House of Lords
Session 2001- 02
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Minutes and Order Papers

Minutes and Order Paper - Minutes of Proceedings


 

HOUSE OF LORDS

MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS

Die Lunae 2° Julii 2001

The House met at half-past two o’clock.

PRAYERS were read by the Lord Bishop of Wakefield.

1.  Lord Chan—Michael Chew Koon Chan Esquire, MBE, having been created Baron Chan, of Oxton in the County of Merseyside, for life by Letters Patent dated 2nd June 2001, was introduced between the Lord Dholakia and the Lord Parekh, the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod and Garter King of Arms preceding; and took and subscribed the oath pursuant to statute.

2.  Lord Clark of Windermere—The Right Honourable David George Clark, having been created Baron Clark of Windermere, of Windermere, in the County of Cumbria, for life by Letters Patent dated in the afternoon of 2nd July 2001, was introduced between the Lord Carter and the Lord Hardy of Wath, the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod and Garter King of Arms preceding; and took and subscribed the oath pursuant to statute.

3.  Oaths—The Lords following took and subscribed the oath pursuant to statute:

    Harry Lord Ewing of Kirkford

    David Russell Lord Russell-Johnston

    Richard Gerald Lord Acton (Lord Acton of Bridgnorth)

    Clive Richard Lord Hollick

    James Michael Leathes Lord Prior

    Barbara Scott Baroness Young of Old Scone

    Peter Edward Lord Walker of Worcester

    Hugh William Lord Reay

    Michael Goodall Lord Watson of Invergowrie

    Mark Oliver Lord Saville of Newdigate

Judicial Business

4.  Regina v. Spear (Appellant) (On Appeal from Her Majesty’s Courts-Martial Appeal Court)—The appeal of John Spear was presented and ordered to be prosecuted subject to the procedures applicable thereto.

5.  Regina v. Hastie (Appellant) (On Appeal from Her Majesty’s Courts-Martial Appeal Court)—The appeal of Philip David Hastie was presented and ordered to be prosecuted subject to the procedures applicable thereto.

6.  Regina v. Smith (Respondent) (2001) (On Appeal from the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division))—The appeal of Her Majesty’s Commissioners of Customs and Excise was presented and ordered to be prosecuted subject to the procedures applicable thereto.

7.  Regina v. Clinton (Petitioner) (Northern Ireland)—The petition of James Patrick Martin Clinton praying for an extension of time within which the petition may be lodged and for leave to appeal in accordance with the Judicature (Northern Ireland) Act 1978 was presented and referred to an Appeal Committee.

8.  Co-operative Retail Services Limited (Respondents) v. Taylor Young Partnership and others (Appellants) and others—The petition of the appellants praying that the time for lodging the statement and appendix and setting down the cause for hearing might be extended to 13th August next (the agents for the respondents consenting thereto) was presented; and it was ordered as prayed.

9.  Ashworth Security Hospital (Respondents) v. MGN Limited (Appellants)—The petition of the appellants praying that the time for lodging the statement and appendix and setting down the cause for hearing might be extended to 15th August next or to the third sitting day after the next ensuing meeting of the House (the agents for the respondents consenting thereto) was presented; and it was ordered as prayed.

10.  Westminster City Council (Appellants) v. National Asylum Support Service (Respondents)—It was ordered that the appellants be allowed to prosecute the appeal without giving the usual security for costs as required by Standing Order.

11.  Regina v. Secretary of State for the Home Department (Petitioner) ex parte Zeqiri (FC) (Respondent)—The petitioner’s certificate of public funding was lodged.

12.  Appeal Committee—The 7th Report was made; the Appeal Committee reported that they had met and had heard Counsel; the report was agreed to and the following Order was made—

    Brady (Petitioner) v. Commissioners of Customs and Excise (Respondents)—That leave to appeal be refused.

