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Mr. Leslie: That is a matter not for me but for the Chairman and the House generally.

Mechanisms will be put in place so that even though the full-time members of the judiciary will be separate from the legislature, they will continue to be able to make their views known to Parliament. Clause 6 provides for senior members of the judiciary to make written representations. That will adequately aid the dialogue between the different branches of our constitution. The senior judiciary will be free to appear before Select Committees and make representations to both Houses of Parliament.

It is important to separate the full-time judiciary from the legislature, and I hope that the amendments and new clause 7 will be rejected if not withdrawn.

Simon Hughes: The Government's proposal, which we support, does not imply any criticism of the current conduct of the Lords of Appeal in Ordinary. Everybody accepts that they have done their job impartially and managed to keep out of the party political debates in the Lords. They should not therefore feel that the proposal is a criticism.
1 Feb 2005 : Column 762

The amendments are slightly bizarre. Amendment No. 339 would remove the current bar on senior judges being in the Commons. New clause 7 deals with the House of Lords, which is the more substantive issue. On that point, we share the Under-Secretary's view, for a reason at which he hinted but on which he did not elaborate. Someone who has been a member of the supreme court—the most senior court in the land—could later become a member of the legislature. Someone who does a part-time judicial job, such as the hon. and learned Member for Harborough (Mr. Garnier), who sits as a recorder, can be a member of the legislature. It is therefore entirely logical that if judges want to be consulted or have an input, they can do that. They can be asked to give evidence to Select Committees and they can submit evidence in any review. The supreme court will be quite entitled to give a view on any matter that it deems appropriate. That will surely be done in a proper way, so that people can see that the judges' views are being given to Parliament—both the Commons and the Lords—and that Parliament will then decide what to make of them. Appointed judges will not have been elected to pass laws or sit in the legislature. That distinction remains important, which is why we shall join the Government in resisting these amendments.

Tony Wright (Cannock Chase) (Lab): I was going to make two quick points, but I am now going to make three. The first, which I had not intended to make, is that, having heard the previous exchanges on this issue, I now have worries about recorders sitting in the House of Commons. Of course, I am not referring personally to the hon. and learned Member for Harborough (Mr. Garnier), but there is a principle involved here. We have embarked on a process of logical constitutional development, and at some point we shall have to follow it through to its logical conclusion. I do not want to alarm the hon. and learned Gentleman, but that is clearly the direction in which we shall have to travel.

My second point is that the amendment would simply subvert the principle behind the entire Bill, which is to try to clarify the constitutional relationships here. Having embarked on the process, we clearly have to do that. I note in passing that the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Woolf, has recently been arguing for the logic of what is being proposed. One of the reasons why he is still having an argument with the Lord Chancellor about who should decide whether judges should take part in politically contentious inquiries is that he says that the logic of what we are doing in the Bill is to separate the judiciary from politically contentious areas. If we follow that logic, it is clearly implausible to reinsert these provisions into the Bill.

Thirdly, when we talk about peerages in this context we get into a terrible muddle. That is because we always confuse the question of whether a peerage is designed to enable people to give service in a second legislative Chamber, or to confer an honour. We have to decide, in the case of judges and everyone else, whether we want to confer an honour or to deploy those people for service in a second Chamber. We are not resolving that issue in
1 Feb 2005 : Column 763
the Bill, but I simply note that we shall have to do so at some point; otherwise we shall keep returning to contradictions such as this.

Mr. Garnier: The hon. Member for Cannock Chase (Tony Wright) is perfectly right, and I think that the Minister failed to understand the logical extension of his own arguments. If the hon. Member for Cannock Chase wants to be a purist, fine. In that case, a person should be either a Member of Parliament of one kind or another, or a member of the judiciary. The hon. and learned Member for Dudley, North (Ross Cranston) and I are no doubt quivering in our boots every night, lest we be expelled either from the House or from the courts. However, I think we can probably cope. We give our services as part-time judges—recorders—as a public service, not because it earns us huge sums of money. It also informs the work that we do here as legislators, and vice versa.

I do not however want to dwell on that argument in the two or three minutes that we have left for this debate. While accepting the purist logic of the hon. Member for Cannock Chase, I disagree with the conclusion that he has reached. I believe that there is a value in Members of the House of Lords sitting as judges as well as being members of the legislature. I fully take on board the point made by the hon. Member for Southwark, North and Bermondsey (Simon Hughes) about amendment No. 339. As I understand it, full-time judges are already excluded from becoming Members of the House of Commons or the Northern Ireland Assembly, and I assume that the amendment was tabled to provide us with an opportunity to debate the wider issue. It is certainly not an amendment based on logic, if one reads the wording.

