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LORDS AMENDMENT

6Clause 14, page 8, line 15, at end insert ("or
(d) is the subject of a vote of no confidence by not less than nineteen Assembly members,")
The Commons disagreed to this amendment for the following reason--
6A

Because it is not appropriate for the London Assembly to be empowered to remove the Mayor of London from office.

Lord Whitty: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do not insist on their Amendment No. 6 to which the Commons have disagreed for the reason numbered 6A.

I have already spoken to this amendment.

Moved, That the House do not insist on their Amendment No. 6 to which the Commons have disagreed for the reason numbered 6A.--(Lord Whitty.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

LORDS AMENDMENT

419Clause 231, page 127, line 11, at end insert-
("(bb) facilitating the transfer of functions, property, rights or liabilities to Transport for London from any other body or person from whom they are or may be so transferred under or by virtue of this Act; or")
The Commons agreed to this amendment with the following amendment--
419ALine 4, after ("Act;") insert-
("(bc) facilitating the exercise by Transport for London of any functions so transferred;")

Lord Whitty: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 419A to Lords Amendment No. 419.

As I explained to the House at an earlier stage, Chapter XVI of Part IV provides for the transition from London Transport to Transport for London. It is in particular designed to deal with the period prior to the transition during which both bodies will still be in existence with London Transport continuing to be responsible for the operation of the London Underground.

London Transport, as the most substantial predecessor body, will play a major role in the setting up of TfL. We consulted London Transport following each of the stages of this Bill. However, London Transport's legal advisers have pointed out a minor possible loophole which led to my colleagues in another place bringing forward Amendment No. 419A. Amendment No. 419A is a minor change to ensure that during the transitional period London Transport can support and co-operate with TfL across the full range of its transport functions and not--as might have been implied previously--simply those related to public passenger transport. I am sure that noble Lords will agree that this is sensible. I beg to move.

Moved, That the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 419A to Lords Amendment No. 419.--(Lord Whitty.)

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On Question, Motion agreed to.

LORDS AMENDMENT

499Clause 310, leave out Clause 310 and insert the following new Clause--
Discrimination.

(". It shall be the duty of--
(a) the Greater London Authority,
(b) the Metropolitan Police Authority, and
(c) the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority,
to exercise their various functions with due regard to the need--
(i) to promote and secure equality of opportunity for all persons irrespective of their race, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation or religion;
(ii) to eliminate all forms of unlawful discrimination; and
(iii) to promote good relations between persons of different racial groups, religious beliefs and sexual orientation.")
The Commons disagreed to this amendment but proposed the following amendment in lieu thereof--
499AAfter Clause 316, insert the following new clause--
("Discrimination
DISCRIMINATION.

.--(1) In exercising their functions, it shall be the duty of--
(a) the Greater London Authority (whether acting by the Mayor, the Assembly or the Mayor and Assembly jointly),
(b) the Metropolitan Police Authority, and
(c) the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority,
to comply with the requirement in subsection (2) below.
(2) The requirement is to have regard to the need--
(a) to promote equality of opportunity for all persons irrespective of their race, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation or religion;
(b) to eliminate unlawful discrimination; and
(c) to promote good relations between persons of different racial groups, religious beliefs and sexual orientation.
(3) This section is without prejudice to section (Equality of opportunity) above and is subject to any provision made by or under any enactment.")

Lord Whitty: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do not insist on their Amendment No. 499 to which the Commons have disagreed, and do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 499A in lieu thereof.

The government amendment agreed in the Commons amends only in minor ways the amendment carried in this House. It was an amendment proposed from the Liberal Democrat Benches by the noble Lord, Lord Dholakia. As I explained at that stage, the intent of the new clause was accepted by the Government. I am grateful to all noble Lords who participated in that debate for the improvement to this Bill which this new clause represents.

Even as amended in the Commons the new clause continues to make it a duty not only of the GLA but also of the Metropolitan Police Authority and the fire authority to exercise their functions with due regard to the need to promote equality of opportunity for all persons irrespective of their race, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation or religion. Those authorities must also have regard to the need to eliminate all forms of

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unlawful discrimination and to promote good relations between persons of different racial groups. I believe that co-operation in this House and acceptance of the principle in the Commons have improved this Bill significantly, to the benefit of significant sections and communities within London.

The Government's amendment restores the provisions of the Race Relations Act 1976, which we believe should remain on the face of the Bill, and also removes the word "secure" from subsection (1) of the amendment passed in this House. That is because we do not believe that in all circumstances it will be possible for those authorities to secure equality of opportunity for all in the strict sense of the word. If this remains on the face of the Bill they would be vulnerable to subsequent legal challenge. We do not think that would be sensible. While retaining, therefore, the principles of the amendment adopted within this House, we wish to amend it in the way I have mentioned.

I note that the noble Baroness has tabled an amendment to this amendment. With the leave of the House, I shall respond to that when she has spoken.

Moved, That the House do not insist on their Amendment No. 499 to which the Commons have disagreed, and do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 499A in lieu thereof.--(Lord Whitty.)

3.30 p.m.

Baroness Hamwee moved, as an amendment to Commons Amendment No. 499A, Amendment No. 499B:


499BLine 9, in subsection (2), after ("have") insert ("due").

The noble Baroness said: My Lords, this is a small but important amendment to the Commons amendment. We very much welcome the inclusion of an anti-discrimination clause. Perhaps the rubric in the margin should say that. We welcome that clause to the Bill. It is important that the matters which are experienced as leading to discrimination should be spelt out in the way they are articulated in the duty to promote equality of opportunity, eliminate unlawful discrimination and promote good relations.

However, my amendment incorporates a question. Why have the Government chosen to leave out the word "due" where the authority is required to have regard to the need: in other words, not to have "due regard" to the need set out in subsection (2).

The Government's own amendment introduced at Report stage used that kind of terminology. There is due regard to the principle that there should be equality of opportunity for all people. Section 120 of the Government of Wales Act, Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act and Section 17 of the Crime and Disorder Act and all statutes of 1998 use that terminology.

When the Minister responsible for conducting the Bill through the House introduced this amendment in another place, he said that it would make it a duty of

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the GLA, the Metropolitan Police Authority and the fire authority to exercise their functions with due regard to these needs. When questioned on the matter he said that leaving out the word "due" would not change the impact of the legislation, but would simply reduce the number of words in the Bill by one, which must a good thing. Of all the explanations that have come from another place as regards this Bill, that must be the weakest.

I hope that I am not seeing a problem where there is not one. I hope that the Minister can give us an assurance that leaving out the word "due" will make no difference at all to what the provision means. I would far rather see it in the Bill, but I understand that there are problems of timetabling. We do not want to threaten the Bill as a whole. It is important that those who interpret the Bill have the toughest assurances to which they can refer in Hansard that "having regard" means the same as having "due regard" in the legislation to which I have referred. I beg to move.


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