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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs (Mr. David Lammy): Throughout today's debate, Opposition Members have repeatedly expressed their dissatisfaction with the terms of the programme motion before the House. I inform the House that it is the Government's intention to move the programme motion this evening, but following discussions between the usual channels, it has been decided that a supplementary motion will be tabled. An additional day on the Floor of the House will be provided for and I am sure that the usual channels will continue to discuss how best to divide consideration in Committee and on Report and Third Reading. There are principled disagreements between the Government and the Opposition on this issue and we still believe that the terms of the programme motion before the House are correct, but we hope that the compromise in response to the issues that have been raised is satisfactory.

Mr. Grieve: I welcome the fact that there is to be a further day of debate on the Floor, but I shall still vote against the programme motion, because until we have a proper programme motion, we have only the one on the Table.


 
17 Jan 2005 : Column 651
 
Mr. Lammy: Today's debate has been characterised by the spectre of the Opposition trying to find their feet—at least on finances—and falling over themselves in the process. The reasoned amendment is one of enervating insularity. They would deny the people of this country a supreme court that is absolutely free of the taint of political process—and for what? For nothing more than grubby opportunism. Today, we have heard the dinosaurs and continued to watch the process of their extinction with interest.

The hon. Member for Beaconsfield (Mr. Grieve) sums up the position nicely and in so doing demonstrates that he and his party have become the Alf Garnett of British politics. It would be amusing if they were not so deadly serious. Theirs is the same patrician view that voted against devolution in Scotland and Wales, the Human Rights Act 1998 and the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Every time the Government attempt to reconnect our public institutions with the people they serve, the Opposition oppose us.

Mr. Grieve: I assume, therefore, that the attack on trial by jury and the decision to oust the right of asylum seekers to seek redress in the courts were examples of the hon. Gentleman's demotic tendencies.

Mr. Lammy: We are debating the Constitutional Reform Bill. Happily, other hon. Members have been more resolute in their values and contributions today. My hon. and learned Friend the Member for Dudley, North (Ross Cranston) offered a concise and considered endorsement of the rule of law and the proposals as framed. The hon. Member for Somerton and Frome (Mr. Heath) voiced the Liberal Democrats' support for the Bill and disagreed with the official Opposition's suggestions regarding the enormity of the consequences. We heard outstanding contributions from my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Redcar (Vera Baird), not only in her main speech, but in her interventions. We also heard a powerful speech—albeit one with which I disagreed—from the right hon. Member for Wells (Mr. Heathcoat-Amory)—and a thoughtful one from my hon. Friend the Member for Stafford (Mr. Kidney).

The Bill is not constitutionally disastrous, as the hon. Member for Beaconsfield suggested, nor is it about change for change's sake amounting to a white elephant. It is about the relationship between people and the institutions that govern them, which is critical to a liberal democracy, as he knows. Yes, of course we should take pride in our constitutional heritage as the right hon. Member for Suffolk, Coastal (Mr. Gummer) and the hon. Member for South Staffordshire (Sir Patrick Cormack) suggested. Our institutions are respected and renowned throughout the world, but a strong reputation should not prevent us from looking at how those arrangements are working in the 21st century. We must be informed by our history, not dazzled or paralysed by it.

The hon. Member for Beaconsfield said that a body that exercises the same functions as the House of Lords is a waste of money. He knows that that argument is based on a false premise. The Government are not saying that the new supreme court would exercise different functions from the Appellate Committee of the House of Lords; we are saying that, at the turn of the 21st century, the time has come to ensure that the
 
17 Jan 2005 : Column 652
 
highest appeal court is separate from the legislature. As my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Dudley, North said, quoting Lord Bingham, that separation is a badge of judicial independence.

The time has come. It is unacceptable in the 21st century for the judges who are charged with deciding whether the detention of 12 suspected terrorists in Belmarsh is lawful also to sit in Parliament. It is unacceptable that judges sitting in the Lords must decide whether a Bill passed by the very House of which they are Members is compatible with the Human Rights Act 1998. It is unacceptable in the 21st century for us to tell emerging democracies that it is fundamental that they have a separation of powers but not to have the same ourselves.

