HC Deb 29 March 1999 vol 328 cc748-60 4.31 pm
Mr. James Arbuthnot (North-East Hampshire)

I beg to move, That Madam Speaker do issue her warrant to the Clerk of the Crown to make out a new writ for the electing of a Member to serve in this present Parliament for the county constituency of Newark in the room of Fiona Elizabeth Ann Jones.

I shall be brief because an important debate on the Lawrence report is to follow. However, brevity should not disguise the importance of this issue: Newark needs and deserves to be represented in Parliament. The convention is that the party that formerly held the seat moves the writ. However, Madam Speaker, last week you announced that a by-election will take place because an election court had found that the seat of Newark was won by Labour in circumstances involving electoral fraud. Therefore, we believe that the convention does not apply.

Nevertheless, out of respect to the Labour party, I spoke last week to the Government Chief Whip and told her that if she did not move the writ, I would.

Mr. Dale Campbell-Savours (Workington)


Mr. Arbuthnot

I shall give way in a moment.

I wanted to give the Government Chief Whip the chance to move the writ herself so that the people of Newark could be represented in this place. However, she did not do so. On the contrary, she wrote me a letter saying that she would oppose the issuing of a writ in order to give Fiona Jones the right to stand in the by-election if she was successful in her appeal. That is a pretty odd doctrine. After all, The Guardian told us on 20 March that Labour had refused to fund or to back Fiona Jones's appeal. Is that true? How long is this situation to continue? Are the people of Newark to be deprived of representation in Parliament while Fiona Jones appeals to the House of Lords and to the European Court of Human Rights?

Mr. Campbell-Savours

The right hon. Gentleman has been a Member of the House of Commons for a long time and he will recall many by-elections conducted over many years. He will also know that many of his colleagues won seats in general elections. Can he place his hand on his heart and say at the Dispatch Box that he knows of no case where a Conservative Member of Parliament elected to the House of Commons was in breach of the limits on expenditure under election law?

Mr. Arbuthnot

I know of no such case. In any event, in 140 years no Member of Parliament until Fiona Jones has been disqualified from Parliament for electoral fraud. Even if her appeal were successful, there is no chance that the Labour party would select her to stand again. On 20 March, The Mirror stated: She should never hold office again. She simply does not deserve to. I quote that not because it is true—although it is—but because that is what the Labour party believes. In opposing the writ, the Labour Government are not acting in the interests of Fiona Jones. That is an absurd suggestion. They no longer care about her; they are acting in the interests of the Labour party.

The Labour party has even suspended the entire Newark constituency party—presumably so that it can once again impose a candidate from the centre. Mr. Phil Dilks, Labour's regional spokesman, told the Newark Advertiser that this decision has been made with the by-election in mind. We do not intend to be without Parliamentary leadership for a moment longer than necessary. However, that is exactly what they do intend. By opposing this writ, the Government are refusing the people of Newark the right even to be represented in Parliament. The interests of the people of Newark are being completely disregarded by the Labour party.

Mr. Dennis Skinner (Bolsover)

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that such was the delay in calling the 1989 Richmond by-election—a matter that was in the hands of the then Tory Government—that I was prompted to move the writ? I was told by the Tories that if I would only hang on they could get their candidate ready. They got their candidate ready and he is now the Leader of the Opposition. Tory Members have been applauding me ever since—or have they?

Mr. Arbuthnot

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for that indication of support in the Lobby, although I hope that it will not be necessary because I hope that the Government will not force this matter to a vote.

Some might say that Newark has been deprived of a Member of Parliament not merely for the past few days, but since the general election. Fiona Jones, elected in May 1997, failed even to open her mouth to speak in this House until 1998. In her brief career here, she spoke four times. Many right hon. and hon. Members will have been completely unaware of what she looked like until she gained notoriety as the first Member of Parliament for 140 years to be disqualified for electoral fraud. The people of Newark deserve better. The Labour Government have the power to delay the by-election, but if they exercise that power the people of Newark will remember.

