Clause 32 - Guidance to chief officers of police etc

Modern Slavery Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:00 pm on 9 September 2014.

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Photo of David Hanson David Hanson Shadow Minister (Home Affairs) 4:00, 9 September 2014

I beg to move amendment 85, in clause 32, page 23, line 2, after “guidance”, insert

“no later than within one month of this Act obtaining Royal Assent.”

Photo of David Crausby David Crausby Labour, Bolton North East

With this it will be convenient to discuss amendment 86, in clause 32, page 23, line 8, after “published”, insert

“in both Houses of Parliament and”

Photo of David Hanson David Hanson Shadow Minister (Home Affairs)

I will be extremely brief. We have had a full discussion on guidance being published one month after the Bill attaining Royal Assent, so I do not intend to develop that further. The guidance that is outlined in clause 32(3) states:

“The Secretary of State must arrange for any guidance issued or revised under this section to be published in a way the Secretary of State considers appropriate.”

I tabled the amendment because it is appropriate that the Secretary of State publishes the guidance in both Houses of Parliament, as well as issuing it to the chief of police, director-general of the National Crime Agency and immigration officers. It is important that she inform the House what the guidance is, given that we are passing the legislation. I want to fetter the Secretary of State’s discretion somewhat. Instead of the Government saying that they consider guidance appropriate, would they publish it for those officers and in both Houses of Parliament so that it is formally known?

Photo of Karen Bradley Karen Bradley The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

I thank the right hon. Gentleman for his comments. Like him, I will not repeat our earlier discussion regarding the time frame within which the guidance will be published. Instead, I shall direct my remarks to amendment 86, which deals with where the guidance will be published. I assure the Committee that the document will be made public, and we will ensure that it is widely available on the Government website and easily available to everybody. Therefore, I do not feel that there is a need to dictate that is also published in both Houses of Parliament, as it will be available to any member of the public who wishes to see it. I therefore hope that the right hon. Gentleman is happy to withdraw his amendment.

Photo of David Hanson David Hanson Shadow Minister (Home Affairs)

I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 32ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clause 33 ordered to stand part of the Bill.