The House divided: Ayes 298, Noes 216.
Question accordingly agreed to.
Lords amendment 40 disagreed to.
Lords amendments 28 to 39, 41 and 42 agreed to.
Motion made, and Question put forthwith (
That Tom Pursglove, Scott Mann, Paul Holmes, Chris Clarkson, Holly Lynch, Chris Elmore and Stuart C. McDonald be members of the Committee;
That Tom Pursglove be the Chair of the Committee;
That three be the quorum of the Committee.
That the Committee do withdraw immediately.—(David T.C. Davies.)
Question agreed to.
Committee to withdraw immediately; reasons to be reported and communicated to the Lords.
On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. In yesterday’s debate on P&O Ferries, the Secretary of State for Transport confirmed that both he and the Business Secretary had written to P&O Ferries with a deadline of 5 pm today asking a number of questions about whether it had committed a criminal offence and whether a criminal prosecution would be proceeded with against it. Obviously, that deadline has passed. P&O Ferries has responded and the Government have published its response, but I am seeking your guidance as to whether the Government are planning to make a statement on what action they will now take against P&O Ferries, whether they will be proceeding with a criminal prosecution, and what action they will take to ensure that this does not give a green light to bosses all over the world that they can come to this country and trample roughshod over hard fought for British workers’ rights.
I am grateful to the hon. Lady for her point of order and notice of it. I have received no notice from Ministers that they intend to make a statement on this matter, but I am confident that the House and Ministers on the Front Bench will have heard the point of order she has raised.
“that he was ‘content and very confident’ that P&O had acted properly.”—[Official Report,
The UK Chamber of Shipping has asked me to point out that it had in fact said that it was
“content and very confident that P&O will have put procedures in place to ensure that the individuals that are going to be in control of those vessels would be familiar with the ships and the systems and would be competent to operate those vessels in a safe manner.”
I am happy to make that clear. Given the enthusiasm of the Chamber for its position being properly understood, it would probably be its wish that I should point out to the House that in that same interview the spokesperson for the UK Chamber of Shipping was asked in relation to different matters whether he condemned the manner in which this was done and he said:
“I can’t comment on the conduct of it”.
When the interviewer said that he must have an opinion, he said,
“I would be speculating so I can’t possibly comment.”
Then, when he was told that usually when more than 100 people have been sacked, the Government have to be told 45 days in advance, he again said, “I can’t comment.” It is curious therefore, however, that in relation to the contentment and confidence about the safety measures he did seem to be quite happy about that. Today, the UK Chamber of Shipping tells me that it does not condone the actions of P&O. That of course is very different from the full-throated condemnation that we might have hoped for, but I am sure that the House will want to be made aware of the position.
I thank the right hon. Gentleman for his point of order. I am sure the House will be grateful that he has corrected the record and, at the same time, made clear the other information that he wished to add to what he said previously. The record is corrected and I am sure we are all grateful for that.