Previous SectionIndexHome Page


Mr. Bob Ainsworth: It is not like the hon. Gentleman to present half an argument without presenting the other half. He is right about the circumstances applying to the home, but he must accept that we are talking about an assumptions procedure where there is deemed to be a criminal lifestyle. He cannot present one half of the argument without the other half, and it is not like him to do so.

Mr. Grieve: I understand the Minister's point, but it is important that the House should understand the issue under discussion. The assumption is made and the person is deemed to have a criminal lifestyle. As he knows, huge consequences will result. Effectively, the burden of proof is reversed and all assets except those which can be shown to have been acquired legitimately disappear and are confiscated. The point of the new clause is to provide an extra safeguard. In some circumstances, the criminal lifestyle may be established to exist, but the reversal of the burden of proof should not take place in relation to the matrimonial home or the home in which the spouse, ex-spouse and children are living. In such circumstances, the burden should stay with the prosecutor. If the prosecutor cannot discharge it, would not a right-thinking person say that there might be a situation in which the full force and rigour of the law should not be invoked?

26 Feb 2002 : Column 626

7.30 pm

Mr. Stinchcombe: The hon. Gentleman is arguing that there may be some circumstances in which the full rigour of the assumptions procedure should not bite. However, is it not the case that it does not bite under the Bill if either the assumption can be shown to be incorrect or there is a serious risk of injustice?

Mr. Grieve: I return to the point that I made at the outset: my view is that the serious risk of injustice arises in relation to the assumption and not to the circumstances surrounding the spouse, ex-spouse or child. I have been very well briefed on the matter and I am sure that the Minister would have corrected me if I had got that wrong. He has not done so. Although I appreciate the hon. Gentleman's point, I do not think that it alters the force of the argument in any way.

The hon. Member for Redcar eloquently pointed out that the system will be divergent within the United Kingdom. I appreciate that diversity can exist, but let us consider what would happen if separate cases arose in relation to two adjoining properties in one jurisdiction, but the person in the first case was dealt with through the Scottish courts, while his brother next door—his co-drug smuggler—was put through the English courts. That could produce completely different results for the spouse or ex-spouse and children in each of those adjoining properties. When that happens, people will complain long and loud about that injustice, which may well be in breach of the Human Rights Act 1998.

We are proposing a small change that would not have the catastrophic consequences that the Minister fears. If it could have such consequences, not only would he never have allowed the Scottish provision to survive, but Scottish Members would have called long and loud for its removal in Committee. However, they did not do so, and I dare say that this provision is seen in Scotland as a fair one that has not been abused. I do not believe that the difficult consequences that he foresees would flow from the new clause. Without it, the House will have a reputation for unfairness in the context of England of Wales on the basis of a law that is inexorable and shows no respite for those whom it should protect.

I do not know what will happen in another place and I realise that we are unlikely to succeed in persuading enough hon. Members to vote with us for the new clause. Listening to the debate, I hoped that the Minister would make a small concession, so that I could ask leave to withdraw the motion, while these matters could be returned to in another place. However, the more I have heard, the more persuaded I am that we are right to insist on our proposals. We shall, therefore, seek to press the new clause to a Division.

Question put, That the clause be read a Second time:—

The House divided: Ayes 157, Noes 273.

