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Dr. Desmond Turner accordingly presented a Bill to establish a Renewable Energy Authority; to lay upon the Authority a duty to promote the use of renewable energy and energy conservation; and for connected purposes: And the same was read the First time; and ordered to be read a Second time on Friday 10 March, and to be printed [Bill 129].

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Terrorism Bill (Programme) (No. 3)

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


Lords AmendmentsTime for conclusion of proceedings
Amendments Nos 5, 11, 15, 28, 31, 32 and 34 Two and a half hours after the commencement of proceedings on consideration of Lords amendments.
Amendments Nos 22, 23, 29, 25 to 27, 1 to 4, 6 to 10, 12 to 14, 16 to 21, 24, 30, 33, 35 to 49. Four hours after the commencement of those proceedings.

Question agreed to.

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Orders of the Day

Terrorism Bill

Lords amendments considered.

Clause 1

Encouragement of Terrorism

Lords amendment: No. 5, in page 2, line 1, leave out subsection (4) and insert—

The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. Charles Clarke): I beg to move, That the House disagrees with the Lords in the said amendment.

Mr. Speaker: With this we may discuss Lords amendments Nos. 11, 15, 28, 31, 32 and Government motions to disagree thereto and Lords amendment No. 34 and Government amendments (a) and (b) in lieu thereof.

12.47 pm

Mr. Clarke: I rise to urge right hon. and hon. Members to disagree to Lords amendments Nos. 5, 11, 15, 28, 31, 32 and 34, and to support amendments (a) and (b) in lieu of Lords amendment No. 34. Amendments (a) and (b) are minor, tidying proposals and I do not intend to devote more time to them. The key issue is whether the House will agree with another place and seek to restore its original wording.

I shall remind the House how we got to this point. We passed counter-terrorist legislation in the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005, during the debates on which we said we would legislate to make prosecution easier, as required by hon. Members on both sides of the House. Page 53 of Labour's general election manifesto, on which we were elected, stated that

That was followed by the awful events of 7 July, which led naturally to a focus on the people who conducted those terrorist acts and on how they were recruited and incited, including through glorification.

With the agreement of all parties in the House, a new Bill was introduced in the autumn. Of course, there were difficult issues of freedom and security—we were able to agree with a lot that the Opposition said, but not all. Following that process, the House reached an agreement on the Bill, and that included a commitment to a review of the definitions of terrorism to be conducted by Lord Carlile and to reviews of the operation of the 2005 Act regime as well as a commitment to return to legislation, which will be introduced in the next Session, as I announced in a statement to the House a couple of weeks ago, and which was generally welcomed. I believe that that was a solid and stable basis on which to proceed, not only recognising the genuine differences of opinion but seeking to find a good way to make progress.

Mr. Dominic Grieve (Beaconsfield) (Con): The Home Secretary said, as he did on the "Today" programme,
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that the House reached an agreement on these matters. Much as I enjoy reaching agreement with the Home Secretary, I recall that the Government had a majority of one, so I slightly question whether his use of the English language is correct.

Mr. Clarke: I do not think that that majority was on this matter, but on Third Reading the House reached an agreement on the way to proceed that resolved all the questions about the Bill.

After Third Reading, the Opposition parties, which have a majority in the Lords, decided to make Lords amendments to unstitch the solid and stable decision of the elected Chamber. I confirm that the Government are—and were—ready to compromise to get cross-party agreement. That has been our general approach throughout the passage of the Bill, because if we can secure as much agreement as possible it is a big advantage to the country. However, we are not prepared to compromise on removing the word "glorification" from the Bill, which would be the effect of the Lords amendments.

Mr. Grieve: Will the Home Secretary give way?

Mr. Clarke: I am sure that the hon. Gentleman will make a speech in due course. If he will allow me to make my speech, he will no doubt be able to say what he has to say.

We insist on using the word "glorification" not merely because it is a manifesto commitment, important though that is in the structure of our democracy, but because the word is specifically used in United Nations Security Council resolution 1624, which was passed on 14 September. The Security Council resolution speaks of

The Government believe that the glorification of terror is an essential—I emphasise that word—method that is used by individuals and organisations that pursue terrorist ambitions and wish to get individuals such as the 7/7 bombers to commit to their suicidal and destructive ends.

Mr. William Cash (Stone) (Con): The Home Secretary knows that I have strong views on human rights legislation. However, given that it exists and it is necessary to have clear and unambiguous provisions in relation to matters of such importance, will he explain why the Government have put the statement of compatibility with European convention on human rights on the front of the Bill when the Joint Committee on Human Rights, which Parliament has charged with examining such matters, has said that there is incompatibility with articles 5 and 10 of the convention? Why does he thus continue to pursue his arguments?

Mr. Clarke: The order of events is quite clear. I gave the certificate on the basis of advice that I received, and that position stands. The Joint Committee published a report—yesterday, or perhaps today—that addressed
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the matter. It reached conclusions on some issues, but not on others. We will, of course, read the report carefully, but I have absolutely no reason to think anything but that my certification of the Bill's compatibility with the convention was entirely correct.

Keith Vaz (Leicester, East) (Lab): The Home Secretary will know that there is genuine concern in the ethnic minority community, especially the Muslim community, about the effects of the measure. Has he held meetings with the Muslim Council of Britain and other organisations that speak on behalf of the community to take on board their concerns, and to give them a detailed explanation of why the Government are implementing the measure and an assurance that it will not disproportionately affect members of the community?

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