Business of the House (Police (Detention and Bail) Bill)

– in the House of Commons at 12:27 pm on 7th July 2011.

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Photo of Nick Herbert Nick Herbert Minister of State (Ministry of Justice and Home Office) , The Minister for Policing and Criminal Justice 12:27 pm, 7th July 2011

I beg to move,

That the following provisions shall apply to the proceedings on the Police (Detention and Bail) Bill:

Timetable l.-(l) Proceedings on Second Reading, in Committee, on Consideration and on Third Reading shall be completed at today's sitting in accordance with the following provisions of this paragraph.

(2) Proceedings on Second Reading shall (so far as not previously concluded) be brought to a conclusion at 3.00 pm.

(3) Proceedings in Committee shall (so far as not previously concluded) be brought to a conclusion at 5.00 pm.

(4) Proceedings on Consideration and on Third Reading shall (so far as not previously concluded) be brought to a conclusion at 6.00 pm.

Timing of proceedings and Questions to be put

2. When the Bill has been read a second time—

(a) it shall (notwithstanding bills not subject to a programme order">Standing Order No. 63 (Committal of bills not subject to a programme order)) stand committed to a Committee of the whole House without any Question being put;

(b) the Speaker shall leave the Chair whether or not notice of an Instruction has been given.

3.-(l) On the conclusion of proceedings in Committee, the Chairman shall report the Bill to the House without putting any Question.

(2) If the Bill is reported with amendments, the House shall proceed to consider the Bill as amended without any Question being put.

4. For the purpose of bringing any proceedings to a conclusion in accordance with paragraph 1, the Speaker or Chairman shall forthwith put the following Questions (but no others)—

(a) any Question already proposed from the Chair;

(b) any Question necessary to bring to a decision a Question so proposed;

(c) the Question on any amendment moved or Motion made by a Minister of the Crown;

(d) any other Question necessary for the disposal of the business to be concluded.

5. On a Motion so made for a new Clause or a new Schedule, the Chairman or Speaker shall put only the Question that the Clause or Schedule be added to the Bill.

6. If two or more Questions would fall to be put under paragraph 4(c) on successive amendments moved or Motions made by a Minister of the Crown, the Chairman or Speaker shall instead put a single Question in relation to those amendments or Motions.

7. If two or more Questions would fall to be put under paragraph 4(d) in relation to successive provisions of the Bill, the Chairman shall instead put a single Question in relation to those provisions.

Consideration of Lords Amendments

8.-(l) Any Lords Amendments to the Bill shall be considered forthwith without any Question being put.

(2) Proceedings on consideration of Lords Amendments shall (so far as not previously concluded) be brought to a conclusion one hour after their commencement.

9.-(l) This paragraph applies for the purpose of bringing any proceedings to a conclusion in accordance with paragraph 8.

(2) The Speaker shall first put forthwith any Question already proposed from the Chair and not yet decided.

(3) If that Question is for the amendment of a Lords Amendment the Speaker shall then put forthwith—

(a) a single Question on any further Amendments to the Lords Amendment moved by a Minister of the Crown, and

(b) the Question on any Motion made by a Minister of the Crown that this House agrees or disagrees to the Lords Amendment or (as the case may be) to the Lords Amendment as amended.

(4) The Speaker shall then put forthwith—

(a) a single Question on any Amendments moved by a Minister of the Crown to a Lords Amendment, and

(b) the Question on any Motion made by a Minister of the Crown that this House agrees or disagrees to the Lords Amendment or (as the case may be) to the Lords Amendment as amended.

(5) The Speaker shall then put forthwith the Question on any Motion made by a Minister of the Crown that this House disagrees to a Lords Amendment.

(6) The Speaker shall then put forthwith the Question that this House agrees to all the remaining Lords Amendments.

