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Mr. Clarke: Thank you very much, Madam Deputy Speaker. It is deeply wounding to be accused of running away from debate, given the interventions that I have allowed from such a large number of people. If the hon. Gentleman had run for leadership of his party, I promise that I would have given way to him. However, he did not, and I am not sure which candidate he supports today.
Finally, I draw attention to clause 35, which provides for the appointment of an independent reviewer to report on the operation of the legislation. Earlier, I commended to the right hon. Member for Beith-on-SeaI mean the right hon. Member for Berwick-upon-Tweedthe role played by Lord Carlile. I am sure that the whole House will appreciate the care and attention that he has brought to that role. He is noted for his independence of thought, and the House may be interested to hear what he says about the Bill. In paragraph 111 of his report, he states:
David Davis (Haltemprice and Howden) (Con): This debate is part of a process that began before 7 July, but which took on a new urgency after that date. On that day, we met to pay tribute to those who lost their lives, and to those who rushed to save them. We do so again today.
That day was the worst of days, but it brought out the best in the British people. It highlighted an instinctive desire to pull together, an unwillingness to be cowed or bullied by the terrorists, and a stubborn determination to get on with our lives.
On 7 July, there were a few evil men, but many more good men and women. They responded to the horror with fortitude, self-sacrifice and great generosity. That is the way we defeat terrorism: by holding firm to our beliefs. Global terrorism is an attack on those very thingsour way of life, our beliefs, our liberties, and our lives. So let me deal with one crucial argument right up front.
fine words, but we should remember that literally millions of people have died to defend all the liberties that we enjoy today. They were secured through the sacrifices of previous generations. So let us not be the generation that casually gives them away.
The Conservative party has long stood for liberty under the law, but a belief in individual freedom, in freedom of speech, and in our rights to justice are not the monopoly of any one party. The whole Houseevery individual Member and party memberfaces a difficult but vital challenge with the Bill. We must balance the security of the nation with the rights of ordinary citizens.
With that warning, let me turn to the substance of the Bill. Let me start by thanking the Home Secretary for the way he has conducted himself throughout the discussions we have had about the Bill over the entire summer. Despite the pressures from the public, the press, and even the Prime Minister, he has brought a welcome openness of mind to the negotiations. As a result, there are many aspects of the Bill that I am able to support unequivocally.
We welcome plans to create a new offence of acts preparatory to terrorism; indeed, my party has called for that for some time. We also welcome the powers to clamp down on those who take part in terrorist training, or who visit terrorist training camps. Also, within limits, we support powers to introduce a new offence of indirect incitement to terrorism. Although there are significant drafting problems, all of these, and a number of other detailed aspects of the Bill, are intelligent, proportionate and, arguably, long overdue. They are necessary, and they are necessary now. But there are serious issues with other parts, so we must all pause, draw breath and think through the implications very carefully indeed.
I understand why we want to put up a united front with the Government today against terrorism. However, while going through the Bill, would my right hon. Friend make clear those parts of the Bill that, if the Government do not amend in Committee, we shall vote against on Report? As the Bill is drafted,
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indirect incitement to terrorism is an offence that could be committed by negligence. We have to carry with us not just communities but, in due course, juries, and would not that offence be far better as an offence of specific intent rather than an offence of negligence?
David Davis: My hon. Friend very intelligently pre-empts the next part of my speech. Let me say, because of the important parts of the Bill that are necessary now, we want to see the Bill make progress, but in Committeewhich as he is aware will be held on the Floor of the House at our requestand on Report we will resist the 90-day proposal, which I will go through in detail in a moment, and seek to amend quite sharply the proposals on glorification, because they, as the Bill stands, and as has been apparent from the debate so far, are seriously flawed. So we will oppose or amend in Committee and on Report and if we fail in those measures, we shall vote against Third Reading. That is the proposal that I am putting to the House today.
Chris Bryant (Rhondda) (Lab): I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman for giving way because I am sure that many people in the House would like to know precisely how he hopes to amend that clause. While everyone says that terrorism has not changed through the ages, in many ways it has. As one who was thrown out of Pinochet's Chile in 1986incidentally, his Government were supported at the time by the right hon. Gentleman's Governmentfor attending the funeral of a boy who had had petrol poured over him and been set on fire by the police[Interruption.] The right hon. Member for Haltemprice and Howden (David Davis) is asking me to hurry up, but this is an important matter. Some of us would like to know precisely how he intends to change this issue, because if it is too indirect, of course glorification should be opposed.
Mr. Marshall-Andrews: The right hon. Gentleman knows that, contrary to what the Home Secretary has maintained, any public expression of sympathy with or understanding of terrorist acts by people, including young Palestinians because of the west bank, would be criminalised under the Act because intention has not been built into the Bill. That is the vice. May I press him on that, thereforethe question that was asked before: is it the intention
Mr. Binley: My right hon. Friend mentioned that the Front Bench would question the 90-day rule very seriously, and indeed the glorification point. I support the council for resistance in Iraq, and I do so consistently. Will he therefore accept that part 1 of the Bill makes a nonsense of some of the Secretary of State's words and needs amending enormously?
David Davis: My hon. Friend is entirely right. Indeed, he picks up the point made by the shadow Attorney-General to the Home Secretary, which is that the definition of terrorism in the Bill, because it is based on the United Nations definition, is inadequate. There are common-sense elements to this which are self-evident: for example, that it is always wrong to blow up innocent civilians, and that it is always wrong to attack a democracy. So I do not believe that we are incapable of creating a set of definitions that will allow us to achieve what is intended in the Bill. That is what we will set out to do in Committee on the Floor of the House, in which everyone can take part, and on Report if we do not succeed.
I intend to make progress now. Poorly drafted counter-terrorism measures have many risks. They can be ineffective. They can fail to ensure successful prosecution of actual terrorists. They can trip over human rights legislation, or be used and abused for the wrong purpose. They can impinge on the rights and freedoms of innocent people in their attempt to deny those rights and freedoms to guilty people. As a result, they can easily create a sense of injustice which can act as a rallying call to each would-be terrorist in the country. Time and again we see counter-terrorism measuresstatutory and otherwisebeing used for the wrong things. Examples have been mentioned during earlier interventions on the Home Secretary, but I shall repeat them.
In 200001, there were 8,500 incidents of stop and search under the Terrorism Act 2000. The following year, there were 21,500, and last year there were nearly 29,500. The Home Secretary may say that that is partly as a result of the increased terrorist threat. He may be partly right, but of course Lord Carlile said something different.
What security threat was there from the hundreds of people stopped under the Terrorism Act in Brighton during the Labour party conference? What terrorist threat was there from an 82-year-old war hero who dared to disagree with the Government? What danger did Miss Sally Cameron pose when she simply walked along a cycle path beside a port in Dundee? Did Miss Cameron's usual evening stroll really require two police cars to come screaming up, as she put it in the Daily Mail,
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