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Talking of messages, my hon. Friend the Member for Wellingborough (Mr. Bone) rightly pointed out that we are dealing not simply with a law that is perhaps anachronistic and perhaps has had difficulty being interpreted in the courts—I am at one with the view of my right hon. Friend the Member for Maidstone and The Weald (Miss Widdecombe) that a lack of will was the reason why “Jerry Springer: The Opera” escaped
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what should have been a proper prosecution that led to conviction—but with a law that is symbolic.

The act of abolition in which the hon. Member for Oxford, West and Abingdon wishes to rejoice will send out a signal to the entire nation. It is a dreadful time for this House to indicate that it no longer feels that religion is important and that the Church of England has a central role to play in our life in this country. It is a time when we desperately need to reassert moral values in this country. The fact that the archbishops have deserted the field is unfortunate, because that again sends out the wrong message, but my simple role in the Church is as a mere church warden. The Minister is wrong to suggest that no drift to secularisation is likely to flow from this proposal, because that is what will happen—indeed, it is happening—and it is an important time to reassert moral values.

Furthermore, this act of abolishing the law of blasphemy also carries with it a risk that nothing is sacred in our country and that nothing ought to be given some sort of special protection. Our children will not understand if this House says that it is not important, because why then should anything be sacred? That would send a dreadful message to the young people of our country.

John Bercow rose—

Mr. Howarth: I shall not give way—

John Bercow: I thought you believed in free speech.

Mr. Howarth: I do believe in free speech, but I think that my hon. Friend the Member for South Norfolk, who has been present throughout the entire debate, wishes to speak.

I shall merely add that I think that this is no time to be abolishing the law of blasphemy. I say that not necessarily because prosecutions of tomorrow will be denied, but because abolition would send a dangerous signal to this nation at a very difficult time for it.

Mr. Bacon: I was not originally going to speak in this debate, because I came along just to listen. I listened with interest to the hon. Member for Cambridge (David Howarth). I thought that my right hon. Friend the Member for Maidstone and The Weald (Miss Widdecombe) was a little unfair in describing his contribution as waffle, because I think he made out a liberal rationalist case quite well. Rather like my hon. Friend the Member for South Staffordshire (Sir Patrick Cormack), the more I listened to the hon. Gentleman, the more I became convinced that it was my job to vote against him and everything he stands for. He spelled out clearly, from his position, exactly what so many Conservative Members object to—that is why so many of us are present.

These are not all liberal positions, and I say, without hesitation, that they are not all purely rationalist positions, because things such as religion, love of country, and culture and heritage are not purely rational. When I listened to the hon. Members for Cambridge and for Oxford, West and Abingdon (Dr. Harris) I kept thinking that they started, as Liberals so often do, from a position of theory, they then tried to work out whether the practice fits it and if it did not, they scrubbed it and packed it all away.

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I start from the opposite side of the argument, although I will use the framework used by the hon. Member for Cambridge. The first argument that he decried was the one that Britain is a Christian country. I agree with my hon. Friend the Member for Aldershot (Mr. Howarth) that it is. Britain is a Christian country. He made the point that we have discrimination in our law already, through the established Church, and that the leaders—and many members—of most other faith groups, not just the Jewish community, are glad that we have an established religion.

9.45 pm

Our established religion has evolved in such a way that it has become a tapestry on which all other religions can comfortably hang themselves within our culture. The very coronation of our monarch, who is the supreme governor of our Church, is organised by the senior Roman Catholic in this country—the Earl Marshal, the Duke of Norfolk. We have managed to avoid the turmoil that has afflicted many other countries precisely because we have started not from theory, but from what works. There is a famous Rembrandt painting—I saw it in an exhibition in Berlin, but it has also been on display in Amsterdam and here—of Dutch merchants in the 17th century. I will not try to name the painting, but what was interesting about it was that although the merchants all looked the same their religious backgrounds varied, but they had reached an accommodation that enabled them to rub along and live together in harmony.

It is an enormous tribute to our country that we can have you, Mr. Speaker, sitting in the Chair as a Roman Catholic without anyone commenting on that or its being a matter of great public debate, let alone concern. It is a huge tribute to the way in which our country has developed that that can be a matter of such little comment.

