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Public Bill Committee: Police Reform Bill [Lords]: Clause 36 - Community safety accreditation schemes (25 Jun 2002)

George Osborne: It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Miss Widdecombe, after working with you closely over recent years. May I take advantage of the licence that you kindly gave us to explore more broadly the accredited community safety schemes? I begin by joining the hon. Member for Lewes in noting the irony of the Labour party giving private companies policing powers. I can imagine the song...

Public Bill Committee: Police Reform Bill [Lords]: Schedule 4 - Powers exercisable by police civilians (25 Jun 2002)

Ann Widdecombe: With this it will be convenient to take amendment No. 67 in page 135, line 3, at end insert 'whom he reasonably suspects to be in possession of an object that is likely to cause harm or injury'.

Public Bill Committee: Police Reform Bill [Lords]: Clause 31 - Removal etc. of senior officers at the instance of the Secretary of State (18 Jun 2002)

John Denham: The hon. Gentleman needs to stop chucking around phrases such as ''getting rid of chief constables at the whim of the Secretary of State''. That is a grossly irresponsible way of referring to legislation that has existed not since 1996, but since 1964. If what he said were true, we would have seen Secretaries of State of all persuasions exercising whims. We need proper objective discussion of...

Public Bill Committee: Police Reform Bill [Lords]: Clause 28 - Resignation in the interests of efficiency and effectiveness (18 Jun 2002)

Norman Baker: ...start to this afternoon's proceedings. Without apportioning blame, hon. Members behind me assured me that your name was Mr. Davies. However, I knew that you were not Mr. Stevenson, Mr. Griffiths, and I certainly knew that you were not Miss Widdecombe, so I was struggling. My apologies. I want to explore one or two issues with the Minister, especially the phrase ''or to resign'', which is...

Public Bill Committee: Police Reform Bill [Lords]: Schedule 3 - Handling of Complaints and - Conduct Matters etc. (13 Jun 2002)

Norman Baker: Thank you, Miss Widdecombe. I am sure that the hon. Members to my right were discussing the importance of the amendment. The Minister continued: ''That facility is not available at the moment. Clearly, the commission's staff will carry out the investigation in only a minority of cases and the IPCC will directly manage, as opposed to supervising, a further minority of those...

Public Bill Committee: Police Reform Bill [Lords]: Clause 11 - Complaints, matters and persons (13 Jun 2002)

Norman Baker: The Under-Secretary is not very convincing on that point—I hope that he does not mind me saying that. There is inconsistency and if the Under-Secretary cannot see that, there is something wrong with his logic. There is inconsistency if one part of the police family is subject to the IPCC and another part is not. There is inconsistency if some people who work for Group 4 are subject to the...

Public Bill Committee: Police Reform Bill [Lords]: Schedule 2 - The Independent Police - Complaints Commission (13 Jun 2002)

Bob Ainsworth: Thank you, Miss Widdecombe, and welcome to the Chair. When our sitting ended this morning, I was being accused of deviously trying to avoid answering a question. Although that is not true, the compliment is always welcome. I had cross-wired my brain to a debate that we will have under amendment No. 85, which relates to clause 10 and is about the disclosure of reports. I was wiring myself...

Orders of the Day — Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Bill — [2nd Allotted Day]: Clause 126 — Power to search for evidence (12 Jun 2002)

Oliver Letwin: I join the Home Secretary in welcoming the tone of our national debates on asylum in past months. I am also pleased that our discussions have been rational and that some progress has been made in understanding each other's positions. I welcome the Government's significant moves towards our position. The Bill remains a curate's egg—it has some good and bad bits. It is good that it sets out...

Orders of the Day — Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Bill — [1st Allotted Day]: New Clause 1 — Accommodation centres: decisions and appeals (11 Jun 2002)

Oliver Letwin: has welcomed the idea of accommodation centres, not least because the Conservative party originally made the suggestion. Indeed, it was my right hon. Friend the Member for Maidstone and The Weald (Miss Widdecombe) who earned such opprobrium from Labour Members for making that suggestion. She taught us the need to think hard about how the accommodation centres should be constructed....

