Police (Northern Ireland) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 10:00 pm on 8th November 2000.

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Photo of Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton Government Whip 10:00 pm, 8th November 2000

My Lords, the noble Lord, Lord Molyneaux, is right in what he says. It is for that reason that we support Patten in its aim--followed through in the Bill--to ensure that there is constructive dialogue and that that is followed through between the ombudsman and the board.

The noble Lord tempts me into the field of discussing whether we should refer to ombudsperson, ombudsman or ombudswoman. I should tell the noble Lord that during the passage of the Greater London Act we had a constructive dialogue on that Bill which has been referred to tonight. It progressed steadily during the course of the evening until two things happened at the same time: first, someone raised the question of chair or chairwoman; secondly, the noble Baroness, Lady Blatch--the noble friend of the noble Lords, Lord Cope and Lord Glentoran--appeared in the Chamber and the debate that followed lasted three-quarters of an hour. I am sure that the noble Lord, Lord Molyneaux, does not want to tempt me into that situation.