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Session 1999-2000
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House of Commons Votes and Proceedings
Wednesday 16th February 2000

The House met at half-past Two o'clock.
PRAYERS.
1City of London (Ward Elections) Bill,—The Order of the day being read, for further consideration of the City of London (Ward Elections) Bill;
 
        Ordered, That the Bill be further considered on Wednesday 1st March.
2European Standing Committee,—Mr John Butterfill reported from European Standing Committee C the following Resolution:
 
        That the Committee takes note of European Union Documents Nos. 12838/99, the Commission's Fifth Report on the Implementation of the Telecommunications Regulatory Package, 12839/99, Commission Communication: Towards a new framwork for Electronic Communications infrastructure and associated services: The 1999 Communications Review, 14320/98, Commission Green Paper on radio spectrum policy in the context of European Community policies such as telecommunications, broadcasting, transport and research and development, and 12840/99, Commission Communication, The Next Steps in Radio Spectrum Policy—Results of the Public Consultation on the Green Paper, welcomes these Communications and supports the Government's proposed response to them.
 
        Report, together with Resolution, to lie upon the Table.
3Fourth Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation,—Mr Mike Hancock reported from the Fourth Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation, the draft Greater London Authority (Disqualification) Order 2000.
 
        Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee to lie upon the Table.
4Welfare of Racing Greyhounds,—Ordered, That leave be given to bring in a Bill to make provision for the welfare of racing greyhounds at all tracks in the United Kingdom; and for connected purposes: And that Jim Fitzpatrick, Mr Nigel Griffiths, Mr Ian Cawsey, Mr Tony Banks, Angela Smith, Mr Keith Darvill and Dr Nick Palmer do prepare and bring it in.
5Welfare of Racing Greyhounds Bill,—Jim Fitzpatrick accordingly presented a Bill to make provision for the welfare of racing greyhounds at all tracks in the United Kingdom; and for connected purposes: And the same was read the first time; and ordered to be read a second time on Friday 7th April and to be printed [Bill 70].
6Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Bill (Clauses 1 to 18 and 95 to 120, Schedules 1, 2 and 11 to 14, New Clauses and New Schedules relating to Parts I and VII),—The House, according to Order, again resolved itself into a Committee on the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Bill (Clauses 1 to 18 and 95 to 120, Schedules 1, 2 and 11 to 14, New Clauses and New Schedules relating to Parts I and VII).
(In the Committee)
 
        Clause No. 95 (Referendums to which this Part applies).
 
        Amendment (No. 36) proposed, in page 60, line 37, to leave out from the word 'Ireland' to the end of line 39.—(Mr Robert Walter.)
 
        Question proposed, That the Amendment be made:—Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
 
        Another Amendment (No. 45) proposed, in page 61, line 13, at the end, to add the words—
 
        '(6) The exact number, nature and wording of
 
          (a) the question or questions, and
 
          (b) the possible answers to each question
 
    in a referendum or other poll to which this Part applies shall be determined after consultation with the Commission; and any views expressed by the Commission shall be published.'.—(Sir Patrick Cormack.)
 
        Question proposed, That the Amendment be made:—Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
 
        Clause agreed to.
 
        Clause No. 96 agreed to.
 
        Clause No. 97 (Date of poll).
 
        Amendment (No. 46) proposed, in page 61, line 33, to leave out from the beginning to the word 'the' in line 34 and to insert the words 'The date of the poll in the case of any referendum to which this Part applies shall be fixed by the Commission, and'.—(Sir Patrick Cormack.)
 
        Question put, That the Amendment be made.
 
        The Committee divided.
 
          Tellers for the Ayes, Mrs Eleanor Laing, Mr Stephen Day: 176.
 
          Tellers for the Noes, Mr David Clelland, Mr Graham Allen: 323.
 
        Clause agreed to.
 
        Clause No. 98 (Permitted participants).
 
        Amendment (No. 47) proposed, in page 62, line 1, after the word 'individual', to insert the words 'registered in an electoral register'.—(Mr Robert Walter.)
 
