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24 Oct 2006 : Column 1455

We have had a reasonable and reflective debate, rightly looking at some of the contextual issues around mergers in the summer. I do not deprecate that—it is perfectly reasonable in that context. It seems rather strange that I have prayed in aid the right hon. and learned Member for Folkestone and Hythe (Mr. Howard) and the hon. Member for Arundel and South Downs (Nick Herbert) has prayed in aid my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister—and long may that continue in one way or another. I take seriously the points raised and also some of the offers suggesting what I need to do to resist a vote, at least on the first set of amendments. First, though, I shall look at the general context of the points raised by hon. Members.

8 pm

I commend the hon. Member for Broxbourne (Mr. Walker) for his honesty. He said—and I think that it would resonate with all of us—that his local constituents could not care less about protective services and level 2 crime. I accept that and it is part of our difficulty—mine as Minister with responsibility for policing, hon. Members’ as responsible MPs, and the police forces. The only time they have concerns about level 2 provision is when it is needed but is not there. Beyond that, their immediate concern is volume crime, neighbourhood policing and whether local police are visible and accountable, as they should be, on our streets. I commend the hon. Gentleman for his honesty, and it goes to the heart of the debate—a debate that we are not planning to have in the near future, but one that I have had since I assumed this role last May, at the tail end of the mergers debate. I have certainly tried to deal with those matters since July when the mergers fell away—or whatever description people want to use. We then got into serious discussions about wither public protective services, if not through the mergers route. It is one of the dilemmas that we face.

Mr. Philip Dunne (Ludlow) (Con): On level 2 protective services, does the Minister agree that one of the benefits of closing the gap was raising the focus within all constabularies on the need to provide such services? One of the perverse benefits of the decision not to proceed with mergers was that many forces—my own of West Mercia included—have gone a long way towards addressing the perceived shortfalls in providing those services and are now, of their own volition, putting in even greater resources in order to meet those shortcomings.

Mr. McNulty: I certainly agree with the thrust of what the hon. Gentleman says, although if I were pedantic I might dispute the notion of it being perverse. Some hon. Members have suggested today that all the effort put into the discussions over mergers were a complete distraction, a complete waste of time and got in the way of seriously trying to address the problems raised by O’Connor, among others. I am with the hon. Gentleman, however. If we leave perversity to one side, most forces seriously engaged with those discussions during the merger process and since its demise.

I have also said to many forces that, perhaps because of a shorthand—the speed of it all—much of the merger debate was carried out on the premise that such
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collaborations and discussions had not happened beforehand. There had not been enough, but there certainly had been some, so there was no total vacuum in respect of discussions, collaborations or actions.

Mr. Heath: The Minister is absolutely right that collaborations and discussions did happen. It seems to me that what has emerged from the merger process is a realisation of how multi-dimensional these relationships have to be. If we take the example of my own force, Avon and Somerset, it was looking into collaborating not just with other police forces, but with other local government agencies and even the private sector in respect of the provision of some back-room services. The Avon and Somerset force was looking to collaborate with neighbouring forces on some provisions, not just within the region but, for example, with those in proximity such as Gwent across the Bristol channel, which is part of the same crime pattern area, and also with West Midlands, Merseyside and other forces that have the same sort of crime problems and are facing the same enemy and need to co-operate.

Mr. McNulty: Much of that work is at least under way, if not developed, in some parts of the country. Avon and Somerset force is developing a very interesting model that does not go the strategic or operational service level, but to back-office services, as the hon. Gentleman mentioned. It is looking across the public sector to secure some degree of rationalisation. That makes perfect sense, whether it be about pay, human resources—perhaps not IT, which goes to the operational sector of policing—and generic business, back-office functions. Why should the local health authority, the local council and local police forces have different and distinct systems with all the incumbent directives? Avon and Somerset will be first, and part of the model of investigation may be broadened out to the public sector across the south-west region. I commend that as it is worth pursuing. I take the hon. Gentleman’s point about the other dimensions, both operational and strategic.