Division No. 169
[7.33 pm


AYES


Ainsworth, Peter (E Surrey)
Ancram, Rt Hon Michael
Arbuthnot, Rt Hon James
Atkinson, David (Bour'mth E)
Atkinson, Peter (Hexham)
Bacon, Richard
Baker, Norman
Baron, John
Barrett, John
Beith, Rt Hon A J
Beresford, Sir Paul
Blunt, Crispin
Bottomley, Peter (Worthing W)
Bottomley, Rt Hon Virginia
Brady, Graham
Brazier, Julian
Brooke, Mrs Annette L
Browning, Mrs Angela
Burnett, John
Burnside, David
Burstow, Paul
Butterfill, John
Cable, Dr Vincent
Cameron, David
Campbell, Rt Hon Menzies
(NE Fife)
Carmichael, Alistair
Chidgey, David
Chope, Christopher
Clappison, James
Clarke, Rt Hon Kenneth
(Rushcliffe)
Clifton–Brown, Geoffrey
Collins, Tim
Cotter, Brian
Curry, Rt Hon David
Davey, Edward (Kingston)
Davis, Rt Hon David (Haltemprice)
Djanogly, Jonathan
Donaldson, Jeffrey M
Dorrell, Rt Hon Stephen
Duncan, Peter (Galloway)
Duncan Smith, Rt Hon Iain
Evans, Nigel
Fabricant, Michael
Fallon, Michael
Flook, Adrian
Forth, Rt Hon Eric
Foster, Don (Bath)
Fox, Dr Liam
Garnier, Edward
George, Andrew (St Ives)
Gibb, Nick
Goodman, Paul
Gray, James
Grayling, Chris
Green, Damian (Ashford)
Green, Matthew (Ludlow)
Greenway, John
Grieve, Dominic
Gummer, Rt Hon John
Hammond, Philip
Hancock, Mike
Harvey, Nick
Hawkins, Nick
Hayes, John
Heald, Oliver
Heath, David
Heathcoat–Amory, Rt Hon David
Hoban, Mark
Hogg, Rt Hon Douglas
Holmes, Paul
Howarth, Gerald (Aldershot)
Hughes, Simon (Southwark N)
Jack, Rt Hon Michael
Jackson, Robert (Wantage)
Jenkin, Bernard
Johnson, Boris (Henley)
Kirkbride, Miss Julie
Knight, Rt Hon Greg (E Yorkshire)
Laing, Mrs Eleanor
Lait, Mrs Jacqui
Lamb, Norman
Lansley, Andrew
Laws, David
Leigh, Edward
Letwin, Oliver
Lewis, Dr Julian (New Forest E)
Liddell–Grainger, Ian
Lidington, David
Lilley, Rt Hon Peter
Loughton, Tim
Luff, Peter
MacKay, Rt Hon Andrew
Maclean, Rt Hon David
McLoughlin, Patrick
Malins, Humfrey
Mawhinney, Rt Hon Sir Brian
May, Mrs Theresa
Moore, Michael
Moss, Malcolm
Murrison, Dr Andrew
Norman, Archie
O'Brien, Stephen (Eddisbury)
Osborne, George (Tatton)
Ottaway, Richard
Paice, James
Paterson, Owen
Prisk, Mark
Pugh, Dr John
Randall, John
Redwood, Rt Hon John
Reid, Alan (Argyll & Bute)
Rendel, David
Robathan, Andrew
Robertson, Hugh (Faversham)
Robertson, Laurence (Tewk'b'ry)
Roe, Mrs Marion
Rosindell, Andrew
Ruffley, David
Russell, Bob (Colchester)
Sanders, Adrian
Sayeed, Jonathan
Shephard, Rt Hon Mrs Gillian
Shepherd, Richard
Simmonds, Mark
Smith, Sir Robert (W Ab'd'ns)
Soames, Nicholas
Spicer, Sir Michael
Spink, Bob
Stanley, Rt Hon Sir John
Steen, Anthony
Streeter, Gary
Swayne, Desmond
Syms, Robert
Tapsell, Sir Peter
Taylor, Ian (Esher & Walton)
Taylor, John (Solihull)
Taylor, Sir Teddy
Thurso, John
Tredinnick, David
Trend, Michael
Turner, Andrew (Isle of Wight)
Tyler, Paul
Tyrie, Andrew
Viggers, Peter
Waterson, Nigel
Webb, Steve
Whittingdale, John
Widdecombe, Rt Hon Miss Ann
Wiggin, Bill
Wilkinson, John
Willetts, David
Wilshire, David
Winterton, Mrs Ann (Congleton)
Winterton, Nicholas (Macclesfield)
Yeo, Tim
Young, Rt Hon Sir George
Younger–Ross, Richard

Tellers for the Ayes:


Mrs. Cheryl Gillan and
Mr. Charles Hendry.


