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Mr. Hoon: With the leave of the House, I shall respond briefly to the debate. In saying that I shall do so briefly, I mean no discourtesy to those hon. Members who have spoken, but I do note that they had difficulty in formulating their observations on the business motion. They have said that the issues involved are important, yet the longer they speak on the business motion, the less time is available for dealing with those important issues.

The Liberal Democrat spokesman, the hon. Member for Somerton and Frome (Mr. Heath), devoted much of his contribution to the subject matter of the motions that are to follow, and not to the business motion. It is important that the House has sufficient time to debate those matters, and I shall not speak at length now. However, the right hon. Member for Maidenhead (Mrs. May) made it clear that she and her Front-Bench colleagues have judged that the business motion will allow sufficient time for debate of the important matters to come. That is also the view of the Government.
8 Feb 2006 : Column 892

The hon. Member for Macclesfield (Sir Nicholas Winterton) speaks eloquently on questions of procedure from as far back on the Conservative Benches as one can get. He illustrated the sort of difficulty that might arise without a business motion such as this when he said that he believed that debate should continue indefinitely.

I have had many opportunities to enjoy the delights of hearing the hon. Member for Macclesfield speak about matters of procedure. For those of us with a legal background and training, nothing could be more enjoyable, but the important thing about the debate to come is that the House will have an opportunity to debate the substantive motions.

Mr. Heath: I want to put one point to the Leader of the House that I think is germane to the amount of time needed to debate the substantive motions. There is a proposal to give what for convenience I shall call Short money to Sinn Fein: does that imply that Sinn Fein Members will have a greater ability to spend that money than those others who receive Short money through the resolution of 1975? The debate will be truncated if they are not to have greater scope for spending, but it will be extended if they are to have greater licence. The answer to my question is crucial to our understanding of the matter.

Mr. Hoon: That is an important matter, and I shall deal with it when I open the debate on the substantive motions. However, to help the hon. Gentleman, I stress that proper restrictions will be placed on the spending of that money and that, even though the purposes are different, they will be wholly consistent with the restrictions currently attached to the expenditure of Short money. I am not suggesting for a moment that we are dealing with Short money, but the restrictions on how the proposed money is spent will be supervised by the House authorities in exactly the same way, and the proper safeguards will apply.

Mr. Frank Field (Birkenhead) (Lab): The reason that some of us are puzzled is that Short money is given to political parties for their functions at Westminster. As the hon. Members involved do not wish to appear here, why should they get Short money?

Mr. Speaker: Order. We are now getting into the merits of the argument, rather than the timetable motion.

Mr. Hoon: I am sure that my right hon. Friend the Member for Birkenhead (Mr. Field) can ask the same question during the debate on the substantive motions. The answer that I shall give him then will be the same as the one that I would have given him now.

I recognise that this is important House business. I do not suggest that hon. Members should not take it seriously. I am sure that they will, but it is important that the main debate is allowed to take place and that we do not continue discussing the procedure motion.

Mr. Philip Hollobone (Kettering) (Con): Reference has been made in the debate to the Leader of the House having his photograph taken later this evening. Does that have anything to do with the centenary of the parliamentary Labour party?
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Mr. Hoon: I was asked at last week's business questions whether a great Labour party "bash" was scheduled for tonight. At the end of our proceedings today there will be an Adjournment debate that is concerned with the Labour party's 100th anniversary. I understand that a photograph will be taken—but also that the photographer involved has another engagement afterwards that Conservative Members are likely to attend. It would be unfair to use the word "bash" about that other event, but it is likely to take up the time of Opposition Members. The photographer will be busy this evening—[Interruption.] I am sorry that some Opposition Members have not received an invitation to the Conservative party winter ball. I want to make it clear that I have not received one either.

Mr. Shepherd: Of what concern is that to the House and its ability to debate a motion?

Mr. Speaker: Order. The hon. Gentleman makes a very good intervention. We must keep to the timetable motion.