It remains the case that we are a Christian country, and more people go to church on a Sunday—even now in these times of diminished observance of the Christian faith—than go to football matches on a Saturday. I went to a Catholic church in the west midlands on Sunday morning because it was the first communion of my godson. I was allowed to become his godfather, even though I am not a Catholic. That might not happen in all countries, but it is not considered odd here.

I shall come on to the second argument outlined by the hon. Member for Cambridge—about the affirmation of identity—in a moment, but I wish first to address his third argument about the state needing to play some role in maintaining the distinction between the sacred and the profane. He thinks that that is wrong, and he is entitled to put that view. However, not only does the state have a role in distinguishing between the sacred and the profane, but it is normal for that to be the case in most countries.

Some years ago, I heard the right hon. Member for North Antrim (Rev. Ian Paisley), who recently retired after serving as First Minister in Northern Ireland, make an interesting speech, which I looked up afterwards. He referred to many European countries—I can remember only four—where similar arrangements obtain. It is the case in the Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark that the head of state has a specifically religious role. In Sweden and Denmark, the head of state must be a member in good standing of the Lutheran Church, and in the
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Netherlands of the Dutch Reformed Church. Even in Spain, which has an explicit division between the state and religious life, the Spanish constitution provides a special place for the Catholic Church.

The hon. Member for Cambridge referred to the United States—we are all familiar with arguments about the first amendment. In the past, many people from my own constituency went to the US to obtain more religious freedom. The hon. Gentleman said that it was not an accident that the churches in the US flourish as they do, given an environment in which there is complete separation between Church and state. He may be right, but it is also not an accident that people who wanted that went to the US, and that people who did not stayed here. Many people did not leave my constituency in Norfolk or anywhere else, and some of those who went to Massachusetts in the 1670s or before came back to this country. We have to remember our culture, tapestry and traditions, and not just those of other countries.

As I said, the second point made by the hon. Gentleman was about the affirmation of identity. He is absolutely right: that is what all this is about, although he thinks it is wrong to use our religious traditions and institutions to establish identity.

David Howarth: What I think is wrong is to use the state to define identity. It is perfectly natural to use religion to identify oneself.

Mr. Bacon: I recommend that the hon. Gentleman read Roger Scruton’s book “The West and the Rest”, as I believe that he has it precisely the wrong way around. One is safer if the state plays some role than one is if it plays none at all and the only allegiance is to religion. I think that one needs a bit of both, but I strongly recommend the book.

Some years ago, when I was serving on the European Scrutiny Committee, I met Mr. Buttiglione, who bore the wonderful title of Minister of Productive Activities in the Italian Cabinet. I do not think that he had a role in promoting fertility in Italy: his job had more to do with trade and industry. However, at the time he was being proposed for the Italian European Commissioner’s post. He had to stand down, for no reason other than that he believed the central tenets of the Catholic Church and was foolish enough to say so.

Mr. Gerald Howarth: My hon. Friend will be delighted to know that a group of us sent him a message of solidarity from this House.

Mr. Bacon: Well, I sent him a message of solidarity from his office, which had a ceiling as high as the one in this Chamber. It also had a balcony from which Mussolini could make speeches without having to descend among his Ministers.

Mr. Buttiglione was a learned scholar and political philosopher. I was struck by one of the things that he said, and I wrote it down. He said that there were three things at the heart of our western European identity—Greek philosophy, Roman law and Christian morality. That is why, even though the Minister says that the law may not be usable, I tend to agree with my right hon. Friend the Member for Maidstone and The Weald that there is a distinction between what is usable and what is used.

6 May 2008 : Column 665

The Minister said that the law would be used only in the most compelling circumstances, but did “Jerry Springer: The Opera” represent the most compelling circumstances? I have lost count of the number of times that I have sat in Committee and heard Ministers say that they will have a piece of legislation “just in case”.

Mr. Leigh: Ministers use that argument many times. There are tens of thousands of lines of legislation and laws that are never used, so why have the Government focused, laser-like, on this particular law?