NOES


Abbott, Ms Diane
Ainsworth, Bob (Cov'try NE)
Allen, Graham
Armstrong, Rt Hon Ms Hilary
Atherton, Ms Candy
Atkins, Charlotte
Bailey, Adrian
Barron, Kevin
Bayley, Hugh
Beckett, Rt Hon Margaret
Begg, Miss Anne
Benn, Hilary
Bennett, Andrew
Benton, Joe
Berry, Roger
Best, Harold
Betts, Clive
Blackman, Liz
Blears, Ms Hazel
Blizzard, Bob
Borrow, David
Bradley, Rt Hon Keith (Withington)
Bradley, Peter (The Wrekin)
Bradshaw, Ben
Brown, Russell (Dumfries)
Browne, Desmond
Burden, Richard
Burgon, Colin
Caborn, Rt Hon Richard
Cairns, David
Campbell, Alan (Tynemouth)
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V)
Caplin, Ivor
Caton, Martin
Cawsey, Ian
Chapman, Ben (Wirral S)
Chaytor, David
Clapham, Michael
Clark, Mrs Helen (Peterborough)
Clark, Dr Lynda
(Edinburgh Pentlands)
Clark, Paul (Gillingham)
Clarke, Rt Hon Tom (Coatbridge)
Clelland, David
Clwyd, Ann
Coaker, Vernon
Coffey, Ms Ann
Cohen, Harry
Colman, Tony
Cook, Frank (Stockton N)
Cook, Rt Hon Robin (Livingston)
Corston, Jean
Cousins, Jim
Cranston, Ross
Crausby, David
Cruddas, Jon
Cryer, Mrs Ann (Keighley)
Cryer, John (Hornchurch)
Cummings, John
Cunningham, Jim (Cov'try S)
Curtis–Thomas, Mrs Claire
Dalyell, Tam
Darling, Rt Hon Alistair
Davey, Valerie (Bristol W)
Davidson, Ian
Davies, Geraint (Croydon C)
Dawson, Hilton
Dean, Mrs Janet
Denham, Rt Hon John
Dhanda, Parmjit
Donohoe, Brian H
Doran, Frank
Drew, David
Drown, Ms Julia
Dunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth
Eagle, Angela (Wallasey)
Eagle, Maria (L'pool Garston)
Edwards, Huw
Efford, Clive
Ellman, Mrs Louise
Ennis, Jeff
Field, Rt Hon Frank (Birkenhead)
Fisher, Mark
Fitzsimons, Mrs Lorna
Foster, Rt Hon Derek
Foster, Michael (Worcester)
Foulkes, George
Galloway, George
Gapes, Mike
George, Rt Hon Bruce (Walsall S)
Gibson, Dr Ian
Gilroy, Linda
Godsiff, Roger
Goggins, Paul
Griffiths, Jane (Reading E)
Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Grogan, John
Hall, Mike (Weaver Vale)
Hall, Patrick (Bedford)
Hamilton, David (Midlothian)
Hamilton, Fabian (Leeds NE)
Hanson, David
Harris, Tom (Glasgow Cathcart)
Healey, John
Henderson, Doug (Newcastle N)
Henderson, Ivan (Harwich)
Hepburn, Stephen
Heppell, John
Hermon, Lady
Heyes, David
Hill, Keith
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
Hutton, Rt Hon John
Iddon, Dr Brian
Illsley, Eric
Ingram, Rt Hon Adam
Irranca–Davies, Huw
Jackson, Glenda (Hampstead)
Jenkins, Brian
Johnson, Alan (Hull W & Hessle)
Jones, Kevan (N Durham)
Jones, Lynne (Selly Oak)
Joyce, Eric
Keen, Alan (Feltham & Heston)
Keen, Ann (Brentford & Isleworth)
Kemp, Fraser
Khabra, Piara S
Kidney, David
Kilfoyle, Peter
King, Andy (Rugby & Kenilworth)
Knight, Jim (S Dorset)
Kumar, Dr Ashok
Ladyman, Dr Stephen
Lammy, David
Laxton, Bob
Lazarowicz, Mark
Lepper, David
Leslie, Christopher
Levitt, Tom
Lloyd, Tony
Love, Andrew
Luke, Iain
McAvoy, Thomas
McCartney, Rt Hon Ian
MacDonald, Calum
McDonnell, John
MacDougall, John
McGuire, Mrs Anne
McIsaac, Shona
McKechin, Ann
McKenna, Rosemary
Mackinlay, Andrew
Mactaggart, Fiona
McWalter, Tony
Mahmood, Khalid
Mahon, Mrs Alice
Mallaber, Judy
Mann, John
Marris, Rob
