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Mrs. Gillan: I do not think that we need detain the House for too long on Government new clause 2, but I am surprised that it should be introduced at this late stage. No explanation, other than the one that the Minister has just delivered at the Dispatch Box, has previously been given for the change, although it is true that an anomaly does exist in respect of people detained in the prison estate and those detained in other establishments. That is the anomaly that the new clause addresses.

The report into the Yarl's Wood detention centre made it clear that we need to look at what happens to people who are detained. That is all the more important, given that the Government's five-year strategy for asylum and immigration states that increasing use of
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detention is planned, especially in the context of the removal of failed asylum seekers. However, the Minister must answer a few questions relating to the new clause.

The hon. Member for Walthamstow (Mr. Gerrard) asked a valid question in his intervention. At present, the UK has nine immigration removal centres. Most are run by private companies, but three are run by the prison service. It is important to understand how the private companies will be instructed to manage a work regime in the centres, as the Minister has made it clear that that regime will be intrinsically different from the practice in prisons and on the prison estate as a whole. What instructions will the private companies be given about running the work regime in their centres?

Detainees are not prisoners. The Minister knows that people may be detained for a variety of reasons. Most are detained because they are about to be removed from the UK, or because their asylum claims are being dealt with through the fast-track process, so I am not entirely sure how useful the provision will be, especially given that the average stay in a detention centre is between seven and 10 days. That said, earlier this year, persons were recorded as being in detention in the UK for a year or more, solely under Immigration Act powers: 70 had been detained for a year or more, 45 of whom were asylum seekers. That statistic is staggering enough, but 125 people had been detained for more than six months but less than a year, of whom 95 were asylum seekers, and 150 people were detained from four to six months and 150 from three to four months. Purposeful activity or a work regime may be envisaged for those individuals, but the idea needs to be fleshed out and cannot simply be presented to the House in the form of the new clause.

The proposals smack to me of the Minister envisaging that those individuals could be held in detention centres for a long time. When we were considering other aspects of the proposals, I noticed that a detention centre manager considered—especially in relation to reports about the Yarl's Wood centre—that the sort of work that could be done should be connected to the resettlement of the individual, particularly if resettlement could reasonably be supposed to be in the UK. But the Minister conveniently missed out that point by referring to light cleaning and a little cooking and domestic work at the prison.

3.30 pm

My last point relates to the structuring of the regime as regards payment. The average rate of pay for employed prisoners is £8 a week, but the Prison Service sets its own minimum rate, which is currently £4 a week. Each prison is allowed to set its own pay rate. Does the Minister envisage that each detention centre will be allowed to set its own rates and, if so, at what level does he expect them to be?

That is all I want to ask at this stage, but I reiterate to the Minister that, given the spirit of our conduct of the proceedings, I would have expected a new clause of this nature to be accompanied by an explanatory document, at least for members of the Committee, rather than relying on the Minister's slightly cursory introduction—[Interruption.] The Minister is holding up a letter, but I am afraid that it has not reached me. I do not know what the date of the letter is, but we had similar arguments in
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Committee when letters were sent out the day before a sitting. I explained then that, like many Members, I have an arrangement whereby my post is sent to my constituency to be dealt with initially, so although the Minister may hide behind the letter that he has the privilege of holding up, it has not reached my desk and it has obviously not reached the desk of my hon. Friend the Member for Woking (Mr. Malins).

Mr. McNulty: I am not hiding behind the letter, and I apologise profusely to members of the Committee if they have not received it. I ensured that on 10 November anything remotely new in terms of amendments tabled was circulated as a courtesy to the Committee, with explanations—albeit brief ones. I apologise if the letter was not received in Amersham or in central London, but that was certainly my intention.

Notwithstanding, with respect, the rather picky points made by the hon. Member for Chesham and Amersham (Mrs. Gillan) about the detail for each detention centre, I hope that the substance of the new clause is supported. There is substantive evidence— in the broad academic sense and from the ombudsman and the prisons inspector, who has investigated detention and removal centres—that people occupied on a voluntary basis are far better served individually. That deals in part with the hon. Lady's point about resettlement either in the UK, if that is how things pan out, or in the person's country of origin. That option must be good.

I am happy to share with the House and members of the Committee how that will unfold in substance, removal centre by removal centre—

Mrs. Gillan: Will the Minister write to me?