There is some merit in not disqualifying the senior judges from the Committee work of the House of Lords or, in particular, from the Joint Committee work of both Houses. I am looking around the Chamber to see whether I can spot Members who have served on Joint Committees at the same time as I have. In fact, the hon. and learned Member for Redcar (Vera Baird) and I served together on the Joint Committee considering the draft Corruption Bill. That was chaired by a retired Law Lord, but sitting Law Lords have chaired such Committees. [Interruption.] If Lord Bridge was a sitting Lord, I take that back. [Hon. Members: "Lord Slynn."] That is right. Lord Bridge died a little while ago. The new Bill would not prevent Lord Slynn from continuing that work, but, say, existing Law Lords chair Committees from time to time, and do a very valuable job. We would lose that. Members may say "Bad luck", but I think it would be a pity to throw out that benefit without any obvious benefit on the other side.

I support new clause 7 in so far as it clarifies what is possibly implied in the Bill. The Government, the Prime Minister and the Queen are not precluded from making supreme court judges peers, but once they are peers they are precluded from voting and sitting in the House of
1 Feb 2005 : Column 764
Lords. I take the point about the confusion between an honour and a job, but I trust that once the Bill is in force the Prime Minister will allow peers to be made supreme court judges.

It being three hours after the commencement of proceedings on the Bill, The Chairman put the Question already proposed from the Chair, pursuant to Orders [17 and 31 January 2005].

Question put, That the amendment be made:—

The Committee divided: Ayes 122, Noes 315.

Division No. 61
[3.41 pm


Ainsworth, Peter (E Surrey)
Amess, David
Ancram, rh Michael
Atkinson, David (Bour'mth E)
Atkinson, Peter (Hexham)
Bacon, Richard
Barker, Gregory
Beggs, Roy (E Antrim)
Beresford, Sir Paul
Blunt, Crispin
Boswell, Tim
Bottomley, Peter (Worthing W)
Brady, Graham
Brazier, Julian
Browning, Mrs Angela
Burns, Simon
Burnside, David
Butterfill, Sir John
Cameron, David
Campbell, Gregory (E Lond'y)
Cash, William
Chope, Christopher
Clarke, rh Kenneth (Rushcliffe)
Conway, Derek
Cormack, Sir Patrick
Cran, James (Beverley)
Curry, rh David
Davis, rh David (Haltemprice & Howden)
Djanogly, Jonathan
Dodds, Nigel
Duncan, Peter (Galloway)
Duncan Smith, rh Iain
Fabricant, Michael
Fallon, Michael
Field, Mark (Cities of London & Westminster)
Flight, Howard
Flook, Adrian
Forth, rh Eric
Francois, Mark
Gale, Roger (N Thanet)
Gibb, Nick (Bognor Regis)
Gillan, Mrs Cheryl
Goodman, Paul
Gray, James (N Wilts)
Grayling, Chris
Green, Damian (Ashford)
Greenway, John
Grieve, Dominic
Hague, rh William
Hammond, Philip
Hawkins, Nick
Heald, Oliver
Heathcoat-Amory, rh David
Hendry, Charles
Hermon, Lady
Hoban, Mark (Fareham)
Horam, John (Orpington)
Howard, rh Michael
Howarth, Gerald (Aldershot)
Key, Robert (Salisbury)
Kirkbride, Miss Julie
Knight, rh Greg (E Yorkshire)
Laing, Mrs Eleanor
Lait, Mrs Jacqui
Letwin, rh Oliver
Lewis, Dr. Julian (New Forest E)
Liddell-Grainger, Ian
Lilley, rh Peter
McIntosh, Miss Anne
Mackay, rh Andrew
Maclean, rh David
McLoughlin, Patrick
Malins, Humfrey
Maples, John
Mates, rh Michael
Maude, rh Francis
May, rh Mrs Theresa
Mercer, Patrick
Moss, Malcolm
Murrison, Dr. Andrew
O'Brien, Stephen (Eddisbury)
Osborne, George (Tatton)
Ottaway, Richard
Paice, James
Pickles, Eric
Prisk, Mark (Hertford)
Redwood, rh John
Robathan, Andrew
Robertson, Hugh (Faversham & M-Kent)
Robertson, Laurence (Tewk'b'ry)
Robinson, Peter (Belfast E)
Roe, Dame Marion
Rosindell, Andrew
Ruffley, David
Sayeed, Jonathan
Selous, Andrew
Shepherd, Richard
Simmonds, Mark
Spelman, Mrs Caroline
Spink, Bob (Castle Point)
Spring, Richard
Stanley, rh Sir John
Steen, Anthony
Streeter, Gary
Swayne, Desmond
Swire, Hugo (E Devon)
Syms, Robert
Taylor, John (Solihull)
Taylor, Sir Teddy
Tredinnick, David
Trimble, rh David
Turner, Andrew (Isle of Wight)
Tyrie, Andrew
Waterson, Nigel
Watkinson, Angela
Whittingdale, John
Widdecombe, rh Miss Ann
Wiggin, Bill
Wilkinson, John
Willetts, David
Wilshire, David
Yeo, Tim (S Suffolk)

