Mr McLoughlin: My hon. Friend is absolutely right. In this whole programme, we have tried to be fair to the whole country. However, I have been very mindful of connections between the east and the west of our country, particularly in the areas referred to by my hon. Friend—up

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and around Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle and Sheffield—and I hope that, in the document, we have addressed some of the most contentious hot spots.

Christopher Pincher (Tamworth) (Con): I heartily welcome the investment in the M42, which will be good for commuters in my constituency and make Tamworth an even better place to live, work and bring up a family. Will my right hon. Friend have it in mind that after years of failure to invest in the centre of the town, there is still a need for road improvements, so that we can continue to build all the houses that we need on brownfield sites and not greenfield ones?

Mr McLoughlin: I hear what my hon. Friend says. No doubt he has made representations to Philip Atkins, the leader of Staffordshire county council, because those are local highway authority roads. I will join him in making those strong representations. I agree with him that Tamworth is an excellent place to invest.

Geoffrey Clifton-Brown (The Cotswolds) (Con): I warmly thank my right hon. Friend for visiting the missing link on the A417. He therefore knows what an important economic link it is from the M4 to the M5. Will he put a bit more flesh on the bones than he did in his answers to my hon. Friends the Members for Stroud (Neil Carmichael) and for Tewkesbury (Mr Robertson)? Is it his intention to solve this problem? We have had feasibility studies for years. When does he expect work to start?

Mr McLoughlin: I am not sure that I can add much to the last two answers I gave on that point. There is a desire to find a solution, but it is not the easiest area to deal with. I have made a commitment to start work on it during the RIS programme so that a solution can be found in the longer term to this serious bottleneck.

Andrew Jones (Harrogate and Knaresborough) (Con): I warmly welcome the statement and, in particular, the planned works on the M62 and the first increase in trans-Pennine capacity since 1971. Does my right hon. Friend agree that improving the connectivity between our great northern cities will provide a significant boost to the economy of the north?

Mr McLoughlin: I agree with my hon. Friend. My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer has taken a keen interest in doing that. That is why we have money not only for the road investment strategy, but for rail improvement over the coming years. Our work on the northern hub will go a substantial way to addressing that area of concern. I also announced extra services last week under the new franchise on the east coast main line.

Steve Brine (Winchester) (Con): My constituents in Winchester will feel very listened to today. I have badgered my right hon. Friend about junction 9 of the M3 for many years, so he knows the importance of today’s comprehensive package of improvements for my area. It is a huge issue for us locally, because whenever there is a problem on the motorway, it backs up right into Winchester and especially into Winnall. It is a huge issue for the country as well, because it is a major freight route from the midlands to the south, including to the ports in the south.

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Mr McLoughlin: I agree with my hon. Friend entirely. He showed me some of the transport problems in his constituency. He has been a leading advocate of the case for better road infrastructure. I hope that we have gone some way towards showing how that will be achieved.

Mr Marcus Jones (Nuneaton) (Con): Pursuant to the question from my hon. Friend the Member for Bosworth (David Tredinnick) and my recent Adjournment debate about the A5 between the M42 and the M69, will my right hon. Friend consider the request for an in-depth feasibility study to search for a long-term solution to what is one of the most congested sections on the strategic road network?

Mr McLoughlin: My hon. Friend raised that issue in an Adjournment debate a few weeks ago. It was framed as a debate about congestion problems in the midlands, but I know that they affect his constituency specifically. He has often made the case for improvements to road infrastructure. I hope that some of the announcements that I have made today will lead to some improvements, but we will no doubt have to go further.

Eric Ollerenshaw (Lancaster and Fleetwood) (Con): I, too, welcome the £41 million for the improvement of the bottlenecks on the A585 into and out of Fleetwood. Does my right hon. Friend agree that that builds on his announcement last year of £5 million for Lancashire county council to fill in potholes and the £111 million that was announced in 2011 to complete the M6-Heysham link road around Lancaster? Does he agree that in my part of Lancashire, we are finally beginning to make up for the 13 years of neglect by the previous Government?

Mr McLoughlin: My hon. Friend is right about levels of investment, not only in his constituency but elsewhere in that area. That is a marked change in the way transport infrastructure is addressed by the Government, and I hope that that continues whichever Government are in office—it certainly will under this Government.

Jason McCartney (Colne Valley) (Con): The managed motorway scheme from Huddersfield to Leeds was completed on time and under budget, and I hope that the scheme announced from Huddersfield to Manchester will be completed with as little disruption to my commuting constituents as possible. Will my right hon. Friend’s Department and the Highways Agency continue to work with me on a possible new west bound exit off the M62 at Outlane in Huddersfield, which would ease pressure further up the motorway at Ainley Top?

Mr McLoughlin: Of course I will work with my hon. Friend. He referred to one part of the managed motorway scheme that was delivered on time and on budget. Another part is about to start, which I hope is delivered on time and on budget, with as little disruption as possible. As a member of the Transport Committee, the way my hon. Friend has addressed the importance of transport infrastructure shows that he understands what is needed in his area for the economy to prosper.

Henry Smith (Crawley) (Con): I join right hon. and hon. Friends from West Sussex in welcoming today’s announcement about £350 million to upgrade the A27. That will enhance the whole county economy and reverse

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the cancellation of some of the plans by the previous Labour Government. I thank the Secretary of State for upgrades that have already been delivered to the A23. Will he consider resurfacing parts of the M23 to reduce the impact of noise on constituents in neighbourhoods in Crawley that border that part of the motorway?

Mr McLoughlin: A sizeable amount of money has been made available in the next road investment programme for resurfacing roads—it has been estimated that we will be able to resurface something like 80%—and I will obviously look at my hon. Friend’s representations.

Andrew Bridgen (North West Leicestershire) (Con) rose—

Guy Opperman (Hexham) (Con) rose—

Mr Speaker: What a stunning choice. I call Andrew Bridgen.

Andrew Bridgen: I feel as if I have been at the back of a long traffic jam to comment on this issue. After decades of promises and work authorised by this Government, the dualling of the A453 will soon be completed, linking my constituency with Nottingham and the east. Since a third of jobs in my constituency are distribution related, my constituents will welcome all today’s announcements about road infrastructure investment. Is my right hon. Friend as incredulous as I am that the shadow Transport Secretary should claim that the motorist has been let down, when Labour represents the party of the fuel duty escalator and the self-confessed failed transport policies of Lord Prescott?

Mr McLoughlin: On the A453 I congratulate Councillor Kay Cutts, who was leader of Nottinghamshire county council and did a fantastic job in making the case for that road. The improvements that will be made to junction 24 on the M1 will be important, and that will serve my hon. Friend’s constituency directly. He is right to say that the Government are putting the motorist centre stage. These road improvements are necessary, and I hope that they receive cross-party consensus. This plan will be delivered under a Conservative Government; I do not think the same can be said for a Labour Government.

Guy Opperman: I may be at the end of the road when being called at questions, but the triumphant campaign to dual the A69, led by my hon. Friend the Member for Carlisle (John Stevenson), and the feasibility study announced by the Secretary of State, are most welcome. Is the Secretary of State interested to note that although Conservative Members welcome the announcement about dualling the A1, the Leader of the Opposition was in Newcastle on Friday and made it clear that Labour does not intend to do that?

Mr McLoughlin: I was not aware of what the Leader of the Opposition has said, but if my hon. Friend continues to make his case, more people will get to know about it. I think the road investment programme is essential. It is a balanced programme between road, rail, and the importance of public transport, as well as ensuring that motorists get their opportunity. That is right and I am grateful for my hon. Friend’s comments.

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NHS (Five Year Forward View)

4.50 pm

The Secretary of State for Health (Mr Jeremy Hunt): I wish today to make a statement on the future of our NHS, one that I hope everyone in this House will welcome. In October, NHS England and its partner organisations published an ambitious “Five Year Forward View” that was welcomed across the political divide. Today, I will announce how the Government plan to implement that vision.

Our response has four pillars. The first pillar is to ensure that we have an economy that can pay for the growing costs of our NHS and social care system: a strong NHS needs a strong economy. Some have suggested that the way to fund extra cost pressures is through new taxes, including on people’s homes. However, through prudent economic policies the Government can today announce additional NHS funding in the autumn statement without the need for a tax on homes. The funding includes £1.7 billion to support and modernise the delivery of front-line care, and £1 billion of funding over four years for investment in new primary care infrastructure. That is all possible because under this Government we have become the fastest growing economy in the G7.

The NHS itself can contribute to that strong economy in a number of ways. It is helping people with mental health conditions to get back to work by offering talking therapies to 100,000 more people every year than four years ago. The NHS can also attract jobs to the UK by playing a pivotal role in our life sciences industry. We have already attracted £3.5 billion of investment and 11,000 jobs in the past three years, as well as announcing plans to be the first country in the world to decode 100,000 research-ready whole genomes. Today, I want to go further by announcing that we are establishing the Genomics England clinical interpretation partnership to bring together external researchers with NHS clinical teams to interpret genomic information so that we go further and faster in developing diagnostics, treatments and therapies for rarer diseases and cancers. Too often, people with such diseases have suffered horribly because it is not economic to invest in finding treatments. We want the UK to lead the world in using genetic sequencing to unlock cures that have previously been beyond our reach.

The second pillar of our plan is to change the models of care to be more suited to an ageing population, where growing numbers of vulnerable older people need support to live better at home with long-term conditions such as dementia, diabetes and arthritis. To do that, we need to focus on prevention as much as cure, helping people to stay healthy without allowing illnesses to deteriorate to the point where they need expensive hospital treatment. Some have argued that to do that we need to make clinical commissioning groups part of local government and force GPs to work for hospital groups, but because that would amount to a top-down reorganisation we reject that approach. We have listened to people in the NHS who say that more than anything the NHS wants structural stability going forward, and, even if others do not, we will heed that message.

We have already made good progress in improving out-of-hospital care. This year, all those aged 75 and over have been given a named GP responsible for their

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care, something that was abolished by the previous Government. From next year, not just over-75s but everyone will have named GPs. Some 3.5 million people already benefit from our introduction of evening and weekend GP appointments, which will progressively become available to the whole population by 2020. The better care fund is merging the health and social care systems to provide joined-up care for our most vulnerable patients. Alongside that, the Government have legislated, for the first time ever, on parity of esteem between physical and mental health. To deliver world class community care, we need much better physical infrastructure. Today, I can announce a £1 billion investment fund for primary and community care facilities over the next four years. This will pay for new surgeries and community care facilities in the places where people most want them: near their own homes and families. These new primary care facilities will also be encouraged to join up closely with local job centres, social services and other community services.

Additionally, from the £1.7 billion revenue funding we are also announcing, we will make £200 million available to pilot the new models of care set out in the “Forward View”. To deliver these new models, we will need to support the new clinical commissioning groups in taking responsibility, with partners, for the entire health and care needs of their local populations. So as well as commissioning secondary care, from next year they will be given the opportunity to co-commission primary care, specialist care, social care, through the better care fund, and for the first time, if local areas want to do it, public health. The NHS will therefore take the first steps towards true population health commissioning, with care provided by accountable care organisations.

A strong economy and a focus on prevention are the first two pillars of our plan. The third pillar is to be much better at embracing innovation and eliminating waste. We are making good progress in our ambition for the NHS to be paperless by 2018, and last month the number of A and E departments and ambulance services able to access summary GP records exceeded a third for the first time, while from next spring, everyone will be able to access their own GP record online. However, today, I want to go further: £1.5 billion of the extra £1.7 billion revenue funding will go on additional front-line activity. To access this funding, we will ask hospitals to provide assured plans showing how they will be more efficient and sustainable in the year ahead and deliver their commitment to a paperless NHS by 2018.

We also have to face the reality that the NHS has often been too slow to adopt and spread innovation. Sometimes this is because the people buying health care have not had the information to see how much smart purchasing can contain costs, so from next year CCGs will be asked to collect improved financial information, including per-patient costings.

The best way to encourage investment in innovation is a stable financial environment, so I can today announce that the Government, in collaboration with NHS England, will give local authorities and CCGs indicative, multi-year budgets as soon as possible after the next spending review. We expect NHS England and Monitor to follow this by modernising the tariff to set multi-year prices and make the development of year-of-care funding packages easier.

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The NHS also needs to be better at controlling costs in areas such as procurement, agency staff, the collection of fees from international visitors and reducing litigation and other costs associated with poor care. I have announced plans in all these areas, and we will agree the precise level of savings to be achieved through consultation with NHS partner organisations over the next six months. This will lead to a compact signed up to by the Department, its arm’s length bodies and local NHS organisations, with agreed plans to eliminate waste and allow more resources to be directed to patient care.

The final pillar of our plan is the most important and difficult of all. We can find the money; we can support new models of care; we can embrace innovation, but if we get the culture wrong, if we fail to nurture dignity, respect and compassionate care for every single NHS patient, we are betraying the values that underpin the work done every day by doctors and nurses throughout the NHS. We have made good progress since the Francis report: a new Care Quality Commission regime, six hospitals turned around after being put into special measures, 5,000 more nurses on our wards, the My NHS website, and 4.2 million NHS patients asked for the first time if they would recommend to others the care they received.

In the next few months, however, we will go further, announcing new measures to improve training and safety for new doctors and nurses, launching a national campaign to reduce sepsis and responding to recommendations made in the follow-up Francis report, tackling issues of whistleblowing and the ability to speak out easily about poor care.

Under this Government, the NHS has, according to the independent Commonwealth Fund, become the top-ranked health care system in the world. In 2010, we were seventh for patient-centred care, and we have now moved to the top. Under this Government, we have also become the safest health care system in the world. But with an ageing population, we face huge challenges.

How we prepare the NHS and social care system to meet those challenges will be the litmus test of this Government’s ambition to make Britain the best country in the world in which to grow old. We are determined to pass that test, and today’s four-pillar plan will help us to do just that. Our plan will need proper funding, backed by a strong economy, so I welcome yesterday’s comment by Simon Stevens that when it comes to money, the Government have played their part.

