§ Mr. David Heath
I beg to move amendment No. 15, in page 13, line 13, after "to,", insert "substantially".
§ Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Michael Lord)
With this it will be convenient to discuss the following amendments: No. 16, in page 13, line 21, after "to,", insert "substantially".
No. 17, in clause 25, page 13, line 24, after "to" insert "substantially".
No. 18, in page 13, line 41, after "to,", insert "substantially".
No. 19, in clause 26, page 14, line 18, after "to" insert "substantially".
No. 20, in page 14, line 26, after "to,", insert "substantially".
No. 21, in clause 27, page 14, line 29, after "to" insert "substantially".
No. 22, in page 14, line 35, after "to,", insert "substantially".
1063 No. 39, in clause 28, page 15, line 4, at end insert—'and if its disclosure under this Act would, or would be likely to, prejudice any of those purposes'.
No. 23, in clause 29, page 16, line 10, after "to,", insert "substantially".
No. 24, in page 17, line 10, after "to,", insert "substantially".
No. 25, in clause 31, page 18, line 4, after "to,", insert "substantially".
No. 26, in page 18, line 9, after "to,", insert "substantially".
§ Mr. Heath
Amendment No. 15 stands in my name and in the names of an array of Members of the progressive faction.
All but one of the amendments deal with the same notion, while amendment No. 39 deals with a separate notion, which I intend to discuss separately. If I do so reasonably briefly, that does not mean that I am undermining the importance of the amendments; it simply means that I believe that the House wants to reach a conclusion on the Bill at some stage. Moreover, many of the arguments were dealt with at length in Committee. It is a shame that the hon. Member for Ryedale (Mr. Greenway) is not present, because he was very much involved in our debate in Committee and expressed clear views.
The amendment seeks to qualify the prejudice test by inserting the adverb "substantially". That, we think, is a fairly important aspect of making legislation effective, and not over-prescriptive or over-restrictive.
In Committee, we had a long and rather fruitless debate—which I am sure the Minister will recall—on whether the word "harm" was synonymous with the word "prejudice" and whether the words differ in connotation. Ultimately, we had to accept that the Minister prefers the word "prejudice" simply because he prefers it, and we left it at that. We should debate that point again today, but should consider whether there needs to be a slightly higher threshold.
Hon. Members will recall that the White Paper was very explicit on the issue, proposing a test of substantial harm. It was critical of the code for not providing a threshold of substantial harm. Although I do not know whether prejudice is a higher test than harm, the White Paper proposed that the Bill should beset in specific and demanding terms.The background papers to the White Paper, which were very instructive on the issue, noted that substantial harmwould clearly be more stringent (and so provide greater openness) than the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information (which normally exempts on the basis of simple "harm" or "prejudice") and would be closer to the "real damage" test of PII. Practical experience of applying a "real damage" test in litigation indicates that it results in a substantial reduction in the volume of material which would be withheld.Therefore, from discussions both preceding and following publication of the White Paper, we have had a clear indication that a test of real damage should be used in disclosing information. The Home Secretary was 1064 clearly similarly minded. In his statement on the draft Bill, he expressed his preference for the word "prejudice" and said that, in practice, the prejudice has to bereal, actual or of "substance".—[Official Report, 24 May 1999; Vol. 332, c. 22]That is the crucial point. The Minister contends that that is the meaning of prejudice and that it needs no further qualification. He also contends that, even if prejudice does not mean that, that is how—because of Pepper v. Hart, which the Home Secretary had in mind—it would be interpreted.
The difficulty with that construction is that, as Pepper v. Hart makes clear, a Minister's comments would be taken into account only if the provision wereambiguous or obscure or the literal meaningwould lead "to an absurdity". Even then, the Minister's comments would be taken into account only if they addressed the issue. However, it is difficult to imagine circumstances in which the courts would test the ambiguity in the word "prejudice". If they were to do so, would they take into account the Home Secretary's gloss on the word? I suspect that they would not. The Bill contains nothing that equates with the Home Secretary's test ofreal, actual or of "substance".
Like other hon. Members, I think that, if the Bill is to do its job properly and we are to avoid exemptions that cover much wider classes of information than need to be covered, we need that type of threshold.
