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Clause 1

Part of Counter-Terrorism Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:30 am on 29th April 2008.

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Photo of Tony McNulty Tony McNulty Minister of State (Security, Counter-terrorism, Crime and Policing), Home Office 10:30 am, 29th April 2008

The hon. Gentleman knows that the Bill relates only to terrorism. He makes a fair point, and I am not sure whether the matter was covered in the serious and organised crime legislation from last year. [Interruption.] The hon. Member for Somerton and Frome says from a sedentary position that it was not covered, but I will double-check that.

The power under the clause is needed in addition to existing powers because effectively we are lowering the threshold for removing documents for examination. That will allow the removal of documents not only that the constable is authorised to search, but that might turn out to be evidence of terrorist involvement. As hon. Members know, we are lowering the threshold only momentarily. We will come on to discuss the timing. It is important not only that the clause stands part, but that it stands without the amendment. I hope that I have explained broadly the new power to remove documents, why I think the clause should prevail and why the amendment should not.