However, we also need ambitious reforms of the way we deliver care, focusing on prevention, innovation and a patient-centred culture that treats every single person with dignity and respect—proper reforms not as a substitute for proper funding, but as a condition of it. A long-term plan for the economy; a long-term plan for the NHS—I commend this statement to the House.

5 pm

Andy Burnham (Leigh) (Lab): This weekend a 16-year-old girl in need of a hospital bed was held for two days in a police cell because there was not a single bed available for her anywhere in the country. As we have warned before, this is by no means an isolated example: the BBC reported on Friday that seven other people had died recently waiting for mental health beds. But it is not just mental health: last week I told the House of a

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stroke patient ferried to hospital by police on a makeshift stretcher made from blinds in his house. That patient later died. This is one of a number of alarming reports of people waiting hours in pain and distress for ambulances to arrive.

Listening to the Secretary of State for over 10 minutes today, one would have no idea that any of that was happening in the NHS right now—and that is the problem: nothing he has said today will address those pressures ahead of this winter. On mental health, does he not accept that there is an undeniable need to open more beds urgently —right now, this week—to stop appalling cases like the one we heard about at the weekend? What assessment has he made of the ability of the ambulance service to cope this winter? Is there a case for emergency support, on top of what has already been announced?

This statement offers no help now to an NHS on the brink of its worst winter in years, but there is another major problem with it. The weekend headlines promised £2 billion extra for the NHS, but the small print revealed that it is nothing of the sort. I note that the Secretary of State did not use the figure of £2 billion once in his statement, but that is what the NHS was led to believe it was getting. False promises and cheques that bounce one day after they are written are of no use to doctors and nurses struggling to keep services going. We all remember the omnishambles Budget unravelling the day after it was given, but an autumn statement unravelling three days before it has been delivered is a first even for this Government.

Will the Secretary of State confirm that £700 million of the £1.7 billion he talked about is not new money, but already in his departmental budget? A few weeks ago his Department told the Public Accounts Committee that it expects to overspend this year by half a billion pounds. His Department is in deficit right now. If that is the case, would he care to tell us where this £700 million is coming from and what services he will be cutting to pay for it? He mentioned research. At the weekend we exposed NHS England’s plans to cut the funding for clinical trials, which would have affected thousands of very poorly patients. Was that one of his planned central cuts to pay for this funding? Will he now guarantee that funding for research and clinical trials will not be cut?

But it gets worse. Not only is £700 million recycled; we gather that the other £1 billion will be funded by cuts to other Departments. The Institute for Fiscal Studies has warned of “staggeringly big cuts” to local government in the next Parliament. The NHS Confederation has said:

“If additional NHS funding comes at the expense of tough cuts to local government budgets, this will be a false economy as costs in the NHS will rise.”

Have the Government not learnt the lessons of this Parliament: that the NHS cannot be seen in isolation from other services, particularly local government, and that cutting social care only leads to extra costs for the NHS? Figures released on Friday revealed record numbers of older people trapped in hospital because the care was not there for them at home. That is happening on the Secretary of State’s watch.

This is the human consequence of the severe cuts to social care in this Parliament, and it is clear that this Government are preparing to do the same again in the next Parliament if they are re-elected. This is why hospital A and Es have missed the right hon. Gentleman’s own

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target for 71 weeks running. We also have cancer patients waiting longer for treatment to start, and everyone is finding it harder and harder to see a GP.

Is it not the case that most of what the Secretary of State has announced will go to patching up the problems he has created, leaving less than a quarter for the new models of care outlined in the “Forward View”? Let me remind him that policies such as a year of care for vulnerable patients and having accountable care organisations were developed by the Opposition, and for him to stand there today and lecture us about reorganisations of the NHS—well, I did not think that even he would have the nerve to do that.

The truth is that what the Secretary of State has announced provides nothing for the NHS now and is not what it seems, and because of that it will not be enough to prevent the NHS from tipping into full-blown crisis if the Tories are re-elected next year. They will not be able to find any more money for the NHS than this, because they have prioritised tax cuts for higher earners and have not yet found the money to pay for them. That explains their desperate attempts to inflate these figures and make them sound more than they are. Is it not the case that to deliver the “Five Year Forward View”, the NHS needs truly additional money on the scale proposed by Labour—an extra £2.5 billion over and above everything the Secretary of State has promised today, and an ambitious plan for the full integration of health and social care.

They said they would be the Government who cut the deficit, not the NHS, but it is the Health Secretary who has created a deficit in the NHS. It is because of that deficit that cancer patients are waiting longer, A and E is in crisis and children are being held in police cells, not hospital beds. He had nothing to say to those people today. They deserve better than a Chancellor fiddling the figures and a Health Secretary spinning the facts.

Mr Hunt: This is the day on which Labour’s attacks on the NHS have been shown up for what they are—every bit as shallow as their attacks on the economy. The country knows that we are addressing the squeeze on NHS funding caused by Labour’s wrecking of the British economy.

The right hon. Gentleman called today’s announcement “patching up the problems”. If growing the economy so that we can put more money into the NHS is patching up problems, how would he describe shrinking the economy and then cutting the NHS budget, as he wanted to do? He said that £2 billion of new money was a false promise. It was not a false promise: it was the truth—£1 billion of additional funding from the Treasury and £1 billion from the forex fines. That is £2 billion of new money, which has been welcomed by the King’s Fund today as a big step forward, and by the NHS Confederation, the Foundation Trust Network and Simon Stevens, the head of NHS England and former Labour No. 10 health adviser. This is a very significant moment when, after years of taking painful decisions to get the economy back on track, we can at last put more money into the NHS. The right hon. Gentleman should welcome it, not scorn it.

The right hon. Gentleman talked about deficits in the NHS. We will take no lessons on deficits from the Labour party—the party that left the country its biggest

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level of unfunded spending commitments in peacetime history. The truth is that now, with a strong economy that Labour could never deliver, we are putting things right.

The right hon. Gentleman talked about problems with care in the NHS, and the one thing that no one ever says about me is that I am a Health Secretary who shies away from those problems. The trouble is that every time I talk about problems with care in the NHS, he says it is running down the NHS. It is not running down the NHS to confront the problems of poor care. He also talked about the issue of police cells, but we are on track to reduce the number of mental health patients using them by 50% over the next few months.

As for pressures on the NHS front line, it is not that all Health Secretaries do not have to confront them; it is whether or not we sort them out. When it comes to poor care in hospitals such as the Medway and hospitals in Colchester, Basildon and Burton, this Government are sorting out those problems, while the previous Government swept them under the carpet. The right hon. Gentleman used the word “spin”, but he might like to reflect on the massive harm done to patients when under a Labour Government poor care was covered up by Labour spin—surely it was Labour’s darkest period ever when it came to running the NHS.

Government Members have a long-term plan for the economy, and a long-term plan for the NHS. By contrast—[Interruption.] Opposition Members might listen to the truth about the NHS. By contrast, the Labour leader said recently that he wanted to “weaponise” the NHS. He wanted to turn the NHS into a weapon—a weapon to get Labour votes. No, Mr Speaker, the NHS is not a weapon for political parties. It is there to help patients and to save lives, not to save political spins. Under this Government, it will always be there for patients: that is what this Government will deliver.

Several hon. Members rose

Mr Speaker: Order. For the avoidance of doubt—because there was some consternation about this matter—let me say that I am sure the Secretary of State is not making an allegation of any personal dishonesty on the part of any Member. It would simply not be legitimate to do so.

Mr Hunt indicated assent.

Mr Speaker: The Secretary of State confirms that he is not making any allegation of personal dishonesty against any individual. Enough: we are grateful. We will leave it there for now.

Dr Sarah Wollaston (Totnes) (Con): I warmly welcome the statement. The extra funds for the NHS constitute a clear endorsement of Simon Stevens’s excellent “Five Year Forward View”. I particularly welcome the announcement of multi-year budgets and investment in patients’ ability to control their own records. Will the Secretary of State confirm that the process of creating paperless NHS hospitals will move seamlessly from primary to secondary care, and will be controlled by patients themselves?

Mr Hunt: The commitment to a paperless NHS is not a commitment to the creation of paperless hospitals by 2018; it is a commitment to the creation of a paperless NHS so that, with patients’ consent, information can

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flow seamlessly between different parts of the system. The interface between primary care and secondary care, and social care, is a very important part of that process.

Frank Dobson (Holborn and St Pancras) (Lab): Will the Secretary of State tell the House how much money is now being diverted from patient care to the negotiation of legally binding contracts between commissioners and suppliers of services, or will he confirm that he cannot do so because he does not bother to collect the information?

Mr Hunt: What I will confirm to the right hon. Gentleman is that the rules on the contracting out of services are the rules that we inherited from the Labour Government, although he personally might not have introduced them had he remained Health Secretary throughout those 13 years.

Mr Adrian Sanders (Torbay) (LD): May I focus for a moment on a constituency case? Last Thursday, a 16-year-old was placed in the custody centre at Torquay police station. What is of concern is that there is nothing new about that. In Devon and Cornwall alone, there have been 700 cases of people with mental health problems being placed in police cells. The problem for this young woman was that, at that point, not a single facility could be found anywhere in England to meet her needs. It really is outrageous that that could happen to a 16-year-old girl in this day and age. Where does the statement mention the fourth-tier funding to provide facilities that are clearly needed, and have been needed for years?

Mr Hunt: The hon. Gentleman is absolutely right. It is totally unacceptable for someone with severe mental health problems to be placed in a police cell. We are making very good progress in reducing the use of police cells for that purpose, with the active support of the care services Minister, my right hon. Friend the Member for North Norfolk (Norman Lamb). In the specific case to which the hon. Gentleman has referred, a bed was available but there was poor communication on the ground, which is why we were not able to solve the problem as quickly as we would have liked. As soon as NHS England was informed of the problem, it was able to find a bed within, I think, about three hours. However, as he says, this is a problem that we must eliminate.

Glenda Jackson (Hampstead and Kilburn) (Lab): If that amount of new money is indeed going into the NHS, will the Secretary of State tell us how much of it will be dedicated to—perhaps even exclusively used for—better delivery of mental health services, not least services for child and adolescent mental health patients?

Let me point out to the Secretary of State that this is not the first occasion on which the House has raised with the Government the total failure to provide adequate services for people with mental health issues. The matter was most recently highlighted at the weekend, but it has been highlighted in the Chamber more than once in the recent past. What the Secretary of State has said today certainly does not calm my fear that if my constituents need a mental health bed, they will not find one in London, and heaven only knows how many hundreds of miles they may have to travel before they do find that security.

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Mr Hunt: I hope I can reassure the hon. Lady, because today’s announcement includes £1.5 billion extra for the NHS front line next year. That will include mental health services, and we would expect commissioners to observe parity of esteem as they decide how to allocate those additional resources. It also includes £1 billion to improve primary care facilities, which will be used by many mental health patients. There is a lot in today’s announcement that I hope will relieve pressure. She is right to say that we need to do better on child and adolescent mental health services. This has been a long-standing problem, but we have been taking forward some important work to make a reality of our commitment to parity of esteem, which is something we are very proud to have legislated for.

Sir Nicholas Soames (Mid Sussex) (Con): May I report to my right hon. Friend that, despite the dismal rant he heard from the shadow Secretary of State, the Princess Royal hospital in Haywards Heath and the Royal Sussex county hospital in Brighton, and their doctors and nurses, are doing a magnificent job in treating local people? Will he also accept that the problem with mental health services in this country goes back a long way? It will not be fixed overnight. I have had the same problem in my constituency of someone being put in a police cell. The problem fell entirely on the staff of the local trust, who simply did not deal with the matter properly. This is going to take a long time to fix, and I greatly welcome my right hon. Friend’s statement.

Mr Hunt: I thank my right hon. Friend for his comment, because the use of police cells is not an issue with which we should be playing party political games. As it happens, their use was much higher under the last Labour Government. We are starting to address that issue, and he is right: even one person spending a night inappropriately in a police cell is one person too many. That is why we are making good progress, but in the end it will require people who purchase health care in local areas to look at people with mental health needs in a holistic way—not just trying to solve issues problem by problem, but looking at and addressing the whole problem and making sure they get the treatment they need.

Mr Ben Bradshaw (Exeter) (Lab): The Secretary of State should not be at all surprised by this terrible case of the young girl kept in a police cell in Devon over the weekend, because I and other Members have been raising this personally with him for at least the last three years. What has he been doing over that period to address the scandal of young people’s mental health services in Devon and nationally?

Mr Hunt: I will tell the right hon. Gentleman what I have been doing: I have been putting in place a strategy that will see over the next few months a reduction of 51% in the number of mental health patients who use police cells. That is progress. It still means that there are too many people in police cells, but I would just gently urge him not to try to make party political capital out of this, because a higher number of them were used under the last Labour Government. We are addressing a long-standing problem in a responsible way, and are determined to go further.

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Mr Bernard Jenkin (Harwich and North Essex) (Con): I welcome every word of my right hon. Friend’s statement, not least because his fourth pillar on culture change echoes the work done by the Public Administration Committee on complaints handling and the need for openness. His statement addresses all the needs and challenges we face in north-east Essex: the problems of openness and transparency in the local hospital and the need to transfer more of what the hospital does back to the community providers—to the multidisciplinary providers that need to be in the community. I welcome the £1 billion fund for developing community facilities, but how is he going to persuade the CCGs to transfer some of their commissioning power to these units? A hospital in Harwich, which was built under the last Labour Government, has two operating theatres that have never been used because the CCG, and its predecessor the primary care trust, would not commission services through those facilities.

Mr Hunt: I thank my hon. Friend for his long-standing support for the importance of transparency in driving up standards in health care. He has championed that for his own hospital, which has had particular issues on that front, but also through his role in this House, and he is absolutely right to do so. On his substantive point, we will get CCGs to do what he suggests through the reforms that I have announced, which will encourage them to take a holistic view of the health care received by the patients for whom they are responsible. In particular, we have got to move away from commissioning care piecemeal—commissioning a certain number of hips or a certain number of mental health consultations—and start looking at patients and all their needs in the round. If we commission in that way, we can avoid a number of the human tragedies that have come to light.

