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5 Nov 2002 : Column 200—continued

Mr. Coleman: Will my right hon. Friend give way?

Mr. Blunkett: I shall give way to my hon. Friend because I know that he has a particular concern.

Mr. Coleman : In the past, I have heard my right hon. Friend make comparisons between an intentionally homeless local authority case and the circumstances in these proposals. He asked if we do not offer this provision to the indigenous population, how, we can justify giving it to asylum seeker. I put it to him that if someone is intentionally homeless—every hon. Member will have had an intentionally homeless case in which the decision has been wrong—a number of possibilities are open to him. First, there is an appeal or a review. The briefing that some of us have received advises that there would be an appeal. Can my right hon. Friend clarify whether there would or would not be an appeal? Secondly, if I am an intentionally homeless person given that decision and I lose my appeal, I have the right to claim housing benefit and income support. The comparisons that my right hon. Friend made between the intentionally homeless member of the indigenous population and the destitute asylum seeker who is refused support do not hold up when we look at the facts.

Mr. Blunkett : Under our proposals, we are presuming that the people who claim late are accommodating themselves or are accommodated by others. They are not turning up as people who are homeless by dint of

5 Nov 2002 : Column 201

being thrown out would turn up and ask for accommodation. We are dealing with late application for asylum, not destitution per se.

Jeremy Corbyn rose—

Mr. Gerrard rose—

Mr. Blunkett : I give way to my hon. Friend the Member for Islington, North (Jeremy Corbyn).

Jeremy Corbyn: When this proposal was debated in the House of Lords, consideration was given to cases in which the situation in the country from which the person was fleeing had changed dramatically and they made a late application that could be considered. Could the Home Secretary explain to us under what circumstances such late applications would be acceptable?

Mr. Blunkett : If the in-country circumstances had changed, perhaps because there had been a coup, the individual presenting an asylum claim would legitimately believe that he was at risk of death or torture if he returned to his country of origin. It is the change that has taken place in-country that makes the difference in respect of the judgment. I think that that is fair and reasonable. If someone's home country has been taken over or the regime has changed to one that would threaten them, we do not intend to send them back. They would automatically have a legitimate right to claim asylum and to be supported from the moment they made that claim.

Mr. Gerrard : I was interested in what my right hon. Friend said earlier about the fact that the number of people applying late is increasing exponentially and that is why something had to be done. I tabled two written questions that were answered earlier this month, one of which asked about the dates at which people applied—less than three months, six months or 12 months—and was told that the information was not available. I was also told that there were no statistics available on the length of time asylum applicants have been in the United Kingdom before making an application for support. I am not sure where the evidence comes from. If we do not have an appeal as well, what will actually happen is that appeals will take place and they will be—

It being three and three quarter hours after the commencement of proceedings, Mr. Deputy Speaker, put forward the Question already proposed from the Chair, pursuant to Order [this day].

The House divided: Ayes 57, Noes 297.

Division No. 349
[7:27 pm


Allan, Richard
Austin, John
Barrett, John
Berry, Roger
Breed, Colin
Brooke, Mrs Annette L.
Bruce, Malcolm
Burnett, John
Burstow, Paul
Cable, Dr. Vincent
Calton, Mrs Patsy
Campbell, rh Menzies (NE Fife)
Coleman, Iain
Corbyn, Jeremy
Cotter, Brian
Cousins, Jim
Davey, Edward (Kingston)
Doughty, Sue
Drew, David (Stroud)
Ewing, Annabelle
Foster, Don (Bath)
George, Andrew (St. Ives)
Gerrard, Neil
Gidley, Sandra
Green, Matthew (Ludlow)
Hancock, Mike
Harris, Dr. Evan (Oxford W & Abingdon)
Harvey, Nick
Heath, David
Hughes, Simon (Southwark N)
Jones, Nigel (Cheltenham)
Keetch, Paul
Lamb, Norman
Laws, David (Yeovil)
McDonnell, John
Marsden, Paul (Shrewsbury & Atcham)
Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)
Oaten, Mark (Winchester)
Öpik, Lembit
Price, Adam (E Carmarthen & Dinefwr)
Pugh, Dr. John
Reid, Alan (Argyll & Bute)
Rendel, David
Robertson, Angus (Moray)
Russell, Bob (Colchester)
Sanders, Adrian
Sawford, Phil
Stunell, Andrew
Taylor, Matthew (Truro)
Thomas, Simon (Ceredigion)
Thurso, John
Tonge, Dr. Jenny
Webb, Steve (Northavon)
Williams, Roger (Brecon)
Willis, Phil
Wishart, Pete
Younger-Ross, Richard

Tellers for the Ayes:

Sir Robert Smith and
Tom Brake


Ainger, Nick
Ainsworth, Bob (Cov'try NE)
Allen, Graham
Anderson, Janet (Rossendale & Darwen)
Armstrong, rh Ms Hilary
Atherton, Ms Candy
Atkins, Charlotte
Bailey, Adrian
Baird, Vera
Banks, Tony
Barnes, Harry
Battle, John
Bayley, Hugh
Beckett, rh Margaret
Begg, Miss Anne
Bell, Stuart
Benn, Hilary
Bennett, Andrew
Benton, Joe (Bootle)
Best, Harold
Blackman, Liz
Blears, Ms Hazel
Blizzard, Bob
Blunkett, rh David
Borrow, David
Bradley, rh Keith (Withington)
Bradley, Peter (The Wrekin)
Bradshaw, Ben
Brennan, Kevin
Brown, rh Nicholas (Newcastle E Wallsend)
Brown, Russell (Dumfries)
Bryant, Chris
Buck, Ms Karen
Burden, Richard
Burgon, Colin
Burnham, Andy
Byers, rh Stephen
Cairns, David
Campbell, Alan (Tynemouth)
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V)
Caplin, Ivor
Casale, Roger
Caton, Martin
Cawsey, Ian (Brigg)
Challen, Colin
Clapham, Michael
Clark, Mrs Helen (Peterborough)
Clarke, rh Tom (Coatbridge & Chryston)
Clarke, Tony (Northampton S)
Clelland, David
Clwyd, Ann (Cynon V)
Coaker, Vernon
Coffey, Ms Ann
Cohen, Harry
Colman, Tony
Connarty, Michael
Cook, Frank (Stockton N)
Cook, rh Robin (Livingston)
Corston, Jean
Cranston, hon. Ross
Cruddas, Jon
Cummings, John
Cunningham, rh Dr. Jack (Copeland)
Cunningham, Jim (Coventry S)
Cunningham, Tony (Workington)
Curtis-Thomas, Mrs Claire
Dalyell, Tam
Davey, Valerie (Bristol W)
David, Wayne
Davidson, Ian
Davies, rh Denzil (Llanelli)
Davies, Geraint (Croydon C)
Dawson, Hilton
Dean, Mrs Janet
Dhanda, Parmjit
Dismore, Andrew
Dobbin, Jim (Heywood)
Dobson, rh Frank
Donaldson, Jeffrey M.
Doran, Frank
Dowd, Jim (Lewisham W)
Dunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth
Eagle, Angela (Wallasey)
Eagle, Maria (L'pool Garston)
Edwards, Huw
Efford, Clive
Ennis, Jeff (Barnsley E)
Farrelly, Paul
Field, rh Frank (Birkenhead)
Fisher, Mark
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Flint, Caroline
Follett, Barbara
Foster, rh Derek
Foster, Michael (Worcester)
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings & Rye)
Foulkes, rh George
Francis, Dr. Hywel
Gapes, Mike (Ilford S)
Gardiner, Barry
Gilroy, Linda
Godsiff, Roger
Goggins, Paul
Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Grogan, John
Hain, rh Peter
Hall, Mike (Weaver Vale)
Hamilton, David (Midlothian)
Hamilton, Fabian (Leeds NE)
Hanson, David
Harris, Tom (Glasgow Cathcart)
Havard, Dai (Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney)
Henderson, Doug (Newcastle N)
Henderson, Ivan (Harwich)
Hendrick, Mark
Heppell, John
Hermon, Lady
Hesford, Stephen
Heyes, David
Hill, Keith (Streatham)
Hinchliffe, David
Hoey, Kate (Vauxhall)
Hood, Jimmy (Clydesdale)
Hope, Phil (Corby)
Hopkins, Kelvin
Hughes, Beverley (Stretford & Urmston)
Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)
Humble, Mrs Joan
Hutton, rh John
Iddon, Dr. Brian
Ingram, rh Adam
Jackson, Helen (Hillsborough)
Jamieson, David
Jenkins, Brian
Johnson, Alan (Hull W)
Johnson, Miss Melanie (Welwyn Hatfield)
Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C)
Jones, Kevan (N Durham)
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S)
Joyce, Eric (Falkirk W)
Kaufman, rh Gerald
Keen, Alan (Feltham)
Keen, Ann (Brentford)
Kemp, Fraser
Khabra, Piara S.
Kidney, David
Kilfoyle, Peter
King, Andy (Rugby)
Knight, Jim (S Dorset)
Kumar, Dr. Ashok
Ladyman, Dr. Stephen
Lawrence, Mrs Jackie
Laxton, Bob (Derby N)
Lazarowicz, Mark
Lepper, David
Leslie, Christopher
Levitt, Tom (High Peak)
Liddell, rh Mrs Helen
