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1 July 2009 : Column 361

Sir Alan Beith: It is an unintended consequence.

Mr. Straw: Nor is it an unintended consequence. I am ready to accept the amendment that the right hon. Member for North-West Hampshire and my hon. Friend the Member for Middlesbrough have tabled to clause 10. Furthermore, we will continue to examine it, and that will not necessarily be the end of the matter. I recognise the sensitivity of the matter of privilege but, to pick up a point made by my hon. Friend, privilege at its best is not about our privilege but about the privileges of our electors, and through that, the rights of this House. The hon. Member for Gainsborough (Mr. Leigh) is no longer in his place. [ Interruption. ] I am sorry, he is. I am looking at him; usually, he sits somewhere else. He spoke eloquently on the subject, but we must all understand that the term, which means many things, can also become self-serving. I think it was the hon. Member for North Essex who described it as trust.

Mr. Jenkin: It was not me.

Mr. Straw: I apologise—perhaps it was the hon. Member for Gainsborough.

Mr. Garnier: The right hon. Gentleman should listen to him more often.

Mr. Straw: I listen to him all the time, and I compliment him on what he said. However, there was a breach of trust by the House in the way it dealt with the expenses regime, which is why we are in this mess. Certain consequences, I am afraid, must follow. Second Reading was approved on a vote of 291:1. It was open to the House to vote the Bill down, but it decided not to do so. The measure involves a modification not of privilege as privilege but of powers previously exercised directly by the House. What we are doing, by the authority of the House, if the measure is approved—

Mr. Garnier: On a point of order, Sir Alan. I wonder whether you would advise me. We are very short of time but we are now having a second Government winding-up speech on the debate. I fully appreciate the fact that the Secretary of State is loyally defending the junior Minister, but he is eating into our time. If we do not debate the Bill properly, we will be roundly accused of not doing our duty.

The Chairman of Ways and Means (Sir Alan Haselhurst): I am grateful to the hon. and learned Gentleman. I myself was about to suggest to the right hon. Gentleman that his speech was turning into a Second Reading speech, and was not closely germane to the amendment.

Mr. Straw: I will bring my remarks to a close, Sir Alan.

Certain consequences follow, like night follows the day. If we voluntarily decide to set up the authority, it means that some of the authority’s enforcement will be dealt with outside the House.

Mark Durkan: May we return to the most germane point, which relates to amendment 32 and the accompanying amendments 33 and 36? They seem to me to be reasonable, measured and sound. If the House were to reject them, we would be reckless and feckless in doing so.

Mr. Straw: I cannot accept the amendments at the moment. I am certainly ready to give them active consideration, but they raise important points of principle.

1 July 2009 : Column 362

Mr. Grieve: The time for the amendments is now. It is our one opportunity to make these decisions. Every Member of the House must look to their electorate and to their own conscience as to whether we wish to see our independence disappear for no good reason, when the Bill can be improved to make it workable and do what the public want and what we are required to do.

Question put, That the amendment be made.