The President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons (Mrs. Margaret Beckett)

I beg to move, To leave out from "That" to the end of the Question, and to add instead thereof: this House do pass to the Orders of the Day.

Despite the fact—[Interruption.] We do have an important and sensitive debate after this—not that one would be aware of that from the attitude of Conservative Members. I want to explain with more brevity, I hope, than the right hon. Member for North-East Hampshire (Mr. Arbuthnot) achieved in his insulting remarks, why I am moving this amendment.

First, if we vote down the amendment, the by-election may not be able to be moved during this Session; that does not seem to me to be in the interests of the people of Newark. Indeed, that point was made in this House by the former Leader of the House, Lord Biffen on a previous occasion when an attempt was made to move a writ in such a way.

The right hon. Member for North-East Hampshire said that Madam Speaker had declared a by-election. She did not; she reported the decision of the courts and the fact of that decision.

The right hon. Gentleman also said that my right hon. Friend the Chief Whip had written to him to say that the Labour party did not want to hold the by-election now, in order to allow Fiona Jones to be a candidate. That is not remotely what my right hon. Friend wrote. I have a copy of her letter before me and I propose to share its contents with the House. She wrote: The Labour Party wants to ensure that the people of Newark are without a Member of Parliament for as short a time as possible. Fiona Jones has appealed against her conviction. The Court of Appeal has agreed to hear the Appeal early, on 13 April 1999. The Court of Appeal will decide whether the conviction stands or not. If this Appeal is successful, we will have to await the Court of Appeal's interpretation of Section 160 Subsection (4), and Section 173 of the Representation of the People Act 1983. In these circumstances, it would in our view be clearly wrong to call a byelection whilst this Appeal is ongoing.

Mr. Alan Duncan (Rutland and Melton)

Will the right hon. Lady give way?

Mrs. Beckett

No, because I do not want to take more than a minute or two longer. I am following the precedents set in the House in the past by moving an amendment to the motion.

Mr. Arbuthnot

Is the right hon. Lady aware that the purport of those sections of that Act is precisely whether or not Fiona Jones is allowed to stand in the by-election?

Mrs. Beckett

I believe that the right hon. Gentleman will find that he is mistaken and that it is a matter of whether or not a vacancy exists.

It is a breach of convention for the Opposition to move the writ. It is extraordinary that they have done so when the verdict to which they refer was given only 10 days ago, on 19 March; when an appeal is pending; and when an early date has been set for that appeal, which will be taken not only on the conviction, but on a point of law—on the interpretation of the Act, which the right hon. Gentleman apparently wants to prejudge.

Mr. Duncan

Will the right hon. Lady give way?

Mrs. Beckett

No, I shall not give way. The Lawrence debate is much more important than this childish nonsense.

Given that the appeal will be held in the near future—indeed, in almost as short a time as has elapsed since the case was first heard—it is in the interests of the House to move on from this business. I recommend—[HON. MEMBERS: "Contempt of the House."] Yes, I think that the way in which Opposition Members have behaved is a contempt of the House. It seems to me and to the Government that it is right to hold a by-election in Newark when a vacancy has been properly called. However, an appeal is outstanding, so I invite the House to accept the amendment, enable that appeal to be heard and allow the by-election to be called in a proper manner, if that is the outcome of the court's decision.

4.43 pm
Mr. Phil Willis (Harrogate and Knaresborough)

I find it incomprehensible that, on the day on which we have discussed the conflict in the Balkans and we are to debate the Lawrence inquiry report, we should involve ourselves in a matter that is little more than party political manoeuvring in its worst sense.

