Data Protection Bill [HL] - Commons Amendments

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:00 pm on 14th May 2018.

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Photo of Lord Keen of Elie Lord Keen of Elie The Advocate-General for Scotland, Lords Spokesperson (Ministry of Justice) 6:00 pm, 14th May 2018

My Lords, I thank the noble Baroness, Lady Hollins, for setting out the thinking behind her Amendments 62A and 62B. As we have heard, they seek to insert an amended version of Clause 142 into the Bill, in contrast to the Commons amendments, which would remove it. I have already set out the Government’s reasons for opposing the inclusion of Clause 142 in this Bill, and I regret to say that the modest changes proposed by Amendments 62A and 62B do not change that analysis. In particular, nothing in the amendments answers the fundamental challenge that creating a further public inquiry is neither necessary nor proportionate at this point in time.

I remind noble Lords that it was this present Government, following a public consultation and in implementing a manifesto commitment, who took the present step, which was approved in the other place. My noble friend Lord Cormack alluded to the fact that the other place had already addressed this issue. The noble and learned Lord, Lord Falconer, came back with an accusation directed against my noble friend Lord Cormack of complacency. I have seen my noble friend accused of many things, but complacency is certainly not one of them. I regard that accusation as utterly misplaced and inappropriate.

Indeed, I take issue with some of the other factual assertions made by the noble and learned Lord, Lord Falconer, in particular his assertion that no front-page apology had appeared in any IPSO publication since it was founded. I think he will find that may be borne out upon a reading of the Times in the recent past.