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Order made: reconsideration of benefit

Lords amendment: No. 18.

Mrs. McGuire: I beg to move, That this House agrees with the Lords in the said amendment.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: With this we may discuss Lords amendments Nos. 19 to 25, 28, 29, 56 to 65, 87 to 94, 97 and 98.

Mrs. McGuire: The amendments tackle concerns about the reconsideration provisions that the Opposition expressed at an earlier stage in our proceedings.

As hon. Members may recall, two of the three reconsideration clauses allow the prosecutor and the director to apply for an increase in the confiscation order only when they have new evidence of the defendant's benefit. However, clauses 22, 108 and 174, which enable the prosecutor and the defendant to apply for an extension to a confiscation order that has already been made, originally contained no requirement for the evidence to be new. We accept that that is a fair point, and the amendments would make the necessary changes to the clauses.

When we considered the amendments, we noted that it might be possible to argue that the relevant clauses do not permit more than one re-evaluation of an earlier confiscation order.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order. Conversations are breaking out throughout the Chamber. The House should listen to the Minister.

Mrs. McGuire: Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker.

The effect that I described was not our intention, and the amendments would therefore make it clear in the clauses that multiple re-evaluations of earlier confiscation orders are possible.

A similar argument—that multiple re-evaluations are not possible—could be used about clauses 23, 109 and 175, which apply when further realisable property comes to light. A similar amendment has therefore been tabled to those clauses.

Mr. Grieve: I am grateful to the Minister for taking on board the comments made in Committee. The amendment is undoubtedly a considerable improvement to the Bill and removes the possibility of sloppy practice by the agency in deciding how to deal with the recovery and confiscation process. I hope that she can reassure me that the same applies to multiple re-evaluations, which are an extremely good idea. I assume that any such further re-evaluation must be undertaken on the basis of further evidence becoming available, and not simply on the basis of the agency not having done its job properly.

Mrs. McGuire: I can give the hon. Gentleman that assurance.

18 Jul 2002 : Column 529

Lords amendment agreed to.

Lords amendments Nos. 19 to 29 agreed to.

Lords amendment No. 30 disagreed to.

Lords amendments Nos. 31 to 37 agreed to.

Clause 75

Criminal lifestyle

Lords amendment: No. 38.

Mrs. McGuire: I beg to move, That the House agrees with the Lords in the said amendment.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: With this, it will be convenient to consider Lords amendments Nos. 39 to 42, 68 to 72, 105 to 109, 261, 262, 265, 267, 268, 271, 278 to 280, 285 to 309, 314 to 316 and 319.

Mrs. McGuire: It has probably taken you longer to say that, Mr. Deputy Speaker, than it will take me to explain it.

The amendments respond to concerns expressed in the House that the offences attracting the criminal lifestyle regime were not set out in the Bill. As hon. Members will see, new schedules 2, 4 and 5 now set out a detailed list of such offences. We have approached the list by identifying offences that are inherently acquisitive and known to generate large profits. It is striking how many of the offences in the resulting list are serious, associated with organised crime or relate to matters of immediate public concern. That underlines once again how much of the criminal activity affecting our communities is driven by the profit motive.

It will be possible for the Secretary of State to add further offences to the list by order. In case there is any anxiety about that, I stress that the order-making power will be subject to the affirmative procedure. In addition, we have amended the test stating that a defendant who commits an offence lasting for six months or more has a criminal lifestyle. The test would theoretically have caught defendants convicted of offences from which they had not benefited. We would not wish that to be possible, because the criminal lifestyle regime is intended to catch only offenders who have been involved in acquisitive crime.

As a whole, the amendments represent a major improvement to the Bill, and I hope that the House will agree to them.

Mr. Hawkins: The Minister drew attention to the fact that, in relation to amendment No. 40 for England and Wales, amendment No. 70 for Scotland and amendment No. 107 for Northern Ireland, there is an order-making power allowing the Secretary of State and Scottish Ministers to amend by order. I am grateful to her for confirming that that is subject to the affirmative procedure, as the Opposition are always very concerned about legislation that gives Secretaries of State or Scottish Ministers power simply to amend by order without full debate in the House. Will she confirm that when such matters are debated, if Opposition Members or the Liberal Democrats wish, they can be taken on the Floor of the House?