If Conservative Members had one inkling of the meaning of parliamentary democracy or of empowering the people of Newark, they would have waited until after the Court of Appeal decision on 13 April. In fact, their motion has nothing to do with empowering the people of Newark. The Liberal Democrats feel strongly that the people of Newark should have a Member of Parliament in whom they have faith and confidence and that, if a by-election is necessary, it should be fought as soon as possible. However, it is ludicrous for the Conservatives to be baying for a by-election before that Court of Appeal decision is given on 13 April; it simply shows how low the Conservative party has sunk.

4.44 pm
Mr. Douglas Hogg (Sleaford and North Hykeham)

I represent a constituency which adjoins Newark. Therefore, and to that extent, I am rather well placed to report to the House the feeling in the constituency of Newark. I think that the electors of Newark will be extraordinarily dismayed by the disdain that has been shown by the Leader of the House and the hon. Member for Harrogate and Knaresborough (Mr. Willis), who speaks for the Liberal Democrats, for the proposal that we should have a by-election.

Mr. Gordon Marsden (Blackpool, South)

Will the right hon. and learned Gentleman give way?

Mr. Hogg

Not at the moment, no.

The suggestion that we should move to the Orders of the Day rather than discuss parliamentary democracy and a by-election is frankly an affront to this House. The tradition is and the basic principle must be that people are not deprived of a parliamentary representative a moment longer than necessary. That must be especially true when the vacancy has occurred not through misfortune, but as a result of culpable behaviour. When there is culpable behaviour by a Government Member, there is a very special obligation on the Government forthwith to move the writ. The fact that they have not done so is, I suspect, a measure of their cowardice and their disdain for Parliament.

Mr. Fraser Kemp (Houghton and Washington, East)

Will the right hon. and learned Gentleman give way?

Mr. Hogg

No, I am not proposing to give way. I am adopting, in this respect only, the example of the Leader of the House.

Mr. Lindsay Hoyle (Chorley)

Will the right hon. and learned Gentleman give way?

Mr. Hogg

No, I have made my position quite plain.

The electors of Newark have a very special local reason for wanting an early by-election. For example, for 1999–2000, Nottinghamshire county council will have the highest band D council tax of all the shire counties.

Mr. Andrew Dismore (Hendon)

Will the right hon. and learned Gentleman give way?

Mr. Hogg

No, I have made my position plain.

Indeed, the Nottinghamshire county council tax payer is facing the second highest percentage increase—9.9 per cent.—of any shire county. Even more particularly, in the Newark and Sherwood districts band D council tax will be the highest of the English shire counties.

Mr. Barry Gardiner (Brent, North)

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. Can it be in order for the right hon. and learned Member for Sleaford and North Hykeham (Mr. Hogg) to engage in blatant electioneering under the pretext of talking about the by-election?

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Sir Alan Haselhurst)

That is not a point of order; it is a point of argument. This is an important House of Commons matter. Whatever the merits of both sides of the argument, they should be heard in a sober manner.

Mr. Hogg

I always welcome protection, and I am grateful for it, Mr. Deputy Speaker. The allegation that I was electioneering comes a bit rich from a Government who do not want an election in this constituency because they are fearful of the consequences.

There is the general matter of principle, but there is a local point, too. Local electors want a chance to express their opinion on council tax rates. Incidentally, they might also want to express their opinion on the level of policing in the county. In contrast to March 1997, the number of police in Nottinghamshire county council has fallen by 54—a significant number if one happens to live in Newark.

The explanation advanced by the Leader of the House is essentially an unworthy one. She does not want the by-election, to the prejudice of the electors of Newark, for the personal convenience of Mrs. Fiona Jones. I have nothing against Mrs. Fiona Jones, and do not want to be particularly critical of her—except that she has been found guilty of a criminal offence by a court. We must not lose sight of that.

We have been told that we are to await an appeal. For how long are we to await an appeal? [Interruption.] I know perfectly well that the legal process takes a long time; nobody is in a better position than I to know that. An appeal goes to the High Court. It might then go to the House of Lords. After that, I anticipate that it would go to the European Court. Months and months would pass—perhaps years. Are the electors of Newark to be deprived of representation for the personal benefit of Mrs. Fiona Jones?

