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63. Remote bingo



(1) The Betting and Gaming Duties Act 1981 is amended as follows.

(2) In section 17 (bingo duty), after subsection (2) insert—

“(2A) Bingo duty is not charged on the playing of bingo which is not licensed bingo if remote gaming duty is charged on the provision of facilities for playing it.”

(3) In section 26H (remote gaming duty: exemptions), after subsection (2) insert—

“(2A) Subsection (2) does not prevent remote gaming duty being charged in respect of the provision of facilities for the playing of bingo which is not licensed bingo (as to the meaning of which terms see section 20C).”

(4) The amendments made by this Resolution have effect in relation to games of bingo that begin to be played on or after I July 2009.

64. Climate change levy (reduced-rate supplies)


65. Alternative finance investment bonds


28 Apr 2009 : Column 837

66. Transfers of business etc by mutual societies


67. National Savings (surplus funds)


68. Relief from tax (incidental and consequential charges)





Finance Bill

Presentation and First Reading

Mr. Stephen Timms accordingly presented a Bill to grant certain duties, to alter other duties, and to amend the law relating to the National Debt and the Public Revenue, and to make further provision in connection with finance.

Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time tomorrow, and to be printed (Bill 90).

28 Apr 2009 : Column 838

Business without Debate

Delegated Legislation

Motion made, and Question put forthwith (Order, 23 April, and Standing Order No. 118(6)),

Financial Assistance to Industry

Question agreed to.

Motion made, and Question put forthwith (Standing Order No. 118(6)),


Question agreed to.

Motion made, and Question put forthwith (Standing Order No. 118(6)),

Freedom of Information

Question agreed to.

European Union Documents

Motion made, and Question put forthwith (Standing Order No. 119(11)),

Eastern Partnership

Question agreed to.

28 Apr 2009 : Column 839

Members’ Home Addresses

Motion made, and Question proposed, That this House do now adjourn. —(Helen Goodman.)

11.5 pm

Dr. Julian Lewis (New Forest, East) (Con): I am delighted to have secured this Adjournment debate, and I am touched by the fact that so many colleagues have stayed behind to listen to it at this extremely late hour.

On 12 March a letter arrived in my party leader’s office, complaining about my registering anonymously rather than publishing my address on the New Forest, East electoral roll. That is a basic security precaution, taken because of the work that I did before—and to some extent after—becoming an MP against political extremists at home and abroad. The letter demanded to know:

It ended with the following pretentious declaration:


Nonsense of this sort can safely be ignored when it comes from the cranks with whom we occasionally have to deal. In this case, however, the author is a Liberal Democrat prospective parliamentary candidate, a 63-year-old retired military policeman who aims to oppose me at the next general election. His name is Terry Scriven, and his previous attempt to compromise my home address was drawn to the House’s attention on 22 July last year. Since then, his campaign to blacken my name has intensified, most recently with the connivance of the News of the World. It has therefore become necessary to return to this subject.

I realise that the Deputy Leader of the House will not be able to address my situation in detail, and he knows that I can give him only a little time in which to reply, but I trust that he will confirm that not just the press but even political opponents have a duty to show some restraint where the personal security of parliamentarians is at stake. What has happened to me illustrates the mischief that malicious adversaries can make.

In setting their prospective candidate’s antics on the record, I mean no disrespect towards Liberals in my constituency in general. I have worked with Liberal Democrats to save community hospitals, and even now I am working with their group leader on the district council on an issue on which we agree. Several of them have told me privately of their dismay at Terry Scriven’s tactics.

I have previously fought three general elections in the New Forest without experiencing anything comparable to the events of the past few months. In 1997, when my seat had just been formed, the Liberal Democrat candidate was a New Forest district councillor, George Dawson. He fought a clean campaign. In 2001, my Liberal Democrat opponent was a county councillor called Brian Dash. I had worked with him on a cross-party basis to oppose the construction of a container port on sensitive land at Dibden bay. Before the 2001 election, I spoke to Mr. Dash about my constituency home. I told him my address and
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explained that if he looked it up on the electoral roll, he would find that as a basic security precaution, I was registered under a nom de plume. I added that that was by arrangement with the electoral registration officer at the district council, and I invited him to visit my home so that he could satisfy himself that it was genuine. He assured me that no such visit was necessary, that he fully appreciated why I had made the special registration arrangements and that they would never be an issue between us in an election campaign.