The House divided: Ayes 234, Noes 274.
Division No. 175]
[4.10 pm


Abbott, Ms Diane
Afriyie, Adam
Ainsworth, Mr. Peter
Alexander, Danny
Amess, Mr. David
Ancram, rh Mr. Michael
Arbuthnot, rh Mr. James
Atkinson, Mr. Peter
Baker, Norman
Baldry, Tony
Barker, Gregory
Barrett, John
Beith, rh Sir Alan
Benyon, Mr. Richard
Beresford, Sir Paul
Binley, Mr. Brian
Blunt, Mr. Crispin
Bone, Mr. Peter
Brady, Mr. Graham
Brake, Tom
Brazier, Mr. Julian
Breed, Mr. Colin
Brokenshire, James
Brooke, Annette
Browne, Mr. Jeremy
Bruce, rh Malcolm
Burns, Mr. Simon
Burrowes, Mr. David
Burt, Alistair
Burt, Lorely
Butterfill, Sir John
Cable, Dr. Vincent
Cameron, rh Mr. David
Campbell, Mr. Gregory
Carmichael, Mr. Alistair
Carswell, Mr. Douglas
Cash, Mr. William
Chope, Mr. Christopher
Clark, Greg
Clarke, rh Mr. Kenneth
Clegg, rh Mr. Nick
Clifton-Brown, Mr. Geoffrey
Cormack, Sir Patrick
Cox, Mr. Geoffrey
Curry, rh Mr. David
Davies, Mr. Dai
Davies, David T.C. (Monmouth)
Davis, rh David
Djanogly, Mr. Jonathan
Dorries, Nadine
Duddridge, James
Duncan, Alan
Duncan Smith, rh Mr. Iain
Dunne, Mr. Philip
Durkan, Mark
Ellwood, Mr. Tobias
Evans, Mr. Nigel
Evennett, Mr. David
Fallon, Mr. Michael
Farron, Tim
Featherstone, Lynne
Field, Mr. Mark
Fisher, Mark
Fox, Dr. Liam
Fraser, Christopher
Garnier, Mr. Edward
Gauke, Mr. David
George, Andrew
Gibb, Mr. Nick
Gidley, Sandra
Gillan, Mrs. Cheryl
Goldsworthy, Julia
Goodman, Mr. Paul
Goodwill, Mr. Robert
Gove, Michael
Gray, Mr. James
Grayling, Chris
Greening, Justine
Grieve, Mr. Dominic
Gummer, rh Mr. John
Hague, rh Mr. William
Hammond, Mr. Philip
Hammond, Stephen
Hancock, Mr. Mike
Hands, Mr. Greg
Harper, Mr. Mark
Harris, Dr. Evan
Harvey, Nick
Hayes, Mr. John
Heald, Mr. Oliver
Heathcoat-Amory, rh Mr. David
Hemming, John
Henderson, Mr. Doug
Hoban, Mr. Mark
Hogg, rh Mr. Douglas
Hollobone, Mr. Philip
Holloway, Mr. Adam
Holmes, Paul
Hopkins, Kelvin
Horam, Mr. John
Hosie, Stewart
Howard, rh Mr. Michael
Howarth, David
Howarth, Mr. Gerald
Howell, John
Hughes, Simon
Hunt, Mr. Jeremy
Hunter, Mark
Jack, rh Mr. Michael
Jackson, Mr. Stewart
Jenkin, Mr. Bernard
Jones, Mr. David
Kawczynski, Daniel
Keetch, Mr. Paul