Mrs. Lait: Moving on slightly from that point, does the Minister accept that the mergers discussion postponed precisely the sort of— [Interruption.] I do not wish to disagree with the Minister while he is still sitting, but I have to declare an interest here as my husband is the chairman of the Sussex police authority, so I am aware that before the mergers debates started the sort of process mentioned by the hon. Member for Northavon (Steve Webb) had already been discussed by police authorities, and even some local authorities. The mergers discussions postponed it all for a long time and it cost people, including the Home Office, money.

Mr. McNulty: No, I disagree with that, and I think that the hon. Lady will find that she meant to refer to the hon. Member for Somerton and Frome (Mr. Heath), not the hon. Member for Northavon (Steve Webb). I believe that I have met the hon. Lady’s spouse and he is doing a very good job, too. She is right to the extent that Sussex was doing much of that with Surrey, but not much beyond—just partly, but not terribly much, with Kent. People are right to point out that a huge matrix is emerging, which is far more
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elaborate than simply back-office or operational service or strategic service sharing.

Where we are at now is that most forces recognise, as we recognise across the House, that counter-terrorism operations are probably not best done at the local basic command unit level. The substance and strategic nature of terrorism suggests that. Most forces recognise, merger aside, that a degree of authority needs to be ceded up to the regions at least, and in some cases up to the national level. It is still an issue to see how local level neighbourhood policing and BCU commanders are folded into the counter-terrorist effort, as they have a role to play from top to bottom. There is recognition of the need to cede some authority and sovereignty up the chain of command to the regional and national level. That is recognised in respect of expertise. I believe that Sussex has an excellent reputation and teaches many other forces about firearms. Why reinvent that wheel, assuming that we can talk about wheels and firearms at the same time, of course?

Mr. Walker: I hope that the Minister accepts that it was not my intention in my brief speech to diminish organised crime. Clearly, people trafficking, international terrorism and drug dealing are hugely important. Is the Home Office looking at a different formula for tackling those issues beyond the idea of merging police forces? It may be slightly off the point, but I would grateful if the Minister answered that question.

Mr. McNulty: I want to make two points on that issue. First, what I said on counter-terrorism rightly does not prevail in respect of serious and organised crime, which belongs more readily at the regional or more localised level, albeit under the umbrella of the Serious Organised Crime Agency. However, we have taken out of that, almost sideways, our centre for human trafficking—although the hon. Gentleman will understand that we are against such trafficking rather than promoting it—and other elements such as the European action plan, so that runs alongside, though very much with the grain, what police forces are doing locally and nationally.

I repeat that I am hugely impressed and enthused by the co-operation and enthusiasm of police forces, services and authorities in taking this matter forward. I give a little to the hon. Member for Beckenham (Mrs Lait) in allowing that Sussex is ahead of the game—as are some other forces—but others are way behind in even thinking about filling the gap or protecting services. They have come on in leaps and bounds—perversely or otherwise, to pick up on the point made by the hon. Member for Ludlow (Mr. Dunne)—and we are already in a healthier position in terms of filling the gap that O’Connor recognised than we were before mergers were contemplated. We can argue cause and effect, but that would be like counting the angels dancing on the head of a pin.

Even given that context, it is right and proper that we have the ability to enforce merger if necessary. The hon. Member for Arundel and South Downs (Nick Herbert) mentioned five tests and I shall answer as sincerely as possible. He asked whether amalgamations would be a
24 Oct 2006 : Column 1458
last resort, and I confirm that they would. My colleague in the other place has already made that clear and I am happy to do so, too. His second question was whether a proper case would have to be made for amalgamation, and the answer is of course yes. The Bill requires the Home Secretary to set out the case for merger and, having learned the lessons from the summer, we recognise that the case would have to be made very clearly.

The hon. Gentleman asked about adequate public consultation beyond the statutory period. That is what we tried last time, perhaps feebly. The four-month statutory period came right at the tail end of the process, which started last September and finished in July, which is somewhat more than four months. We will learn the lessons about the method of consultation. As a democrat, I would resist the call for local plebiscites, because I do not think that they are very democratic.

