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Mr. Hood: I have enjoyed our exchanges in this debate. However, it would appear from the Minister's contribution that the lady is not for turning. I am disappointed by that, because I had a feeling earlier that there seemed to be consensus, certainly on her own Benches. She might win the vote if the matter were pressed to a vote in the Lobby, but she has not won the hearts and minds of members of her own party tonight. I had thought that she might say something in her summing-up that took cognisance of some of the points that have been made.

I do not wish to challenge my hon. Friend the Minister, and I am pleased to have received her congratulations on supporting the Scotland Act 1998—I thought that we had all supported it. I supported the figure of 129 on Second Reading because that was the way matters were moving. However, we are now talking about the electoral system, and about how we can preserve the consensus. Perhaps I have not understood my amendments, as my hon. Friend has suggested, but where does it say that the result of putting off the enactment would be to alter the figure of 129? There has been no mention of that, and it is not my intention. Therefore, I am rather disappointed.

I was hoping that my hon. Friend would offer the olive branch of offering to consider some of the contributions that have been made, especially from the Opposition Benches. My right hon. Friend the Member for Cunninghame, North (Mr. Wilson) has a point. While I am pleased to be corrected on the existence of a second consultation—there was just the one—I am led to understand that the motions were set in train long before we started going out to consult. There were consultations going on about keeping the 129 long before the formal consultations started. I would like those consultations to carry on.

There is no argument about the 129. I am not arguing against it; nobody is arguing against it. We are arguing about where we go from where we are now. As my right hon. Friend the Member for Cunninghame, North said earlier, if we have not got the message over to our Front Benchers in the Chamber tonight, I hope that some further consideration is given to the matter when the Bill goes down the Corridor.

Mr. Salmond: Two aspersions have been cast on the hon. Gentleman during the debate—I am sure innocently, of course. It was suggested, or at least implied, that perhaps he seeks to retain the number of MPs from Scottish constituencies at its current level. Then it was suggested by the Minister that his
 
4 May 2004 : Column 1245
 
amendment would rule out 129 MSPs. Can the hon. Gentleman say explicitly that neither was his intention in framing the amendment?

Mr. Hood: Not at all. Not for the first time in my life, I am innocent. I stand wrongly accused, Mr. Cook. Nothing could be further from the truth. Anybody who has followed my contributions on this matter would never conclude that it was ever my intention not to support the cut to 59. That is not what this is about; it is about the good governance of the Scottish Parliament and of electoral systems in the country that we are here representing.

This is where I take issue with Scottish nationalist Members: they do not have total ownership of representing Scotland and we Labour Members represent the Scottish people in equal share to anybody else who is a Member of Parliament here. How we are represented in Scotland is as much my concern, even though we are down here representing Scotland at Westminster. I happen to have a family in Scotland; I happen to live there; I happen to have roots there.

It is so important that what happens in Scotland is done in the best interests of the Scottish people, but what I am seeing here tonight is not good governance. The Bill is not about that or about doing good for the people of Scotland. I think it will harm the electoral systems and, through that, the people of Scotland. That is why we are so passionate about these matters.

The Minister could have her victory in the Lobby, but—let me put it this way—it would not be a total victory. I shall not push my amendment to the vote for one or two reasons. First, I would not wish to embarrass some of my colleagues on the Labour Benches who passionately share my views, but who may be compromised by that. Also, I want to give the Government an opportunity not to trap themselves in the corner in which they have put themselves, but to come out of it.

I hope that there are some discussions as the Bill travels down the Corridor; if we in the Chamber have closed minds, I hope that consideration is going on elsewhere. I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.

Mr. Patrick McLoughlin (West Derbyshire) (Con): No!

Question put, That the amendment be made:—

The Committee divided: Ayes 138, Noes 347.

