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Education About Electoral and Democratic Systems

Orders of the Day — Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Bill – in the House of Commons at 10:45 pm on 14th February 2000.

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Photo of George Young George Young Shadow Leader of the House of Commons, Shadow Secretary of State 10:45 pm, 14th February 2000

I beg to move amendment No. 29, in page 8, leave out line 10 and insert— '(a) the electoral systems in use for the time being in the elections mentioned in section 19(3).'.

The Chairman:

With this it will be convenient to discuss the following amendments: No. 40, in page 8, leave out line 10 and insert— '(a) the electoral system to be used for each election held in the United Kingdom;'.

No. 41, in page 8, leave out line 11 and insert— '(b) the - systems of local government and national government in operation in the United Kingdom.'.

No. 33, in page 8, line 11, after second 'government', insert— 'in use in the United Kingdom'.

No. 30, in page 8, line 11, leave out from second 'government' to end of line 12.

No. 42, in page 8, line 12, at end insert— '( ) Any promotion of public awareness of electoral systems or systems of government under subsection (1) shall relate only to the electoral system that will be used at a particular election or the system of government to which the election is related, and shall not contain any material relating to alternative electoral systems or systems of government.'.

No. 31, in page 8, leave out lines 22 to 26.

No. 32, in page 8, line 28, leave out— '(whether by making grants or otherwise)'.

Photo of George Young George Young Shadow Leader of the House of Commons, Shadow Secretary of State

I return to an issue that I raised on Second Reading—the duties of the commission to promote. Clause 11 makes it clear that education is not an optional power for the commission, but a duty.

The Neill committee did not envisage that function for the commission, and the Labour party did not propose that function in its evidence to the committee. Chapter 11 of the Neill report, which recommends the establishment of the commission, identified five roles for it: monitoring and recommending; an executive role registering the parties; an investigative role if something went wrong; an advisory role, mainly for political parties; and a narrow administrative role in the conduct of elections and referendums.

The role allotted to the commission in this clause was simply not recommended by Neill. Indeed, the report goes further and warns the Government against dumping extra responsibilities on the commission. Paragraph 11.4 of Neill says: We would only make the obvious point that the Election Commission cannot, as some of our witnesses seemed to believe, solve all problems and be a panacea for all ills. It is tempting, but not sensible, to say whenever in difficulty, 'Leave it to the Commission'. That is an approach we have sought to avoid in this report. Government, Parliament and others have to accept their responsibilities. The clause is a major departure from the Neill report, and a measure that it warned against.

Despite all that, in paragraphs 2.17 and 2.18 of their White Paper, Cm 4413, the Government sought to extend the Electoral Commission's remit. Not only did they want the commission to take over the existing work of Government Departments, such as encouraging people to register and reminding them when to apply for postal votes—I have no objection to that—but the draft Bill in the White Paper places the Electoral Commission under a duty to promote public awareness of electoral systems and matters, and of systems of local and national government and of the institutions of the European Union. I understand that that is part of the Government's citizenship education proposals, but it is wholly inappropriate to place that duty with the commission. As drafted, the Bill brings the Electoral Commission—a fully independent body, free of any suspicion of political partisanship, to use the Government's own words—right into issues of the fiercest political controversy. That is why I am against clause 11. The public must perceive the body to be totally impartial, but it cannot control, monitor, assess and report at the same time as promoting matters of intense political controversy.

Let me go through the provisions of clause 11(1). One deals with the promotion of public awareness of electoral systems and matters. Recently, the Jenkins commission report recommended a new electoral system: AV-plus. The Minister might like to tell the Committee what has happened to the commitment to a referendum on first past the post and AV-plus—does it remain a pledge, or is it just an aspiration?

Is the commission's role to promote public awareness of AV-plus? I do not think that it should be, not least because the commission may be the referee in a referendum on that issue. If it had in advance of that referendum promoted awareness of AV-plus, it would clearly undermine public confidence in its neutrality.

Is the commission's role to promote public awareness of other types of proportional representation? Is it to get involved in the heated debate about closed or open lists? We are not talking about informing people about the existing system, so that they understand how we are all elected—I personally would not object to that, although it goes beyond the commission's role as envisaged by Neill.

The clause allows the commission—indeed, it gives it a duty—to promote awareness of electoral systems and matters generally. That invites it into sensitive political areas because some systems advantage some parties and disadvantage others. The job of informing and persuading the public about alternatives to the present voting system is not a matter for impartial public servants who sit on the commission.

