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6.18 pm

Sammy Wilson (East Antrim) (DUP): My party has no hesitation in backing the motion. The debate has now moved on. There will be inquiries. There will be an investigation of the wrongdoing, and there will be an investigation of the police and their activities. However, one thing must be dealt with if we are not to see a repeat of these events and a further undermining of our democracy. I refer to the whole issue of the concentration of press power in the hands of one organisation. It does not matter whether it is concentrated in the hands of News International, Rupert Murdoch or anyone else, but as long as that concentration is there, there will always be a tendency for those of us who are involved in the political field to want to be on the right side of the people who hold the power.

Karl McCartney (Lincoln) (Con): Does the hon. Gentleman agree that the debate is about more than a media mogul owning newspaper and television companies? Does it not also flag up the issue of dual share structures, in which the owners of one class of share, such as the class A non-voting shareholders of News International, have no voting rights?

Sammy Wilson: We must address everything that leads to that concentration of power. If that is not dealt with, there will always be a tendency to rush after and try to please those who have such influence.

We have only to consider the accusations that have flown back and forth across this House today. Why did the current Prime Minister, when he was at a low ebb in opposition, and under pressure from the Government

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of the day, hire a dodgy character even though he had been warned? Was that because of the influence that that might give and the doors that that person would open? Was it because of some of the other benefits that would come from the appointment?

Why did the current Prime Minister’s predecessor bottle this, despite the fact that he knew about wrongdoings? He told us today that he knew about them. Was it because the Home Office said he could not do anything? Was it because the police said there was no evidence? Or was it because he knew there was a certain limit beyond which he could not go? After all, he was the Prime Minister, so he could have made the decision. I do not wish to be partisan; I just think that we must look at what has happened under both the current Prime Minister and previous Prime Ministers. How did they behave? How did parties behave when in government and seeking the support of News International? As long as we have that concentration of power, there will always be the danger that our democracy might be undermined by those to whom we have to pander because we need the headline.

That is bad for the business concerned as well, because of what it then believes. I have no doubt that News International believed it could get away with what it did get away with, because, being in such a powerful position, it felt that politicians might pull their punches and that the police might not fully investigate matters. As it felt that it could get away with some of those activities, it did them; then it pushed the limits and went further and further. If we do not deal with the concentration of power, I believe that this might happen again, regardless of what comes out of the inquiry, who goes to jail, and what sanctions are put in place.

Pete Wishart: As the hon. Gentleman will know, there are some big critical issues for the devolved Administrations in terms of the inquiry. Does he agree that it is imperative that whoever leads the inquiry, and however they do their business, they consult fully and engage comprehensively with the devolved Administrations?

Sammy Wilson: I hope that will be the case, and I am disappointed that there was not more consultation with the smaller parties representing Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland about the terms of the inquiry, but I hope that will be remedied in the future.

The third reason why I believe we must deal with the concentration of power is that there will always be public mistrust of the news industry if it is felt that one group is so large that it can influence the law and politicians, and get away with things. That is not good for the press and the newspaper industry either, or for those who get on the wrong side of the door. We have seen how it has swung against the Labour party. At one stage that party was the darling of News International—but no longer. At one stage the Conservative party suffered as a result of being on the wrong side of the door. I know about that, too, from my experience in Northern Ireland, when the Conservative party joined with the Ulster Unionist party before the last election. News International had taken little interest in Northern Ireland politics and politicians, but suddenly there seemed to be an undue interest, in our party in particular. Indeed, a

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number of our party members were targeted—not that News International ever found any wrongdoing, but there was innuendo, and it was sufficient to sow doubts in the mind of the electorate.

That is why politicians will always try to get on the right side of the door. If we are on the wrong side, we know what will happen. We will not get the headlines, and instead we will get the investigations and the innuendo. For that reason, the concentration of power must be dealt with, even though the inquiry is not going to deal with it.

Graham Jones (Hyndburn) (Lab): Would the hon. Gentleman reflect on the headline that we see at every election, “It’s the Sun wot won it”?

Sammy Wilson: Whether that is true or not—sometimes I think that perhaps we do not give enough credit to the electorate—politicians are aware that mass media can influence elections, so they try to keep on the right side. I hope that the inquiries will be made to look into the issue of concentration.

6.25 pm

Dr Phillip Lee (Bracknell) (Con): May I begin by emphasising my personal disgust at the revelations that have come out over recent days, particularly those with regard to the right hon. Member for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath (Mr Brown)? I really cannot imagine what it must be like to see one’s child’s health records in the public domain.

I wish to step back from what we have been discussing so far, as I think that it is important for Members of this House to do that in times of storm. We should not be in the middle of it; we should be stepping back. I wish instead to discuss media plurality in reality, as it is now in this world. The way in which individuals search for news, and indeed share news, is changing and has changed. As for the idea that the ownership of one news channel watched by a relatively small number of people should concern us greatly, I suggest that the ownership of search engines and social media should concern us more.

Let me set out a few facts from the United States. According to recent information from the Pew Research Center, Google is the biggest single driver of traffic to news sites in the United States. Facebook has 500 million users worldwide, and of increasing importance to Facebook is the fact that it shares news; it is a way for people to communicate with each other and pass on stories. People do not turn on Sky News to get stories; they get them from friends on Facebook.

In this country more than 90% of online searches go through Google, with the figure for Europe and the wider world being more than 95%. Why am I so interested in this? I have a company on my patch called Foundem, which has three employees and has interested the European competition commission. That vertical search engine company was launched in 2006, and was allegedly suppressed by Google. It is a vertical search engine for washing machines and motorcycle helmets—but news too is a commodity. If Google can suppress a company like that, it can suppress a news organisation; it can point people in the direction of their news. People may obsess about trying to make Mr Murdoch the bogeyman of the present, but this is past; this is not the way things will be in the future. It is all going to be about where

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people get their news from, and that will not necessarily be the

News of the World

. By concentrating on one man at the moment, people are missing the point. That is the central thrust of my argument. News has changed, and the way in which people communicate has changed.

Mrs Madeleine Moon (Bridgend) (Lab): Does the hon. Gentleman accept that part of the revulsion against News International has arisen because it became a virtual state within the state, running to its own set of rules, being above the law and feeling that it did not have to follow even the rules of moral decency? Does he agree that one of the challenges that we face with organisations such as Facebook and Google is ensuring that they too cannot be allowed to become above the law, and above the laws of moral decency in what they publish, and in what people post?

Dr Lee: Of course I agree with that: it is a statement of the obvious, is it not? I am greatly concerned that we do have a media state in this country. I saw an interview with somebody on the BBC recently—a former deputy editor of the News of the World—who stated as much. However, my point is that the media are changing. I do not need to comment on someone’s “fit and proper” right to own a newspaper or a news organisation; that is for others to do. My point is that at the moment we do not have control over where a lot of people are seeking to get their news from, and we have absolutely no idea whether what they are getting is the truth or not, because there is no check. That is why I agree with the hon. Lady.

Alun Cairns: I am grateful to my hon. Friend for making such serious and valid points. Does he recognise that the regulation of new media is much more difficult than even the regulation of the press, which makes it much more unpredictable and unmanageable?

Dr Phillip Lee: Yes, I do. That is the problem: we need cross-border understanding. As for getting some sense of an international legal framework, good luck with that. It is very difficult, but that is the challenge we face.

I do not want to take up all the time I have available, because I know that others want to speak. If hon. Members will indulge me, I shall quote a few lines of poetry. I heard this the other day from a modern poet:

“The slow one now,

Will later be fast,

As the present now,

Will later be past.”

We should remember those words, because that is where we are now. There is a danger that we will obsess about the ownership of BSkyB whoever it is owned by, whether that is Mr Murdoch or someone else, following the announcement this afternoon. We might obsess about one component of the media, yet its importance will have passed. It will no longer be important to us as politicians, who clearly need to get our message over, but need to do so by having a professional relationship with the person who controls the presentation of that message to the public.

In conclusion, we should remember that the world is changing very quickly. In the future, Governments of any colour, red or blue, abroad or at home, will need to be very cautious about their relationships with businesses

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such as Google, Facebook and Twitter. They are the media giants of the future, and they might be just as capable of employing people who have committed the crimes alleged in recent days as News International has been in the past. We should bear that in mind.

6.31 pm

Chris Bryant (Rhondda) (Lab): Some chilling words: “This one is my priority,” spoken by Rupert Murdoch about Rebekah Brooks; “There is far worse to come,” spoken by Rebekah Brooks about the revelations; “News International was deliberately thwarting a police investigation,” spoken by Commander Peter Clarke, who was in charge in the investigation and who has never said that in public until now; “I am 99% certain that my phone was hacked,” spoken by Assistant Commissioner Yates, who is in charge of counter-terrorism in this country; and “Have you ever paid police officers?” “Yes,” spoken by not just Rebekah Brooks but Andy Coulson.

Some disturbing facts: News International bullied those who opposed or were critics of the BSkyB empire; the policeman investigating News International went on to work for the company not years but weeks after he had stopped working for the Metropolitan police; Parliament has been lied to time and time again by a series of different people; material was deleted at News International and sometimes squirreled away and kept against a rainy day when a police officer might come knocking on the door to try to incriminate somebody else lower down the chain in the organisation; some people were ditched and thrown overboard, as we have seen throughout this year; and, as the right hon. Member for Bath (Mr Foster) said earlier, one of the most disgusting things that has happened in the past two weeks is that the people slaving away in the boiler room had to carry the can for those who were at the helm. That does not show that that is a decent company with which to do business.

Executive and non-executive directors at News Corporation completely failed in their fiduciary duties to ensure that criminality was not going on at their company and that the organisation was co-operating completely with the police. That involves Mr Aznar, Peter Barnes, Kenneth Cowley, Lachlan Murdoch, Thomas Perkins, John Thornton and Stanley Shuman, who should all be considering their position, too. I believe that this is proof that News Corporation is not a fit and proper body to hold its present holding in BSkyB, let alone any increased holding.