Amendment No. 39 would amend clause 28, which provides a blanket exemption protecting all information on investigations by police and regulators, even if disclosure could not harm legal proceedings. The list of regulators is quite broad. It includes not only police, but—as the Minister advised us, for which we are grateful—the Health and Safety Executive, environmental health officers, trading standards officers, fire authorities, the drinking water inspectorate, the Environment Agency, the Director General of Water Services, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, the Civil Aviation Authority, the Inland Revenue, Customs and Excise, the Crown Prosecution Service, the Benefits Agency, the Department of Trade and Industry, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, the Housing Corporation, the National Criminal Intelligence Service and the Serious Fraud Office. Thus a wide range of bodies are covered.
That extraordinary blanket exemption does not take into account all the factors that would justify revealing information. It does not apply the harm test which we might imagine would be inherent in any such provision. It simply says that all information held by those bodies in that context would be exempt.
Amendment No. 39 would allow the withholding of such information only if disclosure would prejudice the purpose for which it is held. That is not unreasonable. The reason for withholding information should be that its disclosure would disadvantage the investigating authority or the police in the execution of their duties. That is not a problem in other countries' freedom of information legislation.
There is a genuine concern about the circumstances in which material would be exempt. A local authority might refuse to release information on investigations into children's homes or even to admit to there having been 1065 an investigation. That is not a healthy situation. That is setting aside the effect on the police. The Macpherson report, which has been given careful attention in the House, says explicitly that there should be no class exemption for the police. It argues that re-establishing public confidence in the police requiresa vigorous pursuit of openness and accountability across Police Services.The report goes on to say thatwe consider it an important matter of principle that the Police Services should be open to the full provisions of a Freedom of Information Act. We see no logical grounds for a class exemption for the police in any area.There could be no more explicit endorsement of my case. That view is shared by the Law Society, which has said that it fully supports the amendment.
The argument that the amendment would prevent the police or regulatory authorities from doing their job effectively is untenable. Even if clause 28 were changed much more radically than the amendment would change it, there would always be clause 29, which clearly says:Information which is not exempt information by virtue of section 28 is exempt information if its disclosure under this Act would, or would be likely to, prejudice—and a list of other roles of regulatory authorities.
- (a) the prevention or detection of crime,
- (b) the apprehension or prosecution of offenders,
- (c) the administration of justice
This is a serious group of amendments. The Minister must explain why he has chosen to reduce the threshold. Amendment No. 39 is crucial. He must also explain why there should be a blanket exemption for that critical area of public service. I shall listen carefully to the Minister. I suspect that the House will wish to give an opinion on both matters.
Dr. Tony Wright
I shall say but a word on the amendments. The Minister argued against an omnibus harm test. We have heard that a lot during debates on these issues over the years. If we accept the logic of that argument, we could also say that there are areas in which it makes sense to say "substantial" and others in which it makes sense not to. That is the point about not having an omnibus test. That was precisely the argument used by the Select Committee on Public Administration when it examined the draft Bill. The Minister has argued that there is no need for an omnibus test. According to his argument, it should be possible to have a substantial test for those matters for which such a test would make sense. I am disappointed that the Government have not been minded to consider that.
It is getting late and we are all tired; that inevitably influences our debate. I do not want to detain anyone, so I shall confine myself to amendment No. 39 to clause 28—the clause that deals with investigations. If the House were in more vigorous mood, it would be mightily exercised by this part of the Bill.
There is no question but that the blanket exemption for investigations has caused enormous disquiet among consumer organisations and those concerned with public safety. There seems no reason at all for it. I can only believe that, because the Government want to ensure that 1066 the police and other organisations are covered, they have decided to extend the provision to all investigatory bodies. The effect will be to place all investigations carried out by them into the exempt category.
That is quite unnecessary. Jenny Bacon of the Health and Safety Commission expressed the same view in evidence to the Select Committee. She said that the commission's work did not need to be in that category, and that it needed no more than a prejudice test to safeguard those matters that needed to be safeguarded.
I wish that the Government had considered the matter more closely. The preposterous possibility arises that a trading standards inspector might visit a premises and give it a clean bill of health, but that that information could not be disclosed. That would be because, under the Bill, he would represent an investigatory body that has the power to conduct an investigation. That is a silly and unnecessary conclusion, and the clause should be qualified in the way suggested by the amendment.
If I were in a more vigorous mood, I would talk at greater length about these matters. However, I place on record my enormous disquiet about this proposal.
