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7 Feb 2007 : Column 913

DELEGATED LEGISLATION

Motion made, and Question put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 118(6) (Delegated Legislation Committees),


merchant shipping


The House divided: Ayes 233, Noes 295.
Division No. 047]
[4.43 pm



AYES


Afriyie, Adam
Ainsworth, Mr. Peter
Amess, Mr. David
Arbuthnot, rh Mr. James
Bacon, Mr. Richard
Baker, Norman
Baldry, Tony
Barker, Gregory
Baron, Mr. John
Beith, rh Mr. Alan
Bellingham, Mr. Henry
Benyon, Mr. Richard
Binley, Mr. Brian
Blunt, Mr. Crispin
Bone, Mr. Peter
Boswell, Mr. Tim
Bottomley, Peter
Brake, Tom
Brazier, Mr. Julian
Breed, Mr. Colin
Brooke, Annette
Browning, Angela
Burns, Mr. Simon
Burrowes, Mr. David
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
Clark, Ms Katy
Clarke, rh Mr. Kenneth
Clegg, Mr. Nick
Clifton-Brown, Mr. Geoffrey
Cohen, Harry
Conway, Derek
Corbyn, Jeremy
Cormack, Sir Patrick
Cox, Mr. Geoffrey
Crabb, Mr. Stephen
Cruddas, Jon
Cryer, Mrs. Ann
Curry, rh Mr. David
Davey, Mr. Edward
Davies, Philip
Davis, rh David (Haltemprice and Howden)
Djanogly, Mr. Jonathan
Dorrell, rh Mr. Stephen
Drew, Mr. David
Duncan, Alan
Duncan Smith, rh Mr. Iain
Dunne, Mr. Philip
Ellwood, Mr. Tobias
Evans, Mr. Nigel
Evennett, Mr. David
Fabricant, Michael
Fallon, Mr. Michael
Farron, Tim
Featherstone, Lynne
Field, Mr. Mark
Foster, Mr. Don
Fraser, Mr. Christopher
Gale, Mr. Roger
Garnier, Mr. Edward
Gauke, Mr. David
George, Andrew
Gibb, Mr. Nick
Gibson, Dr. Ian
Gidley, Sandra
Gillan, Mrs. Cheryl
Goldsworthy, Julia
Goodman, Mr. Paul
Goodwill, Mr. Robert
Gove, Michael
Gray, Mr. James
Grayling, Chris
Green, Damian
Grieve, Mr. Dominic
Gummer, rh Mr. John
Hague, rh Mr. William
Hammond, Mr. Philip
Hammond, Stephen
Hancock, Mr. Mike
Hands, Mr. Greg
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
Hoban, Mr. Mark
Hoey, Kate
Hogg, rh Mr. Douglas
Hollobone, Mr. Philip
Holloway, Mr. Adam
Holmes, Paul
Hopkins, Kelvin
Horam, Mr. John
Horwood, Martin
Hosie, Stewart