Mr. Michael Foster (Hastings and Rye)

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, the right hon. and learned Gentleman is well versed in the law. Does he agree that Pinochet should have been sent to Spain immediately after the initial hearing?

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. That cannot possibly be a point of order.

Mr. Hogg

In any event, Pinochet should have been returned to Chile immediately, and should be returned there now.

Several hon. Members


Mr. Hogg

I shall not give way.

Mr. Gerry Sutcliffe (Bradford, South)

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. The House is descending into disgrace. The Lawrence family are in the Chamber for an important debate on the Lawrence case and the issues surrounding it. The two Front-Bench spokesmen each spoke on the motion for two to three minutes, but the right hon. and learned Member for Sleaford and North Hykeham (Mr. Hogg) has been speaking for longer than three minutes and is extending the debate to issues that are not related to the question. Will you ask for brevity on this question, Mr. Deputy Speaker, so that we can proceed to the next debate?

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. First, I say to the hon. Gentleman that there is no one in the Chamber apart from right hon. and hon. Members. Secondly, this is a serious debate and there is no control over the time that may be taken by an individual Member in making a contribution. I have, however, asked the House to deal seriously with the matter, and I hope that my request will be observed by all hon. Members.

Mr. Hogg

The point of order from the hon. Member for Bradford, South (Mr. Sutcliffe) seemed to me to demonstrate two points, both of which we have come to recognise. The first is Labour Members' reluctance to allow full and free debate in the House. They want to truncate the debate on this motion and proceed to the next business. It is perfectly true that the next business is important, but this business is also important, as you made apparent, Mr. Deputy Speaker. It is a disgrace that Labour Members are trying to curtail debate on what is essentially a matter of parliamentary principle.

The second point, with which Conservatives are already becoming familiar, is that Labour Members are afraid to meet the electorate when there is a good chance of them being rumbled. There is a good chance of them being rumbled in Newark, so they hope to conceal both their embarrassment and the arguments during the European and district council elections. That is a disgrace and I hope that my right hon. Friend the Member for North-East Hampshire (Mr. Arbuthnot), the Opposition Chief Whip, will push the motion to a vote and that my right hon. and hon. Friends will support it.

4.53 pm
Mr. Eric Forth (Bromley and Chislehurst)

This matter arises directly from Madam Speaker's pronouncement on 22 March, in which she said: Under the provisions of the Representation of the People Act 1983, the seat is vacated with effect from 19 March."—[Official Report, 22 March 1999; Vol. 328, c.1.] That much seems absolutely clear, so we are now discussing what rights the people of Newark have against the background of the fact that the seat has been declared vacated with effect from 19 March. Surely no Member of the House can deny the importance of that issue. I am grateful to my right hon. Friend the Member for North-East Hampshire (Mr. Arbuthnot) for bringing the matter to the House.

The problem is that for some considerable time—arguably since shortly after the last general election—the people of Newark effectively have been unrepresented because they have not had the full range of representation in the House that voters in a constituency would normally expect from their Member of Parliament. An issue immediately arose because people who are in the unfortunate circumstances in which Mrs. Jones found herself cannot properly represent their electors when they have been subject to the sort of accusations that were made in Newark.

Dr. Nick Palmer (Broxtowe)

As a Nottinghamshire MP who has witnessed Mrs. Jones's work at first hand. I can assure the right hon. Gentleman that her constituents were receiving a full service until the time of the court case. I suggest that we allow Mrs. Jones the chance to have her appeal heard on 12 April so that her constituents can benefit from her continuing service.

Mr. Forth

I shall leave the hon. Gentleman to make his judgment on how effective Mrs. Fiona Jones has been in the House. I cannot say in detail what she has been doing in Newark, but I suspect that her activities in this place have been somewhat limited. [Interruption.] Labour Members seem to believe that what they do in this House is of no consequence, but I take a different view.