Mr. McNulty: Yes, and I shall deliver the letter by hand.

Earlier, I deliberately concentrated on new clause 2, but I shall now turn to the Government amendments in the group. Amendments Nos. 30 and 31 deal with local authority provision of section 4 accommodation, and I think they are straightforward.

A point was raised about whether changes in non-compliance consequences were administrative or legislative. The hon. Member for Oxford, West and
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Abingdon (Dr. Harris) spent some time on that point in Committee, and I think that amendment No. 32 makes it clear that the Government are willing to concede that the consequences of non-compliance should be set out clearly in immigration rules and not be provided for administratively. I think that is what the hon. Gentleman was after and we have duly responded.

Dr. Evan Harris: The Minister is correct to say that amendment No. 32 covers what we were seeking. I am grateful to him for that amendment. I also recognise he has dealt with a problem by introducing amendment No. 30, which relates to section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999. The question that has not been answered is whether section 4 support—non-accommodation support—must be given in vouchers or whether it can be given in cash. He did not answer that in Committee or in a parliamentary question to him. If he would undertake to write to give a definitive answer about whether there is a statutory bar on paying cash or whether it is just his wish, the Liberal Democrats would certainly be very grateful.

Mr. McNulty: I shall happily write to the hon. Gentleman, and I am grateful to him for his comments on the amendments in this group. I hesitate to say that I will hand deliver any response to him because I have enough to do without doing a poor impersonation of Postman Pat or a member of the Communication Workers Union. With all those frivolous comments put to one side, I commend Government new clause 2 and the Government amendments to the House.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause read a Second time, and added to the Bill.


Mr. Deputy Speaker (Sir Michael Lord): I now have to announce the result of a Division deferred from a previous day.

On the motion on Marketing of Foods Derived from Genetically Modified Maize, the Ayes were 216, the Noes were 73, so the motion was agreed to.

[The Division Lists are published at the end of today's debates.]
16 Nov 2005 : Column 1019

16 Nov 2005 : Column 1021

Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Bill

Amendment proposed: No. 47, in page 1, line 3, leave out clause 1.—[Dr. Evan Harris.]

Question put, That the amendment be made:—

The House divided: Ayes 228, Noes 270.

