Specific statistical information in the form requested is not available. On 30 June 1986 I informed the hon. Gentleman that legislation would be introduced
which would extend to all domestic leaseholders a right to challenge the coverage and premiums for the insurance of their properties proposed by owners of freeholds."—[Official Report, 30 June 1986; Vol. 100, c. 684.]
On Second Reading of the Bill I informed the House that Government amendments would be tabled to meet that commitment. I am pleased to inform the House that that has been done and that I expect to move them in Standing Committee tomorrow.
Will the Minister acknowledge that on 30 June he implied a lot more when he answered questions in the House? Will he confirm that the legislation as it now exists with the amendments that he is now proposing will neither extend to leaseholders the right to choose their own insurance company nor give them the right to purchase their freeholds at a precise and predetermined level? Those are the things that the Minister promised the House. How can he justify that betrayal of his own constituents, many of whom are faced with the predations of companies such as Castle Beg and Banana Bliss, and of the promises that he gave in this Chamber?
The hon. Gentleman obviously has not read Hansard, and I would have had a lot more sympathy with him had he attended the Second Reading debate in question. I have already quoted what I said on 30 June, and I shall do so again. I said:
which would extend to all domestic leaseholders a right to challenge the coverage and premiums for the insurance of their properties proposed by owners of freeholds"—[Official Report, 30 June 1986; Vol. 100, c. 684.]
That is precisely what the clauses that have been tabled do. The amendments that we have tabled give leaseholders three important new rights—the right to know specific details about the insurance of their homes, the right to challenge the terms of such insurance, and the right to ask the court to vary leases that contain defective provisions in relation to insurance.
The hon. Gentleman's other point was not part of the assurances that I gave the House on 30 June.
The Minister still misses the point. Labour Members support the legislation as far as it goes, but we also support my hon. Friend the Member for Caerphilly (Mr. Davies) in his understanding that this legislation would extend to all domestic leaseholders. If the Minister cannot now fulfil the promise that he made, he should not have made it in the first place.
The hon. Gentleman did not listen to what I said. It does extend to all domestic leaseholders. The matters that are now being raised are really ones for the Committee stage of the Bill. That Committee stage is being dealt with in a bipartisan manner and the discussion is constructive on both sides. I find it strange that the kind of rancour that is now coming from the Opposition Benches is in no way manifesting itself in the work of the Committee.