Police (Northern Ireland) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 9:00 pm on 8th November 2000.

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Photo of Lord Archer of Sandwell Lord Archer of Sandwell Labour 9:00 pm, 8th November 2000

My Lords, I was advised by my lawyer that I do not have to answer questions of that kind! I am grateful for the intervention of the noble Lord, Lord Glentoran, although he will forgive me for noting that he announced simply that he would oppose the amendment. He did not give any reasons for so doing. If he opposes the amendment, I suppose that I shall have to bear that with fortitude.

My noble friend has exposed the difficulty here. I am not quite sure that I agree with what she said at the outset but, if that is the case, Patten has made conflicting recommendations. That is rather surprising because, until now, I have not seen that pointed out.

I do not find the explanation given by my noble friend wholly convincing, but I do not think that this is the appropriate time to interrupt what, but for this amendment, would appear to be a constructive dialogue. I propose to ask leave to withdraw the amendment, but I shall not give an undertaking for future good behaviour. We have yet to reach Third Reading. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.