7.2 pm

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (Stephen Williams): We have had 13 Back-Bench contributions to the debate.

10 Feb 2015 : Column 720

Most of them have been thoughtful and reasonable, with Members standing up for their constituents, as our electors would expect. We have heard a lot about different areas, including the reinterment of Richard III in Leicester and the lollipop people, if I may put it that way, in Birmingham. We heard about cities and counties. The speech I found most enjoyable was that of the hon. Member for Birmingham, Edgbaston (Ms Stuart), who addressed not only the history of her great city, but the future vision. There may be a face-off between her and my hon. Friend the Member for Beverley and Holderness (Mr Stuart) as to who can milk the cow most productively. As someone who grew up in a Welsh village surrounded by sheep, I will not offer any rural contribution.

What we heard from the Opposition Benches was long on what problems there are and how awful the position is, but had very little recognition of the fact that one of the reasons for the current difficulties is the situation that we inherited in 2010. A couple of Members looked through that rear-view mirror and were in almost complete denial about that legacy. That might have been understandable in 2011 or 2012, but at this point in the political cycle, 90 days before the country goes to the polls, we expected to hear more of the vision that the hon. Member for Birmingham, Edgbaston spoke about—the solutions to funding local government in the future.

Thanks to this Government’s policies of stabilising the economy, getting the public finances under control and rebalancing the economy, we are now seeing a better future for this country. Local government, like every part of the public sector, has made a significant contribution to getting to where we are. As my right hon. Friend the Member for Mid Dorset and North Poole (Annette Brooke) said, councillors from all parties should be congratulated on that. The Government continue to need to make difficult decisions to put the public finances on to a sustainable path. In that context, it is inevitable that councils, which account for a quarter of all public spending—this year they will spend about £115 billion-worth of taxpayers’ money—will have to operate with reduced budgets.

Let me assure the House that, contrary to claims that have been made, in this settlement, like those before it, councils with the greatest needs and the highest demand for services still get the most funding. Indeed, the 10% most deprived local authorities in England receive 40% more spending power per head than the 10% least deprived. Several questions were asked about different authorities. Let me take the top and the bottom as examples. Hackney is the most deprived local authority area in England, and its spending power per dwelling will be £3,706.89, while Hart—I am putting together the district and county services and comparing like with like—will receive £1,854.57. At the top and the bottom, we can see that need is still reflected within the system.

Mr Betts: Under the Government’s projections, in two years’ time, Sheffield, Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle will have lower spending power per head than Wokingham. Is that fair?

Stephen Williams: That would indeed seem rather odd on the face of it, but we are talking about the settlement now, not making projections about the future.

10 Feb 2015 : Column 721

What happens in future will be a matter for the next Government, in whatever configuration they are, and we will have to see where we are at that point.

Several hon. Members talked about additional resources for rural authorities. We recognise the challenges that those authorities may face in delivering services to their communities. My right hon. Friend the Member for Mid Dorset and North Poole and my hon. Friends the Members for Beverley and Holderness and for Newton Abbot (Anne Marie Morris) made a powerful case. We have listened, and that is why, for the ongoing settlement, we are adding £15.5 million for the most sparsely populated rural areas. My hon. Friend the Member for Beverley and Holderness said that poverty is found in rural areas as well as in urban areas. Indeed, the only area of the country that still has objective 1 funding from the European Union is Cornwall—not one of our big cities.

Mr Graham Stuart: I am grateful to my hon. Friend for his comments about rural areas. Labour Members have not said anything about unemployment. In the shadow Minister’s constituency, there has been a drop in unemployment of more than 60%. In Liverpool, Riverside, the figure is more than 45%. Contrary to what the hon. Member for Birmingham, Northfield (Richard Burden) said, long-term unemployment is also down in his patch. That is the reality that underlies this debate. That is what the Government are doing, though Labour Members said that there would be 1 million more unemployed. We have had to fix the mess that the previous Government left behind.

Stephen Williams: That is absolutely right. Contrary to the predictions made by the shadow Chancellor, in particular, that unemployment would sail to over 3 million and we would have disorder in the streets, it has in fact fallen dramatically, certainly in my constituency of Bristol West, where it is dramatically down on the 2010 figures.

We are providing an additional £74 million to support upper-tier authorities to help them to respond to local welfare needs and to improve social care provision. We have deliberately shifted the emphasis from keeping councils dependent on grant to providing them with the tools they need to grow and shape their local economies. For Britain to prosper, every part of the country needs to fulfil its potential. That will not happen if councils remain entirely dependent on Whitehall. We have set up a system that rewards councils that go for growth: those that are supporting businesses, attracting investment, and helping to create jobs. Councils that are open to new business will see the benefits of that growth through a retention of their business rates. Those that support new house building are rewarded through the new homes bonus. Many councils, of all parties, agree that these measures are having a positive impact on their ability to deliver better outcomes in their areas.

That is not all. Contrary to the impression that we are somehow drawing the heart out of local communities through this funding settlement, we have to see it in the context of resources that have been given to local areas. For instance, £12 billon is being given to local enterprise partnerships in England to spend on local economic priorities. Those growth deals will help to train young people, create thousands of new jobs, build thousands

10 Feb 2015 : Column 722

of new homes and start hundreds of infrastructure projects. We will have had six rounds of the regional growth fund, spending £2 billion helping innovative businesses to grow, and through the £90 million coastal communities fund, which also helps rural authorities, we are investing in jobs and growth in our coastal towns.

As well as growing their economies, the best authorities are transforming the way they do business. We are supporting them as they do so, achieving real savings and, importantly, improving outcomes for the people who use local services.

In November, we announced the latest round of successful bids to the transformation challenge award. We will provide about £90 million to support 73 projects that will improve services and ultimately save the public sector more than £900 million. Councils must demonstrate a readiness to learn from each other and from projects proven to develop change elsewhere.

We are committed to helping local places deliver more integrated local public services that improve outcomes for everyone. A good example of that is the better care fund in relation to health and social care. Initially we had hoped that £3 billion would be pooled locally, but we were pleased to see the figure increased to £5 billion. Several Members said that that was double counting, but that £5 billion, spent by the NHS and local government, is overseen by health and wellbeing boards, with local councillors taking the lead in shaping integration between social care and the national health service.

There can be no doubt that councils are rising to the challenge. Every council has issued a balanced budget this year. The majority of residents remain satisfied with the way their council runs things, which is testament to the great skill that authorities have shown; I pay tribute to them for all their efforts. Councils continue to have significant spending powers—as I have said, they have more than £112 billion this year—but they must satisfy local taxpayers that they are using every pound of their money to best effect to deliver efficient public services.

Finally, to rise to the challenge put down by the hon. Member for Birmingham, Edgbaston, I think that all three main parties in England are moving at different paces. My party probably got there first, in coalition, and our coalition colleagues have also embraced localism and regional growth. We see a strong future for local government—with cities driving their local economies and counties having the opportunity to do so, too—with more powers, more responsibility and an end to the situation where England is the most centralised state in Europe.

Question put.

The House divided:

Ayes 286, Noes 190.

Division No. 151]


7.13 pm


Adams, Nigel

Afriyie, Adam

Aldous, Peter

Amess, Sir David

Andrew, Stuart

Arbuthnot, rh Mr James

Bacon, Mr Richard

Baker, rh Norman

Baker, Steve

Baldwin, Harriett

Barclay, Stephen

Barker, rh Gregory

Barwell, Gavin

Bebb, Guto

Beith, rh Sir Alan

Bellingham, Mr Henry

Benyon, Richard

Beresford, Sir Paul

Binley, Mr Brian

Birtwistle, Gordon

Blackwood, Nicola

Blunt, Crispin

Boles, Nick

Bone, Mr Peter

Bottomley, Sir Peter

Bradley, Karen

Brady, Mr Graham

Brake, rh Tom

Brazier, Mr Julian

Bridgen, Andrew

Brine, Steve

Brooke, rh Annette

Browne, Mr Jeremy

Buckland, Mr Robert

Burns, Conor

Burns, rh Mr Simon

Burrowes, Mr David

Burstow, rh Paul

Burt, rh Alistair

Byles, Dan

Cable, rh Vince

Campbell, rh Sir Menzies

Carmichael, rh Mr Alistair

Carmichael, Neil

Chope, Mr Christopher

Clappison, Mr James

Clark, rh Greg

Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey

Coffey, Dr Thérèse

Collins, Damian

Colvile, Oliver

Cox, Mr Geoffrey

Crockart, Mike

Crouch, Tracey

Davey, rh Mr Edward

Davies, David T. C.


