Restriction on Supply of Information Contained in Register

Clause 9 – in the House of Commons at 12:45 am on 8th March 2000.

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Lords amendment: No. 14, in page 10, line 32, leave out ("both the full register and the edited register may") and insert ("the full register and the edited register may each")

Motion made, and Question proposed, That this House agrees with the Lords in the said amendment.—[Mr. Mike O'Brien.]

Photo of Michael Martin Michael Martin Deputy Speaker (First Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means)

With this, it will be convenient to discuss Lords amendments Nos. 15 to 19.

Photo of Mr Nick Hawkins Mr Nick Hawkins Conservative, Surrey Heath

The importance of the amendments reinforces the argument that my right hon. and hon. Friends and I advanced in the debate on the guillotine motion. We are just starting the fifth group of amendments, and our protests about the inadequate time allowed have been amply borne out.

This group deals with one of the most important issues, which was raised extensively on Second Reading and in Committee, and again in another place. It led to a lengthy debate, with a number of amendments being moved as recently as Monday of this week in another place.

The concerns that I raised in Committee—at that time, from the Back Benches—have still not been properly addressed. We are waiting to hear from the Government about the progress of their consultation with industry about the commercial use of the electoral register, and what representations have been made. As my hon. Friend the Member for Ryedale (Mr. Greenway) said in Committee, mixed messages have been given throughout the Committee stage and in all the statements made by Ministers in this House and in another place. We await a code of practice. For a long time, we have been asking the Government to introduce regulations under clause 9. They have been promised since Second Reading. Our anxieties about the difference between the full register and the edited version cover such important issues as battered wives—

It being two hours after the commencement of proceedings on the supplemental allocation of time motion, MR. DEPUTY SPEAKER put the Question already proposed from the Chair, pursuant to Order [this day].

Lords amendment agreed to.

MR. DEPUTY SPEAKER then put the remaining Questions required to be put at that hour.

Lords amendments Nos. 15 to 87 agreed to [some with Special Entry].

Photo of Mr Nick Hawkins Mr Nick Hawkins Conservative, Surrey Heath

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. The Government have conunitted a scandalous abuse of power in trying to deny the House the opportunity to debate the—

Photo of Michael Martin Michael Martin Deputy Speaker (First Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means)

Order. The House has decided on those matters, and I must move on.