§ Mr. White
The Government believe that open government consists of them releasing information under clause 13, but nothing demonstrates more clearly than clause 28 their unwillingness to accept that citizens have a right to demand that information for themselves. The Bill is supposed to ensure freedom of information, so it should give citizens the right to have access to the information that they want, once any prosecution is complete and the information has been released from sub judice requirements. The test should revolve around prejudice to an investigation, and I urge my hon. Friend the Minister to consider the amendment again.
§ Mr. Mike O'Brien
Amendments Nos. 15 to 26 would all have a similar effect, so it is sensible for me to deal with them separately from amendment No. 39, which deals with a slightly different matter.
I well remember that the hon. Member for Somerton and Frome (Mr. Heath) and other hon. Members in the Committee discussed at some length—almost to the point of angels dancing on pins—the various meanings of words and how those meanings could be defined. I shall not burden the House with a dissertation on why we have chosen one word in preference to two.
However, my hon. Friend the Member for Cannock Chase (Dr. Wright) Chairs the Select Committee on Public Administration and I refer those hon. Members interested in this matter to the Committee's very well argued report on the draft Bill, volume 1 of which looked in some detail at the word "prejudice" and other harm tests in UK law. It is a valuable reference work on some of these issues—indeed, I used it in Committee.
Amendments Nos. 15 to 26 would change the harm test in the exemptions for defence, international relations, relations within the UK, the economy, law enforcement and audit functions, which at present include a test of prejudice, to include a test of "substantial prejudice".
As I have said in other contexts, it is difficult to place a specific meaning on the word "substantial" and to determine what practical effect this would have in the Bill. For example, if the term means "a great deal of" or "a lot of", the amendments would mean that information that 1067 was deemed damaging to a lesser extent—that would involve some lesser prejudice—would have to be disclosed without the need to show that the public interest required that such damage be caused. That would not properly balance the public interest in disclosure with that of maintaining the exemption.
In addition, the qualification of the term is unnecessary. The Government have consistently stated their view that prejudice means prejudice that isactual, real or of substance.Prejudice is an ordinary word that is found without qualification in many pieces of legislation. It is a word that is familiar to the courts as well as to others involved with the day-to-day interpreting of legislation.
Moreover, we must not forget that the judgment of whether disclosure of information would be prejudicial to a given interest will not merely rest with the authorities. The commissioner and the tribunal will be required to consider individual cases that may be referred to them and may overturn the decision of the authority where they consider that the test is not met.
Amendment No. 39 would convert clause 28(1) into a prejudice-tested exemption. That would mean that the information held for the purposes of investigations into offences and any criminal proceedings that may flow from those would be exempt only where disclosure would be prejudicial to the investigation or proceedings.
The Government believe that the removal of a class exemption for such information would undermine the effectiveness of both the police and the prosecution services and that it is vital to retain the protection of a class exemption for that category of information.
The amendment would result in information about criminal investigations being released in advance of court proceedings, which would have a damaging effect on the case. The Government believe that it is essential to ensure that criminal proceedings are not jeopardised by the premature disclosure of information and that the criminal courts are preserved as the sole forum for determining guilt. Information which is, or may be, disclosed in court will continue to be placed in the public domain through that process.
The right hon. and hon. Members who tabled the amendment may say that surely a prejudice test would meet the concerns. We do not think so. First, in areas of criminal activity and individual liberty, one needs to be very wary of being too quick to assume that no prejudice would be caused. Introducing a prejudice test would lead to a search for demonstrable prejudice, with a real risk of injustices being caused or criminal activity being facilitated where such prejudice cannot immediately be pointed to.
Furthermore, it is right that the law enforcement agencies should not be subject to the commissioner's view of what would constitute prejudice in this field. The commissioner cannot be an expert in law and order and so must defer to the views of those agencies in this regard. Thus, to introduce a prejudice test would achieve little.
However, the clause as drafted will not prevent the disclosure of information about criminal investigations 1068 where it is in the public interest for such disclosures to be made by virtue of clause 13. Public authorities will release such information when the public interest in releasing it outweighs the public interest in maintaining the exemption. Therefore, in our amendments, we have met some, if not all, the concerns of hon. Members. I should also make it clear that general information about the conduct of investigations, as opposed to the information relating to particular investigations, is covered not by the class exemption but by the prejudice tested exemption in clause 29.
It is essential that, for information held for the purposes of investigations or criminal proceedings, we retain the protection afforded by a class exemption. It is not appropriate to subject this category of information to a prejudice test, and the Government amendments to clause 13 will in any case ensure that, where there is an overriding public interest in the disclosure of the information, it will be released.