On the point made by the hon. Member for Broxbourne, Hertfordshire was enthusiastic about a merger, just not with Essex. It would have been happy to merge with Bedfordshire and there is still a strong desire for the two to work strongly together. Naturally, they look more to Thames Valley than to Essex for further help, assistance and collaboration. The picture that has been painted of the Government on one side and 43 forces railing against merger on the other is not accurate.

Any merger order would be subject to the affirmative procedure, and we have learned the lessons about exploring options for additional parliamentary debate and scrutiny above and beyond the orders at the end of the process. We must of course carefully consider the financial implications and have a proper resolution of issues such as precept equalisation, capping and others. Therefore, with a skip in my heart and in all humility, I think that I may give a broad yes to all five of the points raised by the hon. Member for Arundel and South Downs.

Nick Herbert: I thank the Minister for the reassurances that he has given on four points. I also asked about the issue of proper parliamentary scrutiny and consultation. In that context, can he tell us whether the Government will set out any compulsory mergers before the end of this Parliament? Or will the issue of protecting services be settled by voluntary co-operation?

Mr. McNulty: I am sorry if the hon. Gentleman missed it, but I did say that any merger order would be subject to affirmative procedure. I will ensure that we learn the lessons of the summer in terms of exploring options for additional parliamentary debate and scrutiny. I will do all I can, working with ACPO, the Association of Police Authorities and the forces, to ensure that the present process fills the gaps and obviates the need for compulsory merger. After that process has finished, I cannot promise that some forces—not just Lancashire and Cumbria—will not decide that the only way forward is merger. If forces want to merge voluntarily, that is fine, but given the present situation I can confidently say that no enforced mergers are on the agenda in the near future. I cannot give an absolute guarantee, however, and I suspect that
24 Oct 2006 : Column 1459
a Conservative Minister would say the same in my position. We need to retain the ability to compel mergers just in case.

People have the wrong end of the stick on intervention. The Bill is not meant to introduce a centralising regime. Some of the contributions made me dig out my parliamentary pass to check whether it read Honecker or Ceausescu instead of McNulty. The 2002 legislation provides that forces must comply with direction, and the changes in the Bill involve broadening the source of information so that the Home Secretary can draw on HMIC and bring police authorities into his scope.

If we may uncouple the Bill from the bad faith in the merger debate, I ask hon. Members to judge us by our actions, not policy or legislation changes. Even though we had the powers to intervene, from both the 1994 and 2002 legislation, we have not done so in all the years since 1997. That is not to say that there have not been opportunities to do so or even the need to do so—I have mentioned the eight forces we have dealt with, three of which we are still working with—but we have taken non-statutory, voluntary measures, working alongside the chief constable and the force involved. As a last resort, however, we need the ability to intervene in a failing force or police authority. There is no malice aforethought in the provisions. It is not in the interests of the Home Office or the Home Secretary to force or cajole intervention in a police force. We want to reach a stage at which we can work alongside police forces, in the interests of local council tax payers. The Bill is not Stalinist or government by a big stick. Statutory intervention would be a last resort, if fundamentally necessary in the case of an irresponsible or capricious chief constable or police authority—none of which we have at present.

Nick Herbert: Why will not the Government put the words “in the last resort” into the Bill?

Mr. McNulty: Because that is not necessary, and has not been since 1994—that is, over the course of two Governments. Ironically, the undue specificity involved in defining “last resort” or “failure” means that statutory intervention may be triggered sooner than people want. The more vague the definitions, the more scope there is for non-statutory intervention.

I want to make two more points. First, the Government have made some movement on these matters, so I hope that the House will accept the words that we propose in lieu in respect of Lords amendment No. 71, and reject the amendment itself. Secondly, people can be flippant or gloating about the mergers, but the hon. Member for Arundel and South Downs implied—and the hon. Member for Hornsey and Wood Green (Lynne Featherstone) said so more explicitly—that there had been a diminution in the independence or integrity of HMIC as a result of the O’Connor report or what happened during the course of the mergers. I will have none of that: it is very important that the House understands that HMIC remains full of integrity and utterly independent. It is not appropriate to make sharp and unnecessarily party political points attacking the inspectorate’s integrity and independence, and both hon. Members should feel duly admonished.