Mr. Hogg

Will my right hon. Friend inform the House that such is the Labour party's confidence in the appeal of Mrs. Fiona Jones that it decided not to meet her legal costs?

Mr. Forth

I shall come to the appeal in a moment. The other point that I want to make—

Mr. Clive Efford (Eltham)

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. Will you please point out to right hon. and hon. Members that they are not delaying Government business by conducting this debate? Instead, they are truncating a debate on a very serious issue that confronts the British people. The Stephen Lawrence debate is extremely important—

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. The current debate is perfectly well in order. There are many occasions in this place when there is competition between priorities as various matters are raised.

Mr. Graham Brady (Altrincham and Sale, West)

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. For the convenience of right hon. and hon. Members, will you confirm that there is no reason why the next debate should not continue until a later hour than is scheduled at present? That would mean that the debate would not be truncated.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

That is nothing to do with the occupant of the Chair.

Mr. Forth

I am pretty certain that my right hon. and hon. Friends and I would not oppose a 10 o'clock motion, were one to be moved, as we recognise the full importance of the next debate. I hope that Labour Members are not suggesting that simply because the next business is very important, the very important business that we are now discussing should be swept aside and ignored by the House. We must clarify the position when circumstances arise such as those in Newark. We must be clear, as a House of Commons, how we want to respond to them, and my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Sleaford and North Hykeham (Mr. Hogg) has given us that opportunity.

I wish to complete my reply to the hon. Member for Eltham (Mr. Efford). If Mrs. Jones had been the excellent representative in Newark that he claims, presumably the Labour party would have nothing to fear from having an early election involving either Mrs. Jones, if it were possible to do so, or her successor, reflecting in her glory.

Mr. John Hayes (South Holland and The Deepings)

I have no wish to prolong the debate because I hope to speak in the next one, if I catch your eye, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I speak as a former Nottinghamshire county councillor who knows Newark extremely well.

This issue in Newark is about faith in the proper democratic process and in adequate representation, and it bears some relationship to the next debate. Against that background, it goes way beyond party matters or issues. The issue is about restoring the faith of the people of Newark in their elected representatives. That is a more fundamental issue than anyone has mentioned in this debate so far.

Mr. Forth

My hon. Friend makes a very important point. I am sure that we all suspect that the faith of the people of Newark in the political process has been shattered. It is important that we give them an opportunity to restore that faith at the earliest possible date.

The little argument that we have heard from Labour Members seems to revolve round the fact that, as there will be a relatively early opportunity for an appeal to be heard, there is no need to have a by-election at an early date. They seem to be saying that that is all right. However, my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Sleaford and North Hykeham has said that we do not know whether the matter will end on 12 or 13 April; it could go beyond it. In fact, it could continue for a considerable period beyond that. It is unacceptable for the Government to be arguing that the people of Newark should be patient and wait for what might be a very long and exhaustive process to be completed. It is entirely unreasonable to expect the people of Newark to wait, unrepresented, for an indefinite period before a by-election takes place.

Mr. Peter Bottomley (Worthing, West)

Are there not just two lowly, non-partisan points that need clearing up? Is not the first that the only relevance of the appeal is whether the former Member of Parliament will remain disqualified for five years, not whether there will be a by-election? Is not the second piece of information that the House deserves to hear from the Leader of the House—whether in an intervention or at the end of the debate—the earliest date, by her reckoning, that the by-election could take place?

Mr. Forth

I am grateful to my hon. Friend. That reinforces the point that I was making a moment ago, and goes a stage further. After the appeal process is exhausted, however long that might take, there would have to be a further selection process by the Labour party if it stuck to the argument that we have heard from Labour Members— that if, at the end of the appeal process, Mrs. Jones were cleared of the conviction, she might well be considered as a candidate. That would further prolong the matter.