Kennedy, rh Mr. Charles
Key, Robert
Kirkbride, Miss Julie
Knight, rh Mr. Greg
Kramer, Susan
Laing, Mrs. Eleanor
Lait, Mrs. Jacqui
Lancaster, Mr. Mark
Lansley, Mr. Andrew
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
MacNeil, Mr. Angus
Malins, Mr. Humfrey
Maples, Mr. John
Mason, John
Mates, rh Mr. Michael
Maude, rh Mr. Francis
McCrea, Dr. William
McDonnell, Dr. Alasdair
McGrady, Mr. Eddie
McIntosh, Miss Anne
McLoughlin, rh Mr. Patrick
Meale, Mr. Alan
Miller, Mrs. Maria
Milton, Anne
Moss, Mr. Malcolm
Mulholland, Greg
Mundell, David
Murrison, Dr. Andrew
Newmark, Mr. Brooks
O'Brien, Mr. Stephen
Oaten, Mr. Mark
Öpik, Lembit
Osborne, Mr. George
Ottaway, Richard
Paterson, Mr. Owen
Penning, Mike
Penrose, John
Price, Adam
Prisk, Mr. Mark
Pugh, Dr. John
Randall, Mr. John
Redwood, rh Mr. John
Reid, Mr. Alan
Rennie, Willie
Rifkind, rh Sir Malcolm
Robathan, Mr. Andrew
Robertson, Angus
Robertson, Hugh
Robertson, Mr. Laurence
Robinson, rh Mr. Peter
Rogerson, Dan
Rosindell, Andrew
Ruffley, Mr. David
Russell, Bob
Sanders, Mr. Adrian
Scott, Mr. Lee
Selous, Andrew
Shapps, Grant
Shepherd, Mr. Richard
Simmonds, Mark
Simpson, Alan
Simpson, David
Smith, Sir Robert
Soames, Mr. Nicholas
Spicer, Sir Michael
Spring, Mr. Richard
Stanley, rh Sir John
Steen, Mr. Anthony
Streeter, Mr. Gary
Stuart, Ms Gisela
Stuart, Mr. Graham
Stunell, Andrew
Swinson, Jo
Swire, Mr. Hugo
Syms, Mr. Robert
Tapsell, Sir Peter
Taylor, Mr. Ian
Taylor, Dr. Richard
Teather, Sarah
Thurso, John
Tredinnick, David
Turner, Mr. Andrew
Tyrie, Mr. Andrew
Vaizey, Mr. Edward
Vara, Mr. Shailesh
Viggers, Sir Peter
Villiers, Mrs. Theresa
Walker, Mr. Charles
Wallace, Mr. Ben
Walter, Mr. Robert
Wareing, Mr. Robert N.
Waterson, Mr. Nigel
Watkinson, Angela
Webb, Steve
Weir, Mr. Mike
Willetts, Mr. David
Williams, Mark
Williams, Mr. Roger
Williams, Stephen
Willott, Jenny
Wilshire, Mr. David
Wilson, Mr. Rob
Winterton, Ann
Winterton, Sir Nicholas
Wishart, Pete
Wright, Jeremy
Yeo, Mr. Tim
Young, rh Sir George
Younger-Ross, Richard
Tellers for the Ayes:

Mr. Stephen Crabb and
Bill Wiggin

Ainger, Nick
Alexander, rh Mr. Douglas
Allen, Mr. Graham
Anderson, Mr. David
Armstrong, rh Hilary
Atkins, Charlotte
Austin, Mr. Ian
Austin, John
Bailey, Mr. Adrian
Baird, Vera
Balls, rh Ed
Banks, Gordon
Barlow, Ms Celia
Barron, rh Mr. Kevin