Mr. Bacon: They have done so because it is part of their secularisation agenda. Some people think that, for every law put on the statute book, one—or even 10—should be removed. That would get the statute book into some sort of bounds. That argument certainly works for tax legislation, but I fear that this law is part of a wider agenda of secularisation. Although the hon. Member for Cambridge made the argument that this is about affirmation of identity in order to dispute it and disagree with it, in the end that is exactly what this proposed law is about. It is also exactly why we should disagree with the Lords amendment.

Maria Eagle: This has been an excellent and enjoyable debate. Many contributions have been made, from a wide range of different perspectives. A wide range of approaches have been adopted, with hon. Members speaking from their knowledge of history, legal theory and political philosophy, as well as from their religious belief. However, it is not possible in the remaining time for me to cover every point that has been made. I hope that hon. Members will forgive me, but it has been striking how so many different positions have been set out by the main speakers in the debate—from the secularism and wish to disestablish exhibited by the hon. Member for Oxford, West and Abingdon (Dr. Harris), to the political and legal theory propounded by the hon. Member for Cambridge (David Howarth) and the strongly held religious beliefs of many on the Conservative Benches. Many believe strongly that the laws are so much a part of our heritage that it would be desperately dangerous—that word has been used by Opposition Members—for us to abolish the two common law offences, which have fallen into disuse.

We do not have much time, but let me say that the Government do not believe that removing the offences is the first step towards the disestablishment of the Church or the secularisation of our society, although some hon. Members have asserted that that is what it is, or what the Government believe it is, or that a hidden agenda is being pursued. If the hon. Member for Oxford, West and Abingdon has a hidden agenda, it is not very well hidden: he asserts his point of view every chance he gets, and whenever he stands up in the House.

John Bercow: It would be a bit rich for people who are passionate believers in the sovereignty of Parliament to moan about alleged slippery slopes; it really does not add up.

Maria Eagle: I think that all of us in this place believe strongly in the sovereignty of Parliament, because if we do not, nobody else will. The hon. Gentleman makes an important point.

6 May 2008 : Column 666

The Government took an opportunity that arose as a result of the way the Bill proceeded to abolish the common law offences of blasphemy and blasphemous libel, but we do not believe that that is the first step towards the disestablishment of the Church of England as the state religion, or a step on a slippery slope towards the secularisation of our society. Probably all of us in the Chamber would say that our country’s Christian heritage has been a very important part of our society as it developed, and is an important part of the democratic, tolerant society that we all value. In recent centuries, although not in its early stages, that religion was fundamental in developing the freedom of speech that we have spent most of this afternoon saying how much we value and wish to defend from various positions.

It is true that the hon. Members for Cambridge and for Oxford, West and Abingdon have their views about where we should go next, as do many other hon. Members who have spoken from their religious opinions. Getting rid of offences on the statute book that have fallen into disuse is not an indication that the Government are going down one particular path. We are simply taking the opportunity to get rid of the offences; there is widespread agreement that that should be done, and widespread acceptance that that would be sensible, because they are no longer usable.

Mr. Cash: The Minister makes great play of the importance of making sure that there is no unfairness in the expression of opinion on the subject. I have a simple question: are Government Members on a free vote?

Maria Eagle: As far as I am aware, we Government Members are on a whipped vote, but Members will vote whichever way they wish.

I do not believe for a moment that the fact that we are taking the opportunity to get rid of offences that have fallen into disuse and are no longer usable indicates that the Government are not in favour of Christianity, or want to disestablish the Church. I noticed that one or two Opposition Members, including the right hon. Member for Maidstone and The Weald (Miss Widdecombe), asserted that the problem was not that the offences were not usable, but that there was no will to use them. I would dispute that; I do not think that they are usable because of the way things have developed over the years. We have discussed those developments during the passage of the legislation. If it is simply a matter of will, the right hon. Lady will note that the last time someone tried to use the offences was in 1977—they have not been used by the public authorities since 1920. So it is not simply the present Government or Labour Governments who have not sought to use the offences or not had the will to use them, but every Conservative Government as well.

I do not believe for a minute, and I am sure the right hon. Lady does not believe, that if the offences were to go when the Bill receives Royal assent and if the Commons agrees to the Lords amendments tonight, we will end up with a more secular society or a society that denies its Christian heritage. Christians and Christian organisations in this country are well able to assert their own history—

6 May 2008 : Column 667

It being Ten o’clock, Mr. Speaker put the Question already proposed from the Chair, pursuant to Order [this day].

