Previous SectionIndexHome Page

Mr. Collins: Does the right hon. Gentleman expect his leader, the Prime Minister, ever to secure as many votes as John Major did when I was his press secretary, because in two elections so far he has not come within 35 per cent. of doing so?

Mr. Spellar: As I have said before, and may even say in my rousing peroration, in two general elections—

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order. Will all hon. Members who contribute to the debate relate their remarks to the motion? That includes interventions.

Mr. Spellar: I am of course dealing with the issues that the hon. Member for Westmorland and Lonsdale thought pertinent to raise in his introductory remarks, one of which was his history.

During the Wirral, South by-election, the then chairman of the Tory party said:

the Tories do not want to hear this—

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order. I remind the Minister and all hon. Members to concentrate their remarks on the subject of the debate.

Mr. Spellar: I take your point, Madam Deputy Speaker. I merely point out that there was a 17.2 per cent. swing to Labour in that election.

3 Dec 2001 : Column 78

The hon. Member for North Cornwall (Mr. Tyler) made a fairly lengthy contribution in which he talked about openness and accuracy. We presume that he was not referring to Liberal "Focus" leaflets.

Another person who made an appearance during the debate was Mr. Bernard Ingham, now Sir Bernard Ingham, whose actions Conservative Members defended. In a previous debate on the Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, my right hon. Friend the Member for Manchester, Gorton (Mr. Kaufman) drew attention to the fact that

That was how Bernard Ingham saw his role.

The right hon. Member for Wokingham attempted to move the debate on to the railways but, surprisingly enough, that was not the subject of the motion. However, it is interesting, in the Holmesian sense of the dogs that did not bark, that no Conservative Member supported Railtrack. No one said what a good company it was or that privatisation was a tremendous and enormously successful wheeze, and that they could not understand how everything had gone wrong because John Major made such an impressive job of it. Equally, no one got up to say that Railtrack's management were doing such a good job that they could not understand why anyone thought it necessary to take action. No one mentioned that.

Chris Grayling: May I take the liberty of bringing the Minister closer to the subject of the debate? Will he explain why the evidence given to the Select Committee by the Secretary of State was directly contradicted by the permanent secretary in a letter to Sir Alastair Morton on 8 October?

Mr. Spellar: This is extraordinary. I talk about the political and constitutional issues, and the Conservatives say, "Why aren't you talking about the railway?", so I talk about the railway, and now they do not want to talk about it. It is clear that none of them wanted to talk about compensation, although in previous debates they were up and down asking about it. Now that I have asked what we are compensating for, who are we supposed to be compensating and for how much, they have gone remarkably quiet. They are all shtoom on the issue of compensation. It is clear that they have not got a clue about what they should do or what their policy should be.

3 Dec 2001 : Column 79

It is in the public domain that I do not have much time for the Liberal Democrats, but their claim to be the Opposition party has, by default—

Michael Fabricant (Lichfield): On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. We still have not had a ruling on Mr. Speaker's ruling on whether a Minister ought to reply to a question that is in order rather than evade it.

Madam Deputy Speaker: I refer the hon. Gentleman to my earlier comments.

Mr. Spellar: Once again, the Tories have shown themselves to be bankrupt of ideas and bankrupt of argument. If ever—heaven forbid—they were let loose on the public finances, they would also once again bankrupt the country. It is clear how they managed to double the national debt in five short years. They are seriously fiscally incontinent and have no clue about how to run the country. That, more than any other reason, is why they will stay on the Opposition Benches for a long time to come and why we will get on with government. As I said in previous debates, the electorate have decided that the Tories are unfit for government. Tonight. the Tories have once again shown that they are not even fit for Opposition.

Question put, That the original words stand part of the Question:—

The House divided: Ayes 157, Noes 279.

