Clause 4

Part of Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 1:30 pm on 25th October 2007.

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Photo of Edward Garnier Edward Garnier Shadow Minister (Justice) 1:30 pm, 25th October 2007

I hear what the Minister says. It is seven-all in this Committee, and I gather that there may be other people interested in this debate who are not currently present. However, I will not disturb the hon. Member for Tooting and require him to go outside, because that would lead to a further delay of our proceedings. However, it is important that, as a matter of constitutional propriety, we are careful about what powers we give a Secretary of State.

This is the place where the Executive should be held to account. It may be said that this is a convenient and well used procedure to amend the detail of legislation, but just because it has been done before does not mean that it is right to do it again. I think that, from time to time, Committees of this House and the House itself should just check the Government, because Governments, if they are not careful, take power because they find it convenient to do so. The Government are not here for the convenience of anybody apart from the electorate of this country, as represented by us.

I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.