Question put, That this House agrees with the Lords in the said amendment:—

The House divided: Ayes 378, Noes 57.

Division No. 170]
[10 pm


Abbott, Ms Diane
Afriyie, Adam
Ainger, Nick
Ainsworth, rh Mr. Bob
Allen, Mr. Graham
Anderson, Mr. David
Arbuthnot, rh Mr. James
Armstrong, rh Hilary
Atkins, Charlotte
Austin, Mr. Ian
Austin, John
Bailey, Mr. Adrian
Baird, Vera
Baker, Norman
Baldry, Tony
Balls, rh Ed
Banks, Gordon
Barrett, John
Barron, rh Mr. Kevin
Battle, rh John
Bayley, Hugh
Beckett, rh Margaret
Begg, Miss Anne
Beith, rh Mr. Alan
Benn, rh Hilary
Benton, Mr. Joe
Benyon, Mr. Richard
Bercow, John
Berry, Roger
Betts, Mr. Clive
Blackman-Woods, Dr. Roberta
Blears, rh Hazel
Blizzard, Mr. Bob
Blunt, Mr. Crispin
Bradshaw, Mr. Ben
Brake, Tom
Brennan, Kevin
Brooke, Annette
Brown, Lyn
Brown, rh Mr. Nicholas
Brown, Mr. Russell
Browne, Mr. Jeremy
Bruce, rh Malcolm
Bryant, Chris
Buck, Ms Karen
Burden, Richard
Burgon, Colin
Burnham, rh Andy
Burrowes, Mr. David
Burstow, Mr. Paul
Burt, Lorely
Butler, Ms Dawn
Byers, rh Mr. Stephen
Byrne, Mr. Liam
Cable, Dr. Vincent
Caborn, rh Mr. Richard
Cairns, David
Cameron, rh Mr. David
Campbell, Mr. Alan
Campbell, rh Sir Menzies
Carmichael, Mr. Alistair
Carswell, Mr. Douglas
Caton, Mr. Martin
Cawsey, Mr. Ian
Challen, Colin
Chapman, Ben
Clapham, Mr. Michael
Clark, Greg
Clark, Ms Katy
Clark, Paul
Clarke, rh Mr. Charles
Clarke, rh Mr. Kenneth
Clarke, rh Mr. Tom
Clegg, rh Mr. Nick
Clelland, Mr. David
Coaker, Mr. Vernon
Coffey, Ann
Cohen, Harry
Cook, Frank
Cooper, Rosie
Cooper, rh Yvette
Corbyn, Jeremy
Cousins, Jim
Crausby, Mr. David
Cruddas, Jon
Cryer, Mrs. Ann
Cummings, John
Cunningham, Mr. Jim
Davey, Mr. Edward
David, Mr. Wayne
Davidson, Mr. Ian
Davies, Mr. Quentin
Dean, Mrs. Janet
Denham, rh Mr. John
Devine, Mr. Jim
Dhanda, Mr. Parmjit
Dismore, Mr. Andrew
Djanogly, Mr. Jonathan
Donohoe, Mr. Brian H.
Doran, Mr. Frank
Dowd, Jim
Drew, Mr. David
Duddridge, James
Eagle, Angela
Eagle, Maria
Efford, Clive
Ellman, Mrs. Louise
Ennis, Jeff
Etherington, Bill
Farron, Tim
Featherstone, Lynne
Field, Mr. Mark
Fisher, Mark
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Flint, rh Caroline
Flynn, Paul
Follett, Barbara
Foster, Mr. Don
Foster, Mr. Michael (Worcester)
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings and Rye)