Davies, Glyn

Djanogly, Mr Jonathan

Dorrell, rh Mr Stephen

Doyle-Price, Jackie

Drax, Richard

Duncan, rh Sir Alan

Duncan Smith, rh Mr Iain

Dunne, Mr Philip

Ellis, Michael

Ellison, Jane

Ellwood, Mr Tobias

Elphicke, Charlie

Eustice, George

Evans, Graham

Evans, Jonathan

Evans, Mr Nigel

Evennett, Mr David

Fabricant, Michael

Fallon, rh Michael

Farron, Tim

Featherstone, rh Lynne

Field, Mark

Foster, rh Mr Don

Francois, rh Mr Mark

Freeman, George

Freer, Mike

Fuller, Richard

Gale, Sir Roger

Garnier, Sir 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

Grayling, rh Chris

Greening, rh Justine

Grieve, rh Mr Dominic

Griffiths, Andrew

Gummer, Ben

Gyimah, Mr Sam

Hague, rh Mr William

Halfon, Robert

Hames, Duncan

Hammond, Stephen

Hancock, rh Matthew

Hands, rh Greg

Harper, Mr Mark

Harrington, Richard

Harris, Rebecca

Hart, Simon

Haselhurst, rh Sir Alan

Hayes, rh Mr John

Heald, Sir Oliver

Heath, Mr David

Heaton-Harris, Chris

Henderson, Gordon

Hendry, Charles

Herbert, rh Nick

Hinds, Damian

Hoban, Mr Mark

Hollingbery, George

Hollobone, Mr Philip

Hopkins, Kris

Horwood, Martin

Howarth, Sir Gerald

Howell, John

Hughes, rh Simon

Hunt, rh Mr Jeremy

Hunter, Mark

Huppert, Dr Julian

Hurd, Mr Nick

Jackson, Mr Stewart

James, Margot

Javid, rh Sajid

Jenkin, Mr Bernard

Jenrick, Robert

Johnson, Gareth

Johnson, Joseph

Jones, Andrew

Jones, rh Mr David

Jones, Mr Marcus

Kawczynski, Daniel

Kirby, Simon

Knight, rh Sir Greg

Kwarteng, Kwasi

Lamb, rh Norman

Lancaster, Mark

Lansley, rh Mr Andrew

Leadsom, Andrea

Lee, Jessica

Lee, Dr Phillip

Leech, Mr John

Leslie, Charlotte

Letwin, rh Mr Oliver

Lewis, Brandon

Lewis, Dr Julian

Liddell-Grainger, Mr Ian

Lilley, rh Mr Peter

Lloyd, Stephen

Lopresti, Jack

Lumley, Karen

Main, Mrs Anne

Maude, rh Mr Francis

May, rh Mrs Theresa

McCartney, Jason

McCartney, Karl

McIntosh, Miss Anne

McLoughlin, rh Mr Patrick

McPartland, Stephen

McVey, rh Esther

Menzies, Mark

Metcalfe, Stephen

Miller, rh Maria

Mills, Nigel

Milton, Anne

Mitchell, rh Mr Andrew

Moore, rh Michael

Mordaunt, Penny

Morgan, rh Nicky

Morris, Anne Marie

Morris, David

Mosley, Stephen

Mowat, David

Mulholland, Greg

Mundell, rh David

Munt, Tessa

Murray, Sheryll

Murrison, Dr Andrew

Neill, Robert

Newmark, Mr Brooks

Nokes, Caroline

Norman, Jesse

Nuttall, Mr David

O'Brien, rh Mr Stephen

Offord, Dr Matthew

Ollerenshaw, Eric

Opperman, Guy

Paice, rh Sir James

Parish, Neil

Patel, Priti

Pawsey, Mark

Penning, rh Mike

Penrose, John

Percy, Andrew

Perry, Claire

Phillips, Stephen

Pickles, rh Mr Eric

Pincher, Christopher

Poulter, Dr Daniel

Prisk, Mr Mark

Pritchard, Mark

Raab, Mr Dominic

Randall, rh Sir John

Reckless, Mark

Redwood, rh Mr John

Rees-Mogg, Jacob

Reid, Mr Alan

Rifkind, rh Sir Malcolm

Robathan, rh Mr Andrew

Robertson, rh Sir Hugh

Robertson, Mr Laurence

Rogerson, Dan

Rosindell, Andrew

Russell, Sir Bob

Rutley, David

Sandys, Laura

Scott, Mr Lee

Selous, Andrew

Shapps, rh Grant

Sharma, Alok

Shelbrooke, Alec

Shepherd, Sir Richard

Simmonds, rh Mark

Simpson, Mr Keith

Skidmore, Chris

Smith, Chloe

Smith, Julian

Smith, Sir Robert

Soubry, Anna

Spelman, rh Mrs Caroline

Spencer, Mr Mark

Stanley, rh Sir John

Stephenson, Andrew

Stewart, Iain

Streeter, Mr Gary

Stride, Mel

Stuart, Mr Graham

Stunell, rh Sir Andrew

Sturdy, Julian

Swales, Ian

Swayne, rh Mr Desmond

Swire, rh Mr Hugo

Syms, Mr Robert

Thurso, rh John

Timpson, Mr Edward

Tomlinson, Justin

Tredinnick, David

Truss, rh Elizabeth

Turner, Mr Andrew

Uppal, Paul

Vaizey, Mr Edward

Vara, Mr Shailesh

Vickers, Martin

Walker, Mr Charles

Walker, Mr Robin

Walter, Mr Robert

Watkinson, Dame Angela

Webb, rh Steve

Wharton, James

Wheeler, Heather

White, Chris

Whittaker, Craig

Whittingdale, Mr John

Wiggin, Bill

Williams, Mr Mark

Williams, Roger

Williams, Stephen

Williamson, Gavin

Willott, rh Jenny

Wilson, Mr Rob

Wollaston, Dr Sarah

Wright, rh Jeremy

Wright, Simon

Yeo, Mr Tim

Young, rh Sir George

Tellers for the Ayes:

Lorely Burt


Mr Ben Wallace


Abbott, Ms Diane

Abrahams, Debbie

Alexander, rh Mr Douglas

Alexander, Heidi

Ali, Rushanara

Allen, Mr Graham

Anderson, Mr David

Ashworth, Jonathan

Austin, Ian

Bailey, Mr Adrian

Bain, Mr William

Barron, rh Kevin

Beckett, rh Margaret

Begg, Dame Anne

Benn, rh Hilary

Benton, Mr Joe

Berger, Luciana

Betts, Mr Clive

Blackman-Woods, Roberta

Blears, rh Hazel

Blenkinsop, Tom

Blomfield, Paul

Blunkett, rh Mr David

Bradshaw, rh Mr Ben

Brennan, Kevin

Brown, Lyn

Brown, rh Mr Nicholas

Brown, Mr Russell

Burden, Richard

Byrne, rh Mr Liam

Campbell, rh Mr Alan

Campbell, Mr Ronnie

Caton, Martin

Champion, Sarah

Chapman, Jenny

Clark, Katy

Coffey, Ann

Cooper, Rosie

Cooper, rh Yvette

Corbyn, Jeremy

Crausby, Mr David

Cruddas, Jon

Cryer, John

Cunningham, Alex

Cunningham, Mr Jim

Cunningham, Sir Tony

Danczuk, Simon

Darling, rh Mr Alistair

David, Wayne

De Piero, Gloria

Denham, rh Mr John

Donohoe, Mr Brian H.

Doran, Mr Frank

Dowd, Jim

Doyle, Gemma

Dromey, Jack

Eagle, Maria

Edwards, Jonathan

Efford, Clive

Elliott, Julie

Ellman, Mrs Louise

Esterson, Bill

Evans, Chris

Farrelly, Paul

Fitzpatrick, Jim

Flello, Robert

Flint, rh Caroline

Flynn, Paul

Fovargue, Yvonne

Francis, Dr Hywel

Galloway, George

Gapes, Mike

Gardiner, Barry

Glass, Pat

Glindon, Mrs Mary

Goodman, Helen

Green, Kate

Greenwood, Lilian

Gwynne, Andrew

Hain, rh Mr Peter

Hamilton, Mr David

Hancock, Mr Mike

Hanson, rh Mr David

Harman, rh Ms Harriet

Harris, Mr Tom

Healey, rh John

Hepburn, Mr Stephen

Hermon, Lady

Hillier, Meg

Hilling, Julie

Hodgson, Mrs Sharon

Hoey, Kate

Howarth, rh Mr George

Irranca-Davies, Huw

Jamieson, Cathy

Jarvis, Dan

Johnson, Diana

Jones, Graham

Jones, Helen

Jones, Mr Kevan

Jones, Susan Elan

Kane, Mike

Kaufman, rh Sir Gerald

Keeley, Barbara

Kendall, Liz

Khan, rh Sadiq

Lammy, rh Mr David

Lavery, Ian

Lazarowicz, Mark

Lewis, Mr Ivan

Love, Mr Andrew

Lucas, Caroline

Lucas, Ian

Mactaggart, Fiona

Mahmood, Mr Khalid

Mahmood, Shabana

Marsden, Mr Gordon

McCann, Mr Michael

McCarthy, Kerry

McClymont, Gregg

McDonald, Andy

McDonnell, John

McFadden, rh Mr Pat

McGovern, Alison

McGovern, Jim

McGuire, rh Dame Anne

McInnes, Liz

McKechin, Ann

McKenzie, Mr Iain

Meale, Sir Alan

Mearns, Ian

Miller, Andrew

Mitchell, Austin

Moon, Mrs Madeleine

Morden, Jessica

Morrice, Graeme


Morris, Grahame M.


Mudie, Mr George

Murphy, rh Mr Jim

Murphy, rh Paul

Murray, Ian

Nandy, Lisa

Nash, Pamela

O'Donnell, Fiona

Onwurah, Chi

Owen, Albert

Pearce, Teresa

Qureshi, Yasmin

Reed, Mr Jamie

Reed, Mr Steve

Reeves, Rachel

Reynolds, Emma

Reynolds, Jonathan

Robertson, John

Rotheram, Steve

Roy, Mr Frank

Ruane, Chris

Ruddock, rh Dame Joan

Sarwar, Anas

Sawford, Andy

Seabeck, Alison

Shannon, Jim

Sharma, Mr Virendra

Sheridan, Jim

Shuker, Gavin

Skinner, Mr Dennis

Slaughter, Mr Andy

Smith, Angela

Smith, Nick

Smith, Owen

Spellar, rh Mr John

Straw, rh Mr Jack

Stringer, Graham

Stuart, Ms Gisela

Thornberry, Emily

Timms, rh Stephen

Turner, Karl

Twigg, Derek

Twigg, Stephen

Vaz, Valerie

Walley, Joan

Watts, Mr Dave

Williams, Hywel

Williamson, Chris

Wilson, Phil

Winnick, Mr David

Winterton, rh Ms Rosie

Wood, Mike

Wright, David

Wright, Mr Iain

Tellers for the Noes:

Nic Dakin


Bridget Phillipson

Question accordingly agreed to.

10 Feb 2015 : Column 723

10 Feb 2015 : Column 724

10 Feb 2015 : Column 725

10 Feb 2015 : Column 726


That the Local Government Finance Report (England) 2015-16 (HC 1013), which was laid before this House on 3 February, be approved.

Local government finance


That the Referendums Relating to Council Tax Increases (Principles) (England) Report 2015–16 (HC 1014), which was laid before this House on 3 February, be approved.—(Kris Hopkins.)

deferred divisions

Motion made, and Question put forthwith (Standing Order No. 41A(3)),

That, at this day’s sitting, Standing Order No. 41A (Deferred divisions) shall not apply to the Motion in the name of Mr David Gauke relating to the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill: Money (No. 2).—(Damian Hinds.)

Question agreed to

Counter-terrorism and Security Bill: Money (NO.2)

Queen’s recommendation signified.


That, for the purposes of any Act resulting from the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill, it is expedient to authorise the payment out of money provided by Parliament of expenditure incurred under or by virtue of the Act by any Minister of the Crown in connection with any proceedings relating to temporary exclusion orders.—(Stephen Williams.)

Counter-terrorism and Security Bill: programme (NO.3)

Motion made, and Question put forthwith (Standing Order No. 83A(7)),

That the following provisions shall apply to the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill for the purpose of supplementing the Orders of 2 December 2014 (Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill (Programme)) and 6 January 2015 (Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill (Programme) (No. 2)):

Consideration of Lords Amendments

(1) Proceedings on consideration of Lords Amendments shall (so far as not previously concluded) be brought to a conclusion one hour after their commencement at today’s sitting.

10 Feb 2015 : Column 727

Subsequent stages

(2) Any further Message from the Lords may be considered forthwith without any Question being put.

(3) The proceedings on any further Message from the Lords shall (so far as not previously concluded) be brought to a conclusion one hour after their commencement.—(Mrs May.)

Question agreed to.

10 Feb 2015 : Column 728

Counter-terrorism and Security Bill

Consideration of Lords amendments

Mr Deputy Speaker (Mr Lindsay Hoyle): I must draw the House’s attention to the fact that financial privilege is involved in Lords amendments 1, 2, 9, 21 and 32. If the House agrees with them, I shall ensure that the appropriate entry is made in the Journal.

Clause 1

Seizure of passports etc from persons suspected of involvement in terrorism

7.27 pm

The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mrs Theresa May): I beg to move, that this House agrees with Lords amendment 1.

Mr Deputy Speaker: With this it will be convenient to take Lords amendments 2 to 39.

Mrs May: On the day the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill was last considered by this House, news of the appalling events in Paris and the brutal murders at the office of Charlie Hebdo were still unfolding. What followed was a two-day manhunt for those responsible, a horrific attack on a Jewish supermarket and further murders of innocent people. Those attacks were yet another reminder of the very grave threat we face from terrorism, a threat that we have discussed in this House on many occasions. I am certain that everyone in this House is committed to ensuring that the police, MI5 and others have the powers and capabilities they need to keep the public safe. That is why we brought forward the Bill and sought its swift progress through Parliament.

Since the Bill was sent to another place, it has been the subject of robust scrutiny. A number of substantial amendments have been made to ensure that these new powers will deliver the optimum capability for our agencies, and to reassure the public that they will be used appropriately and proportionately. They were all Government amendments, which were broadly welcomed by their lordships, and I hope and expect that they will find similar favour in this House. I will now turn to the amendments themselves.

Two amendments were tabled by the Government to part 1 chapter 1 of the Bill, which concerns the temporary seizure of travel documents from individuals reasonably suspected of wishing to travel overseas to engage in terrorism-related activity. Amendments 1 and 2 make provision for civil legal aid to be made available where appropriate at the hearings of applications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland to extend the 14-day time period in which an individual’s travel documents may be retained. This is an issue in which the Joint Committee on Human Rights took considerable interest. Legal aid is already available for judicial review proceedings in England and Wales, and in Northern Ireland, subject to individuals’ meeting the statutory means and merits tests.