Clause 11(1)(b) refers to systems of local government and national government Is the commission to promote awareness of regional assemblies? Is it part of its remit to roll the pitch for a possible referendum on the establishment of such assemblies in certain regions? As the Bill stands, it has a duty to do that. If it did that, how could it be neutral in a subsequent referendum on setting up a regional assembly?

Photo of Mike O'Brien Mike O'Brien Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Home Office

It may assist the right hon. Gentleman if I say that, in terms of amendments Nos. 29, 40 and 42, we are not too far from him in principle. We might seek to bring something forward at a later stage.

Photo of George Young George Young Shadow Leader of the House of Commons, Shadow Secretary of State

I am enormously grateful to the Minister for indicating a degree of flexibility on the amendments. In the interests of making progress, I will not press the case on clause 11(1)(b) as much as I was going to, but I want to say something about clause 11(1)(c), which is about the European Union.

The Committee may not be familiar with the Commission's preliminary draft budget for 2000. Nor until last week was I, but the Commission is to spend 45 million euros on general information and communication work concerning the European Union; that is less than half the budget of 103 million euros on information and communication. If one looks at the budget, one will see exactly how it is done. I quote from the European Commission budget document: these measures are designed to be an effective channel of communication and dialogue between the people of the European Union and the Community Institutions. They take account of specific national and regional characteristics, in close co-operation with the Member State authorities. The point is simple: if through our taxes we were already paying for the European Commission to do that promotional job, why should it be duplicated through the work of the commission?

Photo of Douglas Hogg Douglas Hogg Conservative, Sleaford and North Hykeham

I am sure that my right hon. Friend would like to know that I support him on the matter. Will he also address the matter that is set out in clause 11(3)(b)? He will find that the commission has the power to make grants to other persons or bodies to carry out the purposes that are set out in subsection (1). That being so, the commission would have the power to make a grant to a body articulating a particular European view.

Photo of George Young George Young Shadow Leader of the House of Commons, Shadow Secretary of State

Let me deal quickly with the second half of the group of amendments, which deals with grants. I have made clear my belief that the clause is misconceived and I am delighted to hear that the Minister shares my view to some extent.

Amendments Nos. 31 and 32 address the question of grants. To what sort of organisation is the commission to give money? Is it Charter 88 or the Electoral Reform Society? Both are highly reputable bodies, but neither is entirely neutral on the question of parliamentary election reform. It is difficult to think of any body to promote public awareness in that respect that is not in some way committed to one side of the argument. As my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Sleaford and North Hykeham (Mr. Hogg) asked, will the commission give grants to pro-euro groups to promote awareness, and, if so, will it also give grants to anti-euro groups?

The whole issue is a minefield. I hope that the Government will have second thoughts and concede at least some of the amendments.

Photo of Mike O'Brien Mike O'Brien Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Home Office

I have already told the right hon. Member for North-West Hampshire (Sir G. Young) that, on amendments Nos. 29, 40, 41 and 42, the distance between us is very small. Although we want there to be a debate on the Jenkins commission proposals, I want to make it clear that the Government do not intend that it should be for the Electoral Commission to promote public awareness of the relative merits of alternative voting systems.

The commission must exist to ensure the integrity of our electoral arrangements, to encourage participation and to root out impropriety. In doing so, it must be seen to be impartial. It would be injurious to the perceived neutrality of such a body if it were seen to adopt a position on the question of alternative voting systems. The Government therefore accept in principle the thrust of those amendments. However, we want to reflect further on how the Bill might best be amended so as to clarify the point at issue. In view of the commitment to look at this further, I should be grateful if amendment No. 29 were withdrawn and amendments Nos. 40, 41 and 42 not pressed.

On amendments Nos. 31 and 32, it would be a pity if the Electoral Commission, in carrying out its educational role, were limited to what it could produce by its own efforts and prevented from harnessing the efforts of others. We envisage that the commission might want to make grants available to other organisations, such as the Citizenship Foundation. We acknowledge the fear that grants might go to politically partisan organisations with an axe to grind, but it is certainly not the intention to subsidise polemics. We think that we can rely on the commission's good sense.

If the Commission's powers are circumscribed along the lines proposed in amendments Nos. 29, 40, 41 and 42, which I have in principle accepted, the scope of the grant-making power would automatically be contracted accordingly. Therefore, it would be outside the powers of the commission to make a grant to an organisation to enable it to promote alternative voting systems. I hope, therefore, that the right hon. Gentleman is also content not to press amendments Nos. 31 and 32.

