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3.15 pm

I am not saying that we would never seek to extend legal aid into other sectors. My noble Friends in the other place have said, and I have said in this House, that when we have the current legal aid spend under control we will consider how best to use such freed resources. I hope that my explanations are sufficient to persuade hon. Members not to press the amendments to a vote. If they do, however, we will oppose them.

Simon Hughes: The Minister is being very helpful. If she clarifies one point, I will be happy to respond to her invitation in relation to new clause 3. As I understand it, the Government intend to achieve, through the proposal that she sets out, exactly what we propose in new clause 3—that there should be legal aid for applicants for relief under section 15, which is the judicial review provision. If it is confirmed that all section 15 applicants will be covered, I shall respond positively to her suggestion.

Vera Baird: Those who are eligible for legal aid for a judicial review in the High Court will not be put at a disadvantage if the case is transferred to the upper tribunal. We will therefore extend the scope of legal aid so that they get legal aid. I hope that that answer is satisfactory to the hon. Gentleman. An amendment is not required.

On new clause 11, I congratulate and compliment the hon. Member for Newbury on taking the opportunity to draw public attention to such issues. I, too, think that to live in an affordable park home sounds like quite an agreeable lifestyle choice. The stories that we have heard about blackmail, bullying and people behaving badly and abusing their power are appalling. I am sorry that that goes on. I hope that I can bring forward a positive suggestion in relation to his constituents’ difficulties with the fact that the only place for the resolution of disputes is the county court.

The hon. Gentleman has 11 mobile home sites within his constituency—I think that I have two—and he is an active member of the all-party group on the welfare of park home owners. He probably also knows
27 Jun 2007 : Column 381
that the Department for Communities and Local Government is working closely with representatives of both site providers and residents to try to develop proposals for alternative forms of resolution. If he did not know that, let me make clear that that is going on, and if wishes to get involved on behalf of the 11 mobile home sites in his constituency, I shall make sure that he has sufficient information.

Alternative ways of resolution other than the courts are being considered. Currently, disputes go to the county court under the mobile homes legislation. I understand that negotiations have thrown up some issues that both sides of the park home sector agree should remain in the county court. If that is so, those issues will no doubt stay in the county court. For the benefit of the hon. Gentleman’s constituents, let me say that the county court has a small claims track, which is likely to be a route that can be taken by people in some of the predicaments that he has described. Its procedures are very much simplified, and the district judges who operate that track are proactive and immensely helpful to those who are unrepresented and not well versed in matters of law.

Many county courts also increasingly have mediation officers, to whom district judges can send cases that they think are appropriate for mediation. It sounds possible that some of the issues raised would be appropriate for mediation. Whether or not that is the case, if it is agreed at the end of negotiations that some issues should remain in the county court, that should not put off constituents who have a real cause for complaint, because the small claims track is not a fully bewigged, begowned, formal, “my learned friend” sort of experience. It is much more informal than that.

Once there is overall agreement on the best routes for dispute resolution, the Government can, and will be happy to, use the provisions in the Housing Act 2004 to transfer those disputes that it is agreed should be transferred to a tribunal setting. The tribunal will be the residential property tribunal service, which is an existing national tribunal service that already deals with issues such as rent and leasehold, so should be well versed in the kind of territory over which some of the disputes arise. Transfer can be achieved by an affirmative statutory instrument under the 2004 Act, making the amendment unnecessary. Of course, if that process is used there will be a debate allowing scrutiny of the proposed transfer.

The hon. Gentleman did not intend his amendment to be perfection incarnate, and it would be very expensive to set up individual tribunals for each of the 269 local authorities that have park homes, so the proposition I have described is much better. I hope that I have set the hon. Gentleman’s mind at rest and that he will participate, on behalf of his constituents, in the discussions that are going on, so that in due course park home owners can have ready access to recourse when they are treated in the appalling way that he described.

