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Queen's Speech — Debate (3rd Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:30 pm on 27th May 2010.

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Photo of Baroness Neville-Jones Baroness Neville-Jones Minister of State (Home Office) (Security) 6:30 pm, 27th May 2010

My Lords, the Government intend to give the committee greater status, more powers and greater separation from the Executive. Exactly how that is to be done is being considered at the moment, but I think that a proposal will come forward shortly. We are certainly moving in the direction that the noble Lord wants.

The time has come to wind up. We will do considerable work in the area of police reform. The election of an individual to whom the police will report and be accountable will not manage or interfere with operational independence. There will be checks and balances accompanying such an individual. Perhaps I can go into more detail in due course; we will consult with the necessary bodies which have an interest.

Many other points were raised by noble Lords, including matters concerning the forthcoming legislation from the Department for Communities and Local Government, where we will push forward our agenda of localism. I will write to noble Lord, Lord Avebury, and the noble Baroness, Lady Whitaker, on the various points that they raised.

In conclusion, I hope very much that the reforms that we have outlined in the Government's legislative programme for this first Session will secure the ambition, which I am sure is shared in this House, of Britain being not just a safe and secure society but a free one. I commend the programme to your Lordships.

Debate adjourned until Wednesday next.

Lord Healey and Lord Hurd of Westwell took the oath.