Part of Northern Ireland Bill – in the House of Lords at 5:17 pm on 11th March 2009.

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Photo of Lord Glentoran Lord Glentoran Shadow Minister (the Olympics), Culture, Media & Sport, Shadow Minister, Northern Ireland, Shadow Minister, Wales 5:17 pm, 11th March 2009

The amendment would require Ministers to make a solemn declaration and oath. This is vital. I have spoken again with the chief constable and, given the way in which things happen when terrorist activity and serious criminal activity gear up in Northern Ireland, he must have a guarantee of those freedoms. At Second Reading, I asked whether, had these recent murders taken place post-devolution, the chief constable would have the powers—the freedom—to call in resources independently, and I think, unless I am wrong, that the noble Baroness's answer was in the affirmative. We believe that the amendment would clearly strengthen the Bill and give a lot of comfort to everybody involved in the process. I beg to move.