I turn now to the general commissioners for income tax. I should make it clear that the Under-Secretary of State for Justice, my hon. Friend the Member for Bradford, South (Mr. Sutcliffe), will have responsibility for tribunals—at least for another couple of hours—
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and that is why he has discussed the issue with the commissioners. Amendment No. 9, tabled by the hon. Member for North-West Norfolk, would remove the reference to the general commissioners, while amendment No. 72 would enable compensation to be paid for loss of office as a result of this Bill.

The primary concern of both amendments is the question of compensation to clerks following the abolition of their office. I was impressed by the impassioned plea for the retention of the status quo made by the hon. Gentleman, but I believe that he generally supports the streamlining process in this Bill. It is a thin case to suggest that the issue of compensation means that the tax commissioners should be left out entirely.

Mr. Bellingham: I assure the Minister that amendment No. 9 is not driven exclusively by the concerns about compensation for loss of office, but by real concerns about the new system for the general commissioners’ work. We are concerned about the structure.

Vera Baird: I accept that entirely and I am grateful for that intervention. The hon. Gentleman made the point that costs of appeals would increase, but we do not accept that. There should be no increase in cost and the unified and, we would say, more expert system that will begin when the commissioners are put into the tribunal system will be more efficient and consequently, if anything, cheaper.

Rob Marris: The Minister has touched on a point that struck me when the hon. Member for North-West Norfolk (Mr. Bellingham) was talking. He mentioned the £5 million cost of the general commissioners, but he did not include—the figures may not have been available—the potential cost of the appeals from lay general commissioners who through no fault of their own make the wrong decision. Did it also strike the Minister that the hon. Gentleman made a contradictory argument when he claimed that the new system would be more expensive because of the staff involved, but then suggested that there would be loss of office? Is it not possible that some of those 200 or so general commissioners’ clerks could be transferred into the new system with no loss of office?

Vera Baird: My hon. Friend makes a good point about the potential cost of appeals if the persons hearing the cases in the first instance are less expert. That is a truism across the board.

I acknowledge the statement by the hon. Member for North-West Norfolk that his amendment is concerned with the structure. We are confident that tax appeal modernisation is an important part of the tribunal reforms. We intend such appeals to fall within the new tribunal system.

The Liberal Democrat amendment is about compensation. My hon. Friend the Under Secretary met with the clerks yesterday to listen to their arguments. It has been the view of the Government that no compensation is appropriate, and nothing was put forward in those discussions that changed the Government’s mind on the matter. The clerks are not salaried, as the hon. Member for North Southwark and Bermondsey suggested: they are fee-paid office
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holders —[ Interruption. ] I must have misheard the hon. Gentleman. There is no expectation attached to that status of compensation if the office is abolished.

Clerks handle their work load in their own way: they are not directed by the Department. Some clerks do a lot of work and either manage that work alongside being a practicing solicitor or as their sole activity. But most clerks earn very little. The average remuneration is under £5,000. Only 10 out of 356 divisions generate more than £20,000 in fees for the clerk. The exact breakdown of that fee will vary from clerk to clerk, but a fee of £20,000 equates to approximately 60 hours of hearing time a year. For the vast majority, our reforms represent not a loss of their livelihood, but merely the loss of one source of income for their firm.

Reform of the tax appeals system has been on the agenda for many years. The clerks have known for two years that the present system was likely to be abolished. It will not be abolished until April 2009 and they have had, and continue to have, ample time to look for alternative sources of income. Firms have to do this all the time, of course.

Furthermore and importantly, appeal numbers have been declining since self-assessment for income tax was introduced. It is unreasonable to suggest that there can be a legitimate expectation that the present level of income from that work would have continued had the system not been abolished. The existing compensation scheme is in the context of a continuing general commissioner system and not its abolition. If the system were continuing and there were to be a merger of divisions and a choice had to be made as to which of a number of clerks would be clerk of the merged division, it would be reasonable to compensate those who lost the opportunity to carry on. But where the whole system is to be abolished it would be an inappropriate use of public money to compensate all those individuals who happen to be earning fees from the scheme at the time. We have looked carefully at the examples of compensation schemes cited by the clerks in support of their case, but we are advised that none of them constitutes a legal precedent. Nor is there any breach of the Human Rights Act, although no one has today suggested that that is the case.