Francis, Dr. Hywel
Gapes, Mike
Garnier, Mr. Edward
Gauke, Mr. David
George, Andrew
George, rh Mr. Bruce
Gibson, Dr. Ian
Gidley, Sandra
Gilroy, Linda
Godsiff, Mr. Roger
Goldsworthy, Julia
Goodman, Helen
Greening, Justine
Grieve, Mr. Dominic
Griffith, Nia
Griffiths, Nigel
Gwynne, Andrew
Hall, Mr. Mike
Hall, Patrick
Hamilton, Mr. David
Hamilton, Mr. Fabian
Hancock, Mr. Mike
Hands, Mr. Greg
Hanson, rh Mr. David
Harman, rh Ms Harriet
Harris, Dr. Evan
Harris, Mr. Tom
Harvey, Nick
Havard, Mr. Dai
Healey, John
Heath, Mr. David
Hemming, John
Hendrick, Mr. Mark
Heppell, Mr. John
Herbert, Nick
Hesford, Stephen
Heyes, David
Hill, rh Keith
Hillier, Meg
Hodge, rh Margaret
Hodgson, Mrs. Sharon
Holmes, Paul
Hood, Mr. Jim
Hoon, rh Mr. Geoffrey
Hope, Phil
Hopkins, Kelvin
Horwood, Martin
Howarth, David
Howarth, rh Mr. George
Howells, Dr. Kim
Hoyle, Mr. Lindsay
Hughes, rh Beverley
Hughes, Simon
Huhne, Chris
Humble, Mrs. Joan
Hunt, Mr. Jeremy
Hunter, Mark
Hutton, rh Mr. John
Iddon, Dr. Brian
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, Lynne
Joyce, Mr. Eric
Keeble, Ms Sally
Keeley, Barbara
Keen, Alan
Keen, Ann
Keetch, Mr. Paul
Kelly, rh Ruth
Kemp, Mr. Fraser
Kennedy, rh Mr. Charles
Key, Robert
Khan, Mr. Sadiq
Kidney, Mr. David
Kilfoyle, Mr. Peter
Kirkbride, Miss Julie
Knight, Jim
Kramer, Susan
Kumar, Dr. Ashok
Ladyman, Dr. Stephen
Laing, Mrs. Eleanor
Lamb, Norman
Lammy, Mr. David
Laxton, Mr. Bob
Lazarowicz, Mark
Leech, Mr. John
Lepper, David
Levitt, Tom
Lewis, Mr. Ivan
Linton, Martin
Lloyd, Tony
Llwyd, Mr. Elfyn
Loughton, Tim
Love, Mr. Andrew
Lucas, Ian
Mackay, rh Mr. Andrew
Mackinlay, Andrew
MacShane, rh Mr. Denis
Mallaber, Judy
Mann, John
Marris, Rob
Marsden, Mr. Gordon
Martlew, Mr. Eric
McAvoy, rh Mr. Thomas
McCafferty, Chris
McCarthy, Kerry
McCarthy-Fry, Sarah
McDonagh, Siobhain
McDonnell, John
McFadden, Mr. Pat
McFall, rh John
McGovern, Mr. Jim
McIsaac, Shona
McKechin, Ann
McKenna, Rosemary
McNulty, rh Mr. Tony
Meacher, rh Mr. Michael
Meale, Mr. Alan
Michael, rh Alun
Milburn, rh Mr. Alan
Miliband, rh Edward
Miller, Andrew
Mitchell, Mr. Austin
Moffatt, Laura
Mole, Chris
Moon, Mrs. Madeleine
Moran, Margaret
Morden, Jessica
Morgan, Julie
Morley, rh Mr. Elliot
Moss, Mr. Malcolm
Mudie, Mr. George
Mulholland, Greg
Mullin, Mr. Chris
Mundell, David
Murphy, Mr. Denis

