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Mr. Leslie: I do not believe that the Government should agree with the right hon. Gentleman's position—[Interruption.] Let me explain why. The clause provides for a mechanism for the House to begin the process of moving an address to Her Majesty for removing members of the senior judiciary and for a specific arrangement for Northern Ireland, and I believe that it is a corollary of the settlement that followed the Belfast agreement and the Justice (Northern Ireland) Act 2002. If the Committee determined that it did not like the arrangement, hon. Members could not only vote against it today, but pass an Act to amend it in exceptional circumstances.

It would be for Parliament to overturn the arrangement and, in a pre-devolution environment, make the necessary arrangements for all hon. Members to express their views through a majority opinion. After all, Governments do not always win the day on Divisions. I can think of occasions when Governments have been defeated. If a majority of hon. Members believed that the issue was so important that we needed to overturn the arrangement, they could have their day and express their view.

Mr. Garnier: I am sure that the Under-Secretary believes every word that he says, but the problem is that he did not serve, as I did, on the Standing Committee that considered the 2002 Act. I am sure that he has a note telling him about the matter but, as far as I can recall, those issues were not canvassed at length. Like the Bill that we are considering, that measure was severely guillotined and therefore many important subjects were not discussed. The Under-Secretary has yet to provide us with a reason. He said, "I believe"— that is not a reason but an assertion of the state of his mind. I need to know the reason.

Mr. Leslie: I shall be more explicit for the hon. and learned Gentleman. The Belfast agreement, which led to the criminal justice review report, suggested that specific
1 Feb 2005 : Column 780
arrangements should be included in the 2002 Act. They are in that Act but have not yet been implemented. That is why we are making those specific points now.

Mr. Trimble: It is important to clarify the matter. The Belfast agreement of 1998 does not refer to the devolution of policing and justice. It set up a justice review, which was not a matter of negotiation or settlement. Neither my party nor any other party agreed to it. It involved a group of academics and officials. The Government unilaterally decided to adopt the report—there may have been pressure from some parties, but not mine, to agree to it—and the provisions for removal were to come into operation on devolution, which has not happened and will not happen. Why, therefore, introduce before the devolution of policing and justice a provision that relates to post-devolution, when the Government know that devolution is controversial in Northern Ireland? I hope that the Under-Secretary will stop trying to pass off the clause as part of the agreement; it is not.

Mr. Leslie: I have a different understanding from that of the right hon. Gentleman about the contents of the criminal justice review, its recommendations and the way in which they should be implemented in Northern Ireland. I act on the advice that I receive on those matters.

Mr. Grieve: I thank the Under-Secretary for giving way, which will give him an opportunity to read the next note that has landed on his lap.

The 2002 Act did not envisage the position that clause 105 sets out, but that of an operating devolved Administration. As the Under-Secretary knows, the chances of a devolved Administration, especially after recent announcements by the Prime Minister and others, are low for the foreseeable future. Surely that in itself is a reason why a measure that might have been justified as an extremely short-term arrangement, lasting a few months pending the devolved structures coming into operation, cannot possibly be justified in terms of removing a fundamentally important right of this House and the other place, when there is no foreseeable date for the new system to come into operation. I hope that, even at the eleventh hour, the Minister will think again and give an assurance to the Committee that he will table an appropriate amendment to restore our right, and that of the other place, to move a motion to remove a judge if we think it right to do so.

Mr. Leslie: The Bill has yet to pass through its other stages and we shall have an opportunity to look at this matter again on Report. However, under advice, I am of the opinion that the arrangements that we are proposing reflect the criminal justice review report. If, on studying these matters further, I reach a different opinion, there will certainly be opportunities to return to them at a later date. We do not yet have a date for the Report stage, but there will be opportunities to look at the issue at that point.

Mr. Cash rose—

Mr. Leslie: I think that that is all I can say for now, but I suppose I should give way to the hon. Member for Stone (Mr. Cash).

Mr. Cash: One last intervention, if I may.
1 Feb 2005 : Column 781

There are several gates involved here, as the Minister will appreciate. First, there is the question of whether an address may be presented by any Member of this House. On the question of the Prime Minister's involvement, I know that we are going to discuss the tribunal later, but it is directly related to this issue. When the Minister looks at the manner in which the tribunal will function, and of whom it will be composed, he will realise that when the Lord Chancellor comes to exercise his powers under subsection (5) he will have to do so after the tribunal—which will be constituted as set out in clause 107—has performed its functions. The more gates there are, the more difficult—

The First Deputy Chairman: Order. I think that the hon. Gentleman has made his point.

Mr. Leslie: I remain to be convinced of these arguments, but I will look at them again. I might, however, come back to the House on Report to say that we should stand by the way in which we have drafted this arrangement. I understand that it relates to the pre-devolution settlement and not necessarily to the post-devolution arrangement, as the right hon. Member for Upper Bann (Mr. Trimble) has said. This might be a matter on which I should review the texts involved. He is more familiar with them than I am, but this is the advice that I have received. I know that this is part of the 2002 Act and that it features in part in the criminal justice review, so I shall look at those particular matters again—but, for the time being, I feel that it is of value for clause 105 to stand part of the Bill. It makes provision for far more important issues than simply this narrow point about Members of Parliament and the ability of the tribunal to sit. I hope that clause 105 can stand part of the Bill.

