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Mr. McNamara: Can I assume from what my hon. Friend has said that the answer to my question about the Irish Government is no? Will he now answer the question about Lord Saville? I thank him for clarifying a point that he made earlier.

Mr. Lammy: I am afraid that there is disagreement between the Government and Lord Saville.
15 Mar 2005 : Column 217

My hon. Friend also mentioned the work of the Joint Committee on Human Rights and the effect of article 2. In the context of the right to life, when someone has died an inquiry will not be the only means of investigation. There will be an inquest, and there may well be criminal proceedings. The whole package makes up the Government's obligations in relation to article 2.

Mr. McNamara: With respect to my hon. Friend, it does not. When a state agent is involved in a killing, the Government have a specific duty to hold an inquiry that is speedy, independent, open, transparent and capable of reaching a decision on the apportioning of blame, and which involves the victim's family at all stages. My hon. Friend has not referred to any of those factors.

Mr. Lammy: There are wider considerations. As my hon. Friend will appreciate, there may well be an inquest into a death that bears on the state function that led to that death. I can think of inquests in which that has been the case, certainly in the context of my constituents. In any state, the legal mechanisms—which may include an inquiry, an inquest or even criminal proceedings—will have a bearing on our obligations under article 2, or at least on our interpretation of our obligations.

Mr. Mallon: I thank the Minister for giving way to me, and for his kind words. Will he try to explain why—after 17 years and a police investigation by Sir John Stevens, which was very conclusive indeed—there is still no conclusion in respect of the Finucane incident? How, after the passage of 17 years, can the Minister's statement be substantiated?

Mr. Lammy: As my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland has made clear, we intend that this Bill could be used to conduct an inquiry into the matters that the hon. Gentleman remains so concerned about.

I turn finally to the appointment of judges. The hon. Member for North-East Cambridgeshire and my hon. Friend the Member for Pendle asked what the Government's plans were in respect of the Opposition amendment to clause 11, and whether we will seek to reverse it. The Government continue to take the view that although the Lord Chief Justice and other appropriate senior judges should certainly be consulted on any proposals to appoint a judge to an inquiry panel, they should not have a veto. The Government are giving very serious consideration to the action that should be taken.

I am grateful to Members for a stimulating debate, and I have endeavoured to respond to the issues raised. The citizens of this country rightly demand accountability from Government—never, in a sense, more so than now. So it is right that this Government should introduce legislation that clarifies and strengthens that accountability. Inquiries are far from easy subjects for any Government, because they often point out systemic failures and shortcomings in our state administration. But as I have said, they can be a vital tool in reforming our public services, and in holding the deliverers of those services—from Ministers to front-line staff—to account.

The Bill is necessary to bring our inquiry procedures and processes up to date and make them fit for the 21st century. Ultimately, it will enable them to be more
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efficient, accountable and transparent, and it will give us the framework that we need to allay public concern in the years ahead. On that basis, I commend it to the House.

Question put and agreed to.

Bill accordingly read a Second time.


Motion made, and Question put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 83A(6) (Programme motions),

Question agreed to.


Queen's recommendation having been signified—

Motion made, and Question put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 52(1)(a) (Money resolutions and ways and means resolutions in connection with bills),

Question agreed to.


Motion made, and Question put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 118(6) (Standing Committees on Delegated Legislation),

15 Mar 2005 : Column 219

Northern Ireland

That the draft District Policing Partnerships (Northern Ireland) Order 2005, which was laid before this House on 21st February, be approved.—[Mr. Ainger.]

Question agreed to.

Motion made, and Question put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 118(6) (Standing Committees on Delegated Legislation),

Northern Ireland

That the draft Electoral Law (Northern Ireland) Act 1962 (Amendment) Order 2005, which was laid before this House on 20th January, be approved.—[Mr. Ainger.]

The House divided: Ayes 258, Noes 33.