Mr. Hogg

As a Member who represents a constituency adjoining Newark, I can tell my right hon. Friend that the prospect of the Labour party in Newark selecting Mrs. Fiona Jones as its candidate is negligible, because the local Labour party is wholly split. Unless she is parachuted in by those on the Government Front Bench, under no circumstances will she be the candidate.

Mr. Forth

It is not for me, or even for my right hon. and learned Friend, if I may say so, to intrude on the Labour party's selection process.

If, as the hon. Member for Broxtowe (Dr. Palmer) said, Mrs. Jones has performed an excellent job in representing the people of Newark, in spite of her difficulties, and if the Labour party is serious in its belief that she is essentially innocent and will be declared so after an appeal process, I should think that Mrs. Jones would have to be considered a possible candidate in the Labour party's selection process after the appeal process has been exhausted.

All these matters are of the greatest importance and could give rise to the thought that the House might want to reconsider the procedures surrounding by-elections, even in these unusual and, I hope, never-to-be-repeated circumstances. Because such important issues are involved, I believe that my right hon. Friend the Member for North-East Hampshire has done the House and the people of Newark a service in bringing the motion before the House today.

I hope that the Leader of the House will make it clear to the people of Newark that if the Government use their massed ranks to vote down the motion for an immediate by-election, the Government will at least have the decency to tell the people of Newark when they can expect to have a new Member of Parliament.

Question put, That the amendment be made:—

The House divided: Ayes 260, Noes 97.