It is important that the scope of the commission's voter education role should extend to explaining the institutions of the European Union to voters. One of the reasons why we have poor turnouts at elections is that people fail to see the relevance of the body being elected. That applies as much to the European Parliament as it does to local councils. Given the turnout at the last European elections, there is clearly much work to be done. I therefore urge the right hon. Gentleman not to press amendments Nos. 30 and 33.

Photo of David Maclean David Maclean Conservative, Penrith and The Border

It has been an extraordinary day: the Government have accepted, in principle, numerous amendments tabled by my right hon. and erudite Friend the Member for Bromley and Chislehurst (Mr. Forth) and myself. It was certainly a first when, in a spirit of helpfulness and to ensure that the Committee proceeded at a reasonable pace, I decided not to speak to the amendments standing in my name and to let Ministers consider them as they stood. I have never before heard a Minister accept all my amendments even before I have spoken to them. It would therefore be ungracious of me to speak at any length now—[HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."]— but I could be persuaded to do so.

It is kind of the Minister to speak in such glowing terms of amendments Nos. 40, 41 and 42. They are yet another series of amendments that the Government have decided are wise and acceptable to them. Ministers have realised that, without the amendments, we would be faced with a diabolical Bill. I am happy not to press the amendments standing in my name.

11 pm

Photo of Andrew Stunell Andrew Stunell Shadow Spokesperson (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

We oppose the amendments. We are sorry that the Government are moving to accept them, although we fully understand the reasoning that has been advanced. On another day and at an earlier time, there may be an opportunity to engage in the debate that we are all skirting around, about the relative merits of various voting systems.

The shadow Leader of the House remarked that one system would advantage one party and disadvantage another. In the debate about electoral systems and in the philosophy underlying the Electoral Commission and the Bill, the essential element is the need to strike a balance, not just between different political parties but between different political interests in the United Kingdom. We lay great emphasis on the fair treatment and representation of the people of the United Kingdom, even if that sometimes costs parties the power and influence that they would like individually to exercise.

The real issue to which the clause and the amendments are directed is whether the Electoral Commission can succeed in getting people more involved in and excited by politics. We must face the fact that people are increasingly disenchanted with the existing political process.

Photo of Malcolm Bruce Malcolm Bruce Liberal Democrat, Gordon

My hon. Friend makes an important point. In the elections in Scotland nine months ago, in which there was a constituency vote and a list vote, electors had considerable difficulty understanding that the list vote did not require them to vote for a different party from that for which they voted in the constituency vote, if they did not wish to do so. People felt that they were obliged to vote for two different parties. It is right and proper that an Electoral Commission should advise people of their full rights of choice.

Photo of Andrew Stunell Andrew Stunell Shadow Spokesperson (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

I agree with my hon. Friend, who has direct practical experience of the situation in Scotland. We all have direct practical experience of the impact of the European election results last year.

One of the disadvantages of amendment No. 29 is that if the House were to examine the voting system used in the European elections, which I understand many Opposition Members want us to do, the Electoral Commission, by virtue of amendment No. 29, could not take part in explaining the new system.

We are in danger of having a reverse section 28 debate which rules out any debate about electoral reform or change, and prevents the major institution established by the Bill from playing a part in that process.

There are occasions when one knows that the House is not with one in these matters, but it is still necessary to say in the plainest and most direct terms that the draft legislation contained an opportunity which I am sorry to see the Minister withdrawing today.

Photo of Douglas Hogg Douglas Hogg Conservative, Sleaford and North Hykeham

The key difference between the views of the Opposition and the clause as formulated is this: we have no objection to the commission being able to explain existing institutions, but we object to giving to the commission the power to institute debate about alternative systems.

It would be churlish of me not to acknowledge that the Minister has said that he will review the matter. If he is prepared to meet the precise point articulated by the Opposition, I fancy that we will be content. If not, I fancy that his decision will be reversed in another place.

Photo of George Young George Young Shadow Leader of the House of Commons, Shadow Secretary of State

The Minister has been enormously helpful. He showered me with concessions before I had even reached the relevant part of my speech. I do not want to appear ungrateful, but he made no concessions on amendment No. 30, which he invited me to withdraw. My hon. Friends and I feel strongly about that amendment and, at the appropriate point, we would like to divide the House on it.

