New Clause 6 — Power to make control orders

Part of Orders of the Day — Prevention of Terrorism Bill – in the House of Commons at 11:06 pm on 28th February 2005.

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Photo of David Heath David Heath Shadow Spokesperson (Home Affairs) 11:06 pm, 28th February 2005

I thank the right hon. and learned Gentleman for putting that on the record, because it makes it clear that for each hon. Member who voted against the Government there was at least one, perhaps two, who disagreed with what they intend to do. If the Government think they can get the Bill through the House in this form, they are mistaken: it will not pass.

I have heard the Prime Minister trying to explain the Government's position, and trying to win the favour of the country in, apparently, an all-out bid to impress readers of The Daily Telegraph, as we just heard from the Home Secretary. His basic argument boils down to this: "What would people think if we knew that someone was a danger to the country and did nothing about it, and then an atrocity was committed?" I would ask the Prime Minister and the Home Secretary this in return: what would people think if the Home Secretary knew that someone was a danger to the country, but did not have the tools to do anything about it because of a totally arbitrary distinction between derogating and non-derogating orders and between whether he goes to a judge one week later or in the first instance, and an atrocity was committed?

This is nonsense. It is possible for us to reach a consensus; why on earth are the Government refusing to allow that to happen?