Division No. 157
[5:43 pm


AYES

Ainsworth, Peter (E Surrey)
Amess, David
Ancram, rh Michael
Arbuthnot, rh James
Atkinson, David (Bour'mth E)
Atkinson, Peter (Hexham)
Bacon, Richard
Baldry, Tony
Barker, Gregory
Baron, John (Billericay)
Bellingham, Henry
Bercow, John
Beresford, Sir Paul
Blunt, Crispin
Boswell, Tim
Brady, Graham
Brazier, Julian
Browning, Mrs Angela
Burns, Simon
Burt, Alistair
Butterfill, Sir John
Cameron, David
Cash, William
Chapman, Sir Sydney (Chipping Barnet)
Clappison, James
Clarke, rh Kenneth (Rushcliffe)
Collins, Tim
Conway, Derek
Cormack, Sir Patrick
Cran, James (Beverley)
Curry, rh David
Davidson, Ian
Davis, rh David (Haltemprice & Howden)
Djanogly, Jonathan
Donohoe, Brian H.
Duncan, Peter (Galloway)
Duncan Smith, rh Iain
Evans, Nigel
Fabricant, Michael
Field, Mark (Cities of London & Westminster)
Flight, Howard
Flook, Adrian
Forth, rh Eric
Francois, Mark
Gale, Roger (N Thanet)
Garnier, Edward
Gibb, Nick (Bognor Regis)
Gillan, Mrs Cheryl
Goodman, Paul
Green, Damian (Ashford)
Greenway, John
Grieve, Dominic
Hague, rh William
Hamilton, David (Midlothian)
Hammond, Philip
Hawkins, Nick
Hayes, John (S Holland)
Heald, Oliver
Heathcoat-Amory, rh David
Hendry, Charles
Hoban, Mark (Fareham)
Hogg, rh Douglas
Hood, Jimmy (Clydesdale)
Horam, John (Orpington)
Howard, rh Michael
Howarth, Gerald (Aldershot)
Hunter, Andrew
Jack, rh Michael
Jenkin, Bernard
Johnson, Boris (Henley)
Key, Robert (Salisbury)
Kirkbride, Miss Julie
Laing, Mrs Eleanor
Lansley, Andrew
Leigh, Edward
Letwin, rh Oliver
Lewis, Dr. Julian (New Forest E)
Liddell-Grainger, Ian
Lidington, David
Luff, Peter (M-Worcs)
McIntosh, Miss Anne
Mackay, rh Andrew
Maclean, rh David
McLoughlin, Patrick
Maples, John
Mawhinney, rh Sir Brian
Mercer, Patrick
Mitchell, Andrew (Sutton Coldfield)
Moss, Malcolm
Murrison, Dr. Andrew
Norman, Archie
O'Brien, Stephen (Eddisbury)
Osborne, George (Tatton)
Ottaway, Richard
Page, Richard
Paice, James
Paterson, Owen
Picking, Anne
Portillo, rh Michael
Prisk, Mark (Hertford)
Randall, John
Redwood, rh John
Robathan, Andrew
Robertson, Hugh (Faversham & M-Kent)
Robertson, John (Glasgow Anniesland)
Robertson, Laurence (Tewk'b'ry)
Roe, Mrs Marion
Rosindell, Andrew
Selous, Andrew
Sheridan, Jim
Simmonds, Mark
Simpson, Keith (M-Norfolk)
Skinner, Dennis
Smyth, Rev. Martin (Belfast S)
Spicer, Sir Michael
Spink, Bob (Castle Point)
Spring, Richard
Stanley, rh Sir John
Swayne, Desmond
Syms, Robert
Tapsell, Sir Peter
Taylor, Ian (Esher)
Taylor, John (Solihull)
Taylor, Sir Teddy
Trimble, rh David
Turner, Andrew (Isle of Wight)
Tynan, Bill (Hamilton S)
Viggers, Peter
Walter, Robert
Watkinson, Angela
Whittingdale, John
Wiggin, Bill
Willetts, David
Wilshire, David
Winterton, Ann (Congleton)
Winterton, Sir Nicholas (Macclesfield)
Yeo, Tim (S Suffolk)
Young, rh Sir George

Tellers for the Ayes:

Mr. David Ruffley and
Mr. Hugo Swire


NOES

Abbott, Ms Diane
Adams, Irene (Paisley N)
Ainger, Nick
Ainsworth, Bob (Cov'try NE)
Allan, Richard
Allen, Graham
Anderson, rh Donald (Swansea E)
Anderson, Janet (Rossendale & Darwen)
Armstrong, rh Ms Hilary
Atherton, Ms Candy
Austin, John
Bailey, Adrian
Baird, Vera
Baker, Norman
Banks, Tony
Barnes, Harry
Barrett, John
Barron, rh Kevin
Bayley, Hugh
Beard, Nigel
Begg, Miss Anne
Beith, rh A. J.
Bell, Sir Stuart
Bennett, Andrew
Benton, Joe (Bootle)
Berry, Roger
Best, Harold
Betts, Clive
Blackman, Liz
Blears, Ms Hazel
Blizzard, Bob
Borrow, David
Bradley, rh Keith (Withington)
Bradley, Peter (The Wrekin)
Bradshaw, Ben
Brake, Tom (Carshalton)
Breed, Colin
Brennan, Kevin
Brooke, Mrs Annette L.
Brown, rh Nicholas (Newcastle E Wallsend)
Brown, Russell (Dumfries)
Bruce, Malcolm
Bryant, Chris
Buck, Ms Karen
Burden, Richard
Burgon, Colin
Burnham, Andy
Burstow, Paul
Byers, rh Stephen
Cable, Dr. Vincent
Caborn, rh Richard
Cairns, David
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V)
Caplin, Ivor
Caton, Martin
Cawsey, Ian (Brigg)
Challen, Colin
Chapman, Ben (Wirral S)
Chidgey, David
Clapham, Michael
Clark, Mrs Helen (Peterborough)
Clark, Dr. Lynda (Edinburgh Pentlands)
Clark, Paul (Gillingham)
Clarke, rh Tom (Coatbridge & Chryston)
Clarke, Tony (Northampton S)
Clelland, David
Coaker, Vernon
Coffey, Ms Ann
Cohen, Harry
Colman, Tony
Connarty, Michael
Cooper, Yvette
Corston, Jean
Cotter, Brian
Cousins, Jim
Cox, Tom (Tooting)
Cranston, Ross
Crausby, David
Cruddas, Jon
Cryer, Ann (Keighley)
Cryer, John (Hornchurch)
Cummings, John
Cunningham, Jim (Coventry S)
Cunningham, Tony (Workington)
Darling, rh Alistair
Davey, Valerie (Bristol W)
David, Wayne
Davies, rh Denzil (Llanelli)
Davies, Geraint (Croydon C)
Dawson, Hilton
Dean, Mrs Janet
Denham, rh John
Dhanda, Parmjit
Dismore, Andrew
Doran, Frank
Dowd, Jim (Lewisham W)
Drew, David (Stroud)
Dunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth
Eagle, Angela (Wallasey)
Eagle, Maria (L'pool Garston)
Edwards, Huw
Efford, Clive
Ellman, Mrs Louise
Etherington, Bill
Ewing, Annabelle
Farrelly, Paul
Field, rh Frank (Birkenhead)
Fisher, Mark
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Flint, Caroline
Flynn, Paul (Newport W)
Follett, Barbara
Foster, rh Derek
Foster, Michael (Worcester)
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings & Rye)
Foulkes, rh George
Francis, Dr. Hywel
Gapes, Mike (Ilford S)
George, rh Bruce (Walsall S)
Gerrard, Neil
Gibson, Dr. Ian
Gidley, Sandra
Gilroy, Linda
Goggins, Paul
Griffiths, Jane (Reading E)
Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)
Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Hain, rh Peter
Hall, Mike (Weaver Vale)
Hall, Patrick (Bedford)
Hamilton, Fabian (Leeds NE)
Hancock, Mike
Hanson, David
Healey, John
Heath, David
Henderson, Doug (Newcastle N)
Henderson, Ivan (Harwich)
Hendrick, Mark
Hepburn, Stephen
Heppell, John
Hesford, Stephen
Hill, Keith (Streatham)
Hinchliffe, David
Hodge, Margaret
Holmes, Paul
Hope, Phil (Corby)
Hopkins, Kelvin
Howarth, rh Alan (Newport E)
Howarth, George (Knowsley N & Sefton E)
Howells, Dr. Kim
Hoyle, Lindsay
Hughes, Beverley (Stretford & Urmston)
Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)
Hughes, Simon (Southwark N)
Humble, Mrs Joan
Hurst, Alan (Braintree)
Hutton, rh John
Iddon, Dr. Brian
Illsley, Eric
Irranca-Davies, Huw
Jamieson, David
Jenkins, Brian
Johnson, Miss Melanie (Welwyn Hatfield)
Jones, Helen (Warrington N)
Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C)
Jones, Kevan (N Durham)
Jones, Lynne (Selly Oak)
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S)
Jones, Nigel (Cheltenham)
Jowell, rh Tessa
Joyce, Eric (Falkirk W)