I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Amendment proposed: No. 30, in page 8, line 11, leave out from second 'government' to end of line 12.—[Sir George Young.]

The Committee divided: Ayes 126, Noes 309.

Division No. 73][11.5 pm
Ainsworth, Peter (E Surrey)Gorman, Mrs Teresa
Amess, DavidGray, James
Arbuthnot, Rt Hon JamesGreen, Damian
Atkinson, Peter (Hexham)Greenway, John
Baldry, TonyGrieve, Dominic
Bercow, JohnHamilton, Rt Hon Sir Archie
Beresford, Sir PaulHammond, Philip
Blunt, CrispinHawkins, Nick
Boswell, TimHayes, John
Bottomley, Peter (Worthing W)Heathcoat-Amory, Rt Hon David
Bottomley, Rt Hon Mrs VirginiaHogg, Rt Hon Douglas
Brady, GrahamHoram, John
Brazier, JulianHoward, Rt Hon Michael
Brooke, Rt Hon PeterHowarth, Gerald (Aldershot)
Browning, Mrs AngelaHunter, Andrew
Bruce, Ian (S Dorset)Jack, Rt Hon Michael
Burns, SimonJackson, Robert (Wantage)
Cash, WilliamJenkin, Bernard
Chope, ChristopherLaing, Mrs Eleanor
Clappison, JamesLait, Mrs Jacqui
Clark, Dr Michael (Rayleigh)Leigh, Edward
Collins, TimLetwin, Oliver
Cormack, Sir PatrickLewis, Dr Julian (New Forest E)
Cran, JamesLidington, David
Davies, Quentin (Grantham)Lilley, Rt Hon Peter
Day, StephenLloyd, Rt Hon Sir Peter (Fareham)
Donaldson, JeffreyLoughton, Tim
Dorrell, Rt Hon StephenMacGregor, Rt Hon John
Duncan, AlanMcIntosh, Miss Anne
Duncan Smith, IainMaclean, Rt Hon David
Evans, NigelMcLoughlin, Patrick
Faber, DavidMadel, Sir David
Fabricant, MichaelMalins, Humfrey
Fallon, MichaelMaude, Rt Hon Francis
Flight, HowardMawhinney, Rt Hon Sir Brian
Forth, Rt Hon EricMay, Mrs Theresa
Fox, Dr LiamMoss, Malcolm
Fraser, ChristopherNicholls, Patrick
Gale, RogerNorman, Archie
Garnier, EdwardO'Brien, Stephen (Eddisbury)
Gibb, NickPage, Richard
Gill, ChristopherPaice, James
Gillan, Mrs CherylPaterson, Owen
Pickles, EricTaylor, John M (Solihull)
Portillo, Rt Hon MichaelTaylor, Sir Teddy
Prior, DavidTownend, John
Randall, JohnTredinnick, David
Redwood, Rt Hon JohnTrend, Michael
Robertson, LaurenceTyrie, Andrew
Roe, Mrs Marion (Broxboume)Viggers, Peter
Ross, William (E Lond'y)Walter, Robert
Ruffley, DavidWaterson, Nigel
St Aubyn, NickWhitney, Sir Raymond
Sayeed, JonathanWhittingdale, John
Shephard, Rt Hon Mrs GillianWilkinson, John
Shepherd, RichardWilletts, David
Wilshire, David
Simpson, Keith (Mid-Norfolk)Winterton, Mrs Ann (Congleton)
Spelman, Mrs CarolineWinterton, Nicholas (Macclesfield)
Spicer, Sir MichaelYeo, Tim
Spring, RichardYoung, Rt Hon Sir George
Streeter, Gary
Swayne, DesmondTellers for the Ayes:
Syms, RobertMr. Geoffrey Clifton-Brown
Tapsell, Sir Peterand
Taylor, Ian (Esher & Walton)Mr. Peter Luff.
Abbott, Ms DianeCoffey, Ms Ann
Ainger, NickCohen, Harry
Allan, RichardCoteman, Iain
Allen, GrahamColman, Tony
Anderson, Janet (Rossendale)Connarty, Michael
Armstrong, Rt Hon Ms HilaryCook, Frank (Stockton N)
Atherton, Ms CandyCooper, Yvette
Atkins, CharlotteCorbett, Robin
Austin, JohnCorbyn, Jeremy
Banks, TonyCorston, Jean
Barnes, HarryCotter, Brian
Barron, KevinCox, Tom
Bayley, HughCrausby, David