Turning to temporary exclusion, as I have made clear to this House at earlier stages, the Government are absolutely committed to the appropriate and proportionate use of this power. As my hon. Friend the Minister for Security and Immigration indicated on Report, we carefully considered the constructive suggestions from David

10 Feb 2015 : Column 729

Anderson, the independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, on the matter of judicial oversight, and following that consideration, we tabled amendments to introduce oversight of the power in line with his recommendations. Specifically, the amendments propose the creation of a permission stage, before the imposition of a temporary exclusion order, and a statutory judicial review mechanism to consider the imposition of the order and any specific in-country requirements.

Pete Wishart (Perth and North Perthshire) (SNP): I thank the Secretary of State for giving way so early, but is not consideration of these issues the job of elected Members—those who bothered to go to the electorate—not that affront to democracy down the corridor whose Members have taken it upon themselves to form Government business?

Mrs May: The very reason we are debating the amendments is that the House has an opportunity to consider them, so the hon. Gentleman’s argument is completely false.

During the permission stage, the court would have the power to refuse permission for the order where prior permission was being sought, and in retrospective review cases, it would have the power to quash the order. During the statutory judicial review, the court would have the power not only to consider in detail and quash the specific in-country requirements placed on an individual, but to consider whether the relevant conditions for imposing the temporary exclusion order were and continued to be met. It could quash the whole order or direct that the Secretary of State revoke it. The amendments will ensure effective judicial scrutiny of the power, and I trust they provide sufficient reassurance to the House on this important issue.

Mr Dominic Grieve (Beaconsfield) (Con): That does provide me with the reassurance I sought at an earlier stage, and I am grateful to my right hon. Friend for having listened carefully to the representations made here and in another place. They are most welcome and I believe will add considerably to the Bill’s legitimacy.

Mrs May: I thank my right hon. and learned Friend for his comments and recognise that he raised these issues and questioned the original proposals when they were debated in this place.

Richard Fuller (Bedford) (Con): Alas, I am not quite at the same stage of happy reassurance as my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Beaconsfield (Mr Grieve). Will my right hon. Friend reassure me that the additional judicial step will not mean that, in the time we understand it will take for a return to be made, people can get back into the country while legal proceedings are ongoing? The purpose was to say to those with a family member subject to terrorist infiltration that if they went abroad it would be a one-way ticket. My concern is that this additional legal step might stop that in some cases.

Mrs May: As my hon. Friend will recall, we have retained the initial decision by the Secretary of State, but, as with the legal process for terrorism prevention

10 Feb 2015 : Column 730

and investigation measures, it would then be for the court to consider whether it was right for the Secretary of State to have taken that decision. That process would be followed and then the order would be served, so I do not think that the timing issue, which he is concerned about, would arise.

Jeremy Corbyn (Islington North) (Lab): If the person against whom the order is sought is outside UK jurisdiction, how would they appeal and what recompense would there be if the appeal is successful and the conviction quashed?

Mrs May: The whole point is that such people will be outside the country. The aim of a temporary exclusion order is to ensure that when they return to the UK, they do so on our terms, which is why their passport would not be available to them and they would have to be issued with temporary travel documents. As I indicated to my hon. Friend the Member for Bedford (Richard Fuller), the process of judicial oversight would have to be followed before the order is placed on the individual. As I said, these are important additions to the Bill reflecting the concerns expressed by right hon. and hon. Members at an earlier stage.

I now come to amendments 10 and 11, the aviation, shipping and rail security amendments, which provide for direct parliamentary scrutiny of an authority-to-carry or no-fly scheme made or revised by the Secretary of State. Any such scheme would be subject to the affirmative procedure. These amendments act on a recommendation made by the Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee.

Amendments 28 and 29 bring the aviation security powers in the relevant schedule into force on Royal Assent rather than at a later date by order. This includes strengthened powers to request information from the aviation industry and issue security directions, with a penalty regime to enforce them. The threat to aviation from terrorist groups is well documented and continues to evolve. We already work closely with foreign Governments and airlines, as well as UK operators, to make sure that the necessary security measures are in place and are being implemented effectively. These measures will enhance our ability to do so. I therefore hope the House will agree that it is right for these strengthened powers to be available at the earliest opportunity.

There was an extensive debate in the other place on the Prevent duty set out in chapter 1 of part 5. Most notably, debate took place on the potential impact on freedom of speech and academic freedom in universities. The Government listened to those concerns, and amendment 16 ensures that further and higher education institutions must, when carrying out the Prevent duty, have particular regard to the duty contained in section 43(1) of Education (No. 2) Act 1986 to secure freedom of speech.

Mr David Heath (Somerton and Frome) (LD): I hope to say a few words on this subject later if I get the opportunity to do so, but will the Home Secretary tell me whether subsection (3) of the new clause proposed by amendment 16, which applies the duty to ensure freedom of speech and academic freedom to the Secretary

10 Feb 2015 : Column 731

of State herself in drawing up the guidance, will have a material effect on the draft guidance she has already issued?

Mrs May: As my hon. Friend knows, the draft guidance has been subject to consultation. We received a significant number of responses to the draft guidance, and we are going through those responses in order to make changes as appropriate. The point of building this directly into the Bill is that it makes it very clear to those exercising this duty that we are introducing for universities under Prevent that they must have “particular regard”, as it says, to the issues of freedom of speech and academic freedom. This makes it absolutely clear that the Prevent duty is not overriding, to put it that way, the academic freedom that we all accept our universities should have.

Robert Neill (Bromley and Chislehurst) (Con): Can the Home Secretary assure me that when she considers the responses to the consultation, the final document will be so cast that it does not, albeit inadvertently, impede the work of genuine, benign and well-intentioned student bodies such as Christian unions and other groups that are active within our universities?

Mrs May: I can give my hon. Friend that assurance. There is no intention to make any impact on the sort of benign organisation to which he refers.

Nicola Blackwood (Oxford West and Abingdon) (Con): The Home Secretary is generous in giving way on this point. I am sure she can understand the concerns raised locally with me, a university MP, and I welcome the renewed emphasis on freedom of speech and on the stronger scrutiny for Parliament in amendment 16. Can she assure me that the guidance will be sufficiently clear for universities to have no uncertainty about their responsibilities under the new legislation?

Mrs May: I thank my hon. Friend for giving me an opportunity to make it absolutely clear that we intend the guidance to be clear. We have produced the guidance for consultation; as I said, we are considering the responses to it; and we are looking at areas where we need to clarify the guidance. It is important for universities, notwithstanding academic freedom and the need to secure freedom of speech, also to recognise the duty of care they have to students. That is why I believe it absolutely right for universities to be within this legislation and within the Prevent duty that is being put into statute. We will, of course, make the guidance clear, so that universities can operate appropriately.

Mark Field (Cities of London and Westminster) (Con): I very much agree with my right hon. Friend’s view on the issue of freedom of speech. Vice-chancellors and others who are in control of our universities are worried about their ongoing duties, so can we ensure that the guidance will not fall into place and further duties will not be placed on our universities until such time as the clarity of the guidance is manifest, even if that means waiting for a further academic year?

Mrs May: There is a reason why we are putting the Prevent duty on a statutory basis, and there is a reason why the Bill has gone through Parliament slightly more quickly than would normally be the case. We have made

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it clear that we have issued guidance for consultation, and that we will respond to the consultation and revise the guidance. We have also made it clear, in the amendments, the particular regard that universities must have to freedom of speech and academic freedom. However, as I have said, I think that universities must also recognise their duty of care to students. I hope that, if students are being radicalised on their campuses, universities will get to know about it and take some action.

Several hon. Members rose

Mrs May: I have been very generous in giving way, and I should now like to make a little more progress. Let me simply say to my hon. Friend the Member for Cities of London and Westminster (Mark Field) that the duty is that which is in the legislation, and that the guidance will be revised in accordance with our response to the consultation. The Secretary of State will also be required to have particular regard to freedom of speech and academic freedom when issuing guidance, or when giving a direction to an educational body that has failed to discharge the duty.

Lords amendment 17 allows the Secretary of State to nominate suitable monitoring authorities for further and higher education institutions, and obliges relevant bodies to provide them with such information as they require, including information about the steps being taken to improve performance. We fully expect institutions to co-operate with the authorities, but there may be rare cases in which institutions do not co-operate. Lords amendment 18 provides for the Secretary of State to give directions to relevant further and higher education bodies when they have failed to supply information, and the Secretary of State can, if necessary, seek a mandatory order from the court to enforce any such directions. Lords amendments 14 and 15 provide that the guidance underpinning the duty will be subject to the affirmative procedure, which will ensure further scrutiny of it before it takes effect.

There are a number of more minor amendments to this part of the Bill and the corresponding schedules. Lords amendments 12 and 13 would ensure that, if further bodies are made subject to the Prevent duty in the future, there will be greater flexibility to make it possible to focus on particular functions of the authorities, while Lords amendment 19 makes it clear that functions exercised outside Great Britain are not subject to the duty. Lords amendments 34 to 39 tidy up entries in the schedules listing the Prevent specified authorities and the Channel panel partners. Lords amendments 26 and 30 allow the Government to amend those schedules by order at any time after Royal Assent, subject to Parliament’s approval of the changes.

The amendments to part 7 relate to the remit of the independent reviewer of terrorism legislation and his relationship with the proposed privacy and civil liberties board. They reflect the extensive debate that has taken place in both Houses, and the views that have been expressed by David Anderson QC. Lords amendments 21, 22, 25 and 27 make changes to the statutory remit of the independent reviewer to include areas of counter-terrorism legislation that are currently not subject to independent oversight. They also allow for a greater degree of flexibility in the reporting arrangements relating to the Acts that are within his purview. Lords amendments 23

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and 24 make it clear that the independent reviewer will chair the privacy and civil liberties board, which in turn will operate under his direction and control.

Dr Matthew Offord (Hendon) (Con): I have received several e-mails from constituents who are worried about the speed with which the Bill will be implemented. The Home Secretary has allayed some of my fears, which will enable me to support the Bill, but will she tell us more about the policy and civil liberties board, and about when it will come into effect?

Mrs May: I will say a little more about the board later in my speech, but I can tell my hon. Friend that, as certain matters will have to be dealt with, it will not come into effect in the immediate future. As for the amount of time that has been given to the Bill, it has indeed had a faster track through Parliament than a normal Bill, with the agreement of the Opposition. There has, however, been considerable debate both in the House of Commons—and the Committee stage was taken on the Floor of the House—and in another place. Yesterday, during the final debate in another place, a number of their lordships expressed their gratitude for the amount of time that had been made available and the amount of scrutiny that had taken place. So I think there has been sufficient scrutiny.

7.45 pm

While I recognise that concerns have been expressed about the privacy and civil liberties board, it is worth reflecting on David Anderson’s most recent comments on these matters:

“if skilled and practical people are appointed to the Board, content to work under the Reviewer’s direction, the capacity for independent review will be improved.”

I should also draw the attention of hon. Members to his acknowledgement published on his website and dated 31 January that

“the Government has listened to what I have been saying, and put forward changes which should significantly improve the ability of the Independent Reviewer to do an effective job.”

Julian Smith (Skipton and Ripon) (Con): On the point of people’s concerns about privacy, we now have a Select Committee, which has done a detailed report on Lee Rigby and has shown it is scrutinising Parliament and the intelligence services, and we now have the civil liberties board. We have tremendous oversight in this country, and is it not now time that we say we have got good control of our intelligence services and we need to let them get on and do the job?