Division No. 132] [5.2 pm
Abbott, Ms Diane Bradshaw, Ben
Ainger, Nick Brown, Rt Hon Nick (Newcastle E)
Ainsworth, Robert (Cov'try NE) Brown, Russell (Dumfries)
Allen, Graham Browne, Desmond
Anderson, Donald (Swansea E) Buck, Ms Karen
Anderson, Janet (Rossendale) Burden, Richard
Atherton, Ms Candy Burgon. Colin
Atkins, Charlotte Butler, Mrs Christine
Austin, John Byers, Rt Hon Stephen
Banks, Tony Caborn, Richard
Barron, Kevin Campbell, Alan (Tynemouth)
Bayley, Hugh Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)
Beard, Nigel Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V)
Beckett, Rt Hon Mrs Margaret Campbell-Savours, Dale
Benn, Rt Hon Tony Cann, Jamie
Bennett, Andrew F Caplin, Ivor
Benton, Joe Cawsey, Ian
Berry, Roger Chapman, Ben (Wirral S)
Best, Harold Church, Ms Judith
Boateng, Paul Clapham, Michael
Borrow, David Clark, Paul (Gillingham)
Bradley, Keith (Withington) Clarke, Charles (Norwich S)
Bradley, Peter (The Wrekin) Clarke, Rt Hon Tom (Coatbridge)
Clelland, David Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)
Clwyd, Ann Hurst, Alan
Coaker, Vernon Hutton, John
Coffey, Ms Ann Illsley, Eric
Cohen, Harry Jackson, Ms Glenda (Hampstead)
Coleman, Iain Johnson, Alan (Hull W & Hessle)
Colman, Tony Jones, Barry (Alyn & Deeside)
Connarty, Michael Jones, Helen (Warrington N)
Cook, Frank (Stockton N) Jones, Ms Jenny (Wolverh'ton SW)
Corbett, Robin
Corbyn, Jeremy Jones, Dr Lynne (Selly Oak)
Cranston, Ross Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S)
Crausby, David Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald
Cryer, John (Hornchurch) Keeble, Ms Sally
Cummings, John Keen, Alan (Feltham & Heston)
Cunningham, Rt Hon Dr Jack (Copeland) Keen, Ann (Brentford & lsleworth)
Kelly, Ms Ruth
Cunningham, Jim (Cov'try S) Kemp, Fraser
Dalyell, Tam Khabra, Piara S
Darling, Rt Hon Alistair Kidney, David
Darvill, Keith Kilfoyle, Peter
Davey, Valerie (Bristol W) King, Ms Oona (Bethnal Green)
Davidson, Ian Kingham, Ms Tess
Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli) Kumar, Dr Ashok
Davies, Geraint (Croydon C) Ladyman, Dr Stephen
Dean. Mrs Janet Laxton, Bob
Denham, John Leslie, Christopher
Dismore, Andrew Levitt, Tom
Dobbin, Jim Lewis, Ivan (Bury S)
Doran, Frank Linton, Martin
Dowd, Jim Livingstone, Ken
Drew, David Lloyd, Tony (Manchester C)
Dunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth Love, Andrew
Eagle, Angela (Wallasey) McAvoy, Thomas
Eagle, Maria (L'pool Garston) McCabe, Steve
Efford, Clive McDonagh, Siobhain
Ellman, Mrs Louise Macdonald, Calum
Fisher, Mark McDonnell, John
Fitzpatrick, Jim McGuire, Mrs Anne
Fitzsimons, Lorna Mclsaac, Shona
Flint, Caroline McKenna, Mrs Rosemary
Flynn, Paul McNulty, Tony
Follett, BarbaraMacShane, Denis
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings) Mactaggart, Fiona
Foulkes, George McWalter, Tony
Gardiner, Barry McWilliam, John
George, Bruce (Walsall S) Mahon, Mrs Alice
Gibson, Dr Ian Marek, Dr John
Gilroy, Mrs Linda Marsden, Gordon (Blackpool S)
Goggins, Paul Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)
Golding, Mrs Llin Marshall-Andrews, Robert
Gordon, Mrs Eileen Meacher, Rt Hon Michael
Grant, Bernie Meale, Alan
Griffiths, Jane (Reading E) Merron, Gillian
Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S) Michie, Bill (Shef'ld Heeley)
Griffiths, Win (Bridgend) Milburn, Rt Hon Alan
Grocott, Bruce Miller, Andrew
Grogan, John Moffatt, Laura
Hall, Mike (Weaver Vale) Morris, Ms Estelle (B'ham Yardley)
Hall, Patrick (Bedford) Mountford, Kali
Hanson, David Mudie, George
Harman, Rt Hon Ms Harriet Mullin, Chris
Heal, Mrs Sylvia O'Brien, Mike (N Warks)
Healey, John O'Hara, Eddie
Hepburn, Stephen Olner, Bill
Heppell, John O'Neill, Martin
Hesford, Stephen Palmer, Dr Nick