The Government have already agreed to top up fees if the work load in the final year is higher than the preceding year. It now looks likely that the nature of the work in the last year will require some additional duties of the clerks, to assist in transition from old to new system. My officials are considering the details of a final-year scheme that will take full account of those additional duties and ensure that clerks are fully and properly remunerated for all that they do up to the end of the scheme.

The Government cannot accept an amendment that would set back our plans for tax appeal modernisation, which is what the Conservatives’ amendment would do. We also remain unconvinced by the arguments put in favour of compensation.

I hope my few words about looking at the final year will have cheered the hon. Member for North Southwark and Bermondsey a little. The Under-Secretary of State for Justice has said that he hopes to recover the good will of the clerks, but we remain unconvinced about the amendments and cannot accept them.

27 Jun 2007 : Column 384
3.30 pm

Simon Hughes: If you will allow me, Madam Deputy Speaker, I shall start my response by saying that we began the debate under one regime, and will finish under a new Prime Minister. On behalf of all those in the House when he was elected, and of everyone else, I extend our congratulations and best wishes to him and his family. I am sure that we will support everything that he does in the national interest. The Minister and I are of the same generation as the new Prime Minister, and so have a particular cause for rejoicing.

With his new clause 11, the hon. Member for Newbury (Mr. Benyon) rightfully put on record an important and significant matter of concern. The Minister was not able to accede to his request, but I hope that the fact that his argument was heard will mean that the people who live in park homes around the country get a better response to their concerns in future.

The hon. Member for North-West Norfolk (Mr. Bellingham) and I then sought to persuade the Minister about the general commissioners of taxes and their clerks. I meant to say that they were fee earners and not salaried, but stand corrected if I did not. I incorrectly said that Lisvane, where our taxes are processed, was in Cardiff rather than Llanishen, but the hon. Member for North-West Norfolk rightly said that general commissioners and their clerks meet and serve locally. Unlike the Revenue as a whole, therefore, they offer very much a local face and presence. The hon. Gentleman said that he had never appeared before the commissioners: I have, at a hearing in London, and found them very courteous and helpful.

I met the Under-Secretary yesterday. He is currently responsible for these matters, but I have not yet had the full feedback from the meeting. I hear what the Minister has said today and, although we still want to support the commissioners and clerks, we will defer to the Conservative amendment that I understand will be moved later.

I am grateful to the Minister for accepting exactly our proposals on legal aid in new clause 3. Amendment No. 4 also deals with legal aid, and we still believe that having a more express permission for the granting of legal aid in the Bill would be of benefit. When the time comes, we will put that amendment to the will of the House. I shall ask to withdraw new clause 3, then move new clause 4 formally. I know that the hon. Member for Great Grimsby (Mr. Mitchell) wants to press new clause 6 to a Division, and then we shall do the same for amendment No. 4.

I beg to ask leave to withdraw the motion.

Motion and clause, by leave, withdrawn.

New Clause 4


‘All enforcement agents, both private and Crown-employed, must at all times wear such uniform or other means of identification as shall be prescribed.’.— [Simon Hughes.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