        Question proposed, That the Amendment be made:—Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
 
        Question put, That the Clause stand part of the Bill.
 
        The Committee divided.
 
          Tellers for the Ayes, Mr Mike Hall, Mr Greg Pope: 334.
 
          Tellers for the Noes, Mrs Eleanor Laing, Mr Peter Luff: 146.
 
        Clauses Nos. 99 to 101 agreed to.
 
        Clause No. 102 (Applications for designation under section 101).
 
        Amendment (No. 13) proposed, in page 64, line 28, at the end, to insert the words—
 
        '(5A) In making any designation of a permitted participant under section 101(2) or (4) the Commission shall have regard to
 
          (i) the separate levels of support for each of the permitted participants which have given notice under section 99(1)(b) or section 99(3)(b) that they propose to campaign for the same outcome, and
 
          (ii) evidence submitted to it by any permitted participants relating to their principal reasons for campaigning for that outcome.
 
          (5B) Where the Commission is satisfied that more than one permitted participant had demonstrated
 
          (a) substantial support, and
 
          (b) a distinct "principal reason" for campaigning for the same outcome, and
 
          (c) that it would be unreasonable to refuse designation under section 101(1),
 
    it may designate 2 or more permitted participants for assistance under section 103.
 
        (5C) Where the Commission makes any designation under subsection (5C) above, they shall make such an apportionment of eligibility for assistance between the designated permitted participants as they think fit.'.—(Mr Andrew Stunell.)
 
        Question proposed, That the Amendment be made:—Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
 
        Another Amendment (No. 49) proposed, in page 64, line 32, to leave out the words 'shorter or'.—(Mr Dominic Grieve.)
 
        Question proposed, That the Amendment be made:—Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
 
        Clause agreed to.
 
        Clause No. 103 agreed to.
 
        Schedule No 11 agreed to.
 
        Clause No. 104 agreed to.
 
        Schedule No. 12 agreed to.
 
        Clause No. 105 (Notional referendum expenses).
 
        Amendment (No. 50) made.
 
        Clause, as amended, agreed to.
 
        Clauses Nos. 106 and 107 agreed to.
 
        Clause No. 108 (Restriction on making claims in respect of referendum expenses).
 
        Amendment (No. 8) made.
 
        Clause, as amended, agreed to.
 
        Clauses Nos. 109 and 110 agreed to.
 
        Clause No. 111 (Special restrictions on referendum expenses by permitted participants).
 
        Question proposed, That the Clause stand part of the Bill.
 
        And it being Ten o'clock, the Chairman left the Chair to report progress and ask leave to sit again.


 
        The Deputy Speaker resumed the Chair; and Mr Kevin Hughes reported, That the Committee had made progress in the Bill, and moved, That the Committee may have leave to sit again.
7Business of the House,—A Motion was made, and the Question being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 15 (Exempted business), That, at this day's sitting, the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Bill may be proceeded with, though opposed, until any hour—(Mr Kevin Hughes):—It was agreed to.
8Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Bill (Clauses 1 to 18 and 95 to 120, Schedules 1, 2 and 11 to 14, and New Clauses and New Schedules relating to Parts I and VII),—The House again resolved itself into a Committee on the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Bill (Clauses 1 to 18 and 95 to 120, Schedules 1, 2 and 11 to 14, and New Clauses and New Schedules relating to Parts I and VII).
(In the Committee)
 
        Clause No. 111 (Special restrictions on referendum expenses by permitted participants).
 
        Question again proposed, That the Clause stand part of the Bill.
 
        Question put.
 
        The Committee divided.
 
          Tellers for the Ayes, Mr Mike Hall, Mr Gerry Sutcliffe: 334.
 
          Tellers for the Noes, Mrs Eleanor Laing, Mr Peter Luff: 137.
 
        Schedule No. 13 agreed to.
 
        Clause No. 112 agreed to.
 
        Schedule No. 14 agreed to.
 
        Clauses Nos. 113 to 117 agreed to.
 