Kaufman, rh Gerald
Keeble, Ms Sally
Keen, Alan (Feltham)
Keetch, Paul
Kelly, Ruth (Bolton W)
Kennedy, Jane (Wavertree)
Khabra, Piara S.
Kidney, David
Kilfoyle, Peter
King, Andy (Rugby)
King, Ms Oona (Bethnal Green & Bow)
Kirkwood, Sir Archy
Knight, Jim (S Dorset)
Kumar, Dr. Ashok
Ladyman, Dr. Stephen
Lamb, Norman
Laws, David (Yeovil)
Laxton, Bob (Derby N)
Lazarowicz, Mark
Lepper, David
Leslie, Christopher
Levitt, Tom (High Peak)
Lewis, Ivan (Bury S)
Liddell, rh Mrs Helen
Linton, Martin
Lloyd, Tony (Manchester C)
Love, Andrew
Lucas, Ian (Wrexham)
McAvoy, Thomas
McCabe, Stephen
McCafferty, Chris
McCartney, rh Ian
McDonagh, Siobhain
McDonnell, John
MacDougall, John
McFall, John
McGuire, Mrs Anne
McIsaac, Shona
McKechin, Ann
McKenna, Rosemary
Mackinlay, Andrew
McNulty, Tony
MacShane, Denis
Mactaggart, Fiona
McWalter, Tony
McWilliam, John
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, Jim (Leicester S)
Martlew, Eric
Meacher, rh Michael
Merron, Gillian
Michael, rh Alun
Milburn, rh Alan
Miliband, David
Miller, Andrew
Mitchell, Austin (Gt Grimsby)
Moffatt, Laura
Mole, Chris
Moore, Michael
Moran, Margaret
Morgan, Julie
Morley, Elliot
Mountford, Kali
Mudie, George
Munn, Ms Meg
Murphy, Denis (Wansbeck)
Murphy, Jim (Eastwood)
Naysmith, Dr. Doug
Oaten, Mark (Winchester)
O'Brien, Bill (Normanton)
O'Brien, Mike (N Warks)
Olner, Bill
O'Neill, Martin
Öpik, Lembit
Osborne, Sandra (Ayr)
Owen, Albert
Palmer, Dr. Nick
Perham, Linda
Pickthall, Colin
Plaskitt, James
Pollard, Kerry
Pond, Chris (Gravesham)
Pope, Greg (Hyndburn)
Pound, Stephen
Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lewisham E)
Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)
Prosser, Gwyn
Purnell, James
Quin, rh Joyce
Quinn, Lawrie
Reed, Andy (Loughborough)
Reid, Alan (Argyll & Bute)
Reid, rh Dr. John (Hamilton N & Bellshill)
Rendel, David
Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)
Roy, Frank (Motherwell)
Ruane, Chris
Ruddock, Joan
Russell, Bob (Colchester)
Russell, Ms Christine (City of Chester)
Ryan, Joan (Enfield N)
Salmond, Alex
Salter, Martin
Sanders, Adrian
Sarwar, Mohammad
Savidge, Malcolm
Sawford, Phil
Sedgemore, Brian
Short, rh Clare
Simpson, Alan (Nottingham S)
Singh, Marsha
Smith, rh Andrew (Oxford E)
Smith, Geraldine (Morecambe & Lunesdale)
Smith, Jacqui (Redditch)
Smith, John (Glamorgan)
Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
Smith, Sir Robert (W Ab'd'ns & Kincardine)
Soley, Clive
Southworth, Helen
Squire, Rachel
Starkey, Dr. Phyllis
Steinberg, Gerry
Stevenson, George
Stewart, David (Inverness E & Lochaber)
Stewart, Ian (Eccles)
Stinchcombe, Paul
Stoate, Dr. Howard
Stringer, Graham
Stuart, Ms Gisela
Stunell, Andrew
Sutcliffe, Gerry
Tami, Mark (Alyn)
Taylor, Dari (Stockton S)
Taylor, David (NW Leics)
Teather, Sarah
Thurso, John
Tipping, Paddy
Todd, Mark (S Derbyshire)
Tonge, Dr. Jenny
Touhig, Don (Islwyn)
Trickett, Jon
Truswell, Paul
Turner, Dr. Desmond (Brighton Kemptown)
Turner, Neil (Wigan)
Tyler, Paul (N Cornwall)
Walley, Ms Joan
Ward, Claire
Wareing, Robert N.
Watson, Tom (W Bromwich E)
Watts, David
Webb, Steve (Northavon)
Weir, Michael
White, Brian
Whitehead, Dr. Alan
Wicks, Malcolm
Williams, rh Alan (Swansea W)
Williams, Hywel (Caernarfon)
Williams, Roger (Brecon)
Winnick, David
Winterton, Ms Rosie (Doncaster C)
Wishart, Pete
Woodward, Shaun
Woolas, Phil
Wright, Anthony D. (Gt Yarmouth)
Wright, David (Telford)
Wright, Tony (Cannock)
Wyatt, Derek
Younger-Ross, Richard

Tellers for the Noes:

Derek Twigg and
Charlotte Atkins


Question accordingly negatived.


 
4 May 2004 : Column 1249
 
6 pm

Clauses 1 to 4 ordered to stand part of the Bill.


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