I therefore ask the hon. Member for Somerton and Frome to withdraw the amendment.
§ Mr. David Heath
The Minister has simply repeated what he previously said about prejudice. I expected nothing else from him—he is being admirably consistent, and so am I. I still do not believe that the threshold is sufficiently high. We shall have to agree to differ, and see who rallies to our standards.
We have a very serious disagreement with the Government on amendment No. 39. I do not understand why the Minister suggests that it would lead to premature disclosure of information to the detriment of judicial proceedings. Clause 29 deals specifically with all the areas that would no longer be covered by the exemptions in clause 28. There is no circumstance in which that would not catch information that would prejudice, or would be likely to prejudice, the administration of justice, the prevention or detection of crime, or anything else about which the Minister is concerned. We share those concerns, of course, and would not have tabled an amendment if we believed that it was likely to do that.
We will seek the opinion of the House on this matter. If the opportunity arises, we should also like to seek the opinion of the House on amendment No. 39.
§ Question put, That the amendment be made:—
§ The House divided: Ayes 37, Noes 336.1071
|Division No. 146]||[9.27 pm|
|Allan, Richard||Harvey, Nick|
|Ashdown, Rt Hon Paddy||Heath, David (Somerton & Frome)|
|Ballard, Jackie||Hughes, Simon (Southwark N)|
|Bell, Martin (Tatton)||Kennedy, Rt Hon Charles (Ross Skye & Inverness W)|
|Brand, Dr Peter||Kirkwood, Archy|
|Breed, Colin||Llwyd, Elfyn|
|Burstow, Paul||Maclennan, Rt Hon Robert|
|Campbell, Rt Hon Menzies (NE Fife)||Michie, Mrs Ray (Argyll & Bute)|
|Cotter, Brian||Oaten, Mark|
|Davis, Rt Hon David (Haltemprice)||Rendel, David|
|Foster, Don (Bath)||Russell, Bob (Colchester)|
|George, Andrew (St Ives)||Sanders, Adrian|
|Harris, Dr Evan||Shepherd, Richard|
|Smith, Sir Robert (W Ab'd'ns)||Willis, Phil|
|Taylor, Matthew (Truro)|
|Tonge, Dr Jenny||Tellers for the Ayes:|
|Tyler, Paul||Mr. Ronnie Fearn and|
|Webb, Steve||Mr. John Burnett.|
|Ainger, Nick||Corston, Jean|
|Ainsworth, Robert (Cov'try NE)||Cousins, Jim|
|Alexander, Douglas||Cranston, Ross|
|Anderson, Donald (Swansea E)||Cryer, John (Hornchurch)|
|Anderson, Janet (Rossendale)||Cummings, John|
|Armstrong, Rt Hon Ms Hilary||Cunningham, Rt Hon Dr Jack (Copeland)|
|Atherton, Ms Candy||Cunningham, Jim (Cov'try S)|
|Atkins, Charlotte||Dalyell, Tam|
|Austin, John||Darling, Rt Hon Alistair|
|Barnes, Harry||Darvill, Keith|
|Barron, Kevin||Davey, Valerie (Bristol W)|
|Bayley, Hugh||Davidson, Ian|
|Beard, Nigel||Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli)|
|Beckett, Rt Hon Mrs Margaret||Davies, Geraint (Croydon C)|
|Begg, Miss Anne||Dawson, Hilton|
|Beggs, Roy||Dean, Mrs Janet|
|Benn, Hilary (Leeds C)||Denham, John|
|Bennett, Andrew F||Dismore, Andrew|
|Bermingham, Gerald||Dobbin, Jim|
|Berry, Roger||Donaldson, Jeffrey|
|Best, Harold||Donohoe, Brian H|
|Betts, Clive||Doran, Frank|
|Blackman, Liz||Eagle, Angela (Wallasey)|
|Blears, Ms Hazel||Eagle, Maria (L'pool Garston)|
|Blizzard, Bob||Edwards, Huw|
|Boateng, Rt Hon Paul||Efford, Clive|
