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Mr. Gummer: If the amendment were carried, ministers of the Church in Wales would, for the first time, not be able to stand for Parliament, because they are episcopally ordained. If they were in full-time ministry, they would be excluded.

Mr. O'Brien: I fear that the right hon. Gentleman may be right. I look to see whether the right hon. Member for Maidstone and The Weald agrees with that; it appears that she does. I find that even more worrying. The arguments advanced by my hon. Friends the Members for Thurrock and for Greenock and Inverclyde and by others on both sides totally demolished the points made by the right hon. Lady. I hope that she will feel able to withdraw her amendment, although I hear her saying that she intends to press it to a Division. That is her right, and many hon. Members will wish to express their strong views in opposing her. Her amendment is wrong in principle and would put the House in the position of interfering--wrongly--in the internal operations of Churches that have a right to make their own rules. It should not be for us to interfere with them.

Miss Widdecombe: I do not intend to withdraw the amendment. Members on the Government Benches are not being allowed a free vote, which is wholly inappropriate for a decision of this sort. They are being whipped to vote by the Government. I urge those who are free, who do not approve of what the Government are doing and who seek a workable compromise to support my amendment.

The Committee divided: Ayes 17, Noes 264.

Division No. 139
[4.13 pm


AYES


Amess, David
Brooke, Rt Hon Peter
Bruce, Ian (S Dorset)
Chapman, Sir Sydney
(Chipping Barnet)
Davies, Quentin (Grantham)
Duncan Smith, Iain
Fallon, Michael
Heald, Oliver
Howarth, Gerald (Aldershot)
McIntosh, Miss Anne
Mawhinney, Rt Hon Sir Brian
Robinson, Peter (Belfast E)
Syms, Robert
Viggers, Peter
Wells, Bowen
Widdecombe, Rt Hon Miss Ann
Wilkinson, John

Tellers for the Ayes:


Mr. Eric Forth and
Mr. Desmond Swayne.


