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New Clause 16 — Names and addresses of members of companies: company application

Part of Orders of the Day – in the House of Commons at 2:45 pm on 18th October 2006.

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Photo of Jonathan Djanogly Jonathan Djanogly Shadow Minister (Business, Innovation and Skills), Shadow Solicitor General, Shadow Minister (Justice), Shadow Solicitor General 2:45 pm, 18th October 2006

I congratulate my hon. Friend Justine Greening on her succinct and expert introduction at the Dispatch Box. She gave an excellent presentation and her experience showed through in the quality of her remarks.

We move on to the rights of shareholders and non-members to inspect and require copies of the register of members of a company. Although we believe that the Government have made good progress on protecting shareholders, we would like the Bill to be bolstered further. The initial Bill that was presented in the House of Lords contained little on the matter. However, after several thousand shareholders in GlaxoSmithKline, the pharmaceutical group, started to receive threatening letters from animal rights terrorists, Lord Sainsbury, on direct orders from above and urged on by a chorus of vocal peers, suddenly promised on Report to reconsider the Government's position before Third Reading in the Lords, when amendments were indeed tabled and slipped into the Bill.

We have been demanding increased protection for shareholders for several years. The Government rejected amendments that we tabled to the Serious Organised Crime and Police Bill that would have achieved that, so we are pleased that the matter is being addressed. My hon. Friends and the public wish to ensure that shareholders are protected from violence and intimidation.