Mr. Hoon: I accept entirely, Mr. Speaker, that I should have brought my remarks to a conclusion much earlier. I do so now.

Question put:—

The House divided: Ayes 285, Noes 104.

Division No. 154
[1.19 pm


Ainger, Nick
Ainsworth, rh Mr. Bob
Alexander, rh Mr. Douglas
Anderson, Mr. David
Anderson, Janet
Armstrong, rh Hilary
Atkins, Charlotte
Austin, Mr. Ian
Bailey, Mr. Adrian
Baird, Vera
Balls, Ed
Banks, Gordon
Barlow, Ms Celia
Begg, Miss Anne
Bell, Sir Stuart
Benn, rh Hilary
Benton, Mr. Joe
Berry, Roger
Betts, Mr. Clive
Blackman, Liz
Blair, rh Mr. Tony
Blears, rh Hazel
Blizzard, Mr. Bob
Bottomley, Peter
Bradshaw, Mr. Ben
Brennan, Kevin
Brown, Lyn
Brown, rh Mr. Nicholas
Brown, Mr. Russell
Browne, rh Mr. Des
Bryant, Chris
Buck, Ms Karen
Burden, Richard
Burgon, Colin
Burnham, Andy
Butler, Ms Dawn
Byers, rh Mr. Stephen
Byrne, Mr. Liam
Cairns, David
Campbell, Mr. Ronnie
Caton, Mr. Martin
Cawsey, Mr. Ian
Challen, Colin
Chapman, Ben
Clapham, Mr. Michael
Clark, Paul
Clarke, rh Mr. Charles
Clarke, rh Mr. Tom
Clelland, Mr. David
Clwyd, rh Ann
Coaker, Mr. Vernon
Coffey, Ann
Connarty, Michael
Cook, Frank
Cooper, Rosie
Cooper, Yvette
Corbyn, Jeremy
Crausby, Mr. David
Creagh, Mary
Cryer, Mrs. Ann
Cunningham, Mr. Jim
Cunningham, Tony
Curtis-Thomas, Mrs. Claire
Darling, rh Mr. Alistair
David, Mr. Wayne
Dean, Mrs. Janet
Denham, rh Mr. John
Devine, Mr. Jim
Dobbin, Jim
Dobson, rh Frank
Doran, Mr. Frank
Dowd, Jim
Drew, Mr. David
Eagle, Angela
Eagle, Maria
Efford, Clive
Ellman, Mrs. Louise
Engel, Natascha
Ennis, Jeff
Farrelly, Paul
Field, rh Mr. Frank
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Flello, Mr. Robert
Flint, Caroline
Follett, Barbara
Foster, Mr. Michael (Worcester)
Francis, Dr. Hywel
Gapes, Mike
Gardiner, Barry
George, rh Mr. Bruce
Gerrard, Mr. Neil
Gibson, Dr. Ian
Gilroy, Linda
Goggins, Paul
Goodman, Helen
Griffith, Nia
Griffiths, Nigel
Grogan, Mr. John
Gwynne, Andrew
Hain, rh Mr. Peter
Hall, Mr. Mike
Hall, Patrick
Hamilton, Mr. David
Hamilton, Mr. Fabian
Hanson, Mr. David
Harris, Mr. Tom
Havard, Mr. Dai
Healey, John
Hendrick, Mr. Mark
Heppell, Mr. John
Hewitt, rh Ms Patricia
Heyes, David
Hill, rh Keith
Hillier, Meg
Hodge, rh Margaret
Hodgson, Mrs. Sharon
Hoey, Kate
Hood, Mr. Jimmy
Hoon, rh Mr. Geoffrey
Hope, Phil
Howarth, rh Mr. George
Howells, Dr. Kim
Hoyle, Mr. Lindsay
Hughes, rh Beverley
Hutton, rh Mr. John
Iddon, Dr. Brian
Illsley, Mr. Eric
Irranca-Davies, Huw
Jackson, Glenda
James, Mrs. Siân C.
Jenkins, Mr. Brian
Johnson, rh Alan
Johnson, Ms Diana R.