Lady Hermon (North Down) (Ind): Will the Secretary of State kindly confirm that the Chancellor will include in his autumn statement on Wednesday an obligation on the Northern Ireland Executive to ensure that if, as we expect, further funding for health is devolved to Northern Ireland, it is ring-fenced so that it is spent exclusively on health? In that way, GP beds in community hospitals such as mine in Bangor—in North Down, not north Wales—can be reopened. Those beds were closed today, 1 December, causing enormous trauma and distress to the patients and staff there.

Mr Hunt: The system involves Barnett consequentials. As a result of today’s announcement, extra money will go to the devolved Administrations and we hope that they will use it for health purposes, but they do have a choice. The hon. Lady has just made the case extremely elegantly for that money to be put into health. She mentioned north Wales, and I know that Members on this side of the House will be hoping that the Welsh Government will also use the extra money for the NHS, given the profound problems in the Welsh NHS.

Richard Fuller (Bedford) (Con): Dementia care for our parents, grandparents and loved ones is a growing issue for my constituents, and I congratulate my right hon. Friend on putting dementia care at the centre of what he is trying to do. I also congratulate the Bedfordshire clinical commissioning group on its recent review. Will he tell us what today’s announcement will do to help to support those parts of the country that are trying to make progress on dementia care?

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Mr Hunt: I am happy to do so. We have made good progress during this Parliament, increasing by 10% the proportion of people with dementia who receive a diagnosis. This is not just about getting a diagnosis, however; it is the care and support that people get when the diagnosis is made that really matter. That is the reason for giving the diagnosis. Let me characterise the change that we want to see for people with dementia over the next few years. When someone gets a diagnosis, we want to wrap around them all the care and support that they and their family need to help them to live healthily and happily at home for as long as possible, so that they do not get admitted to hospital in an emergency or need to go into residential care until the very last moment. Of course that will cost the NHS less, but it is also far better for the individual concerned.

Mr Kevan Jones (North Durham) (Lab): The Secretary of State talks about party politics, but he cannot get away from the fact that the number of mental health beds in this country has dropped by 1,500 on his watch. We have heard about the scandal in Devon last week, and my hon. Friend the Member for Hampstead and Kilburn (Glenda Jackson) has told the House how some patients have to travel up to 200 miles to access an emergency bed. What is the Secretary of State going to do to deliver those beds where the mental health patients who are in crisis actually need them, which is close to their homes?

Mr Hunt: I agree with the hon. Gentleman that we need to address the issue of availability of mental health beds for crisis care, but we also need to recognise that the model of care for people with mental health needs is changing. We think that it is much better to avoid long-term institutionalisation if we possibly can, and that is why there has been a process of reduction in the number of beds. That happened under the Labour Government as well. If he wants to know what I am doing, I will tell him. I am part of the Government who are delivering a strong economy, which means we can put more money into the NHS.

Mr Mark Hoban (Fareham) (Con): I commend my right hon. Friend for securing £1 billion from the Chancellor to modernise primary care services. I know that the GPs in my constituency will welcome that, because they often cannot provide additional services owing to capacity constraints. May I urge him to ensure that, when money is spent from the fund, it is linked to delivery in relation to the proposals set out by Simon Stevens for improving primary care, for better provision locally and for closer integration with hospitals?

Mr Hunt: My hon. Friend is absolutely right. This will help to improve primary care premises and facilities. I know that there is an urgent need to upgrade a number of GP surgeries and primary care facilities, but this is not essentially about buildings. It is about new models of care. The single big change that we need to see over the next five years is in the role of GPs, so that they have the capacity and the desire to take proactive responsibility, particularly for the most vulnerable people on their lists, including people with long-term conditions such as dementia, diabetes and asthma. To do that, they will need better facilities—bigger facilities—and the ability to carry out more diagnostic tests in their surgeries, and I think that this funding will make a big difference.

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Mr Andy Slaughter (Hammersmith) (Lab): Will the Secretary of State confirm a report in The Guardiantoday that he shelved the downgrading of the majority of accident and emergency departments in England under the Keogh review because that is “political suicide” and because of criticisms from the College of Emergency Medicine, the Care Quality Commission and chief executives of trusts? Will this mean that he can now suspend Shaping a Healthier Future and remove the threat to the Charing Cross and Ealing A and Es?

Mr Hunt: I am always happy to confirm that a Guardian story is wrong. Let me tell the hon. Gentleman that there was no plan to downgrade the majority of A and Es. The plan is to invest in A and Es—to continue with broadly the same number of A and Es as we currently have but to recognise that some of them will need to specialise in different things. We will stick to that plan—it is a good one.

Paul Burstow (Sutton and Cheam) (LD): I very much welcome the statement and, in particular, the Secretary of State’s ambition that Britain should become the best place in the world to grow old in. Given that home care is an essential part of maintaining frail older people and enabling them to remain in their own homes, and given that well-paid, well-trained and well-motivated home care staff enable people to stay in their own homes and families to juggle work with caring responsibilities, will he direct some of the extra £2 billion to the better care fund, so that it goes directly into social care so that these services can actually be provided?

Mr Hunt: First, I agree with the point that my right hon. Friend is making: home care is going to become an increasingly important part of what the NHS and social care systems deliver. I want them to deliver it in an integrated, joined-up way, and £200 million of the £1.7 billion going to the NHS front line is to help develop new models of care. I think that improved home care could be a very real way we do that.

Keith Vaz (Leicester East) (Lab): The “Five Year Forward View” recommended a five-year programme to prevent type 2 diabetes that is evidence-based. How much of the money that the Secretary of State has announced today will be specifically about preventing diabetes, so that in the long run we will save even more money? At the moment, health and wellbeing boards are under no obligation to spend any part of their budget in a specific way on diabetes.

Mr Hunt: First, I congratulate the right hon. Gentleman on his campaigning on diabetes. I have looked at this carefully as Health Secretary and I looked at the possibility of ring-fencing certain sums in the budget for conditions such as diabetes, but the advice I received was that the broader change we need to make is in the whole mentality across the NHS for dealing with all long-term conditions, not only diabetes, but arthritis, dementia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. That is because within a couple of years we will have 3 million people who have three or more long-term conditions, one of which is often diabetes. Will a real focus of the change we want to see in the NHS be on people with long-term conditions? Yes, I would say that that is the biggest focus of all in the change we want to see over the next five years.

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Several hon. Members rose

Mr Speaker: Order. I am keen to accommodate as many colleagues as possible on this extremely important set of issues, but may I appeal to colleagues to exercise a certain self-denying ordinance, whether they are speaking from the Back Bench or the Front Bench?

Sarah Newton (Truro and Falmouth) (Con): I welcome today’s announcement of the national sepsis prevention campaign, which will make a such a difference to people in Cornwall and all around the UK. Will my right hon. Friend continue to work with the all-party group and the UK Sepsis Trust to implement the sepsis six, which it is estimated will save 12,500 lives and £2 billion for the NHS every year?

Mr Hunt: Yes, I will. I have to say to the House that the importance of being better at tackling sepsis was brought home to me personally by two moving meetings with Scott Morrish, the father of Sam Morrish, who was from the west country—perhaps near my hon. Friend’s constituency. His son’s tragic death from sepsis was avoidable, so this is an absolute priority for me in the next couple of months.

Clive Efford (Eltham) (Lab): Two weeks ago, the Secretary of State could not muster enough Conservative MPs in this House to defend the Health and Social Care Act 2012, particularly those elements of it that have allowed competition regulators into the NHS to second-guess decisions of local commissioners. If he wants to save money in the NHS, he can do away with that element of the 2012 Act and stop money being diverted from patients to pay for lawyers and accountants to oversee a tendering process that is wasting money.

Mr Hunt: If we stopped the NHS using the private sector, which seems to be Labour’s direction of travel, 330,000 people every year would have to wait longer to have their hips or knees replaced. We will make decisions on the basis of what is right for patients, and not of ideology.

Richard Drax (South Dorset) (Con): I congratulate my right hon. Friend on his remarks and thank him for the extra £1 billion for primary care. In South Dorset, I hear many complaints about the agency fees for recruiting staff, which is one reason why trusts tend to recruit nurses from abroad—from places such as Spain. Will he look at that and see if there is some way we can save a bit of money and act a little more efficiently?

Mr Hunt: We are spending too much on agency staff. It is fair to acknowledge that one reason why NHS trusts are doing that is in reaction to the Francis report. They want to ensure that they have proper staffing on their wards and proper staffing quickly. We have introduced transparency to encourage them to do that. As things settle down, they need to transfer more of those staff on to proper permanent contracts, because it costs the NHS too much to pay those exorbitant agency fees.

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Ann Coffey (Stockport) (Lab): I welcome any extra funding for the NHS, but will the Secretary of State ensure that it is fairly distributed, as on the current funding formula, Stockport is 4.9% from target, and that is affecting the ability of the clinical commissioning team to develop health services in the community as an alternative to emergency admissions to Stepping Hill hospital?

Mr Hunt: I recognise the hon. Lady’s concern about the way funding is allocated, and it is a concern that is shared in all parts of the House. It has been very difficult to get that right in a period when NHS funding has not been going up by large amounts, but that matter is now decided at arm’s length from Ministers by NHS England. It will make its decisions at a board meeting on 17 December, and I will make sure that I relay to it her concerns.

Margot James (Stourbridge) (Con): Does my right hon. Friend agree that all patients, especially older and vulnerable patients, deserve the security of an NHS funded out of general taxation rather than part-funded by an unpredictable and opportunistic tax on people’s homes as proposed by the Labour party?

Mr Hunt: The trouble with a mansion tax is that, in the end, it will apply not to mansions but to homes, flats and people on low incomes. That is why it is the wrong way to put more funding into the NHS. The right way to do it is to have a strong economy, and only this Government can deliver that.

Karl Turner (Kingston upon Hull East) (Lab): Up until her retirement, my mother was a very proud and committed nurse in the NHS. The Secretary of State wears a lapel badge pretending his love for the NHS. Today, my mother asked why, if the Secretary of State had £700 million in his Department, could he not have afforded the measly 1% pay rise for our committed nurses in the NHS, which would have cost £200 million.

Mr Hunt: It really demeans debate in this House to go on about some phoney argument that one side of the House cares about the NHS while the other does not. We have shown our commitment to the NHS by announcing today £2 billion of additional funding. That is a big deal and it shows our commitment. We have also given all nurses a 1% pay rise.

Andrew George (St Ives) (LD): I welcome the additional money. My right hon. Friend is right that health providers need a stable financial environment, but many of them have been left with a debilitating legacy of debt. The Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust in my own area has a legacy of debt, which is just a fraction of the amount by which the Government have admitted that they have underfunded the local health economy over many years. Rather than having distorting activity going on in that trust, would it not be better for it to start with a clean sheet of paper and to build for the future rather than constantly having to work from a position of debt?

Mr Hunt: I sympathise, because the previous Labour Government left hospitals with more than £70 billion of PFI debts. Those debts must be paid off and that money cannot be spent on front-line patient care. We

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have done what we can on a case-by-case basis to help trusts deal with those debts. It is extremely difficult when resources are tight and of course I will consider the trust’s particular case.

Mr Angus Brendan MacNeil (Na h-Eileanan an Iar) (SNP): Any new money for health is, of course, welcome, but it has only come because of acute need in the English NHS. If there had been acute need in the Scottish NHS or further acute need in the Welsh NHS, we could whistle for it. Surely this is one reason for us to have full fiscal autonomy in Scotland so that we can control the spending and raising of money in Scotland rather than relying on mismanagement in England or on electoral advantage. What will be the consequences of this announcement for the Scottish NHS, the Welsh NHS and the Northern Irish NHS per annum?

Mr Hunt: I am very happy we devolve responsibility for the NHS to the devolved Administrations, because it means that people can compare performance and that we can learn from each other. For example, patients wait a shorter time for operations in England compared with in Scotland and Wales.

Sir Tony Baldry (Banbury) (Con): Giving clinical commissioning groups the opportunity to commission GP services as well as secondary care will provide an amazing opportunity for there to be whole-population commissioning. Does it not also provide an opportunity for health and wellbeing boards? It provides an opportunity for elected councillors to work with clinical commissioning groups to try to design health care services, both primary and secondary, for the whole of the local population.

Mr Hunt: It absolutely does. My right hon. Friend makes his point very powerfully. This year, the better care fund—a programme derided by the Labour party, which said that it would not work—has been a huge success, with a £5 billion integration of the health and social care systems. The enthusiasm that that unleashed encouraged me to propose today that we should go further, so that where both parties are willing, local authorities and the local NHS should consider jointly commissioning public health as well. There would be huge benefits if they chose to do that.

Mr Nicholas Brown (Newcastle upon Tyne East) (Lab): Is it still the Government’s case that the emerging deficits across the English hospital trusts can be dealt with by efficiency savings alone?

Mr Hunt: There are huge pressures in the NHS. By the time of the election, we will have nearly 1 million more over-65s than there were at the last election. That means that people have to redouble their efforts to live within their means. At the same time people are trying to deliver the higher standards of care that we have talked about following the Francis review of what happened in Mid Staffs. It is challenging, but we expect all trusts to live within their budget. In all cases, they have recovery plans that we expect them to stick to.

Sir Bob Russell (Colchester) (LD): I pay tribute to the medical and support staff at Colchester hospital for their work to bring it out of special measures. Twice the Secretary of State referred to focusing on prevention.

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May I suggest that a contribution to that admirable aim would be for first aid to be included in the national curriculum for schools?

Mr Hunt: No one campaigns more for first aid than my hon. Friend. I would certainly encourage all schools to teach first aid, as I think it is a very important skill and we should consider that as part of the prevention agenda. There is also a broader point, which is that we can do a lot with the Department for Education on this agenda.