Marsden, Gordon (Blackpool S)
Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)
Marshall–Andrews, Robert
Martlew, Eric
Meacher, Rt Hon Michael
Merron, Gillian
Michael, Rt Hon Alun
Milburn, Rt Hon Alan
Miliband, David
Mitchell, Austin (Gt Grimsby)
Moffatt, Laura
Moonie, Dr Lewis
Morley, Elliot
Mudie, George
Munn, Ms Meg
Murphy, Denis (Wansbeck)
Murphy, Jim (Eastwood)
Naysmith, Dr Doug
Norris, Dan
O'Brien, Mike (N Warks)
O'Hara, Edward
Olner, Bill
Organ, Diana
Osborne, Sandra (Ayr)
Palmer, Dr Nick
Pearson, Ian
Perham, Linda
Picking, Anne
Pickthall, Colin
Pike, Peter
Plaskitt, James
Pollard, Kerry
Pond, Chris
Pope, Greg
Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)
Prescott, Rt Hon John
Primarolo, Dawn
Prosser, Gwyn
Purchase, Ken
Purnell, James
Quin, Rt Hon Joyce
Quinn, Lawrie
Rapson, Syd
Reed, Andy (Loughborough)
Robertson, John
(Glasgow Anniesland)
Ross, Ernie
Roy, Frank
Ruddock, Joan
Ryan, Joan
Salter, Martin
Sarwar, Mohammad
Savidge, Malcolm
Sawford, Phil
Sedgemore, Brian
Shaw, Jonathan
Sheerman, Barry
Sheridan, Jim
Shipley, Ms Debra
Simpson, Alan (Nottingham S)
Skinner, Dennis
Smith, Rt Hon Andrew (Oxford E)
Smith, Angela (Basildon)
Smith, Rt Hon Chris (Islington S)
Smith, Geraldine (Morecambe)
Smith, Jacqui (Redditch)
Smith, John (Glamorgan)
Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
Southworth, Helen
Squire, Rachel
Steinberg, Gerry
Stevenson, George
Stewart, David (Inverness E)
Stewart, Ian (Eccles)
Stinchcombe, Paul
Stoate, Dr Howard
Strang, Rt Hon Dr Gavin
Stuart, Ms Gisela
Sutcliffe, Gerry
Taylor, Rt Hon Ann (Dewsbury)
Taylor, Ms Dari (Stockton S)
Taylor, David (NW Leics)
Tipping, Paddy
Todd, Mark
Trickett, Jon
Truswell, Paul
Turner, Dennis (Wolverh'ton SE)
Turner, Dr Desmond (Kemptown)
Turner, Neil (Wigan)
Twigg, Derek (Halton)
Twigg, Stephen (Enfield)
Walley, Ms Joan
Ward, Ms Claire
Wareing, Robert N
Watson, Tom
White, Brian
Wicks, Malcolm
Williams, Rt Hon Alan
(Swansea W)
Williams, Mrs Betty (Conwy)
Winnick, David
Winterton, Ms Rosie (Doncaster C)
Wood, Mike
Woolas, Phil
Worthington, Tony
Wright, Anthony D (Gt Yarmouth)
Wright, David (Telford)
Wright, Tony (Cannock)

Tellers for the Noes:


Jim Fitzpatrick and
Mr. Graham Stringer.

Question accordingly negatived.

26 Feb 2002 : Column 629

Mr. John Greenway (Ryedale): On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I am sorry to intervene on the deliberations on the Bill, but I understand that it is widely reported that there are two suspected cases of foot and mouth disease on the north York moors in my constituency. I am sure that the whole House would want to express its hope that the tests being carried out on

26 Feb 2002 : Column 630

samples from the two sheep prove negative. Our thoughts are with the farmer concerned and those in the surrounding area, who must be very apprehensive. In the event that the result of the tests is bad news, the House would like reassurance that there will be an emergency statement from the appropriate Minister, and I would be grateful, Mr. Deputy Speaker, if you could ensure through your good offices that would be done.


Next Section

IndexHome Page