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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 5:00 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 5:00 pm, 18th October 2006

We have had a full debate on this group of amendments, and unfortunately time is now short. The Solicitor-General mentioned the programming. I have just had a quick look and can advise him that under the timetable we have so far been unable to discuss even half of the groups of amendments tabled by the Government. He referred to finishing early last night, but failed to mentioned that one and a half hours had been provided for debate on a single group of amendments.

Mr. Mitchell says that we should support openness, transparency and access to registers. I do not disagree with any of that; however, in certain exceptional circumstances there will be a need to restrict access, and that need is not currently catered for.

Paul Farrelly repeated many of the arguments that we heard in Committee. He has acted as a good sounding board and we have learned from many of his comments, especially those in support of investigative journalism.

I thank my right hon. and learned Friend Mr. Hogg for his constructive remarks. We shall consider what he has said today as the legislation progresses.

To summarise, we believe that there will be circumstances in which companies and individuals should be able to ask for protection. The Secretary of State is mentioned in the new clause, but if the Government took a constructive approach, we could consider providing for a court process. Companies and individuals should be able to receive protection. That is why we shall press new clause 16 to a Division.