Derek Twigg (Halton) (Lab): In my constituency, people are increasingly finding it difficult to access GPs and the local hospital, Warrington and Halton, is in deficit and is missing its A and E targets. I therefore have a simple question for the Secretary of State. How many additional GPs will this money find, over and above the number of GPs who are in post today?

Mr Hunt: It takes seven years to train a GP, so the long-term solution is to train an additional 5,000 GPs, which is what the Government have decided to do and have announced. While they come on stream, this additional money will fund up to 20,000 additional posts, a number of which will be in the community.

David Tredinnick (Bosworth) (Con): I congratulate my right hon. Friend on his emphasis on prevention. Has he had a chance to read Public Health England’s report “From evidence into action”? It encourages him to place greater emphasis on risk factors that contribute to an early death, such as tobacco, blood pressure, diet, inactivity and alcohol, rather than the actual conditions that people die from. That would cut demand for services.

Mr Hunt: That document is very powerful and I have said before that I hope that in our lifetimes this will become a smoke-free country. It is shocking that we still have 85,000 deaths every year linked to smoking. However, we are a free country so this is about supplying the information, incentives and nudges and not about compelling people.

Fiona Mactaggart (Slough) (Lab): The right hon. Gentleman knows that GPs in my constituency have, on average, 4,500 patients on their list, which is about twice the average for England. Earlier he told my hon. Friend the Member for Stockport (Ann Coffey) that in constituencies such as hers and mine, where funding is so far from the target, we have to depend on NHS England, not him, to remedy the gap. How can we influence NHS England? What pressure is he putting on it to get fair funding for every area?

Mr Hunt: The reason we decided to give that decision to NHS England—it is now decided at arm’s length from Ministers—was to remove the worry people had that politicians might make these decisions for political purposes, rather than for what is right for the NHS. I encourage the hon. Lady to make representations to NHS England before its board meeting on 17 December.

Charlotte Leslie (Bristol North West) (Con): I very much welcome the “Five Year Forward View” and the new investment, but does the Secretary of State agree that it is not so much a five-year forward view we need

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as a 20 or 50-year forward one, if we are to begin to meet the tsunami of demand we face? We will have to work together across the House as we face the tough questions on how to fund and manage the NHS. Otherwise, we will be accused by future generations of bickering while our NHS burns.

Mr Hunt: I hear what my hon. Friend says, but it is also important to have a clear plan of action to take us in the right direction over the next six years, which is what the plan from NHS England and Simon Stevens provides and what the Government have said we support. She is right that the demographic trends will get worse. By 2030 the number of over-80s will have doubled to 5 million. That is the sobering reality that we all have to face up to.

Mr Barry Sheerman (Huddersfield) (Lab/Co-op): Is the Secretary of State aware the some of us on the Opposition side feel a bit sorry for him? This is the third “pie in the sky” statement we have had recently—we have heard statements on rail, on roads and now on health—which basically say that things might get better in future, and of course the election is in five months. The fact of the matter is that when I go back to Huddersfield, I see a health service in which all the players, who used to work together in partnership for something they believed in, are now at each other’s throats, as a result of his reforms: not collaborating, but fighting, disagreeing and making bids against each other.

Mr Hunt: Let us take one example. The better care fund has meant that for the first time—this did not happen in 13 years under Labour—local authorities are sitting around a table with the local NHS, working out how to jointly commission care for the most vulnerable patients in the community. That is a huge step forward. The hon. Gentleman should talk with the people in his local authority, because he will hear about the incredible progress that is being made. This is not pie in the sky; it is £2 billion of new money for the NHS. That will make a big difference to doctors and nurses in Huddersfield, just as it will everywhere else.

John Stevenson (Carlisle) (Con): I welcome the announcement of additional funds for the NHS and give my support to the Minister for putting patients first and driving up the quality of care. However, does he agree that it is not all about money and that quality, committed and motivated staff are central to a successful NHS, as is good leadership and management, particularly at the local level?

Mr Hunt: My hon. Friend is absolutely right. For every hospital in difficulty—he has had many discussions with me about his hospital, which is going through a very difficult period—there is another with the same funding settlement that is able to deliver good care with motivated staff. Leadership is extremely important for motivating staff, and the one thing that staff say matters most to them is having leaders who listen to what they say and, when they have concerns, take them seriously. That is a change that we are beginning to see throughout the NHS.

Mr David Anderson (Blaydon) (Lab): On that subject, I can advise the Secretary of State that last week I spoke to nurses in the hospital near my constituency, and they

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told me that as a result of the cuts in their pay, which have been going on for many years, they are seriously considering setting up shoebox collections to help their members get through this Christmas. At the same time, the chief executive of that trust has had a 17% pay increase, and the governors have had an 88% increase in their allowances. Is that what he means by all being in this together?

Mr Hunt: I am afraid we will not take any lessons from the party that increased managers’ pay at double the rate of nurses’ pay when in office. I will tell the hon. Gentleman what this Government have done: because of our increases in the tax-free threshold, the lowest paid NHS workers have seen their take-home pay go up by £1,000 a year.

Mr David Nuttall (Bury North) (Con): Despite all the claims and counter-claims, does the Secretary of State agree that in the long term, with a taxpayer-funded NHS, Government will only ever be able to increase resources and meet the public’s expectations if UK plc is thriving and we have a growing economy?

Mr Hunt: My hon. Friend is absolutely right. The Labour party thought it would win this argument by pledging extra money for the NHS at its party conference, but that will not actually happen until the second half of the next Parliament and it may not happen at all if it has got its sums wrong. The public reaction was simply not to believe it, because they know that what Labour does to the economy actually puts all NHS funding at risk, which is something we must never allow to happen.

Mark Reckless (Rochester and Strood) (UKIP): Earlier this year, the Secretary of State announced a welcome £6.12 million grant for Medway, and on Tuesday he referred to the extra doctors and nurses being taken on in a special measures regime for Medway hospital. Could he assure us that extra and recurring funding will also be available to cover the costs in future?

Mr Hunt: The funding I have announced today—the £1.5 billion for front-line NHS services—is recurring, as is the additional Treasury funding of £1 billion. That is being added to the NHS baseline so that it can be invested in long-term increases in staff numbers, among other things.

Mr Mark Spencer (Sherwood) (Con): What impact will the extra money have on hospitals in special measures, such as the Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust? Could he assure the House that any extra moneys will reach clinicians and patients and will not be swamped by the disastrous private finance initiative that the previous Government signed?

Mr Hunt: Of course, that has been a huge problem for Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. I have met the chief executive, who is doing a very good job in turning around the trust, but there are huge challenges. What doctors and nurses in failing hospitals or hospitals in special measures want to know is that they have a Government with a long-term commitment to the NHS and who will deliver the economy that can

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fund the NHS. They also want to know that they have a Government who will tell the truth about problems so that they get sorted out, which never used to happen before.

Mrs Madeleine Moon (Bridgend) (Lab): Last week, as chair of the all-party group on motor neurone disease, I took evidence from professionals and patients who had been promised that £14 million would be available for communication support from April this year. Not a penny has been spent yet on equipment or new staff. I took phone calls from people who are end-stage kidney diseased who are frightened by the announcement that kidney dialysis is to go from NHS England to clinical commissioning groups. Will the Secretary of State get a grip, make sure that the money that is there is spent, and stop the disastrous move of kidney dialysis to CCGs, which are not functioning?

Mr Hunt: With the greatest respect to the hon. Lady, I will very happily look into the concerns she raises, but what we are talking about today is more money going into the NHS because the Government got a grip of public finances and got the economy growing. That means more money for people with long-term conditions, including people with motor neurone disease. The hon. Lady should therefore welcome today’s announcement.

Andrew Bridgen (North West Leicestershire) (Con): According to clinicians in charge of health care and budgets, this Government have done much to take the politics out of running the NHS. Will my right hon. Friend confirm that average productivity in the NHS has improved under this Government, and does he agree that, given the outrageous comments of the Labour leader, it is clear that Labour is happy to see the NHS used as a political football?

Mr Hunt: I think what the public find very perplexing about this is that the Labour party opposed reforms that mean we have 10,000 more doctors and nurses on the front line. Labour is now not welcoming additional financial investment in the NHS that means we will have even more doctors and nurses, and it does not recognise the fundamental point that affects the whole NHS, which is that, in employing those extra doctors and nurses, we have to back them with a culture of safety and compassionate care that we never saw under Labour.

Tom Blenkinsop (Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland) (Lab): Our NHS is indeed reliant on a strong economy, but we should note that the UK’s state deficit is the worst in the European Union at the moment and our state debt has more than doubled since May 2010. Can I take it from the Secretary of State that I can go back to the constituents of Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland and tell them that their acute hospital trust will have its £91 million deficit removed; that its PFI, which was opened up in the Major years, will be dealt with properly; that Hemlington, Park End and Skelton medical centres will stay open: and that minor injuries units in Guisborough and Brotton will remain open?

Mr Hunt: I warmly congratulate the hon. Gentleman on being the first Labour Member to say in this House that a strong NHS needs a strong economy. May I encourage him to transmit that message to those on his

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Front Bench, and perhaps to the shadow Chancellor, who might then understand why people in the NHS are backing this Government because they know that we will deliver a strong economy? I do not know whether we can do all the things the hon. Gentleman talked about, but we will have a better chance with the fastest-growing economy in the G7.

Rehman Chishti (Gillingham and Rainham) (Con): I thank the Secretary of State for his statement and for the support that he has personally given to Medway Maritime hospital in my constituency, including, at a meeting last week, a commitment of £5.5 million to increase its A and E capacity. Can he assure me that hospitals in special measures that have problems going back to 2006 with high death rates will be given extra resources from the funding announced today to ensure that they are turned around as quickly as possible?

Mr Hunt: I assure my hon. Friend, who has campaigned very hard to improve standards at Medway hospital, that, first, we want to support its doctors and nurses, who are more passionate than anyone about putting this difficult period behind them; and that secondly, I have no greater focus than on making sure that we do turn around these hospitals in difficulty. It is a challenging process, but the extra funds that I have announced today will benefit all hospitals, including Medway.

Mr Jim Cunningham (Coventry South) (Lab): The Secretary of State has boasted about the numbers of doctors and nurses coming through on his watch, but that actually started on Labour’s watch because, as he has said, the process takes seven years. What proportion of this new investment in the national health service is to be invested in Coventry, particularly given the disparity regarding doctors’ surgeries and the loss of doctors?

Mr Hunt: The training may have started under Labour, but if we do not have enough money in the NHS budget, we cannot pay for these doctors and nurses. We can do that because we took a decision, bitterly opposed by Labour, to disband the primary care trusts and the strategic health authorities and to lose 21,000 administrators so that we could pay for 10,000 extra doctors and nurses, including in Coventry.

James Morris (Halesowen and Rowley Regis) (Con): The achievement of parity of esteem between mental and physical health in the NHS is absolutely fundamental to its future. As the Secretary of State will know, the Government have a reasonably good record on moving towards parity of esteem. Does he agree that we need not only more investment in mental health services, but, more importantly, better commissioning and a change of culture towards viewing patients as a single whole?

Mr Hunt: My hon. Friend has campaigned incredibly hard on this issue. I totally agree that the key aspect is a change in the approach of commissioners. People with mental health needs often have physical health needs and different needs relating to gambling and alcohol addictions, for example, that are connected to their mental health problems. Unless all these issues are tackled together, we are unlikely to make progress. We are very proud to have enshrined in legislation parity of esteem as something that we must achieve in the NHS. Today’s announcement will help this to go further.

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Mike Kane (Wythenshawe and Sale East) (Lab): Given that delayed discharges have reached a record high, what guarantee can the Secretary of State give that this money will not be paid for by further cuts to local government social care budgets?

Mr Hunt: The hon. Gentleman will have to wait to see what the Chancellor says on Wednesday about the Department for Communities and Local Government settlement. This Government have recognised that the fate of the social care system and the fate of the NHS are closely entwined, and that we cannot support the NHS at the expense of the social care system because the two go together. That is why we see close working with the Better Care fund.

Robert Jenrick (Newark) (Con): As my hon. Friend the Member for Sherwood (Mr Spencer) highlighted, Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust remains in special measures. I know that the Secretary of State has taken an interest in this. The trust has many failings, but it also has one hand tied behind its back in the form of a particularly egregious PFI deal that takes up 16% of its budget every year. Is there anything he can do to review trusts that are in special measures and have particularly difficult PFI settlements?

Mr Hunt: I remember visiting Newark hospital with my hon. Friend before he was elected, and I know that he campaigns very hard on the issues facing the trust. I will happily take that issue away and look at it. It is worth saying that the doctors and nurses at that hospital are working incredibly hard to turn things around, and they have already made great progress.

Andrew Stephenson (Pendle) (Con) rose

Mr Marcus Jones (Nuneaton) (Con) rose—

Mr Speaker: Wow—what a choice! I call Mr Andrew Stephenson.

Andrew Stephenson: Thank you, Mr Speaker; I am honoured.

I very much welcome the £2 billion of additional funding announced today. This morning, I was at Airedale hospital for the preview of its new £6.3 million A and E department, which will open to the public this Wednesday. Will the Secretary of State join me in paying tribute to all the hospital’s NHS staff and management, and its patients, who have been involved from the start of the process in making sure that the new A and E department, which is more than double the size of the old one, is now a reality?

Mr Hunt: I am happy to do so. It is an absolutely brilliant hospital. I was really impressed when I saw that it has integrated its IT systems with those of local GPs better than anywhere else I have seen in the UK, and it is now looking at integrating those systems with local residential care homes. It has a fantastic Skype system for patients who are vulnerable and have mobility problems. It is an amazing place, and my hon. Friend is absolutely right to draw attention to it.

Mr Marcus Jones: The previous Labour Government left my constituents with one of the worst health funding allocations in England. Despite the extra investment that this Government have put in, the issue still has not

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been properly resolved. Having heard my right hon. Friend’s advice earlier, I will be making representations to NHS England. Will he join me in supporting my constituents in getting a fairer funding deal?