|Bradley, Keith (Withington)||Ellman, Mrs Louise|
|Bradley, Peter (The Wrekin)||Ennis, Jeff|
|Bradshaw, Ben||Field, Rt Hon Frank|
|Brinton, Mrs Helen||Fitzpatrick, Jim|
|Brown, Rt Hon Nick (Newcastle E)||Fitzsimons, Lorna|
|Brown, Russell (Dumfries)||Flint, Caroline|
|Browne, Desmond||Follett, Barbara|
|Buck, Ms Karen||Foster, Rt Hon Derek|
|Burden, Richard||Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings)|
|Burgon, Colin||Foster, Michael J (Worcester)|
|Butler, Mrs Christine||Foulkes, George|
|Byers, Rt Hon Stephen||Galloway, George|
|Caborn, Rt Hon Richard||Gapes, Mike|
|Campbell, Alan (Tynemouth)||Gardiner, Barry|
|Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)||George, Bruce (Walsall S)|
|Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V)||Gerrard, Neil|
|Campbell-Savours, Dale||Gilroy, Mrs Linda|
|Cann, Jamie||Godman, Dr Norman A|
|Caplin, Ivor||Godsiff, Roger|
|Casale, Roger||Goggins, Paul|
|Caton, Martin||Golding, Mrs Llin|
|Cawsey, Ian||Gordon, Mrs Eileen|
|Chapman, Ben (Wirral S)||Graham, Thomas|
|Chaytor, David||Griffiths, Jane (Reading E)|
|Clapham, Michael||Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)|
|Clark, Rt Hon Dr David (S Shields)||Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)|
|Clark, Dr Lynda (Edinburgh Pentlands)||Grocott, Bruce|
|Clark, Paul (Gillingham)||Gunnell, John|
|Clarke, Charles (Norwich S)||Hall, Mike (Weaver Vale)|
|Clarke, Eric (Midlothian)||Hall, Patrick (Bedford)|
|Clarke, Tony (Northampton S)||Hamilton, Fabian (Leeds NE)|
|Clelland, David||Hanson, David|
|Coaker, Vernon||Heal, Mrs Sylvia|
|Coffey, Ms Ann||Healey, John|
|Cohen, Harry||Henderson, Doug (Newcastle N)|
|Coleman, Iain||Hepburn, Stephen|
|Colman, Tony||Heppell, John|
|Connarty, Michael||Hesford, Stephen|
|Cook, Frank (Stockton N)||Hill, Keith|
|Cooper, Yvette||Hinchliffe, David|
|Hodge, Ms Margaret||Michie, Bill (Shef'ld Heeley)|
|Hoey, Kate||Milburn, Rt Hon Alan|
|Hood, Jimmy||Miller, Andrew|
|Hoon, Rt Hon Geoffrey||Moffatt, Laura|
|Hope, Phil||Moonie, Dr Lewis|
|Hopkins, Kelvin||Moran, Ms Margaret|
|Howarth, Alan (Newport E)||Morley, Elliot|
|Howarth, George (Knowsley N)||Morris, Rt Hon Ms Estelle (B'ham Yardley)|
|Howells, Dr Kim|
|Hoyle, Lindsay||Mountford, Kali|
|Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)||Mullin, Chris|
|Humble, Mrs Joan||Murphy, Denis (Wansbeck)|
|Hurst, Alan||Murphy, Jim (Eastwood)|
|Hutton, John||Murphy, Rt Hon Paul (Torfaen)|
|Iddon, Dr Brian||Naysmith, Dr Doug|
|Illsley, Eric||Norris, Dan|
|Ingram, Rt Hon Adam||O'Brien, Bill (Normanton)|
|Jackson, Ms Glenda (Hampstead)||O'Brien, Mike (N Warks)|
|Jackson, Helen (Hillsborough)||Olner, Bill|
|Jamieson, David||O'Neill, Martin|
|Jenkins, Brian||Organ, Mrs Diana|
|Johnson, Alan (Hull W & Hessle)||Osborne, Ms Sandra|
|Johnson, Miss Melanie (Welwyn Hatfield)||Palmer, Dr Nick|
|Jones, Rt Hon Barry (Alyn)||Pendry, Tom|
|Jones, Helen (Warrington N)||Perham, Ms Linda|
|Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C)||Pickthall, Colin|
|Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S)||Pike, Peter L|
|Jowell, Rt Hon Ms Tessa||Plaskitt, James|
|Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald||Pollard, Kerry|