Jones, Helen
Jones, Mr. Kevan
Jones, Mr. Martyn
Jowell, rh Tessa
Joyce, Mr. Eric
Kaufman, rh Sir Gerald
Keeble, Ms Sally
Keeley, Barbara
Keen, Ann
Kelly, rh Ruth
Kemp, Mr. Fraser
Kennedy, rh Jane
Khabra, Mr. Piara S.
Kidney, Mr. David
Knight, Jim
Kumar, Dr. Ashok
Ladyman, Dr. Stephen
Lammy, Mr. David
Laxton, Mr. Bob
Lazarowicz, Mark
Lepper, David
Levitt, Tom
Lewis, Mr. Ivan
Linton, Martin
Lloyd, Tony
Lucas, Ian
MacDougall, Mr. John
Mackinlay, Andrew
Mactaggart, Fiona
Malik, Mr. Shahid
Mallaber, Judy
Mann, John
Marris, Rob
Marsden, Mr. Gordon
Martlew, Mr. Eric
McAvoy, rh Mr. Thomas
McCabe, Steve
McCarthy-Fry, Sarah
McCartney, rh Mr. Ian
McFadden, Mr. Pat
McGovern, Mr. Jim
McGuire, Mrs. Anne
McIsaac, Shona
McKechin, Ann
McNulty, Mr. Tony
Meacher, rh Mr. Michael
Meale, Mr. Alan
Merron, Gillian
Michael, rh Alun
Miliband, rh Mr. David
Miliband, Edward
Miller, Andrew
Moffat, Anne
Moffatt, Laura
Mole, Chris
Moon, Mrs. Madeleine
Morden, Jessica
Morgan, Julie
Morley, Mr. Elliot
Mudie, Mr. George
Mullin, Mr. Chris
Munn, Meg
Murphy, Mr. Jim
Norris, Dan
O'Brien, Mr. Mike
Olner, Mr. Bill
Osborne, Sandra
Owen, Albert
Palmer, Dr. Nick
Pearson, Ian
Plaskitt, Mr. James
Pope, Mr. Greg
Pound, Stephen
Prentice, Bridget
Prentice, Mr. Gordon
Prescott, rh Mr. John
Prosser, Gwyn
Purchase, Mr. Ken
Purnell, James
Rammell, Bill
Raynsford, rh Mr. Nick
Reed, Mr. Andy
Reed, Mr. Jamie
Reid, rh John
Riordan, Mrs. Linda
Robertson, John
Roy, Mr. Frank
Ruane, Chris
Ruddock, Joan
Russell, Christine
Ryan, Joan
Salter, Martin
Sarwar, Mr. Mohammad
Seabeck, Alison
Shaw, Jonathan
Sheerman, Mr. Barry
Sheridan, Jim
Simon, Mr. Siôn
Simpson, Alan
Singh, Mr. Marsha
Skinner, Mr. Dennis
Slaughter, Mr. Andrew
Smith, rh Mr. Andrew
Smith, Ms Angela C. (Sheffield, Hillsborough)
Smith, Angela E. (Basildon)
Smith, rh Jacqui
Smith, John
Snelgrove, Anne
Soulsby, Sir Peter
Southworth, Helen
Spellar, rh Mr. John
Starkey, Dr. Phyllis
Stewart, Ian
Stoate, Dr. Howard
Strang, rh Dr. Gavin
Straw, rh Mr. Jack
Stringer, Graham
Stuart, Ms Gisela
Sutcliffe, Mr. Gerry
Tami, Mark
Taylor, Ms Dari
Taylor, David
Thomas, Mr. Gareth
Timms, Mr. Stephen
Tipping, Paddy
Touhig, Mr. Don
Trickett, Jon
Truswell, Mr. Paul
Turner, Dr. Desmond
Turner, Mr. Neil
Twigg, Derek
Ussher, Kitty
Vaz, Keith
Walley, Joan
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
Wills, Mr. Michael
Winnick, Mr. David
Winterton, Ms Rosie
Woodward, Mr. Shaun
Woolas, Mr. Phil
Wright, Mr. Anthony
Wright, David
Wright, Mr. Iain
Wright, Dr. Tony