Mr Hunt: I want everyone to have a fairer funding deal, and today’s announcement is significant in that respect. One of the reasons it has been difficult to help people to move closer to their target funding allocations is that the increases in the NHS budget have been only 0.1% every year, so we have not had the margins necessary to make changes. Precisely by how much, and where, we make those changes is a matter for NHS England, but I will happily refer my hon. Friend’s concerns to it.

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Foreign Affairs Committee (Hong Kong Visit)

Application for emergency debate (Standing Order No. 24)

Mr Speaker: I call Sir Richard Ottaway to make an application for leave to propose a debate on a specific and important matter that should have urgent consideration under the terms of Standing Order No. 24. He has three minutes in which to make such an application.

5.57 pm

Sir Richard Ottaway (Croydon South) (Con): I seek leave to propose that the House should debate a specific and important matter that should have urgent consideration —namely, the decision of the Chinese Government to ban the Foreign Affairs Committee from visiting Hong Kong.

In 1984, Britain and China signed a joint declaration on the future of Hong Kong when the UK’s lease expired in 1997. It included a commitment to a “one country, two systems” style of government and to its rights, freedoms and way of life remaining unchanged for 50 years. In August this year, the Chinese National People’s Congress issued a decision changing the way in which the chief executive would be elected. This confirmed earlier suspicions and has led to widespread protest in Hong Kong. In the Government’s latest six-monthly report to Parliament on Hong Kong, the Foreign Secretary said:

“the important thing is that the people of Hong Kong have a genuine choice and feel they have a real stake in the outcome...there is still some way to go for consensus to be reached.”

As a result of this concern, the FAC decided in July to hold an inquiry entitled “The UK’s relations with Hong Kong: 30 years after the Joint Declaration”. In August, I was invited by the Chinese ambassador to discuss the inquiry. At the meeting, the Committee was abruptly accused of meddling in China’s and Hong Kong’s internal affairs. We were asked to discontinue our inquiry and told that we would be unwelcome in Hong Kong. The Committee gave full consideration to the ambassador’s views and decided to continue with its inquiry; indeed, we felt it would be an abrogation of our duties not to do so.

Since then, the rhetoric from the Chinese Government has intensified. Ten days ago, we were informed that some would consider our visit to Hong Kong to be of support to the protestors of Occupy Central and other illegal activities. Last Friday afternoon, I was formally informed—by the deputy Chinese ambassador, the chargé d’affaires, because the ambassador is abroad—that the Committee would be denied entry to Hong Kong. The Government have rightly said that the ban is mistaken and counter-productive. I agree. It is an affront not just to this House but to the men and women of the free world. I believe that this House should have the opportunity to express its views as soon as possible.

Mr Speaker: The right hon. Gentleman asks leave to propose a debate on a specific and important matter that should have urgent consideration, namely “The ban by China on the Foreign Affairs Committee visit to Hong Kong”. This is an extremely serious matter for which, I confess, I can think of no exactly comparable

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precedent in my 17 and a half years in the House. As is my duty, I have listened carefully to the application from the right hon. Gentleman and I am satisfied that the matter raised by him is proper to be discussed under Standing Order No. 24.

Has the right hon. Gentleman the leave of the House?

Application agreed to.

Mr Speaker: Thank you. The right hon. Gentleman has obtained the leave of the House. The debate will be held tomorrow, Tuesday 2 December, as the first item of public business. The debate will last for up to three hours and will arise on a motion that the House has considered the specified matter set out in the right hon. Gentleman’s application. I hope that that is pleasing to the right hon. Gentleman, to members of his Committee and to the House.

Criminal Justice and Courts Bill: Programme (No. 3)

Motion made, and Question put forthwith (Standing Order No. 83A(7),

That the following provisions shall apply to the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill for the purpose of supplementing the Order of 24 February 2014 in the last Session of Parliament (Criminal Justice and Courts Bill (Programme)) as varied by the Order of 12 May 2014 in that Session (Criminal Justice and Courts Bill (Programme) (No. 2)):

Consideration of Lords Amendments

(1) Proceedings on consideration of Lords Amendments shall (so far as not previously concluded) be brought to a conclusion at 10.00pm at today’s sitting.

(2) The proceedings shall be taken in the order shown in the first column of the following Table.

(3) The proceedings shall (so far as not previously concluded) be brought to a conclusion at the times specified in the second column of the Table.


Lords Amendments

Time for conclusion of proceedings

Nos 97 to 107

7 pm

Nos 74 and 127 to 131

8.30 pm

Nos 1 to 73, 75 to 96, 108 to 126 and 132 to 143

10 pm

Subsequent stages

(4) Any further message from the Lords may be considered forthwith without any Question being put.

(5) The proceedings on any further message from the Lords shall (so far as not previously concluded) be brought to a conclusion one hour after their commencement.—(Mark Lancaster.)

Question agreed to.

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Criminal Justice and Courts Bill

Mr Speaker: I draw the House’s attention to the fact that financial privilege is involved in Lords amendments Nos. 5 to 34, 75, 123 and 124. If the House agrees to them, I will cause an appropriate entry to be made in the Journal.

Clause 64

Likelihood of substantially different oucome for applicant

6.2 pm

The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice (Chris Grayling): I beg to move, That this House disagrees with Lords amendment 97.

Mr Speaker: With this it will be convenient to consider Lords amendments 98 to 106 and Government motions to disagree.

Lords amendment 107, and amendments (a) to (e) in lieu.

Chris Grayling: Before I move on to the detail of the amendments, it might be helpful to remind the House why these reforms are so important. Judicial review was developed as a tool for citizens to challenge decisions taken by public bodies that unlawfully and adversely affect their lives. That remains as important today as ever, and nothing in these reforms will prevent those citizens from using judicial review in the future. As Lord Chancellor I take my responsibility to uphold the rule of law very seriously, but I do not believe that the way in which it has evolved in relation to the current use of judicial review is consistent with or necessary to uphold the rule of law, and I believe the time has clearly come to set some limits to prevent misuse.

Judicial review was never intended to be a tool for pressure groups to seek to disrupt perfectly lawful decision making in Government and Parliament, it was never designed to be used as a political campaigning tool, and it was never intended to put the courts above the elected Government in taking decisions over the essential interests of this country. Yet, in far too many examples, that is precisely what it has become and it is why reform is necessary. It is also why the three areas of our proposed reforms covered by this debate tonight are so important.

Mr Lee Scott (Ilford North) (Con): Does my right hon. Friend agree that although the judicial process must be robust and fair, it must not be open to constant abuse?

Chris Grayling: Indeed. I am genuinely baffled as to why the Opposition are so set against many of these reforms when many of their predecessors as shadow Ministers or in government raised many of the same concerns. I will challenge them over one or two of the issues later, because I find their position inexplicable.

Whoever wins the general election will have to take some very difficult decisions in the next Parliament. Those decisions are not ones that any of us would wish to have to take, any more than we in government wanted to take some of the difficult decisions that we have faced in this Parliament, but tough times mean tough decisions—decisions in the interests of this country. And yet, whichever party is in government after next May will face a wave of pressure groups trying to use judicial review to delay decisions, to avoid spending reductions, and to generate publicity for their own cause.

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If a group can find a clever enough lawyer, almost any Government decision can be judicially reviewed, and very many are, not necessarily on the basis of specific breaches of specific laws, but far too often on a loose argument that something was not quite right with the consultation paper, that there should have been a bit more consultation, or that a tough decision seen in isolation was irrational. Without undermining the essential core of judicial review, we need to restore common sense to the way in which the judicial review system works, and that is what we are working to do.

Robert Neill (Bromley and Chislehurst) (Con): Does my right hon. Friend agree with the important point made by Lord Horam that there is a difference between a balance to protect the rights of the citizen in specific cases and a situation where, sadly, judicial review can be moved through pressure groups to what is effectively a review of the merits, rather than of the procedures, often contrary to the wishes of the communities that are most directly affected?

Chris Grayling: My hon. Friend is right. Judicial review has become a vehicle that is used as one of the tools to campaign, to delay and to challenge, not necessarily in the interests of the broader society or the broader community, but because it provides a vehicle to make a point or to delay something for financial reasons. It makes no sense to have a system that can be abused in the way it often is.

We listened carefully to the debate in the House of Lords, and as hon. Members will see from the amendment paper, we have suggested some modifications to ensure that we avoid unintended consequences of what we are working to do. I hope that the House will say clearly today that having agreed those safeguards, we want to see this package of reforms pass into law.

Mrs Anne Main (St Albans) (Con): On safeguards, can my right hon. Friend give me an assurance that local authorities will not be able to dumb down their standards, knowing that there is not likely to be a judicial review, and that they will still always go through the correct process, as they need to do, and not think that they are beyond reproach?

Chris Grayling: My hon. Friend is right. It is important to say that the Bill will not stop organisations being judicially reviewed where they are at fault. It does not stop organisations being judicially reviewed for constant or serious underperformance or failure to fulfil their duties. What it stops is judicial review on technicalities. It stops the system being used for purposes for which it should not be used.

Mr Elfyn Llwyd (Dwyfor Meirionnydd) (PC): Does the Lord Chancellor view as a technicality the recent consultation on changes to legal aid ignoring the Welsh language aspect altogether and allowing half the time for the consultation to go into the Welsh language issue, as opposed to the whole time? Is that something that we should just ignore?

Chris Grayling: In that particular case, we fulfilled the orders of the court after the first judicial review hearing. I did not agree with the judge in that initial

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ruling. I considered an appeal, but looking at the detail of the ruling, I decided that it was more in the interests of the system that we were trying to protect and develop to move ahead with a further period of consultation. That is what we did, and we have published our responses arising from that consultation. We took the opportunity to revisit our original decisions and to look at whether any further changes needed to be made. That was embodied in the document that we published last week.

There are three simple principles in the areas of debate covered by these motions. I challenge the Opposition to explain why they so strongly disagree with those principles. First, parties should not be able to use minor technicalities in process as an excuse to bring a judicial review in order to delay an essential decision when there is very little likelihood that the outcome would be affected by that technicality. It is a simple principle. There is an exceptional circumstances clause which still allows judicial discretion in cases where there is a particularly distinctive characteristic, but this is designed to stop organisations judicially reviewing a process on the basis of a minor flaw in process, only to have the effect of delaying a difficult change—delaying for financial reasons and trying to push a change back a few months so that the financial impact is not felt as soon.

That is the reality of what is happening, and this proviso seems a perfectly sensible means of ensuring that the Government can take decisions in a timely and necessary way. In the unhappy event that the shadow Secretary of State finds himself in my chair or his colleagues find themselves in other Ministers’ chairs, they will think that it is sensible and logical way to make sure that the wheels of government move at an appropriate pace.

Mr Geoffrey Cox (Torridge and West Devon) (Con): I hope that my right hon. Friend accepts that some Government Members, and I include myself, have some concern about the reforms he is promoting. Will he help me to resolve a very difficult dilemma by telling me and the House what he regards as a minor technicality? Judges do not generally grant leave for judicial review on minor technicalities—it has to be based on matters of serious abuse of fair process—so I am concerned and troubled by what he considers a technicality.

Chris Grayling: I hate to disabuse my hon. and learned Friend, but such cases happen all the time and very regularly. Very early in this job, I faced a judicial review—we eventually won it after a hearing, but only following a delay and some considerable cost—from a representative group that argued that changes to a part of the compensation system should not proceed because of a technical detail concerning how the consultation had been carried out. It went to a hearing, which we won, but it cost the taxpayer substantial amounts of money and delayed the process. It was on a technicality, and there was no likelihood of there being a different outcome. If he talks to Ministers from across the Government, he will find that such cases happen regularly—for example, if a nuance of a consultation has not been done thoroughly or properly, or if it was fractionally shorter than the precedent for similar consultations. I am afraid that such cases do happen, and they delay the wheels of government. Let me talk about the other two areas, because they are also acute problems.

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Julie Hilling (Bolton West) (Lab): The right hon. Gentleman says “all the time”. Will he give us a notion of how often that is—once a day, once a week, once a month? How many times have such cases happened since April, for instance? He is giving the impression that they happen all the time, but what does that mean?

Chris Grayling: A Minister is confronted by the practical threat of the arrival of a judicial review case virtually every week of the year. It is happening all the time. There are pre-action protocols all the time, and cases are brought regularly. Looking across the majority of a Department’s activities, I would say that Ministers face judicial review very regularly indeed. It happens weeks apart rather than months apart.

Frank Dobson (Holborn and St Pancras) (Lab): Will the Secretary of State give way?

Chris Grayling: Let me set out the other two areas covered by the reforms, and I will then give way to the right hon. Gentleman.

The second thing we are trying to do is to stop third parties using people with no means as human shields, and effectively bringing broad-ranging cases on public policy by acting as interveners behind and alongside them, while being immune to financial risk if they lose. That is customarily discussed in terms of pressure groups, but it actually applies to big corporations as well.

The third reform applies in a similar way. If an organisation brings a judicial review, we should know who they are and who is backing them. Of all the disagreements of the House of Lords, I understand this one least. How is it possible for a judge to take a decision on costs and other aspects of a judicial review if he or she has absolutely no idea who is responsible for bringing it? Is it not right and proper for the court to know?

Let me give an example to challenge Labour Members. If a large international, such as a tobacco company, wants to challenge the Government on a public policy decision, it can, under the current rules, set up a shell company, with a single—probably impecunious—director and use it as the front for the judicial review. If that happens, is it not right, proper and sensible for us to know which corporation is backing the judicial review? Labour Members may say that it could never happen, but it happened in the Richard III case, when a shell company with a single impecunious shareholder brought a judicial review against the Government, which cost the taxpayer a significant six-figure sum. It can and does happen.

Why on earth would anybody disagree with the principle that if an organisation brings a judicial review, we should know who it is and who is backing or supporting it? Why is that so unreasonable? I simply do not understand why the Labour party lined up with Cross Benchers in the House of Lords to oppose it. What is wrong with the principle? I challenge shadow Ministers to say—I will happily take an intervention—what is wrong with the idea that a court should know who is backing a judicial review or who is behind it?