The right hon. Member for Suffolk, Coastal said that that the judiciary is not biased. Of course, Members of Parliament know that there is no political bias in the decisions reached by the judges, but that is not enough. Our commitment to judicial independence must be public and demonstrably clear. Our new supreme court will deliver that. The hon. Member for Beaconsfield was one of a number of Opposition Members who raised the issue of costs. The cost of locating the court at Middlesex Guildhall, as hon. Members will be aware following discussion, is £30 million. That cost is effectively for the refurbishment of the existing building, and I am pleased that my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Dudley, North and the hon. Member for Somerton and Frome supported the Government by saying that the building is desirable. In Lord Bingham's words, the cost reflects

Mr. Garnier: In his speech, the Under-Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs, the hon. Member for Shipley (Mr. Leslie), had to admit that rooms to replace the eight or nine Crown court rooms in the Guildhall must be found elsewhere in London. Where is that building to be found, when will it be completed and what will it cost?

Mr. Lammy: We are still consulting on that, as the hon. and learned Gentleman knows as a court recorder.

The hon. Member for Beaconsfield said that the establishment of a supreme court would deny Parliament the experience and expertise that the Law Lords bring to debates and legislation. It is axiomatic that, in any policy to separate the supreme court from the House of Lords, the supreme court judges should cease to have a direct role in the work of the House. Law Lords are judges, not legislators, and are specifically appointed to act as the UK's supreme court. Half the Law Lords are reported to be uncomfortable with the present arrangements. Some of them observe a self-denying ordinance and do not participate in debates on political matters on which they may have to adjudicate. It is clearly time to sort out that confusing situation.

It specious to suggest that the House of Lords will lose expertise. Retired Law Lords can remain in the House and contribute if they wish. There has been discussion about the location of the new court, as I said. Lord Millett said:
 
17 Jan 2005 : Column 653
 

There are certainly compelling grounds to change that arrangement.

The hon. Member for Perth (Annabelle Ewing) raised the failure of the supreme court to repatriate final appellate jurisdiction of civil cases to Scotland. That is not the case. The Scottish Executive and the Scottish Law Society were consulted and favour our proposals. There is not a break with the treaty of Union. There has been considerable agreement today that the office of Lord Chancellor should be reformed to meet the demands of modern and complex government. The hon. Member for Huntingdon (Mr. Djanogly) said that we have been defeated on this issue. However, it is not about the title but the responsibilities of that office. The relationship between the citizen and the state is too important to be left unchecked, unreformed and out of touch. Following a long period of political stagnation until 1997, the legislation is important, and I commend it to the House.

Question put, That the amendment be made:—

The House divided: Ayes 126, Noes 329.

