Clause 35 - General functions of Commissioner

Part of Modern Slavery Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 6:00 pm on 9 September 2014.

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Photo of Michael Connarty Michael Connarty Labour, Linlithgow and East Falkirk 6:00, 9 September 2014

I hope when the Minister reflects on the question of independence, she will go back and reads the evidence that we were given by two gentleman in positions with titles that both contain the word “independent”. David Anderson QC, who is the independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, at Brick Court Chambers and John Vine CBE QPM, independent chief inspector of borders and immigration, who both gave evidence to us, stated that when their titles were first put into the public domain they did not contain the word “independent”. They argued strongly and were given approval by the Home Affairs Committee to put “independent” into their title. I will mention some of their evidence about how they perform their duties, which shows that they have, in fact, won the battle for independence. They also state that in Australia—in what might be called a more modern situation—they call the relevant person “independent”.

We keep referring back to the habits, legislation and behaviour of the 20th century. We moved into the 21st century 14 years ago, and we have to start thinking about the reality. If someone has to fight for their independence—

Karen Bradley rose—