I pay tribute to the hon. Member for Maldon (Mr Whittingdale), who has been tenacious over the years on this matter. He said that BSkyB has done much that is good and I am sure all our constituents would agree. They watch lots of Sky television and enjoy their Sky Plus. The company has lots of technological innovation that only a robust entrepreneur could bring to British society, but it has also often been profoundly anti-competitive. I believe that the bundling of channels so as to increase the profit and make it impossible for others to participate in the market is anti-competitive. I believe that the way in which the application programming interface—the operating system—has been used has been anti-competitive and that Sky has deliberately set about selling set-top boxes elsewhere, outside areas where they have proper rights. If one visits a flat in

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Spain where a British person lives, one finds that they mysteriously manage to have a Sky box there even though it is registered to a house in the United Kingdom.

Sky has a virtual monopoly over many areas of our lives, with 67% of residential pay-TV subscriptions and 80% of pay-TV revenues—with an average spend of £492 a year.

Greg Mulholland (Leeds North West) (LD): I pay tribute to the hon. Gentleman’s tenacity and courage over the course of this matter. He has been a credit to Parliament in the way he has pursued this. He is quite right that News International must be brought to justice, but does he agree that we must address the concentration of ownership of the media? If we do not do that, the idea that we have a free press and free media is simply false.

Chris Bryant: I completely agree that we failed to address the fact that we have allowed one man to have far too much power in his hands, including four newspapers and all the rights I have been talking about.

It is not just newspapers and broadcasting that have been subject to anti-competitive practices; it is also advertising. Sky spends £127 million on advertising—double what Virgin is able to—in any one year. The fact that it has such a big presence in the market makes it difficult for others to enter. It is anti-entrepreneurial to allow one person to have so much power, which is why no other country would allow it.

I suspect that the people of the country have been way ahead of we politicians on all of this. In the 10 years that I have been an MP, many have come to my constituency surgeries and demanded changes to the system. We have all failed in our duty for far too long, perhaps because we were frightened. If the Murdochs fail to attend the Select Committee next week, I believe that the people of this country will conclude that the Murdochs are waving goodbye to Britain—and maybe that would not be a bad thing.

6.37 pm

George Eustice (Camborne and Redruth) (Con): I strongly support the motion and I think that Sky has been absolutely right to withdraw its bid. It gives the police time to complete their investigation and, at the end of all that, gives Ofcom time to assess whether BSkyB is fit and proper to have a broadcast licence.

I want to focus on a couple of areas, particularly to do with media regulation and how it could be improved. This change is long overdue. There is nothing new about these problems with the media. In 2006, a very comprehensive report from the Information Commissioner uncovered widespread problems here with a trade in people’s personal information. A whole series of recommendations was made about toughening up the role of the Press Complaints Commission and changing the laws in some areas, but it was seen as too easy to ignore those recommendations and turn a blind eye to the report. That is a real indictment of the Opposition. Alastair Campbell spent the best part of a decade warning them that there was a problem with the media and that something needed to be done and it is wrong that that opportunity was not taken up.

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Mel Stride (Central Devon) (Con): My hon. Friend raises the PCC, which has not been mentioned much in the debate. Does he agree that it has proven, over time, to be something of a toothless tiger? One of the big lessons from this sorry affair is that we need to look at having a situation in which, rather than one newspaper deciding on the rights and wrongs of another, we have a different way forward.

George Eustice: I absolutely agree, and I shall come to those issues in a moment. First, I want to say that the introduction of new regulation of the media should not be feared by journalism. Indeed, it could raise the status of journalism and restore confidence in the profession. If clear boundaries are enforced, that will strengthen the position of journalists if they are told to do a hatchet job on some story by their newspaper’s proprietor or editor, perhaps because they are angry that a story was given to a rival paper. In such a situation, a journalist will be in a stronger position to resist and say, “No, that would be in breach of the code and would put us in a difficult position.” At present the boundaries are not clear enough. That undermines journalism and makes it harder for journalists to face down demands from proprietors and editors alike.

It is also wrong for people to be concerned that a code would muzzle free speech. We have a tough broadcasting code to which all our broadcasters are subject, as my hon. Friend the Member for Maldon (Mr Whittingdale) mentioned. Sky News is a very good news organisation. It does a good job. There is nothing in that broadcasting code that hinders free debate. We have robust debates in a range of formats, but papers are culturally different so it would be wrong to apply the entire broadcasting code to the print media. In particular, it would be wrong to expect impartiality of the print press.

I shall touch on some of the aspects where we could improve the PCC or its replacement. There is not much wrong with the PCC code. The problem is that it has not been enforced with the rigour that we should require. In particular, the public interest defence, which is a kind of get out of jail card in so many areas, has been used and abused over the years, and used in all sorts of cases where there was no such public interest to justify the pursuit of certain means.

Another problem is a lack of sanctions. As the right hon. Member for Bath (Mr Foster) said, broadcasters who breach their code face serious and heavy fines of £250,000 and sometimes more. The press does not have such a culture. If there is no real consequence for newspapers that breach the code, they will not be too bothered about abiding by it. Finally, I wish to pick up on something that the right hon. Member for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath (Mr Brown) said, and which I have been pushing for some time. If a newspaper wilfully prints a story that it knows to be untrue, it is right and proportionate that it should give the same space to its correction as it gave to the original story. Sensible changes like that could help a great deal.

We all accept that the relationship between politicians and the media has got far too cosy over the years.

Damian Collins (Folkestone and Hythe) (Con): Does my hon. Friend agree that the role of the regulators on ownership is important? Although we in the House are

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right to express our views and anger about BSkyB and other issues, it should not be for politicians to make arbitrary decisions about who owns what, or that may be seen as too much political interference in a free press.

George Eustice: I entirely agree. We need to keep the issues separate, but as I said earlier, given all that is going on, it is right—

Frank Dobson (Holborn and St Pancras) (Lab): Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

George Eustice: I will not give way. I am sorry. I have given way enough and we are nearly out of time.

We need to change the culture in which, over decades, the press barons have been led to believe that they can decide policy. It is no wonder, if they have had so many politicians coming to court them and seek their support. We need to try and get over that culture, and change things for the better. By weakening the press barons, we could strengthen journalism. It is important that we approach the debate in the right tone. We should be clear that we are not trying to stifle free speech, but that our objective is to strengthen journalism itself.

Mr Deputy Speaker (Mr Nigel Evans): I call Steve Rotheram to speak until 6.44 pm.

6.43 pm

Steve Rotheram (Liverpool, Walton) (Lab): There are not many in Liverpool who will shed any tears for the catastrophic downfall of News International and Rupert Murdoch or their belated withdrawal of the deal to purchase BSkyB, although they will sympathise with those innocent of any wrongdoing who have subsequently lost or may lose their jobs.

Twenty-two years ago the people of Merseyside decided to take on The Sun after it lied about the Hillsborough disaster. Although for a short time we received support in other cities, people gradually forgot the smear that had been perpetrated against us, while others preferred to believe what they had read, but nobody forgot on Merseyside. In 1999 the fight for justice for the 96 victims began and it is as strong today—

Mr Deputy Speaker (Mr Nigel Evans): Order. Winding-up speeches to begin.

6.44 pm

Mr Ivan Lewis (Bury South) (Lab): Today the House has come together to speak with one voice, but we must also show some humility. In reality, there were only two or three hon. Members willing to pursue these issues over a long period. My hon. Friends the Members for West Bromwich East (Mr Watson) and for Rhondda (Chris Bryant) deserve our respect for their courage and relentless pursuit of the public interest. That is ultimately why we are elected to this place. We also heard a remarkable speech by my right hon. Friend the Member for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath (Mr Brown), who not only provided sensational new information, but reminded us that this issue goes to the heart of the character of our country, or the good society, as he would say.

In truth, the public do not ask much of their public institutions or private corporations. They have a right to expect a free and responsible press, clean and competent police, politicians who speak up for the public interest

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without fear or favour and businesses that obey the law and have decent ethical standards. On all those counts they have reason today to ask, “Who can we trust?” In the aftermath of the global banking crisis and the MPs’ expenses crisis, there is an urgent need to answer that question. Today is our chance to make a start, but it is also a day for Mr Murdoch to reflect on the consequences of his company, which had no limits and a “story at all costs” culture that not only fuelled criminality, but offended every standard of decency. It is also a day for other newspapers to reflect on their level of involvement in illegal activities, because it is wrong that the reputation of the vast majority of journalists and editors is being undermined by the actions of a few. Remaining silent is no longer an option.

Given the outstanding serious allegations of criminality, the hacking of Milly Dowler’s phone and of the phones of relatives of 7/7 victims and brave soldiers who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, the public would never have understood this deal being allowed to go ahead. From the beginning we have called for it to be referred to the Competition Commission for a full and independent inquiry, but I was told time and again by the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport that that was not necessary and, in recent days, not possible.

Mr Jeremy Hunt: On that basis, does the hon. Gentleman think that I was wrong to follow the procedures laid down in the Enterprise Act 2002 and—the Act does not require this—to ask for and publish independent advice at every stage?

Mr Lewis: The right hon. Gentleman was wrong not to refer the matter to the Competition Commission and to rely on the good faith of a company that has been involved in this kind of activity.

What lessons have been learnt from this sorry episode? In matters of media ownership and mergers, politicians should never again fulfil a quasi-judicial role. Market share and power, and not simply plurality, must now be at the heart of the debate we are to have on the future. We welcome the fact that this will be part of an independent inquiry. A “fit and proper person” test should be applicable in all cases of serious failure of corporate governance. A new independent press regulatory system must reflect the new digital age and the rights of ordinary citizens more than the politician and the celebrity.

The Secretary of State must reflect on the judgments he has made, and I say to Government Members that the BBC may need reform, but its strength is absolutely central to the vitality of our democracy. We all know that the Conservative party has wanted to undermine the BBC at every opportunity. The Prime Minister described cuts to it as delicious, which demonstrates the kind of broadcasting environment they wanted to see in this country before these revelations changed for ever the course of how we make these decisions. Today is an historic day for this country. This House has asserted the public interest and finally made it clear, according to the values of my party, that no corporate interest can be allowed to write the law or break it.

6.49 pm

The Parliamentary Secretary, Office of the Leader of the House of Commons (Mr David Heath): This has been a very important day both for the country and for

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Parliament. It is important because, for the first time, we have had a very clear indication that the police investigations that were carried out so inadequately before are now going ahead and yielding results.