Motion made, and Question put, That the clause be read a Second time:—

The House divided: Ayes 206, Noes 280.
Division No. 158]
[3.33 pm


Afriyie, Adam
Ainsworth, Mr. Peter
Alexander, Danny
Amess, Mr. David
Ancram, rh Mr. Michael
Arbuthnot, rh Mr. James
Atkinson, Mr. Peter
Bacon, Mr. Richard
Baker, Norman
Barker, Gregory
Baron, Mr. John
Barrett, John
Beith, rh Mr. Alan
Bellingham, Mr. Henry
Benyon, Mr. Richard
Beresford, Sir Paul
Blunt, Mr. Crispin
Brady, Mr. Graham
Brake, Tom
Brazier, Mr. Julian
Breed, Mr. Colin
Brokenshire, James
Brooke, Annette
Browne, Mr. Jeremy
Burns, Mr. Simon
Burrowes, Mr. David
Burstow, Mr. Paul
Burt, Alistair
Burt, Lorely
Cable, Dr. Vincent
Cameron, rh Mr. David
Campbell, Mr. Gregory
Campbell, rh Sir Menzies
Carmichael, Mr. Alistair
Carswell, Mr. Douglas
Cash, Mr. William
Clark, Greg
Clarke, rh Mr. Kenneth
Clifton-Brown, Mr. Geoffrey
Cormack, Sir Patrick
Crabb, Mr. Stephen
Curry, rh Mr. David
Davey, Mr. Edward
Davies, David T.C. (Monmouth)
Davies, Philip
Davis, rh David (Haltemprice and Howden)
Djanogly, Mr. Jonathan
Dorrell, rh Mr. Stephen
Dorries, Mrs. Nadine
Duncan, Alan
Duncan Smith, rh Mr. Iain
Dunne, Mr. Philip
Ellwood, Mr. Tobias
Evans, Mr. Nigel
Evennett, Mr. David
Fabricant, Michael
Fallon, Mr. Michael
Farron, Tim
Field, Mr. Mark
Fox, Dr. Liam
Francois, Mr. Mark
Fraser, Mr. Christopher
Gale, Mr. Roger
Garnier, Mr. Edward
Gauke, Mr. David
Gibb, Mr. Nick
Gidley, Sandra
Gillan, Mrs. Cheryl
Goodman, Mr. Paul
Goodwill, Mr. Robert
Gove, Michael
Gray, Mr. James
Grayling, Chris
Green, Damian
Greening, Justine
Grieve, Mr. Dominic
Hague, rh Mr. William
Hammond, Stephen
Hands, Mr. Greg
Harper, Mr. Mark
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
Hollobone, Mr. Philip
Holmes, Paul
Horam, Mr. John
Howarth, David
Howarth, Mr. Gerald
Hughes, Simon
Huhne, Chris
Hunter, Mark
Hurd, Mr. Nick
Jack, rh Mr. Michael
Jenkin, Mr. Bernard
Johnson, Mr. Boris
Kawczynski, Daniel
Keetch, Mr. Paul
Kennedy, rh Mr. Charles
Key, Robert
Kirkbride, Miss Julie
Kramer, Susan
Lait, Mrs. Jacqui
Lamb, Norman
Laws, Mr. David
Leech, Mr. John
Leigh, Mr. Edward
Letwin, rh Mr. Oliver
Lewis, Dr. Julian
Liddell-Grainger, Mr. Ian
Lidington, Mr. David
Lilley, rh Mr. Peter
Llwyd, Mr. Elfyn
Loughton, Tim
Luff, Peter
Mackay, rh Mr. Andrew
Maples, Mr. John
May, rh Mrs. Theresa
McCrea, Dr. William
McIntosh, Miss Anne
McLoughlin, rh Mr. Patrick
Mercer, Patrick
Miller, Mrs. Maria
Milton, Anne
Mitchell, Mr. Andrew
Mitchell, Mr. Austin
Moore, Mr. Michael
Mulholland, Greg
Mundell, David
Murrison, Dr. Andrew

