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Keith Vaz: They have failed.
Keith Vaz: As others have pointed out, we are debating these measures at a time when crime in this country has reached record levels. The reason for those record levels is directly related to the Government's policies. I was astonished to hear the hon. Member for Lancashire, West (Mr. Hind) seek to blame the Labour Government for most of the crimes committed under the Conservatives. The facts speak...
Keith Vaz: rose—
Keith Vaz: Will the hon. Gentleman give way?
Keith Vaz: Will the hon. and learned Gentleman give way?
Keith Vaz: Does my hon. Friend agree that the Minister's desire to clear up the delays in the posts abroad is in direct contrast to the chaos and crisis in Lunar house, where over 200,000 letters are lying unopened? The new clause may well result in vital members of the service at Lunar house being diverted abroad, leading to further chaos and crisis in Croydon.
Keith Vaz: It is disgraceful.
Keith Vaz: The hon. Gentleman did not say anything in Committee.
Keith Vaz: I should like to speak briefly and raise two matters with the Minister. First, we welcome any proposals that will result in a reduction in delays in the immigration service. We are concerned about the delays that have occurred at Lunar house in Croydon. I visited Lunar house last Monday and saw a number of the 200,000 letters that have remained unopened there. The Minister visited Lunar...
Keith Vaz: It is the Government's fault.
Keith Vaz: The Minister was in Committee for more than 62 hours. On every occasion during every sitting of the Committee this matter was raised with him. It is high time that the matter came before the public, rather than being covered up by the Minister and his officials at the Home Office. What proposals does he have to end the delays? He should tell us that, rather than indulging in a personal attack...
Keith Vaz: I cannot believe that.
Keith Vaz: It is a major issue.
Keith Vaz: The hon. Gentleman should know.
Keith Vaz: I am grateful for the opportunity to address the House on the issue. I have the good fortune of having spent nearly 62 hours in Committee, watching the Minister sitting across the table with a smile like an operation stretch mark, waiting to stab the black and Asian communities in the back with further legislation designed to damage relations between the black and white communities....
Keith Vaz: No, I will not give way. We face the intellectual inflexibility of the Minister and some of his silent colleagues. The hon. Member for Richmond and Barnes (Mr. Hanley) had a habit of jumping up and down in Committee and claimed that he was an expert on race relations because he once visited Bangladesh and he was able to speak with some authority on the needs of the black and Asian...
Keith Vaz: —but, of course, the Minister was able to rebuke him on that occasion, as he did on previous occasions.