Hill, Keith Pearson, Ian
Hinchliffe, David Pendry, Tom
Home Robertson, John Perham, Ms Linda
Hood, Jimmy Pickthall, Colin
Hoon, Geoffrey Pike, Peter L
Hopkins, Kelvin Pollard, Kerry
Howells, Dr Kim Pond, Chris
Hoyle, Lindsay Pope, Greg
Hughes, Ms Beverley (Stretford) Pound, Stephen
Powell, Sir Raymond Stoate, Dr Howard
Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lewisham E) Straw, Rt Hon Jack
Prentice, Gordon (Pendle) Stringer, Graham
Prescott, Rt Hon John Stuart, Ms Gisela
Prosser, Gwyn Sutcliffe, Gerry
Quin, Rt Hon Ms Joyce Taylor, Rt Hon Mrs Ann (Dewsbury)
Quinn, Lawrie
Radice, Giles Taylor, Ms Dari (Stockton S)
Rammell, Bill Thomas, Gareth (Clwyd W)
Rapson, Syd Timms, Stephen
Raynsford, Nick Tipping, Paddy
Roche, Mrs Barbara Todd, Mark
Rooker, Jeff Touhig, Don
Rooney, Terry Trickett, Jon
Ross, Ernie (Dundee W) Turner, Dr Desmond (Kemptown)
Roy, Frank Twigg, Stephen (Enfield)
Ruddock, Joan Vaz, Keith
Russell, Ms Christine (Chester) Vis, Dr Rudi
Salter, Martin Ward, Ms Claire
Sarwar, Mohammad White, Brian
Sawford, Phil Whitehead, Dr Alan
Sedgemore, Brian Wicks, Malcolm
Sheldon, Rt Hon Robert Williams, Rt Hon Alan (Swansea W)
Shipley, Ms Debra
Skinner, Dennis Williams, Alan W (E Carmarthen)
Smith, Angela (Basildon) Winterton, Ms Rosie (Doncaster C)
Smith, Rt Hon Chris (Islington S) Wood, Mike
Smith, John (Glamorgan) Woolas, Phil
Snape, Peter Worthington, Tony
Soley, Clive Wright, Anthony D (Gt Yarmouth)
Southworth, Ms Helen Wright, Dr Tony (Cannock)
Spellar, John
Squire, Ms Rachel Tellers for the Ayes:
Starkey, Dr Phyllis Mr. David Jamieson and
Stinchcombe, Paul Mr. Clive Betts.
Ainsworth, Peter (E Surrey) Greenway, John
Amess, David Hamilton, Rt Hon Sir Archie
Ancram, Rt Hon Michael Hawkins, Nick
Arbuthnot, Rt Hon James Hayes, John
Baldry, Tony Heald, Oliver
Bercow, John Heathcoat-Amory, Rt Hon David
Boswell, Tim Hogg, Rt Hon Douglas
Bottomley, Peter (Worthing W) Howard, Rt Hon Michael
Bottomley, Rt Hon Mrs Virginia Howarth, Gerald (Aldershot)
Brady, Graham Hunter, Andrew
Brazier, Julian Jack, Rt Hon Michael
Bruce, Ian (S Dorset) Jenkin, Bernard
Bums, Simon Johnson Smith, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey
Butterfill, John
Chapman, Sir Sydney (Chipping Barnet) Key, Robert
Kirkbride, Miss Julie
Chope, Christopher Laing, Mrs Eleanor
Clappison, James Lait, Mrs Jacqui
Clark, Rt Hon Alan (Kensington) Lansley, Andrew
Clark, Dr Michael (Rayleigh) Letwin, Oliver
Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey Lewis, Dr Julian (New Forest E)
Curry, Rt Hon David Lidington, David
Davies, Quentin (Grantham) Lilley, Rt Hon Peter
Davis, Rt Hon David (Haltemprice & Howden) Lloyd, Rt Hon Sir Peter (Fareham)
MacGregor, Rt Hon John
Duncan, Alan Maclean, Rt Hon David
Duncan Smith, lain McLoughlin, Patrick
Faber, David Maude, Rt Hon Francis
Forth, Rt Hon Eric May, Mrs Theresa
Fowler, Rt Hon Sir Norman Moss, Malcolm
Fox, Dr Liam Nicholls, Patrick
Fraser, Christopher Ottaway, Richard
Gale, Roger Page, Richard
Garnier, Edward Paice, James
Gibb, Nick Pickles, Eric
Gill, Christopher Prior, David
Goodlad, Rt Hon Sir Alastair Randall, John
Gray, James Redwood, Rt Hon John
Green, Damian Rowe, Andrew (Faversham)
Ruffley, David Trend, Michael
Shephard, Rt Hon Mrs Gillian Waterson, Nigel
Soames, Nicholas Wells, Bowen
Spelman, Mrs Caroline Whitney, Sir Raymond
Spring, Richard Whittingdale, John
Stanley, Rt Hon Sir John Wilkinson, John
Streeter, Gary Willetts, David
Syms, Robert Woodward, Shaun
Tapsell, Sir Peter Young, Rt Hon Sir George
Taylor, John M (Solihull)
Taylor, Sir Teddy Tellers for the Noes:
Thompson, William Sir David Madel and
Tredinnick, David Mr. Stephen Day.

Question accordingly agreed to.

Main Question, as amended, agreed to.