Division No. 33
[9.59 pm


AYES

Ainsworth, Peter (E Surrey)
Amess, David
Arbuthnot, rh James
Atkinson, David (Bour'mth E)
Bacon, Richard
Barker, Gregory
Bellingham, Henry
Bercow, John
Boswell, Tim
Bottomley, Peter (Worthing W)
Bottomley, rh Virginia (SW Surrey)
Brazier, Julian
Burns, Simon
Burt, Alistair
Butterfill, Sir John
Cameron, David
Cash, William
Chapman, Sir Sydney (Chipping Barnet)
Chope, Christopher
Clappison, James
Clarke, rh Kenneth (Rushcliffe)
Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey
Collins, Tim
Conway, Derek
Cormack, Sir Patrick
Curry, rh David
Davies, Quentin (Grantham & Stamford)
Davis, rh David (Haltemprice & Howden)
Djanogly, Jonathan
Dorrell, rh Stephen
Duncan, Alan (Rutland)
Duncan Smith, rh Iain
Evans, Nigel
Ewing, Annabelle
Fallon, Michael
Field, Mark (Cities of London & Westminster)
Flook, Adrian
Forth, rh Eric
Fox, Dr. Liam
Francois, Mark
Gale, Roger (N Thanet)
Garnier, Edward
Goodman, Paul
Gray, James (N Wilts)
Grayling, Chris
Greenway, John
Grieve, Dominic
Gummer, rh John
Hague, rh William
Hammond, Philip
Hayes, John (S Holland)
Heald, Oliver
Heathcoat-Amory, rh David
Hoban, Mark (Fareham)
Hogg, rh Douglas
Howarth, Gerald (Aldershot)
Hunter, Andrew
Jack, rh Michael
Jenkin, Bernard
Key, Robert (Salisbury)
Kirkbride, Miss Julie
Knight, rh Greg (E Yorkshire)
Lait, Mrs Jacqui
Lansley, Andrew
Leigh, Edward
Lewis, Dr. Julian (New Forest E)
Liddell-Grainger, Ian
Lilley, rh Peter
Loughton, Tim
Luff, Peter (M-Worcs)
McIntosh, Miss Anne
McLoughlin, Patrick
Malins, Humfrey
Mates, rh Michael
Mawhinney, rh Sir Brian
May, rh Mrs Theresa
Mercer, Patrick
Mitchell, Andrew (Sutton Coldfield)
Moss, Malcolm
Murrison, Dr. Andrew
O'Brien, Stephen (Eddisbury)
Page, Richard
Paice, James
Paterson, Owen
Price, Adam (E Carmarthen & Dinefwr)
Prisk, Mark (Hertford)
Randall, John
Redwood, rh John
Robathan, Andrew
Robertson, Angus (Moray)
Robertson, Hugh (Faversham & M-Kent)
Robertson, Laurence (Tewk'b'ry)
Roe, Dame Marion
Rosindell, Andrew
Selous, Andrew
Shephard, rh Mrs Gillian
Shepherd, Richard
Simmonds, Mark
Simpson, Keith (M-Norfolk)
Spelman, Mrs Caroline
Spink, Bob (Castle Point)
Spring, Richard
Steen, Anthony
Streeter, Gary
Swayne, Desmond
Syms, Robert
Tapsell, Sir Peter
Taylor, Ian (Esher)
Taylor, John (Solihull)
Taylor, Sir Teddy
Thomas, Simon (Ceredigion)
Tredinnick, David
Tyrie, Andrew
Viggers, Peter
Watkinson, Angela
Whittingdale, John
Wiggin, Bill
Wilkinson, John
Willetts, David
Williams, Hywel (Caernarfon)
Wilshire, David
Winterton, Ann (Congleton)
Winterton, Sir Nicholas (Macclesfield)
Wishart, Pete
Yeo, Tim (S Suffolk)
Young, rh Sir George

Tellers for the Ayes:

Mr. Crispin Blunt and
Mr. David Ruffley


NOES

Abbott, Ms Diane
Adams, Irene (Paisley N)
Ainger, Nick
Ainsworth, Bob (Cov'try NE)
Alexander, Douglas
Allan, Richard
Allen, Graham
Anderson, Janet (Rossendale & Darwen)
Atherton, Ms Candy
Atkins, Charlotte
Austin, John
Bailey, Adrian
Baird, Vera
Banks, Tony
Barnes, Harry
Barron, rh Kevin
Battle, rh John
Bayley, Hugh
Beard, Nigel
Beckett, rh Margaret
Begg, Miss Anne
Beith, rh A. J.
Bell, Sir Stuart
Bennett, Andrew
Benton, Joe (Bootle)
Berry, Roger
Betts, Clive
Blackman, Liz
Blears, Ms Hazel
Borrow, David
Bradley, rh Keith (Withington)
Bradley, Peter (The Wrekin)
Bradshaw, Ben
Breed, Colin
Brennan, Kevin
Brooke, Mrs Annette L.
Brown, rh Nicholas (Newcastle E Wallsend)
Browne, Desmond
Bryant, Chris
Buck, Ms Karen
Burden, Richard
Burgon, Colin
Burstow, Paul
Byrne, Liam (B'ham Hodge H)
Caborn, rh Richard
Cairns, David
Campbell, Alan (Tynemouth)
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)
Campbell, rh Sir Menzies (NE Fife)
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V)
Caplin, Ivor
Carmichael, Alistair
Casale, Roger
Caton, Martin
Cawsey, Ian (Brigg)
Challen, Colin
Chapman, Ben (Wirral S)
Clapham, Michael
Clark, Mrs Helen (Peterborough)
Clark, Dr. Lynda (Edinburgh Pentlands)
Clarke, rh Charles (Norwich S)
Clarke, rh Tom (Coatbridge & Chryston)
Clarke, Tony (Northampton S)
Clelland, David
Clwyd, Ann (Cynon V)
Coaker, Vernon
Coffey, Ms Ann
Cohen, Harry
Connarty, Michael
Corbyn, Jeremy
Corston, rh Jean
Cousins, Jim
Cox, Tom (Tooting)
Cranston, Ross
Cruddas, Jon
Cryer, John (Hornchurch)
Cummings, John
Cunningham, Jim (Coventry S)
Cunningham, Tony (Workington)
Curtis-Thomas, Mrs Claire
Dalyell, Tam
Darling, rh Alistair
Davey, Valerie (Bristol W)
David, Wayne
Davies, Geraint (Croydon C)
Dawson, Hilton
Dhanda, Parmjit
Dismore, Andrew
Dobbin, Jim (Heywood)
Dobson, rh Frank
Donohoe, Brian H.
Doran, Frank
Doughty, Sue
Dowd, Jim (Lewisham W)
Dunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth
Eagle, Angela (Wallasey)
Eagle, Maria (L'pool Garston)
Edwards, Huw
Efford, Clive
Ellman, Mrs Louise
Etherington, Bill
Farrelly, Paul
Field, rh Frank (Birkenhead)
Fisher, Mark
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Fitzsimons, Mrs Lorna
Flint, Caroline
Flynn, Paul (Newport W)
Foster, rh Derek
Foster, Michael (Worcester)
Gapes, Mike (Ilford S)
George, Andrew (St. Ives)
Gerrard, Neil
Gibson, Dr. Ian
Gidley, Sandra
Gill, Parmjit Singh
Gilroy, Linda
Godsiff, Roger
Goggins, Paul
Griffiths, Jane (Reading E)
Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)
Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Grogan, John
Hall, Mike (Weaver Vale)
Hall, Patrick (Bedford)
Hamilton, David (Midlothian)
Hancock, Mike
Hanson, David
Harman, rh Ms Harriet
Harris, Dr. Evan (Oxford W & Abingdon)
Harris, Tom (Glasgow Cathcart)
Heath, David
Henderson, Doug (Newcastle N)
Henderson, Ivan (Harwich)
Hendrick, Mark
Hepburn, Stephen
Heyes, David
Hill, rh Keith (Streatham)
Hinchliffe, David
Hodge, rh Margaret
Hoey, Kate (Vauxhall)
Hoon, rh Geoffrey
Hope, Phil (Corby)
Hopkins, Kelvin
Howarth, rh Alan (Newport E)
Howarth, George (Knowsley N & Sefton E)
Howells, Dr. Kim
Hoyle, Lindsay
Hughes, rh Beverley (Stretford & Urmston)
Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)
Hughes, Simon (Southwark N)
Humble, Mrs Joan
Hutton, rh John
Iddon, Dr. Brian
Jackson, Glenda (Hampstead & Highgate)
Jackson, Helen (Hillsborough)
Jackson, Robert (Wantage)
Jamieson, David
Jenkins, Brian
Johnson, rh Alan (Hull W)
Johnson, Miss Melanie (Welwyn Hatfield)
Jones, Helen (Warrington N)
Jones, Lynne (Selly Oak)
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S)
Jowell, rh Tessa
Joyce, Eric (Falkirk W)
Keeble, Ms Sally
Keen, Alan (Feltham)