24 Oct 2006 : Column 1460

Having said that, I ask the House to resist Lords amendment No.1, but to accept the words in lieu of amendment No. 71.

Lords amendment disagreed to.

Schedule 2

Amendments to the Police Act 1996

Lords amendment: No. 71 .

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

The House divided: Ayes 301, Noes 220.
Division No. 322]
[8.22 pm


Ainger, Nick
Ainsworth, rh Mr. Bob
Alexander, rh Mr. Douglas
Allen, Mr. Graham
Anderson, Mr. David
Anderson, Janet
Armstrong, rh Hilary
Atkins, Charlotte
Austin, Mr. Ian
Austin, John
Bailey, Mr. Adrian
Baird, Vera
Balls, Ed
Banks, Gordon
Barlow, Ms Celia
Barron, rh Mr. Kevin
Battle, rh John
Begg, Miss Anne
Bell, Sir Stuart
Benn, rh Hilary
Benton, Mr. Joe
Berry, Roger
Betts, Mr. Clive
Blackman-Woods, Dr. Roberta
Blears, rh Hazel
Blizzard, Mr. Bob
Borrow, Mr. David S.
Bradshaw, Mr. Ben
Brennan, Kevin
Brown, Lyn
Brown, rh Mr. Nicholas
Brown, Mr. Russell
Bryant, Chris
Burden, Richard
Burgon, Colin
Burnham, Andy
Butler, Ms Dawn
Byers, rh Mr. Stephen
Byrne, Mr. Liam
Cairns, David
Campbell, Mr. Alan
Campbell, Mr. Ronnie
Caton, Mr. Martin
Cawsey, Mr. Ian
Challen, Colin
Chapman, Ben
Chaytor, Mr. David
Clapham, Mr. Michael
Clark, Ms Katy
Clark, Paul
Clarke, rh Mr. Charles
Clarke, rh Mr. Tom
Clelland, Mr. David
Clwyd, rh Ann
Coaker, Mr. Vernon
Coffey, Ann
Cohen, Harry
Connarty, Michael
Cooper, Rosie
Cooper, Yvette
Corbyn, Jeremy
Cousins, Jim
Crausby, Mr. David
Creagh, Mary
Cruddas, Jon
Cryer, Mrs. Ann
Cummings, John
Cunningham, Mr. Jim
Cunningham, Tony
Curtis-Thomas, Mrs. Claire
Darling, rh Mr. Alistair
David, Mr. Wayne
Dean, Mrs. Janet
Denham, rh Mr. John
Devine, Mr. Jim
Dhanda, Mr. Parmjit
Dismore, Mr. Andrew
Dobbin, Jim
Donohoe, Mr. Brian H.
Doran, Mr. Frank
Dowd, Jim
Drew, Mr. David
Dunwoody, Mrs. Gwyneth
Eagle, Angela
Eagle, Maria
Efford, Clive
Ellman, Mrs. Louise
Engel, Natascha
Field, rh Mr. Frank
Fisher, Mark
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Flello, Mr. Robert
Flint, Caroline
Flynn, Paul
Follett, Barbara
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings and Rye)
Francis, Dr. Hywel
Gapes, Mike
Gardiner, Barry
George, rh Mr. Bruce
Gerrard, Mr. Neil
Gibson, Dr. Ian
Gilroy, Linda
Goggins, Paul
Goodman, Helen
Griffith, Nia
Griffiths, Nigel