        Clause No. 118 (Restriction on publication etc. of promotional material by central and local government etc.).
 
        Amendment (No. 54) proposed, in page 72, line 41, to leave out the world 'relevant', and to insert the word 'referendum'.—(Mr Dominic Grieve.)
 
        Question proposed, That the Amendment be made:—Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
 
        Clause agreed to.
 
        Clauses Nos. 119 and 120 agreed to.
 
        A Clause (Chief counting officers, and counting officers, for referendums)—(Mr Mike O'Brien)—brought up, and read the first time.
 
        Question proposed, That the Clause be read a second time.
Thursday 17th February 2000
 
        And the Question being put:—It was agreed to.
 
        Another Clause (Orders regulating conduct of referendums)—(Mr Mike O'Brien)—brought up and read the first time.
 
        Question put, That the Clause be read a second time.
 
        The Committee divided.
 
          Tellers for the Ayes, Mr Tony McNulty, Mr Gerry Sutcliffe: 266.
 
          Tellers for the Noes, Mrs Eleanor Laing, Mr Peter Luff: 135.
 
        Clause added.
 
        Title amended as follows: A Bill to establish an Electoral Commission; to make provision about the registration and finances of political parties; to make provision about donations and expenditure for political purposes; to make provision about election and referendum campaigns and the conduct of referendums; to make provision about election petitions and other legal proceedings in connection with elections; to reduce the qualifying periods set out in sections 1 and 3 of the Representation of the People Act 1985; and for connected purposes.
 
        Bill (Clauses 1 to 18 and 95 to 120, Schedules 1, 2 and 11 to 14, and New Clauses and New Schedules relating to Parts I and VII), as amended, to be reported.


 
        The Deputy Speaker resumed the Chair; and Mr Mike Hall reported, That the Committee had gone through the Bill (Clauses 1 to 18 and 95 to 120, Schedules 1, 2 and 11 to 14, and New Clauses and New Schedules relating to Parts I and VII) and made amendments thereunto, and had amended the title.
 
        Ordered, That the Bill, as amended in the Committee and in the Standing Committee, be considered to-morrow, and be printed [Bill 71].
9Adjournment,—Resolved, That this House do now adjourn.—(Mr Mike Hall.)
 
        And accordingly the House, having continued to sit till four minutes to One o'clock on Thursday morning, adjourned till this day.
[Adjourned at 12.56 p.m.
Betty Boothroyd
Speaker        

Madam Speaker will take the Chair at half-past Eleven o'clock.

APPENDIX I
Papers presented or laid upon the Table:
Papers subject to Negative Resolution:
1Criminal Law,—Crime and Disorder Strategies (Prescribed Descriptions) (Amendment) Order 2000 (S.I., 2000, No. 300), dated 9th February 2000 [by Act] [Mr Secretary Straw].
2Education,—(1) North Riding College Higher Education Corporation (Dissolution) Order 2000 (S.I., 2000, No. 355), and
 
        (2) Phoenix College (Dissolution) Order 2000 (S.I., 2000, No. 354)
 
