Home Office Restructuring

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Treasury – in the House of Commons at 11:31 am on 29th March 2007.

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Photo of John Reid John Reid Home Secretary, The Secretary of State for the Home Department 11:31 am, 29th March 2007

I agree entirely with the points made by my right hon. Friend. It is important that we co-ordinate. I have said to my right hon. Friend Mr. Clarke, the former Secretary of State, that we have different judgments on the matter. I do not regard all my judgments to be right, or all his to be wrong. It is perfectly possible for those of us who have the responsibility of government— [Interruption.] Of course, if one does not have the responsibility of government, it is possible always to be right because all one has to do is criticise everyone else. For those of us who are interested in actually governing the country, it is possible for two men of equal weight and sincerity to make different judgments on a set of facts. Those are important judgments.

I do bear the burden of the point that my right hon. Friend Mr. Denham is making, which is that there has to be an understanding that the Home Office will be responsible not just for counter-terrorism and security. There will also be the responsibility for antisocial behaviour. We intend that neighbourhood policing and the British style of policing will stay the British style of policing. Immigration will also be a responsibility. Those responsiblities will be co-ordinated throughout that Department. In response to his second point, the National Criminal Justice Board will also act on co-ordination across the criminal justice system.

In answer to my right hon. Friend's third point, of course I will come and explain these matters to his Select Committee at the earliest date. He asked about who will bring forward legislation in relation to the operations of the executive agencies inside the Home Office, the answer to that is the Home Office.