Howard, rh Mr. Michael
Howarth, David
Hughes, Simon
Huhne, Chris
Hunter, Mark
Hurd, Mr. Nick
Jack, rh Mr. Michael
Jackson, Mr. Stewart
Johnson, Mr. Boris
Jones, Mr. David
Kawczynski, Daniel
Keetch, Mr. Paul
Kennedy, rh Mr. Charles
Key, Robert
Kirkbride, Miss Julie
Knight, rh Mr. Greg
Kramer, Susan
Lait, Mrs. Jacqui
Lamb, Norman
Lancaster, Mr. Mark
Laws, Mr. David
Leigh, Mr. Edward
Letwin, rh Mr. Oliver
Liddell-Grainger, Mr. Ian
Lidington, Mr. David
Loughton, Tim
Luff, Peter
Mackay, rh Mr. Andrew
Maclean, rh David
MacNeil, Mr. Angus
Main, Anne
Maples, Mr. John
Mates, rh Mr. Michael
May, rh Mrs. Theresa
McDonnell, John
McIntosh, Miss Anne
McLoughlin, rh Mr. Patrick
Mercer, Patrick
Miller, Mrs. Maria
Mitchell, Mr. Andrew
Moore, Mr. Michael
Moss, Mr. Malcolm
Mulholland, Greg
Mundell, David
Neill, Robert
Newmark, Mr. Brooks
O'Brien, Mr. Stephen
Öpik, Lembit
Osborne, Mr. George
Ottaway, Richard
Paice, Mr. James
Paterson, Mr. Owen
Penning, Mike
Penrose, John
Pickles, Mr. Eric
Price, Adam
Prisk, Mr. Mark
Pugh, Dr. John
Randall, Mr. John
Redwood, rh Mr. John
Reid, Mr. Alan
Rennie, Willie
Rifkind, rh Sir Malcolm
Riordan, Mrs. Linda
Robathan, Mr. Andrew
Robertson, Angus
Robertson, Hugh
Robertson, Mr. Laurence
Rogerson, Mr. Dan
Rowen, Paul
Russell, Bob
Salmond, Mr. Alex
Sanders, Mr. Adrian
Scott, Mr. Lee
Selous, Andrew
Shapps, Grant
Shepherd, Mr. Richard
Simpson, Alan
Simpson, Mr. Keith
Smith, Sir Robert
Soames, Mr. Nicholas
Spelman, Mrs. Caroline
Spicer, Sir Michael
Spink, Bob
Spring, Mr. Richard
Stanley, rh Sir John
Steen, Mr. Anthony
Stewart, Ian
Stunell, Andrew
Swayne, Mr. Desmond
Swinson, Jo
Swire, Mr. Hugo
Syms, Mr. Robert
Tapsell, Sir Peter
Taylor, Mr. Ian
Taylor, Dr. Richard
Teather, Sarah
Thurso, John
Tyrie, Mr. Andrew
Vaizey, Mr. Edward
Vara, Mr. Shailesh
Viggers, Peter
Villiers, Mrs. Theresa
Walker, Mr. Charles
Wallace, Mr. Ben
Watkinson, Angela
Webb, Steve
Weir, Mr. Mike
Whittingdale, Mr. John
Wiggin, Bill
Willetts, Mr. David
Williams, Hywel
Williams, Mark
Williams, Mr. Roger
Williams, Stephen
Willis, Mr. Phil
Wilson, Mr. Rob
Winterton, Ann
Winterton, Sir Nicholas
Wishart, Pete
Wright, Jeremy
Yeo, Mr. Tim
Young, rh Sir George
Younger-Ross, Richard
Tellers for the Ayes:

Jenny Willott and
Mr. Jeremy Browne
NOES


Abbott, Ms Diane
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
Bailey, Mr. Adrian
Baird, Vera
Balls, Ed
Banks, Gordon
Barlow, Ms Celia
Barron, rh Mr. Kevin
Begg, Miss Anne
Bell, Sir Stuart
Benton, Mr. Joe
Berry, Roger
Betts, Mr. Clive
Blackman, Liz
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
Browne, rh Des
Bryant, Chris
Buck, Ms Karen
Burnham, Andy
Butler, Ms Dawn
Byers, rh Mr. Stephen
Byrne, Mr. Liam
Cairns, David
Campbell, Mr. Alan
Campbell, Mr. Gregory
Campbell, Mr. Ronnie
Caton, Mr. Martin
Cawsey, Mr. Ian
Challen, Colin
Chapman, Ben
Chaytor, Mr. David
Clark, Paul
Clarke, rh Mr. Charles
Clarke, rh Mr. Tom
Clelland, Mr. David
Clwyd, rh Ann
Coaker, Mr. Vernon
Coffey, Ann
Connarty, Michael
Cook, Frank
Cooper, Rosie
Crausby, Mr. David
Creagh, Mary
Cummings, John
Cunningham, Mr. Jim
Cunningham, Tony
Curtis-Thomas, Mrs. Claire
David, Mr. Wayne
Davidson, Mr. Ian
Davies, Mr. Dai
Dean, Mrs. Janet
Denham, rh Mr. John
Devine, Mr. Jim
Dhanda, Mr. Parmjit
Dismore, Mr. Andrew
Dobbin, Jim
Dobson, rh Frank
Dodds, Mr. Nigel
Donaldson, Mr. Jeffrey M.
Donohoe, Mr. Brian H.
Doran, Mr. Frank
Dowd, Jim
Eagle, Angela
Eagle, Maria
Efford, Clive
Ellman, Mrs. Louise
Engel, Natascha
Ennis, Jeff
Farrelly, Paul
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Flint, Caroline
Flynn, Paul
Follett, Barbara
Foster, Mr. Michael (Worcester)
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings and Rye)
Francis, Dr. Hywel
Gardiner, Barry
George, rh Mr. Bruce
Gilroy, Linda
Godsiff, Mr. Roger
Goggins, Paul
Goodman, Helen
Griffith, Nia
Griffiths, Nigel
Grogan, Mr. John
Gwynne, Andrew
Hain, rh Mr. Peter
Hall, Mr. Mike
Hall, Patrick
Hamilton, Mr. David
Hanson, Mr. David
Harman, rh Ms Harriet
Harris, Mr. Tom
Havard, Mr. Dai
Healey, John
Henderson, Mr. Doug
Hendrick, Mr. Mark
Hepburn, Mr. Stephen
Heppell, Mr. John
Hermon, Lady
Hesford, Stephen
Heyes, David
Hill, rh Keith
Hillier, Meg
Hodge, rh Margaret
Hodgson, Mrs. Sharon
Hood, Mr. Jimmy
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
Ingram, rh Mr. Adam
Irranca-Davies, Huw
James, Mrs. Siân C.
Jenkins, Mr. Brian
Johnson, rh Alan
Johnson, Ms Diana R.
Jones, Helen
Jones, Mr. Kevan
Jones, Lynne
Jones, Mr. Martyn
Jowell, rh Tessa
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.
Khan, Mr. Sadiq
Kidney, Mr. David
Kilfoyle, Mr. Peter
Knight, Jim
Kumar, Dr. Ashok
Ladyman, Dr. Stephen
Lammy, Mr. David
Lazarowicz, Mark
Lepper, David
Levitt, Tom
Lewis, Mr. Ivan
Linton, Martin
Lloyd, Tony
Love, Mr. Andrew
Lucas, Ian
MacDougall, Mr. John
Mackinlay, Andrew
MacShane, rh Mr. Denis
Mactaggart, Fiona
Mahmood, Mr. Khalid
Malik, Mr. Shahid
Mallaber, Judy
Mann, John
Marris, Rob
Marsden, Mr. Gordon
Marshall, Mr. David
Martlew, Mr. Eric
McAvoy, rh Mr. Thomas
McCabe, Steve
McCafferty, Chris
McCarthy, Kerry
McCarthy-Fry, Sarah
McCartney, rh Mr. Ian
McCrea, Dr. William
McDonagh, Siobhain
McDonnell, Dr. Alasdair
McFadden, Mr. Pat
McFall, rh John
McGovern, Mr. Jim
McGuire, Mrs. Anne
McIsaac, Shona
McKenna, Rosemary
McNulty, Mr. Tony
Meacher, rh Mr. Michael
Meale, Mr. Alan
Merron, Gillian
Michael, rh Alun
Miliband, rh David
Miliband, Edward
Miller, Andrew
Mitchell, Mr. Austin
Moffatt, Laura
Mole, Chris
Moon, Mrs. Madeleine
Moran, Margaret
Morley, Mr. Elliot
Mountford, Kali
Mudie, Mr. George
Mullin, Mr. Chris
Munn, Meg
Murphy, Mr. Denis
Murphy, Mr. Jim
Murphy, rh Mr. Paul
Naysmith, Dr. Doug
Norris, Dan
O'Brien, Mr. Mike
Olner, Mr. Bill
Osborne, Sandra
Palmer, Dr. Nick
Plaskitt, Mr. James
Pope, Mr. Greg
Pound, Stephen
Prentice, Bridget
Prentice, Mr. Gordon
Primarolo, rh Dawn
Purchase, Mr. Ken
Purnell, James
Reed, Mr. Andy
Reed, Mr. Jamie
Reid, rh John
Robertson, John
Robinson, Mr. Geoffrey
Robinson, Mr. Peter
Rooney, Mr. Terry
Ruane, Chris
Russell, Christine
Ryan, Joan
Salter, Martin
Sarwar, Mr. Mohammad
Seabeck, Alison
Sheerman, Mr. Barry
Sheridan, Jim
Simon, Mr. Siôn
Simpson, David
Skinner, Mr. Dennis
Slaughter, Mr. Andrew
Smith, rh Mr. Andrew
Smith, Ms Angela C. (Sheffield, Hillsborough)
Smith, Angela E. (Basildon)
Smith, rh Jacqui
Smith, John
Snelgrove, Anne
Southworth, Helen
Spellar, rh Mr. John
Starkey, Dr. Phyllis
Strang, rh Dr. Gavin
Straw, rh Mr. Jack
Stringer, Graham
Stuart, Ms Gisela
Sutcliffe, Mr. Gerry
Tami, Mark
Taylor, Ms Dari
Taylor, David
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
Twigg, Derek
Ussher, Kitty
Walley, Joan
Waltho, Lynda
Ward, Claire
Watson, Mr. Tom
Watts, Mr. Dave
Whitehead, Dr. Alan
Wicks, Malcolm
Williams, rh Mr. Alan
Wills, Mr. Michael
Wilson, Sammy
Winnick, Mr. David
Winterton, rh Ms Rosie
Woodward, Mr. Shaun
Woolas, Mr. Phil
Wright, Mr. Anthony
Wright, David
Wright, Mr. Iain