It is important because we have heard of the establishment of a proper judicial inquiry under a very capable judge, Lord Justice Leveson, that will deal not only with the inadequacies of the previous inquiry and not only with the unacceptable practices in the press and the media. I am wholly unconvinced that those practices were confined to News International, and I am glad that the inquiry will work on a wider spectrum. The inquiry will look at the relationship between some media and some politicians and allow for proper investigation of the perhaps too cosy relationship that has sometimes existed. The decision by the Prime Minister to provide for proper disclosure of meetings between senior politicians and the media—I hope that the Leader of the Opposition will agree to that for his own party—seems to be a great step forward.

The other area that the inquiry will deal with—this is absolutely crucial, and I give credit to the hon. Member for Rhondda (Chris Bryant), who has been talking about it for some time—is the potential systemic suborning of police officers by some elements of the media. We must put an end to that.

Nicholas Soames (Mid Sussex) (Con): Does the hon. Gentleman agree that it is extremely important that the inquiry deals in great depth not only with the points that he has made but with the abuses of many other newspapers in illegally procuring personal information?

Mr Heath: I absolutely agree with that intervention.

I agree with the Leader of the Opposition and my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House that this is a good day for Parliament. We should avoid being self-congratulatory—we have hardly been a model of good practice over the years—but today, and over recent days, we have been able to demonstrate that we can express the views of the public.

It is also a good day because News International’s bid for BSkyB has been withdrawn, as it should have been withdrawn. There was increasing revulsion at the revelations of what were called offences against common decency. I think people would have found it very difficult to understand why the Murdoch empire was carrying on trying to expand its boundaries when there were such clear deficiencies within.

Simon Hughes (Bermondsey and Old Southwark) (LD): Is it also the responsibility of the inquiry to look at the warnings that have been given over 17 years about the accretion of powers by the Murdoch empire, the failure to act on those warnings during those years, and the failure to act on the very clear recommendations to which the hon. Member for Mid Sussex (Nicholas Soames) referred, which suggested in 2006 that 31 newspapers and more than 300 journalists had been guilty of illegality. Nothing was done about that in the following five years.

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Mr Heath: I am grateful to my right hon. Friend for saying that. It is absolutely essential that we look at not only the actions but the inactions of very many people during the progress of this scandal. It is extraordinary that so little was done for so long.

Frank Dobson rose

Mr Heath: This is the last intervention that I will take.

Frank Dobson: Does the hon. Gentleman accept that the rot set in when, against the advice of the late Michael Foot, Mrs Thatcher set the precedent of refusing to refer the purchase of The Times and The Sunday Times to the then Monopolies and Mergers Commission on the grounds that 40% ownership of newspapers was too much in one pair of hands?

Mr Heath: We have had abundant evidence since then of what has or has not been done in relationships with the media.

The best contributions to the debate have been the most sober and non-partisan, and I am grateful to colleagues who entered into the debate in that context. I am grateful to the Chairman of the Culture, Media and Sport Committee, the hon. Member for Maldon (Mr Whittingdale), whose Committee has done such a lot of good work. I am grateful, as I have indicated, to the hon. Member for Rhondda for what he has said not just today but on previous occasions. I am grateful to my right hon. Friend the Member for Bath (Mr Foster), to the hon. Members for East Antrim (Sammy Wilson), for Bracknell (Dr Lee) and for Camborne and Redruth (George Eustice), and to the hon. Member for Liverpool, Walton (Steve Rotheram) for his very brief contribution. They talked not only about the criminal behaviour that has been uncovered over recent days and weeks, but about the concentration of power and ownership and the effect that that has on the media in this country, and about the adequacy of the Press Complaints Commission, which we clearly need to look at. The hon. Member for Bracknell warned that new media and technologies will bring new challenges that we have to address.

There were contributions from members of the previous Government. I think that most of what the right hon. Member for Exeter (Mr Bradshaw) said had more to do with the competition authorities and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport than with the contents of this debate, but he took this opportunity to raise those issues. There was a long contribution from the right hon. Member for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath (Mr Brown). May I say that it is genuinely a pleasure to have him contributing to our debates in this House, and he should do so more often? Everybody understands his personal issues concerning the completely inappropriate release of information about his family, and everybody has sympathy for him over that. Everybody will take careful notice of the serious evidence that he produced to the House, which I hope will be properly considered by the inquiry. I hope that he will give full evidence to the inquiry, as he indicated he would in his contribution, as I hope will other members of the previous Government who have a story to tell. I would criticise him because there was a self-exculpatory tone in much of what he said, and I think that that may have grated on some. Nevertheless, it was an important contribution.

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The hon. Member for Bury South (Mr Lewis) did not quite rise to the occasion. He wanted to take a partisan view, in considerable contrast to the leader of his party. He wanted to resile from the body of law that the Government of whom he was a member put in place. He wanted to say that issues that cannot be clearly linked in law should be linked in law. I remind him of what he said on 10 June, because it is relevant to his contribution:

“The serious admissions of culpability by News International aren’t relevant to the News Corp-BSkyB media plurality issue”.

Now he is saying that those admissions are intrinsic to it. He cannot have it both ways.

What we have seen is a systemic failure across the institutions of public life to get to grips with a cancer of wrongdoing. There were abundant signs over the years: admissions of criminal behaviour, Select Committee reports that went unheeded, and clear examples of big media organisations wielding too much power, political and commercial. I hope that the inquiries that are being put in place today will deal with that issue. I hope that that chapter is drawing to a close. I believe that we have a unique window of opportunity to get it right. [ Interruption. ] The hon. Member for Wrexham (Ian Lucas) says that we have barely started yet. He is absolutely right. We have barely started getting to grips with this cancer of wrongdoing, but we will get to grips with it. We now have an inquiry that will set us on the right path and a Government determined to act. That is as it should be. I am grateful, Mr Deputy Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute to this debate.

Question put and agreed to.

Resolved,

That this House believes that it is in the public interest for Rupert Murdoch and News Corporation to withdraw their bid for BSkyB.

Mr Foster: On a point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker. On a lighter note, is there a way in which you can draw to the attention of the House the significant victory by the House of Commons rowing team, by four lengths, over the House of Lords?

Mr Deputy Speaker (Mr Nigel Evans): I could not possibly think of a way of making it more widely known than you just have, Mr Foster. Thank you very much for lightening the proceedings.

Business without Debate

delegated legislation (committees)

Ordered ,

That the draft Modifications to the Standard Conditions of Electricity Supply Licences, which were laid before this House on 9 June, be referred to a Delegated Legislation Committee.—(Stephen Crabb.)


Sittings of the House (19 July)

Ordered ,

That, on Tuesday 19 July, the Speaker shall not adjourn the House until he has notified the Royal Assent to Acts agreed upon by both Houses.—(Stephen Crabb.)

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Draft Financial Services Bill (Joint Committee)

Motion made,

That this House concurs with the Lords Message of 21 June, that it is expedient that a Joint Committee of Lords and Commons be appointed to consider the draft Financial Services Bill presented to both Houses on 16 June (Cm 8083).

That a Select Committee of six Members be appointed to join with the Committee appointed by the Lords to consider the draft Financial Services Bill presented to both Houses on 16 June (Cm 8083).

That the Committee should report on the draft Bill by 1 December 2011.

That the Committee shall have power—

(i) to send for persons, papers and records;

(ii) to sit notwithstanding any adjournment of the House;

(iii) to report from time to time;

(iv) to appoint specialist advisers; and

(v) to adjourn from place to place within the United Kingdom.

That Mr Nicholas Brown, Mr David Laws, Mr Peter Lilley, David Mowat, Mr George Mudie and Mr David Ruffley be members of the Committee.—(Stephen Crabb.)

Hon. Members: Object.

Delegated Legislation

Mr Deputy Speaker (Mr Nigel Evans): With the leave of the House, we shall take motions 8 to 12 together.

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

Taxes

That the draft International Tax Enforcement (Liberia) Order 2011, which was laid before this House on 17 June, be approved.

That the draft Double Taxation Relief and International Tax Enforcement (South Africa) Order 2011, which was laid before this House on 17 June, be approved.

That the draft International Tax Enforcement (Aruba) Order 2011, which was laid before this House on 17 June, be approved.

That the draft International Tax Enforcement (Curaçao, Sint Maarten and BES Islands) Order 2011, which was laid before this House on 17 June, be approved.

That the draft Double Taxation Relief and International Tax Enforcement (Mauritius) Order 2011, which was laid before this House on 17 June, be approved.—(Stephen Crabb.)

Question agreed to .

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

Constitutional Law

That the draft Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010 (Consequential Provisions and Modifications) Order 2011, which was laid before this House on 22 June, be approved.—(Stephen Crabb.)

Question agreed to .

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

Social Security

That the draft Disclosure of State Pension Credit Information (Warm Home Discount) Regulations 2011, which were laid before this House on 23 June, be approved.—(Stephen Crabb.)

Question agreed to.

13 July 2011 : Column 425

European Union documents

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

Consular Protection

That this House takes note of European Union Document COM(2011) 149, relating to consular protection for EU citizens in third countries; recalls that such Communications are not legally binding; underlines that the competence for consular protection remains with Member States; and agrees with the Government’s approach to the EU’s consular work.—(Stephen Crabb.)

Question agreed to.

petitions

Mr Deputy Speaker (Mr Nigel Evans): We now move on to petitions. The first is from Teresa Pearce. She is not available, so we move on to Mr Nicholas Brown.

Abolition of Cheques

7.2 pm

Mr Nicholas Brown (Newcastle upon Tyne East) (Lab): I should like to present a petition on behalf of my constituent Dr Helen Gilthorpe, declaring that the petitioners

are profoundly concerned by the proposed abolition of cheques.

It is accompanied by another petition in similar terms signed by some 60 of my constituents, many resident at the Abbeyfield care home in my constituency.

I know that the arguments for the retention of cheques are well understood by the House. The cheque is still the second largest means of payment by value in this country, and cheques are a convenient way of paying bills and making donations to charity. Some 46% of cheque use is by those aged 55 and over, and the campaign to keep the cheque is supported by groups ranging from Age UK to the Federation of Small Businesses. I understand that the Payments Council has announced the suspension of its proposal to abolish cheques, and I hope that it will take this petition as further support for that decision.