Division No. 143
[5.43 pm


Abbott, Ms Diane
Adams, Irene (Paisley N)
Ainger, Nick
Ainsworth, Bob (Cov'try NE)
Allen, Graham
Anderson, rh Donald (Swansea E)
Anderson, Janet (Rossendale & Darwen)
Armstrong, rh Ms Hilary
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
Benn, rh Hilary
Bennett, Andrew
Benton, Joe (Bootle)
Berry, Roger
Best, Harold
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
Byrne, Liam (B'ham Hodge H)
Cairns, David
Campbell, Alan (Tynemouth)
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V)
Caton, Martin
Challen, Colin
Clark, Mrs Helen (Peterborough)
Clark, Dr. Lynda (Edinburgh Pentlands)
Clarke, rh Tom (Coatbridge & Chryston)
Clelland, David
Clwyd, Ann (Cynon V)
Coaker, Vernon
Coffey, Ms Ann
Cohen, Harry
Colman, Tony
Connarty, Michael
Cook, Frank (Stockton N)
Cook, rh Robin (Livingston)
Cooper, Yvette
Corbyn, Jeremy
Cousins, Jim
Cranston, Ross
Crausby, David
Cruddas, Jon
Cryer, Ann (Keighley)
Cummings, John
Cunningham, Jim (Coventry S)
Cunningham, Tony (Workington)
Dalyell, Tam
Davies, Geraint (Croydon C)
Dawson, Hilton
Dean, Mrs Janet
Dismore, Andrew
Dobbin, Jim (Heywood)
Donohoe, Brian H.
Doran, Frank
Dowd, Jim (Lewisham W)
Drew, David (Stroud)
Eagle, Angela (Wallasey)
Eagle, Maria (L'pool Garston)
Edwards, Huw
Ellman, Mrs Louise
Farrelly, Paul
Field, rh Frank (Birkenhead)
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Fitzsimons, Mrs Lorna
Foster, rh Derek
Foulkes, rh George
Gerrard, Neil
Gibson, Dr. Ian
Gilroy, Linda
Goggins, Paul
Griffiths, Jane (Reading E)
Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Grogan, John
Hain, rh Peter
Hall, Mike (Weaver Vale)
Hamilton, David (Midlothian)
Hamilton, Fabian (Leeds NE)
Hanson, David
Harris, Tom (Glasgow Cathcart)
Havard, Dai (MerthyrTydfil & Rhymney)
Healey, John
Henderson, Ivan (Harwich)
Hendrick, Mark
Hepburn, Stephen
Hesford, Stephen
Heyes, David
Hinchliffe, David
Hood, Jimmy (Clydesdale)
Hoon, rh Geoffrey
Hopkins, Kelvin
Humble, Mrs Joan
Iddon, Dr. Brian
Irranca-Davies, Huw
Jackson, Glenda (Hampstead & Highgate)
Jenkins, Brian
Johnson, rh Alan (Hull W)
Jones, Helen (Warrington N)
Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C)
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S)
Joyce, Eric (Falkirk W)
Keen, Alan (Feltham)
Keen, Ann (Brentford)
Kennedy, rh Jane (Wavertree)
Khabra, Piara S.
Kidney, David
King, Andy (Rugby)
Knight, Jim (S Dorset)
Kumar, Dr. Ashok
Ladyman, Dr. Stephen
Lammy, David
Laxton, Bob (Derby N)
Lazarowicz, Mark
Leslie, Christopher
Liddell, rh Mrs Helen
Linton, Martin
Lloyd, Tony (Manchester C)
Love, Andrew
Lucas, Ian (Wrexham)
Luke, Iain (Dundee E)
McCabe, Stephen
McDonagh, Siobhain
McDonnell, John
MacDougall, John
McFall, rh John
McGuire, Mrs Anne
McIsaac, Shona
McKechin, Ann
Mackinlay, Andrew
McNamara, Kevin
McNulty, Tony
MacShane, Denis
Mactaggart, Fiona
McWilliam, John
Mahmood, Khalid
Mahon, Mrs Alice
Mallaber, Judy
Mallon, Seamus
Mann, John (Bassetlaw)
Marris, Rob (Wolverh'ton SW)
Marsden, Gordon (Blackpool S)
Marshall, David (Glasgow Shettleston)
Martlew, Eric
Meale, Alan (Mansfield)
Merron, Gillian
Michael, rh Alun
Miller, Andrew
Mitchell, Austin (Gt Grimsby)
Moffatt, Laura
Mole, Chris
Moonie, Dr. Lewis
Morgan, Julie
Mountford, Kali
Munn, Ms Meg
Murphy, Jim (Eastwood)
Naysmith, Dr. Doug
O'Brien, Bill (Normanton)
O'Hara, Edward
Olner, Bill
O'Neill, Martin
Osborne, Sandra (Ayr)
Owen, Albert
Palmer, Dr. Nick
Pearson, Ian
Perham, Linda
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
Quinn, Lawrie
Reed, Andy (Loughborough)
Robertson, John (Glasgow Anniesland)
Robinson, Geoffrey (Coventry NW)
Rooney, Terry
Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)
Roy, Frank (Motherwell)
Russell, Ms Christine (City of Chester)
Ryan, Joan (Enfield N)
Salter, Martin
Sarwar, Mohammad
Savidge, Malcolm
Sedgemore, Brian
Shaw, Jonathan
Sheerman, Barry
Sheridan, Jim
Short, rh Clare
Simpson, Alan (Nottingham S)
Skinner, Dennis
Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
Soley, Clive
Squire, Rachel
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
Taylor, rh Ann (Dewsbury)
Taylor, Dari (Stockton S)
Taylor, David (NW Leics)
Thomas, Gareth (Clwyd W)
Timms, Stephen
Tipping, Paddy
Todd, Mark (S Derbyshire)
Touhig, Don (Islwyn)
Trickett, Jon
Turner, Dr. Desmond (Brighton Kemptown)
Turner, Neil (Wigan)
Twigg, Derek (Halton)
Twigg, Stephen (Enfield)
Tynan, Bill (Hamilton S)
Vaz, Keith (Leicester E)
Vis, Dr. Rudi
Wareing, Robert N.
Watson, Tom
Watts, David
White, Brian
Whitehead, Dr. Alan
Wicks, Malcolm
Winnick, David
Winterton, Ms Rosie (Doncaster C)
Wood, Mike (Batley)
Woolas, Phil
Wright, Anthony D. (Gt Yarmouth)
Wright, David (Telford)
Wright, Iain (Hartlepool)
Wright, Tony (Cannock)
Wyatt, Derek