Mr. Grieve: On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. We are now within a few seconds of ending this evening's

18 Jul 2002 : Column 530

debate, and, by virtue of the fact that we had two statements this afternoon, we are quite unable, through no fault of any of the hon. Members participating in this debate, to do justice to the issues before the House on the Lords amendments. Is this not a travesty of the procedures of the House? We are in this position because of the way in which the Government wish to spin their business through statements, which overload the programme.

Mr. David Wilshire (Spelthorne): Further to that point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: I think that I can deal with that point of order. These matters have already been decided by the House, and they are not a matter for the Chair at this time.

Mr. Wilshire: On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: I am not going to take any more points of order.

It being Seven o'clock, Mr. Deputy Speaker put the Question already proposed from the Chair, pursuant to Order [this day].

Lords amendment agreed to.

It being after Seven o'clock, Mr. Deputy Speaker put the remaining Questions required to be put at that hour.

Lords amendments Nos. 43, 47, 66, 73, 78 and 99 disagreed to.

Clause 251

Proceedings for recovery orders in England and Wales or Northern Ireland

Lords amendment: No. 110.

Motion made, and Question put, That this House disagrees with the Lords in the said amendment.— [Mrs. McGuire.]

The House divided: Ayes 242, Noes 133.

Division No. 314
[7.2 pm


Ainsworth, Bob (Cov'try NE)
Alexander, Douglas
Allen, Graham
Atherton, Ms Candy
Atkins, Charlotte
Bailey, Adrian
Baird, Vera
Banks, Tony
Barnes, Harry
Battle, John
Bayley, Hugh
Beggs, Roy
Bell, Stuart
Benn, Hilary
Benton, Joe
Best, Harold
Betts, Clive
Blackman, Liz
Blizzard, Bob
Blunkett, Rt Hon David
Borrow, David
Bradshaw, Ben
Brennan, Kevin
Buck, Ms Karen
Burden, Richard
Burnham, Andy
Cairns, David
Campbell, Alan (Tynemouth)
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V)
Caplin, Ivor
Casale, Roger
Caton, Martin
Challen, Colin
Chapman, Ben (Wirral S)
Chaytor, David
Clapham, Michael
Clark, Dr Lynda
(Edinburgh Pentlands)
Clarke, Rt Hon Tom (Coatbridge)
Clarke, Tony (Northampton S)
Clwyd, Ann
Coffey, Ms Ann
Cohen, Harry
Coleman, Iain
Colman, Tony
Cook, Frank (Stockton N)
Cook, Rt Hon Robin (Livingston)
Cooper, Yvette
Corbyn, Jeremy
Corston, Jean
Cousins, Jim
Cranston, Ross
Crausby, David
Cruddas, Jon
Cryer, John (Hornchurch)
Cunningham, Jim (Cov'try S)
Curtis–Thomas, Mrs Claire
Darling, Rt Hon Alistair
Davey, Valerie (Bristol W)
David, Wayne
Davidson, Ian
Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli)
Davies, Geraint (Croydon C)
Davis, Rt Hon Terry
(B'ham Hodge H)
Dawson, Hilton
Dean, Mrs Janet
Dismore, Andrew
Dobbin, Jim
Dodds, Nigel
Donohoe, Brian H
Dowd, Jim
Drown, Ms Julia
Eagle, Angela (Wallasey)
Eagle, Maria (L'pool Garston)
Ennis, Jeff
Farrelly, Paul
Field, Rt Hon Frank (Birkenhead)
Fisher, Mark
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Flint, Caroline
Flynn, Paul
Follett, Barbara