Linton, Martin
Love, Andrew
Lucas, Ian (Wrexham)
Luke, Iain (Dundee E)
McAvoy, Thomas
McCabe, Stephen
McCartney, rh Ian
McDonagh, Siobhain
MacDonald, Calum
MacDougall, John
McIsaac, Shona
McKechin, Ann
McKenna, Rosemary
Mackinlay, Andrew
Mactaggart, Fiona
McWalter, Tony
Mahmood, Khalid
Mahon, Mrs Alice
Mallaber, Judy
Mandelson, rh Peter
Mann, John (Bassetlaw)
Marris, Rob (Wolverh'ton SW)
Marsden, Gordon (Blackpool S)
Marshall, David (Glasgow Shettleston)
Marshall-Andrews, Robert
Martlew, Eric
Meacher, rh Michael
Merron, Gillian
Michael, rh Alun
Milburn, rh Alan
Miller, Andrew
Mitchell, Austin (Gt Grimsby)
Mole, Chris
Moran, Margaret
Morgan, Julie
Mullin, Chris
Munn, Ms Meg
Murphy, Denis (Wansbeck)
Murphy, Jim (Eastwood)
Naysmith, Dr. Doug
Norris, Dan (Wansdyke)
Olner, Bill
O'Neill, Martin
Organ, Diana
Osborne, Sandra (Ayr)
Owen, Albert
Paisley, Rev. Ian
Picking, Anne
Pickthall, Colin
Pike, Peter (Burnley)
Pollard, Kerry
Pope, Greg (Hyndburn)
Pound, Stephen
Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lewisham E)
Prescott, rh John
Primarolo, rh Dawn
Prosser, Gwyn
Purchase, Ken
Purnell, James
Quin, rh Joyce
Quinn, Lawrie
Rapson, Syd (Portsmouth N)
Raynsford, rh Nick
Reed, Andy (Loughborough)
Reid, rh Dr. John (Hamilton N & Bellshill)
Robertson, John (Glasgow Anniesland)
Robinson, Geoffrey (Coventry NW)
Robinson, Mrs Iris (Strangford)
Robinson, Peter (Belfast E)
Roche, Mrs Barbara
Rooney, Terry
Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)
Roy, Frank (Motherwell)
Ruane, Chris
Ruddock, Joan
Russell, Ms Christine (City of Chester)
Salter, Martin
Sarwar, Mohammad
Savidge, Malcolm
Sedgemore, Brian
Shaw, Jonathan
Sheerman, Barry
Sheridan, Jim
Singh, Marsha
Skinner, Dennis
Smith, rh Andrew (Oxford E)
Smith, rh Chris (Islington S & Finsbury)
Smith, Jacqui (Redditch)
Smith, John (Glamorgan)
Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
Soley, Clive
Southworth, Helen
Spellar, rh John
Spink, Bob (Castle Point)
Squire, Rachel
Starkey, Dr. Phyllis
Steinberg, Gerry
Stewart, David (Inverness E & Lochaber)
Stewart, Ian (Eccles)
Stinchcombe, Paul
Stringer, Graham
Stuart, Ms Gisela
Tami, Mark (Alyn)
Taylor, rh Ann (Dewsbury)
Taylor, Dari (Stockton S)
Taylor, David (NW Leics)
Thomas, Gareth (Harrow W)
Timms, Stephen
Tipping, Paddy
Touhig, Don (Islwyn)
Trickett, Jon
Truswell, Paul
Turner, Dennis (Wolverh'ton SE)
Turner, Dr. Desmond (Brighton Kemptown)
Turner, Neil (Wigan)
Twigg, Derek (Halton)
Twigg, Stephen (Enfield)
Vaz, Keith (Leicester E)
Walley, Ms Joan
Ward, Claire
Watson, Tom (W Bromwich E)
Watts, David
White, Brian
Whitehead, Dr. Alan
Wicks, Malcolm
Williams, rh Alan (Swansea W)
Williams, Mrs Betty (Conwy)
Wills, Michael
Winnick, David
Winterton, Ms Rosie (Doncaster C)
Wood, Mike (Batley)
Woodward, Shaun
Woolas, Phil
Wray, James (Glasgow Baillieston)
Wright, Anthony D. (Gt Yarmouth)
Wright, David (Telford)
Wright, Tony (Cannock)
Wyatt, Derek

Tellers for the Noes:

Mr. Gerry Sutcliffe and
Joan Ryan

Question accordingly negatived.

5 Nov 2002 : Column 204

Mr. Deputy Speaker, pursuant to Order [this day], proceeded to put forthwith the remaining Questions necessary to dispose of the proceedings to be concluded at that hour.

Lords amendment No. 84 agreed to [Special Entry].

Lords amendment No. 99 disagreed to.

Lords amendment: No. 86.

Motion made, and Question put, That this House agrees with the Lords in the said amendment.

The House divided: Ayes 291, Noes 55.

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