Grogan, Mr. John
Gwynne, Andrew
Hall, Mr. Mike
Hamilton, Mr. David
Hanson, Mr. David
Harman, rh Ms Harriet
Harris, Mr. Tom
Healey, John
Henderson, Mr. Doug
Hendrick, Mr. Mark
Hepburn, Mr. Stephen
Heppell, Mr. John
Hesford, Stephen
Hewitt, rh Ms Patricia
Heyes, David
Hill, rh Keith
Hillier, Meg
Hodge, rh Margaret
Hodgson, Mrs. Sharon
Hoey, Kate
Hoon, rh Mr. Geoffrey
Hope, Phil
Hopkins, Kelvin
Howarth, rh Mr. George
Howells, Dr. Kim
Hoyle, Mr. Lindsay
Hughes, rh Beverley
Humble, Mrs. Joan
Hutton, rh Mr. John
Iddon, Dr. Brian
Illsley, Mr. Eric
Irranca-Davies, Huw
Jackson, Glenda
James, Mrs. Siân C.
Jenkins, Mr. Brian
Johnson, rh Alan
Johnson, Ms Diana R.
Jones, Helen
Jones, Mr. Kevan
Jones, Lynne
Jones, Mr. Martyn
Joyce, Mr. Eric
Kaufman, rh Sir Gerald
Keeble, Ms Sally
Keeley, Barbara
Keen, Alan
Keen, Ann
Kelly, rh Ruth
Kemp, Mr. Fraser
Kennedy, rh Jane
Khabra, Mr. Piara S.
Kidney, Mr. David
Knight, Jim
Kumar, Dr. Ashok
Ladyman, Dr. Stephen
Lammy, Mr. David
Laxton, Mr. Bob
Lazarowicz, Mark
Lepper, David
Levitt, Tom
Lewis, Mr. Ivan
Linton, Martin
Lloyd, Tony
Love, Mr. Andrew
Lucas, Ian
Mackinlay, Andrew
MacShane, rh Mr. Denis
Mahmood, Mr. Khalid
Malik, Mr. Shahid
Mallaber, Judy
Mann, John
Marris, Rob
Marsden, Mr. Gordon
Marshall, Mr. David
Marshall-Andrews, Mr. Robert
Martlew, Mr. Eric
McAvoy, rh Mr. Thomas
McCabe, Steve
McCafferty, Chris
McCarthy, Kerry
McCarthy-Fry, Sarah
McDonagh, Siobhain
McDonnell, John
McFadden, Mr. Pat
McFall, rh John
McGovern, Mr. Jim
McGuire, Mrs. Anne
McIsaac, Shona
McKechin, Ann
McKenna, Rosemary
McNulty, Mr. Tony
Meacher, rh Mr. Michael
Merron, Gillian
Milburn, rh Mr. Alan
Miliband, Edward
Moffatt, Laura
Mole, Chris
Moon, Mrs. Madeleine
Moran, Margaret
Morden, Jessica
Morgan, Julie
Mountford, Kali
Mudie, Mr. George
Mullin, Mr. Chris
Munn, Meg
Murphy, Mr. Denis
Murphy, Mr. Jim
Murphy, rh Mr. Paul
Naysmith, Dr. Doug
O'Brien, Mr. Mike
O'Hara, Mr. Edward
Owen, Albert
Palmer, Dr. Nick
Plaskitt, Mr. James
Pound, Stephen
Prentice, Bridget
Prentice, Mr. Gordon
Primarolo, rh Dawn
Prosser, Gwyn
Purchase, Mr. Ken
Purnell, James
Rammell, Bill
Raynsford, rh Mr. Nick
Reed, Mr. Andy
Reed, Mr. Jamie
Reid, rh John
Riordan, Mrs. Linda
Robertson, John
Robinson, Mr. Geoffrey
Rooney, Mr. Terry
Roy, Mr. Frank
Ruane, Chris
Ruddock, Joan
Russell, Christine
Ryan, Joan
Salter, Martin
Seabeck, Alison
Sheerman, Mr. Barry
Sheridan, Jim
Simon, Mr. Siôn
Simpson, Alan
Singh, Mr. Marsha
Skinner, Mr. Dennis
Slaughter, Mr. Andrew