Following is the full text of the petition :

[ The Petition of Dr H. Gilthorpe and others,

Declares that the Petitioners are profoundly concerned by the abolition of cheques.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to encourage the Payments Council to reverse the decision to abolish cheques and maintain them as a method of payment for the foreseeable future .

And the Petitioners remain, etc. ]

[P000939]

EU Referendum

7.3 pm

Kate Hoey (Vauxhall) (Lab): I have great pleasure in bringing to the House the first of what I think will be many, many thousand petitions coming over the next few months on the importance of and need for a referendum on this country’s membership of the European Union. As many Members know, there is a growing

13 July 2011 : Column 426

campaign on that across the country, and I am very pleased that I am able to bring along some signatures that were collected in a very short space of time at the weekend in my constituency and in Lambeth. I believe that we will be seeing a lot more of these petitions over the coming months, as people in this country finally wake up and start campaigning to get a referendum, which is greatly needed, on whether we should stay in or leave the European Union.

The petition states:

The Humble Petition of constituents from London and others,

Sheweth that the Petitioners believe that the Government should allow the British people a referendum on the United Kingdom’s continued membership of the European Union.

Wherefore your Petitioners pray that your Honourable House urges the Government to bring forward legislative proposals to allow the British people a referendum on the United Kingdom’s continued membership of the European Union.

And your Petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray, &c.

[P000940]


Protection of Y Morfa (Prestatyn)

7.5 pm

Chris Ruane (Vale of Clwyd) (Lab): As a Welshman, Mr Deputy Speaker, you will be aware that y morfa is Welsh for marsh. Marshes are not ideal places to build, but nevertheless, some developers want to build on Y Morfa in Prestatyn, and the good people of Prestatyn are opposed to that.

The petition states:

The petition of residents of the Vale of Clwyd,

Declares that the petitioners support Chris Ruane MP’s call for Y Morfa, Prestatyn, Denbighshire to be protected from development in perpetuity; that the Petitioners regard it as important as a wetland area and wildlife habitat and the role it plays in protecting Prestatyn from flooding; and further declares that the Petitioners support Prestatyn and District Environmental Association’s proposal to have it designated green open space under the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Trust to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to strengthen measures to protect wetlands, public open space and areas at risk of flooding from future development.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.

[P000942]

Development on the Riverside Gardens, Erith

7.6 pm

Mr Deputy Speaker (Mr Nigel Evans): Showing the generosity of spirit of the House, I call Ms Teresa Pearce.

Teresa Pearce (Erith and Thamesmead) (Lab): I am extremely grateful, Mr Deputy Speaker.

I wish to present a petition on behalf of the members of the Friends of Riverside Gardens Erith group and other residents of the London borough of Bexley who support its campaign. The petitioners oppose plans by Bexley council to sell part of the Riverside gardens to developers, so that a tower block of flats can be built on the only riverside green space in Erith. The petitioners want the Riverside gardens to be designated as a town green, so that the only

13 July 2011 : Column 427

Thames riverside open space in Bexley is preserved, and they have my full support. The petition has 1,440 signatures.

The petition to the House of Commons states:

The Petition of residents of the London Borough of Bexley,

Declares that the petitioners oppose Bexley Council’s Erith Western Gateway plan to allow for blocks of flats to be built on part of the Riverside Gardens in Erith; that the Riverside Gardens were gifted to the people of Erith by the former coal company William Cory and Son for use by the local community; and that the Riverside Gardens should be designated a Town Green and protected as an open green space.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to allow for greater protection for green areas of particular importance to local communities in the Localism Bill, as outlined in his Department’s plan 2011-2015.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.

[P000938]

13 July 2011 : Column 428

Offshore Gambling and the Horseracing Levy

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

7.8 pm

Matthew Hancock (West Suffolk) (Con): It is an honour and a privilege to speak in this House on any day, but on a day like today, when the voice of the House has called so loudly, it is an honour indeed.

I shall speak about an issue that is extremely important to a large part of my constituency: offshore gambling and its relationship with horse racing. When they talk about hacking in Newmarket, they tend to be talking about something rather different to what the House was talking about earlier, because Newmarket is the global centre and headquarters of horse racing. Five thousand people employed in the town get their jobs and livelihoods directly or indirectly from the sport. That means that one third of employment is linked to the sport.

This is not just an issue for Newmarket, however; it is an issue for our whole country. I want to set out the argument that over the past few years, funding for horse racing has been in crisis and that the problem has in part been that those who make a profit from the sport through gambling have gone offshore to escape contributing to the sport on which they rely. I then want to propose action that the Government should take and set this in the wider context of changes that need to be made. We need to put this sport, which gives so much excitement to so many people, back on an even keel so that its funding is fair and secured for years to come.

Claire Perry (Devizes) (Con): I am grateful to my hon. Friend for raising this subject again in the House. As he knows, my constituency has a number of racing stables. I was recently at Richard Hannon’s stables in Herridge. It is not just the excitement that the sport brings; it is the employment that it provides for thousands of people across the country and the support that those people then bring to the rural community—to the shops and the pubs. It is an unbelievably important industry in so many of our constituencies. I commend my hon. Friend again for raising this important matter.

Matthew Hancock: My hon. Friend makes a typically passionate intervention. I am talking not just about the beauty and heritage of horse racing, but about jobs—not just those directly involved in the horse racing industry, but those in breeding, training and all the connected livelihoods that support the sport. I will give some examples of the problem. Over the past two or three years, funding of racing through the levy has declined rapidly.

Peter Aldous (Waveney) (Con): I congratulate my hon. Friend on securing this debate. Does he agree that the levy is long past its sell-by date, that all parties should try to come together to find an alternative and that that alternative, as far as offshore business is concerned, must be mandatory, not voluntary?

Matthew Hancock: My hon. Friend makes some important points. A future for the levy built on funding that is not onshore will be a system built like a house without foundations. Unless we deal with the problem of gambling going offshore before we tackle the wider

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problems of the levy, which is a broken system, we will not be able to build a strong and sustainable future for racing in this country. Over the past few years, the levy has fallen from £110 million to £59 million last year. We were delighted when the Minister announced that this year’s levy would be between £75 million and £80 million, but now, halfway through the season, it looks as though the levy contributions will in fact be less than £60 million—lower than last year—and will be lower still next year. Crucially, that means that prize money in British races is falling fast.

George Freeman (Mid Norfolk) (Con): I pay tribute to my hon. Friend’s leadership on this issue, and I would like to align my comments with those of my hon. Friend the Member for Devizes (Claire Perry). This sport is often referred to as the sport of kings—its more glamorous side is often the side seen by the public—but is it not also a vital part of the wider rural economy? As with so many other industries, its grass roots are essential to its continuation, and in fact the effect on prize money at the bottom is even more severe. Prizes are falling and small trainers and owners are struggling to maintain the industry.

Matthew Hancock: My hon. Friend makes an important contribution. Prize money is critical to the sport and its future, but it has fallen by almost a half in just the last two years. Also, betting duty—the tax that the Exchequer takes—has fallen from £420 million to £340 million, so it, too, is on the decline. I am a low-tax Tory, but I do not think that we were talking about that.

Simon Hart (Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire) (Con): What my hon. Friend is suggesting sounds like a good idea, but—he will have to forgive my ignorance here—can he assure me that it will not have an adverse effect on point-to-point racing, which is also a major contributor to local economies and provides great enjoyment to those who do not go to major race meetings?

Matthew Hancock: Absolutely, because almost all betting on point-to-point racing is on-course, and one cannot be both offshore and on-course at the same time. Point-to-point racing is a critical part of local and, especially, rural livelihoods. I know that my hon. Friend the Member for Hexham (Guy Opperman) would also like me to make the same point in his absence. He cannot be here because he is recovering from a serious illness, but he is an experienced point-to-point rider.

The levy, prize money and tax revenues are all falling sharply. Why is this? Over the past few years, more and more betting companies have moved offshore. Only two of our 19 biggest bookmakers are now onshore for tax and levy purposes. The previous Government did a deal with the gambling industry—they would not put the levy up, and in return the bookies would stay onshore—but the bookies have gone. I can understand their reason, because once one competitor has moved offshore and does not pay tax or the levy, the competitive pressure on others to move offshore becomes great. I have had many bookies come to me and say, “We would like a level playing field, because it isn’t fair to be driven offshore by competitors who are not paying tax when

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you are.” Today I would like to propose that instead of having what has essentially become a voluntary tax, we create that level playing field by ensuring that all gambling in the UK pays UK tax and the UK levy. Let us also make it a compulsory level playing field.

Richard Fuller (Bedford) (Con): I greatly appreciate my hon. Friend’s giving way, as well as the contributions by my hon. Friends from rural constituencies. I represent an urban centre, and he is making some excellent points about levelling the playing field, because another consequence of the levy falling into disrepair has been onshore betting shops siting gambling machines in their premises, which play to people’s addiction when they are gambling. It has had a detrimental impact on horse racing and played to addiction. Is that not another argument why his proposals are so important?

Matthew Hancock: It absolutely is, because bookies who go offshore for tax purposes also go offshore for regulatory purposes, and that means that all the high standards demanded by the British Horseracing Authority are not required of them. There have been instances of poor practice by bookmakers based elsewhere—for instance, in Gibraltar—who fall outside the regulatory practice in the UK. That is not necessarily because the bookie wanted to be outside the regulatory net; rather, they went because of the competitive pressure to reduce their tax and stop paying what had become a voluntary tax and a voluntary levy.

I come to the action that we need in the narrow sphere of offshore gambling. The case for action is strong, but what can we do? I propose a simple solution: we should make the requirement to pay tax and the levy in the UK part of a gambling licence. It is a simple change, but the consequence would be that no serious bookmaker could avoid what has become a voluntary tax, because they would be liable to the law of the land and would be unable to advertise in the UK. Indeed, they would also be unable to come to the UK, because what is currently tax avoidance would become tax evasion. My proposal is for a straightforward change that is being looked at in many other countries. Indeed, it has been enacted in Ireland, and a similar but bigger change has already been put through in France. In any other walk of life, we would not accept an industry choosing not to pay tax by moving headquarters offshore while continuing operations onshore in precisely the same way as before. Why should we allow the gambling industry to avoid tax in that way, when no one in this room could simply choose not to pay their income tax?

