Criminal Justice

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:32 pm on 27th February 1997.

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Photo of Paul Flynn Paul Flynn , Newport West 3:32 pm, 27th February 1997

Has the Home Secretary convinced us that there is a need to bring into our constitution the only demand of the Chartist movement 150 years ago that is not part of our law—the demand for annual Parliaments? Is it not extraordinary that today Opposition Members are in the unique and unnerving position of agreeing with the Home Secretary's statement? Is not that entirely because it is a last gasp statement by a death-bed Government?

Will the Home Secretary return to the point made by my hon. Friend the Member for Sunderland, South (Mr. Mullin)? I get precisely the same complaints from police and magistrates in my constituency, who say that there is a tiny group of young people, some of them adults, who are serious offenders, but no action can be taken to stop them committing offences. One such individual was guilty of 50 offences, but cannot be detained. According to the police and the magistrates, that is not because of problems locally, but because of difficulties emanating from Government action.