New clause 1 - Discrimination in appointments

Part of Police (Northern Ireland) Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:45 pm on 11th March 2003.

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Photo of Rt Hon David Trimble Rt Hon David Trimble Leader of the Ulster Unionist Party 2:45 pm, 11th March 2003

With respect, the hon. Gentleman's point about the Government's approach discriminating against members of Orthodox religions by preventing them from applying to join the PSNI is misconceived. The scheme proposed by the legislation is designed to guarantee 50 per cent. of places to Roman Catholic applicants, and 50 per cent. to all others. I am not sure how many members of Orthodox religions there are, but they would fall within the category of all others, as would Muslims, Jews and Hindus. The Government's approach has something to commend it because Jews, and probably most Muslims, Hindus and Chinese too, are Unionists rather than nationalists.