Schedule 26 — Hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation

Part of Orders of the Day – in the House of Commons at 5:45 pm on 6th May 2008.

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Photo of Maria Eagle Maria Eagle The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice 5:45 pm, 6th May 2008

I can give the hon. Gentleman the assurance that I will be happy to talk to the law officers about that. Today I am concerned with giving assurances about the offence that we are discussing. When hon. Members raise concerns about any offence not working properly or not being investigated according to how it is generally believed it should be, an issue is raised about whether existing guidance should be changed. I will be happy to get back to the hon. Gentleman about that point.

To conclude, I should say that we are ready to provide for statutory guidance to try to provide reassurance, and to introduce a Government amendment to that end. On that basis, I invite the House to disagree with the Lords amendments and reject amendments (a) to (c), because of the additional problems that accepting them would cause in respect of statutory interpretation of the role of the Attorney-General's office.