1 (1) This Schedule applies where the court has power to remand a person under subsection (6) of section (Injunctions in Secretary of State proceedings: power of arrest and remand) (injunctions in Secretary of State proceedings: power of arrest and remand).
(2) In this Schedule “the court” has the same meaning as in that section.
Remand in custody or on bail
2 (1) The court may—
(a) remand the person in custody, that is, commit the person to custody to be brought before the court at the end of the period of remand or at such earlier time as the court may require, or
(b) remand the person on bail, in accordance with the following provisions.
(2) The court may remand the person on bail—
(a) by taking from the person a recognizance, with or without sureties, conditioned as provided in paragraph 3, or
(b) by fixing the amount of the recognizances with a view to their being taken subsequently, and in the meantime committing the person to custody as mentioned in sub-paragraph (1)(a).
(3) Where a person is brought before the court after remand, the court may further remand the person.
3 (1) Where a person is remanded on bail, the court may direct that the person’s recognizance be conditioned for the person’s appearance—
(a) before that court at the end of the period of remand, or
(b) at every time and place to which during the course of the proceedings the hearing may from time to time be adjourned.
(2) Where a recognizance is conditioned for a person's appearance as mentioned in sub-paragraph (1)(b), the fixing of any time for the person next to appear is deemed to be a remand.
(3) Nothing in this paragraph affects the power of the court at any subsequent hearing to remand the person afresh.
4 (1) The court must not remand a person for a period exceeding eight clear days except that—
(a) if the court remands the person on bail, it may remand the person for a longer period if the person and the other party consent, and
(b) if the court adjourns a case under section (Injunctions in Secretary of State proceedings: power of arrest and remand)(9) (remand for medical examination and report) the court may remand the person for the period of adjournment.
(2) Where the court has the power to remand a person in custody it may, if the remand is for a period not exceeding three clear days, commit the person to the custody of a constable.
5 (1) If the court is satisfied that a person who has been remanded is unable by reason of illness or accident to appear or be brought before the court at the expiration of the period for which the person was remanded, the court may, in the person’s absence, remand the person for a further time.
(2) The power mentioned in sub-paragraph (1) may, in the case of a person who was remanded on bail, be exercised by enlarging the person’s recognizance and those of any sureties for the person to a later time.
(3) Where a person remanded on bail is bound to appear before the court at any time and the court has no power to remand the person under sub-paragraph (1), the court may in the person’s absence enlarge the person’s recognizance and those of any sureties for the person to a later time.
(4) The enlargement of the person’s recognizance is to be deemed to be a further remand.
(5) Paragraph 4(1) (limit of remand) does not apply to the exercise of the powers conferred by this paragraph.
Postponement and taking recognizance
6 Where under paragraph 2(2)(b) the court fixes the amount in which the principal and their sureties, if any, are to be bound, the recognizance may afterwards be taken by such person as may be prescribed by rules of court, with the same consequences as if it had been entered into before the court.
Requirements imposed on remand on bail
7 The court may when remanding a person on bail under this Schedule require the person to comply, before release on bail or later, with such requirements as appear to the court to be necessary to secure that the person does not interfere with witnesses or otherwise obstruct the course of justice.”—(Jeremy Quin.)
This new Schedule contains provisions relating to the remand of persons arrested for breaching a provision of an injunction granted in proceedings brought by the Secretary of State in accordance with NC7.
Brought up, and added to the Bill.
Amendment made: 50, Title, line 3, after “order;” insert
“to make provision about proceedings by the Secretary of State relating to protest-related activities;”—(Jeremy Quin.)
This amendment is consequential on NC7 and NC8.
I beg to move, That the Bill be now read the Third time.
The Public Order Bill reflects the Government’s duty to put the safety and interests of the law-abiding majority first. We are on their side, not the side of extremists who stick themselves to trains, glue themselves to roads, interfere with newspaper distribution, vandalise properties, disrupt the fuel supply, disrupt this Chamber, or block ambulances. The growing tendency of those with strong opinions to mix their expression with acts of violence cannot and will not be tolerated.
The most generous interpretation of the kind of characters who glue themselves to roads is that they are dangerously deluded, but in fact—much worse—many of them have the deranged notion that their ends justify any means whatever. In the eyes of the militant protesters, the everyday priorities of the hard-working, law-abiding, patriotic majority can always be disregarded in pursuit of their warped schemes.
These extremists stop people from earning a living, gaining an education or caring for a loved one in need. Ordinary people who are working, learning or caring are never deemed by the extremists as important enough to stand in the way of their plots and plans. No Government should fail in their duty to protect their citizens from such abuse, and this Government will always put the law-abiding majority first and foremost.
Does the Home Secretary agree that the police should consider the wider, cumulative impacts of protests on a local community, rather than a narrow, notional assessment, in isolation, of whether a serious disruption threshold has been reached? In other words, can we get the police to start locking them up, please?
My hon. Friend makes a very important point. Fundamentally, police and key partners should view the impacts of disruption cumulatively. The clock should not be reset every day and in each location; they need to look at the tactics in the round.