Mrs May: My hon. Friend makes an important point. Our country has one of the strictest legal structures for dealing with these kinds of matters. We also have significant oversight through the role of the various commissioners and the independent reviewer of terrorism legislation and through the enhanced capabilities of Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee, which has, through its Woolwich report, shown how it can use those powers to scrutinise in detail what has taken place and report to the public. Our intelligence agencies do a very good job for us every day of the week, and we need to ensure they can carry on doing that job with appropriate oversight, which I think we have in place.

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On the privacy and civil liberties board, as I said in response to my hon. Friend the Member for Hendon (Dr Offord), there is further work to be done because we have to consider the responses to the recent consultation on it before bringing forward regulations to establish the board, but I trust the amendments we have made will reassure the House about the Government’s approach to these important issues.

The range and significant nature of these amendments demonstrates the approach that the Government have taken on this Bill. With the support of the official Opposition, we have agreed a timetable to ensure that it will be enacted at the earliest opportunity, but we have also ensured that our proposals have been subjected to robust analysis, and we have listened to the full range of views from all sides of both Houses. The Bill has certainly benefited from that scrutiny.

I welcome the fact that these measures have broad cross-party support, and I am grateful to all hon. Members, and particularly the Opposition Front Bench, for the constructive approach that they have taken throughout our consideration of this Bill.

As I have made clear previously, we are in the middle of a generational struggle against a deadly terrorist ideology. The first duty of Government is to keep the people of Britain safe and this Bill will help us to do so. The amendments made in the Lords will improve the provisions, and strike the right balance between our rights to privacy and security. I invite the House to agree them, so that we can enact this legislation without any further delay.

Mr David Hanson (Delyn) (Lab): We, too, welcome the Lords amendments. The Home Secretary was right to commence her remarks by reminding the House of the events in Paris and the ever-present threat of terrorist activity on these shores. It is for that reason that we took a constructive approach to the Bill; we believe there is a threat, and it needs to be effectively managed, and we in Her Majesty’s Opposition give the Home Secretary the support she needs for the work of the police, MI5 and others, which she has sought to give extra powers to in this Bill.

We are also keen to respond to the positive comments made last year by David Anderson, the reviewer of terrorism of legislation. We are grateful that the Home Secretary has listened to the comments made by Mr Anderson, and indeed by the other place.

The Bill was introduced into this House at the end of November. There was no pre-legislative scrutiny or public consultation on most of its provisions and it finished its Commons stages on 7 January. I understand why the Home Secretary has moved quickly on these matters, but the fact that 39 amendments were made in another place and have come to this Chamber shows that some serious issues have had to be reflected on during the passage of the Bill.

We welcome the thrust of the amendments made by the Government, because they are a series of concessions to points made not only in another place—I take the point made by the hon. Member for Perth and North Perthshire (Pete Wishart) about that—but in this House.

Julian Smith: Does the right hon. Gentleman regret, as I do, that the amendments tabled by the noble Lord King that sought to bring back the draft Communications

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Data Bill, or all the elements of it, did not make it back to this House? Does he agree that we need to move forward with that as soon as possible?

Mr Hanson: We need to look at and deal with that issue. Five years ago, in my last year as a Minister in the Home Office, I was briefed as the Minister for Policing, Crime and Counter-Terrorism on the need for such a Bill, so we do need to examine the matter. Whoever wins the election in some weeks’ time, the next Parliament will have to return to that issue. In fact, I think it would have returned to it in this Parliament had it not been for the Liberal Democrats—but let us not find division where there is none this evening.

We welcome the measures agreed to by the Home Secretary. We need strong terrorism powers and to accept that the rise of ISIL and associated groups represents an exceptional threat, but we also need to look at how we manage such powers within the confines of ensuring that we uphold the principles of democracy in this country. On the temporary exclusion orders, therefore, we welcome the principle of judicial oversight being accepted following amendments in another place. In this House on 2 December the shadow Home Secretary, my right hon. Friend the Member for Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford (Yvette Cooper), rightly pointed out that there was such judicial oversight for terrorism prevention and investigation measures, and stated that we would be tabling amendments on that very principle. The Home Secretary said to me in Committee on 15 December that such oversight was not necessary and that for her to have the power to make that decision should suffice.

Not only Opposition Members but Government ones, such as the right hon. and learned Member for Beaconsfield (Mr Grieve), the hon. Member for Cities of London and Westminster (Mark Field) and others, made the point that we need to uphold democracy and the right of appeal and oversight at the same time as tackling the threat head on. The debate continued on Report and, indeed, the Opposition tabled an amendment to achieve the objectives that the Government are now accepting following amendments in another place. Both Government parties voted against the earlier Labour amendment, but now support proposals that, broadly speaking, do exactly the same thing. It is a significant U-turn by the Government, but welcome all the same. The case for judicial oversight has been clear all along, and the conditions now in place are welcome.

Her Majesty’s Opposition also fully support the Prevent strategy changes made by the Home Secretary this evening. Labour developed Prevent when in government, and my right hon. Friend the Member for Salford and Eccles (Hazel Blears) was key to that at the time. It is important for us to have a statutory basis for Prevent. The Bill introduces the obligation on public bodies to implement Prevent and to follow statutory guidance. We supported that in principle, but, again, we made it clear that we wanted to press strongly on the guidance, on the nature and drafting of which my hon. Friend the Member for Kingston upon Hull North (Diana Johnson) made some key comments. We tabled some amendments, which the Government have now accepted, on the guidance being subject to parliamentary approval. That amendment was drafted by the Labour party and supported by Universities UK. We also supported in another place specific protection for universities’ obligation to uphold

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freedom of belief. I welcome the fact that my hon. Friend made those points, that Labour Members have made the points in another place, that the House of Lords has agreed the amendments and that the Government have now accepted them.

We support the creation of the privacy and civil liberties board, but there was significant confusion about its role as introduced in the Commons. Yet again, we raised that issue in this place and in another place, and the Government have now accepted some of the points made and have clarified, particularly, the interaction of the board and the independent reviewer. That will address some of the capacity problems faced by the independent reviewer.

It is also important that we have accepted the amendments on the authority-to- carry scheme. That is a vital power but most of the detail and how it will impact carriers has been left to secondary legislation. The Government have now accepted that these detailed regulations will need to have proper parliamentary scrutiny, and, again, that is welcome.

There was not a great deal of division between the Government and us on the principles of the Bill before it left this place, but we did want to see some strengthening, and those strengthening measures have been put in place. I wish not only to pay tribute to my hon. Friend the Member for Kingston upon Hull North and my right hon. Friend the Member for Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford for raising those issues here, but to thank Lord Rosser and Baroness Smith of Basildon for raising and dealing with those issues in another place. Serious consideration has been given in the House of Lords and this Bill is the better for it. I am pleased that the Home Secretary has accepted those amendments, and she will have our support on them tonight and on the implementation of the Bill in due course.

Several hon. Members rose—

Mr Deputy Speaker (Mr Lindsay Hoyle): May I just say to Members that we do not have much time, but if we can be brief, we will get every Member in?

Mr Heath: As I said on Report, it is extraordinarily difficult to get the balance exactly right between the security of the citizen and of the realm and the accretion of powers by the state. I pay tribute to the Home Secretary and her colleagues in the Department for listening carefully to the things said about this Bill by Members on both sides of the House. All the amendments we have received from the other place, many of them stimulated by our discussions in this House and now back before us, improve the Bill rather than make it worse. That is not to say that there are not areas where I might have gone a little further than the Government amendments in the Lords, but let us recognise that it has been improved.

I particularly welcome—this was the deal breaker—the introduction of judicial oversight of the temporary exclusion orders. I honestly do not understand why the right hon. Member for Delyn (Mr Hanson) believes it would be better for the House to have supported an Opposition amendment that was inadequate to the task rather than the Home Office’s own amendment, which we were promised on Report and which has now been produced in the Lords.

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Mr Hanson: The reason I made a point of that was not about the amendment, but about the principle of the amendment initially, which is important.

Mr Heath: That is not the way Third Reading and Report work; what we put into the Bill then is the Bill—it is not a question of principle at that stage. The principle was that the Home Secretary accepted our arguments, she has brought this back and I am grateful to her. I am also grateful to her for the changes to the privacy and civil liberties board.

The one area where we still have a mess, despite the welcome improvements, is on the draft guidance on places of higher education. Of course I welcome the explicit references now in the Bill to “freedom of speech” and “academic freedom”, but introducing those as something to which both the universities and the Home Secretary need to have particular regard means that we have an incomplete hierarchy of priorities between that and the guidance in the draft guidance. That makes it difficult for vice-chancellors and others to assess exactly where their duties lie.

The saving grace lies in amendment 14, which means that the guidance will come before this House for consideration. The reason I specifically asked the Home Secretary what changes she would make to the draft guidance as a consequence of subsection (3) of the new clause in amendment 16 is that there is a clear implication, if that means anything at all, that there will be changes made on that basis. It cannot simply be done in response to the consultation process; there needs to be something that emerges from that process. I look forward to seeing the draft guidance revisited, reissued and then coming before this House for final decision. However, I make a plea to the Home Secretary not to have something that is too bureaucratic or to have hurdles that are impossible for large universities to jump. I have to say that I would be quite incapable of telling a university at which I was speaking what I was going to say two weeks in advance—I do not know what I am going to say when I stand up to make a speech.

Dr Julian Lewis (New Forest East) (Con): Or even afterwards.

Mr Heath: Indeed. I really do hope that we have something that is workable, that addresses specifically, and on a risk basis, the issues that the Home Secretary seeks to address, and that does not introduce a duty that is inaccessible.

Mrs May: Perhaps I can give my hon. Friend a little further reassurance. My noble Friend Lord Bates made it clear in the other place that we would be amending the guidance, and I have made that clear, too. This issue of speakers providing two weeks’ notice of what they are going to say is precisely something that we will clarify as not necessary.

Mr Heath: That is a very helpful reassurance from the Home Secretary. I am grateful to her for what she has said. On that basis, I shall now sit down.

8 pm

Hazel Blears (Salford and Eccles) (Lab): First, I should like to place on the record my thanks to the Minister for Security and Immigration, the hon. Member for

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Old Bexley and Sidcup (James Brokenshire), who is not in his place this evening, for his conduct of the debate on this Bill; he has been open, inclusive and generous. Very often, he has listened and genuinely responded to the points that all Members have made. I also wish to thank him for coming to a roundtable discussion that I organised two weeks ago. He made an excellent contribution among a group of academics, practitioners and people from think-tanks about how we can do some practical work around tackling extremism and radicalisation. I will let him have a report of that discussion this week, and I look forward to continuing the dialogue with Government about what we can do in practical terms to make this situation better than it is at the moment.

I wish to comment briefly on amendments 14 and 16, which relate to part 5 of the Bill and the Prevent programme. Like every other Member, I welcome amendment 14, which provides for parliamentary scrutiny of the guidance. I am delighted that the Government have now accepted that. It will be through the affirmative resolution procedure, and it will enable proper detailed scrutiny and debate of the matters that are in the guidance.

I have now had the opportunity to read the guidance. On Second Reading and in Committee, I kept saying to the Minister, “When will we see the guidance?” He implored me to be patient, saying that the issues I was raising would be addressed in that guidance. Well, I have been as patient as I can be, but I remain concerned about two issues that the guidance seeks to address. The first matter I raised in debate was that much of the Bill is couched in terms of dealing with individuals who are in danger of being radicalised and drawn into terrorism. There was very little, if anything, about the need to work on a broader basis with communities to build the resilience of communities to the extremist message and to galvanise communities into being actively engaged on this agenda. I am afraid that the guidance, as I have read it, is still completely focused on individuals.