(7) As soon as the House has—

(a) agreed or disagreed to a Lords Amendment; or

(b) disposed of an Amendment relevant to a Lords Amendment which has been disagreed to, the Speaker shall put forthwith a single Question on any Amendments moved by a Minister of the Crown and relevant to the Lords Amendment.

Subsequent stages

10.-(l) Any further Message from the Lords on the Bill shall be considered forthwith without any Question being put.

(2) Proceedings on any further Message from the Lords shall (so far as not previously concluded) be brought to a conclusion one hour after their commencement.

1.-(l) This paragraph applies for the purpose of bringing any proceedings to a conclusion in accordance with paragraph 10.

(2) The Speaker shall first put forthwith any Question which has been proposed from the Chair and not yet decided.

(3) The Speaker shall then put forthwith the Question on any Motion made by a Minister of the Crown which is related to the Question already proposed from the Chair.

(4) The Speaker shall then put forthwith the Question on any Motion made by a Minister of the Crown on or relevant to any of the remaining items in the Lords Message.

(5) The Speaker shall then put forthwith the Question that this House agrees with the Lords in all the remaining Lords Proposals.

Reasons Committee

12.-(1) The Speaker shall put forthwith the Question on any Motion made by a Minister of the Crown for the appointment, nomination and quorum of a Committee to draw up Reasons and the appointment of its Chair.

(2) A Committee appointed to draw up Reasons shall report before the conclusion of the sitting at which it is appointed.

(3) Proceedings in the Committee shall (so far as not previously concluded) be brought to a conclusion 30 minutes after their commencement.

(4) For the purpose of bringing any proceedings to a conclusion in accordance with sub-paragraph (3), the Chair shall—

(a) first put forthwith any Question which has been proposed from the Chair but not yet decided, and

(b) then put forthwith successively Questions on motions which may be made by a Minister of the Crown for assigning a Reason for disagreeing with the Lords in any of their Amendments.

(5) The proceedings of the Committee shall be reported without any further Question being put.

Miscellaneous

13. Paragraph (1) of Standing Order No. 15 (Exempted business) shall apply so far as necessary for the purposes of this Order.

14.-(1) The proceedings on any Motion made by a Minister of the Crown for varying or supplementing the provisions of this Order shall (so far as not previously concluded) be brought to a conclusion one hour after their commencement.

(2) Paragraph (1) of Standing Order No. 15 (Exempted business) shall apply to those proceedings.

15. Standing Order No. 82 (Business Committee) shall not apply in relation to any proceedings to which this Order applies.

16.-(1) No Motion shall be made, except by a Minister of the Crown, to alter the order in which any proceedings on the Bill are taken or to re-commit the Bill.

(2) The Question on any such Motion shall be put forthwith.

17.-(1) No dilatory Motion shall be made in relation to proceedings to which this Order applies except by a Minister of the Crown.

(2) The Question on any such Motion shall be put forthwith.

18. The Speaker may not arrange for a debate to be held in accordance with Standing Order No. 24 (Emergency debates)

(a) at today's sitting, or

(b) at any sitting at which Lords Amendments to the Bill are, or any further Message from the Lords is, to be considered, before the conclusion of any proceedings to which this Order applies.

19.-(1) Sub-paragraph (2) applies if the House is adjourned, or the sitting is suspended, before the conclusion of any proceedings to which this Order applies.

(2) No notice shall be required of a Motion made at the next sitting by a Minister of the Crown for varying or supplementing the provisions of this Order.

20. Proceedings to which this Order applies shall not be interrupted under any Standing Order relating to the sittings of the House.

21.-(1) Any private business which has been set down for consideration at seven o'clock, four o'clock or three o'clock (as the case may be) on a day on which the Bill has been set down to be taken as an Order of the Day, shall, instead of being considered as provided by Standing Orders, be considered at the conclusion of the proceedings on the Bill on that day.

(2) Paragraph (1) of Standing Order No. 15 (Exempted business) shall apply to the private business for a period of three hours from the conclusion of the proceedings on the Bill or, if those proceedings are concluded before the moment of interruption, for a period equal to the time elapsing between seven o'clock, four o'clock or three o'clock (as the case may be) and the conclusion of those proceedings.