Papers

13.  Command Papers—The following papers, having been presented to the House by command of Her Majesty on 29th June, were ordered to lie on the Table:

    1.      Defence—Framework Agreement between France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom concerning Measures to Facilitate the Restructuring and Operation of the European Defence Industry;      (5185)

    2.      Air Services—Exchange of Notes between the United Kingdom and Malaysia Amending the Air Services Agreement done at London on 24 May 1973;      (5184)

    3.      Industry—Report and Accounts for 2000 of the Construction Industry Training Board;      (—)

    4.      Trade an Industry—Department of Trade and Industry UKAEA: Summer Supplementary Estimates.      (5177)

14.  Statutory Instruments (Standing Order 70)—The following negative instruments, having been laid before the House on 29th June, were ordered to lie on the Table:

    1.      (i)      Rent Officers (Housing Benefit Functions) (Amendment) (No. 2) Order 2001—      (2317)

    (ii)      Rent Officers (Housing Benefit Functions) (Scotland) (Amendment) (No. 2) Order 2001—      (2318)

    laid under the Housing Act 1996;

    2.      (i)      Social Security Amendment (Volunteers) Regulations 2001—      (2296)

    (ii)      Social Security Amendment (Discretionary Housing Payments) Regulations 2001—      (2333)

    laid under the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992;

    3.      Sweeteners in Food (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2001, laid under the Food Safety Act 1990;      (2294)

    4.      Merchant Shipping (Port State Control) (Amendment) Regulations 2001, laid under the European Communities Act 1972.      (2349)

15.  Negative Instruments—The following instruments were laid before the House and ordered to lie on the Table:

    1.      Community Drivers’ Hours (Foot-and-Mouth Disease) (Temporary Exception) (No. 2) (Amendment No. 2) Regulations 2001, laid under the European Communities Act 1972;      (2358)

    2.      Social Security Amendment (Students and Income-related Benefits) Regulations 2001, laid under the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992;      (2319)

    3.      Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Meaning of “Policy” and “Policyholder”) Order 2001, laid under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000;      (2361)

    4.      Safety of Sports Grounds (Designation) Order 2001, laid under the Safety of Sports Grounds Act 1975;      (2372)

    5.      Football Spectators (Seating) Order 2001, laid under the Football Spectators Act 1989.      (2373)

16.  Papers not subject to parliamentary proceedings—The following papers were laid before the House and ordered to lie on the Table:

    1.      Report and Accounts for 2000-2001 of the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency, together with the Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General, laid under the Government Trading Funds Act 1973;

    2.      Accounts for 2000-2001 of the Crown’s Nominee, laid under the Treasury Solicitor Act 1876;

    3.      Accounts for 1999-2000 Relating to Issues from the National Loans Fund, together with the Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General, laid under various Acts;

    4.      Accounts for 2000-2001 of the Occupational Pensions Regulatory Authority, together with the Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General, laid under the Pensions Act 1995.

Public Business

17.  Chinook ZD 576—It was moved by the Chairman of Committees, pursuant to the motion agreed to by the House on 30th April in the last Parliament, that a Select Committee of five members be appointed to consider the justification for the finding of those reviewing the conclusions of the RAF Board of Inquiry that both pilots of the Chinook helicopter ZD 576 which crashed on the Mull of Kintyre on 2nd June 1994 were negligent;

    That, as proposed by the Committee of Selection, the following Lords be named of the Committee:

L. Bowness

L. Brennan

L. Hooson

L. Jauncey of Tullichettle (Chairman)

L. Tombs;

    That the Committee have power to appoint specialist advisers;

    That the Committee have power to adjourn from place to place;

    That the Committee shall report by 31st January 2002;

    the motion was agreed to.

18.  Hybrid Instruments—It was moved by the Chairman of Committees that a Select Committee be appointed to consider hybrid instruments and that, as proposed by the Committee of Selection, the following Lords together with the Chairman of Committees be named of the Committee:

L. Campbell of Alloway

E. Courtown

V. Craigavon

L. King of West Bromwich

L. Luke

B. Thomas of Walliswood

B. Wilkins;

    the motion was agreed to.