Tellers for the Ayes:

Mr. Alan Campbell and
Mr. Parmjit Dhanda


Afriyie, Adam
Alexander, Danny
Amess, Mr. David
Bacon, Mr. Richard
Baker, Norman
Beith, rh Mr. Alan
Benyon, Mr. Richard
Breed, Mr. Colin
Brooke, Annette
Browne, Mr. Jeremy
Burrowes, Mr. David
Campbell, Mr. Gregory
Carmichael, Mr. Alistair
Carswell, Mr. Douglas
Cash, Mr. William
Clark, Greg
Clegg, Mr. Nick
Cormack, Sir Patrick
Cox, Mr. Geoffrey
Crabb, Mr. Stephen
Davey, Mr. Edward
Davies, Philip
Dodds, Mr. Nigel
Donaldson, Mr. Jeffrey M.
Dorrell, rh Mr. Stephen
Dorries, Mrs. Nadine
Duddridge, James
Durkan, Mark
Fallon, Mr. Michael
Farron, Tim
Forth, rh Mr. Eric
Foster, Mr. Don
Fraser, Mr. Christopher
Gauke, Mr. David
George, Andrew
Gidley, Sandra
Gummer, rh Mr. John
Hague, rh Mr. William
Harvey, Nick
Hayes, Mr. John
Heath, Mr. David
Heathcoat-Amory, rh Mr. David
Hermon, Lady
Hogg, rh Mr. Douglas
Hollobone, Mr. Philip
Horam, Mr. John
Horwood, Martin
Howarth, David
Hunter, Mark
Hurd, Mr. Nick
Jones, Mr. David
Kawczynski, Daniel
Keetch, Mr. Paul
Lancaster, Mr. Mark
Laws, Mr. David
Leigh, Mr. Edward
Liddell-Grainger, Mr. Ian
Lilley, rh Mr. Peter
Llwyd, Mr. Elfyn
Luff, Peter
Mackay, rh Mr. Andrew
Maclean, rh David
Main, Anne
Maples, Mr. John
Mates, rh Mr. Michael
McCrea, Dr. William
McDonnell, Dr. Alasdair
McGrady, Mr. Eddie
Oaten, Mr. Mark
Öpik, Lembit
Ottaway, Richard
Paisley, rh Rev. Ian
Pelling, Mr. Andrew
Penning, Mike
Pritchard, Mark
Redwood, rh Mr. John
Reid, Mr. Alan
Robinson, Mr. Peter
Rogerson, Mr. Dan
Russell, Bob
Scott, Mr. Lee
Shepherd, Mr. Richard
Simpson, David
Smith, Sir Robert
Soames, Mr. Nicholas
Spicer, Sir Michael
Stanley, rh Sir John
Steen, Mr. Anthony
Stuart, Mr. Graham
Tapsell, Sir Peter
Tyrie, Mr. Andrew
Vara, Mr. Shailesh
Walker, Mr. Charles
Wallace, Mr. Ben
Williams, Hywel
Williams, Mark
Williams, Stephen
Wilson, Mr. Rob
Wilson, Sammy
Winterton, Ann
Winterton, Sir Nicholas
Wright, Jeremy
Young, rh Sir George
Younger-Ross, Richard

Tellers for the Noes:

Mrs. Iris Robinson and
Mr. David Wilshire

Question accordingly agreed to.

8 Feb 2006 : Column 896

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