22. The Speaker shall not adjourn the House at the sitting on the day on which the Bill is sent back to the House from the Lords until—

(a) any Message from the Lords on the Bill has been received, and

(b) he has reported the Royal Assent to any Act agreed upon by both Houses.

The motion provides for some five hours debate on the Police (Detention and Bail) Bill. If the House approves the motion, we will move directly on to Second Reading, which will take us to no later than 3 o’clock. The Committee of the whole House will then follow until no later than 5 o’clock, with a final hour for the remaining stages, to be completed by 6 o’clock. The motion also provides for programming of the later stages of the Bill in this House on consideration of Lords amendments, should there be any. I fully recognise that today’s timetable is a tight one. None the less, given the very specific issue that the House is being asked to consider, I am satisfied that the House, and in due course the other place, will have sufficient time to scrutinise this short Bill properly.

As I indicated in my oral statement in the House last week, it is imperative that we act speedily to put an end to the uncertainty created by the recent judgment of the High Court in the case of Hookway. As I then explained to the House, that judgment is having a direct and immediate impact on the police’s ability to investigate offences and protect the public. The view of the Association of Chief Police Officers, which we share, is that we cannot wait until the outcome of the Supreme Court’s hearing of the appeal on 25 July. We need to act now, not least because we can make no assumption about the outcome of the appeal to the Supreme Court.

Photo of Mark Tami Mark Tami Opposition Whip (Commons)

The Minister says, “We need to act now”, but why have not we acted earlier?

Photo of Nick Herbert Nick Herbert Minister of State (Ministry of Justice and Home Office) , The Minister for Policing and Criminal Justice

I am sure that these matters will be covered in the Second Reading debate. I set out in my statement last week why it had not been possible to act until the written judgment had been properly considered and until we had received formal advice from the Association of Chief Police Officers that it wished us to proceed in this way. In that regard, I should like to quote the chief constable of Essex, Jim Barker-McCardle. On this issue, he has said:

“It was only when ACPO received the written judgment on 17 June, and a number of senior people were able to spend some significant time considering the issue, that the seriousness of this became apparent. As the ACPO lead on this issue, I was not going to advise Ministers that the police service needed, in exceptional circumstances, fast track legislation until I had satisfied myself first that the legislation was necessary and that the police service could not operate effectively in light of this judgment, beyond the very short term.”

We acted: within two hours of receiving that written advice, I was here giving a statement to the House announcing that we would introduce emergency legislation. The suggestion that we did not act swiftly flies directly in the face of what ACPO is saying about how it wishes this matter to be considered. Opposition Members do not have the backing of senior police officers for their contention that we acted too slowly in this respect.

Photo of Keith Vaz Keith Vaz Chair, Home Affairs Committee, Chair, Home Affairs Committee

I am grateful to the Policing Minister, who has accurately reflected the evidence given by the chief constable to the Select Committee on Tuesday. I have one point on the business motion. Is there any outstanding legal advice that the Home Office is seeking on this matter or is the issue of the legal advice now closed?

Photo of Nick Herbert Nick Herbert Minister of State (Ministry of Justice and Home Office) , The Minister for Policing and Criminal Justice

No, I am not aware of outstanding legal advice that we have taken. As I told the House last week, the Association of Chief Police Officers sought advice from two QCs before coming to us with a formal request for emergency legislation.

In conclusion, I welcome the continued support from the Opposition Front-Bench team for expediting this Bill. I hope that the whole House will understand the need for fast-tracking and will therefore support the motion.