Battle, rh John
Bayley, Hugh
Beckett, rh Margaret
Begg, Miss Anne
Bell, Sir Stuart
Benn, rh Hilary
Benton, Mr. Joe
Berry, Roger
Betts, Mr. Clive
Blackman, Liz
Blears, rh Hazel
Blizzard, Mr. Bob
Borrow, Mr. David S.
Bradshaw, rh Mr. Ben
Brennan, Kevin
Brown, Lyn
Brown, rh Mr. Nicholas
Brown, Mr. Russell
Browne, rh Des
Bryant, Chris
Buck, Ms Karen
Burden, Richard
Burnham, rh Andy
Butler, Ms Dawn
Byrne, rh Mr. Liam
Caborn, rh Mr. Richard
Cairns, David
Campbell, Mr. Alan
Campbell, Mr. Ronnie
Caton, Mr. Martin
Cawsey, Mr. Ian
Chapman, Ben
Clapham, Mr. Michael
Clark, Paul
Clarke, rh Mr. Tom
Clelland, Mr. David
Clwyd, rh Ann
Coaker, Mr. Vernon
Coffey, Ann
Cohen, Harry
Connarty, Michael
Cooper, Rosie
Corbyn, Jeremy
Cousins, Jim
Crausby, Mr. David
Cruddas, Jon
Cryer, Mrs. Ann
Cummings, John
Cunningham, Mr. Jim
Cunningham, Tony
David, Mr. Wayne
Davidson, Mr. Ian
Dean, Mrs. Janet
Denham, rh Mr. John
Dismore, Mr. Andrew
Dobbin, Jim
Dobson, rh Frank
Donohoe, Mr. Brian H.
Doran, Mr. Frank
Dowd, Jim
Drew, Mr. David
Eagle, Angela
Eagle, Maria
Efford, Clive
Ellman, Mrs. Louise
Engel, Natascha
Ennis, Jeff
Etherington, Bill
Flello, Mr. Robert
Flint, rh Caroline
Flynn, Paul
Follett, Barbara
Foster, Mr. Michael (Worcester)
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings and Rye)
Francis, Dr. Hywel
Gapes, Mike
Gardiner, Barry
George, Andrew
Gerrard, Mr. Neil
Gilroy, Linda
Godsiff, Mr. Roger
Goggins, rh Paul
Goodman, Helen
Griffith, Nia
Griffiths, Nigel
Grogan, Mr. John
Gwynne, Andrew
Hain, rh Mr. Peter
Hall, Mr. Mike
Hall, Patrick
Hamilton, Mr. David
Hamilton, Mr. Fabian
Hanson, rh Mr. David
Harman, rh Ms Harriet
Harris, Mr. Tom
Havard, Mr. Dai
Healey, rh John
Hepburn, Mr. Stephen
Heppell, Mr. John
Hesford, Stephen
Hewitt, rh Ms Patricia
Heyes, David
Hill, rh Keith
Hodgson, Mrs. Sharon
Hood, Mr. Jim
Hoon, rh Mr. Geoffrey
Hopkins, Kelvin
Howarth, rh Mr. George
Howells, rh Dr. Kim
Hoyle, Mr. Lindsay
Hughes, rh Beverley
Humble, Mrs. Joan
Hutton, rh Mr. John
Iddon, Dr. Brian
Illsley, Mr. Eric
Irranca-Davies, Huw
Jackson, Glenda
James, Mrs. Siân C.
Jenkins, Mr. Brian
Johnson, rh Alan
Johnson, Ms Diana R.
Jones, Helen
Jones, Mr. Martyn
Joyce, Mr. Eric
Keeble, Ms Sally
Keeley, Barbara
Keen, Alan
Keen, Ann
Kelly, rh Ruth
Kemp, Mr. Fraser
Khan, rh Mr. Sadiq
Kidney, Mr. David
Kilfoyle, Mr. Peter
Knight, rh Jim
Kumar, Dr. Ashok
Ladyman, Dr. Stephen
Lammy, rh Mr. David
Laxton, Mr. Bob
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
McCartney, rh Mr. Ian
McDonnell, John
McFadden, rh Mr. Pat
McFall, rh John
McGuire, rh Mrs. Anne
McIsaac, Shona
McKechin, Ann
McNulty, rh Mr. Tony
Merron, Gillian
Michael, rh Alun
Miliband, rh Edward
Miller, Andrew
Moffatt, Laura
Mole, Chris
Moon, Mrs. Madeleine
Morden, Jessica
Morgan, Julie
Mudie, Mr. George
Munn, Meg
Murphy, Mr. Denis
Murphy, rh Mr. Jim
Murphy, rh Mr. Paul
Naysmith, Dr. Doug
Norris, Dan
O'Brien, rh Mr. Mike
O'Hara, Mr. Edward
Olner, Mr. Bill
Osborne, Sandra
Palmer, Dr. Nick
Pearson, Ian
Plaskitt, Mr. James
Pope, Mr. Greg
Prentice, Bridget
Prentice, Mr. Gordon
Prescott, rh Mr. John
Primarolo, rh Dawn
Prosser, Gwyn
Purnell, rh James
Raynsford, rh Mr. Nick
Reed, Mr. Andy
Reed, Mr. Jamie
Reid, rh John
Riordan, Mrs. Linda
Robertson, John
Robinson, Mr. Geoffrey
Rooney, Mr. Terry
Roy, Mr. Frank
Ruane, Chris
Russell, Christine
Salter, Martin
Sarwar, Mr. Mohammad
Seabeck, Alison
Sharma, Mr. Virendra
Shaw, Jonathan
Sheerman, Mr. Barry
Sheridan, Jim
Simon, Mr. Siôn
Singh, Mr. Marsha
Skinner, Mr. Dennis
Slaughter, Mr. Andy
Smith, rh Mr. Andrew
Smith, Ms Angela C. (Sheffield, Hillsborough)
Smith, rh Angela E. (Basildon)
Smith, Geraldine
Smith, rh Jacqui
Snelgrove, Anne
Southworth, Helen
Spellar, rh Mr. John
Spink, Bob
Starkey, Dr. Phyllis
Stoate, Dr. Howard
Strang, rh Dr. Gavin
Straw, rh Mr. Jack
Taylor, David
Thomas, Mr. Gareth
Thornberry, Emily
Timms, rh Mr. Stephen
Todd, Mr. Mark
Touhig, rh Mr. Don
Trickett, Jon
Turner, Dr. Desmond
Turner, Mr. Neil
Twigg, Derek
Ussher, Kitty
Vis, Dr. Rudi
Walley, Joan
Waltho, Lynda
Ward, Claire
Watts, Mr. Dave
Whitehead, Dr. Alan
Wicks, rh Malcolm
Williams, rh Mr. Alan
Williams, Mrs. Betty
Wills, rh Mr. Michael
Wilson, Phil
Winnick, Mr. David
Wood, Mike
Woolas, Mr. Phil
Wright, Mr. Anthony
Wright, David
Wright, Mr. Iain
Wright, Dr. Tony
Tellers for the Noes:

Mary Creagh and
Mark Tami
Question accordingly negatived.
1 July 2009 : Column 363

1 July 2009 : Column 364

1 July 2009 : Column 365

Amendment made: 17, page 5, line 25, at end insert—

‘(2A) The Committee on Standards and Privileges may accept, modify or reject as it sees fit a recommendation under subsection (2).’.— (Sir Stuart Bell.)

Amendment made: 85, page 5, line 31, leave out ‘financial interests rules’ and insert

‘code of conduct relating to financial interests’.— (Mr. Blizzard.)
1 July 2009 : Column 366

Amendments made: 20, page 5, line 38, leave out ‘Speaker’s Committee on the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority’ and insert ‘Committee on Standards and Privileges.’.

Amendment 21, page 5, leave out line 43.— (Sir Stuart Bell.)

Clause 8, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clause 9


Mr. Grieve: I beg to move amendment 38, page 6, line 22, leave out subsection (2).

The Chairman: With this it will be convenient to discuss the following:

Amendment 47, page 6, line 23, after ‘member’, insert ‘intentionally’.

Amendment 15, page 6, line 25, at end insert—

‘(2A) A member of the House of Commons commits an offence if the member intentionally fails to comply with a requirement included in the MPs’ financial interests rules by virtue of section 5(8) (declaration of interests).’.

Amendment 100, page 6, line 25, at end insert—

‘A Member of the House of Commons commits an offence if the Member intentionally fails to comply with a requirement relating to the declaration of interests included in the MPs’ code of conduct relating to financial interests.’.

Amendment 39, page 6, line 26, leave out subsection (3).

Amendment 41, page 6, line 34, leave out subsection (5).

Amendment 42, page 6, line 36, leave out subsection (6).

Clause stand part.

Mr. Grieve: We now have to consider the criminal offences that the Government think it right to create and to impose on Members of this House if they transgress. Let me first make absolutely clear something that has been said on many occasions: if Members of Parliament commit criminal offences, no privilege or any other protection should exist in respect of them. There is nothing new about that: it has been the position for hundreds of years. However, the Committee should spend a moment considering whether the offences created in clause 9 add anything to the existing criminal law and whether they will create problems that will be damaging to the way the House operates.

We have to consider three offences. First:

The penalty for that action will be:

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