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Crime and Security Bill

Part of Bill Presented — Pedicabs Bill – in the House of Commons at 5:41 pm on 18th January 2010.

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Photo of Ian McCartney Ian McCartney Labour, Makerfield 5:41 pm, 18th January 2010

I support my right hon. and hon. Friends and when the time comes, I will vote in favour of the Bill being given a Second Reading. I go further and suggest that so far this evening we have heard from the Liberal Democrats a victory of pomposity over intellectual rigour, and from the Conservatives, a rant. One would have thought that as we are so close to the election, they would give us some insight into the alternative positions they take on the Bill.

The spokesmen of both parties failed to respond at all to the Government's announced improvements to the legislation on compensation for British citizens who are victims of terrorism overseas. I do not make a partisan point. For more than five years my noble Friend Lord Brennan and I have worked with victims groups on a non-partisan basis, day in and day out, to resolve the issues arising when the lives of innocent British citizens and their families are blighted for ever as a consequence of attacks on them simply because they were British citizens.

An announcement has been made of a scheme for the future, which I warmly welcome, along with recognition of something I asked the Government to consider last autumn-that any new compensation scheme should not overlook victims who have already suffered and will continue to suffer for the rest of their lives. I would have expected at least 30 seconds' acknowledgement from the Opposition Front-Bench spokesmen and an indication that they would support the proposals in the House tonight.

Victims' families throughout Britain may feel concerned that, for other partisan political reasons, the proposed schemes may not be implemented before the general election. That would be scandalous, particularly for the families who have been waiting since Bali for financial support and recognition of the consequences of such terrorist attacks.

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