Division No. 95
[6.59 pm


Ainsworth, Peter (E Surrey)
Amess, David
Arbuthnot, Rt Hon James
Atkinson, Peter (Hexham)
Bacon, Richard
Baldry, Tony
Barker, Gregory
Baron, John
Beith, Rt Hon A J
Bercow, John
Beresford, Sir Paul
Blunt, Crispin
Boswell, Tim
Bottomley, Peter (Worthing W)
Bottomley, Rt Hon Virginia
Brady, Graham
Brake, Tom
Brazier, Julian
Breed, Colin
Browning, Mrs Angela
Burstow, Paul
Burt, Alistair
Butterfill, John
Calton, Mrs Patsy
Cameron, David
Campbell, Rt Hon Menzies
(NE Fife)
Cash, William
Chidgey, David
Chope, Christopher
Clappison, James
Clarke, Rt Hon Kenneth
Clifton–Brown, Geoffrey
Collins, Tim
Conway, Derek
Curry, Rt Hon David
Davey, Edward (Kingston)
Davis, Rt Hon David (Haltemprice)
Djanogly, Jonathan
Duncan, Peter (Galloway)
Evans, Nigel
Fabricant, Michael
Fallon, Michael
Field, Mark (Cities of London)
Flook, Adrian
Forth, Rt Hon Eric
Foster, Don (Bath)
Francois, Mark
Gale, Roger
Garnier, Edward
Gibb, Nick
Gillan, Mrs Cheryl
Goodman, Paul
Grayling, Chris
Green, Damian (Ashford)
Greenway, John
Gummer, Rt Hon John
Hague, Rt Hon William
Harris, Dr Evan (Oxford W)
Harvey, Nick
Hawkins, Nick
Hayes, John
Heald, Oliver
Heath, David
Heathcoat–Amory, Rt Hon David
Hendry, Charles
Hoban, Mark
Hogg, Rt Hon Douglas
Holmes, Paul
Horam, John
Howard, Rt Hon Michael
Howarth, Gerald (Aldershot)
Hughes, Simon (Southwark N)
Jack, Rt Hon Michael
Jackson, Robert (Wantage)
Johnson, Boris (Henley)
Keetch, Paul
Kennedy, Rt Hon Charles
(Ross Skye & Inverness W)
Key, Robert
Kirkwood, Archy
Laing, Mrs Eleanor
Lamb, Norman
Lansley, Andrew
Laws, David
Leigh, Edward
Letwin, Oliver
Lewis, Dr Julian (New Forest E)
Liddell–Grainger, Ian
Lidington, David
Loughton, Tim
Luff, Peter
McIntosh, Miss Anne
Maclean, Rt Hon David
McLoughlin, Patrick
Malins, Humfrey
Maples, John
Maude, Rt Hon Francis
May, Mrs Theresa
Mercer, Patrick
Mitchell, Andrew (Sutton Coldfield)
Moss, Malcolm
Murrison, Dr Andrew
Norman, Archie
Oaten, Mark
O'Brien, Stephen (Eddisbury)
Osborne, George (Tatton)
Page, Richard
Paice, James
Pickles, Eric
Prisk, Mark
Pugh, Dr John
Redwood, Rt Hon John
Rendel, David
Robathan, Andrew
Robertson, Hugh (Faversham)
Roe, Mrs Marion
Rosindell, Andrew
Ruffley, David
Russell, Bob (Colchester)
Sanders, Adrian
Sayeed, Jonathan
Selous, Andrew
Shephard, Rt Hon Mrs Gillian
Shepherd, Richard
Simmonds, Mark
Simpson, Keith (Mid–Norfolk)
Smyth, Rev Martin (Belfast S)
Spelman, Mrs Caroline
Spicer, Sir Michael
Spink, Bob
Spring, Richard
Streeter, Gary
Stunell, Andrew
Swire, Hugo
Syms, Robert
Tapsell, Sir Peter
Taylor, Ian (Esher & Walton)
Taylor, John (Solihull)
Taylor, Matthew (Truro)
Taylor, Dr Richard (Wyre F)
Taylor, Sir Teddy
Thurso, John
Tonge, Dr Jenny
Trend, Michael
Turner, Andrew (Isle of Wight)
Tyler, Paul
Tyrie, Andrew
Waterson, Nigel
Watkinson, Angela
Webb, Steve
Widdecombe, Rt Hon Miss Ann
Wiggin, Bill
Willetts, David
Wilshire, David
Winterton, Mrs Ann (Congleton)
Winterton, Nicholas (Macclesfield)
Young, Rt Hon Sir George
Younger–Ross, Richard

Tellers for the Ayes:

Mr. John Randall and
Mr. Laurence Robertson.