Tellers for the Ayes:

Margaret Moran and
Mr. John Heppell


Allan, Richard
Beith, rh A. J.
Breed, Colin
Burnside, David
Burstow, Paul
Cable, Dr. Vincent
Campbell, rh Sir Menzies (NE Fife)
Chidgey, David
Doughty, Sue
Foster, Don (Bath)
Gidley, Sandra
Gill, Parmjit Singh
Harris, Dr. Evan (Oxford W & Abingdon)
Harvey, Nick
Hughes, Simon (Southwark N)
Kirkwood, Sir Archy
Lamb, Norman
Oaten, Mark (Winchester)
Öpik, Lembit
Pugh, Dr. John
Rendel, David
Robinson, Peter (Belfast E)
Russell, Bob (Colchester)
Sanders, Adrian
Smith, Sir Robert (W Ab'd'ns & Kincardine)
Smyth, Rev. Martin (Belfast S)
Stunell, Andrew
Taylor, Matthew (Truro)
Taylor, Dr. Richard (Wyre F)
Thurso, John
Tyler, Paul (N Cornwall)
Williams, Roger (Brecon)
Winterton, Sir Nicholas (Macclesfield)

Tellers for the Noes:

Mr. Alan Reid and
Richard Younger-Ross

Question accordingly agreed to.

15 Mar 2005 : Column 221

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