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Policing and Crime Bill - Report (2nd Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:15 pm on 7th December 2016.

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Photo of Lord Mackay of Clashfern Lord Mackay of Clashfern Conservative 4:15 pm, 7th December 2016

Before the noble Lord sits down, I draw attention to the fact that if in due course this amendment were passed in a form that specified the coroner, there would still be the question of the date on which it would come into force. It would certainly be possible for the Government, if they thought it right, to wait for Bishop Jones’s report before bringing it into force. On the other hand, as we know, there are occasions on which, if the Government think they have good reason, they sometimes do not bring things that they have an option to postpone into effect at all. So it would certainly be possible to make it clear that that is what could happen here.

I hope the Government will agree that the noble Lord can bring this back without agreeing a commitment as to what should happen. It would be extremely wise for this House to have the chance to consider the amendment with the coroner in instead of the police and crime commissioner, and I hope my noble friend’s discretion is sufficient to allow her to say that the Government would not object to the amendment being brought back. Ultimately it is the House rather than any party that decides whether or not an amendment can be brought back, but I hope we would not need to go into that kind of procedure here if the Government were kind enough to say that if the amendment came forward in the shape that I am suggesting, and which the noble Lord has made clear he would be happy with, it could be considered. That would not mean a commitment by the Government to accept such an amendment, but at least it could be considered at Third Reading.