Claire Perry: I am sure that my hon. Friend is aware, given his wide experience of economic matters, that we have debates in the Chamber and elsewhere all the time on tax evasion in other industries. Indeed, the way in which we tax people whose main sphere of operation is in the UK, and the need to prevent the kind of tax-shifting mechanisms that so many companies use, form a big part of the political discussion. Is he saying that we need another simple mechanism to ensure that an industry that primarily gets its funding and its excitement from the UK market properly pays its taxes in that market?

Matthew Hancock: I agree wholeheartedly with my hon. Friend. We need to ensure that the foundations on which the funding of racing is built are strong. We can

13 July 2011 : Column 431

then go on to deal with the wider task of replacing the broken levy system, which the racing industry, the gambling industry and the Government do not like, with a commercial arrangement that recognises the contribution that racing makes to the product on which gambling bases its bets.

I have spoken before in the Chamber about the need for a racing right, and I was delighted to see that that is one of the three proposals in the consultation put forward by the Minister. I urge him to push in that direction. Before he does so, however, it is critical that we solve the problem of offshore gambling. From the romance of the misty gallops on a Newmarket morning through to the excitement of the finishing post, racing is threaded through the history of our country and through the history and culture of my constituency. Let not its future be built on sand; instead—

Peter Aldous rose—

Matthew Hancock: Instead, I shall give way.

Peter Aldous: My hon. Friend has put forward his proposal very eloquently. Does he agree that any solution must specifically address the issue of betting exchanges?

Matthew Hancock: My hon. Friend raises an important question. Betting exchanges should of course be brought onshore as part of the creation of a level playing field. We must also address the question of what constitutes a bet, for tax and levy purposes. I strongly believe that when two people interact to make a bet, that is a bet. We should go forward on that basis.

Mr Laurence Robertson (Tewkesbury) (Con): I congratulate my hon. Friend on raising this issue. As he knows, I represent Cheltenham race course, which I would argue is the greatest race course on earth, especially in the national hunt field. He is absolutely right to say that the levy is broken and needs to be replaced. Does he agree that its replacement, whatever it might be, should be based on a commercial arrangement so that there can be no room for manoeuvring or slippage? Should it not be a purely commercial arrangement, perhaps between bookmakers and race courses? Does he have that in mind as the best way forward?

Matthew Hancock: The future of the levy should be based on a commercial arrangement so that the Government do not constantly have to get involved, but that commercial arrangement must be based on the sale of a right to bet on a race. Otherwise, racing will be putting on something for nothing, and the gambling industry will be making a profit—which I support—using the input from racing for which it is not paying. So long as such a commercial arrangement was based on a contract relating to the sale of a right, I would support it.

Resolving this issue is critical to ensuring that we can build the future of racing on a sustainable foundation, so that this vital sport can be fully and properly funded and the people who run it and work in it can know that it has a strong, long-term future. In the name of racing, and of all those whom I represent and who support me, I urge the Minister to act.

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7.25 pm

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport (John Penrose): I join other colleagues in congratulating my hon. Friend the Member for West Suffolk (Matthew Hancock) on securing this debate on an important issue. It is a timely debate in that, as he mentioned, we are in the middle of a consultation process on how to move forward with the levy. My hon. Friend is also absolutely right to say that one of the major issues around the levy is the problem of offshore gambling. He has timed his debate beautifully; I shall try to address the points he raised.

I agree with everyone who has either spoken or intervened in the debate that it is common currency and commonly agreed that the levy as it currently stands is broken. It does not work. People on all sides—whether they are involved in the gambling industry or in racing—are pretty united in their criticism of the levy. The solutions they propose, however, are quite divergent, which is part of the political problem I face. I think that everyone is united at least in their critique of it. People often make three or four points, but they all revolve around the issue that my hon. Friend raised several times—that we need to create a level playing field. It is essential to do that.

The current levy fails to deliver a level playing field in a number of ways. It can be seen, first, in the comparison between onshore and offshore betting, as rightly and eloquently set out by my hon. Friend. I would not dream of disagreeing with his analysis of the problem; it is self-evidently true, and it is a problem that, I think, has grown steadily as the migration from onshore to offshore has taken place over the last five or more years.

The levy also fails to create a level playing field—in the minds of many, at least—between classic traditional bookmakers and betting exchanges. It would be wrong for the Government to try to play favourites between either of those two parts of the gambling industry. As a free-market Tory, I think that would be particularly wrong, but from the point of view of the levy, it is important to avoid any inbuilt bias one way or another between bookmakers or exchanges. At the moment, because these are two different kinds of businesses—they operate on a different kind of business model, with betting exchanges being much higher-volume and lower-margin organisations than traditional bookmakers—there is a great deal of disquiet about the absence of a level playing field between those different kinds of business within the gambling industry.

It would also be fair to say that the way in which the levy is currently set up and the levy board is required to operate is almost guaranteed to create an adversarial relationship between bookmaking or gambling in general and the racing industry. That cannot be helpful. If we could get the two sides to co-operate, we could achieve a unanimity of purpose in terms of trying to grow the total amount of interest in, and betting on, horse racing. With an adversarial relationship, it is extremely difficult for such productive discussions to take place.

Mr Andy Slaughter (Hammersmith) (Lab): I do not want to take much time out of the Minister’s response, but many of my constituents work for Betfair, which is based in my constituency. I know that the Minister has said some warm words about Betfair, which is voluntarily paying £6 million to the levy and is on record as saying

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that it believes the whole industry should contribute either to the levy or to whatever replaces it. I was a little concerned to hear the Minister say that there might be a distinction to be drawn between online firms and traditional bookmakers. It would be useful if he could put it on the record that the Government have no intention to make the customers of online betting firms such as Betfair subject to the levy, as some parts of the industry have indicated that they should be.

John Penrose: I am very happy to repeat my previous comments that it was extremely responsible, and extremely welcome, of Betfair to decide to make a voluntary contribution to the levy. That was a very responsible reaction from the company. I also echo the hon. Gentleman’s remarks in that I too wish that more offshore organisations of any kind would follow Betfair’s lead and behave in a similarly responsible fashion. As for whether people using betting exchanges should or should not pay the levy, that is precisely what we are in the middle of consulting on, so it would be rather premature for me to prejudge that. I know that organisations like Betfair and other betting exchanges are making strong representations as part of the consultation, which will, of course, be listened to extremely carefully for precisely that reason.

As my hon. Friend the Member for West Suffolk mentioned, we are in the middle of a consultation. We have ended a pre-consultation and are now digesting the results before starting an official consultation on the levy, which will be more broadly based. I shall quickly sketch out the three options under consideration.

The first option would involve relatively little change to the current levy, but would have the important benefit of removing politicians from the decision-making process. I cannot claim that that option offers to fix some of the other issues, such as that of offshore betting, but the requirement for extensive political lobbying from both sides would be reduced. That would be a step, although only a partial one, in the right direction. The suggestion has drawn relatively limited comments and contributions from both sides of the debate, but it is at least an option.

The second option, which I think my hon. Friend mentioned in passing, is effectively a voluntary or contractual arrangement between gambling and horse racing, along the lines mentioned by my hon. Friend the Member for Tewkesbury (Mr Robertson), who represents Cheltenham race course, an important part of the jump racing organisation. That option would involve a contractual arrangement between racing and the gambling industry, in which politicians would, by definition, have no direct involvement. We might help to broker the discussions leading to it, but it would be a private contractual deal, although the Gambling Commission might then require both sides to be party to the arrangement in order to be granted a gambling licence. That would provide back-up.

The third option on which we are consulting is the betting right, or racing right, which my hon. Friend the Member for West Suffolk suggested. That option is widely desired in the racing industry, although for perhaps obvious reasons the gambling industry is a great deal more concerned about it, and it has been sketching out the reasons for that concern in some detail, as is only fair and proper.

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I want to place on record that, as part of our pre-consultation arrangements, the Association of British Bookmakers has proposed an interesting fourth option, which we shall unveil in due course. It would be improper to breach the association’s confidence in that regard, but we will publish its proposal as another alternative. I mention that purely to illustrate that there is a great deal of involvement, engagement and creative thinking on all sides about how to square the difficult circle of fixing the levy in a way that will be sustainable and stable, that will provide a source of income that is fair to both the gambling industry and the racing industry, and that will be a stable solution for a long time to come—stable not only economically but politically, so that it will not require endless political intervention that would be regarded by other sports as alien and unexpected.

On my hon. Friend’s point about offshore gambling, I am delighted to be able to provide some breaking news. Tomorrow, a written ministerial statement will be tabled in the House—I trust that I am not breaking parliamentary rules by pre-announcing it in the House, as I cannot be accused of ignoring the House of Commons. I am delighted to announce that we intend to move, as fast as possible, towards a system that will, to a great extent, fix the problem of offshore betting. We will switch away from the current system, which has driven many bookmakers offshore for entirely understandable and logical commercial reasons, to one based on point of consumption rather than point of production. That rather arcane phrase means that anybody based anywhere in the world who wants to sell gambling services of any kind—this applies more broadly than to horse race betting alone—to any consumer of gambling services based in the UK, will in future have to have a Gambling Commission licence.

That gives rise to a number of important changes in the current arrangements. As I said earlier, it will apply not just to horse race betting—although it will obviously have implications for that—but to a far broader range of activities. It will apply to online poker, online roulette, and all the other gambling services that are provided. What is vital is that it will increase the amount of consumer protection for any punters in the United Kingdom who use those services. At present, those who use an online gambling service provided by a UK-based company already regulated by the Gambling Commission can be pretty sure that it is a reputable company which is properly looked after, and that they are therefore protected to the full extent of the law. A provider based offshore may also be regulated by a reputable jurisdiction, but it may not be. It is extremely hard to know where some of the websites are based, and it is just possible that someone might find that he was gambling with the equivalent of Arthur Daley Gambling, based off Tripoli, and that as a result he had very little consumer protection. We aim to fix that.