Division No. 97
[3.36 pm


Afriyie, Adam
Ainsworth, Mr. Peter
Alexander, Danny
Amess, Mr. David
Ancram, rh Mr. Michael
Atkinson, Mr. Peter
Bacon, Mr. Richard
Baldry, Tony
Barker, Gregory
Baron, Mr. John
Beith, rh Mr. Alan
Bellingham, Mr. Henry
Benyon, Mr. Richard
Beresford, Sir Paul
Binley, Mr. Brian
Bone, Mr. Peter
Boswell, Mr. Tim
Brady, Mr. Graham
Brake, Tom
Brazier, Mr. Julian
Breed, Mr. Colin
Brokenshire, James
Brooke, Annette
Browne, Mr. Jeremy
Browning, Angela
Burns, Mr. Simon
Burrowes, Mr. David
Burstow, Mr. Paul
Burt, Alistair
Burt, Lorely
Butterfill, Sir John
Cable, Dr. Vincent
Campbell, Mr. Gregory
Campbell, rh Sir Menzies
Carmichael, Mr. Alistair
Carswell, Mr. Douglas
Chope, Mr. Christopher
Clappison, Mr. James
Clark, Greg
Clegg, Mr. Nick
Clifton-Brown, Mr. Geoffrey
Conway, Derek
Cormack, Sir Patrick
Cox, Mr. Geoffrey
Crabb, Mr. Stephen
Davey, Mr. Edward
Davies, David T.C. (Monmouth)
Davies, Philip
Dodds, Mr. Nigel
Donaldson, Mr. Jeffrey M.
Dorrell, rh Mr. Stephen
Dorries, Mrs. Nadine
Duddridge, James
Duncan, Mr. Alan
Duncan Smith, rh Mr. Iain
Ellwood, Mr. Tobias
Evans, Mr. Nigel
Evennett, Mr. David
Fabricant, Michael
Fallon, Mr. Michael
Farron, Tim
Featherstone, Lynne
Field, Mr. Mark
Forth, rh Mr. Eric
Foster, Mr. Don
Fox, Dr. Liam
Francois, Mr. Mark
Gale, Mr. Roger
Gauke, Mr. David
George, Andrew
Gibb, Mr. Nick
Gidley, Sandra
Gillan, Mrs. Cheryl
Goldsworthy, Julia
Goodman, Mr. Paul
Goodwill, Mr. Robert
Gove, Michael
Gray, Mr. James
Grayling, Chris
Green, Damian
Greenway, Mr. John
Grieve, Mr. Dominic
Hague, rh Mr. William
Hammond, Mr. Philip
Hammond, Stephen
Hands, Mr. Greg
Harper, Mr. Mark
Harris, Dr. Evan
Harvey, Nick
Hayes, Mr. John
Heald, Mr. Oliver
Heath, Mr. David
Heathcoat-Amory, rh Mr. David
Hemming, John
Hendry, Charles
Herbert, Nick
Hoban, Mr. Mark
Hogg, rh Mr. Douglas
Hollobone, Mr. Philip
Holloway, Mr. Adam
Holmes, Paul
Horam, Mr. John
Horwood, Martin
Howarth, David
Hughes, Simon
Huhne, Chris
Hunt, Mr. Jeremy
Hunter, Mark
Hurd, Mr. Nick
Jack, rh Mr. Michael
Jackson, Mr. Stewart
Jenkin, Mr. Bernard
Jones, Mr. David
Jones, Lynne
Kawczynski, Daniel
Kennedy, rh Mr. Charles
Kirkbride, Miss Julie
Kramer, Susan
Laing, Mrs. Eleanor
Lait, Mrs. Jacqui
Lamb, Norman
Lancaster, Mr. Mark
Lansley, Mr. Andrew
Leech, Mr. John
Leigh, Mr. Edward
Lewis, Dr. Julian
Liddell-Grainger, Mr. Ian
Lidington, Mr. David
Lilley, rh Mr. Peter
Llwyd, Mr. Elfyn
Loughton, Tim
Maclean, rh David
MacNeil, Mr. Angus
Main, Anne
Malins, Mr. Humfrey
Maples, Mr. John
Mates, rh Mr. Michael
May, rh Mrs. Theresa
McCrea, Dr. William
McDonnell, John
McIntosh, Miss Anne
McLoughlin, rh Mr. Patrick
Mercer, Patrick
Miller, Mrs. Maria
Milton, Anne
Mitchell, Mr. Andrew
Moore, Mr. Michael
Moss, Mr. Malcolm
Mundell, David
Murrison, Dr. Andrew
Newmark, Mr. Brooks
O'Brien, Mr. Stephen
Oaten, Mr. Mark
Öpik, Lembit
Ottaway, Richard
Paice, Mr. James
Paterson, Mr. Owen
Pelling, Mr. Andrew
Penning, Mike
Pickles, Mr. Eric
Price, Adam
Prisk, Mr. Mark
Pritchard, Mark
Pugh, Dr. John
Randall, Mr. John
Redwood, rh Mr. John
Reid, Mr. Alan
Rifkind, rh Sir Malcolm
Robathan, Mr. Andrew
Robertson, Angus
Robertson, Hugh
Robertson, Mr. Laurence
Robinson, Mrs. Iris
Robinson, Mr. Peter
Rogerson, Mr. Dan
Rowen, Paul
Ruffley, Mr. David
Russell, Bob
Sanders, Mr. Adrian
Scott, Mr. Lee
Selous, Andrew
Shapps, Grant
Shepherd, Mr. Richard
Simmonds, Mark
Simpson, David
Spelman, Mrs. Caroline
Spicer, Sir Michael
Spink, Bob
Spring, Mr. Richard
Stanley, rh Sir John
Steen, Mr. Anthony
Stuart, Mr. Graham
Swayne, Mr. Desmond
Swinson, Jo
Swire, Mr. Hugo
Syms, Mr. Robert
Tapsell, Sir Peter
Taylor, Dr. Richard
Teather, Sarah
Thurso, John
Tredinnick, David
Turner, Mr. Andrew
Tyrie, Mr. Andrew
Vaizey, Mr. Edward
Vaz, Keith
Viggers, Peter
Villiers, Mrs. Theresa
Walker, Mr. Charles
Wallace, Mr. Ben
Waterson, Mr. Nigel
Watkinson, Angela
Webb, Steve
Weir, Mr. Mike
Whittingdale, Mr. John
Wiggin, Bill
Willetts, Mr. David
Williams, Hywel
Williams, Mark
Williams, Mr. Roger
Williams, Stephen
Willis, Mr. Phil
Wilson, Mr. Rob
Wilson, Sammy
Winterton, Ann
Wishart, Pete
Wright, Jeremy
Young, rh Sir George
Younger-Ross, Richard

