Amendment 95

Part of Offensive Weapons Bill - Report (2nd Day) – in the House of Lords at 5:30 pm on 4th March 2019.

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Photo of Lord Kennedy of Southwark Lord Kennedy of Southwark Opposition Whip (Lords), Shadow Spokesperson (Home Affairs), Shadow Spokesperson (Communities and Local Government), Shadow Spokesperson (Housing) 5:30 pm, 4th March 2019

I thank the Minister for his contribution. This has been an interesting debate. I am proposing the position the Government took only a few months ago in the other place. They are now opposing that position. I suppose we live in interesting times.

I was very clear at Second Reading that I fully support the Home Secretary. I am just disappointed that the Government have changed their mind. I thank the noble Earl, Lord Attlee, for his amendments. They go some way towards allaying my fears. I am very pleased to learn from the Minister that the Government will support them. That is progress, and I thank the noble Lord for tabling the amendments today.

I also welcome the government consultation. I hope everyone involved and interested will contribute to it. My concern is that we will have the consultation and get the results many months after this Bill has passed into law. If the Government decide to ban these weapons, I will be asking how they are going do so and when there will be legislation. That has happened before. Noble Lords know that I am going to mention the rogue landlords database in the dreaded Housing and Planning Act. We wanted it to be made public, but the Government opposed us all the way. We won at least two votes, but the Government would not have it, so the public cannot access the database. The Government have now changed their mind, but when I ask about it, they say, “You’re absolutely right, Lord Kennedy, but we cannot find a bit of legislation to make it public yet”. That is the frustration with these consultations. The Government look at things, change their mind, but we cannot get changes.

I am not going to test the opinion of the House. I am tempted to see whether the Government vote against their original position, but I shall not do that today. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment 95 withdrawn.

Clause 34: Prohibition of certain firearms etc: Northern Ireland