Question put, That the clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill:—

The Committee divided: Ayes 277, Noes 162.

Division No. 62
[4.53 pm


Abbott, Ms Diane
Adams, Irene (Paisley N)
Ainger, Nick
Ainsworth, Bob (Cov'try NE)
Allen, Graham
Anderson, rh Donald (Swansea E)
Armstrong, rh Ms Hilary
Atkins, Charlotte
Austin, John
Bailey, Adrian
Baird, Vera
Barron, rh Kevin
Battle, rh John
Begg, Miss Anne
Bell, Sir Stuart
Bennett, Andrew
Betts, Clive
Blears, Ms Hazel
Borrow, David
Bradley, Peter (The Wrekin)
Brennan, Kevin
Brown, rh Nicholas (Newcastle E Wallsend)
Browne, Desmond
Bryant, Chris
Buck, Ms Karen
Burden, Richard
Burnham, Andy
Byers, rh Stephen
Byrne, Liam (B'ham Hodge H)
Cairns, David
Campbell, Alan (Tynemouth)
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V)
Caplin, Ivor
Challen, Colin
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
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
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.
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
Farrelly, Paul
Field, rh Frank (Birkenhead)
Fisher, Mark
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Flint, Caroline
Flynn, Paul (Newport W)
Foster, rh Derek
Foster, Michael (Worcester)
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings & Rye)
Francis, Dr. Hywel
Gapes, Mike (Ilford S)
George, rh Bruce (Walsall S)
Gerrard, Neil
Gibson, Dr. Ian
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)
Hamilton, Fabian (Leeds NE)
Hanson, David
Harris, Tom (Glasgow Cathcart)
Havard, Dai (MerthyrTydfil & Rhymney)
Healey, John
Henderson, Doug (Newcastle N)
Henderson, Ivan (Harwich)
Hendrick, Mark
Heppell, John
Hesford, Stephen
Heyes, David
Hinchliffe, David
Hoey, Kate (Vauxhall)
Hopkins, Kelvin
Howarth, rh Alan (Newport E)
Howarth, George (Knowsley N & Sefton E)
Hoyle, Lindsay
Hughes, rh Beverley (Stretford & Urmston)
Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)
Hutton, rh John
Iddon, Dr. Brian
Illsley, Eric
Ingram, rh Adam
Irranca-Davies, Huw
Jackson, Glenda (Hampstead & Highgate)
Jackson, Helen (Hillsborough)
Jackson, Robert (Wantage)
Jamieson, David
Jenkins, Brian
Johnson, rh Alan (Hull W)
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, Ann (Brentford)
Kennedy, rh Jane (Wavertree)
Khabra, Piara S.
Kidney, David
Kilfoyle, Peter
King, Andy (Rugby)
Kumar, Dr. Ashok
Lammy, David
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)
Love, Andrew
Lucas, Ian (Wrexham)
Luke, Iain (Dundee E)
Lyons, John (Strathkelvin)
McAvoy, rh Thomas
McCabe, Stephen
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
Miller, Andrew
Moffatt, Laura
Mole, Chris
Moonie, Dr. Lewis
Moran, Margaret
Morris, rh Estelle
Mountford, Kali
Munn, Ms Meg
Murphy, Jim (Eastwood)
Naysmith, Dr. Doug
O'Brien, Mike (N Warks)
O'Hara, Edward
O'Neill, Martin
Osborne, Sandra (Ayr)
Perham, Linda
Picking, Anne
Pickthall, Colin
Pike, Peter (Burnley)
Plaskitt, James
Pound, Stephen
Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lewisham E)
Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)
Primarolo, rh Dawn
Prosser, Gwyn
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
Russell, Ms Christine (City of Chester)
Sarwar, Mohammad
Savidge, Malcolm
Sawford, Phil
Sedgemore, Brian
Shaw, Jonathan
Sheerman, Barry
Sheridan, Jim
Shipley, Ms Debra
Short, rh Clare
Singh, Marsha
Skinner, Dennis
Smith, rh Chris (Islington S & Finsbury)
Smith, Geraldine (Morecambe & Lunesdale)
Smith, rh Jacqui (Redditch)
Smith, John (Glamorgan)
Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
Soley, Clive
Southworth, Helen
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
Sutcliffe, Gerry
Tami, Mark (Alyn)
Taylor, rh Ann (Dewsbury)
Taylor, Dari (Stockton S)
Thomas, Gareth (Clwyd W)
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)
Tynan, Bill (Hamilton S)
Vaz, Keith (Leicester E)
Vis, Dr. Rudi
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, David (Telford)
Wright, Tony (Cannock)
Wyatt, Derek