Public Bill Committee: Police Reform Bill [Lords]: Mr. George Stevenson (23 May 2002)

Norman Baker: I, too, welcome you, Mr. Stevenson. We know each other from other avenues, but I look forward to your chairmanship and that of Miss Widdecombe. Given her personality and knowledge of this subject area, I suspect that she may find it difficult to keep her opinions to herself as we proceed. It is nice to begin on a note of harmony and agreement. We agree on most of the Bill, especially as it...

Orders of the Day — Adoption and Children Bill — [2nd Allotted Day]: Clause 41 — Child to live with adopters before application (16 May 2002)

Jacqui Smith: I will repeat to the hon. Gentleman what I said in Committee about the Government believing that there was scope for looking at unmarried couples being able to adopt and taking that forward through the partnership registration work that the Government were undertaking. There is nothing inconsistent in my position today. We need to be clear about the basis of this argument. A vote for the...

Alban Gashi (17 Apr 2002)

Angela Eagle: I note the issues that the right hon. Member for Maidstone and The Weald (Miss Widdecombe) has raised about the case of Mr. Alban Gashi. I would like to set out the essential background to the case. Mr. Gashi entered the United Kingdom illegally on 3 February 1998. He was detected by immigration officers at Dover, along with 20 other illegal entrants, in the back of a lorry that had just...

Hunting with Dogs: Ban (19 Mar 2002)

Viscount Bledisloe: My Lords, I apologise for speaking in the gap. Unfortunately, my request to be put at the proper and lowly place at the bottom of the speakers list led to my immediate elevation to an inaccessible place at the top. I want to make one point, about which I feel very strongly as a lawyer. As the noble Lords, Lord King and Lord Peston, pointed out, this is not a question of whether one likes or...

Hunting With Dogs (18 Mar 2002)

Ann Winterton: I want to sum up after a very interesting debate in which there have been good contributions from Members on both sides of the House. There have been some stars— the hon. Member for Vauxhall (Kate Hoey) was, as ever, courageous, full of common sense and had the best motives in supporting the middle way. The biggest star of all was my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond, Yorks (Mr....

London and the South-East (12 Mar 2002)

James Paice: When my hon. Friend the Member for Brentwood and Ongar (Mr. Pickles) opened the debate, he referred to the need for a constructive approach and not yah-boo opposition, and the speeches of Conservative Members have largely fulfilled his expectations. My right hon. Friend the Member for Maidstone and The Weald (Miss Widdecombe) spoke with passion, as she always does, about crime and its roots...

Written Answers — Lord Chancellor: Judicial Appeals (4 Mar 2002)

Ann Widdecombe: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if he will seek to change the rules of court to permit (a) the Court of Appeal to correct an order of the court if it can be shown that the Lord Justices reached their conclusion inappropriately and (b) a right of appeal against a decision of the Court of Appeal where it over-ruled the original decision of the court; and under...

Points of Order (25 Feb 2002)

Ann Widdecombe: Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. Regardless of what you can insist on, will you confirm that in any circumstances in which a Minister faces serious questions about his conduct and the general situation in his Department, you would expect such a Minister to give an account of himself to the House at the earliest opportunity?

Written Answers — Home Department: Parliamentary Questions (25 Feb 2002)

John Denham: The figures for total police wastage and police resignations given in the answer to the right hon. Member for Maidstone and The Weald (Miss Widdecombe) of 11 December 2000, Official Report, column 64W, were those collected by the Home Office Research, Development and Statistics Directorate (RDS) and published as Police Personnel Statistics. For the purpose of these statistics, wastage is...

Public Bill Committee: Office of Communications Bill [Lords]: Clause 4 - Functions of existing regulators (5 Feb 2002)

Michael Fabricant: I am sorry, Miss Widdecombe. I have been given an interesting note by the hon. Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme (Paul Farrelly), which is extremely distracting. I suspect that it is a ploy by the Government Whips. There will be a period of indeterminate length after which Ofcom takes over, centring on the question of when the main Bill is published and finally passes through Parliament. The...

Public Bill Committee: Office of Communications Bill [Lords]: Clause 3 - Management of OFCOM (5 Feb 2002)

Ian Taylor: I happen to share Sir Christopher Bland's view. It is interesting that the portfolio that I held during the previous Conservative Government, if we can throw our minds back that far, was subsequently divided into three. That created further problems. As I hinted earlier, responsibilities for key areas have always been split between the Department of Trade and Industry and what was, in my day,...

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