Tellers for the Ayes:

Andrew Stunell and
Mr. Crispin Blunt


Ainger, Nick
Ainsworth, rh Mr. Bob
Allen, Mr. Graham
Anderson, Mr. David
Anderson, Janet
Armstrong, rh Hilary
Atkins, Charlotte
Austin, Mr. Ian
Austin, John
Bailey, Mr. Adrian
Baird, Vera
Banks, Gordon
Barlow, Ms Celia
Barron, rh Mr. Kevin
Battle, rh John
Begg, Miss Anne
Bell, Sir Stuart
Benn, rh Hilary
Benton, Mr. Joe
Betts, Mr. Clive
Blackman, Liz
Blackman-Woods, Dr. Roberta
Blears, rh Hazel
Blizzard, Mr. Bob
Bradshaw, Mr. Ben
Brennan, Kevin
Brown, Lyn
Brown, rh Mr. Nicholas
Brown, Mr. Russell
Browne, rh Mr. Des
Bryant, Chris
Burgon, Colin
Burnham, Andy
Butler, Ms Dawn
Byers, rh Mr. Stephen
Byrne, Mr. Liam
Caborn, rh Mr. Richard
Cairns, David
Campbell, Mr. Alan
Campbell, Mr. Ronnie
Caton, Mr. Martin
Cawsey, Mr. Ian
Challen, Colin
Chapman, Ben
Chaytor, Mr. David
Clapham, Mr. Michael
Clark, Ms Katy
Clelland, Mr. David
Clwyd, rh Ann
Coffey, Ann
Connarty, Michael
Cook, Frank
Cooper, Rosie
Cooper, Yvette
Cousins, Jim
Crausby, Mr. David
Creagh, Mary
Cruddas, Jon
Cryer, Mrs. Ann
Cummings, John
Cunningham, Tony
Darling, rh Mr. Alistair
David, Mr. Wayne
Davidson, Mr. Ian
Dean, Mrs. Janet
Denham, rh Mr. John
Devine, Mr. Jim
Dhanda, Mr. Parmjit
Dismore, Mr. Andrew
Dobbin, Jim
Dobson, rh Frank
Doran, Mr. Frank
Dowd, Jim
Drew, Mr. David
Dunwoody, Mrs. Gwyneth
Eagle, Angela
Eagle, Maria
Efford, Clive
Ellman, Mrs. Louise
Ennis, Jeff
Etherington, Bill
Field, rh Mr. Frank
Fisher, Mark
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Flello, Mr. Robert
Flint, Caroline
Follett, Barbara
Foster, Mr. Michael (Worcester)
Gapes, Mike
George, rh Mr. Bruce
Gerrard, Mr. Neil
Gibson, Dr. Ian
Godsiff, Mr. Roger
Goggins, Paul
Goodman, Helen
Griffith, Nia
Griffiths, Nigel
Grogan, Mr. John
Gwynne, Andrew
Hall, Mr. Mike
Hall, Patrick
Hamilton, Mr. Fabian
Hanson, Mr. David
Harman, rh Ms Harriet
Harris, Mr. Tom
Healey, John
Henderson, Mr. Doug
Hendrick, Mr. Mark
Hepburn, Mr. Stephen
Heppell, Mr. John
Hermon, Lady
Hesford, Stephen
Heyes, David
Hillier, Meg
Hodge, rh Margaret
Hodgson, Mrs. Sharon
Hoey, Kate
Hoon, rh Mr. Geoffrey
Hopkins, Kelvin
Hoyle, Mr. Lindsay
Hughes, rh Beverley
Hutton, rh Mr. John
Illsley, Mr. Eric
Ingram, rh Mr. Adam
Irranca-Davies, Huw
Jackson, Glenda
James, Mrs. Siân C.
Johnson, Ms Diana R.
Jones, Helen
Jones, Mr. Martyn
Jowell, rh Tessa
Joyce, Mr. Eric
Keeley, Barbara
Keen, Alan
Keen, Ann
Kemp, Mr. Fraser
Kennedy, rh Jane
Khan, Mr. Sadiq