We need the police to act proactively, decidedly and diligently, so there are various factors that they need to include in their assessment of serious disruption. They need to consider the overall length and the time and impact on communities. They need to look at the disruption to a general area. They need to look at the police resources that have been drained by the action. They need to look holistically and actively at how they take action.
Does my right hon. Friend agree that, given the strict limitation of police resources, the police should perhaps deploy those resources on dealing with the guerrilla tactics that are putting the people of London at risk of harm and less time policing pronouns on Twitter?
My hon. Friend raises an issue that is close to my heart, which is that we need our police officers—our brave men and women, the majority of whom are heroes, frankly, in this nation’s law enforcement and security—to be focusing on our priorities and the priorities of the law-abiding majority. Common sense policing means focusing on targeting and fighting the bad guys, fighting the criminals and stopping crime, not policing pronouns and not pandering to politically correct campaigns.
I will make progress, I am afraid.
No Government should fail in their duty to protect their citizens from such abuse, and this Government will always put the law-abiding majority first. In a democracy, we make policy through civilised debate and at the ballot box, not through mob rule and not by visiting chaos and misery on our fellow citizens.
I am afraid I do not have much time.
When I was the Attorney General, I went to court to establish that it is not a human right to commit criminal damage. The Court of Appeal agreed with me in the Colston statue case that serious and violent disorder crosses a line when it comes to freedom of expression. That is common sense to the law-abiding majority.
I am afraid to say—and I will come to a close soon—that that is why it was a central purpose of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, now an Act, to properly empower the police in face of the protests, yet Opposition Members voted against it. Had Opposition Members in the other place not blocked these measures when they were in the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, the police would have already had many of the powers in this Bill and the British people would not have been put through this grief. Yes, I am afraid that it is the Labour party, the Lib Dems, the coalition of chaos, the Guardian-reading, tofu-eating wokerati and, dare I say, the anti-growth coalition that we have to thank for the disruption we are seeing on our roads today. I urge Opposition MPs and Members of the other place to take this second chance, do the right thing, respect the rights of the law-abiding majority and support this Bill.
I just think it is astonishing: the Home Secretary actually talked about a “coalition of chaos”, and we can see it in front of us as I speak. I understand that the Government do have concerns in that they face issues with a selfish majority wreaking havoc, and someone who is resisting all the attempts of the powers that be to remove them—causing serious disruption, disorder and chaos, with serious consequences for the public, businesses, politics and financial markets—but they had glued themselves under the desk. We wish Conservative Members luck with their attempts to extricate another failing Tory Prime Minister from No. 10, but I suggest that that is not a reason to change the law for everyone else.
This is the second Public Order Bill in the space of six months. The Government could have got through a victims Bill by now; they chose not to. They could have put more time into action on violence against women and girls; they chose not to. Instead, they are repeating the same debates we have had already. The Home Secretary referred to acts of violence and blocking roads. These are, rightly, already crimes. These are all, rightly, already offences. In fact, this Conservative Government have put fewer thugs and criminals behind bars because prosecutions for violent crime have plummeted on their watch. Antisocial behaviour action in many areas has totally collapsed.
We have seen certain things recently that have angered all of us. Defacing works of art is a total disgrace. Blocking roads and preventing ambulances from getting through is appalling. Both those are rightly against the law already, and we have seen people rightly arrested and charged for criminal damage and for blocking highways. We support the action of Transport for London in taking out injunctions. That is why we have argued from the start for making taking injunction action smoother for organisations, but today Members from all parts of this House have also stood up for the principles of peaceful protest in the face of the truly appalling images we have seen from outside the Chinese consulate in Manchester, including a serious assault that put one protestor in hospital.
Parliament must stand up for peaceful rights; as the Minister for the Americas and the Overseas Territories, Jesse Norman rightly said earlier today, peaceful protest is a fundamental part of British society, and in our country everyone has the right to express their views peacefully. That is why we have to make sure that when we legislate in these areas we do so with care, because in a democracy people need the freedom to speak out against authority and make their views heard, and we should also have protections and safeguards against serious disruption to essential services.
That is why we put forward measures; that is why we have supported buffer zones around abortion clinics, and that is why we have put forward measures in previous Bills on vaccine clinics and making sure people could not be targeted by harassment and intimidation. Hon. Friends have talked about the legislation that is already in place, but the measures in the Bill will not tackle this issue. Instead they mean a police inspector will have the power to stop and search anyone in the vicinity of a protest regardless of whether they suspect them of being involved in committing a criminal offence. It could mean people being stopped and searched in Parliament Square pretty much any day of the week when protests are taking place.
The Home Secretary says that she sees herself as a champion of freedom of speech and expression. She has said that freedom of speech must be protected, but, it turns out, not if it is too noisy. Speaking is fine, but speaking too loudly could be a criminal offence. She says that being offended goes hand in hand with free speech, but she has made it an offence to be seriously annoying. Defend offence but not annoyance—it is totally illogical.
Four hours having elapsed since the commencement of proceedings on the programme motion, the debate was interrupted (Programme Order, this day).
The Deputy Speaker put forthwith the Question already proposed from the Chair (