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7 Dec 2006 : Column 190WH—continued

Mr. McNulty: I am saying candidly and honestly that I do not know. We are more than three quarters of the way into the review, and legislation is included in that. We are close—but not yet there—to informing the Prime Minister of those deliberations. We shall then see where things go from there. All I was trying to suggest is that, as my right hon. Friend suggested, the Committee may feel sufficiently serious about the matter to have some form of scrutiny, albeit truncated, as and when there is a Bill. That would be above and beyond what the new-fangled modernisation monster might provide with every Standing Committee being a
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Select Committee of some sort with limited public hearings on their Bills at the start of the process. We must wait and see, but my contention—I will not go there. We must wait and see.

I have deliberately not revisited where we have come from, because that is appropriate for another time, not now. I have deliberately not discussed Irish terrorism versus where we are now, although I fully respect the background and experience of the hon. Member for Newark. That is an interesting debate, but it is a moot point in terms of where we are now.

I have tried to address in a limited and narrow way the concerns about legislation and the future that were expressed in both reports, and the wider concerns
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about how we do what we do, consensus and having as open and transparent a debate as possible on why we are proposing what we are proposing, what the outcome will be and where we have come from in terms of both previous legislation and any body of evidence, such as that offered by ACPO, the service and so on.

I am happy for both Committees, as well as Opposition Members, to engage in the debate generally, and more specifically as and when there may be legislation.

Question put and agreed to.

Adjourned accordingly at three minutes to Five o’clock.

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