Smith, rh Mr. Andrew
Smith, Ms Angela C. (Sheffield, Hillsborough)
Smith, Angela E. (Basildon)
Smith, Geraldine
Smith, rh Jacqui
Smith, John
Snelgrove, Anne
Soulsby, Sir Peter
Southworth, Helen
Spellar, rh Mr. John
Starkey, Dr. Phyllis
Stewart, Ian
Stoate, Dr. Howard
Strang, rh Dr. Gavin
Straw, rh Mr. Jack
Stuart, Ms Gisela
Sutcliffe, Mr. Gerry
Tami, Mark
Taylor, David
Thomas, Mr. Gareth
Thornberry, Emily
Timms, rh Mr. Stephen
Tipping, Paddy
Todd, Mr. Mark
Touhig, rh Mr. Don
Trickett, Jon
Truswell, Mr. Paul
Turner, Dr. Desmond
Turner, Mr. Neil
Ussher, Kitty
Vaz, rh Keith
Waltho, Lynda
Ward, Claire
Wareing, Mr. Robert N.
Watson, Mr. Tom
Watts, Mr. Dave
Whitehead, Dr. Alan
Wicks, Malcolm
Williams, rh Mr. Alan
Winnick, Mr. David
Winterton, rh Ms Rosie
Wood, Mike
Woodward, Mr. Shaun
Woolas, Mr. Phil
Wright, Mr. Anthony
Wright, David
Wright, Mr. Iain
Wright, Dr. Tony
Wyatt, Derek
Tellers for the Ayes:

Liz Blackman and
Mr. Michael Foster

Afriyie, Adam
Ainsworth, Mr. Peter
Amess, Mr. David
Ancram, rh Mr. Michael
Arbuthnot, rh Mr. James
Atkinson, Mr. Peter
Bacon, Mr. Richard
Baker, Norman
Baldry, Tony
Barker, Gregory
Baron, Mr. John
Barrett, John
Benyon, Mr. Richard
Bercow, John
Beresford, Sir Paul
Binley, Mr. Brian
Blunt, Mr. Crispin
Bone, Mr. Peter
Boswell, Mr. Tim
Brady, Mr. Graham
Brake, Tom
Brazier, Mr. Julian
Breed, Mr. Colin
Brokenshire, James
Brooke, Annette
Browne, Mr. Jeremy
Browning, Angela
Bruce, rh Malcolm
Burns, Mr. Simon
Burstow, Mr. Paul
Burt, Alistair
Burt, Lorely
Butterfill, Sir John
Cable, Dr. Vincent
Campbell, rh Sir Menzies
Carmichael, Mr. Alistair
Carswell, Mr. Douglas
Cash, Mr. William
Chope, Mr. Christopher
Clappison, Mr. James
Clark, Greg
Clarke, rh Mr. Kenneth
Clegg, Mr. Nick
Clifton-Brown, Mr. Geoffrey
Cormack, Sir Patrick
Crabb, Mr. Stephen
Curry, rh Mr. David
Davies, Philip
Davis, rh David (Haltemprice and Howden)
Djanogly, Mr. Jonathan
Dodds, Mr. Nigel
Dorrell, rh Mr. Stephen
Dorries, Mrs. Nadine
Duddridge, James
Duncan, Alan
Duncan Smith, rh Mr. Iain
Dunne, Mr. Philip
Evans, Mr. Nigel
Fabricant, Michael
Fallon, Mr. Michael
Farron, Tim
Featherstone, Lynne
Field, Mr. Mark
Foster, Mr. Don
Fox, Dr. Liam
Francois, Mr. Mark
Fraser, Mr. Christopher
Gale, Mr. Roger
Garnier, Mr. Edward
Gauke, Mr. David
George, Andrew
Gibb, Mr. Nick
Gidley, Sandra
Goodman, Mr. Paul
Goodwill, Mr. Robert
Gray, Mr. James
Grayling, Chris
Green, Damian
Greening, Justine
Greenway, Mr. John
Grieve, Mr. Dominic
Gummer, rh Mr. John
Hague, rh Mr. William