19.  Personal Bills—It was moved by the Chairman of Committees that a Select Committee be appointed to consider personal bills and that, as proposed by the Committee of Selection, the following Lords together with the Chairman of Committees be named of the Committee:

L. Faulkner of Worcester

B. Knight of Collingtree

L. Sandberg

L. Templeman

L. Wilberforce;

    the motion was agreed to.

20.  Standing Orders (Private Bills)—It was moved by the Chairman of Committees that a Select Committee on the Standing Orders relating to private bills be appointed and that, as proposed by the Committee of Selection, the following Lords together with the Chairman of Committees be named of the Committee:

L. Brett

L. Brougham and Vaux

B. Gould of Potternewton

L. Greaves

E. Liverpool

L. Luke

E. Sandwich;

    the motion was agreed to.

21.  Code of Conduct—The House resolved itself into a Committee of the Whole House; it was moved by the Lord Privy Seal (Lord Williams of Mostyn) that this House adopts a Code of Conduct for Members of the House of Lords as follows:

    CODE OF CONDUCT FOR MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE OF LORDS

Purpose of the Code

    1.      The purpose of this Code of Conduct is:

        — to provide guidance for Members of the House of Lords on the standards of conduct expected of them in the discharge of their parliamentary and public duties;

        — to provide the openness and accountability necessary to reinforce public confidence in the way in which Members of the House of Lords perform their parliamentary and public duties.

    2.      This Code applies to all Members of the House of Lords who have not taken leave of absence.

Public duty

    3.      By virtue of their oath, or affirmation, of allegiance, Members of the House have a duty to be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty the Queen, her heirs and successors, according to law.

Personal conduct

    4.      Members of the House:

        — must comply with the Code of Conduct;

        — should act always on their personal honour;

        — must never accept any financial inducement as an incentive or reward for exercising parliamentary influence;

        — must not vote on any bill or motion, or ask any question in the House or a committee, or promote any matter, in return for payment or any other material benefit (the “no paid advocacy” rule).

    5.      Members of the House should observe the seven general principles of conduct identified by the Committee on Standards in Public Life. The seven principles are:

      Selflessness: Holders of public office should take decisions solely in terms of the public interest. They should not do so in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends.

      Integrity: Holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might influence them in the performance of their official duties.

      Objectivity: In carrying out public business, including making public appointments, awarding contracts, or recommending individuals for rewards and benefits, holders of public office should make choices on merit.

      Accountability: Holders of public office are accountable for their decisions and actions to the public and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their office.

      Openness: Holders of public office should be as open as possible about all the decisions and actions that they take. They should give reasons for their decisions and restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly demands.

      Honesty: Holders of public office have a duty to declare any private interests relating to their public duties and to take steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects the public interest.

      Leadership: Holders of public office should promote and support these principles by leadership and example.

Primacy of the public interest

    6.      In the conduct of their parliamentary duties, Members of the House shall resolve any conflict between their personal interest and the public interest in favour of the public interest.

Registration and Declaration of Relevant Interests

    7.      Members of the House must:

        register in the Register of Lords’ Interests all relevant interests, in order to make clear what are the interests that might reasonably be thought to influence their actions;

        declare when speaking in the House, or communicating with ministers, government departments or executive agencies, any interest which is a relevant interest in the context of the debate or the matter under discussion. This is necessary in order that their audience may form a balanced judgment of their arguments. In cases where Members of the House vote in a division where they have a relevant interest that they have not been able to declare, they should register that interest within 24 hours of the division.

What is a relevant interest?

    8.      The test of relevant interest is whether the interest might reasonably be thought by the public to affect the way in which a Member of the House of Lords discharges his or her parliamentary duties.

    9.      The test of relevant interest is therefore not whether a Member’s actions in Parliament will be influenced by the interest, but whether the public might reasonably think that this might be the case.

    10.      Relevant interests include both financial and non-financial interests.

Relevant financial interests

    11.      The following financial interests are always relevant and therefore must be registered:

        — any consultancy agreement under which Members of the House provide parliamentary advice or services;

        A copy of any such agreement, and the remuneration received by Members for advice in relation to parliamentary matters, must be deposited with the Registrar of Lords’ Interests, so that details are available for public inspection.