Matthew Hancock: I warmly welcome the Minister’s announcement, which will come as a huge relief to the racing world. I am also surprised and delighted by the speed with which I have received a response in policy terms, and by the Minister’s recognition of the pressure that exists. Will he tell us how much he thinks the reform will raise, and what impact it will have on the levy?

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John Penrose: I am afraid that I cannot do that, much as I would like to, for a couple of reasons. We are dealing first with consumer protection, and reform of the horse race betting levy will be a subsidiary issue. However, as my hon. Friend knows, we have stated explicitly that some of the three options in our pre-consultation document will require primary legislation in order to be feasible, and that will open the door to their feasibility.

The change that we propose will have other benefits. It will not just improve consumer protection; it will also

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help to level the regulatory playing field in the way that my hon. Friend has requested. It will improve our ability to deal with betting integrity, because it will be easier to capture information about potentially suspicious betting patterns and refer it to the relevant authorities as required.

7.38 pm

House adjourned without Question put (Standing Order No. 9(7)).

13 July 2011 : Column 437

Deferred Divisions

Equality

That the draft Equality Act 2010 (Work on Ships and Hovercraft) Regulations 2011, which were laid before this House on 13 May, be approved.

The House divided:

Ayes 316, Noes 233.

Division No. 323]

AYES

Adams, Nigel

Afriyie, Adam

Aldous, Peter

Amess, Mr David

Andrew, Stuart

Arbuthnot, rh Mr James

Bacon, Mr Richard

Baker, Norman

Baker, Steve

Baldry, Tony

Baldwin, Harriett

Barclay, Stephen

Barker, Gregory

Baron, Mr John

Barwell, Gavin

Bebb, Guto

Beith, rh Sir Alan

Benyon, Richard

Beresford, Sir Paul

Berry, Jake

Bingham, Andrew

Birtwistle, Gordon

Blackman, Bob

Blackwood, Nicola

Blunt, Mr Crispin

Boles, Nick

Bone, Mr Peter

Bradley, Karen

Brady, Mr Graham

Brake, Tom

Bray, Angie

Brazier, Mr Julian

Brine, Mr Steve

Brokenshire, James

Brooke, Annette

Browne, Mr Jeremy

Bruce, Fiona

Bruce, rh Malcolm

Buckland, Mr Robert

Burley, Mr Aidan

Burns, Conor

Burns, rh Mr Simon

Burrowes, Mr David

Burstow, Paul

Burt, Lorely

Byles, Dan

Cable, rh Vince

Cairns, Alun

Cameron, rh Mr David

Campbell, rh Sir Menzies

Carmichael, rh Mr Alistair

Carmichael, Neil

Carswell, Mr Douglas

Cash, Mr William

Chishti, Rehman

Clappison, Mr James

Clark, rh Greg

Clarke, rh Mr Kenneth

Clegg, rh Mr Nick

Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey

Clwyd, rh Ann

Coffey, Dr Thérèse

Collins, Damian

Colvile, Oliver

Cox, Mr Geoffrey

Crabb, Stephen

Crockart, Mike

Crouch, Tracey

Davies, David T. C.

(Monmouth)

Davies, Glyn

Davies, Philip

de Bois, Nick

Dinenage, Caroline

Djanogly, Mr Jonathan

Dorries, Nadine

Doyle-Price, Jackie

Duddridge, James

Duncan, rh Mr Alan

Duncan Smith, rh Mr Iain

Dunne, Mr Philip

Ellis, Michael

Ellison, Jane

Ellwood, Mr Tobias

Elphicke, Charlie

Eustice, George

Evans, Graham

Evans, Jonathan

Evennett, Mr David

Fabricant, Michael

Fallon, Michael

Featherstone, Lynne

Field, Mr Mark

Fox, rh Dr Liam

Francois, rh Mr Mark

Freeman, George

Freer, Mike

Fullbrook, Lorraine

Fuller, Richard

Gale, Mr Roger

Garnier, Mr Edward

Garnier, Mark

Gauke, Mr David

George, Andrew

Gibb, Mr Nick

Gillan, rh Mrs Cheryl

Glen, John

Goodwill, Mr Robert

Gove, rh Michael

Graham, Richard

Grant, Mrs Helen

Gray, Mr James

Grayling, rh Chris

Green, Damian

Griffiths, Andrew

Hague, rh Mr William

Halfon, Robert

Hames, Duncan

Hammond, rh Mr Philip

Hammond, Stephen

Hancock, Matthew

Hancock, Mr Mike

Hands, Greg

Harper, Mr Mark

Harrington, Richard

Harris, Rebecca

Hart, Simon

Haselhurst, rh Sir Alan

Heald, Oliver

Heath, Mr David

Hemming, John

Henderson, Gordon

Hendry, Charles

Hermon, Lady

Hinds, Damian

Hoban, Mr Mark

Hollingbery, George

Hollobone, Mr Philip

Holloway, Mr Adam

Hopkins, Kris

Horwood, Martin

Howarth, Mr Gerald

Howell, John

Hughes, rh Simon

Hunter, Mark

Huppert, Dr Julian

Hurd, Mr Nick

Jenkin, Mr Bernard

Johnson, Gareth

Jones, Andrew

Jones, Mr David

Jones, Mr Marcus

Kawczynski, Daniel

Kelly, Chris

Kennedy, rh Mr Charles

Kirby, Simon

Knight, rh Mr Greg

Kwarteng, Kwasi

Lamb, Norman

Lancaster, Mark

Latham, Pauline

Laws, rh Mr David

Lee, Dr Phillip

Leech, Mr John

Leslie, Charlotte

Letwin, rh Mr Oliver

Lewis, Brandon

Lewis, Dr Julian

Liddell-Grainger, Mr Ian

Lidington, rh Mr David

Lilley, rh Mr Peter

Lloyd, Stephen

Long, Naomi

Lord, Jonathan

Loughton, Tim

Luff, Peter

Lumley, Karen

Macleod, Mary

Main, Mrs Anne

Maude, rh Mr Francis

May, rh Mrs Theresa

Maynard, Paul

McCartney, Karl

McIntosh, Miss Anne

McLoughlin, rh Mr Patrick

McPartland, Stephen

McVey, Esther

Mensch, Louise

Menzies, Mark

Metcalfe, Stephen

Miller, Maria

Mills, Nigel

Milton, Anne

Mitchell, rh Mr Andrew

Moore, rh Michael

Mordaunt, Penny

Morgan, Nicky

Morris, Anne Marie

Morris, David

Morris, James

Mosley, Stephen

Mowat, David

Mulholland, Greg

Mundell, rh David

Munt, Tessa

Murray, Sheryll

Murrison, Dr Andrew

Neill, Robert

Newmark, Mr Brooks

Newton, Sarah

Nokes, Caroline

Norman, Jesse

Nuttall, Mr David

O'Brien, Mr Stephen

Offord, Mr Matthew

Ollerenshaw, Eric

Osborne, rh Mr George

Ottaway, Richard

Paice, rh Mr James

Parish, Neil

Patel, Priti

Paterson, rh Mr Owen

Pawsey, Mark

Penning, Mike

Penrose, John

Percy, Andrew

Perry, Claire

Phillips, Stephen

Pickles, rh Mr Eric

Pincher, Christopher

Poulter, Dr Daniel

Prisk, Mr Mark

Pugh, John

Randall, rh Mr John

Redwood, rh Mr John

Rees-Mogg, Jacob

Reevell, Simon

Reid, Mr Alan

Rifkind, rh Sir Malcolm

Robathan, rh Mr Andrew

Robertson, Hugh

Robertson, Mr Laurence

Rogerson, Dan

Rosindell, Andrew

Rudd, Amber

Ruffley, Mr David

Russell, Bob

Rutley, David

Sanders, Mr Adrian

Sandys, Laura

Scott, Mr Lee

Selous, Andrew

Sharma, Alok

Shelbrooke, Alec

Shepherd, Mr Richard

Simmonds, Mark

Simpson, Mr Keith

Skidmore, Chris

Smith, Miss Chloe

Smith, Henry

Smith, Julian

Smith, Sir Robert

Soubry, Anna

Spelman, rh Mrs Caroline

Spencer, Mr Mark

Stephenson, Andrew

Stevenson, John

Stewart, Bob

Stewart, Iain

Stewart, Rory

Streeter, Mr Gary

Stride, Mel

Stuart, Mr Graham

Sturdy, Julian

Swales, Ian

Swayne, Mr Desmond

Swinson, Jo

Swire, rh Mr Hugo

Syms, Mr Robert

Tapsell, Sir Peter

Teather, Sarah

Timpson, Mr Edward

Tomlinson, Justin

Tredinnick, David

Truss, Elizabeth

Turner, Mr Andrew

Tyrie, Mr Andrew

Uppal, Paul

Vaizey, Mr Edward

Vara, Mr Shailesh

Vaz, rh Keith

Vickers, Martin

Villiers, rh Mrs Theresa

Walker, Mr Charles

Wallace, Mr Ben

Walter, Mr Robert

Watkinson, Angela

Weatherley, Mike

Webb, Steve

Wharton, James

Wheeler, Heather

White, Chris

Whittaker, Craig

Whittingdale, Mr John

Wiggin, Bill

Willetts, rh Mr David

Williams, Mr Mark

Williams, Roger

Williams, Stephen

Williamson, Gavin

Willott, Jenny

Wilson, Mr Rob

Wollaston, Dr Sarah

Wright, Jeremy

Wright, Simon

Young, rh Sir George

Zahawi, Nadhim

NOES

Abrahams, Debbie

Alexander, rh Mr Douglas

Alexander, Heidi

Ali, Rushanara

Ashworth, Jon

Bailey, Mr Adrian

Bain, Mr William

Balls, rh Ed

Banks, Gordon

Barron, rh Mr Kevin

Beckett, rh Margaret

Begg, Dame Anne

Bell, Sir Stuart

Benn, rh Hilary

Benton, Mr Joe

Berger, Luciana

Betts, Mr Clive

Blackman-Woods, Roberta

Blenkinsop, Tom

Blomfield, Paul

Blunkett, rh Mr David

Bradshaw, rh Mr Ben

Brennan, Kevin

Brown, Lyn

Brown, rh Mr Nicholas

Brown, Mr Russell

Bryant, Chris

Buck, Ms Karen

Burden, Richard

Burnham, rh Andy

Byrne, rh Mr Liam

Campbell, Mr Alan

Campbell, Mr Ronnie

Caton, Martin

Chapman, Mrs Jenny

Clark, Katy

Clarke, rh Mr Tom

Coffey, Ann

Connarty, Michael

Cooper, Rosie

Cooper, rh Yvette

Corbyn, Jeremy

Creagh, Mary

Creasy, Stella

Cruddas, Jon

Cryer, John

Cunningham, Alex

Cunningham, Mr Jim

Curran, Margaret

Dakin, Nic

Danczuk, Simon

David, Mr Wayne

Davidson, Mr Ian

Davies, Geraint

Davis, rh Mr David

De Piero, Gloria

Dobbin, Jim

Docherty, Thomas

Donohoe, Mr Brian H.