Kidney, Mr. David
Knight, Jim
Kumar, Dr. Ashok
Ladyman, Dr. Stephen
Laxton, Mr. Bob
Lazarowicz, Mark
Lepper, David
Lewis, Mr. Ivan
Linton, Martin
Lloyd, Tony
Love, Mr. Andrew
MacDougall, Mr. John
Mackinlay, Andrew
MacShane, rh Mr. Denis
Malik, Mr. Shahid
Mallaber, Judy
Mann, John
Marris, Rob
Marsden, Mr. Gordon
Marshall, Mr. David
Martlew, Mr. Eric
McAvoy, rh Mr. Thomas
McCabe, Steve
McCafferty, Chris
McCarthy, Kerry
McCarthy-Fry, Sarah
McDonagh, Siobhain
McFadden, Mr. Pat
McFall, rh Mr. John
McGovern, Mr. Jim
McGuire, Mrs. Anne
McIsaac, Shona
McKenna, Rosemary
McNulty, Mr. Tony
Meacher, rh Mr. Michael
Meale, Mr. Alan
Merron, Gillian
Milburn, rh Mr. Alan
Miliband, rh Mr. David
Miliband, Edward
Miller, Andrew
Moffatt, Laura
Mole, Chris
Moon, Mrs. Madeleine
Moran, Margaret
Morden, Jessica
Morgan, Julie
Mountford, Kali
Mudie, Mr. George
Mullin, Mr. Chris
Munn, Meg
Murphy, Mr. Denis
Murphy, Mr. Jim
Murphy, rh Mr. Paul
Naysmith, Dr. Doug
Norris, Dan
O'Brien, Mr. Mike
O'Hara, Mr. Edward
Olner, Mr. Bill
Osborne, Sandra
Owen, Albert
Palmer, Dr. Nick
Pearson, Ian
Plaskitt, Mr. James
Pope, Mr. Greg
Prentice, Bridget
Prentice, Mr. Gordon
Prescott, rh Mr. John
Primarolo, rh Dawn
Prosser, Gwyn
Purchase, Mr. Ken
Purnell, James
Reed, Mr. Andy
Reed, Mr. Jamie
Riordan, Mrs. Linda
Ruane, Chris
Russell, Christine
Ryan, Joan
Salter, Martin
Shaw, Jonathan
Sheerman, Mr. Barry
Sheridan, Jim
Simon, Mr. Siôn
Simpson, Alan
Skinner, Mr. Dennis
Slaughter, Mr. Andrew
Smith, rh Mr. Andrew
Smith, Ms Angela C. (Sheffield, Hillsborough)
Smith, Geraldine
Smith, rh Jacqui
Snelgrove, Anne
Soulsby, Sir Peter
Southworth, Helen
Spellar, rh Mr. John
Starkey, Dr. Phyllis
Stewart, Ian
Stoate, Dr. Howard
Stringer, Graham
Stuart, Ms Gisela
Tami, Mark
Taylor, Ms Dari
Taylor, David
Thomas, Mr. Gareth
Thornberry, Emily
Timms, Mr. Stephen
Tipping, Paddy
Todd, Mr. Mark
Touhig, Mr. Don
Trickett, Jon
Truswell, Mr. Paul
Turner, Dr. Desmond
Turner, Mr. Neil
Twigg, Derek
Ussher, Kitty
Vis, Dr. Rudi
Waltho, Lynda
Ward, Claire
Wareing, Mr. Robert N.
Watson, Mr. Tom
Watts, Mr. Dave
Whitehead, Dr. Alan
Wicks, Malcolm
Williams, rh Mr. Alan
Williams, Mrs. Betty
Winnick, Mr. David
Winterton, Ms Rosie
Woolas, Mr. Phil
Wright, Mr. Anthony
Wright, David
Wright, Mr. Iain
Wright, Dr. Tony
Wyatt, Derek

Tellers for the Noes:

Mr. Vernon Coaker and
Mr. Frank Roy

Question accordingly negatived.

16 Nov 2005 : Column 1024

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