Boris Johnson: The Minister has been rather hard on the Opposition for failing to come up with a practical policy proposal about which the House could form a consensus tonight. He is being very unfair on my right hon. Friend the Member for West Dorset (Mr. Letwin). None the less, I am going to provide a single policy initiative, which I am sure will meet universal approval among Labour Members and my hon....
Boris Johnson: Henley.
Boris Johnson: I am most grateful to the hon. Lady for her intervention. It is precisely to address the point that she makes that I seek to build a cross-party consensus tonight on the very issue in hand. The problem is that this good lady—indeed, anyone who wants to do so—must get planning permission.
Boris Johnson: I think that the Minister is about to intervene to say that the need for planning permission will be revoked on these questions.
Boris Johnson: I am grateful to the Minister for that intervention because we are inching towards progress. I am tempted to say that he agrees with me, but I want to ram home the case a little further. To convince him, may I point out that the device that Mrs. Anley seeks to install is only 2 ft by 4 ft and only 8 cm thick, but to get planning permission, she must pay a non-negotiable flat fee of £135. She...
Boris Johnson: Will the hon. Gentleman say who would distribute the personal carbon allowances? What would be the penalties for failure to comply?
Boris Johnson: Will the Minister give way?
Boris Johnson: rose—
Boris Johnson: The Minister is most unfair, because I have sat through 95 per cent. of this afternoon's proceedings. I may have been inconspicuous. If what Cherie Blair said would not be criminalised under clause 1, will the Minister provide a single, concrete example of indirect incitement to terrorism that would be criminalised and that would not be caught by existing statute?
Boris Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the Israeli security wall.
Boris Johnson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer why HM Revenue and Customs is unable to waive interest penalties with regard to the Hong Kong tax rebate.
Boris Johnson: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list the items of correspondence between the Prime Minister's Unit and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs during March 2001 relating to the ban in 2001 on the feeding of swill.
Boris Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many requests for extradition were received in (a) 2000, (b) 2001, (c) 2002, (d) 2003 and (e) 2004 from each of the countries that were the subject of the Part 2 Territories Designation Order 2003.
Boris Johnson: What assessment he has made of the effect of the level of taxation on the state of the economy.
Boris Johnson: One of my constituents is a road sweeper of 18 years' service. He attracts no benefits or tax credits, so will the Minister undertake to explain to him the justice of his payslip, which he showed me recently? On gross earnings of £542 per fortnight, he pays £161 in tax and £86 in national insurance. On top of that, he has to find a further £50 for council tax. Does the Minister think that...
Boris Johnson: The Home Secretary obviously intends to make these things compulsory, and he has already talked about the penalties for refusing to register. Will he now let the British people know exactly what penalties they might face, in fines or imprisonment, for refusing to have anything to do with the scheme?
Boris Johnson: I oppose the Bill because I think it could amount to an almost mediaeval repression of free speech. I speak as a politician and a journalist who is accustomed to saying things that some people find inflammatory and offensive. I have been accused of offending whole cities in this country. I hope that that will prove to have been a chastening experience. I also hope that if I say anything...
Boris Johnson: It is obvious that the hon. Member for Bethnal Green and Bow (Mr. Galloway) already had plenty of protection under common law, if indeed he was jostled and attacked. The existing provisions are already draconian; why on earth are we producing a new Bill to outlaw incitement to religious hatred, thus eliding two notoriously foggy concepts, religion and hate, into a great cloud of muddle and...
Boris Johnson: rose—
Boris Johnson: The Public Order Act 1986 was amended in 1998 so that a person commits an offence "if he displays any writing, sign or other visible representation which is threatening or abusive or insulting within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused embarrassment, alarm or distress". The offence is called religious aggravation. That covers the case that the Under-Secretary cites.