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6.15 pm

Mr Andy Slaughter (Hammersmith) (Lab): I would love the Secretary of State for once to use an example or any example that does not involve Richard III. He knows very well that the intention of his approach on clause 67 is not to be transparent, but to discourage small litigants—individual groups wishing to take on a big corporation—who would fear that all their funds were at risk. The vast majority of such cases are of that kind. He wants to suppress viable litigation, rather than in any way to be transparent.

Chris Grayling: I am afraid that that is complete nonsense. The amendments that we are discussing do not involve any financial risk at all. They are simply about the court knowing who is backing the judicial review. They are purely for information. I do not believe that it is unreasonable for a court considering a judicial review to know who is backing it, and I am baffled as to why the Labour party opposes that.

We do not have much time for this debate, so I will focus my detailed remarks on clause 67, but I said that I would take another intervention.

Frank Dobson: The right hon. Gentleman talks of technicalities, but the law is full of technicalities—that is all it is. He says that Ministers and officials are frightened of judicial review, and so they should be. The pressure on them is to comply with laws and regulations that we have passed. We are encouraging law breaking if we let someone say, “Well, it’s okay. You can skate over that, or you can skate over this. You can get away with it. It was only a minor technicality.”

Chris Grayling: I am afraid that that is simply not right. Very many judicial reviews are not about whether we have broken a law passed by this place—of course, we must be challenged if that happens—but are based on a much looser interpretation of what should or should not happen. They are based not on statute, but on, for example, why we have run a consultation for six rather than nine weeks, given that the previous one was for nine weeks. The truth is that such arguments are brought to the courts by people who seek to delay the impact of decisions. I must say that if Labour Members find themselves taking difficult decisions in government after the election, they will discover that a judicial review’s ability to delay key decisions is against the interests of this country, and they will wish that they had supported rather than opposed us.

As hon. Members will see from the amendment paper, we will ask the House of Lords to reconsider its opposition on most of the measures. We listened very carefully to the concerns expressed on clause 67. We disagree with the Lords amendments, which undermine the clauses agreed by this House. Each amendment would take the heart out of the reforms by undermining any duty to give effect to the key requirements. However, we have listened very carefully to the concerns expressed on clause 67, and we have moved by proposing an alternative model.

If this House approves the amendments in lieu, clause 67 will continue to give the courts significant leeway in making cost orders. It will be for the court to consider whether any of the four conditions have been met. It will preserve the court’s role in deciding whether costs were caused by the intervener and incurred by the party

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reasonably. Where the court is of the view that exceptional circumstances would make the award of costs under the clause inappropriate, it need not make an award.

That is a crucial point on all of this. There are still provisions that give the judiciary the freedom, in exceptional circumstances, to say, “This is a particularly distinctive case, and we need to pursue an approach that is different from the norm.” We have left in provisions for such exceptional circumstances, but on clause 67 we have taken on board some of the concerns expressed. The amendments in lieu are not about preventing legitimate intervention in support of a case brought on behalf of a disadvantaged individual, but are about preventing a powerful group from using someone with no money as a human shield for a case in which the group intervenes behind that individual, with the public picking up the cost regardless of whether the case is won or lost. That should not happen.

We believe that the amendments in lieu strike a sensible balance. They meet the concerns expressed by hon. Members from different parts of the House in a way that will reassure both them and those in the other place that our intention is to tackle the challenge of such human shields, not to remove altogether the ability to intervene in cases where there is a legitimate reason for doing so.

Debbie Abrahams (Oldham East and Saddleworth) (Lab): Will the right hon. Gentleman confirm that he is therefore re-establishing judicial discretion?

Chris Grayling: As I just said, we have never taken away judicial discretion. We have left in place the clause on exceptional circumstances. Almost every week, this House passes measures that set tramlines for the courts to operate within. We set maximum sentences, but if the maximum sentence for a crime is five years, we do not say that judges should give a five-year sentence; we give them the flexibility to decide what is the right length of time below that.

We are taking a similar approach with these proposals. We are saying to judges, “Look, you’ve got some flexibility, but there are parameters that we need you to operate within.” To my mind, that brings common sense back to the system of judicial review and deals with the frustrations with a system that can be abused. It does not create a situation in which legitimate judicial reviews cannot be brought.

Surely my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Torridge and West Devon (Mr Cox) would admit that an organisation should not be able to bring a case to court free of financial risk because it is shadowing behind somebody who has no means and therefore cannot have costs awarded against them; that an organisation should not be able to set up a shell company to bring a judicial review without any information being available to the court about who is behind the shell company; and that an organisation should not be able to delay a difficult spending decision by arguing to a court that the whole process should start all over again because of a minor technicality. Those things happen on a regular basis and they must change.

These reforms are essential in restoring common sense to judicial review. I hope that the House will back the motions to disagree and the amendments in lieu.

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Mr Slaughter: Although it is some two and a half years since I last spoke on a series of Lords defeats of Ministry of Justice legislation, I have an acute feeling of déjà vu. On 17 April 2012, this House considered the 11 defeats that their lordships had inflicted on the infamous Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill. Today, we examine the four considerable dents that have been put in the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill. The three that we are considering in this group of amendments substantially amend part 4 of the Bill, which seeks to hobble the administrative law remedy of judicial review.

LASPO is fresh in my mind today for two reasons. First, those 11 defeats were whittled down, in the course of ping-pong, to some important but narrow wins. Secondly, the Government have spent the past 30 months trying to squirm their way out of even those concessions. The MOJ is still deciding what to do about the High Court decision that its review of costs rules for mesothelioma cases was unlawful. Let us remember that it is trying to enforce, against the will of Parliament, the payment by sufferers of that terrible disease of up to 25% of their damages in legal fees. Further proceedings are pending on the evidential requirement for obtaining legal aid in domestic violence cases—another defeat for the Government.

Both Houses may wish to note how the Government have sought to dodge the undertakings that were given to two of the most vulnerable groups in society—terminally ill cancer sufferers and domestic violence victims—when they look at any purported concessions in the Bill. Of course, the fact that a Government who go back on their commitments to Parliament and let people down are held to account by the courts is at the root of this attack on judicial review. The Lord Chancellor has lost six judicial review actions in the past year and there are several strong cases in the pipeline. Might that have any bearing on his current attack on judicial review?

For once, notwithstanding the truncated nature of the debate, I feel that we have enough time to debate an issue that the Government find very uncomfortable. That is not because there is a lack of arguments to put against part 4, but because they have already been put many times and have not been rebutted. On Second Reading, in Committee, on Report and on Third Reading in both Houses, there have been long debates on the dangers and inequities of this attack on the rule of law and the rights of the citizen against the state.

An unprecedented alliance of charities, the legal professions, the judiciary and victims of Government injustice has come together to support the Lords amendments. On the “Today” programme this morning, the noble Lord Woolf, who was a sponsor of the Government’s defeats, said that the Bill undermined the independence of the judiciary and, thereby, the rule of law. All the arguments are on one side. Against the clear voice of the experts, which says that this attack on judicial review is a constitutional provocation, we have the childish statements from the Lord Chancellor, who says that judicial review is a left-wing conspiracy. He should tell that to those who are reliant on the independent living fund, the Gurkhas and the victims of care home abuse, or indeed the Countryside Alliance and Stop HS2, all of which are successful challengers of his Government’s arbitrary exercise of power.

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The only thing going for the Government is the majority that they hold in this House. The real issue today is whether they can use it to batter the other place into submission. Sadly, there are too few supporters of individual freedom on the Tory Benches. Tory Members either support the big corporation over the little man or have swallowed the Lord Chancellor’s infantile line that judicial review is all about subversive left-wing groups stopping the wheels of commerce turning. We are left to hope—I find it difficult even to say this—that the Lib Dems will wake from their comfortable ministerial sleeps to remember the time when they claimed to be the party of civil liberties. To wait is to hope, but as only one Liberal Democrat MP has bothered to attend this important debate on civil liberties and the rights of the individual, I do not think that we can have much hope.

Frank Dobson: My hon. Friend mentioned Lord Woolf. Will he remind the House which judicial position was held by Lord Woolf? Would he, like me, be more likely to agree with Harry Woolf than with the right hon. Member for Epsom and Ewell (Chris Grayling)?

Mr Slaughter: We do indeed stand on the shoulders of giants in conducting this debate. The names that graced the amendments that were made in the House of Lords included not only the former Lord Chief Justice, but other esteemed lawyers such as Lord Pannick, the Labour spokesman Lord Beecham, Lord Carlile and many other senior jurists. Indeed, the President of the Supreme Court and the Master of the Rolls have also spoken out in clear and emphatic terms to say that the Government proposals are not just folly, but dangerous steps to take. I am amazed that any Lord Chancellor—even this one—would ignore those protestations.

It is not wrong to see this concerted attack on judicial review as of a piece with other reductions in access to justice that this Government have advanced, such as on legal aid, on no win, no fee, and on court and tribunal fees. However, judicial review seems to receive particular opprobrium from this Lord Chancellor. That is strange in many ways. Judicial review is already a remedy of last resort and already includes a permission stage. Its accessibility has been limited by the changes to the rules on legal aid for judicial review and the shortened time limits for applying. Indeed, Lord Justice Jackson, some of whose recommendations on costs and civil claims the Government have grabbed on to, advised that it was already very difficult for the ordinary citizen to apply for judicial review for want of funds and expert knowledge, and that we should look at broadening the basis for bringing a judicial review claim.

The attack on judicial review should be of concern to us all. It is a remedy that can protect the rights of very vulnerable individuals, such as young prisoners and dementia sufferers; that can save whole communities from wrongful decisions by the state, such as when the closure of Lewisham’s accident and emergency department was ruled unlawful; and that can establish the law on important points of policy, often with the help of expert bodies that intervene to assist the court on a point of general principle. It is, as Liberty says,

“a crucial tool which allows ordinary people to challenge decisions by the authorities—either because they’re unlawful, irrational, or made in the wrong way.”

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I suspect that if their lordships had not been interrupted by other business, they would have continued to neuter the clauses that deal with judicial review. As it is, they stopped at just three defeats for the Government, each of which was important. We urge all Members of the House to vote against the motions to disagree in respect of each of the clauses at issue. For the avoidance of doubt, we will press to a vote, just as their Lordships did, the matters that relate to the “highly likely” test, financial information, and interveners.

6.30 pm

Chris Grayling: Since the hon. Gentleman has indicated his intention to support all the Lords amendments, will he explain why he thinks it appropriate to allow organisations that back judicial reviews to remain anonymous?

Mr Slaughter: I will not speak for long because we have limited time, but I will come on to those matters in a few moments.

It is not only Labour peers who were rallied by Lord Beecham who share our view. Indeed, as he pointed out, the Lord Chancellor’s proposals have been roundly condemned by every independent and bipartisan body that considered them, including the Joint Committee on Human Rights and other Committees of both Houses. Furthermore, the former Conservative party chairman Lord Deben referred to the changes as “out of line” and “unacceptable”, and Baroness Williams called them an “act of absolute tragedy” that she was “very troubled” by. Lord Howe voted against the Government, as did many pillars of the legal establishment—so much for the Lord Chancellor’s left-wing plot.

Each amendment that the Government have resisted has a particular point to make. On the “highly likely” test, all their lordships are saying is that judicial discretion should be retained, and that the court may refuse judicial review if it concludes that it is “highly likely” that the outcome for the applicant would not have been substantially different had the conduct complained of not occurred. If we stick with the Government’s proposal and disagree with the amendment, public bodies will be allowed to escape responsibility for unlawful decisions. In the long run it would change the role of judges in judicial review cases as they would be invited to second-guess how decisions have been taken. The Government are confusing remedy with unlawfulness, and potentially creating far more problems at earlier stages of judicial review cases—and causing far more court time to be taken up—because the court will have to consider the implications of its decisions and not the process under review, as is the case at the moment.

On financial barriers, the evidence—I emphasise that word—of practitioners and those who have represented parties on all sides suggests that the chilling effect of the clauses will be felt first by people of limited means who look for support in their judicial reviews. That could be family members—for example in a care home case—or individuals in a community, perhaps on a planning case, but it could also be charities and other not-for profit organisations. Such organisations have said clearly that although they are currently prepared to support judicial review proceedings, if there is a risk that the court will look at the funders and potentially penalise them in costs, their trustees will not be prepared to continue doing

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that, whatever their support for the individual action. Each clause in part 4 purports to be a simple tinkering change and a way of dealing with things at the margin to ensure that unmeritorious cases do not come forward. However, evidence from the judiciary, practitioners, interveners and everyone who has participated in the process suggests that the clauses will have a chilling and discouraging effect. That is as true for provisions on financial barriers as for the “highly likely” test or interveners.

The issue of interveners has taken centre stage, and at an early point in proceedings the Government said that they would table amendments to deal with the concerns expressed. We had one of those little dances that takes place between the Liberal Democrats and the Government, when the Liberal Democrats say, “We’re not happy with this, can we have a concession?”, and grudgingly, at the last minute—last Friday in this case—we have a concession.

Let us consider the concession the Government are proposing. What they originally proposed, and what the House of Lords disagreed with, is the idea that only in exceptional circumstances and very rare cases would interveners be protected from paying costs. That does not mean their own costs, which interveners customarily pay, but those of all parties involved. That was clearly wrong, and the Government appear to accept that. As the deputy president of the Supreme Court said, interventions are of great assistance to the court and there can be merit in interventions. Therefore, amendments have been tabled. It is clear why Labour supports what the House of Lords said, and that the matter should be—as it is now—at the discretion of the court. The court has completely adequate powers, should it wish to exercise them, to punish or find against interveners on costs if it believes there is no merit in the intervention or if it believes—this is unlikely—that time has been wasted during proceedings. That matter is currently, and should properly remain, at the discretion of the judge.