    dated 14th February 2000 [by Act] [Mr Secretary Blunkett].
3Judicial Committee,—Judicial Committee (Osteopaths Rules) Order 2000 (S.I., 2000, No. 251), dated 8th February 2000 [by Act] [Margaret Beckett].
4Ministers of the Crown,—Transfer of Functions (Minister for the Civil Service and Treasury) Order 2000 (S.I., 2000, No. 250), dated 8th February 2000 [by Act] [Margaret Beckett].
5Osteopaths,—General Osteopathic Council (Health Committee) (Appeals) Rules Order of Council 2000 (S.I., 2000, No. 243), dated 9th February 2000 [by Act] [Margaret Beckett].
Other Papers:
6Pensions,—Naval, Military and Air Forces Etc. (Disablement and Death) Service Pensions Amendment Order 2000 (S.I., 2000, No. 252), dated 8th February 2000 [by Act] [Margaret Beckett].
7Treaty Series (No. 1, 2000),—Exchange of Notes, done at London on 18th June and 21st July 1999, between the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Government of the United States of America concerning the construction of a Monitoring Facility on Diego Garcia, British Indian Ocean Territory (British Indian Ocean Territory Agreement 1999) [by Command] [Cm. 4582] [Mr Secretary Cook].
8Treaty Series (No. 2, 2000),—Interregional Framework Cooperation Agreement, done at Madrid on 15th December 1995, between the European Community and its Member States, of the one part, and the Southern Common Market and its Party States, of the other part with Exchange of Letters [by Command] [Cm. 4583] [Mr Secretary Cook].
APPENDIX II
Standing Committees
1Draft Social Security (Contributions) (Re-rating and National Insurance Funds Payments) Order 2000,—The Committee of Selection has discharged Mr Alan Hurst and Mr Oliver Letwin from the Second Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation (nominated in respect of the draft Order); and nominated in substitution Mr Richard Ottaway and Mr Shaun Woodward.
European Standing Committees
2European Union Document No. 12992/99 relating to Aid System for Flax and Hemp has been referred to European Standing Committee A.
APPENDIX III
Reports from Select Committees
1Defence,—Minutes of Evidence taken before the Defence Committee [The European Security and Defence Identity]; to be printed [No. 264] [Mr Bruce George].
2Education and Employment,—Minutes of Evidence taken before the Employment Sub-Committee of the Education and Employment Committee [Work Permits for Overseas Footballers]; to be printed [No. 218-iii] [Mr Derek Foster].
3Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs,—Minutes of Evidence taken before the Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Committee [Proposed Urban White Paper]; to be printed [No. 185-i] [Mr Andrew F. Bennett].
4European Scrutiny,—Ninth Report from the European Scrutiny Committee; to be printed, with the Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee relating to the Report [No. 23-ix] [Mr Jimmy Hood].
5Health,—Minutes of Evidence taken before the Health Committee [The Tobacco Industry and the Health Risks of Smoking]; to be printed [No. 27-ix] [Mr David Hinchliffe].
6Northern Ireland Affairs,—Minutes of Evidence taken before the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee [Public Expenditure—Inward Investment in Northern Ireland]; to be printed [No. 198-ii] [Mr Peter Brooke].
7Public Accounts,—Minutes of Evidence taken before the Committee of Public Accounts [Ministry of Defence Appropriation Accounts 1998-99]; to be printed [No. 265-i] [Mr David Davis].
8Science and Technology,—Minutes of Evidence taken before the Science and Technology Committee [The Government's Expenditure on Research and Development: Forward Look 1999]; to be printed [No. 196-ii] [Dr Michael Clark].
9Scottish Affairs,—Minutes of Evidence taken before the Scottish Affairs Committee [Poverty in Scotland]; to be printed [No. 59-vi] [Mr David Marshall].
10Social Security,—Minutes of Evidence taken before the Social Security Committee [Social Security and Child Support Commissioners]; to be printed [No. 263-i] [Mr Archy Kirkwood].
11Standards and Privileges,—Fifth Report from the Committee on Standards and Privileges [Complaints against Mrs Teresa Gorman], together with Appendices to the Report, Minutes of Evidence taken before the Committee on 30th November and 18th January, and Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence; to be printed, with the Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee relating to the Report [No. 260] [Mr Robert Sheldon].
12Treasury,—Minutes of Evidence taken before the Sub-Committee of the Treasury Committee [Government's Cash and Debt Management]; to be printed [No. 154-iii] [Mr Giles Radice].


Supplement to the Votes and Proceedings
Wednesday 16th February 2000
Minutes of Proceedings of the Sitting in Westminster Hall
[pursuant to the Order of 24th May 1999]

The House met at half-past Nine o'clock.
1Adjournment,—Resolved, That the sitting be now adjourned—(Mrs Anne McGuire);
 
        And accordingly the sitting was adjourned till to-morrow.
[Adjourned at 1.59 p.m.
Sir Alan Haselhurst
Deputy Speaker        



 
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