Police (Justice Commissioners)

Part of Bill Presented – in the House of Commons at 3:42 pm on 11th November 2008.

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Photo of Patrick Cormack Patrick Cormack Chair, Northern Ireland Affairs Committee, Chair, Northern Ireland Affairs Committee 3:42 pm, 11th November 2008

I shall speak only briefly, but I really think that this is an awful lot of populist claptrap. The best remark of all came originally not from me but from my right hon. and learned Friend Sir Malcolm Rifkind, who is sitting in front of me and was the first to make the remark about Sarah Palin; I gladly attribute it to a splendid colleague.

My hon. Friend Mr. Carswell destroyed his own case in his last few remarks about the differences that there could be between police forces in Essex and Suffolk. They were nonsense. At the moment, we are working hard in the United Kingdom to have the closest possible cross-border co-operation between the Police Service of Northern Ireland and the Garda Siochana in the Republic of Ireland. I was in Northern Ireland talking to police leaders only a couple of weeks ago. Sir Hugh Orde appeared before the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee only last week, and it makes complete sense to have that sort of co-ordination. To politicise the police in the way that has been suggested— [Interruption.] Of course it would politicise the police; people would stand for election on party tickets and for populist policies. Frankly, the Bill is a prescription for anarchy and disaster, and I cannot support it.

Question put and agreed to.

Bill ordered to be brought in by Mr. Douglas Carswell, Mr. Frank Field, Mrs. Nadine Dorries, Mr. Mark Field, Mr. Philip Hollobone, Mr. Richard Shepherd, Mr. Peter Bone, Mr. Charles Walker, Mr. Graham Allen, Mr. Stephen Crabb and Daniel Kawczynski.

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