Neill, Robert
Newmark, Mr. Brooks
O'Brien, Mr. Stephen
Oaten, Mr. Mark
Öpik, Lembit
Osborne, Mr. George
Ottaway, Richard
Paice, Mr. James
Paterson, Mr. Owen
Pelling, Mr. Andrew
Penning, Mike
Penrose, John
Pickles, Mr. Eric
Prisk, Mr. Mark
Pritchard, Mark
Pugh, Dr. John
Redwood, rh Mr. John
Reid, Mr. Alan
Rennie, Willie
Rifkind, rh Sir Malcolm
Robertson, Hugh
Robertson, Mr. Laurence
Rogerson, Dan
Rosindell, Andrew
Rowen, Paul
Ruffley, Mr. David
Selous, Andrew
Shapps, Grant
Shepherd, Mr. Richard
Simmonds, Mark
Simpson, David
Spink, Bob
Spring, Mr. Richard
Stanley, rh Sir John
Steen, Mr. Anthony
Streeter, Mr. Gary
Stunell, Andrew
Swayne, Mr. Desmond
Swinson, Jo
Swire, Mr. Hugo
Syms, Mr. Robert
Taylor, Mr. Ian
Taylor, Matthew
Taylor, Dr. Richard
Teather, Sarah
Thurso, John
Turner, Mr. Andrew
Tyrie, Mr. Andrew
Vaizey, Mr. Edward
Vara, Mr. Shailesh
Viggers, Peter
Villiers, Mrs. Theresa
Walker, Mr. Charles
Waterson, Mr. Nigel
Watkinson, Angela
Webb, Steve
Whittingdale, Mr. John
Widdecombe, rh Miss Ann
Wiggin, Bill
Willetts, Mr. David
Williams, Hywel
Williams, Mark
Williams, Mr. Roger
Williams, Stephen
Willis, Mr. Phil
Willott, Jenny
Wilson, Mr. Rob
Wilson, Sammy
Winterton, Ann
Winterton, Sir Nicholas
Young, rh Sir George
Tellers for the Ayes:

Mr. Adrian Sanders and
Bob Russell

Ainger, Nick
Ainsworth, rh Mr. Bob
Alexander, rh Mr. Douglas
Allen, Mr. Graham
Anderson, Mr. David
Anderson, Janet
Atkins, Charlotte
Bailey, Mr. Adrian
Baird, Vera
Balls, Ed
Banks, Gordon
Barlow, Ms Celia
Barron, rh Mr. Kevin
Begg, Miss Anne
Bell, Sir Stuart
Benn, rh Hilary
Benton, Mr. Joe
Berry, Roger
Blackman-Woods, Dr. Roberta
Blears, rh Hazel
Blizzard, Mr. Bob
Borrow, Mr. David S.
Bradshaw, Mr. Ben
Brown, Lyn
Brown, rh Mr. Nicholas
Brown, Mr. Russell
Browne, rh Des
Bryant, Chris
Buck, Ms Karen
Burden, Richard
Burgon, Colin
Butler, Ms Dawn
Byrne, Mr. Liam
Cairns, David
Campbell, Mr. Alan
Campbell, Mr. Ronnie
Caton, Mr. Martin
Challen, Colin
Chapman, Ben
Chaytor, Mr. David
Clapham, Mr. Michael
Clark, Ms Katy
Clark, Paul
Clarke, rh Mr. Charles
Clarke, rh Mr. Tom
Clwyd, rh Ann
Coaker, Mr. Vernon
Coffey, Ann
Cohen, Harry
Cook, Frank
Cooper, Rosie
Cooper, Yvette
Corbyn, Jeremy
Cousins, Jim
Crausby, Mr. David
Creagh, Mary
Cruddas, Jon
Cryer, Mrs. Ann
Cummings, John
Cunningham, Mr. Jim
Cunningham, Tony
Curtis-Thomas, Mrs. Claire
Darling, rh Mr. Alistair
David, Mr. Wayne

