New clause 1 - Discrimination in appointments

Part of Police (Northern Ireland) Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:30 pm on 11th March 2003.

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Photo of Paul Goodman Paul Goodman Conservative, Wycombe 2:30 pm, 11th March 2003

Section 46 of the 2000 Act states plainly that

''the Chief Constable shall appoint from the pool of qualified applicants . . . an even number of persons of whom . . . one half shall be persons who are treated as Roman Catholic; and . . . one half shall be persons who are not so treated.''

Does my hon. Friend agree that that is clearly discriminatory against Protestants and members of other religions? Labour Members may argue that it is justified, but it is still discrimination.