Foster, Rt Hon Derek
Foster, Michael (Worcester)
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings)
Francis, Dr Hywel
Gapes, Mike
George, Rt Hon Bruce (Walsall S)
Gerrard, Neil
Gilroy, Linda
Griffiths, Jane (Reading E)
Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Grogan, John
Hamilton, David (Midlothian)
Hamilton, Fabian (Leeds NE)
Harris, Tom (Glasgow Cathcart)
Havard, Dai
Hendrick, Mark
Heppell, John
Hesford, Stephen
Hill, Keith
Hoey, Kate
Hopkins, Kelvin
Hughes, Beverley (Stretford)
Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)
Hutton, Rt Hon John
Iddon, Dr Brian
Illsley, Eric
Jackson, Glenda (Hampstead)
Jamieson, David
Jenkins, Brian
Jones, Helen (Warrington N)
Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C)
Jones, Kevan (N Durham)
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S)
Keeble, Ms Sally
Keen, Alan (Feltham & Heston)
Keen, Ann (Brentford & Isleworth)
Khabra, Piara S
Kidney, David
Kilfoyle, Peter
King, Ms Oona (Bethnal Green)
Knight, Jim (S Dorset)
Kumar, Dr Ashok
Lammy, David
Lawrence, Mrs Jackie
Laxton, Bob
Lazarowicz, Mark
Lepper, David
Linton, Martin
Love, Andrew
Lucas, Ian
Lyons, John
McAvoy, Thomas
McCabe, Stephen
McCafferty, Chris
McDonagh, Siobhain
McFall, John
McGuire, Mrs Anne
McIsaac, Shona
McKechin, Ann
McKenna, Rosemary
MacShane, Denis
Mallaber, Judy
Mann, John
Marris, Rob
Marshall, David (Shettleston)
Meale, Alan
Merron, Gillian
Michael, Rt Hon Alun
Miliband, David
Miller, Andrew
Moffatt, Laura
Mole, Chris
Morgan, Julie
Mountford, Kali
Mudie, George
Mullin, Chris
Munn, Ms Meg
Murphy, Jim (Eastwood)
Naysmith, Dr Doug
O'Brien, Mike (N Warks)
O'Hara, Edward
Olner, Bill
O'Neill, Martin
Organ, Diana
Osborne, Sandra (Ayr)
Owen, Albert
Palmer, Dr Nick
Pearson, Ian
Perham, Linda
Picking, Anne
Pike, Peter
Plaskitt, James
Pound, Stephen
Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lewisham E)
Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)
Primarolo, Dawn
Prosser, Gwyn
Purchase, Ken
Purnell, James
Quin, Rt Hon Joyce
Quinn, Lawrie
Rammell, Bill
Rapson, Syd
Reed, Andy (Loughborough)
Reid, Rt Hon Dr John (Hamilton N)
Robinson, Geoffrey (Cov'try NW)
Ross, Ernie
Roy, Frank
Ruddock, Joan
Ryan, Joan
Salter, Martin
Sarwar, Mohammad
Sedgemore, Brian
Shaw, Jonathan
Sheridan, Jim
Simon, Siôn
Simpson, Alan (Nottingham S)
Skinner, Dennis
Smith, Rt Hon Andrew (Oxford E)
Smith, Rt Hon Chris (Islington S)
Smith, Jacqui (Redditch)
Smith, John (Glamorgan)
Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
Smyth, Rev Martin (Belfast S)
Spellar, Rt Hon John
Steinberg, Gerry
Stewart, Ian (Eccles)
Stinchcombe, Paul
Stoate, Dr Howard
Sutcliffe, Gerry
Taylor, Rt Hon Ann (Dewsbury)
Thomas, Gareth (Clwyd W)
Thomas, Simon (Ceredigion)
Timms, Stephen
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)
Tynan, Bill
Vis, Dr Rudi
Ward, Claire
Wareing, Robert N
Watson, Tom
Watts, David
White, Brian
Wicks, Malcolm
Winnick, David
Winterton, Ms Rosie (Doncaster C)
Wood, Mike
Woodward, Shaun
Worthington, Tony
Wray, James
Wright, David (Telford)
Wright, Tony (Cannock)
Wyatt, Derek

Tellers for the Ayes:

Dan Norris and
Mr. Nick Ainger.