Davidson, Mr. Ian
Davies, Mr. Dai
Dean, Mrs. Janet
Devine, Mr. Jim
Dismore, Mr. Andrew
Dobbin, Jim
Dobson, rh Frank
Donohoe, Mr. Brian H.
Doran, Mr. Frank
Dowd, Jim
Drew, Mr. David
Dunwoody, Mrs. Gwyneth
Durkan, Mark
Eagle, Angela
Eagle, Maria
Efford, Clive
Ellman, Mrs. Louise
Engel, Natascha
Ennis, Jeff
Farrelly, Paul
Field, rh Mr. Frank
Fisher, Mark
Flello, Mr. Robert
Flint, Caroline
Follett, Barbara
Foster, Mr. Michael (Worcester)
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings and Rye)
Francis, Dr. Hywel
Gapes, Mike
Gardiner, Barry
George, rh Mr. Bruce
Gerrard, Mr. Neil
Gibson, Dr. Ian
Gilroy, Linda
Godsiff, Mr. Roger
Goggins, Paul
Goodman, Helen
Griffith, Nia
Griffiths, Nigel
Grogan, Mr. John
Gwynne, Andrew
Hall, Mr. Mike
Hall, Patrick
Hamilton, Mr. David
Hamilton, Mr. Fabian
Hanson, rh Mr. David
Harris, Mr. Tom
Havard, Mr. Dai
Healey, John
Hendrick, Mr. Mark
Hepburn, Mr. Stephen
Heppell, Mr. John
Hesford, Stephen
Hewitt, rh Ms Patricia
Heyes, David
Hill, rh Keith
Hillier, Meg
Hodge, rh Margaret
Hoey, Kate
Hood, Mr. Jim
Hope, Phil
Hopkins, Kelvin
Howarth, rh Mr. George
Howells, Dr. Kim
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.
Jenkins, Mr. Brian
Johnson, rh Alan
Johnson, Ms Diana R.
Jones, Helen
Jones, Mr. Kevan
Jones, Mr. Martyn
Jowell, rh Tessa
Keeley, Barbara
Keen, Alan
Kelly, rh Ruth
Kemp, Mr. Fraser
Kennedy, rh Jane
Khan, Mr. Sadiq
Kidney, Mr. David
Kilfoyle, Mr. Peter
Knight, Jim
Ladyman, Dr. Stephen
Lammy, Mr. David
Lazarowicz, Mark
Lepper, David
Levitt, Tom
Lewis, Mr. Ivan
Linton, Martin
Love, Mr. Andrew
Lucas, Ian
Mactaggart, Fiona
Mahmood, Mr. Khalid
Malik, Mr. Shahid
Mallaber, Judy
Mann, John
Marris, Rob
Marsden, Mr. Gordon
Martlew, Mr. Eric
McAvoy, rh Mr. Thomas
McCabe, Steve
McCarthy, Kerry
McCarthy-Fry, Sarah
McDonagh, Siobhain
McDonnell, Dr. Alasdair
McDonnell, John
McFadden, Mr. Pat
McFall, rh John
McGuire, Mrs. Anne
McIsaac, Shona
McKenna, Rosemary
McNulty, Mr. Tony
Meacher, rh Mr. Michael
Merron, Gillian
Michael, rh Alun
Milburn, rh Mr. Alan
Miliband, Edward
Miller, Andrew
Moffat, Anne
Moffatt, Laura
Mole, Chris
Moon, Mrs. Madeleine
Morden, Jessica
Morgan, Julie
Morley, rh Mr. Elliot
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
Osborne, Sandra
Owen, Albert

Palmer, Dr. Nick
Pearson, Ian
Plaskitt, Mr. James
Pope, Mr. Greg
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
Robertson, John
Rooney, Mr. Terry
Roy, Mr. Frank
Ruane, Chris
Ruddock, Joan
Russell, Christine
Ryan, Joan
Salter, Martin
Seabeck, Alison
Sheridan, Jim
Simon, Mr. Siôn
Simpson, Alan
Skinner, Mr. Dennis
Smith, rh Mr. Andrew
Smith, Angela E. (Basildon)
Smith, rh Jacqui
Smith, John
Snelgrove, Anne
Soulsby, Sir Peter
Southworth, Helen
Spellar, rh Mr. John
Starkey, Dr. Phyllis
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
Thornberry, Emily
Timms, rh Mr. Stephen
Tipping, Paddy
Todd, Mr. Mark
Touhig, rh Mr. Don
Trickett, Jon
Turner, Dr. Desmond
Ussher, Kitty
Walley, Joan
Ward, Claire
Wareing, Mr. Robert N.
Watts, Mr. Dave
Whitehead, Dr. Alan
Wicks, Malcolm
Williams, rh Mr. Alan
Wills, Mr. Michael
Winnick, Mr. David
Winterton, rh Ms Rosie
Wood, Mike
Woodward, Mr. Shaun
Woolas, Mr. Phil
Wright, Mr. Anthony
Wright, David
Wright, Mr. Iain
Wright, Dr. Tony
Wyatt, Derek
Tellers for the Noes:

Liz Blackman and
Jonathan Shaw
Question accordingly negatived.
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