Murphy, rh Mr. Paul
Murrison, Dr. Andrew
Naysmith, Dr. Doug
Norris, Dan
O'Brien, Mr. Mike
Olner, Mr. Bill
Öpik, Lembit
Osborne, Sandra
Owen, Albert
Palmer, Dr. Nick
Pearson, Ian
Penrose, John
Plaskitt, Mr. James
Pope, Mr. Greg
Pound, Stephen
Prentice, Mr. Gordon
Prescott, rh Mr. John
Price, Adam
Primarolo, rh Dawn
Prosser, Gwyn
Pugh, Dr. John
Purchase, Mr. Ken
Rammell, Bill
Raynsford, rh Mr. Nick
Reed, Mr. Andy
Reed, Mr. Jamie
Reid, Mr. Alan
Reid, rh John
Rennie, Willie
Riordan, Mrs. Linda
Robertson, Mr. Laurence
Robinson, Mr. Geoffrey
Rogerson, Dan
Rooney, Mr. Terry
Rowen, Paul
Roy, Mr. Frank
Ruane, Chris
Ruddock, Joan
Russell, Bob
Russell, Christine
Salter, Martin
Sanders, Mr. Adrian
Seabeck, Alison
Sharma, Mr. Virendra
Shaw, Jonathan
Sheerman, Mr. Barry
Sheridan, Jim
Short, rh Clare
Simon, Mr. Siôn
Simpson, Alan
Skinner, Mr. Dennis
Slaughter, Mr. Andy
Smith, rh Mr. Andrew
Smith, Ms Angela C. (Sheffield, Hillsborough)
Smith, Angela E. (Basildon)
Smith, Geraldine
Smith, rh Jacqui
Smith, Sir Robert
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
Stunell, Andrew
Swinson, Jo
Taylor, Ms Dari
Taylor, David
Taylor, Matthew
Taylor, Dr. Richard
Teather, Sarah
Thomas, Mr. Gareth
Thornberry, Emily
Thurso, John
Timms, rh Mr. Stephen
Tipping, Paddy
Todd, Mr. Mark
Touhig, rh Mr. Don
Trickett, Jon
Turner, Dr. Desmond
Turner, Mr. Neil
Tyrie, Mr. Andrew
Vara, Mr. Shailesh
Walley, Joan
Waltho, Lynda
Watts, Mr. Dave
Webb, Steve
Whitehead, Dr. Alan
Whittingdale, Mr. John
Williams, rh Mr. Alan
Williams, Mrs. Betty
Williams, Hywel
Williams, Mark
Williams, Mr. Roger
Willis, Mr. Phil
Willott, Jenny
Wills, Mr. Michael
Wilshire, Mr. David
Wilson, Phil
Winnick, Mr. David
Winterton, rh Ms Rosie
Woolas, Mr. Phil
Wright, Mr. Anthony
Wright, David
Wright, Mr. Iain
Wright, Dr. Tony
Yeo, Mr. Tim
Young, rh Sir George
Younger-Ross, Richard
Tellers for the Ayes:

Tony Cunningham and
Liz Blackman


Amess, Mr. David
Ancram, rh Mr. Michael
Atkinson, Mr. Peter
Bacon, Mr. Richard
Binley, Mr. Brian
Bone, Mr. Peter
Brokenshire, James
Burns, Mr. Simon
Burt, Alistair
Campbell, Mr. Gregory
Cash, Mr. William
Chope, Mr. Christopher
Clifton-Brown, Mr. Geoffrey
Cormack, Sir Patrick
Crabb, Mr. Stephen
Davies, Mr. Dai
Davies, David T.C. (Monmouth)
Davis, rh David (Haltemprice and Howden)
Donaldson, rh Mr. Jeffrey M.
Dorries, Mrs. Nadine
Evans, Mr. Nigel
Fallon, Mr. Michael
Francois, Mr. Mark
Gillan, Mrs. Cheryl
Gray, Mr. James
Gummer, rh Mr. John
Hayes, Mr. John
Heald, Mr. Oliver
Hoban, Mr. Mark
Hollobone, Mr. Philip
Jackson, Mr. Stewart
Jones, Mr. David
Kawczynski, Daniel
Knight, rh Mr. Greg
Leigh, Mr. Edward
Lewis, Dr. Julian
Liddell-Grainger, Mr. Ian
MacNeil, Mr. Angus
Mates, rh Mr. Michael
McCrea, Dr. William
McIntosh, Miss Anne
McLoughlin, rh Mr. Patrick
Neill, Robert
Pritchard, Mark
Robinson, rh Mr. Peter
Rosindell, Andrew
Ruffley, Mr. David
Selous, Andrew
Spink, Bob
Steen, Mr. Anthony
Swayne, Mr. Desmond
Swire, Mr. Hugo
Turner, Mr. Andrew
Watkinson, Angela
Wiggin, Bill
Wilson, Sammy
Winterton, Ann
Tellers for the Noes:

Miss Ann Widdecombe and
Mr. Gerald Howarth
Question accordingly agreed to.
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