NOES


Adams, Mrs Irene (Paisley N)
Ainger, Nick
Allan, Richard
Atkins, Charlotte
Austin, John
Bailey, Adrian
Ballard, Jackie
Barnes, Harry
Beard, Nigel
Beith, Rt Hon A J
Bell, Stuart (Middlesbrough)
Benn, Hilary (Leeds C)
Benn, Rt Hon Tony (Chesterfield)
Benton, Joe
Bercow, John
Best, Harold
Blears, Ms Hazel
Blunt, Crispin
Bottomley, Peter (Worthing W)
Bradley, Keith (Withington)
Bradley, Peter (The Wrekin)
Bradshaw, Ben
Brand, Dr Peter
Brinton, Mrs Helen
Browne, Desmond
Bruce, Malcolm (Gordon)
Buck, Ms Karen
Burden, Richard
Burns, Simon
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)
Campbell, Rt Hon Menzies
(NE Fife)
Cann, Jamie
Caplin, Ivor
Casale, Roger
Caton, Martin
Cawsey, Ian
Chapman, Ben (Wirral S)
Chaytor, David
Clark, Rt Hon Dr David (S Shields)
Clark, Dr Lynda
(Edinburgh Pentlands)
Clark, Paul (Gillingham)
Clarke, Charles (Norwich S)
Clarke, Eric (Midlothian)
Clarke, Rt Hon Tom (Coatbridge)
Clarke, Tony (Northampton S)
Clelland, David
Coaker, Vernon
Coffey, Ms Ann
Cohen, Harry
Coleman, Iain
Colman, Tony
Cook, Frank (Stockton N)
Cooper, Yvette
Corbyn, Jeremy
Cotter, Brian
Cox, Tom
Crausby, David
Cryer, Mrs Ann (Keighley)
Cryer, John (Hornchurch)
Cummings, John
Cunningham, Rt Hon Dr Jack
(Copeland)
Cunningham, Jim (Cov'try S)
Curtis-Thomas, Mrs Claire
Dalyell, Tam
Darling, Rt Hon Alistair
Davey, Edward (Kingston)
Davey, Valerie (Bristol W)
Davidson, Ian
Davies, Geraint (Croydon C)
Davis, Rt Hon Terry
(B'ham Hodge H)
Dismore, Andrew
Dobbin, Jim
Dobson, Rt Hon Frank
Dowd, Jim
Drown, Ms Julia
Eagle, Maria (L'pool Garston)
Edwards, Huw
Efford, Clive
Ennis, Jeff
Etherington, Bill
Field, Rt Hon Frank
Fisher, Mark
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Foster, Don (Bath)
Foulkes, George
Galloway, George
Gapes, Mike
George, Andrew (St Ives)
George, Rt Hon Bruce (Walsall S)
Gerrard, Neil
Gidley, Sandra
Godman, Dr Norman A
Godsiff, Roger
Goggins, Paul
Golding, Mrs Llin
Gordon, Mrs Eileen
Griffiths, Jane (Reading E)
Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)
Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Gummer, Rt Hon John
Hall, Patrick (Bedford)
Hancock, Mike
Healey, John
Henderson, Doug (Newcastle N)
Henderson, Ivan (Harwich)
Hendrick, Mark
Hepburn, Stephen
Heppell, John
Hill, Keith
Hinchliffe, David
Hodge, Ms Margaret
Hogg, Rt Hon Douglas
Hood, Jimmy
Hope, Phil
Hopkins, Kelvin
Howarth, George (Knowsley N)
Hoyle, Lindsay
Hughes, Ms Beverley (Stretford)
Humble, Mrs Joan
Hutton, John
Iddon, Dr Brian
Jackson, Ms Glenda (Hampstead)
Jenkin, Bernard
Johnson, Miss Melanie
(Welwyn Hatfield)
Jones, Rt Hon Barry (Alyn)
Jones, Helen (Warrington N)
Jones, Dr Lynne (Selly Oak)
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S)
Joyce, Eric
Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald
Keeble, Ms Sally
Keen, Alan (Feltham & Heston)
Keen, Ann (Brentford & Isleworth)
Kemp, Fraser
Kennedy, Jane (Wavertree)
Khabra, Piara S
Kidney, David
Ladyman, Dr Stephen
Laxton, Bob
Lepper, David
Levitt, Tom
Lewis, Ivan (Bury S)
Lewis, Dr Julian (New Forest E)
Lilley, Rt Hon Peter
Linton, Martin
Lloyd, Tony (Manchester C)
Llwyd, Elfyn
Lock, David
Love, Andrew
McAvoy, Thomas
McCafferty, Ms Chris
McCartney, Rt Hon Ian
(Makerfield)
McDonagh, Siobhain
McDonnell, John
McGuire, Mrs Anne
McIsaac, Shona
MacKay, Rt Hon Andrew
McKenna, Mrs Rosemary
Mackinlay, Andrew
McNulty, Tony
Mactaggart, Fiona
McWalter, Tony
Mahon, Mrs Alice
Mallaber, Judy
Mandelson, Rt Hon Peter
Marsden, Gordon (Blackpool S)
Marshall, David (Shettleston)
Marshall-Andrews, Robert
Maxton, John
Meale, Alan
Michie, Bill (Shef'ld Heeley)
Milburn, Rt Hon Alan
Miller, Andrew
Mitchell, Austin
Moffatt, Laura
Moonie, Dr Lewis
Moore, Michael
Morgan, Alasdair (Galloway)
Morgan, Ms Julie (Cardiff N)
Morley, Elliot
Morris, Rt Hon Ms Estelle
(B'ham Yardley)
Morris, Rt Hon Sir John (Aberavon)
Mowlam, Rt Hon Marjorie
Mullin, Chris
Murphy, Denis (Wansbeck)
Murphy, Jim (Eastwood)
Naysmith, Dr Doug
O'Brien, Mike (N Warks)
O'Hara, Eddie
O'Neill, Martin
Öpik, Lembit
Osborne, Ms Sandra
Palmer, Dr Nick
Pearson, Ian
Pendry, Rt Hon Tom
Perham, Ms Linda
Pickthall, Colin
Plaskitt, James
Pollard, Kerry
Pond, Chris
Pope, Greg
Pound, Stephen
Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lewisham E)
Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)
Primarolo, Dawn
Quin, Rt Hon Ms Joyce
Quinn, Lawrie
Rammell, Bill
Raynsford, Nick
Robertson, John
(Glasgow Anniesland)
Roche, Mrs Barbara
Rooney, Terry
Roy, Frank
Ruane, Chris
Ruddock, Joan
Russell, Bob (Colchester)
Ryan, Ms Joan
Sarwar, Mohammad
Sawford, Phil
Sedgemore, Brian
Sheerman, Barry
Sheldon, Rt Hon Robert
Shipley, Ms Debra
Simpson, Alan (Nottingham S)
Skinner, Dennis
Smith, Rt Hon Andrew (Oxford E)
Smith, Miss Geraldine
(Morecambe & Lunesdale)
Smith, John (Glamorgan)
Soley, Clive
Southworth, Ms Helen
Spellar, John
Squire, Ms Rachel
Starkey, Dr Phyllis
Strang, Rt Hon Dr Gavin
Stringer, Graham
Stuart, Ms Gisela
Stunell, Andrew
Sutcliffe, Gerry
Taylor, David (NW Leics)
Temple-Morris, Peter
Thomas, Gareth R (Harrow W)
Timms, Stephen
Tipping, Paddy
Trickett, Jon
Turner, Dr Desmond (Kemptown)
Turner, Neil (Wigan)
Twigg, Derek (Halton)
Tynan, Bill
Vis, Dr Rudi
Walley, Ms Joan
Ward, Ms Claire
Wareing, Robert N
Watts, David
White, Brian
Whitehead, Dr Alan
Wicks, Malcolm
Williams, Mrs Betty (Conwy)
Willis, Phil
Winnick, David
Woodward, Shaun
Woolas, Phil
Worthington, Tony
Wright, Anthony D (Gt Yarmouth)
Wright, Tony (Cannock)

Tellers for the Noes:


Mr. Mike Hall and
Mr. Clive Betts.

Question accordingly negatived.

1 Mar 2001 : Column 1098

Mr. Fallon: I beg to move amendment No. 4 in page 1, line 9, at end insert--


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