This afternoon, I read the guidance in great detail, even to the point where I did a word search on it. It is 39 pages long and has 178 paragraphs and—I hesitate to say this to the House—the words “parent” and “family” do not appear once in that guidance. I would that thought that families and parents are absolutely on the front line of trying to prevent our young people from being drawn into extremism. I know that the Home Secretary will know that mothers, sisters and women in those communities can play a life-changing role in safeguarding the future of our young people, and yet nowhere in the guidance is there any mention of families and parents.

Nicola Blackwood: The right hon. Lady is making a very important argument about increasing community resilience. Does she agree that one of the most important ways that we can do that is by improving critical engagement with online content, which is one of the most pervasive forms of radicalisation?

Hazel Blears: I absolutely agree with the hon. Lady that online radicalisation has become increasingly important as technology has developed. Many young people are drawn into the most horrific websites and see the most horrendous content, which inevitably affects how they view these issues. I personally believe that the service

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providers have a great responsibility on this agenda and would like them to be much more active. Google, for example, has done some excellent work on gangs and I would like to see it replicate that work for the counter-terrorism agenda. We need a more inclusive conversation with the service providers on all these issues.

Richard Fuller: Does the right hon. Lady agree that we should not focus too much on the individual, as it is that individual who is at risk and who cannot put the circumstances into context in making decisions? Secondly, does she agree that communities are dispersing around the country and if we do not equip families to have those conversations, the strategy will not be as effective as it could possibly be, given those changes?

Hazel Blears: I agree, and I do not think that the two are mutually exclusive. We need to tackle individuals and we need action plans for individuals, but individuals live in families and in communities. We therefore need a much more holistic engagement programme.

Dr Julian Lewis: Unfortunately, the right hon. Lady is stepping down as a Member of this House very soon and I only hope that her voice will not be stilled on such topics in other arenas. Does she agree that although there has been a welcome change in that Ministers from the Prime Minister downwards are now talking about the underlying perverted ideology at the root of radicalisation, we need to back up that new rhetoric with arrangements to counter that perverted ideology?

Hazel Blears: The hon. Gentleman has a proud record of having pursued these issues with such determination and tenacity that he has, perhaps, had no small influence on the Home Secretary and the Prime Minister in talking about the long-term generational struggle and the need to deal with ideology.

I want to return to the point made by the hon. Member for Oxford West and Abingdon (Nicola Blackwood) about resilience, as that is the second issue that I am concerned about. I have read the guidance very carefully and the first mention of building community resilience is in paragraph 175 of 178, on page 39. It is about the police and it states:

“The success of Prevent work relies on communities supporting efforts to prevent people being drawn into terrorism and challenging the extremist ideas that are also part of terrorist ideology. The police have a critical role in helping communities do this. To comply with the duty, we would expect the police, working with others, to build community resilience”.

There is no objection to community resilience in principle in the guidance, yet it takes us 175 paragraphs before we talk about the need to do that. The Home Secretary is looking at me quizzically, but this is the guidance as we see it now and when it is revised, as I hope it will be, I hope that there will be a stronger emphasis on families, parents and communities. I have made those points consistently and I asked the Home Secretary to reflect carefully on that.

Fiona Mactaggart (Slough) (Lab): Within those communities, there is a hunger to be engaged and a worry that at the moment the terms of engagement seem to be determined completely by the police and not sufficiently by families. I had a meeting with a group of Muslim mums in my constituency who asked for better

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education on how they could understand what was going on on the internet. We need a non-police-led element to this Prevent work as well.

Hazel Blears: My hon. Friend makes a point that is based on experience and it is all the more authentic and powerful for that.

These issues are not mutually exclusive. The police have a role to play and have an important security role, but other agencies and people in the community can equally make a big contribution.

The second point that I have raised consistently is about ideology. I am more reassured about ideology and paragraph 4 of the guidance, right at the front of the document, states that one of the objectives is to respond to the ideological challenge. Paragraph 17 talks about the need to train front-line staff so they are aware of the ideology and what they can do to push it back. I have asked again during the passage of the Bill how much resource will go into the area. We have £120 million to deal with the increased threat, but how much will go into the Prevent agenda? It is very important for people out there to know that. There is a hunger for training, support and capacity building among all the agencies that will have to carry out that duty. We need to offer some reassurance that that capacity and guidance will be in place.

My final point is about freedom of speech. I know that many Members have made their points on that already. The noble Lord Bates made a neat attempt to try to make the division between having due regard to and having particular regard to. I am not sure that I would envy him the prospect of litigating on that basis, because it seems to me to be a bit of a philosophical exam question. I know that the Home Secretary will look at that guidance again and make it as practical as possible, but reconciling those two formulations seems to me to be intrinsically difficult. I do not think for one moment that I am capable of reconciling that; that would require a greater philosophical brain than mine. Perhaps it will eventually come to judges. If the Home Secretary could say a little more about that, that would be very welcome.

Finally, will the Home Secretary publish all the responses to the consultation? That would help us all significantly in seeing the direction of travel. She has said that this is an ongoing generational struggle, as indeed has the Prime Minister. He said last week that the shadow will hang over our generation for many years to come. We are all engaged in trying to ensure that we tackle the problems we face. I will certainly seek to make whatever contribution I can to this agenda now and in future.

Yasmin Qureshi (Bolton South East) (Lab): On Second Reading, I and a number of other Members talked about the need for judicial or legal oversight of temporary exclusion orders and of the removal of passports and documents. I am pleased that some judicial or legal oversight has now been provided, but I am still a little disappointed about the number of days that a person’s passport can be held before that can effectively be challenged in the courts. I am also concerned that temporary exclusion orders are still closed proceedings, which means a person will not necessarily know what is being said against them. The ex parte nature of these proceedings is fundamentally wrong.

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It has been said that any application for an exclusion order or to take someone’s documents will be intelligence-led and based on proper evidence. If that is the case, why is everybody frightened of proper judicial or legal oversight? That would not be by the method of judicial review, but in a proper, straightforward way, for example by going to the High Court to argue why a person should be excluded, or why they should not be on the managed programme, or why their documents should be taken. Proper legal aid should be provided for all those purposes as a matter of right, not as a matter of discretion.

On Prevent, I have to say that I disagree not only with the Home Secretary, but with my party and with what has happened previously. Prevent was brought in on a voluntary basis in 2007. I am afraid that some people think that they can introduce these kinds of things and then sit back and say, “Right, that’s going to deal with the whole issue of radicalisation.” That view is based on a fundamental flaw in the argument, which is that somehow this is all based on ideology. It is not based on ideology, or on a perverted ideology; there are other reasons why these things happen. It is completely wrong to think that simply by monitoring people in nurseries, schools, colleges, universities, hospitals and doctors’ surgeries we will be able to identify who might make the big leap from having a socially conservative view of something to going out to commit suicide and injure and maim other people.

I am very disappointed that that has not been looked at critically in this House. There seems to be universal acceptance here that Prevent is some kind of panacea; it is not. A number of organisations have said the same. A Demos report from 2010 recommended that the Government should dismantle the preventing violent extremism programme. The Intelligence and Security Committee’s report following the murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby in 2013 said that the Government’s counter-radicalisation programmes are not working.

8.15 pm

Baroness Eliza Manningham-Buller, the former director of MI5, who should know what she is talking about, said recently when the Bill was debated in the House of Lords:

“However, it seems to me that Prevent is clearly not working. . . It also follows, therefore, that I am not convinced of the value of putting Prevent on a statutory footing. I am out of date. The Government may be able to convince me but I cannot see how legislation can really govern hearts, minds and free speech.”—[Official Report, House of Lords, 13 January 2015; Vol. 758, c. 752.]

Other researchers have reached similar conclusions. Mark Sageman, who was a CIA counter-terrorist officer, looked at 500 so-called radicalised persons and concluded that programmes such as Prevent had no effect on them and that religious ideology was not the motivation for those people to go on to commit serious criminal offences. Studies in this country by MI5 also conclude that such offences are not to do with ideology and result from other things.

I know I am going to be lynched, because whenever somebody expresses such opinions, everybody else has a go at them. What is happening internationally, what is happening in the political world out there has a bearing on some of that behaviour. That is not the total explanation,

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but it is part of the equation. To ignore that and concentrate on ideology is to look at the problem through a prism.

We know what we are talking about. We are talking about the Muslim community and it is thought that people commit an offence because of ideology. Putting Prevent on a statutory basis is one of the worst things that could happen. Even the voluntary scheme was not a good idea. I have spoken to some of the people who have been taken away to the so-called radicalisation unit. What sort of questions were they asked? Questions such as, “Were you against the Iraq war? What do you think of the middle east situation? Did you go to the Iraq war demonstration?” Millions of people in this country would answer yes to those questions. Does that mean that we should all be subjected to a programme to deradicalise us? No.

We are heading towards a McCarthyite state, where everybody will be spying on everybody else, where nursery teachers, school teachers, hospital nurses, doctors and everybody else will say, “My friend said something that may be critical of someone or something. That means I have to report them to the local authority or the police.” That person will then be arrested, taken away and questioned.

I shall give an example of a woman who worked in a hospital. She went off to do umrah—hajj—in Saudi Arabia. When she came back, she was wearing a headscarf and she started praying a bit more. What happened? Her manager apparently reported her to the Prevent people and suggested they have a chat with her. It turned out that, in her opinion, she had become a little more religious. That kind of thing will happen, and it has been happening in recent years. All it has done is cause people to feel angry and to feel that they are being spied on. That is not a British value. It is not how we do things in Britain. British values do not entail spying on our next-door neighbour or the person next to us and reporting them.

With the regulations being put on a statutory footing, there will be more and more picking on people, which will not help anyone. It will not make anyone safer. If Members think that holding a socially conservative view about particular issues means that people are going to commit suicide and kill everybody around them, Members do not understand the real situation out there. I mean that very respectfully. We are going to have a McCarthyite state where people spy on each other, and that is not right.

People who commit such offences are criminals and should be dealt with. Anybody who saw the two criminals who killed Fusilier Rigby would have seen that they were frothing at the mouth. It is clear that they were mental. Many educational psychologists and others who have studied people who become radicalised and commit criminal offences say that those people are often educationally deprived, economically deprived and have mental health issues. It is those issues that we should address. Concentrating on Prevent will not stop all the problems. Whatever is happening internationally and what those people are doing will continue.

Dr Lewis: I appreciate the passion with which the hon. Lady is making her point and I agree with a lot of what she says about the fact that the people who commit those terrible crimes are unbalanced and unstable. That was

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true of the criminals who killed Lee Rigby, but it is precisely because they were unbalanced and unstable that they were susceptible to a particular extreme interpretation of a religious ideology. Therefore the two things interact. It is not quite as simple as she says.

Yasmin Qureshi: I do not agree with that. One of the murderers of Fusilier Rigby quoted, “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” That comes from the Old Testament, not from the Koran. We cannot start saying that this is somehow linked with religious ideology. These are just confused, mentally disturbed people.

Dr Lewis rose—

Yasmin Qureshi: I am sorry, but I have only a little time, and I have something to say that is different from what everybody else has said, so I would like to be able to take the opportunity to say it.

People do not seem to appreciate that a lot of these people are mentally unbalanced and have other issues. The Prevent programme has shown that spying on young people, taking them in and questioning them incessantly simply traumatises them—I have spoken to some of them. It does not help them in any way, shape or form, and it makes them even more frightened to say anything. Programmes like Prevent, in channelling people’s thoughts or what they say, are effectively stopping them discussing things. If I come across somebody who has a certain view and take the law enforcement agencies or the local authorities to them, they will clam up and we will not hear anything that they have to say. These things are completely counter-productive. The former director general of MI5, the noble Baroness Eliza Manningham-Buller, is not somebody who does not know what she is talking about. She and a number of people like her have said that Prevent does not work and we do not need it. If people do not want to listen to me, why cannot they listen to people like her and intelligence officers who have been involved in these kinds of things and say that ideology is not the reason behind them?

