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Mary Creagh (Wakefield) (Lab): Is my right hon. Friend aware that the Joint Committee on Human Rights met on Monday and that it divided on several paragraphs in the report? I draw that to hon. Members' attention because the report was not unanimous. Does my right hon. Friend agree that there is a great difference between being the subject of a control order and being in a category A prison such as Wakefield in my constituency? The freedom and ability to have contact are different in those two circumstances.

Hazel Blears: My hon. Friend shows that there is not unanimity on those difficult issues. However, I shall study the Committee's report in great detail. She makes
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the important point that a control order, even if it requires fairly extensive restrictions on liberty, means that family contact, which it is clearly important to maintain, can continue.

Dr. Evan Harris : On the court judgment that the control orders do not require derogation, I draw the Minister's attention to the paragraph in the Joint Committee report that points out that the obligations by themselves may not amount to a deprivation of liberty but that they may be combined with other obligations. Lord Carlile drew attention to the fact that duration, which is not known at the outset, and all the specifics of a case may have a bearing on whether it amounts to a deprivation of liberty, which would require article 5 derogation.

Hazel Blears: I have made the point that none of the orders has been subject to challenge. I take the hon. Gentleman's point about the totality of the restrictions, and I shall come to the length of the orders in a moment.

On the question of discrimination, we reject the possibility of the orders being applied disproportionately to foreign nationals. Control orders are made on the basis of risk, not of nationality. Indeed, there is a control order in place on a UK citizen at the moment. The orders last for only 12 months, and have to be reviewed and renewed after that period. All the circumstances have to be looked at afresh. It is possible that, after an order has been in place for a year, the danger that was posed by an individual might have decreased—in regard to their contact with other individuals, for example—but all those issues would have to be examined. Lord Carlile expressed a genuine concern that orders should not remain in place for years and years, but they can be reviewed after 12 months.

The hon. Member for Newark mentioned memorandums of understanding and asked what would happen if no memorandum were agreed. I can assure him that we detain people pending deportation only if we are satisfied that there is a reasonable prospect of their being deported. That is why we are so keen to work on getting the memorandums of understanding in place as quickly as possible. We have had some success, and we are continuing to work on that.

The hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland (Mr. Carmichael) mentioned the standard of proof. We have debated that issue at length, and the House decided on an appropriate standard. He asked whether the obligations passed the threshold. We sought the permission of the court in relation to the orders containing more stringent conditions, and the court did not think that they amounted to derogating orders. He also mentioned the pro forma that contained a prohibition on attending a mosque. I am informed that that is simply an example from an individual case, and that it is not a pro forma that applies to everyone. These obligations are tailored to the individual concerned. They do not pick out people from a particular faith or community.

Mr. Cash: Will the Minister give way?

Hazel Blears: No, I have only 30 seconds left.

The right hon. and learned Member for Rushcliffe brought to our attention the great importance of these issues. I am grateful for his continuing contribution to
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the debate, and I have no doubt that he will continue to raise the issues at every possible opportunity. I can confirm that, although we have referred to this as consolidating legislation, there will be an opportunity to examine each element of the terrorism legislation, especially the amendments on the control orders. He commented earlier on the time scale for this debate. We are not on the eve of a recess; there is a full day's sitting tomorrow, and we have had a proper debate today.

Question put and 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 Stormont Estate (Northern Ireland) Order 2006, which was laid before this House on 23rd January, be approved. —[Tony Cunningham.]

Question agreed to.

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


That the draft Pension Protection Fund (Risk-based Pension Protection Levy) Regulations 2006, which were laid before this House on 18th January, be approved.—[Tony Cunningham.]

Question agreed to.


Orchard Lea Residential Care Home

6.47 pm

Angela Browning (Tiverton and Honiton) (Con): I wish to present a petition of some 350 signatures to the honourable the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled.

To lie upon the Table.
15 Feb 2006 : Column 1524

Health Bill

6.48 pm

David Taylor (North-West Leicestershire) (Lab/Co-op): The historic vote that we took 24 hours ago was a major leap forward for public health in England, and the progenitors of the long and successful campaign to highlight the dangers of environmental tobacco smoke are numerous. They include two organisations that are anxious to see the Health Bill reach the statute book undiluted. They have therefore organised two separate petitions, which I rise to present.

The first has been facilitated by the Health Service Journal. I commend the editor, Nick Edwards, and his colleague, Helen Mooney, and others, for their tremendous efforts. The names on the petition represent a broad spectrum of NHS staff, including the senior managers and clinicians who have to cope with the effects of poor public health.

The petition states:

To lie upon the Table.

6.50 pm

David Taylor: The second petition is of a professional group charged with the promotion of public health at community level, the Association of Directors of Public Health. It is signed by Dr. Steven Whitehead of the Leicester City West primary care trust and 190 other directors of public health.

The petition states:

To lie upon the Table.
15 Feb 2006 : Column 1525

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