Orders of the Day — Terrorism Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:24 pm on 26th October 2005.

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Photo of Charles Clarke Charles Clarke Home Secretary 1:24 pm, 26th October 2005

As one who was keen to promote the right hon. and learned Gentleman's candidacy for the leadership of his party—even if only to keep the name Clarke in lights as much as possible—I have to say that, notwithstanding my deep regret over his failure to survive the first ballot, the reason may have been a lack of homework on some of the issues that need to be addressed.

This Bill was envisaged in debate on the Floor of the House during the passage of the Bill that became the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005. That is because when measures to deal with offences involving, for instance, incitement and training were proposed by the Newton committee and others, we said that we would return to them for precisely the reason that the right hon. and learned Gentleman cites: the need for prosecution. I gave the House a commitment that we would legislate on those issues during this parliamentary Session.

It is true that following the events of 7 July there are more measures in the Bill than would otherwise have been the case. We sent a list of proposals to the right hon. Member for Haltemprice and Howden and the hon. Member for Winchester as early as 15 July. That list had been prepared in the spirit of following through our proposals. The Bill is therefore not emergency legislation. Moreover, the fact that we are allowing two days on the Floor of the House for the Committee stage and another two days for Report indicates our keenness to establish the non-emergency nature of the legislation, and to put it on a proper footing.