Finally, I want to talk about an aspect of the Bill that I hope the Home Secretary will reassure me about—part 4, on ships and aviation. I hope that these provisions will not end up stopping people from a particular country being able to travel to this country. Some of my constituents have expressed the fear that if certain parts of part 4 are applied, the way that the law is currently worded could allow people to say that because people from one particular country are coming here with some issues and challenges—

Madam Deputy Speaker (Mrs Eleanor Laing): Order. I hesitate to interrupt the hon. Lady, but perhaps she does not realise that this is a very short debate. I trust that she will soon be coming to a conclusion.

Yasmin Qureshi: I thank you for your indulgence, Madam Deputy Speaker.

I hope that the way the provisions in part 4 are put together will not lead to airlines or countries saying, “We will not allow people from this particular country to travel here.” I hope that reassurance will be provided in the guidelines that are produced later on.

10 Feb 2015 : Column 744

I know that what I am saying may be different from the conventional view of some people in this House. However, as somebody who talks to young people all the time and deals with people who commit criminal offences, defending and prosecuting, I have a very good knowledge of the criminal justice system and the people who often come into it. Most of them are unhinged and most have problems. Prevent is the worst possible thing to put on to a statutory footing. It will criminalise people. I do not often agree with Peter Hitchens of the Daily Mail, but I agreed with his article of 15 January where he said that these kinds of things are going to lead to people being banged up, and in 10 years time we will ask how that happened. It happened, I am sorry to say, because not enough people in this House got up and said that Prevent is a bad idea and the whole process of looking at these things is wrong.

John McDonnell (Hayes and Harlington) (Lab): My local mosque is extremely progressive, but I was invited to visit it on Monday because it has concerns about the Bill. Perception is sometimes as effective as reality and they feel that the Muslim community is under suspicion and that this Bill is targeted at them.

I understand what has been said about the speed at which the Bill has gone through, but I do not think that the wider community has caught up with the debate or why there is a sense of urgency. On the Bill’s implementation, it is absolutely critical that we engage at local level and allow the community to lead, rather than just the police. I completely agree with the argument about the involvement of families and mothers in particular, but that involvement has to be resourced as well. There is a real feeling in my community that these measures are targeted at Muslims in a way that will infringe on their religious freedoms and divide the community rather than unite it.

I agree with my hon. Friend the Member for Bolton South East (Yasmin Qureshi): real care needs to be taken in how the Bill is implemented at the local level. In my area, we are bringing all the mosques and agencies together to talk through the detail of the Bill, not only so that people can be brought up to speed, but, more importantly, so that we as a local community can drive the initiative, rather than its being seen as something that is being done to the Muslim community by the state.

Jeremy Corbyn: My hon. Friend the Member for Bolton South East (Yasmin Qureshi) made some very important points. I have two concerns about the Bill, which unleashes worries about civil liberties in this country. The first relates to the effective banning of people from either travelling from or returning to this country. That will open a can of worms, the effects of which we will suffer for many years to come. Surely the principle of holding nationality is that a person should be free to return to the country of which they are a national.

My second concern relates to freedom of speech. I recognise that the House of Lords has tried to improve the question of freedom of speech in universities, but I draw this House’s attention to the letter signed by 500 professors in The Guardian on 2 February. It pointed out that the issue is fraught with enormous difficulties. On the one hand, the Prevent strategy is being imposed on universities, but at the same time it is being insisted that they have freedom of speech.

Racism, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia are all awful things—

10 Feb 2015 : Column 745

8.27 pm

One hour having elapsed since the commencement of proceedings on consideration of Lords amendments, the proceedings were interrupted (Programme Order, this day).

The Deputy Speaker put forthwith the Question already proposed from the Chair (Standing Order No. 83F), That this House agrees with Lords amendment 1.

Question agreed to.

Lords amendment 1 accordingly agreed to, with Commons financial privileges waived.

The Deputy Speaker then put forthwith the Question necessary for the disposal of the business to be concluded at that time (Standing Order No. 83F).

Lords amendments 2 to 39 agreed to, with Commons financial privileges waived in respect of Lords amendments 2, 9, 21 and 32.

Business without Debate

European Union Documents

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

Financial Management

That this House takes note of European Union Documents No. 12213/14 and Addenda 1-6, a Commission Report: Protection of the European Union’s financial interests–Fight against fraud 2013 Annual Report, and unnumbered Document, the European Court of Auditors’ 2013 Annual Reports on the implementation of the budget and on the activities funded by the Eighth, Ninth and Tenth European Development Funds; agrees that budgetary discipline and robust financial management at all levels remains crucial, including to support domestic efforts to tackle the deficit and debt, especially given the continuing fiscal constraints and fragile economic recovery across the EU; believes that it is unacceptable that EU budget expenditure has not been granted an unqualified Statement of Assurance by the European Court of Auditors for the twentieth year; supports the Government’s efforts to press the Commission for a clear action plan to address the European Court of Auditors’ recommendations relating to the European Development Fund; and urges the Government to continue to engage with other Member States and the Commission to drive for urgent improvements designed to facilitate an error rate below the European Court of Auditors’ materiality threshold.—(Damian Hinds.)

Question agreed to.

Delegated Legislation

Madam Deputy Speaker (Mrs Eleanor Laing): 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)),


That the draft Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 (Code of Practice for Powers of Entry and Description of Relevant Persons) Order 2015, which was laid before this House on 8 December 2014, be approved.

Northern Ireland

That the draft Northern Ireland Assembly (Elections) (Forms) Order 2015, which was laid before this House on 8 January, be approved.

10 Feb 2015 : Column 746

That the draft Local Elections (Forms) (Northern Ireland) Order 2015, which was laid before this House on 8 January, be approved.

That the draft European Parliamentary Elections (Forms) (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2015, which were laid before this House on 8 January, be approved.

Representation of the People, Northern Ireland

That the draft Parliamentary Elections (Forms) (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2015, which were laid before this House on 8 January, be approved.—(Damian Hinds.)

Question agreed to.

Madam Deputy Speaker: With the leave of the House, we shall take motions 13 to 18 together.

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


That the draft Electricity Supplier Obligations (Amendment & Excluded Electricity) Regulations 2015, which were laid before this House on 19 January, be approved.

That the draft Electricity Market Reform (General) (Amendment) Regulations 2015, which were laid before this House on 19 January, be approved.

That the draft Electricity Capacity (Amendment) Regulations 2015, which were laid before this House on 19 January, be approved.

Legal Services

That the draft Legal Services Act 2007 (The Law Society) (Modification of Functions) Order 2015, which was laid before this House on 8 December 2014, be approved.


That the draft Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (Codes of Practice) (Revision of Code A) Order 2015, which was laid before this House on 5 December 2014, be approved.

Investigatory Powers

That the draft Regulation of Investigatory Powers (Communications Data) (Amendment) Order 2015, which was laid before this House on 10 December 2014, be approved.—(Damian Hinds.)

Question agreed to.

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

Public Health

That the draft Smoke-free (Private Vehicles) Regulations 2015, which were laid before this House on 17 December 2014, be approved.—(Damian Hinds.)

The Deputy Speaker’s opinion as to the decision of the Question being challenged, the Division was deferred until tomorrow (Standing Order No. 41A).

Madam Deputy Speaker: With the leave of the House, we shall take motions 20 to 26 together.

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

Public Service Pensions

That the draft Firefighters’ Pension Scheme (England) (Consequential Provisions) Regulations 2015, which were laid before this House on 17 December 2014, be approved.

10 Feb 2015 : Column 747

That the draft Teachers’ Pension Scheme (Consequential Provisions) Regulations 2015, which were laid before this House on 17 December 2014, be approved.

That the draft Police Pensions (Consequential Provisions) Regulations 2015, which were laid before this House on 17 December 2014, be approved.

That the draft Armed Forces Pension (Consequential Provisions) Regulations 2015, which were laid before this House on 17 December 2014, be approved.

That the draft Public Service (Civil Servants and Others) Pensions (Consequential and Amendment) Regulations 2015, which were laid before this House on 17 December 2014, be approved.

That the draft National Health Service Pension Scheme (Consequential Provisions) Regulations 2015, which were laid before this House on 17 December 2014, be approved.

Road Traffic

That the draft Passenger and Goods Vehicles (Recording Equipment) (Downloading of Data) Regulations 2015, which were laid before this House on 8 January, be approved. —(Damian Hinds.)

Question agreed to.


Accident prevention measures for Redbridge roundabout

8.29 pm

Mr Lee Scott (Ilford North) (Con): I have a petition signed by 676 people declaring that they are extremely concerned, as I am, at the high level of reported accidents—averaging one per week—as well as the potential for fatal accidents at the Redbridge roundabout, which is a major junction of the M11, the north circular and the A12. There needs to be urgent action to stop what has become a nightmare for residents of the area and anyone travelling through it.

The petition states:

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to direct Transport for London to install traffic lights at the Redbridge Lane East junction or to at least put measures in place (such as adjusting the existing traffic light timings) so that at least 6 or 8 cars can safely get onto the roundabout on each traffic light cycle.

Following is the full text of the petition:

[The Petition of residents of Ilford North,

Declares that the Petitioners are extremely concerned at the high level of reported accidents (which averages at one accident per week) as well as the potential for more fatal accidents on the Redbridge roundabout (LBR); further that this is a major road junction on the east of London which carries heavy traffic from the M11, North Circular Road and the A12; further that it is reputed to be one of the busiest and most dangerous road junctions in Europe; further that all connecting roads on the gyratory have traffic lights apart from one road, Redbridge Lane East; further that traffic from Redbridge Lane East is unable to safely join this constantly busy roundabout and only two or three cars can enter the roundabout on each cycle of the lights; further that this causes up to 45 minute delays on reaching the roundabout, generates pollution levels above safe limits, causes inconsiderate driving by frustrated drivers and results in stress and anxiety experienced by drivers contemplating taking the high-risk strategy of attempting to get across the roundabout without having

10 Feb 2015 : Column 748 an accident; and further that a local petition on this matter in the Ilford North constituency and the surrounding area was signed by 2187



The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to direct Transport for London to install traffic lights at the Redbridge Lane East junction or to at least put measures in place (such as adjusting the existing traffic light timings) so that at least 6 or 8 cars can safely get onto the roundabout on each traffic light cycle.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.]


Green belt land in Redbridge

8.30 pm

Mr Lee Scott (Ilford North) (Con): I have a petition signed by 4,864 people to save the Oakfield site, which covers playing fields and a sports area on green-belt land. Sadly, the London borough of Redbridge has put out to consultation a proposal to build homes on the site. There are brownfield sites in the area that have not yet been built on and should perhaps be looked at as a matter of urgency before the proposal is even considered. The proposal must be thrown out: it is a rape of our countryside and our green-belt land, and it is a misuse of land needed by children and adults for recreational purposes.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the London borough of Redbridge to reconsider any proposal to develop the Oakfield site for housing, and further request that the House of Commons urges the Government to reject any requests to remove green-belt status from Oakfield.

