Clause 1 — Power to destroy or otherwise dispose of property

Part of Mental Health (Discrimination) (No. 2) Bill – in the House of Commons at 12:01 pm on 30th November 2012.

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Photo of Philip Davies Philip Davies Conservative, Shipley 12:01 pm, 30th November 2012

I do not intend to detain the House for long. I just want to thank my hon. Friend Stuart Andrew for bringing the Bill forward. He has done a great service to the House, and done so with the levels of charm, skill and talent that we have come to expect from him. The only bad thing about him is that he is my next-door neighbour and regularly outshines me in the local area. One might say that that is not difficult, but he does it nevertheless. It shows my inadequacies as the Member of Parliament for Shipley when my constituents see such a guiding light next door.

In all seriousness, this is an important piece of legislation. It deals with a situation that my constituents, like those of my hon. Friend next door in Pudsey, are sick to the back teeth of. As they see it, the rights of prisoners seem to come ahead of the rights of everybody else. This legislation will even up the score on the side of the victims of crime and decent, law-abiding people. If the Bill completes its passage, it will give people confidence that prisoners will be treated much more appropriately than they are at the moment. That is something that we should all support.

I am sorry that my hon. Friend could not see the merit of my amendments. I maintain that the Bill would have been even better if amendment 2 had been accepted. Despite that, it is still an excellent piece of legislation of which he should be very proud. It takes great skill and it is a great honour to bring forward a piece of legislation that completes its passage through the House of Commons and, hopefully, into law. That will never happen to me, but is something that I can only dream of. My hon. Friend should be extremely proud of himself because he has done a fantastic job. He should know that many of my constituents will think that this is an extremely worthwhile piece of legislation, unlike many Bills that come before the House on a Friday.