Keen, Ann (Brentford)
Kemp, Fraser
Kennedy, rh Jane (Wavertree)
Khabra, Piara S.
Kidney, David
Kilfoyle, Peter
King, Andy (Rugby)
Kirkwood, Sir Archy
Knight, Jim (S Dorset)
Ladyman, Dr. Stephen
Lamb, Norman
Lammy, David
Lawrence, Mrs Jackie
Laws, David (Yeovil)
Laxton, Bob (Derby N)
Lepper, David
Leslie, Christopher
Linton, Martin
Lloyd, Tony (Manchester C)
Love, Andrew
Lucas, Ian (Wrexham)
Luke, Iain (Dundee E)
Lyons, John (Strathkelvin)
McAvoy, rh Thomas
McCabe, Stephen
McCafferty, Chris
McCartney, rh Ian
McDonagh, Siobhain
MacDonald, Calum
McDonnell, John
MacDougall, John
McFall, rh John
McGuire, Mrs Anne
McIsaac, Shona
McKechin, Ann
McKenna, Rosemary
McNulty, Tony
MacShane, Denis
McWilliam, John
Mahmood, Khalid
Mallaber, Judy
Mann, John (Bassetlaw)
Marris, Rob (Wolverh'ton SW)
Marsden, Gordon (Blackpool S)
Marshall, David (Glasgow Shettleston)
Marshall-Andrews, Robert
Meacher, rh Michael
Meale, Alan (Mansfield)
Michael, rh Alun
Miller, Andrew
Moffatt, Laura
Mole, Chris
Moonie, Dr. Lewis
Moran, Margaret
Morley, Elliot
Morris, rh Estelle
Mountford, Kali
Mudie, George
Mullin, Chris
Murphy, Denis (Wansbeck)
Murphy, Jim (Eastwood)
Naysmith, Dr. Doug
O'Brien, Bill (Normanton)
O'Neill, Martin
Osborne, Sandra (Ayr)
Palmer, Dr. Nick
Picking, Anne
Pickthall, Colin
Pike, Peter (Burnley)
Plaskitt, James
Pond, Chris (Gravesham)
Pound, Stephen
Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lewisham E)
Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)
Prescott, rh John
Primarolo, rh Dawn
Prosser, Gwyn
Pugh, Dr. John
Purchase, Ken
Purnell, James
Rapson, Syd (Portsmouth N)
Raynsford, rh Nick
Reed, Andy (Loughborough)
Reid, rh Dr. John (Hamilton N & Bellshill)
Rendel, David
Robertson, John (Glasgow Anniesland)
Robinson, Geoffrey (Coventry NW)
Roche, Mrs Barbara
Rooney, Terry
Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)
Ruane, Chris
Ruddock, Joan
Russell, Bob (Colchester)
Russell, Ms Christine (City of Chester)
Ryan, Joan (Enfield N)
Salter, Martin
Sanders, Adrian
Savidge, Malcolm
Sedgemore, Brian
Sheridan, Jim
Singh, Marsha
Skinner, Dennis
Smith, rh Andrew (Oxford E)
Smith, rh Chris (Islington S & Finsbury)
Smith, Geraldine (Morecambe & Lunesdale)
Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
Smith, Sir Robert (W Ab'd'ns & Kincardine)
Soley, Clive
Southworth, Helen
Starkey, Dr. Phyllis
Stewart, Ian (Eccles)
Stinchcombe, Paul
Stoate, Dr. Howard
Stringer, Graham
Stuart, Ms Gisela
Stunell, Andrew
Sutcliffe, Gerry
Tami, Mark (Alyn)
Taylor, rh Ann (Dewsbury)
Taylor, Dari (Stockton S)
Taylor, David (NW Leics)
Taylor, Dr. Richard (Wyre F)
Teather, Sarah
Thomas, Gareth (Clwyd W)
Thurso, John
Timms, Stephen
Tipping, Paddy
Todd, Mark (S Derbyshire)
Tonge, Dr. Jenny
Touhig, Don (Islwyn)
Trickett, Jon
Truswell, Paul
Turner, Dennis (Wolverh'ton SE)
Turner, Dr. Desmond (Brighton Kemptown)
Twigg, Derek (Halton)
Twigg, Stephen (Enfield)
Tyler, Paul (N Cornwall)
Tynan, Bill (Hamilton S)
Vaz, Keith (Leicester E)
Vis, Dr. Rudi
Walley, Ms Joan
Ward, Claire
Wareing, Robert N.
Watson, Tom
Watts, David
Whitehead, Dr. Alan
Williams, rh Alan (Swansea W)
Williams, Betty (Conwy)
Williams, Roger (Brecon)
Willis, Phil
Winnick, David
Winterton, Ms Rosie (Doncaster C)
Wood, Mike (Batley)
Woolas, Phil
Worthington, Tony
Wray, James (Glasgow Baillieston)
Wright, Anthony D. (Gt Yarmouth)
Wright, David (Telford)
Wright, Iain (Hartlepool)
Wyatt, Derek
Younger-Ross, Richard

Tellers for the Noes:

Gillian Merron and
Mr. John Heppell


Question accordingly negatived.


 
17 Jan 2005 : Column 656
 

Main Question put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 62 (Amendment on second or third reading), and agreed to.


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