Let us consider the amendments, because this is the most disingenuous part of the debate. We waited months—since June, I think—to see what concession the Liberal Democrats with all their bravery had wrung out of the Government. The opinion of everyone who has considered the amendments since they were published just before the weekend is that not only do they not address the issue, but they make the situation worse. The reason for that is simple. Previously, there could at least be exceptional circumstances. Now, a series of criteria must be met, otherwise a mandatory duty means that all costs associated with the intervention would be recoverable by all other parties, including losing parties. Therefore in certain ill-defined circumstances, the court would have no discretion to act to prevent an unjust outcome, despite interveners having been granted permission to intervene by the court, and encouraged to proceed. That will have a more damaging effect than the Government’s original proposal to create a presumption that costs would be payable except in exceptional circumstances. Only this Government could make the situation worse by making a concession.

In a way, the wording does not matter. The net result of those criteria is to set up retrospective tests that mean that the chilling effect will apply. Interveners are typically charities, not-for-profit organisations and others who may perhaps have funds to pay their own costs, but

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will not risk the definition of terms such as “in substance”, “taken as a whole”, “significant assistance”, or whether something is “necessary” for the court to consider whether someone has behaved unreasonably. A judicial review often develops from the permission stage through to a full hearing, and during that time it is perfectly possible that certain facts become more or less relevant. What impecunious charity will take those risks? This is another attempt to pull the wool over our eyes by setting up impossible hurdles and mandatory tests where matters should be left to the discretion of the judge.

Chris Grayling: The hon. Gentleman is missing the point. Why should those who row in to back a judicial review that they lose be automatically insulated from the costs of doing so? He knows that time after time the taxpayer picks up the bill. This measure is simply to ensure that those who row in behind a judicial review but do not make a valid contribution to the process cannot be immune from facing the costs if they lose.

Madam Deputy Speaker (Dame Dawn Primarolo): Order. May I remind both Front-Bench speakers, one who has already spoken and the other who has been speaking for rather a long time, that the debate ends at 7 pm and other Back Benchers wish to participate? The Secretary of State has got his points on the record, and perhaps Mr Slaughter will conclude his remarks so that we can call the Back-Bench speakers.

Mr Slaughter: I give up with the Secretary of State. We are talking about interveners, who are there to assist the court and broaden the issue where it is helpful for matters of public policy. If he cannot see that after having discussed the Bill since February, I really do give up on him.

The Government proposals would prevent judicial review if they can persuade a court that it is highly likely that an unlawful act would have been lawful if done differently. That is a recipe for poor decision making. They will hobble the attempts of people to raise the considerable funds needed to bring a case and weaken their ability to have protection from the Government’s costs if they lose. Most bizarrely, they discourage the intervention of expert bodies, such as charities and civil society organisations, which often assist the court in making the right decision. Under pressure on this last point, or to give the usual fig leaf to the Liberal Democrats, a series of last-minute amendments have been tabled by the Lord Chancellor on interveners, but the opinion of experts who have looked at them is that, if anything, they make the Bill worse.

Labour MPs will therefore vote to uphold judicial review and the rights of the individual against the state. We will oppose the motion to disagree with each and every one of the Lords amendments in this group. We will vote against the Government’s amendments in lieu. We may, I hope, be joined by one or two libertarian Tories, although I am not holding my breath. It will be interesting to see how many Liberal Democrats, so keen to shout about their love of liberty before voting for legal aid cuts in secret courts, will join us in the Lobby.

Mr Cox: I regret the tone of the hon. Member for Hammersmith (Mr Slaughter), which fell beneath the standards the House is entitled to expect on so important

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a matter. The tone was cynical and frankly insulting to those of us on the Government Benches who have spent many years of our lives fighting for the rights of individuals in the courts.

I should, before I begin, draw the attention of the House to my entry in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests. I appear in courts, specifically in the administrative court, quite frequently. [Interruption.] I hear the hon. Gentleman, from a sedentary position, hurling yet another insult. I do not know what he was like in the legal profession, but if he won as few arguments by his gracelessness and charmlessness as he is winning this evening, no doubt he switched professions with very good reason indeed.

In substance, many of the points the hon. Gentleman makes—they are not, I think, his; he is merely puppeting and gibbeting the points made by his betters and those more equipped than he to make the criticisms—are, I have to say, correct in the substance of the matter. That is why I say to the Secretary of State that, although one cannot always choose one’s friends in this House on specific topics, I am extremely troubled by what he is introducing. I sympathise with and understand the frustration that, he feels with the industry, it may well seem to those in charge of the Executive, that judicial review has become. I understand that, but my concern is that the measures my right hon. Friend is introducing are not well targeted or adjusted to the mischief he is seeking to suppress.

One of the examples I give is the provision to introduce a likelihood test as to the outcome of any judicial review. The problem with this measure is that it does two things, unintended no doubt in their consequence by the Secretary of State. First, it will turn permission hearings, and substantive hearings if permission is granted, into an immensely detailed and cumbersome process of trawling through fact and evidence so as to equip the judge to take a decision on whether it was more likely than not that the decision would have been taken anyway, and in order to demonstrate that it would have been taken anyway if the flaw had been identified by the judge. The presupposition is that the judge has identified a technical flaw, as my right hon. Friend would call it, either in consultation, natural justice or perhaps even discrimination. The public authority will then seek to justify its position by saying, “Well, it would have made no difference and you, the judge, on all of the evidence, can take the view yourself that this would have made no difference.” That converts the judge into the decision maker.

6.45 pm

This is the second point that troubles me: not only will it become a cumbersome fact-heavy process, which judicial review is not intended to be and most judges fight very hard to ensure that it is not, as a consequence of the Secretary of State’s amendment, but it will place the judge much closer to being a decision maker on these matters that ought to be for the Executive. Judges generally observe, and they should, a long-stop position. It is only if the decision is unlawful in that it is irrational, perverse, procedurally improper or taken for extraneous motives. That is a very high bar, but the Secretary of State’s amendment would lower that bar. It would put the judge in the position of being much closer to the decision maker. In fact, it transgresses a

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very important constitutional principle, which is that the judge should not get involved in examining the merits of a decision. He is looking only at whether it is irrational, something of which the bar is so high that it is unlikely and that is why so many cases fail. If one asks the judge to make a decision on whether it is probable that the decision would have been taken anyway, one immediately introduces him into the arena of the merits and the facts. That will cause an avalanche of new evidence to be submitted and will mean that the judge starts to get much closer to making decisions on the merits and the facts. That is why I am troubled by the Secretary of State’s amendment.

If it were the case that minor technicalities of the kind the Secretary of State characterises were habitually accepted by judges, I would understand the problem. However, with respect to the Secretary of State, that is not my experience. Certainly, cases may be brought on that basis, but minor technicalities lead to the decision being defective. In my experience those arguments are very soon rebutted, but the Secretary of State has a perfectly right point that there is a case for accelerating judicial review and creating a much more robust system for allowing those kinds of cases to be winnowed out earlier.

The second matter I want to address relates to the interveners. The Government’s original position did trouble me and I think the new provisions are an improvement. I have to say that I found the remarks from the Opposition Front Bench quite surprising. It seems to me that there has been a genuine effort by the Government to move in the direction of those who had real concerns. I do not perceive the risk to be as great as the extraordinary and extreme language adopted by the Opposition proposed. What is being suggested here is not unreasonable, provided that it is interpreted broadly and generously by the courts, as no doubt it will be. What it suggests is that an intervener must effectively have wasted the court’s time. In other words, the intervener must have been of no assistance, or no significant assistance, to the court; that he has targeted his submissions where the court is not helped by them, he has behaved unreasonably, or, alternatively, has taken on the main function of applicant in those circumstances. While the provisions are broad, I think the courts can be trusted to interpret them in favour of bringing meritorious claims, and I would have no problem going into the Lobby with the Secretary of State in that respect.

I wonder if the Secretary of State will have the opportunity to make further remarks on this subject, however, because at the moment I cannot give him my support in the Lobbies on matters relating to the earlier clauses, specifically the “highly likely” clause. The inevitability test the courts have previously adopted drew an important constitutional line that he is asking them to cross. The clause will create pragmatic difficulties in the courts and mean that flagrant and absolutely unacceptable behaviour by the Executive could be condoned by saying, “Well, it made no difference.” There are times when courts ought to mark a fundamental lack of due process.

Chris Grayling: The “exceptional circumstances” provisions would allow a judge to say, “This is a flagrant case and must be heard.”

Mr Cox: I hear the Secretary of State, but the Bill does not refer to “minor technicalities”; as the Bill reads, the default position would be that any abuse of due process

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or power could be justified and defended on the basis that the decision would in any event probably have been taken. It is difficult to make “exceptional circumstances” clauses work, because the courts say, “Well, ‘exceptional circumstances’ cannot mean a lack of fairness or an abuse of power.” I have spent many years examining these kinds of clauses and arguing them in the courts, and I know that “exceptional circumstances” clauses are rarely invoked, because courts are reluctant to acknowledge them as a standard resort in such circumstances. It would take something extreme indeed for a court to be persuaded it was exceptional. On the other hand, abuses of power happen quite often, I am afraid, and the clause is likely to condone those abuses of power, whereas often where there is an abuse, it is right that the decision be taken again.

Mr Elfyn Llwyd (Dwyfor Meirionnydd) (PC): Lords amendments 97 to 102 were carried in the other place to ensure that courts maintained their discretion in determining whether to grant a judicial review by making use of the “highly likely” test. Groups such as Justice have rightly concluded that if these amendments are defeated, it will change the role of judges by inviting them to second-guess how decisions might otherwise have been taken. From his experience, the hon. and learned Member for Torridge and West Devon (Mr Cox) has detailed some very potent arguments why the amendments should be upheld. Parliament should never seek to undermine the courts’ discretion; courts should be free to determine whether to apply the “no difference” test, and to legislate otherwise would impede the integrity of our legal system. I therefore support these amendments.

Lords amendments 105 and 106 would allow the courts to consider the circumstances of individual cases in determining whether to grant an application for judicial review, even in cases where third-party information is not readily available. In clause 66, the Government have tried to find yet another means of limiting the circumstances where applications for judicial review can be heard. The amendments seek to ensure that applications can be heard in cases where third-party information is not easily available.

Judicial review is often the only means by which individuals can hold the Executive responsible for wrong -doing, yet the Government are trying to shut down that avenue for redress. The Joint Committee on Human Rights has said it sees no evidence to support the Government’s reforms, and neither does Justice, Liberty, JustRights, Human Rights Watch, the Howard League, Redress, Inquest, Mencap, Amnesty International—the list goes on. Can anyone report which groups actually support the Government in these changes? [Hon. Members: “The Whips.”] Yes, the Whips.

On clause 67, Lords amendment 107 would maintain courts’ discretion over whether to order an intervener to pay the costs of relevant parties and vice versa. As drafted, the Bill would compel the court to order interveners to pay such costs, other than in exceptional circumstances, as we have heard from the hon. and learned Member for Torridge and West Devon. The provisions in clause 67 are among the most disturbing in the Bill. Unamended, the clause would ensure that charitable organisations and individuals with expertise could no longer enrich the opinion of the courts by intervening in cases where

1 Dec 2014 : Column 84

their expertise would be of use because they could not justify the risk to their trustees, funders or members of supporting litigation. As the noble Lord Carlile asked in the other place:

“How could trustees reasonably agree to support an intervention when it could result in losing tens of thousands of pounds or more in costs, jeopardising, in some cases, the existence of small charities?”—[Official Report, House of Lords, 30 June 2014; Vol. 754, c. 1607.]

Yet the plans would still allow Departments and corporations with huge funds to intervene and hence play a pivotal part in the development of public law.

I ask the House to reconsider the Government’s proposals in the context of the various and—I am trying to avoid vitriol—crippling reforms to access to justice in the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012. As a result of the significant cuts in that Act, more individuals will be looking to charitable organisations for support in getting justice. It seems to me that clause 67 will take away this last resort. I am afraid the Government seem intent on restricting access to justice so that only those with the least to lose can gain redress. Why do they think it necessary to pursue this agenda, which will throw the baby out with the bathwater, despite the perceived misuses of the law relating to judicial review? The hon. and learned Gentleman, a far more experienced lawyer than me, has referred to the time-honoured practice of judicial review—the Wednesbury principles and so on—and the practices in place to ensure that Departments act reasonably in all circumstances. Why should we not uphold the individual’s rights to ensure that Departments act reasonably?

In conclusion, Justice said:

“Punitive and disproportionate, these measures are designed to deter any organisation with limited funds acting as an intervener. In practice, this means that – even in important cases with a constitutional impact which reaches far beyond the immediate interests of the parties - the court will no longer benefit from expert advice and information provided from cash-poor and experience rich charities and NGOs.”

I think that says it all. As we heard earlier, senior judges themselves are on the record as saying that the courts are enriched by the interventions of these people, who know exactly what they are talking about.

Robert Neill: I commend to this House the words of the former Lord Chancellor, the noble Lord Mackay of Clashfern, in the other House. He supported the Bill and set out a sensible balance, as did the Minister, Lord Faulks, himself no slouch as a Minister. It is right that those who come to the Queen’s courts in a public hearing should not shield their true identity or who truly funds them. The Government are right to insist on that point.

It is legitimate for Parliament to set the parameters within which the undoubtedly important system of judicial review works. That is what the Bill seeks to do: it strives to strike a fair balance. I hope the House will support the proposals of my right hon. Friend the Lord Chancellor. It is absolutely critical that we have a comprehensible and credible system of judicial review. I want to see that as much as anyone else, but the mission creep of some areas of judicial review, very often for politically motivated purposes, undermines the true purpose of judicial review as a legitimate and important remedy for the individual. I believe that the Government’s proposal, despite the rather hyperbolic—

1 Dec 2014 : Column 85

7 pm

Debate interrupted (Programme Order, this day).

The Deputy Speaker put forthwith the Question already proposed from the Chair (Standing Order No. 83F), That this House disagrees with Lords amendment 97.

The House divided:

Ayes 319, Noes 203.