Tellers for the Ayes:

Mr. Geoffrey Clifton-Brown and
Mr. John Randall


Abbott, Ms Diane
Adams, Irene (Paisley N)
Ainger, Nick
Ainsworth, Bob (Cov'try NE)
Allan, Richard
Allen, Graham
Anderson, rh Donald (Swansea E)
Armstrong, rh Ms Hilary
Atkins, Charlotte
Austin, John
Bailey, Adrian
Baird, Vera
Baker, Norman
Banks, Tony
Barron, rh Kevin
Battle, rh John
Begg, Miss Anne
Beith, rh A. J.
Bell, Sir Stuart
Bennett, Andrew
Betts, Clive
Blears, Ms Hazel
Blizzard, Bob
Boateng, rh Paul
Borrow, David
Bradley, Peter (The Wrekin)
Brennan, Kevin
Brown, rh Nicholas (Newcastle E Wallsend)
Browne, Desmond
Bruce, Malcolm
Bryant, Chris
Buck, Ms Karen
Burden, Richard
Burnham, Andy
Burstow, Paul
Byers, rh Stephen
Byrne, Liam (B'ham Hodge H)
Cable, Dr. Vincent
Cairns, David
Campbell, Alan (Tynemouth)
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)
Campbell, rh Sir Menzies (NE Fife)
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V)
Caplin, Ivor
Carmichael, Alistair
Challen, Colin
Chidgey, David
Clapham, Michael
Clark, Mrs Helen (Peterborough)
Clark, Dr. Lynda (Edinburgh Pentlands)
Clarke, rh Tom (Coatbridge & Chryston)
Clarke, Tony (Northampton S)
Clelland, David
Coffey, Ms Ann
Colman, Tony
Connarty, Michael
Cook, rh Robin (Livingston)
Cooper, Yvette
Corbyn, Jeremy
Corston, rh Jean
Cousins, Jim
Cox, Tom (Tooting)
Cranston, Ross
Crausby, David
Cruddas, Jon
Cummings, John
Cunningham, Jim (Coventry S)
Curtis-Thomas, Mrs Claire
Dalyell, Tam
David, Wayne
Davies, rh Denzil (Llanelli)
Davies, Geraint (Croydon C)
Dawson, Hilton
Dhanda, Parmjit
Dismore, Andrew
Dobbin, Jim (Heywood)
Dobson, rh Frank
Donohoe, Brian H.
Doughty, Sue
Dowd, Jim (Lewisham W)
Drew, David (Stroud)
Eagle, Angela (Wallasey)
Eagle, Maria (L'pool Garston)
Efford, Clive
Ellman, Mrs Louise
Ennis, Jeff (Barnsley E)
Etherington, Bill
Ewing, Annabelle
Farrelly, Paul
Field, rh Frank (Birkenhead)
Fisher, Mark
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Flint, Caroline
Flynn, Paul (Newport W)
Foster, rh Derek
Foster, Don (Bath)
Foster, Michael (Worcester)
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings & Rye)
Francis, Dr. Hywel
Gapes, Mike (Ilford S)
George, Andrew (St. Ives)
Gerrard, Neil
Gibson, Dr. Ian
Gill, Parmjit Singh
Gilroy, Linda
Godsiff, Roger
Goggins, Paul
Green, Matthew (Ludlow)
Griffiths, Jane (Reading E)
Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Hain, rh Peter
Hall, Mike (Weaver Vale)
Hall, Patrick (Bedford)
Hamilton, David (Midlothian)
Hamilton, Fabian (Leeds NE)
Hancock, Mike
Hanson, David
Harris, Dr. Evan (Oxford W & Abingdon)
Harris, Tom (Glasgow Cathcart)
Havard, Dai (Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney)
Healey, John
Heath, David
Henderson, Doug (Newcastle N)
Henderson, Ivan (Harwich)
Hendrick, Mark
Heppell, John
Hesford, Stephen
Heyes, David
Hinchliffe, David
Hoey, Kate (Vauxhall)
Holmes, Paul
Hopkins, Kelvin
Howarth, rh Alan (Newport E)
Howarth, George (Knowsley N & Sefton E)
Hoyle, Lindsay
Hughes, rh Beverley (Stretford & Urmston)
Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)
Hughes, Simon (Southwark N)
Hutton, rh John
Iddon, Dr. Brian
Illsley, Eric
Ingram, rh Adam
Irranca-Davies, Huw
Jackson, Glenda (Hampstead & Highgate)
Jamieson, David
Jenkins, Brian
Jones, Helen (Warrington N)
Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C)
Jones, Kevan (N Durham)
Jones, Lynne (Selly Oak)
Joyce, Eric (Falkirk W)
Kaufman, rh Sir Gerald