Beard, NigelCryer, Mrs Ann (Keighley)
Beckett, Rt Hon Mrs MargaretCryer, John (Hornchurch)
Benn, Hilary (Leeds C)Cummings, John
Benn, Rt Hon Tony (Chesterfield)Cunningham, Jim (Cov'try S)
Bennett, Andrew FCurtis-Thomas, Mrs Claire
Benton, JoeDarvill, Keith
Bermingham, GeraldDavey, Valerie (Bristol W)
Berry, RogerDavidson, Ian
Belts, CliveDavies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli)
Blears, Ms HazelDavies, Geraint (Croydon C)
Borrow, DavidDawson, Hilton
Bradley, Keith (Withington)Dean, Mrs Janet
Bradley, Peter (The Wrekin)Denham, John
Bradshaw, BenDismore, Andrew
Brinton, Mrs HelenDobbin, Jim
Bruce, Malcolm (Gordon)Donohoe, Brian H
Burden, RichardDoran, Frank
Burgon, ColinDrew, David
Butler, Mrs ChristineDunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth
Campbell, Alan (Tynemouth)Eagle, Angela (Wallasey)
Campbell, Rt Hon Menzies (NE Fife)Eagle, Maria (L'pool Garston)
Efford, Clive
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V)Ellman, Mrs Louise
Cann, JamieEnnis, Jeff
Caplin, IvorEtherington, Bill
Caton, MartinField, Rt Hon Frank
Cawsey, IanFisher, Mark
Chapman, Ben (Wirral S)Fitzpatrick, Jim
Clapham, MichaelFitzsimons, Loma
Clark, Rt Hon Dr David (S Shields)Flint, Caroline
Clark, Dr Lynda (Edinburgh Pentlands)Flynn, Paul
Follett, Barbara
Clark, Paul (Gillingham)Foster, Rt Hon Derek
Clarke, Charles (Norwich S)Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings)
Clarke, Rt Hon Tom (Coatbridge)Foster, Michael J (Worcester)
Clarke, Tony (Northampton S)Fyfe, Maria
Clelland, DavidGalloway, George
Coaker, VernonGapes, Mike
George, Andrew (St Ives)McCartney, Rt Hon Ian (Makerfield)
Gerrard, Neil
Gibson, Dr IanMcDonagh, Siobhain
Gilroy, Mrs LindaMacdonald, Calum
Godman, Dr Norman AMcDonnell, John
Godsiff, RogerMcFall, John
Goggins, PaulMcIsaac, Shona
Golding, Mrs LlinMcKenna, Mrs Rosemary
Gordon, Mrs EileenMackinlay, Andrew
Griffiths, Jane (Reading E)McNamara, Kevin
Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)McNulty, Tony
Grocott, BruceMacShane, Denis
Grogan, JohnMactaggart, Fiona
Hain, PeterMcWalter, Tony
Hall, Mike (Weaver Vale)McWilliam, John
Hall, Patrick (Bedford)Mahon, Mrs Alice
Hamilton, Fabian (Leeds NE)Mallaber, Judy
Hanson, DavidMarsden, Gordon (Blackpool S)
Heal, Mrs SylviaMarsden, Paul (Shrewsbury)
Healey JohnMarshall-Andrews, Robert
Heath, David (Somerton & Frome)Meacher, Rt Hon Michael
Henderson, Ivan (Harwich)Meale, Alan
Hepburn, StephenMerron, Gillian
Heppell JohnMichie, Bill (Shef'ld Heeley)
Hesford, StephenMiller, Andrew
Hewitt, Ms PatriciaMitchell, Austin
Hill, KeithMoffatt, Laura
Hinchliffe, DavidMoonie Dr Lews
Hope, PhilMoran, Ms Margaret
Hopkins, KelvinMorgan, Alasdair (Galloway)
Morley, Elliot
Howarth, Alan (Newport E)Morris, Rt Hon Ms Estelle (B'ham Yardley)
Hoyle, Lindsay
Hughes, Ms Beverley (Stretford)Mountford, Kali
Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)Mudie, George
Hughes, Simon (Southwark N)Mullin, Chris
Humble, Mrs JoanMurphy, Denis (Wansbeck)
Hurst, AlanMurphy, Jim (Eastwood)
Hutton, JohnNaysmith, Dr Doug