Division No. 100]


7 pm


Adams, Nigel

Afriyie, Adam

Aldous, Peter

Amess, Mr David

Andrew, Stuart

Arbuthnot, rh Mr James

Bacon, Mr Richard

Baker, rh Norman

Baker, Steve

Baldry, rh Sir Tony

Baldwin, Harriett

Barclay, Stephen

Barker, rh Gregory

Baron, Mr John

Bebb, Guto

Bellingham, Mr Henry

Benyon, Richard

Beresford, Sir Paul

Berry, Jake

Bingham, Andrew

Birtwistle, Gordon

Blackman, Bob

Blackwood, Nicola

Boles, Nick

Bone, Mr Peter

Bradley, Karen

Brady, Mr Graham

Brake, rh Tom

Bray, Angie

Brazier, Mr Julian

Bridgen, Andrew

Brine, Steve

Brokenshire, James

Brooke, rh Annette

Browne, Mr Jeremy

Buckland, Mr Robert

Burley, Mr Aidan

Burns, rh Mr Simon

Burstow, rh Paul

Burt, rh Alistair

Cairns, Alun

Carmichael, rh Mr Alistair

Carmichael, Neil

Chishti, Rehman

Chope, Mr Christopher

Clappison, Mr James

Clark, rh Greg

Clarke, rh Mr Kenneth

Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey

Coffey, Dr Thérèse

Collins, Damian

Colvile, Oliver

Crabb, rh Stephen

Crockart, Mike

Crouch, Tracey

Davey, rh Mr Edward

Davies, David T. C.


Davies, Glyn

Davies, Philip

Davis, rh Mr David

de Bois, Nick

Dinenage, Caroline

Djanogly, Mr Jonathan

Dorrell, rh Mr Stephen

Dorries, Nadine

Doyle-Price, Jackie

Drax, Richard

Duddridge, James

Duncan, rh Sir Alan

Duncan Smith, rh Mr Iain

Dunne, Mr Philip

Ellis, Michael

Ellison, Jane

Ellwood, Mr Tobias

Elphicke, Charlie

Eustice, George

Evans, Graham

Evans, Jonathan

Evennett, Mr David

Fabricant, Michael

Fallon, rh Michael

Farron, Tim

Featherstone, rh Lynne

Field, Mark

Foster, rh Mr Don

Fox, rh Dr Liam

Francois, rh Mr Mark

Freeman, George

Freer, Mike

Fullbrook, Lorraine

Fuller, Richard

Garnier, Sir Edward

Garnier, Mark

Gauke, Mr David

Gibb, Mr Nick

Gillan, rh Mrs Cheryl

Glen, John

Goodwill, Mr Robert

Gove, rh Michael

Graham, Richard

Grant, Mrs Helen

Grayling, rh Chris

Green, rh Damian

Greening, rh Justine

Griffiths, Andrew

Gummer, Ben

Gyimah, Mr Sam

Hague, rh Mr William

Halfon, Robert

Hames, Duncan

Hammond, rh Mr Philip

Hammond, Stephen

Hancock, rh Matthew

Hancock, Mr Mike

Hands, rh Greg

Harper, Mr Mark

Harrington, Richard

Harris, Rebecca

Hart, Simon

Haselhurst, rh Sir Alan

Hayes, rh Mr John

Heald, Sir Oliver

Heath, Mr David

Heaton-Harris, Chris

Hemming, John

Henderson, Gordon

Herbert, rh Nick

Hinds, Damian

Hoban, Mr Mark

Hollingbery, George

Hollobone, Mr Philip

Holloway, Mr Adam

Hopkins, Kris

Horwood, Martin

Howarth, Sir Gerald

Howell, John

Hughes, rh Simon

Hunt, rh Mr Jeremy

Hunter, Mark

Huppert, Dr Julian

Hurd, Mr Nick

Jackson, Mr Stewart

James, Margot

Javid, rh Sajid

Jenkin, Mr Bernard

Jenrick, Robert

Johnson, Gareth

Johnson, Joseph

Jones, Andrew

Jones, Mr Marcus

Kawczynski, Daniel

Kelly, Chris

Knight, rh Sir Greg

Kwarteng, Kwasi

Lamb, rh Norman

Lancaster, Mark

Lansley, rh Mr Andrew

Latham, Pauline

Laws, rh Mr David

Leadsom, Andrea

Lee, Jessica

Lee, Dr Phillip

Leech, Mr John

Leigh, Sir Edward

Leslie, Charlotte

Letwin, rh Mr Oliver

Lewis, Brandon

Lewis, Dr Julian

Liddell-Grainger, Mr Ian

Lidington, rh Mr David

Lloyd, Stephen

Lopresti, Jack

Lord, Jonathan

Loughton, Tim

Luff, Sir Peter

Lumley, Karen

Macleod, Mary

Main, Mrs Anne

Maude, rh Mr Francis

May, rh Mrs Theresa

Maynard, Paul

McCartney, Jason

McCartney, Karl

McIntosh, Miss Anne

McLoughlin, rh Mr Patrick

McPartland, Stephen

McVey, rh Esther

Menzies, Mark

Metcalfe, Stephen

Miller, rh Maria

Mills, Nigel

Milton, Anne

Mitchell, rh Mr Andrew

Moore, rh Michael

Mordaunt, Penny

Morgan, rh Nicky

Morris, Anne Marie

Morris, David

Morris, James

Mosley, Stephen

Mowat, David

Mulholland, Greg

Mundell, rh David

Munt, Tessa

Murray, Sheryll

Murrison, Dr Andrew

Neill, Robert

Newmark, Mr Brooks

Newton, Sarah

Nokes, Caroline

Norman, Jesse

Nuttall, Mr David

O'Brien, rh Mr Stephen

Offord, Dr Matthew

Ollerenshaw, Eric

Opperman, Guy

Osborne, rh Mr George

Ottaway, rh Sir Richard

Paice, rh Sir James

Parish, Neil

Patel, Priti

Paterson, rh Mr Owen

Pawsey, Mark

Penning, rh Mike

Penrose, John

Percy, Andrew

Perry, Claire

Phillips, Stephen

Pickles, rh Mr Eric

Pincher, Christopher

Poulter, Dr Daniel

Prisk, Mr Mark

Pritchard, Mark

Pugh, John

Raab, Mr Dominic

Randall, rh Sir John

Redwood, rh Mr John

Rees-Mogg, Jacob

Reevell, Simon

Reid, Mr Alan

Rifkind, rh Sir Malcolm

Robathan, rh Mr Andrew

Robertson, rh Sir Hugh

Robertson, Mr Laurence

Rogerson, Dan

Rosindell, Andrew

Rudd, Amber

Ruffley, Mr David

Russell, Sir Bob

Rutley, David

Sanders, Mr Adrian

Sandys, Laura

Scott, Mr Lee

Selous, Andrew

Shapps, rh Grant

Sharma, Alok

Shelbrooke, Alec

Simmonds, Mark

Simpson, David

Simpson, Mr Keith

Smith, Chloe

Smith, Henry

Smith, Julian

Smith, Sir Robert

Soames, rh Sir Nicholas

Soubry, Anna

Spelman, rh Mrs Caroline

Spencer, Mr Mark

Stanley, rh Sir John

Stephenson, Andrew

Stevenson, John

Stewart, Iain

Stewart, Rory

Streeter, Mr Gary

Stride, Mel

Stuart, Mr Graham

Stunell, rh Sir Andrew

Sturdy, Julian

Swales, Ian

Swayne, rh Mr Desmond

Swinson, Jo

Swire, rh Mr Hugo

Syms, Mr Robert

Tapsell, rh Sir Peter

Thornton, Mike

Thurso, rh John

Timpson, Mr Edward

Tomlinson, Justin

Tredinnick, David

Truss, rh Elizabeth

Turner, Mr Andrew

Tyrie, Mr Andrew

Uppal, Paul

Vaizey, Mr Edward

Vara, Mr Shailesh

Villiers, rh Mrs Theresa

Walker, Mr Charles

Walker, Mr Robin

Wallace, Mr Ben

Ward, Mr David

Watkinson, Dame Angela

Weatherley, Mike

Webb, rh Steve

Wharton, James

Wheeler, Heather

White, Chris

Whittaker, Craig

Whittingdale, Mr John

Wiggin, Bill

Willetts, rh Mr David

Williams, Stephen

Williamson, Gavin

Wilson, Mr Rob

Wollaston, Dr Sarah

Wright, rh Jeremy

Wright, Simon

Yeo, Mr Tim

Young, rh Sir George

Zahawi, Nadhim

Tellers for the Ayes:

Gavin Barwell


Lorely Burt


Abbott, Ms Diane

Abrahams, Debbie

Ainsworth, rh Mr Bob

Alexander, Heidi

Ali, Rushanara

Anderson, Mr David

Ashworth, Jonathan

Austin, Ian

Bailey, Mr Adrian

Bain, Mr William

Balls, rh Ed

Banks, Gordon

Barron, rh Kevin

Beckett, rh Margaret

Begg, Dame Anne

Benn, rh Hilary

Berger, Luciana

Betts, Mr Clive

Blackman-Woods, Roberta

Blomfield, Paul

Blunkett, rh Mr David

Brennan, Kevin

Brown, Mr Russell

Bryant, Chris

Buck, Ms Karen

Burden, Richard

Byrne, rh Mr Liam

Campbell, rh Mr Alan

Campbell, Mr Ronnie

Carswell, Douglas

Caton, Martin

Champion, Sarah

Chapman, Jenny

Clarke, rh Mr Tom

Clwyd, rh Ann

Coaker, Vernon

Coffey, Ann

Connarty, Michael

Cooper, Rosie

Cooper, rh Yvette

Corbyn, Jeremy

Cox, Mr Geoffrey

Creagh, Mary

Creasy, Stella

Cruddas, Jon

Cryer, John

Cunningham, Alex

Cunningham, Mr Jim

Dakin, Nic

Danczuk, Simon

David, Wayne

Dobson, rh Frank

Docherty, Thomas

Donohoe, Mr Brian H.

Doran, Mr Frank

Dowd, Jim

Doyle, Gemma

Dromey, Jack

Dugher, Michael

Durkan, Mark

Eagle, Ms Angela

Eagle, Maria

Edwards, Jonathan

Elliott, Julie

Ellman, Mrs Louise

Esterson, Bill

Evans, Chris

Farrelly, Paul

Field, rh Mr Frank

Flello, Robert

Flint, rh Caroline

Flynn, Paul

Fovargue, Yvonne

Francis, Dr Hywel

Galloway, George

Gapes, Mike

Gardiner, Barry

Gilmore, Sheila

Glass, Pat

Glindon, Mrs Mary

Goldsmith, Zac

Green, Kate

Greenwood, Lilian

Griffith, Nia

Hain, rh Mr Peter

Hamilton, Mr David

Hamilton, Fabian

Hanson, rh Mr David

Harris, Mr Tom

Havard, Mr Dai

Healey, rh John

Hepburn, Mr Stephen

Hermon, Lady

Heyes, David

Hodge, rh Margaret

Hood, Mr Jim

Howarth, rh Mr George

Irranca-Davies, Huw

Jackson, Glenda

James, Mrs Siân C.

Jamieson, Cathy

Jarvis, Dan

Johnson, Diana

Jones, Graham

Jones, Mr Kevan

Kane, Mike

Kaufman, rh Sir Gerald

Keeley, Barbara

Kendall, Liz

Khan, rh Sadiq

Lazarowicz, Mark

Leslie, Chris

Lewell-Buck, Mrs Emma

Lewis, Mr Ivan

Llwyd, rh Mr Elfyn

Lucas, Caroline

Lucas, Ian

Mactaggart, Fiona

Mahmood, Mr Khalid

Malhotra, Seema

Marsden, Mr Gordon

McCabe, Steve

McCann, Mr Michael

McCarthy, Kerry

McClymont, Gregg

McDonald, Andy

McDonnell, John

McFadden, rh Mr Pat

McGovern, Alison

McGovern, Jim

McKechin, Ann

McKenzie, Mr Iain

McKinnell, Catherine

Meacher, rh Mr Michael

Mearns, Ian

Miller, Andrew

Moon, Mrs Madeleine

Morden, Jessica

Morrice, Graeme


Morris, Grahame M.


Mudie, Mr George

Murphy, rh Paul

Murray, Ian

Nandy, Lisa

Nash, Pamela

O'Donnell, Fiona

Onwurah, Chi

Osborne, Sandra

Owen, Albert

Pearce, Teresa

Perkins, Toby

Phillipson, Bridget

Pound, Stephen

Powell, Lucy

Qureshi, Yasmin

Raynsford, rh Mr Nick

Reckless, Mark

Reed, Mr Jamie

Reed, Mr Steve

Reynolds, Emma

Reynolds, Jonathan

Ritchie, Ms Margaret

Robertson, John

Robinson, Mr Geoffrey

Rotheram, Steve

Roy, Mr Frank

Roy, Lindsay

Ruane, Chris

Ruddock, rh Dame Joan

Sarwar, Anas

Sawford, Andy

Seabeck, Alison

Sharma, Mr Virendra

Sheerman, Mr Barry

Sheridan, Jim

Shuker, Gavin

Skinner, Mr Dennis

Slaughter, Mr Andy

Smith, Angela

Smith, Nick

Spellar, rh Mr John

Stringer, Graham

Stuart, Ms Gisela

Sutcliffe, Mr Gerry

Tami, Mark

Teather, Sarah

Thomas, Mr Gareth

Timms, rh Stephen

Trickett, Jon

Turner, Karl

Twigg, Derek

Twigg, Stephen

Vaz, Valerie

Walley, Joan

Watts, Mr Dave

Whitehead, Dr Alan

Williams, Hywel

Williamson, Chris

Winnick, Mr David

Winterton, rh Ms Rosie

Woodcock, John

Wright, David

Wright, Mr Iain

Tellers for the Noes:

Tom Blenkinsop


Julie Hilling

Question accordingly agreed to.