Following is the full text of the petition:

[The Petition of the Save Oakfield Site (SOS) campaign group,

Declares that the precious, high quality sports field known as Oakfield has twelve full size and nine junior size grass football pitches and four cricket grounds as well as two large pavilions which together act as an inclusive social hub contributing to community cohesion; further that the Petitioners believe that there are proposals to concrete over this irreplaceable green belt land and to destroy the pavilions; further that this would be a massive and irreversible loss to the residents of the Borough of Redbridge, to the many sportsmen and sportswomen in the surrounding London Boroughs and in the County of Essex and beyond, and to the many voluntary and other organisations that provide services to local schools and the wider public; further that the London Borough of Redbridge has planned to seek de-classification of green belt status for Oakfield; further that the Petitioners believe that these plans have occurred without good reason following a flawed process; further that at a time when sport is seen as the Olympic Legacy and as the solution to ever-increasing obesity in the nation, removal of such facilities represents a loss of opportunity for exercise for the existing and growing number of potential users and increases the risk of ill health and will also put further strain on NHS resources; further that the Borough Council would be failing to supply conveniently located, good quality playing fields to satisfy the current demand and the likely future demand in line with the policy of Sport England; further that the proposed development of the stated 800 units of

10 Feb 2015 : Column 749 housing on the site will increase already chaotic traffic congestion to intolerable levels and will increase the local pollution level which currently exceeds the rate that is identified as acceptable by the EU and the WHO and will reduce safety without contributing anything significant to social and key-worker homes; and further that all this is based on long-term population projections for the Borough that extrapolate from past trend analysis to produce unrealistic, and unfounded housing demands on the Borough that ignore the needs and rights of the existing population for a sustainable quality of life and are unfair in relation to other London Boroughs and national Government demographic policies.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges Redbridge Borough Council to reconsider the proposal to develop the Oakfield site for housing and further request that the House of Commons urges the Government to reject any requests to remove green belt status from Oakfield.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.]


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Transport (Tees Valley)

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

8.31 pm

Andy McDonald (Middlesbrough) (Lab): I sought this debate on transport in Tees Valley to voice my concerns about how the discussion is developing on the need for greater investment in our transport infrastructure, and on the need for rebalancing our economy both in geographical terms and in terms of a greater focus on our manufacturing industries.

By way of introduction, Tees Valley may be more than 200 miles away from Westminster, but that is no excuse for the concerns of our region being as far away from the considerations of Downing street and Whitehall as they are at present. Last year, I asked the Prime Minister about the huge disparity in spending on transport infrastructure between the north-east and the south-east, and how the needs of the Tees Valley were neglected. In his response, he talked about the Tyne and Wear metro, the Tyne crossing and the A1 between Newcastle and Gateshead, but said not a single word about Tees Valley. I hope this evening to fix the location of Tees Valley better in the Government’s collective memory.

Much attention has been paid recently, and quite rightly, to the One North initiative of our great northern core cities of Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Sheffield and Newcastle, and to the transport for the north announcement made just a few weeks ago, which involves the same players, while the Chancellor has talked of an HS3 rail link between Manchester and Leeds, all of which has been set against the backdrop of the northern powerhouse.

All that is to be welcomed, but in this debate I want to explore the current limitations placed on such discussions, and ask whether these matters should be the sole prevail of the self-named core cities. I want to dispel the myth perpetuated by some that the north ceases at the M62. There is a great deal more to the north than that, and I submit that if we are truly to talk of a northern powerhouse and the interconnectivity of our economic engine rooms, it is essential to consider all of the north. In doing so, it is imperative that the role of Tees Valley should be properly considered.

I will concentrate in the main on rail infrastructure. It is telling that modern Middlesbrough came into being as a direct result of the creation of the railways and the founding of the Stockton and Darlington Railway Company to serve as the river access point for receiving coal from the Durham coalfields on the banks of the River Tees for onward shipping. Middlesbrough was subsequently propelled into the industrial revolution by becoming the site of the explosive iron and steel industry. It was described by Gladstone as the “Infant Hercules”, and it soon became the fastest-growing town in European history. Despite that railway heritage, Middlesbrough, which is now at the heart of a conurbation of some 660,000 people, is the largest conurbation in the UK without a direct service to the capital.

There are far too many aspects of the economic powerhouse of Tees Valley for me to cover in the time available, but the sub-regional transport needs must be seen in the context of the Tees Valley’s industrial and commercial might.

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Alex Cunningham (Stockton North) (Lab): I congratulate my hon. Friend on securing the debate, which is crucial to Teesside and the wider Tees area. I appreciate that he is concentrating on rail, but the Tees Valley local enterprise partnership reminded us today that we have no major road network and are forced to rely on secondary roads such as the A19 and the A66, which impacts on our ability to attract jobs. Does he agree that, as well as direct rail routes to London with electrification on the lines, we need 21st-century roads, including another Tees crossing, if we are to serve Teesside properly?

Andy McDonald: I wholeheartedly agree with my hon. Friend, who is absolutely right. One glance at a road atlas will show the complete absence of blue roads—motorways. We need one or two of them in our region.

The industrial might of the Tees Valley is a key component of the north-east of England’s manufacturing prowess. London apart, our region is the only one in the UK that consistently makes a positive contribution to our balance of payments. We lead the way in advanced manufacturing and export-led growth.

Tees Valley’s integrated chemical complex at Wilton, Billingham and Seal Sands is the biggest in the UK and second-largest in Europe. It sits alongside the steel industry—two vital foundation industries side by side. The Tees Valley economy contributes significantly to the north. It contributes some £11.5 billion of gross value added to the national economy every year. We have a thriving digital and creative industries cluster, which grew faster than that in any other LEP area in 2014. We have a 280,000-strong highly skilled work force, and a small businesses base of more than 14,500 firms.

We also have the UK’s third largest port, Teesport, which provides an international gateway, distributing products across the country and abroad. As a contemporary sign of its vitality and importance, PD Ports has just signed a seven-year contract with Sahaviriya Steel Industries for the continued shipping of its steel products.

Our leading colleges, our universities and national knowledge centres are at the forefront of skills development and innovation. Tees Valley also has an international airport, albeit one that is crying out for investment and redevelopment—we look to Peel airports to better develop the airport services—and we have direct road and rail routes to key locations across the north.

There is a consensus on the importance of reducing the UK’s trade deficit and rebalancing the economy. If that is to be achieved, it is important that Tees Valley and its mighty industries play their full role. Exciting developments in the energy-intensive industries hold great potential for our region and our country. Strictly subject to the science being right and there being verifiable safeguards, hydraulic fracturing and coal gasification have enormous potential for our future energy and industrial requirements. There is not time this evening to go into the detail, but subject to those safeguards, the future could be truly exciting. The major beneficiaries from the syngas so derived are the energy-intensive industries, and none more so than those on Teesside.

I must mention the Teesside Collective, a pioneering infrastructure project comprised of a cluster of leading industrial players—BOC, Lotte Chemical UK, SSI and GrowHow—which offers a compelling opportunity for

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the UK to progress its industrial and environmental interests at the same time. Work is already under way for the development of a business case for deploying industrial carbon capture and storage in the Teesside cluster. It will be completed later this year. Tees Valley is in the right place at the right time to become the industrial carbon capture storage leader in Europe. It is therefore essential that the Government provide the necessary support that such key foundation industries need, which in turn will allow our manufacturing industries to compete on a global stage. Good rail and road infrastructure for freight and passengers is essential to all of that.

On 17 January, the Secretary of State for Transport attended the launch in Leeds of Transport in the North, a body of regional leaders tasked with drawing up and delivering a comprehensive programme of strategic investment to transform the north’s infrastructure, and helping to maximise growth. I argue that, if that particular body is to properly speak on the transport needs of the north, it is wholly inappropriate if Tees Valley does not sit alongside the five cities on the board.

James Wharton (Stockton South) (Con): I congratulate the hon. Gentleman on securing what is a very important debate. I think across the House we can all agree that it is in the interests of the areas we represent to talk up Teesside and the great things happening there: steelmaking is back, train-making is coming and investment is coming in. This is a very important cross-party point: Tees Valley LEP needs to be represented, as those other bodies are, to give our area the strong voice it needs. I want to voice my support and to make it very clear that this is something that unites MPs from different parties, and council leaders and groups, in support. We need to ensure our voice is strong and heard.

Andy McDonald: I thank the hon. Gentleman for that intervention. I think we are speaking with one voice for Tees Valley and I am grateful to him for his support.

Quite simply, the Tees Valley transport infrastructure, opposite the existing and future needs of businesses and communities, is lacking in key areas, and those deficits need to be addressed if we are to capitalise on the terrific potential of our region. Undoubtedly, Tees Valley is not configured like the self-styled core cities, but it has its own unique configuration and status that warrants a seat at the table. The Minister will be aware of the excellent inclusive outcomes that have been achieved in the governance arrangements for Rail North, and I hope he will agree with me that it would be entirely sensible to take that sort of inclusive approach in terms of the board of Transport for the North. I urge the Minister to take the necessary steps to ensure that Tees Valley has a seat.

It is regrettable that the state cannot currently compete alongside private companies for rail franchises, but putting that argument to one side for another day I am nevertheless pleased that on the awarding of the new franchise the business case has been won for the reintroduction of a direct Middlesbrough to London rail service, so I need not repeat it. Clearly, the economic growth that this will deliver is unarguable. The disappointment is that the service will come into being only in five years’ time in 2020. I wish to place on record my thanks to the Under-Secretary of State for

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Transport, the hon. Member for Devizes (Claire Perry) for meeting me to discuss this matter last week. I would like to think that she was persuaded by the veracity of the case for accelerating the start of the service. I hope that Virgin East Coast can find ways and seize whatever opportunities present to bring forward the start date of the service.

Turning to a matter that concerns Network Rail, just over a year ago the main entrance to Middlesbrough station was closed because of structural difficulties with the Victorian cloister buildings that sit underneath the station main car park. This means there is now no vehicular or indeed pedestrian access to the station from the main southerly aspect, because of the inherent dangers. A year on, plans are now being progressed to board up the frontage, install signage and prepare alternative parking arrangements while architects and engineers go about preparing plans for reconstruction and development. All well and good, but this is all simply far too slow. The people of Middlesbrough deserve better than this. They pay their taxes, unlike some HSBC super wealthy customers. I can only look on with envy at the £895 million redevelopment of Reading station. It looks fantastic and is entirely fit for purpose in the modern railway age. Back in Middlesbrough, however, progress is painfully slow. The town’s people are incredibly patient—they’ve had practice. Indeed, while Dresden, Frankfurt and Berlin were all rebuilt in the aftermath of the second world war, Middlesbrough railway station’s beautiful glass and steel-domed roof was destroyed by the bombs dropped by the Luftwaffe in 1942 and we are still waiting for it to be put back. I urge the Minister in turn to press home the need with Network Rail for much greater urgency and I plead for better communication. It surely cannot be too much to ask for there to be a dedicated website to explain directly to the public what the problem is, what they are doing about it and how long it will all take to put right.

Turning to Darlington railway station, which is the sub-region’s east coast mainline hub, there are significant encumbrances, but their resolution will facilitate significant developmental opportunities. I am confident that my hon. Friend the Member for Darlington (Jenny Chapman) will not mind me trespassing, but the entrapment of the local west-east line out of Darlington station, between the north and southbound lines of the east coast, causes immense difficulties in terms of managing the competing traffic demands. It is also a source of congestion and delay for the east coast service itself. The accepted solution is to move the local line from its current configuration and relocate it free of the mainline crossover. Not only will that improve both local and long-haul services, it will free up a major commercial developmental opportunity within the station itself.

All that was brought into stark reality for me just two weeks ago, when changing trains from the King’s Cross Darlington train for the Darlington-Middlesbrough train. The local train was a Pacer train—perhaps one of the worst in the fleet with the metal-framed bus seats. There was a problem with the points, and there were no trains in or out of Darlington for more than an hour. On a bitterly cold evening, the choice facing passengers was to step out on the freezing platform or to wait in their seats and suffer the dreadful poisonous diesel fumes coming into the carriages. That these are our travelling

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conditions some 200 years after George Stephenson created the first passenger railway in the very town of Darlington simply beggars belief.