Doran, Mr Frank

Dowd, Jim

Doyle, Gemma

Dromey, Jack

Dugher, Michael

Durkan, Mark

Eagle, Ms Angela

Eagle, Maria

Edwards, Jonathan

Efford, Clive

Elliott, Julie

Ellman, Mrs Louise

Engel, Natascha

Esterson, Bill

Evans, Chris

Farrelly, Paul

Field, rh Mr Frank

Fitzpatrick, Jim

Flello, Robert

Flint, rh Caroline

Flynn, Paul

Fovargue, Yvonne

Francis, Dr Hywel

Gapes, Mike

Gardiner, Barry

Gilmore, Sheila

Glass, Pat

Glindon, Mrs Mary

Goggins, rh Paul

Goodman, Helen

Greatrex, Tom

Green, Kate

Greenwood, Lilian

Griffith, Nia

Gwynne, Andrew

Hain, rh Mr Peter

Hamilton, Mr David

Hamilton, Fabian

Hanson, rh Mr David

Havard, Mr Dai

Hepburn, Mr Stephen

Heyes, David

Hilling, Julie

Hodge, rh Margaret

Hodgson, Mrs Sharon

Hood, Mr Jim

Hopkins, Kelvin

Hosie, Stewart

Howarth, rh Mr George

Hunt, Tristram

Irranca-Davies, Huw

James, Mrs Siân C.

Jamieson, Cathy

Jarvis, Dan

Johnson, rh Alan

Johnson, Diana

Jones, Graham

Jones, Helen

Jones, Mr Kevan

Jones, Susan Elan

Joyce, Eric

Keeley, Barbara

Kendall, Liz

Khan, rh Sadiq

Lammy, rh Mr David

Lavery, Ian

Lazarowicz, Mark

Leslie, Chris

Lewis, Mr Ivan

Lloyd, Tony

Llwyd, rh Mr Elfyn

Love, Mr Andrew

Lucas, Caroline

Lucas, Ian

MacNeil, Mr Angus Brendan

MacShane, rh Mr Denis

Mactaggart, Fiona

Mahmood, Shabana

Mann, John

Marsden, Mr Gordon

McCabe, Steve

McCann, Mr Michael

McCarthy, Kerry

McClymont, Gregg

McCrea, Dr William

McDonagh, Siobhain

McDonnell, Dr Alasdair

McDonnell, John

McFadden, rh Mr Pat

McGovern, Alison

McGovern, Jim

McGuire, rh Mrs Anne

McKechin, Ann

McKenzie, Mr Iain

McKinnell, Catherine

Meale, Sir Alan

Mearns, Ian

Michael, rh Alun

Miller, Andrew

Moon, Mrs Madeleine

Morden, Jessica

Morrice, Graeme

(Livingston)

Morris, Grahame M.

(Easington)

Mudie, Mr George

Munn, Meg

Murphy, rh Mr Jim

Murphy, rh Paul

Murray, Ian

Nandy, Lisa

Nash, Pamela

O'Donnell, Fiona

Onwurah, Chi

Osborne, Sandra

Owen, Albert

Paisley, Ian

Pearce, Teresa

Perkins, Toby

Phillipson, Bridget

Pound, Stephen

Qureshi, Yasmin

Raynsford, rh Mr Nick

Reed, Mr Jamie

Reynolds, Emma

Reynolds, Jonathan

Riordan, Mrs Linda

Ritchie, Ms Margaret

Robertson, Angus

Robinson, Mr Geoffrey

Rotheram, Steve

Roy, Lindsay

Ruane, Chris

Ruddock, rh Joan

Sarwar, Anas

Seabeck, Alison

Shannon, Jim

Sharma, Mr Virendra

Sheerman, Mr Barry

Sheridan, Jim

Shuker, Gavin

Skinner, Mr Dennis

Slaughter, Mr Andy

Smith, rh Mr Andrew

Smith, Angela

Smith, Owen

Spellar, rh Mr John

Straw, rh Mr Jack

Stringer, Graham

Stuart, Ms Gisela

Sutcliffe, Mr Gerry

Tami, Mark

Thomas, Mr Gareth

Timms, rh Stephen

Trickett, Jon

Turner, Karl

Twigg, Derek

Twigg, Stephen

Umunna, Mr Chuka

Vaz, Valerie

Walley, Joan

Watson, Mr Tom

Watts, Mr Dave

Weir, Mr Mike

Whitehead, Dr Alan

Wicks, rh Malcolm

Williams, Hywel

Williamson, Chris

Wilson, Phil

Wilson, Sammy

Winnick, Mr David

Winterton, rh Ms Rosie

Wishart, Pete

Woodcock, John

Wright, David

Wright, Mr Iain

Question accordingly agreed to.

13 July 2011 : Column 438

13 July 2011 : Column 439

13 July 2011 : Column 440

13 July 2011 : Column 441

That the draft Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties) Regulations 2011, which were laid before this House on 27 Jun, be approved.

The House divided:

Ayes 316, Noes 230.

Division No. 324]

AYES

Adams, Nigel

Afriyie, Adam

Aldous, Peter

Amess, Mr David

Andrew, Stuart

Arbuthnot, rh Mr James

Bacon, Mr Richard

Baker, Norman

Baker, Steve

Baldry, Tony

Baldwin, Harriett

Barclay, Stephen

Barker, Gregory

Baron, Mr John

Barwell, Gavin

Bebb, Guto

Beith, rh Sir Alan

Benyon, Richard

Beresford, Sir Paul

Berry, Jake

Bingham, Andrew

Birtwistle, Gordon

Blackman, Bob

Blackwood, Nicola

Blunt, Mr Crispin

Boles, Nick

Bradley, Karen

Brady, Mr Graham

Brake, Tom

Bray, Angie

Brazier, Mr Julian

Brine, Mr Steve

Brokenshire, James

Brooke, Annette

Browne, Mr Jeremy

Bruce, Fiona

Bruce, rh Malcolm

Buckland, Mr Robert

Burley, Mr Aidan

Burns, Conor

Burns, rh Mr Simon

Burrowes, Mr David

Burstow, Paul

Burt, Lorely

Byles, Dan

Cable, rh Vince

Cairns, Alun

Cameron, rh Mr David

Campbell, rh Sir Menzies

Carmichael, Neil

Carswell, Mr Douglas

Chishti, Rehman

Clappison, Mr James

Clark, rh Greg

Clarke, rh Mr Kenneth

Clegg, rh Mr Nick

Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey

Clwyd, rh Ann

Coffey, Dr Thérèse

Collins, Damian

Colvile, Oliver

Cox, Mr Geoffrey

Crabb, Stephen

Crockart, Mike

Crouch, Tracey

Davies, David T. C.

(Monmouth)