Tellers for the Ayes:

Mr. Tom Watson and
Vernon Coaker


Ainsworth, Peter (E Surrey)
Allan, Richard
Amess, David
Ancram, rh Michael
Atkinson, David (Bour'mth E)
Atkinson, Peter (Hexham)
Bacon, Richard
Baker, Norman
Barker, Gregory
Beggs, Roy (E Antrim)
Beith, rh A. J.
Beresford, Sir Paul
Blunt, Crispin
Boswell, Tim
Brady, Graham
Brake, Tom (Carshalton)
Brazier, Julian
Browning, Mrs Angela
Bruce, Malcolm
Burns, Simon
Burnside, David
Burstow, Paul
Butterfill, Sir John
Cable, Dr. Vincent
Cameron, David
Campbell, Gregory (E Lond'y)
Campbell, rh Sir Menzies (NE Fife)
Carmichael, Alistair
Cash, William
Chidgey, David
Chope, Christopher
Clarke, rh Kenneth (Rushcliffe)
Collins, Tim
Conway, Derek
Cormack, Sir Patrick
Cran, James (Beverley)
Curry, rh David
Davey, Edward (Kingston)
Davis, rh David (Haltemprice & Howden)
Djanogly, Jonathan
Donaldson, Jeffrey M.
Doughty, Sue
Duncan, Peter (Galloway)
Duncan Smith, rh Iain
Fabricant, Michael
Fallon, Michael
Field, Mark (Cities of London & Westminster)
Flight, Howard
Flook, Adrian
Forth, rh Eric
Foster, Don (Bath)
Fox, Dr. Liam
Francois, Mark
Gale, Roger (N Thanet)
Garnier, Edward
George, Andrew (St. Ives)
Gibb, Nick (Bognor Regis)
Gill, Parmjit Singh
Gillan, Mrs Cheryl
Goodman, Paul
Gray, James (N Wilts)
Grayling, Chris
Green, Damian (Ashford)
Green, Matthew (Ludlow)
Greenway, John
Grieve, Dominic
Hague, rh William
Hammond, Philip
Hancock, Mike
Harris, Dr. Evan (Oxford W & Abingdon)
Harvey, Nick
Hawkins, Nick
Heald, Oliver
Heath, David
Heathcoat-Amory, rh David
Hendry, Charles
Hermon, Lady
Hoban, Mark (Fareham)
Holmes, Paul
Horam, John (Orpington)
Howard, rh Michael
Howarth, Gerald (Aldershot)
Hughes, Simon (Southwark N)
Kennedy, rh Charles (Ross Skye & Inverness)
Key, Robert (Salisbury)
Kirkbride, Miss Julie
Kirkwood, Sir Archy
Knight, rh Greg (E Yorkshire)
Laing, Mrs Eleanor
Lait, Mrs Jacqui
Laws, David (Yeovil)
Letwin, rh Oliver
Lewis, Dr. Julian (New Forest E)
Liddell-Grainger, Ian
Lilley, rh Peter
Llwyd, Elfyn
McIntosh, Miss Anne
Mackay, rh Andrew
Maclean, rh David
McLoughlin, Patrick
Malins, Humfrey
Maples, John
Mates, rh Michael
May, rh Mrs Theresa
Moore, Michael
Moss, Malcolm
Murrison, Dr. Andrew
O'Brien, Stephen (Eddisbury)
Öpik, Lembit
Osborne, George (Tatton)
Ottaway, Richard
Paice, James
Pickles, Eric
Price, Adam (E Carmarthen & Dinefwr)
Prisk, Mark (Hertford)
Randall, John
Redwood, rh John
Rendel, David
Robathan, Andrew
Robertson, Hugh (Faversham & M-Kent)
Robertson, Laurence (Tewk'b'ry)
Robinson, Peter (Belfast E)
Roe, Dame Marion
Rosindell, Andrew
Ruffley, David
Russell, Bob (Colchester)
Sanders, Adrian
Sayeed, Jonathan
Shepherd, Richard
Simmonds, Mark
Smith, Sir Robert (W Ab'd'ns & Kincardine)
Soames, Nicholas
Spelman, Mrs Caroline
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, John (Solihull)
Taylor, Matthew (Truro)
Taylor, Dr. Richard (Wyre F)
Taylor, Sir Teddy
Thurso, John
Tonge, Dr. Jenny
Tredinnick, David
Trimble, rh David
Turner, Andrew (Isle of Wight)
Tyler, Paul (N Cornwall)
Tyrie, Andrew
Viggers, Peter
Waterson, Nigel
Watkinson, Angela
Whittingdale, John
Widdecombe, rh Miss Ann
Wiggin, Bill
Wilkinson, John
Wilshire, David
Yeo, Tim (S Suffolk)

Tellers for the Noes:

Andrew Selous and
Mr. Geoffrey Clifton-Brown

Question accordingly agreed to.

1 Feb 2005 : Column 784

Clause 105, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

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