hoban, Mark (Fareham)
Hogg, rh Douglas
Holmes, Paul
Horam, John (Orpington)
Howard, rh Michael
Hughes, Simon (Southwark N)
Hunter, Andrew
Jack, rh Michael
Jenkin, Bernard
Jones, Nigel (Cheltenham)
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
Laws, David (Yeovil)
Leigh, Edward
Letwin, rh Oliver
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
Mackay, rh Andrew
Maclean, rh David
McLoughlin, Patrick
Malins, Humfrey
Maples, John
Maude, rh Francis
Mawhinney, rh Sir Brian
May, Mrs Theresa
Mercer, Patrick
Mitchell, Andrew (Sutton Coldfield)
Moore, Michael
Moss, Malcolm
Murrison, Dr. Andrew
O'Brien, Stephen (Eddisbury)
Öpik, Lembit
Osborne, George (Tatton)
Ottaway, Richard
Paice, James
Paisley, Rev. Ian
Pickles, Eric
Price, Adam (E Carmarthen & Dinefwr)
Prisk, Mark (Hertford)
Pugh, Dr. John
Redwood, rh John
Reid, Alan (Argyll & Bute)
Rendel, David
Robathan, Andrew
Robinson, Mrs Iris (Strangford)
Robinson, Peter (Belfast E)
Roe, Dame Marion
Rosindell, Andrew
Ruffley, David
Russell, Bob (Colchester)
Sanders, Adrian
Sayeed, Jonathan
Selous, Andrew
Shepherd, Richard
Simmonds, Mark
Smith, Sir Robert (W Ab'd'ns & Kincardine)
Smyth, Rev. Martin (Belfast S)
Spicer, Sir Michael
Spink, Bob (Castle Point)
Spring, Richard
Stanley, rh Sir John
Steen, Anthony
Streeter, Gary
Stunell, Andrew
Swayne, Desmond
Swire, Hugo (E Devon)
Syms, Robert
Taylor, Ian (Esher)
Taylor, Matthew (Truro)
Taylor, Dr. Richard (Wyre F)
Teather, Sarah
Thomas, Simon (Ceredigion)
Thurso, John
Tredinnick, David
Trimble, rh David
Turner, Andrew (Isle of Wight)
Tyler, Paul (N Cornwall)
Tyrie, Andrew
Waterson, Nigel
Watkinson, Angela
Weir, Michael
Whittingdale, John
Widdecombe, rh Miss Ann
Wiggin, Bill
Wilkinson, John
Willetts, David
Williams, Hywel (Caernarfon)
Williams, Roger (Brecon)
Wilshire, David
Winterton, Ann (Congleton)
Winterton, Sir Nicholas (Macclesfield)
Yeo, Tim (S Suffolk)
Young, rh Sir George
Younger-Ross, Richard

Tellers for the Noes:

Gregory Barker and
Mr. Peter Atkinson


Question accordingly agreed to.


 
17 Nov 2004 : Column 1406
 

Lords amendment disagreed to.


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