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Prevention of Terrorism Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:00 pm on 10th March 2005.

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Photo of Charles Clarke Charles Clarke Home Secretary 6:00 pm, 10th March 2005

As you indicated, Mr. Deputy Speaker, we are debating all the amendments together, and I intend very briefly to go through the Government's position on each of the issues that has been addressed.

I turn first to Lords reasons 38A, 39A, 40A, etc. The effect of the Lords motion is that the Lords have insisted on their amendment to the schedule that provides for the Lord Chief Justice to make the rules and to require rules of court to be compatible with article 6 of the European convention on human rights and have proposed a different procedure for the making of first rules. We do not accept that that set of proposals is sensible. First, the Lord Chief Justice does not make rules of court. Secondly, the rules must be compatible with article 6 in any event. Thirdly, we have changed the procedure to allow affirmative resolutions to approve the rules. I therefore ask the House to insist on its disagreement to Lords amendments Nos. 38, 39 and 40, insist on its amendments Nos. 42A and 42B, agree to its amendment No. 42C, agree to Lords amendment No. 42D and disagree with Lords amendment No. 42E proposed in lieu.

Secondly, I address Lords reason 1D, which refers to the Secretary of State making non-derogating orders and to the standard of proof. The effect of the Lords' motion is that they have rejected our amendments in relation to the making and judicial supervision of non-derogating control orders and to standards of proof. They are insisting on their own amendments in relation to those matters. We had a very long debate on those issues last night. The will of the House was expressed very clearly indeed. I do not propose to accept the amendments proposed, since I believe that a reduction in the standard of proof would lead to the likelihood that certain dangerous individuals who otherwise would be brought under control through control orders would not be so controlled. That is the advice that I have had from the police and the security services. I therefore conclude that the Lords amendments are not an improvement.

My amendments indicated very considerable movement by the Government to address the concerns expressed in both Houses. For that reason, I ask the House to insist on its amendments Nos. 1A and 1B to Lords amendment No. 1, insist on its disagreement to Lords amendments Nos. 8, 9, 12, 13, 15, 17, 22, 28 and 37, and insist on its amendments Nos. 37A to 37O, to disagree to Lords amendments 37Q to 37T proposed in lieu of Lords amendment No. 8, and propose the additional amendments listed in my name on the marshalled list.

I believe that Mr. Grieve, in responding to this discussion, should answer a key question when considering these amendments. Will he confirm that his policy neglects the advice of the police and security services and would mean that control orders would not be placed on certain individuals whom the police and security services consider a threat?