Abbott, Ms Diane
Ainger, Nick
Ainsworth, Bob (Cov'try NE)
Allen, Graham
Anderson, Rt Hon Donald
(Swansea E)
Anderson, Janet (Rossendale)
Atherton, Ms Candy
Austin, John
Bailey, Adrian
Baird, Vera
Banks, Tony
Barron, Kevin
Bayley, Hugh
Beard, Nigel
Begg, Miss Anne
Bell, Stuart
Benton, Joe
Berry, Roger
Best, Harold
Betts, Clive
Blackman, Liz
Blears, Ms Hazel
Blizzard, Bob
Blunkett, Rt Hon David
Borrow, David
Bradley, Rt Hon Keith (Withington)
Bradley, Peter (The Wrekin)
Bradshaw, Ben
Brennan, Kevin
Brown, Rt Hon Gordon
(Dunfermline E)
Brown, Rt Hon Nicholas
(Newcastle E & Wallsend)
Brown, Russell (Dumfries)
Bryant, Chris
Buck, Ms Karen
Burden, Richard
Burnham, Andy
Cairns, David
Campbell, Alan (Tynemouth)
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V)
Casale, Roger
Caton, Martin
Cawsey, Ian
Challen, Colin
Chapman, Ben (Wirral S)
Chaytor, David
Clark, Mrs Helen (Peterborough)
Clark, Dr Lynda
(Edinburgh Pentlands)
Clark, Paul (Gillingham)
Clarke, Rt Hon Tom (Coatbridge)
Clelland, David
Coaker, Vernon
Coffey, Ms Ann
Coleman, Iain
Corbyn, Jeremy
Corston, Jean
Cousins, Jim
Crausby, David
Cruddas, Jon
Cryer, John (Hornchurch)
Cummings, John
Cunningham, Rt Hon Dr Jack
Cunningham, Jim (Cov'try S)
Cunningham, Tony (Workington)
Dalyell, Tam
Davey, Valerie (Bristol W)
Davidson, Ian
Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli)
Davies, Geraint (Croydon C)
Dawson, Hilton
Denham, Rt Hon John
Dhanda, Parmjit
Dismore, Andrew
Dobson, Rt Hon Frank
Donohoe, Brian H
Doran, Frank
Dowd, Jim
Dunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth
Eagle, Angela (Wallasey)
Edwards, Huw
Efford, Clive
Ellman, Mrs Louise
Farrelly, Paul
Field, Rt Hon Frank (Birkenhead)
Fisher, Mark
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Fitzsimons, Mrs Lorna
Flint, Caroline
Foster, Rt Hon Derek
Foster, Michael (Worcester)
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings)
Francis, Dr Hywel
Gapes, Mike
Gardiner, Barry
Gerrard, Neil
Gibson, Dr Ian
Gilroy, Linda
Godsiff, Roger
Goggins, Paul
Griffiths, Jane (Reading E)
Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)
Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Hain, Rt Hon Peter
Hall, Mike (Weaver Vale)
Hall, Patrick (Bedford)
Hamilton, David (Midlothian)
Hamilton, Fabian (Leeds NE)
Hanson, David
Harris, Tom (Glasgow Cathcart)
Havard, Dai
Henderson, Doug (Newcastle N)
Henderson, Ivan (Harwich)
Hendrick, Mark
Hepburn, Stephen
Heppell, John
Heyes, David
Hill, Keith
Hinchliffe, David
Hoey, Kate
Hope, Phil
Hopkins, Kelvin
Howarth, Rt Hon Alan (Newport E)
Howarth, George (Knowsley N)
Hoyle, Lindsay
Hughes, Beverley (Stretford)
Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)
Humble, Mrs Joan
Hurst, Alan
Hutton, Rt Hon John
Iddon, Dr Brian
Illsley, Eric
Ingram, Rt Hon Adam
Jackson, Glenda (Hampstead)
Jackson, Helen (Hillsborough)
Jamieson, David
Jenkins, Brian
Jones, Helen (Warrington N)
Jones, Kevan (N Durham)
Jones, Lynne (Selly Oak)
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S)