Photo of Yvette Cooper Yvette Cooper Shadow Home Secretary, Shadow Minister (Equalities Office) (Women and Equalities) 12:31 pm, 7th July 2011

We support the motion, and we will address some of the main issues when we get to Second Reading and further stages. I simply point out to the Policing Minister that we would have supported this motion on Monday, we would have supported it last week and we would have supported it the week before. I do not think it is not acceptable for the Home Office, which has responsibility for justice, to hide behind the Association of Chief Police Officers when it should also have made preparations and taken some decisions in this regard. The Home Office should have been trying to speed this up as rapidly as possible. We should get on with the main debate; we support the programme motion.

Photo of Lorraine Fullbrook Lorraine Fullbrook Conservative, South Ribble 12:32 pm, 7th July 2011

I am grateful for being called to speak in this debate on emergency legislation for police bail. It is fitting on this occasion to extend our sincere sympathy and condolences to the victims of the 7/7 terrorist attacks in London. I am sure our thoughts are with them on this day.

This is a very short Bill, so I will make my comments brief. We are here to debate this emergency legislation today because—

Photo of Nigel Evans Nigel Evans Deputy Speaker (First Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means)

Order. The hon. Member may be straying into the next debate. At the moment, we are debating just the programme motion.

Photo of Alan Beith Alan Beith Chair, Justice Committee, Chair, Liaison Committee (Commons), Chair, Liaison Committee (Commons), Chair, National Policy Statements Sub-Committee, Chair, Justice Committee 12:33 pm, 7th July 2011

I am no fan of emergency legislation, which I think is generally a bad thing for the House to get involved with. However, the circumstances we face are such that the Government have been right to act and to bring the procedure forward in this way. I have looked at the concerns of the House of Lords Committee, but it seems to me that the procedure advocated for today is necessary and appropriate, so long as in the subsequent debate, the House can be satisfied that what the Government are seeking to do is to put the law on the footing that we all thought it was on in the first place. They should not make changes to the law without much more detailed and careful consideration. We should support the programme motion and ensure that Ministers can satisfy us that what they are doing is putting the law back to what we thought it was. If changes to the law are advocated, that should be done through a legislative process that allows consideration at greater length.

Photo of Nicholas Soames Nicholas Soames Conservative, Mid Sussex

I rise wholly to endorse the words of Sir Alan Beith and to say to my right hon. Friend the Policing Minister that I applaud the way in which he has handled this matter and the speed with which he has responded to what was clearly a completely untenable situation. Does he agree—as I am sure he does—that the history of emergency legislation is not always a happy one, so that the right hon. Gentleman’s points carry even greater weight?

Photo of Chris Bryant Chris Bryant Shadow Minister (Justice) (Political and Constitutional Reform) 12:34 pm, 7th July 2011

I wholeheartedly agree that we need to move as swiftly as possible with this legislation, but we should always note whenever emergency legislation is going through in one day that it has to be an extraordinary process because, in the ordinary course of events, the House should have an opportunity after Second Reading to table amendments that could then be considered on Report on a different day. When everything is truncated into one day, it is impossible to do that. I recognise that the Government tabled a business motion—and we agreed it earlier this week—that allowed the tabling of amendments before today. In the end, that is not best practice, as I know Government Members would fully accept. With the proviso that we do not do this often—as Sir Alan Beith said, we can end up with legislation that is either bad or not as good as it might be—I support the motion.

Photo of Hazel Blears Hazel Blears Labour, Salford and Eccles 12:35 pm, 7th July 2011

I feel a slight sense of responsibility for the position we are in today as it is the district judge in Salford, Judge Feinstein, who made the original decision. I support the proceedings today, as I think we need to resolve the issue and get clarity. Judge Feinstein does a tremendous job in Salford in the local criminal justice system and has been particularly effective in dealing with antisocial behaviour. He construed the law as he saw it at that time. His judgment was upheld in the High Court; we await to see what the Supreme Court will do in relation to the appeal. Clearly, he was carrying out his duty in making the decision he did. That said, I entirely support the need to ensure that the police have the powers and the clarity they need to deal with defendants in these circumstances. I support the programme motion.

Question put and agreed to.