Bribery Act

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 15th February 2011.

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Photo of John Howell John Howell Conservative, Henley 2:30 pm, 15th February 2011

Which organisations he consulted in preparing guidance on the implementation of the Bribery Act 2010.

Photo of Kenneth Clarke Kenneth Clarke The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice

I refer my hon. Friend to the answer that I gave in reply to Question 1.

Photo of John Howell John Howell Conservative, Henley

I thank my right hon. and learned Friend for his comments on statutory guidance. During the Committee stage of the Bribery Bill, there seemed to be little appreciation among Labour Members that there were such things as legitimate promotional activities for companies. Will he ensure that the guidance is both clear and practical?

Photo of Kenneth Clarke Kenneth Clarke The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice

I agree with my hon. Friend. My hon. Friend Mr Djanogly, who is now Under-Secretary of State for Justice, led for the Opposition at that time, and I believe that it was Conservative Members-including my hon. Friend John Howell-who raised the problems that could be posed for legitimate businesses. It is because of those problems that we need the guidance, and the guidance must make it absolutely clear that ordinary, legitimate promotion-hospitality and similar activities in which people engage in order to project the quality of their company and its products or services, and to establish personal relationships with clients and customers-is all part of international trade. The Bill can be used to tackle corruption without damaging British business at a time of, we hope, revival in our international trade.