Davies, Glyn

de Bois, Nick

Dinenage, Caroline

Djanogly, Mr Jonathan

Dorries, Nadine

Doyle-Price, Jackie

Duddridge, James

Duncan, rh Mr Alan

Duncan Smith, rh Mr Iain

Dunne, Mr Philip

Edwards, Jonathan

Ellis, Michael

Ellison, Jane

Ellwood, Mr Tobias

Elphicke, Charlie

Eustice, George

Evans, Graham

Evans, Jonathan

Evennett, Mr David

Fabricant, Michael

Fallon, Michael

Featherstone, Lynne

Field, Mr Mark

Fox, rh Dr Liam

Francois, rh Mr Mark

Freeman, George

Freer, Mike

Fullbrook, Lorraine

Fuller, Richard

Gale, Mr Roger

Garnier, Mr Edward

Garnier, Mark

Gauke, Mr David

George, Andrew

Gibb, Mr Nick

Gillan, rh Mrs Cheryl

Glen, John

Goodwill, Mr Robert

Gove, rh Michael

Graham, Richard

Grant, Mrs Helen

Gray, Mr James

Grayling, rh Chris

Green, Damian

Griffiths, Andrew

Hague, rh Mr William

Halfon, Robert

Hames, Duncan

Hammond, rh Mr Philip

Hammond, Stephen

Hancock, Matthew

Hancock, Mr Mike

Hands, Greg

Harper, Mr Mark

Harrington, Richard

Harris, Rebecca

Hart, Simon

Haselhurst, rh Sir Alan

Heald, Oliver

Heath, Mr David

Hemming, John

Henderson, Gordon

Hendry, Charles

Hermon, Lady

Hinds, Damian

Hoban, Mr Mark

Hollingbery, George

Holloway, Mr Adam

Hopkins, Kris

Horwood, Martin

Hosie, Stewart

Howarth, Mr Gerald

Howell, John

Hughes, rh Simon

Hunter, Mark

Huppert, Dr Julian

Hurd, Mr Nick

Jenkin, Mr Bernard

Johnson, Gareth

Jones, Andrew

Jones, Mr David

Jones, Mr Marcus

Kawczynski, Daniel

Kelly, Chris

Kennedy, rh Mr Charles

Kirby, Simon

Knight, rh Mr Greg

Kwarteng, Kwasi

Lamb, Norman

Lancaster, Mark

Latham, Pauline

Laws, rh Mr David

Lee, Dr Phillip

Leech, Mr John

Leslie, Charlotte

Letwin, rh Mr Oliver

Lewis, Brandon

Lewis, Dr Julian

Liddell-Grainger, Mr Ian

Lidington, rh Mr David

Lilley, rh Mr Peter

Lloyd, Stephen

Llwyd, rh Mr Elfyn

Long, Naomi

Lord, Jonathan

Loughton, Tim

Luff, Peter

Lumley, Karen

Macleod, Mary

MacNeil, Mr Angus Brendan

Main, Mrs Anne

Maude, rh Mr Francis

May, rh Mrs Theresa

Maynard, Paul

McCartney, Karl

McLoughlin, rh Mr Patrick

McPartland, Stephen

McVey, Esther

Mensch, Louise

Menzies, Mark

Metcalfe, Stephen

Miller, Maria

Mills, Nigel

Milton, Anne

Mitchell, rh Mr Andrew

Moore, rh Michael

Mordaunt, Penny

Morgan, Nicky

Morris, Anne Marie

Morris, David

Morris, James

Mosley, Stephen

Mowat, David

Mulholland, Greg

Mundell, rh David

Munt, Tessa

Murray, Sheryll

Murrison, Dr Andrew

Neill, Robert

Newmark, Mr Brooks

Newton, Sarah

Nokes, Caroline

Norman, Jesse

O'Brien, Mr Stephen

Offord, Mr Matthew

Ollerenshaw, Eric

Osborne, rh Mr George

Ottaway, Richard

Paice, rh Mr James

Parish, Neil

Patel, Priti

Paterson, rh Mr Owen

Pawsey, Mark

Penning, Mike

Penrose, John

Percy, Andrew

Perry, Claire

Phillips, Stephen

Pickles, rh Mr Eric

Pincher, Christopher

Poulter, Dr Daniel

Prisk, Mr Mark

Pugh, John

Randall, rh Mr John

Redwood, rh Mr John

Rees-Mogg, Jacob

Reevell, Simon

Reid, Mr Alan

Rifkind, rh Sir Malcolm

Robathan, rh Mr Andrew

Robertson, Angus

Robertson, Hugh

Robertson, Mr Laurence

Rogerson, Dan

Rosindell, Andrew

Rudd, Amber

Ruffley, Mr David

Russell, Bob

Rutley, David

Sanders, Mr Adrian

Sandys, Laura

Scott, Mr Lee

Selous, Andrew

Sharma, Alok

Shelbrooke, Alec

Shepherd, Mr Richard

Simmonds, Mark

Simpson, Mr Keith

Skidmore, Chris

Smith, Miss Chloe

Smith, Henry

Smith, Julian

Smith, Sir Robert

Soubry, Anna

Spelman, rh Mrs Caroline

Spencer, Mr Mark

Stephenson, Andrew

Stevenson, John

Stewart, Bob

Stewart, Iain

Stewart, Rory

Streeter, Mr Gary

Stride, Mel

Stuart, Mr Graham

Sturdy, Julian

Swales, Ian

Swayne, Mr Desmond

Swinson, Jo

Swire, rh Mr Hugo

Syms, Mr Robert

Tapsell, Sir Peter

Teather, Sarah

Timpson, Mr Edward

Tomlinson, Justin

Tredinnick, David

Truss, Elizabeth

Tyrie, Mr Andrew

Uppal, Paul

Vaizey, Mr Edward

Vara, Mr Shailesh

Vaz, rh Keith

Vickers, Martin

Villiers, rh Mrs Theresa

Walker, Mr Charles

Wallace, Mr Ben

Walter, Mr Robert

Watkinson, Angela

Weatherley, Mike

Webb, Steve

Weir, Mr Mike

Wharton, James

Wheeler, Heather

White, Chris

Whittaker, Craig

Whittingdale, Mr John

Wiggin, Bill

Willetts, rh Mr David

Williams, Hywel

Williams, Mr Mark

Williams, Roger

Williams, Stephen

Williamson, Gavin

Willott, Jenny

Wilson, Mr Rob

Wishart, Pete

Wollaston, Dr Sarah

Wright, Jeremy

Wright, Simon

Young, rh Sir George

Zahawi, Nadhim

NOES

Abrahams, Debbie

Alexander, rh Mr Douglas

Alexander, Heidi

Ali, Rushanara

Ashworth, Jon

Bailey, Mr Adrian

Bain, Mr William

Balls, rh Ed

Banks, Gordon

Barron, rh Mr Kevin

Beckett, rh Margaret

Begg, Dame Anne

Bell, Sir Stuart

Benn, rh Hilary

Benton, Mr Joe

Berger, Luciana

Betts, Mr Clive

Blackman-Woods, Roberta

Blenkinsop, Tom

Blomfield, Paul

Blunkett, rh Mr David

Bone, Mr Peter

Bradshaw, rh Mr Ben

Brennan, Kevin

Brown, Lyn

Brown, rh Mr Nicholas

Brown, Mr Russell

Bryant, Chris

Buck, Ms Karen

Burden, Richard

Burnham, rh Andy

Byrne, rh Mr Liam

Campbell, Mr Alan

Campbell, Mr Ronnie

Cash, Mr William

Caton, Martin

Chapman, Mrs Jenny

Clark, Katy

Clarke, rh Mr Tom

Coffey, Ann

Connarty, Michael

Cooper, Rosie

Cooper, rh Yvette

Corbyn, Jeremy

Creagh, Mary

Creasy, Stella

Cruddas, Jon

Cryer, John

Cunningham, Alex

Cunningham, Mr Jim

Curran, Margaret

Dakin, Nic

Danczuk, Simon

David, Mr Wayne

Davidson, Mr Ian

Davies, Geraint

Davies, Philip

Davis, rh Mr David

De Piero, Gloria

Dobbin, Jim

Docherty, Thomas

Donohoe, Mr Brian H.

Doran, Mr Frank

Dowd, Jim

Doyle, Gemma

Dromey, Jack

Dugher, Michael

Durkan, Mark

Eagle, Ms Angela

Eagle, Maria

Efford, Clive

Elliott, Julie

Ellman, Mrs Louise

Engel, Natascha

Esterson, Bill

Evans, Chris

Farrelly, Paul

Field, rh Mr Frank

Fitzpatrick, Jim

Flello, Robert

Flint, rh Caroline

Flynn, Paul

Fovargue, Yvonne

Francis, Dr Hywel

Gapes, Mike

Gardiner, Barry

Gilmore, Sheila

Glass, Pat

Glindon, Mrs Mary

Goggins, rh Paul

Goodman, Helen

Greatrex, Tom

Green, Kate

Greenwood, Lilian

Griffith, Nia

Gwynne, Andrew

Hain, rh Mr Peter

Hamilton, Mr David

Hamilton, Fabian

Hanson, rh Mr David

Havard, Mr Dai

Hepburn, Mr Stephen

Heyes, David

Hilling, Julie

Hodge, rh Margaret

Hodgson, Mrs Sharon

Hollobone, Mr Philip

Hood, Mr Jim

Hopkins, Kelvin

Howarth, rh Mr George

Hunt, Tristram

Irranca-Davies, Huw

James, Mrs Siân C.

Jamieson, Cathy

Jarvis, Dan

Johnson, rh Alan

Johnson, Diana

Jones, Graham

Jones, Helen

Jones, Mr Kevan

Jones, Susan Elan

Joyce, Eric

Keeley, Barbara

Kendall, Liz

Khan, rh Sadiq

Lammy, rh Mr David

Lavery, Ian

Lazarowicz, Mark

Leslie, Chris

Lewis, Mr Ivan

Lloyd, Tony

Love, Mr Andrew

Lucas, Caroline

Lucas, Ian

MacShane, rh Mr Denis

Mactaggart, Fiona

Mahmood, Shabana

Mann, John

Marsden, Mr Gordon

McCabe, Steve

McCann, Mr Michael

McCarthy, Kerry

McClymont, Gregg

McCrea, Dr William

McDonagh, Siobhain

McDonnell, Dr Alasdair

McDonnell, John

McFadden, rh Mr Pat

McGovern, Alison

McGovern, Jim

McGuire, rh Mrs Anne

McKechin, Ann

McKenzie, Mr Iain

McKinnell, Catherine

Meale, Sir Alan

Mearns, Ian

Michael, rh Alun

Miller, Andrew

Moon, Mrs Madeleine

Morden, Jessica

Morrice, Graeme

(Livingston)

Morris, Grahame M.

(Easington)

Mudie, Mr George

Munn, Meg

Murphy, rh Mr Jim

Murphy, rh Paul

Murray, Ian

Nandy, Lisa

Nash, Pamela

Nuttall, Mr David

O'Donnell, Fiona

Onwurah, Chi

Osborne, Sandra

Owen, Albert

Paisley, Ian

Pearce, Teresa

Perkins, Toby

Phillipson, Bridget

Pound, Stephen

Qureshi, Yasmin

Raab, Mr Dominic

Raynsford, rh Mr Nick

Reed, Mr Jamie

Reynolds, Emma

Reynolds, Jonathan

Riordan, Mrs Linda

Ritchie, Ms Margaret

Robinson, Mr Geoffrey

Rotheram, Steve

Roy, Lindsay

Ruane, Chris

Ruddock, rh Joan

Sarwar, Anas

Seabeck, Alison

Shannon, Jim

Sharma, Mr Virendra

Sheerman, Mr Barry

Sheridan, Jim

Shuker, Gavin

Skinner, Mr Dennis

Slaughter, Mr Andy

Smith, rh Mr Andrew

Smith, Angela

Smith, Owen

Spellar, rh Mr John

Straw, rh Mr Jack

Stringer, Graham

Stuart, Ms Gisela

Sutcliffe, Mr Gerry

Tami, Mark

Thomas, Mr Gareth

Timms, rh Stephen

Trickett, Jon

Turner, Karl

Twigg, Derek

Twigg, Stephen

Umunna, Mr Chuka

Vaz, Valerie

Walley, Joan

Watson, Mr Tom

Watts, Mr Dave

Whitehead, Dr Alan

Williamson, Chris

Wilson, Phil

Wilson, Sammy

Winnick, Mr David

Winterton, rh Ms Rosie

Woodcock, John

Wright, David

Wright, Mr Iain

Question accordingly agreed to.

13 July 2011 : Column 442

13 July 2011 : Column 443

13 July 2011 : Column 444

13 July 2011 : Column 445

13 July 2011 : Column 446