Amess, David
Arbuthnot, Rt Hon James
Atkinson, David (Bour'mth E)
Atkinson, Peter (Hexham)
Baker, Norman
Barker, Gregory
Bercow, John
Beresford, Sir Paul
Boswell, Tim
Bottomley, Peter (Worthing W)
Bottomley, Rt Hon Virginia
Brady, Graham
Brazier, Julian
Brooke, Mrs Annette L
Browning, Mrs Angela
Burnett, John
Butterfill, John
Calton, Mrs Patsy
Cameron, David
Campbell, Rt Hon Menzies
(NE Fife)
Carmichael, Alistair
Cash, William
Chapman, Sir Sydney
(Chipping Barnet)
Chidgey, David
Chope, Christopher
Clifton–Brown, Geoffrey
Collins, Tim
Cran, James
Curry, Rt Hon David
Davey, Edward (Kingston)
Davies, Quentin (Grantham)
Djanogly, Jonathan
Doughty, Sue
Duncan, Alan (Rutland & Melton)
Duncan, Peter (Galloway)
Evans, Nigel
Fallon, Michael
Field, Mark (Cities of London)
Flight, Howard
Forth, Rt Hon Eric
Foster, Don (Bath)
Fox, Dr Liam
Francois, Mark
Garnier, Edward
Gibb, Nick
Gidley, Sandra
Goodman, Paul
Gray, James
Grayling, Chris
Green, Damian (Ashford)
Green, Matthew (Ludlow)
Grieve, Dominic
Gummer, Rt Hon John
Hammond, Philip
Hancock, Mike
Hawkins, Nick
Hayes, John
Heath, David
Heathcoat–Amory, Rt Hon David
Hendry, Charles
Hoban, Mark
Hogg, Rt Hon Douglas
Holmes, Paul
Hughes, Simon (Southwark N)
Jack, Rt Hon Michael
Jenkin, Bernard
Johnson, Boris (Henley)
Keetch, Paul
Key, Robert
Kirkbride, Miss Julie
Lait, Mrs Jacqui
Lansley, Andrew
Leigh, Edward
Letwin, Oliver
Liddell–Grainger, Ian
Loughton, Tim
Luff, Peter
McIntosh, Miss Anne
MacKay, Rt Hon Andrew
McLoughlin, Patrick
Malins, Humfrey
Mates, Michael
Maude, Rt Hon Francis
Mawhinney, Rt Hon Sir Brian
May, Mrs Theresa
Mercer, Patrick
Moss, Malcolm
Murrison, Dr Andrew
Öpik, Lembit
Osborne, George (Tatton)
Ottaway, Richard
Page, Richard
Paice, James
Paterson, Owen
Pickles, Eric
Portillo, Rt Hon Michael
Pugh, Dr John
Randall, John
Redwood, Rt Hon John
Rendel, David
Robathan, Andrew
Robertson, Hugh (Faversham)
Roe, Mrs Marion
Rosindell, Andrew
Ruffley, David
Russell, Bob (Colchester)
Selous, Andrew
Simmonds, Mark
Spicer, Sir Michael
Spink, Bob
Stanley, Rt Hon Sir John
Steen, Anthony
Streeter, Gary
Stunell, Andrew
Swayne, Desmond
Swire, Hugo
Syms, Robert
Taylor, Ian (Esher & Walton)
Taylor, Sir Teddy
Tonge, Dr Jenny
Trend, Michael
Turner, Andrew (Isle of Wight)
Tyrie, Andrew
Viggers, Peter
Waterson, Nigel
Watkinson, Angela
Wiggin, Bill
Willetts, David
Wilshire, David
Winterton, Ann (Congleton)
Winterton, Sir Nicholas
Young, Rt Hon Sir George
Younger–Ross, Richard

Tellers for the Noes:

Mr. Stephen O'Brien and
Mr. Laurence Robertson.

Question accordingly agreed to.

18 Jul 2002 : Column 533

Lords amendment disagreed to.

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