Hammond, Mr. Philip
Hammond, Stephen
Hancock, Mr. Mike
Harper, Mr. Mark
Harris, Dr. Evan
Harvey, Nick
Hayes, Mr. John
Heath, Mr. David
Heathcoat-Amory, rh Mr. David
Hemming, John
Hendry, Charles
Herbert, Nick
Hermon, Lady
Hoban, Mr. Mark
Hogg, rh Mr. Douglas
Hollobone, Mr. Philip
Holloway, Mr. Adam
Holmes, Paul
Horam, Mr. John
Horwood, Martin
Howard, rh Mr. Michael
Howarth, David
Howarth, Mr. Gerald
Hughes, Simon
Huhne, Chris
Hunt, Mr. Jeremy
Hunter, Mark
Hurd, Mr. Nick
Jack, rh Mr. Michael
Jackson, Mr. Stewart
Jones, Mr. David
Keetch, Mr. Paul
Key, Robert
Knight, rh Mr. Greg
Kramer, Susan
Lait, Mrs. Jacqui
Lamb, Norman
Lancaster, Mr. Mark
Laws, Mr. David
Leech, Mr. John
Leigh, Mr. Edward
Letwin, rh Mr. Oliver
Lewis, Dr. Julian
Liddell-Grainger, Mr. Ian
Lidington, Mr. David
Lilley, rh Mr. Peter
Loughton, Tim
Luff, Peter
Mackay, rh Mr. Andrew
Maclean, rh David
Main, Anne
Malins, Mr. Humfrey
Maples, Mr. John
Mates, rh Mr. Michael
May, rh Mrs. Theresa
McIntosh, Miss Anne
McLoughlin, rh Mr. Patrick
Mercer, Patrick
Miller, Mrs. Maria
Milton, Anne
Moore, Mr. Michael
Moss, Mr. Malcolm
Mulholland, Greg
Mundell, David
Murrison, Dr. Andrew
Neill, Robert
Newmark, Mr. Brooks
O'Brien, Mr. Stephen
Öpik, Lembit
Ottaway, Richard
Paice, Mr. James
Paterson, Mr. Owen
Pelling, Mr. Andrew
Penning, Mike
Penrose, John
Pickles, Mr. Eric
Price, Adam
Pritchard, Mark
Pugh, Dr. John
Randall, Mr. John
Redwood, rh Mr. John
Reid, Mr. Alan
Rennie, Willie
Robathan, Mr. Andrew
Robertson, Mr. Laurence
Rogerson, Mr. Dan
Rosindell, Andrew
Rowen, Paul
Ruffley, Mr. David
Russell, Bob
Sanders, Mr. Adrian
Scott, Mr. Lee
Selous, Andrew
Shapps, Grant
Shepherd, Mr. Richard
Simmonds, Mark
Simpson, Mr. Keith
Soames, Mr. Nicholas
Spicer, Sir Michael
Spink, Bob
Stanley, rh Sir John
Steen, Mr. Anthony
Streeter, Mr. Gary
Stuart, Mr. Graham
Stunell, Andrew
Swayne, Mr. Desmond
Swire, Mr. Hugo
Taylor, Mr. Ian
Taylor, Matthew
Taylor, Dr. Richard
Teather, Sarah
Thurso, John
Turner, Mr. Andrew
Tyrie, Mr. Andrew
Vaizey, Mr. Edward
Viggers, Peter
Villiers, Mrs. Theresa
Walker, Mr. Charles
Walter, Mr. Robert
Waterson, Mr. Nigel
Watkinson, Angela
Webb, Steve
Whittingdale, Mr. John
Wiggin, Bill
Williams, Hywel
Williams, Mark
Williams, Mr. Roger
Willis, Mr. Phil
Willott, Jenny
Wilshire, Mr. David
Wilson, Mr. Rob
Winterton, Ann
Winterton, Sir Nicholas
Wright, Jeremy
Yeo, Mr. Tim
Young, rh Sir George
Younger-Ross, Richard
Tellers for the Noes:

Mr. Henry Bellingham and
Mr. David Evennett

Question accordingly agreed to.
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