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Race Equality

Ms Blears: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will publish his proposals for implementation of the duty to promote race equality under the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000, and the second annual report on progress implementing the Stephen Lawrence Action Plan. [151106]

Mr. Straw: The second annual report on progress in implementing the Stephen Lawrence Action Plan and the consultation document on implementation of the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 will be published on Thursday 22 February 2001, to mark the second anniversary of the publication of the Report of the Lawrence Inquiry. Copies of these documents will be placed in the Library and the consultation document will be circulated widely among the public bodies that are likely to be affected and to other interested parties for comments.

The consultation document will provide information about timing of the implementation of the 2000 Act. It will, in particular, seek views on the introduction of a number of specific duties to help public bodies better fulfil their obligations under the general duty to promote race equality. It will also seek views on extending the list of public bodies that are subject to the general duty to promote race equality.

Mr. Pond: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will publish the second edition of the basket of race equality performance indicators which he has developed. [151107]

Mr. Straw: I have today placed in the Library a copy of the document "Race Equality in Public Services". The document sets out performance data in a number of key areas which are of interest to minority ethnic communities, and provides a quantifiable way of demonstrating the Government's progress in promoting race equality.

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Criminal Records Bureau

Mrs. Brinton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will announce the registration fees to be charged by the Criminal Records Bureau. [151198]

Mr. Charles Clarke: Applications to the Criminal Records Bureau for Standard and Enhanced Disclosures need to be counter-signed by a person registered in advance with the Bureau for this purpose. Often this will be the employer or voluntary organisation. We have concluded that the fee for registration should be a one-off payment of £300, with a one-off charge of £5 for each additional counter-signatory nominated by the registered person. These fees reflect the cost to the Bureau of the processes in question. Regulations will be laid accordingly.

Terrorism Act

Mr. Paul Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will bring the Terrorism Act 2000 into force. [151105]

Mr. Straw: In answer to a question from my hon. Friend the Member for Ellesmere Port and Neston (Mr. Miller) on 31 October 2000, Official Report, column 419W, I indicated that we were working towards an implementation date for the Terrorism Act 2000 of 19 February 2001. I can now confirm that, by virtue of a Commencement Order which I have made under the Act, the date of implementation will be Monday 19 February 2001. On that day, the Terrorism Act 2000 will replace the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act 1989 and the Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act 1996. As a consequence of the new judicial extension of detention arrangements which will come into force on 19 February, the United Kingdom will be in a position to lift the derogations entered under Article 15 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Article 4 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and I can confirm it is our intention to deposit notifications with the Council of Europe and the United Nations to this effect early next week. To take account of any detentions under the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act 1989 made up to midnight on 18 February, these notifications will lift the derogations as of 26 February 2001.

Hinduja Brothers

Miss Widdecombe: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which Ministers and officials in his Department have (a) been contacted by and (b) contacted (i) Mr. G. P. Hinduja and (ii) Mr. S. P. Hinduja since 2 May 1997; if he will list the occasions on which there was such contact; and if he will make a statement. [148074]

Mr. Straw [holding answer 31 January 2001]: My Department has had contact with Mr. G. P. Hinduja and Mr. S. P. Hinduja in respect of their applications for naturalisation and in respect of immigration matters. Information about contacts concerning their applications for naturalisation will be made available to Sir Anthony Hammond as part of his review of the possibility of an application for naturalisation by Mr. S. P. Hinduja in 1998. Sir Anthony's report will be published and copies placed in the Vote Office and the Library. It would

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be inappropriate for me to pre-empt the outcome of this review. Information about contact in respect of immigration matters can be produced only at disproportionate cost.

Neither I, nor any of my Ministers, have had any official meetings with either Mr. G. P. Hinduja or Mr. S. P. Hinduja.

My right hon. Friend the Member for Brent, South (Mr. Boateng) received a letter at his constituency office from Mr. S. P. Hinduja in September 2000 in his capacity as a local MP about parking facilities for people visiting the Swaminarayan Hindu Mandir in his Brent, South constituency. This was dealt with by my right hon. Friend in the usual way and referred to his local authority. Otherwise, neither I, nor my Ministers, recall having been contacted by or having contacted either Mr. G. P. Hinduja or Mr. S. P. Hinduja in the period from 2 May 1997, although we may have been present at functions at the same time as Mr. G. P. and Mr. S. P. Hinduja. For example, the Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, my hon. Friend the Member for North Warwickshire (Mr. O'Brien), believes that when he spoke, by invitation, as a Minister at the Sikh Forum Dinner on 18 October 1999, Mr. S. P. Hinduja was a guest on the platform table and that at a reception organised by my hon. Friend the Member for Ealing, Southall (Mr. Khabra) on 3 July, which he attended, Mr. S. P. Hinduja was also present. I understand that Mr. G. P. Hinduja was present at the Asia Light evening held in Brighton last year and that Mr. S. P. Hinduja and Mr. G. P. Hinduja were present at the Labour Party's Annual Gala Dinner on 15 April 1999. I was present at both these events. My hon. Friend the Member for North Warwickshire and I received invitations to the Hinduja Foundation Diwali Gala evening on 3 November 1999. We did not attend; officials from the Home Office Race Equality Unit attended the event.

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the allegations against G. P. Hinduja and S. P. Hinduja respectively of which his Department was aware when the decisions to award citizenship to each of them were made. [150377]

Mr. Straw: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave the right hon. Member for Maidstone and The Weald (Miss Widdecombe) and the hon. Members for Aylesbury (Mr. Lidington) and for Bury St. Edmunds (Mr. Ruffley) on 30 January 2001, Official Report, column 166W.

Domestic Violence

Mr. McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the Government's policies to tackle domestic violence. [150588]

Mr. Charles Clarke: Domestic violence is a serious and abhorrent crime which the Government are determined to tackle effectively. We have emphasised that the domestic context in which it occurs is an aggravating not a mitigating factor and that it is an issue which we expect local crime reduction partnerships to cover in their audits of local problems and strategies for addressing them.

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Since coming to office, we have undertaken a broad range of measures to reduce the level of domestic violence and strengthen support for victims. That is why we have provided £7 million for a violence against women initiative within the Crime Reduction Programme. That initiative is currently funding for development and evaluation 34 projects that will help us identify what interventions in what circumstances are the most effective and cost-effective.

Among other significant measures within the last year are: the issue of multi-agency guidance to agencies dealing with domestic violence and of specific guidance to Health Service professionals; the issue of a new Home Office circular to the police; the inclusion of domestic violence within police Best Value performance indicators; the provision of £120 million additional capital funding for a new Safer Communities Supported Housing Fund for specified vulnerable groups, including the survivors of domestic violence; and increased funding for Victim Support.

Other current initiatives include work with the Association of Chief Police Officers on a circular on effective use of provisions in the Protection from Harassment Act 1997; the evaluation of probation service domestic violence perpetrator programmes; the development of a domestic violence toolkit on the Home Office's crime reduction website; research on possible future publicity work; and, the inclusion in the British Crime Survey 2001 of a special module on domestic violence.

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