Keeble, Ms Sally
Keen, Alan (Feltham)
Keen, Ann (Brentford)
Kennedy, rh Charles (Ross Skye & Inverness)
Kennedy, rh Jane (Wavertree)
Khabra, Piara S.
Kidney, David
Kilfoyle, Peter
King, Andy (Rugby)
Knight, Jim (S Dorset)
Kumar, Dr. Ashok
Lawrence, Mrs Jackie
Laxton, Bob (Derby N)
Leslie, Christopher
Levitt, Tom (High Peak)
Lewis, Terry (Worsley)
Liddell, rh Mrs Helen
Linton, Martin
Lloyd, Tony (Manchester C)
Llwyd, Elfyn
Love, Andrew
Lucas, Ian (Wrexham)
Luke, Iain (Dundee E)
Lyons, John (Strathkelvin)
McAvoy, rh Thomas
McCafferty, Chris
McDonagh, Siobhain
MacDonald, Calum
McDonnell, John
MacDougall, John
McFall, rh John
McGuire, Mrs Anne
McIsaac, Shona
McKechin, Ann
Mackinlay, Andrew
McNamara, Kevin
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)
Marshall-Andrews, Robert
Meacher, rh Michael
Meale, Alan (Mansfield)
Merron, Gillian
Michael, rh Alun
Miliband, David
Miller, Andrew
Moffatt, Laura
Mole, Chris
Moonie, Dr. Lewis
Moore, Michael
Moran, Margaret
Mountford, Kali
Munn, Ms Meg
Murphy, Jim (Eastwood)
Naysmith, Dr. Doug
Oaten, Mark (Winchester)
O'Brien, Mike (N Warks)
O'Hara, Edward
O'Neill, Martin
Öpik, Lembit
Osborne, Sandra (Ayr)
Perham, Linda
Picking, Anne
Pickthall, Colin
Pike, Peter (Burnley)
Plaskitt, James
Pound, Stephen
Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lewisham E)
Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)
Price, Adam (E Carmarthen & Dinefwr)
Primarolo, rh Dawn
Prosser, Gwyn
Purnell, James
Quin, rh Joyce
Quinn, Lawrie
Rapson, Syd (Portsmouth N)
Reed, Andy (Loughborough)
Rendel, David
Robertson, Angus (Moray)
Robertson, John (Glasgow Anniesland)
Robinson, Geoffrey (Coventry NW)
Roche, Mrs Barbara
Rooney, Terry
Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)
Roy, Frank (Motherwell)
Ruane, Chris
Ruddock, Joan
Russell, Bob (Colchester)
Russell, Ms Christine (City of Chester)
Salmond, Alex
Sanders, Adrian
Sarwar, Mohammad
Savidge, Malcolm
Sawford, Phil
Sedgemore, Brian
Shaw, Jonathan
Sheerman, Barry
Sheridan, Jim
Shipley, Ms Debra
Singh, Marsha
Skinner, Dennis
Smith, rh Chris (Islington S & Finsbury)
Smith, Geraldine (Morecambe & Lunesdale)
Smith, John (Glamorgan)
Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
Smith, Sir Robert (W Ab'd'ns & Kincardine)
Soley, Clive
Southworth, Helen
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
Stuart, Ms Gisela
Stunell, Andrew
Sutcliffe, Gerry
Tami, Mark (Alyn)
Taylor, rh Ann (Dewsbury)
Taylor, Dari (Stockton S)
Taylor, Matthew (Truro)
Taylor, Dr. Richard (Wyre F)
Thomas, Gareth (Clwyd W)
Thurso, John
Timms, Stephen
Tipping, Paddy
Todd, Mark (S Derbyshire)
Touhig, Don (Islwyn)
Trickett, Jon
Truswell, Paul
Turner, Dennis (Wolverh'ton SE)
Turner, Dr. Desmond (Brighton Kemptown)
Turner, Neil (Wigan)
Twigg, Derek (Halton)
Twigg, Stephen (Enfield)
Tyler, Paul (N Cornwall)
Tynan, Bill (Hamilton S)
Vaz, Keith (Leicester E)
Vis, Dr. Rudi
Ward, Claire
Wareing, Robert N.
Webb, Steve (Northavon)
Weir, Michael
White, Brian
Whitehead, Dr. Alan
Wicks, Malcolm
Williams, rh Alan (Swansea W)
Winnick, David
Wishart, Pete
Wood, Mike (Batley)
Woodward, Shaun
Woolas, Phil
Wright, Anthony D. (Gt Yarmouth)
Wright, David (Telford)
Wright, Tony (Cannock)

Tellers for the Noes:

Vernon Coaker and
Mr. Tom Watson

Question accordingly negatived.

1 Feb 2005 : Column 767

Clause 109 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

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