Wright, Dr. Tony
Wyatt, Derek
Tellers for the Noes:

Mr. Frank Roy and
Jonathan Shaw
Question accordingly negatived.
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Government’s Crime Record

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Sir Michael Lord): We now come to the second debate on an Opposition motion. I must tell the House that Mr. Speaker has selected the amendment in the name of the Prime Minister.

4.58 pm

Mr. Nick Clegg (Sheffield, Hallam) (LD): I beg to move,

This debate is extremely timely. For 10 years the Government have presented us with an endless menu of tough rhetoric on crime and law and order and a barrage of frenzied new law-making, and now we are entitled to ask questions. By coincidence, it is 10 months almost to the day since the first revelation in a series of scandals that have rocked the Home Office. Members will recall that in April last year it was first revealed that more than 1,000 foreign offenders who had been recommended for deportation by British courts were not being deported. So it is a good time to ask what has happened in the last 10 years. What is the result of all the tough talk? Has all the legislation really made a difference? What has gone so spectacularly wrong, and why?

If we look objectively at almost any aspect of the criminal justice system—every body, every institution—it is impossible to claim other than that almost every pillar of the system is in a state of perhaps irremediable crisis. [Laughter.] Labour Members laugh, but it is no laughing matter. We have a prison system that is bursting at the seams, with offenders moved at dead of night from one overcrowded prison cell to another and an epidemic of violence—prisoner on prisoner, prisoner on officer—which has risen by 500 per cent. in the last 10 years. Meanwhile, we have no space, resources or time for the rehabilitation that is necessary to deal with reoffending rates that have also gone through the roof. It is no laughing matter that our prisons are at breaking point.

Margaret Moran (Luton, South) (Lab): Will the hon. Gentleman confirm that the Liberal Democrat policy of ending jail sentences for drug possession would be one element of his strategy to solve the problem of
7 Feb 2007 : Column 919
overcrowded prisons, and will he explain that policy to people in the outside world who do not think that it is a sensible proposition?

