Clause 147 - Extradition offences

Part of Extradition Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 9:45 am on 16th January 2003.

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Photo of Mr Nick Hawkins Mr Nick Hawkins Conservative, Surrey Heath 9:45 am, 16th January 2003

I am not trying to water down the Bill. The Minister must understand that there is no inconsistency in my right hon. Friend the Member for West Dorset saying that our asylum system is a shambles, as he did yesterday after the emergency statement about the tragic and appalling murder of the police officer in Manchester. The Home Secretary has accepted that many things were wrong in the asylum system that he inherited from his predecessor, because he has sought to change it. We have described it as dismantling the house that Jack built. The Minister's boss has agreed with almost everything that my right hon. Friend the Member for West Dorset said and has tried to address the asylum system in the way that we have recommended. When the Foreign Secretary was Home Secretary he disagreed with the arguments that my right hon. Friends the Members for West Dorset and for Maidstone and The Weald (Miss Widdecombe) put to him. The Minister has to look carefully at the way in which his boss has started to adopt Conservative policies in tightening up the

asylum system, and there is no inconsistency between what we are saying outside and inside this place. We are not trying to water down the Bill; we are trying to reflect what the Home Affairs Committee has said, which is that the Bill should reflect the framework decision and the new extradition regime. It is not a watering-down.