My plea to the Minister is that we get rid of these cattle trucks as quickly as possible and replace them with some decent forms of transportation. David Higgins, the CEO of HS2, has himself said that if the good people of the south of England were asked to tolerate such appalling rolling stock, there would be riots. The time for change is long past. I know that the Secretary of State has been pressed on this, but they need to go, and to go quickly.

With more than 70% of major local businesses internationally owned, we remain globally competitive by offering effective transport links and resilient infrastructure. Undoubtedly, rail connectivity needs to be improved, and electrification across the north of England is crucial to this objective. While the TransPennine and Northern franchises have yet to be awarded, it is absolutely essential for the vitality of Tees Valley, the entire northern region and the UK as a whole that good and direct links be preserved and developed right across the north to include direct services from Middlesbrough to Leeds, Manchester and Liverpool.

The argument for electrification has long since been won. I shall not recite the environmental and economic justifications, but the benefits to Tees Valley would be enormous. Much is said about the interconnectivity of our core cities, and rightly so. We have to address that issue, but the same principle applies to interconnectivity within regions such as the north-east and sub-regions such as Tees Valley. It currently takes up to one hour and 36 minutes to travel between Middlesbrough on the Tees and Newcastle on the Tyne—a distance of 40 miles by road between the two major conurbations; and it takes 53 minutes to travel from Saltburn to Darlington by way of a bone-shaking Pacer that has no part in modern-day transport in one of the richest countries on the planet. Mo Farah would give it a good run for its money! I know that the electrification taskforce will report imminently, but I trust that the Minister will agree that the case has been more than made that electrification from the east coast main line from Northallerton through to Teesport is a top priority.

The concept of the Tees Valley metro has been on the stocks for some considerable time, but only electrification of the existing sub-regional network could make it feasible. A light rail or tram system would be trans- formational for Tees Valley.

The way in which bus services are currently delivered is encapsulated in the stories I hear when I speak to Avanta, which is charged with delivering the Work programme. It tells me that far too often it can source entry level work at places such as Teesport and elsewhere across Tees Valley, only for it to prove impossible for the client physically to travel to such places of work at the times the businesses need them and/or to get home again. Quite frankly, we do not have a public transport system worthy of the name.

My constituents in places such as Berwick Hills tell me of the lack of buses to get to the hospital. It is essential that when powers are devolved to combined authorities they include the re-regulation of buses, in the way that benefits London, and mandatory comprehensive transport coverage for accessing health services and other key destinations. A truly integrated transport

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system must be one where bus, road and rail services coalesce around the needs of our businesses and communities.

Tom Blenkinsop (Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland) (Lab): My hon. Friend makes an excellent point about the bus service through Park End. This follows the recent news of the closure of the medical clinic in Park End, which also served his constituents in Berwick Hills. Not only are primary health care services being cut, but access to secondary health care services is being reduced as a result of the bus service terminations.

Andy McDonald: My hon. Friend makes a good point. People need to get to hospital when they are ill or visiting relatives, and they need to get to work at the time their businesses need them and then get home again.

Almost finally, roads warrant an entire debate of their own, but as my hon. Friend the Member for Stockton North (Alex Cunningham) said, Tees Valley is crying out for an additional road crossing over the Tees. Several plans have been prepared over the years, and I would urge the Minister to have his officials consider them.

In conclusion, Tees Valley has a proud history of major contribution to the economic vitality of this country, and not only does it continue to make that contribution, but the capacity for even greater achievement is immense. However, that vast potential can only be realised if the Government understand and respond in appropriate terms. In addition, I ask that the core cities realise that the northern powerhouse story is not just about creating a London of the north, but about building interconnected communities and economies that provide inclusive prosperity for all.

8.49 pm

Mr Iain Wright (Hartlepool) (Lab): I thank my hon. Friend the Member for Middlesbrough (Andy McDonald) for giving up some of his time to allow me to make a number of very brief points. I wholly agree with what he said about the governance of the transport board, which penalises, excludes and isolates our region from the rest of northern transport policy and procedures. I also agree fully about the importance of proper investment in our rolling stock. The Pacer trains to which he referred are unacceptable and no longer used in the rest of the country, so they should be considered unacceptable and unusable in Middlesbrough, Hartlepool and on to Newcastle, as well.

I shall concentrate, as I have on many occasions, on the inadequacy of our bus service. As my hon. Friend said, only re-regulation will provide a co-ordinated proper bus service for our region. In the past week, I have received correspondence from the principal of Hartlepool college, who said that inadequate transport provision meant that potential students from Teesside, North Yorkshire and South Durham were not able or could not afford to get to the college. Apprentices aged 16 or 17 from Hartlepool might not be able to take up the opportunities in Wilton or elsewhere.

Ensuring that the transport system, particularly the bus network, matches the routes to learning and employment, as well as ensuring that we can avoid social exclusion, are crucial. At the moment, that does

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not happen on Teesside. I therefore ask the Minister what he will do to ensure that we can provide a cheap, reliable and co-ordinated bus and transport network across Teesside so that people in our area have the opportunity to achieve their potential and make sure that the population and industrial potential are matched.

8.51 pm

The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Mr John Hayes): I congratulate the hon. Member for Middlesbrough (Andy McDonald) on introducing this debate. He reminded me, as I am sure he will have reminded you, Madam Deputy Speaker, of Hegel. It was Hegel who said:

“Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion.”

The hon. Gentleman’s passionate advocacy of the interests of his constituents and indeed of Teesside more generally certainly made an impression on me—and, I am sure, on other Members.

I do not disregard the significance of Teesside. I could hardly do so, given that when I was a Minister at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the hon. Member for Hartlepool (Mr Wright), who has contributed to this debate, brought a group of business men from Tees Valley, who themselves illustrated, indeed personified, the very range of innovative industries that the hon. Member for Middlesbrough has described tonight. I am well aware of the character of the innovation taking place there and of the need to provide the right kind of transport infrastructure to support it.

I have a very long and impressive speech, but I shall not have time to deliver it. I know that that is a disappointment to you, Madam Deputy Speaker, and to the whole House. I shall, however, make a commitment to include anything I cannot cover in a letter that I will send to the hon. Members who have contributed to this evening’s proceedings. However, I would like to deal now with some of the specific points that the hon. Gentleman raised.

As I say, we recognise that effective transport plays a key role in stimulating growth across the country, creating a more balanced economy, connecting communities and enabling people to access jobs, services and leisure in the way described in the contributions we have heard. That is why we have determined to reverse the effect of some of the neglect in respect of infrastructural development that has characterised previous regimes. Members will be pleased to know that I am not going to be more partisan than that, but I wanted to make that point at the outset.

I know that the hon. Member for Middlesbrough will recognise and, I hope, acknowledge the importance of the road investment strategy that we have put in place. This is a long-term funded commitment, looking at the national road network in an innovative way, based on empirical analysis of the benefits we get from the money we spend. It secures both plans and money through to 2021. It is a £15 billion investment—probably the biggest road investment programme since the 1970s—and the north, including the north-east, will benefit from it, as the hon. Gentleman will know.

The hon. Gentleman mentioned Tees Valley in connection with logistics, environment interests, the creative industries and so forth, and I am aware that the connectivity he described is vital. A major new scheme

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will be taken forward on the A19. My hon. Friend the Member for Stockton South (James Wharton) has campaigned on this for some time, and I was pleased to see his parliamentary neighbour, the hon. Member for Stockton North (Alex Cunningham), joining his campaign to make those improvements.

Major new schemes, the Norton to Wynyard schemes, will be implemented on the A19. Along with two previously announced schemes on Tyneside—the A19 coast road and A19 Testos schemes—they will raise the A19 to expressway standard from Yorkshire to north of Newcastle. The widening of the A19 Billingham bypass in Teesside to three lanes between the A139 and the A689 will also include replacement of the concrete surface with low-noise surfacing. These investments will complement the Highways Agency’s pinch point schemes, which are already under way at two key junctions on the A19, and will smooth the way along the entire route, delivering more reliable journey times and reducing congestion and pollution.

Alex Cunningham: Will the Minister give way?

Mr Hayes: I will happily give way.

Alex Cunningham: Those who travel from the junction at Norton, where I live, on the A19 at 8.30 in the morning just join a queue for the next half hour. The real question is this: can we look forward to another crossing over the River Tees in the next programme that the Government plan?

Mr Hayes: I suggest that the hon. Gentleman apply for an Adjournment debate on just that issue, so that we can explore it in the depth that it deserves. As the Minister responsible, I should be delighted to respond to such a debate.

The roads investment plan also reflects the conclusions of the six feasibility studies announced in June 2013, which examined the case for improvements on the A1 and in other key national corridors.

In the time available to me, I shall depart from my script in order to deal specifically with some of the points made by the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, and, hopefully, give him good news. I share his view of the work that is being done on the Victorian cloisters at Middlesbrough station, and I will ensure that we pursue Network Rail so that the matter is dealt with speedily. Indeed, I will go further than that. The hon. Gentleman spoke about the roof which was destroyed in 1942. I wonder if we might consider the feasibility of doing something about that too, in the longer term.

I agree with the hon. Gentleman that a seat at the “Transport for the North” table for his area would be appropriate. He makes a persuasive case. I shall need to take it up with the Secretary of State, but I know that he is sympathetic to it, and I think that we should go ahead with it speedily. I also think that the hon. Gentleman is right about direct services to Middlesbrough, and I do not see why we should not consider the further improvements that he suggests as soon as the Government’s

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improvements to the east coast main line—on which I enjoy the privilege of travelling very frequently—have been completed.

Phil Wilson (Sedgefield) (Lab): Will the Minister give way?

Mr Hayes: I hope that the hon. Gentleman will forgive me if I do not. I am very short of time.

The hon. Member for Middlesbrough also made a persuasive case about rolling stock, and I shall be happy to look at that as well. As he will appreciate, such matters need to be considered in the round, but I agree with him that people deserve a chance to travel on trains that are fit for purpose.

Generosity has taken hold of me. I will give way to the hon. Member for Sedgefield (Phil Wilson) after all.

Phil Wilson: I am grateful to the Minister. I wonder whether he will raise with his Treasury colleagues an aspect of air passenger duty which affects Durham Tees Valley airport and the other airport in the north-east, namely its devolution to Edinburgh. It would be very beneficial if the Government gave some thought to what could be done to ensure that there is no loss to the regional airports in the north-east.

Mr Hayes: As you know, Madam Deputy Speaker, the breadth of my grasp and the length of my vision know few bounds, but we have no time to explore that issue in detail this evening.

The hon. Member for Middlesbrough made some important points about buses. As he will know, bus travel is dear to my heart. He advanced the interesting argument that no adequate public transport was available to provide access to health services, and to hospitals in particular. Again, I share his view. The situation is similar in my own constituency, where bus services serving the new Johnson community hospital have been restricted. I am fighting a similar campaign in my constituency, and I think we should look closely at this. It seems to me to be important that particularly the sick and vulnerable should be able to get to those services readily and easily and affordably, and the relatives and people who care for them and want to visit them, too.

Those are all areas where I think we can make progress. We can do so on the basis that the hon. Gentleman brought these matters to the attention of the House this evening and, as he will know, we can only do so because this Government have created an economic turnaround. Through our long-term economic plan, we are creating sufficient resource to be able to look at all these matters. Were it not for the determination shown by the Government not only to think strategically about transport in respect of rail, buses and roads in the ways I have outlined, but to do so on the basis of a credible, rational long-term economic plan, none of what the hon. Gentleman has asked for, or I—I hope reasonably, moderately, in a non-partisan way—have agreed would be possible.

Question put and agreed to.

9.1 pm

House adjourned.