We need your support to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can continue to hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

New Clause 5 — Smoke-free premises: exemptions

Part of Orders of the Day — Health Bill – in the House of Commons at 4:30 pm on 14th February 2006.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Andrew Lansley Andrew Lansley Shadow Secretary of State for Health 4:30 pm, 14th February 2006

No. I do not want to take up any more of hon. Members' time than I have to.

My colleagues and I have tabled amendment (i), the purpose of which is to provide that smoking should not be allowed in certain places to which children have access. It would also have the benefit of offsetting any market distortion between pubs and clubs that might otherwise result. Pubs that are non-smoking and open to the public would also offer a smoke-free environment for families and children. Clubs would have to choose whether to accommodate children or smoking, as my hon. Friend Mr. Malins must understand if he chooses to vote for the amendment.

Let me turn to the voting. I will support the motion that new clause 5 be read a second time. The new clause will have the beneficial effect of getting rid of the Government's discredited partial ban. I will then vote against amendment (a), tabled in the name of the Under-Secretary of State for Health, the hon. Member for Don Valley, so that the exemption for clubs can be maintained. If amendment (a) is defeated, I will then—with your permission, Mr. Deputy Speaker—seek to press amendment (i) to a vote, so as to prevent children from being exposed to second-hand smoke in clubs. I hope that amendment No. 6 will be pressed to a vote by my hon. Friend Mr. Chope. If so, I will support it, to ensure that the ban in clause 5 of the Bill could not be extended to private vehicles not being offered for hire.

The voting might be complex, but the principles involved are pretty straightforward. We must reduce smoking and the exposure to second-hand smoke. We should not permit people's liberty to choose whether to smoke to extend to a licence to cause harm to others, but we cannot allow legislation to intrude into the choices that people make in their private space. I hope that these explanations have been of some assistance to hon. Members across the House.