Prevention and Suppression of Terrorism

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:17 pm on 15th February 2006.

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Photo of Hazel Blears Hazel Blears Minister of State (Home Office) (Policing, Security and Community Safety), Member, Labour Party National Executive Committee 5:17 pm, 15th February 2006

The right hon. and learned Gentleman is right to raise the undertakings that were given when the legislation was being considered. However, he, like all of us, knows that significant changes and events have occurred since that debate, not least the events of 7 July, which interposed between our discussion of the original Bill and now. He also knows that we had a timetable for the Terrorism Bill, which we debated earlier, that it was accelerated through all-party agreement because of the events, and that it has been tackled more quickly than was originally envisaged.

The right hon. and learned Gentleman also knows that we wanted to reconsider control orders when we had had the opportunity to examine Lord Carlile's report. He acknowledges that we have not yet had a full cycle of control orders because many of them are subject to the appeal provisions and various aspects of judicial scrutiny.

There has been cross-party agreement and my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary made a statement indicating that we would introduce draft legislation, which would be subject to pre-legislative scrutiny, to try to bring together much of our law on terrorism. That will provide an opportunity to reconsider the issues. That position is accepted by hon. Members of all parties.

The original undertakings have been affected by subsequent events. There will be an opportunity to reconsider control orders, but it is better to do that when they have been through their full cycle. Our deliberations will be better informed by some of the legal judgments on some of the appeals and applications.