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 my hon. Friend Mr. Skinner points out from a sedentary position, that is an interesting reinterpretation of the House of Lords' role. I cannot comment on a particular organisation, but I shall look at the case that my hon. Friend Mr. Kilfoyle mentions.

The Bill creates a new offence of acts preparatory to terrorism that I hope will find favour in all parts of the House. It also deals with training for terrorism and makes it an offence to give or receive training for terrorist purposes, or to attend a terrorist training camp. It contains the necessary measures to enable the United Kingdom to ratify the United Nations convention on the suppression of nuclear terrorism, and it extends the offence of criminal trespass to civil nuclear sites for reasons that, I hope, all Members will understand, given that such sites need the maximum possible protection. On that theme, we have decided that a small number of key military sites should be covered by the protection afforded by the offence of trespassing on a designated site in sections 128 to 131 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005. An order designating those sites to be protected will be submitted to the House by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence in due course.

I should perhaps have emphasised more strongly in my responses the fact that all prosecutions for offences in part 1 require the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions and that any offences involving the affairs of another country also require the consent of the Attorney-General. There is therefore a serious bar in the process in respect of some of the issues that have been raised.

Part 2 makes changes in respect of proscription. I believe that proscription provides an important part of our armoury in the fight against terrorism and I am grateful that the House recently endorsed without a Division the order to proscribe an additional 15 organisations. The Bill widens the criteria for proscription to encompass groups that glorify terrorism, where it is reasonable to expect that such glorification will be seen by others as an inducement to emulate the terrorist acts in question.