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New Clause 5 — Smoke-free premises: exemptions

Part of Orders of the Day — Health Bill – in the House of Commons at 4:00 pm on 14th February 2006.

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Photo of Patricia Hewitt Patricia Hewitt Secretary of State, Department of Health 4:00 pm, 14th February 2006

Yes. I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for his courteous remarks.

The second issue on which there are genuine differences of opinion both inside and outside the House is that of private membership clubs. Government new clause 5 would exempt genuine private membership clubs from the ban. To allow hon. Members to express their views on that issue separately from the question of licensed premises generally my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary has tabled amendments (a) and (b) to (d) to the new clause. Those amendments, taken together, would not allow any exemption to be made for private clubs—in other words, the smoking ban would extend to them as well. By "membership clubs" we mean only the qualifying clubs operating with a club premises certificate under the specific rules of the Licensing Act 2003, including the stipulation that the club is not open to the general public and that it is run on a not-for-profit basis.