Iddon, Dr BrianO'Brien, Bill (Normanton)
Illsley, EricO'Brien, Mike (N Warks)
Ingram, Rt Hon AdamO'Hara Eddie
Jackson, Helen (Hillsborough)Olner, Bill
Jenkins, BrianÖpik, Lembit
Johnson, Alan (Hull W & Hessle)Pearson, Ian
Johnson, Miss Melanie (Welwyn Hatfield)Pendry, Tom
Pickthall, Colin
Jones, Helen (Warrington N)Pike, Peter L
Jones, Ms Jenny (Wolverh'ton SW)Plaskitt, James
Pollard, Kerry
Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C)Pond, Chris
Jones, Dr Lynne (Selly Oak)Pope, Greg
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S)Pound, Stephen
Jowell, Rt Hon Ms TessaPrentice, Ms Bridget (Lewisham E)
Keeble, Ms SallyPrentice, Gordon (Pendle)
Keen, Alan (Feltham & Heston)Primarolo, Dawn
Keen, Ann (Brentford & Isleworth)Prosser, Gwyn
Kennedy, Jane (Wavertree)Purchase, Ken
Kidney, DavidQuin, Rt Hon Ms Joyce
Kilfoyle, PeterQuinn, Lawrie
King, Andy (Rugby & Kenilworth)Radice, Rt Hon Giles
Kumar, Dr AshokRammell, Bill
Ladyman, Dr StephenRapson, Syd
Laxton, BobRaynsford, Nick
Lepper, DavidReed, Andrew (Loughborough)
Leslie, ChristopherReid, Rt Hon Dr John (Hamilton N)
Levitt, TornRendel, David
Lewis, Ivan (Bury S)Roche, Mrs Barbara
Lewis, Terry (Worsley)Rooker, Rt Hon Jeff
Liddell, Rt Hon Mrs HelenRooney, Terry
Linton, MartinRoss, Ernie (Dundee W)
Lloyd, Tony (Manchester C)Roy, Frank
Lock, DavidRuane, Chris
Love, AndrewRuddock, Joan
McAvoy, ThomasRussell, Bob (Colchester)
McCabe, SteveRussell, Ms Christine (Chester)
Ryan, Ms JoanThomas, Gareth R (Harrow W)
Salter, MartinTimms, Stephen
Sanders, AdrianTipping, Paddy
Savidge, MalcolmTodd, Mark
Sawford, PhilTouhig, Don
Sedgemore, BrianTrickett, Jon
Shaw, JonathanTruswell, Paul
Sheerman, BarryTurner, Dennis (Wolverh'ton SE)
Sheldon, Rt Hon RobertTurner, Dr Desmond (Kemptown)
Simpson, Alan (Nottingham S)Turner, Dr George (NW Norfolk)
Singh, MarshaTurner, Neil (Wigan)
Skinner, DennisTwigg, Derek (Halton)
Smith, Rt Hon Andrew (Oxford E)Twigg, Stephen (Enfield)
Smith, Angela (Basildon)Walley, Ms Joan
Smith, Miss Geraldine (Morecombe & Lunesdale)Ward, Ms Claire
Wareing, Robert N
Smith, Jacqui (Redditch)Watts, David
Smith, John (Glamorgan)White, Brian
Snape, PeterWhitehead, Dr Alan
Southworth, Ms HelenWicks, Malcolm
Spellar, JohnWilliams, Alan W (E Carmarthen)
Starkey, Dr PhyllisWilliams, Mrs Betty (Conwy)
Steinberg, GerryWinnick, David
Stewart, Ian (Eccles)Winterton, Ms Rosie (Doncaster C)
Stoate, Dr HowardWise, Audrey
Stuart, Ms GiselaWoodward, Shaun
Stunell, AndrewWoolas, Phil
Sutcliffe, GerryWright Anthony D (Gt Yarmouth)
Taylor, Rt Hon Mrs Ann (Dewsbury)Wright, Dr Tony (Cannock)
Wyatt, Derek
Taylor, Ms Dari (Stockton S)
Taylor, David (NW Leics)Tellers for the Noes:
Taylor, Matthew (Truro)Mr. Robert Ainsworth and
Thomas, Gareth (Clwyd W)Mr. Jim Dowd.

Question accordingly negatived.

Clause 11 ordered stand part of the Bill.

Clauses 12 to 18 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

To report progress and ask leave to sit again.—[Mr. Mike Hall.]

Committee report progress; to sit again tomorrow.