Stephen Lawrence Inquiry

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:49 pm on 29th March 1999.

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Photo of Mr Norman Fowler Mr Norman Fowler Shadow Secretary of State 5:49 pm, 29th March 1999

I think that that was a concession and that we are coming together. If the Home Secretary is agreeing with me, I shall move on, with that in my pocket. I genuinely believe that it is sensible to try to reach agreement on these matters.

We can also take it from the Home Secretary's published response to the Macpherson report that two other proposals are destined for the legal knacker's yard. The proposal in respect of double jeopardy—prosecution after acquittal—is set down as accepted by the Home Secretary, but what he means is that he is content for it to be considered by the Law Commission, and the word "consideration" is there in italics. Although I agree that it might be considered, I would be amazed if the Law Commission did not reject it. Similarly, the Government are right to be wary of changing the law in respect of racist language used in private places, such as a house. I do not think the Home Secretary mentioned this matter—