|Keeble, Ms Sally||Pond, Chris|
|Keen, Alan (Feltham & Heston)||Pope, Greg|
|Keen, Ann (Brentford & Isleworth)||Pound, Stephen|
|Kemp, Fraser||Powell, Sir Raymond|
|Kennedy, Jane (Wavertree)||Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lewisham E)|
|Khabra, Piara S||Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)|
|Kidney, David||Prescott, Rt Hon John|
|Kilfoyle, Peter||Primarolo, Dawn|
|King, Andy (Rugby & Kenilworth)||Prosser, Gwyn|
|King, Ms Oona (Bethnal Green)||Purchase, Ken|
|Ladyman, Dr Stephen||Quinn, Lawrie|
|Lawrence, Mrs Jackie||Radice, Rt Hon Giles|
|Laxton, Bob||Rammell, Bill|
|Lepper, David||Raynsford, Nick|
|Leslie, Christopher||Reed, Andrew (Loughborough)|
|Levitt, Tom||Reid, Rt Hon Dr John (Hamilton N)|
|Lewis, Ivan (Bury S)||Roche, Mrs Barbara|
|Lewis, Terry (Worsley)||Rogers, Allan|
|Liddell, Rt Hon Mrs Helen||Rooker, Rt Hon Jeff|
|Linton, Martin||Rooney, Terry|
|Lock, David||Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)|
|Love, Andrew||Rowlands, Ted|
|McAvoy, Thomas||Roy, Frank|
|McCabe, Steve||Ruane, Chris|
|McDonagh, Siobhain||Russell, Ms Christine (Chester)|
|Macdonald, Calum||Ryan, Ms Joan|
|McFall, John||Salter, Martin|
|McGuire, Mrs Anne||Sarwar, Mohammad|
|McIsaac, Shona||Savidge, Malcolm|
|McKenna, Mrs Rosemary||Sawford, Phil|
|McNulty, Tony||Sedgemore, Brian|
|MacShane, Denis||Shaw, Jonathan|
|Mactaggart, Fiona||Shipley, Ms Debra|
|McWalter, Tony||Short, Rt Hon Clare|
|McWilliam, John||Simpson, Alan (Nottingham S)|
|Mahon, Mrs Alice||Singh, Marsha|
|Mallaber, Judy||Skinner, Dennis|
|Marsden, Gordon (Blackpool S)||Smith, Rt Hon Andrew (Oxford E)|
|Marsden, Paul (Shrewsbury)||Smith, Angela (Basildon)|
|Marshall, David (Shettleston)||Smith, Rt Hon Chris (Islington S)|
|Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)||Smith, Miss Geraldine (Morecambe & Lunesdale)|
|Martlew, Eric||Smith, Jacqui (Redditch)|
|Maxton, John||Smith, John (Glamorgan)|
|Meacher, Rt Hon Michael||Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)|
|Merron, Gillian||Snape, Peter|
|Soley, Clive||Turner, Dennis (Wolverh'ton SE)|
|Southworth, Ms Helen||Turner, Dr George (NW Norfolk)|
|Spellar, John||Turner, Neil (Wigan)|
|Squire, Ms Rachel||Twigg, Derek (Halton)|
|Starkey, Dr Phyllis||Twigg, Stephen (Enfield)|
|Steinberg, Gerry||Tynan, Bill|
|Stevenson, George||Walley, Ms Joan|
|Stewart, David (Inverness E)||Ward, Ms Claire|
|Stewart, Ian (Eccles)||Wareing, Robert N|
|Stinchcombe, Paul||Watts, David|
|Stoate, Dr Howard||White, Brian|
|Strang, Rt Hon Dr Gavin||Whitehead, Dr Alan|
|Straw, Rt Hon Jack||Wicks, Malcolm|
|Stringer, Graham||Williams, Rt Hon Alan (Swansea W)|
|Stuart, Ms Gisela|
|Taylor, Rt Hon Mrs Ann (Dewsbury)||Williams, Alan W (E Carmarthen)|
|Taylor, Ms Dari (Stockton S)||Winnick, David|
|Taylor, David (NW Leics)||Winterton, Ms Rosie (Doncaster C)|
|Temple-Morris, Peter||Wood, Mike|
|Thomas, Gareth (Clwyd W)||Woodward, Shaun|
|Thomas, Gareth R (Harrow W)||Woolas, Phil|
|Thompson, William||Worthington, Tony|
|Timms, Stephen||Wright, Anthony D (Gt Yarmouth)|
|Tipping, Paddy||Wyatt, Derek|
|Touhig, Don||Tellers for the Noes:|
|Trickett, Jon||Mr. Gerry Sutcliffe and|
|Truswell, Paul||Mr. Jim Dowd.|
§ Question accordingly negatived