Brian Dash kept his word, not only in the 2001 campaign but in the 2005 campaign, when he stood against me for a second time. By then, my seat had become a target for the Liberal Democrats and that campaign was not clean., a left-wing group, infiltrated the local Labour party and installed Stephen Roberts as the Labour candidate. He worked hand in glove with the Liberal Democrats to try to oust me. Yet, despite the bitterness of that battle, the Liberal candidate, Brian Dash, kept his promise not to make an issue of the steps that I had taken to protect my home address.

Following my improved majority in 2005—which may have had something to do with—and a boundary change helpful to the Conservatives, I learned that the Liberal Democrats would not be targeting my seat next time. That is apparently why they allowed Terry Scriven to become their candidate, despite the fact that he lives miles away from New Forest, East, on the far side of New Forest, West, and has given no indication of moving into the constituency that he says he wishes to serve. Since becoming a prospective parliamentary candidate in 2007, Mr. Scriven’s impact on my constituency has been vanishingly small. Knowing that he cannot defeat me politically, he has gambled everything on trying to smear me personally.

When I worked as a political researcher in the 1980s and early 1990s, I spent a lot of time ferreting out facts about left-wing political opponents. For example, I am holding a 250-page directory of Labour Members of Parliament and left-wing causes, which was published in the run-up to the 1992 general election. Yet nowhere in that book or in any of my other political research work will hon. Members find cases of my using personal rather than political information against any of the people featured. Indeed, until I encountered Mr. Scriven, I had never felt it necessary to consider personal misbehaviour by a political opponent.

Last year, I began my campaign to neutralise the extraordinary decision of three High Court judges that MPs’ home addresses should be revealed in response to freedom of information requests. In part, the judges based their ruling on the fact that all general election candidates had been required since the late 19th century to disclose a home address on nomination and ballot papers. We changed the law on MPs’ addresses by statutory instrument in July 2008 and we are in the process of doing the same on candidates’ addresses after the free vote on 2 March 2009. Significantly, the date of that vote was only 24 hours later than the smear story against me in the News of the World—I do not think that that was a coincidence.

I began the campaign to protect MPs’ home addresses by making a speech on 22 May 2008, in the debate on the Adjournment, and I openly referred to my practice of registering under a nom de plume by arrangement
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with the electoral registration officer. That gave Terry Scriven his first opportunity. As I now know, on 25 June 2008, he e-mailed the chief executive of New Forest district council, Mr. Dave Yates, who is in overall charge of electoral registration, as follows:

he then gave my constituency home address—

typically spelt like that—

I presume that he meant “possession”—

Mr. Yates replied that I had indeed registered in that way, by arrangement with the previous electoral registration officer, for reasons of personal safety. That had happened for a number of years but, Mr. Yates told Scriven, now that a new system of “Anonymous Registration” existed, I would be asked to use that instead of the nom de plume method in future.

On 11 July, Mr. Scriven replied to the chief executive in the following apparently generous terms:

That was the first but by no means the last time that Mr. Scriven professed to support me in keeping MPs’ home addresses confidential. However, his private conduct has been utterly incompatible with his public position.

As I told the House last July, New Forest district council chief executive Dave Yates was contacted by a Sunday newspaper just seven days after Scriven’s supposedly supportive e-mail. The exchange of e-mails between Mr. Scriven and Mr. Yates had been leaked to a journalist called Ben Leapman—the very reporter leading the campaign for MPs’ home addresses to be published to all and sundry. The leak could have come only from Terry Scriven, if we exclude impropriety by the staff of New Forest district council, which I am sure we can.

I have repeatedly asked Mr. Scriven to explain why he approached Ben Leapman to investigate a supposed irregularity in my electoral registration arrangements, when he had indicated to Mr. Yates that he fully accepted the need for those arrangements. Time and again, Mr. Scriven has refused to answer that question. I have also asked him why he chose Ben Leapman as the journalist to approach, given that reporter’s hostility towards me for thwarting his efforts to force MPs’ addresses to be published. If Mr. Scriven is sincere in his proclaimed support for my campaign to protect MPs’ home addresses, Mr. Leapman is the last journalist in Britain whom he should have contacted. That question, too, Mr. Scriven refuses to answer.

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