Mr. Clegg: I anticipated that that question would be asked, because I read about it in the parliamentary Labour party briefing on the Liberal Democrat Opposition day debate. I note that the hon. Lady has referred closely to what is in the briefing, and if she does not have the wit or the independence of mind to ask her own question, rather than be spoon-fed by party managers, she does not deserve a response.

Reoffending rates are at an unprecedented high level: 66 per cent. of all offenders who go to prison reoffend within two years, and 92 per cent. of all male offenders who serve short-term prison sentences of three months or less reoffend. That is a system of the mad house; offenders go straight into prison and then come out and reoffend, leaving a trail of innocent victims in their wake.

Our judiciary are in near open revolt against the Government, as one Home Secretary after another has vilified and blamed judges for taking decisions that invariably faithfully follow sentencing guidelines that flow from the Government’s own legislation. The probation service is on its knees; it is vilified by one Home Secretary after another, and under-resourced and overstretched.

Mr. Denis MacShane (Rotherham) (Lab): I am listening to the hon. Gentleman’s Jeremiahs about increasing crime, but if that is the case, why did the Sheffield and Rotherham Star, which covers his constituency and mine, state in its headline of last Monday that crime in South Yorkshire has fallen?

Mr. Clegg: The right hon. Gentleman is interested in European Union affairs and, as he knows, a recent EU report revealed that non-violent crime has declined throughout the EU since about the middle of the 1990s. That has happened here as it has in other countries. The point is that in South Yorkshire and in the rest of the country— [Interruption.] The right hon. Gentleman should listen; the point is that the rate of decline in non-violent crime in South Yorkshire and the rest of the country has not been as fast as it has been in other countries. To my knowledge, Germany, France, Italy and Spain have not been indulging in a heady mix of populist rhetoric and frenzied law-making, but in those countries non-violent crime has declined more rapidly than it has in our country. Has new Labour solved the crime problem in Paris, Bremen or Madrid? I think not.

There are wider reasons why non-violent—not violent—crime has gone down. Most criminologists agree that it is because of a relatively benign economic environment, and also because of the roll-out of anti-burglary technology that protects both cars and homes.

Michael Jabez Foster (Hastings and Rye) (Lab): Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Mr. Clegg: No, I would like to make some progress, as time is limited.


7 Feb 2007 : Column 920

In contrast to non-violent crime, violent crime has doubled since 1998. Violent offenders are now more likely to get a caution than a conviction in court. Fewer than one in a hundred crimes is punished in court. Antisocial behaviour orders—the great catch-all magic wand solution to everything, and the one-trick pony of the Prime Minister in dealing with antisocial behaviour—are now breached more than 50 per cent. of the time. The Home Office, according to the Home Secretary himself—there is no greater authority—is not fit for purpose. The report from the EU, which I referred to earlier, has confirmed that we are now the sick man of Europe in terms of crime. We are the most burgled country in Europe.

Michael Jabez Foster: Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Mr. Clegg: I could go on. [Hon. Members: “Go on.”] I will go on, and then I will give way. Overall, gun crime has doubled since 1997. The Government have still not introduced the gun register promised after the Dunblane incident. Street crime and muggings are heading towards the 100,000 per year mark, following a rise of 8 per cent. last year.

Michael Jabez Foster: The hon. Gentleman says that ASBOs are only 50 per cent. successful, although that would mean that there is 50 per cent. less crime and disturbance on the streets than would otherwise be the case. If what he says is accurate, is he in favour or against ASBOs? Have the Liberal Democrats changed their minds about ASBOs—are they for or against them?

Mr. Clegg: I refer the hon. Gentleman to his party’s briefing. We voted in support of ASBOs in 1998, when they were first introduced. I have a note from the House of Commons Library that confirms our record. However, we have always said that they should not be overused, that they should not be overly relied upon to deal with the complex issues underlying antisocial behaviour, and that they should not be imposed in excessive numbers on young people. The record shows, in Committee and in this Chamber, that we have supported ASBOs but we have always expressed perfectly reasoned objections to them.

Even an august academic report from King’s college, released on 15 January, asserts that the Government’s


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