Keen, Alan (Feltham & Heston)
Keen, Ann (Brentford & Isleworth)
Kemp, Fraser
Khabra, Piara S
Kidney, David
Kilfoyle, Peter
King, Andy (Rugby & Kenilworth)
King, Ms Oona (Bethnal Green)
Knight, Jim (S Dorset)
Kumar, Dr Ashok
Ladyman, Dr Stephen
Lawrence, Mrs Jackie
Laxton, Bob
Lepper, David
Leslie, Christopher
Liddell, Rt Hon Mrs Helen
Linton, Martin
Love, Andrew
Lucas, Ian
Luke, Iain
McAvoy, Thomas
McCartney, Rt Hon Ian
McDonagh, Siobhain
MacDonald, Calum
MacDougall, John
McFall, John
McIsaac, Shona
McNulty, Tony
MacShane, Denis
Mactaggart, Fiona
McWalter, Tony
McWilliam, John
Mandelson, Rt Hon Peter
Mann, John
Marris, Rob
Marsden, Gordon (Blackpool S)
Marshall–Andrews, Robert
Martlew, Eric
Michael, Rt Hon Alun
Miliband, David
Miller, Andrew
Mitchell, Austin (Gt Grimsby)
Moffatt, Laura
Mole, Chris
Moonie, Dr Lewis
Moran, Margaret
Morley, Elliot
Mountford, Kali
Mudie, George
Mullin, Chris
Munn, Ms Meg
Murphy, Denis (Wansbeck)
Murphy, Jim (Eastwood)
Naysmith, Dr Doug
O'Brien, Mike (N Warks)
O'Neill, Martin
Organ, Diana
Palmer, Dr Nick
Perham, Linda
Pickthall, Colin
Pike, Peter
Plaskitt, James
Pollard, Kerry
Pond, Chris
Pound, Stephen
Powell, Sir Raymond
Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lewisham E)
Primarolo, Dawn
Purchase, Ken
Purnell, James
Quin, Rt Hon Joyce
Quinn, Lawrie
Rapson, Syd
Raynsford, Rt Hon Nick
Reed, Andy (Loughborough)
Robinson, Geoffrey (Cov'try NW)
Roche, Mrs Barbara
Rooney, Terry
Ross, Ernie
Roy, Frank
Ruane, Chris
Russell, Ms Christine (Chester)
Ryan, Joan
Salter, Martin
Savidge, Malcolm
Sawford, Phil
Sedgemore, Brian
Shaw, Jonathan
Sheerman, Barry
Sheridan, Jim
Shipley, Ms Debra
Simon, Siôn
Simpson, Alan (Nottingham S)
Skinner, Dennis
Smith, Rt Hon Andrew (Oxford E)
Smith, Angela (Basildon)
Smith, Rt Hon Chris (Islington S)
Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
Soley, Clive
Southworth, Helen
Spellar, Rt Hon John
Starkey, Dr Phyllis
Steinberg, Gerry
Stevenson, George
Stewart, David (Inverness E)
Stinchcombe, Paul
Stoate, Dr Howard
Stringer, Graham
Stuart, Ms Gisela
Sutcliffe, Gerry
Tami, Mark
Taylor, Ms Dari (Stockton S)
Taylor, David (NW Leics)
Thomas, Gareth R (Harrow W)
Tipping, Paddy
Todd, Mark
Touhig, Don
Trickett, Jon
Truswell, Paul
Turner, Dennis (Wolverh'ton SE)
Turner, Dr Desmond (Kemptown)
Turner, Neil (Wigan)
Twigg, Derek (Halton)
Twigg, Stephen (Enfield)
Ward, Ms Claire
Wareing, Robert N
Watson, Tom
Watts, David
White, Brian
Whitehead, Dr Alan
Wicks, Malcolm
Williams, Rt Hon Alan
(Swansea W)
Williams, Mrs Betty (Conwy)
Winterton, Ms Rosie (Doncaster C)
Wood, Mike
Worthington, Tony
Wright, Anthony D (Gt Yarmouth)
Wright, Tony (Cannock)
Wyatt, Derek

Tellers for the Noes:

Mr. Ian Pearson and
Mr. Phil Woolas.

Question accordingly negatived.

3 Dec 2001 : Column 82

Question, That the proposed words be there added, put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 31 (Questions on amendments):

The House divided: Ayes 263, Noes 160.

Next Section

IndexHome Page