Clause 45 — Meaning of "qualifying trigger"

Part of Bill Presented – in the House of Commons at 7:15 pm on 9 November 2009.

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Photo of Claire Ward Claire Ward Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Ministry of Justice 7:15, 9 November 2009

The circumstances are quite different. Perhaps the right hon. Lady is suggesting that when somebody sees their husband or wife having an affair, that would be a partial defence for committing extreme violence-killing somebody. The right hon. Lady is clearly not in a position to be convinced, but the Government are clear that that cannot be an acceptable partial defence. Although many juries might disagree, there have been examples in the past in which a court has considered that sexual infidelity was a sufficient provocation to allow murder to be reduced to manslaughter. That is unacceptable.

I have been on my feet for nearly half an hour, and I want to ensure that hon. Members have an opportunity to speak in the debate. If the right hon. Lady has more to say, she will be able to do so if I finish my speech quickly. I hope that the hon. Member for Cambridge will see the flaws in his amendment, in relation to restricting and disregarding sexual infidelity as a partial defence. However, I look forward to listening to his argument for his amendment.