        — employment or any other financial interest in businesses involved in parliamentary lobbying on behalf of clients, including public relations and law firms but Members of the House involved with organisations that offer commercial lobbying services are not obliged to refrain from participating in parliamentary business in connection with all clients of that organisation but only their personal clients;

        — any remunerated service which Members of the House provide by virtue of their position as members of Parliament, and the clients of any such service;

        — employment as a non-parliamentary consultant;

        — remunerated directorships;

        — regular remunerated employment (excluding occasional income from speeches, lecturing, broadcasting and journalism);

        — shareholdings amounting to a controlling interest;

        — provision by an outside body of secretarial and research assistance;

        — visits with costs paid in the United Kingdom and overseas, made as a member of Parliament, except any visits paid for from public funds.

    12.      The list in paragraph 11 above is not exhaustive. For example, relevant financial interests may also include (depending on their significance):

        — shareholdings not amounting to a controlling interest;

        — landholdings (excluding Members’ homes);

        — the financial interests of a spouse or relative or friend;

        — hospitality or gifts given to a Member which could reasonably be regarded as an incentive to support a particular cause or interest.

    13.      Except for remuneration received by Members for advice in relation to parliamentary matters, Members of the House are not required to disclose how much they earn from the financial interests set out in paragraphs 11 and 12, but they may do so if they wish.

Relevant non-financial interests

    14.      The following non-financial interests are always relevant and therefore must be registered:

        — membership of public bodies such as hospital trusts, the governing bodies of universities, colleges and schools, and local authorities;

        — trusteeships of museums, galleries or similar bodies;

        — acting as an office-holder or trustee in pressure groups or trade unions;

        — acting as an office-holder or trustee in voluntary or not-for-profit organisations.

    15.      The list in paragraph 14 above is not exhaustive. For example, relevant non-financial interests may also include (depending on their significance):

        — other trusteeships;

        — unpaid membership of voluntary organisations.

    16.      Members of the House are not obliged to register membership of Churches, religious bodies and quasi-religious organisations. But it may be necessary to declare such interests (see paragraph 7).

Advice

    17.      The Registrar is available to advise Members of the House. A Member who acts on the advice of the Registrar in determining what is a relevant interest satisfies fully the requirements of the Code of Conduct.

Enforcement of the Code of Conduct

    18.      Allegations of non-compliance with this Code are dealt with as follows:

      1. Any allegation should normally be raised first with the Member complained against. However, there may be circumstances when it is more appropriate to raise the matter with a party Leader or Chief Whip, or the Convenor of the Cross Bench Peers.

      2. If the complainant chooses to pursue the matter, he or she should refer the allegation directly to the Sub-Committee on Lords’ Interests, through its chairman.

      3. The Sub-Committee will then examine the allegation and may decide to investigate it further or to dismiss it.

      4. In the investigation and adjudication of complaints against them, Members of the House have the right to safeguards as rigorous as those applied in the courts and professional disciplinary bodies.

      5. If after investigation the Sub-Committee finds the allegation proved, the Member complained against has a right of appeal to the Committee for Privileges.

      6. The conclusions of the Sub-Committee and of the Committee for Privileges are reported to the House.

    19.      The adoption of this Code shall have effect from 31st March 2002;

    then it was moved by the Lord Kingsland, as an amendment thereto, in line 1 to leave out all the words after “CODE OF CONDUCT FOR MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE OF LORDS” and insert:

“Purpose of the Code of Conduct

    1.      The purpose of this Code of Conduct is:

      i) to provide guidance for Members of the House of Lords on the standards of conduct expected of them in the discharge of their parliamentary and public duties;

      ii) to provide the openness and accountability necessary to reinforce public confidence in the way in which Members of the House of Lords perform their parliamentary and public duties.

    2.      This Code applies to all Members of the House of Lords who have not taken leave of absence.

Public duty

    3.      By virtue of their oath, or affirmation, of allegiance, Members of the House of Lords have a duty to be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty the Queen, her heirs and successors, according to law.

Personal conduct

    4.      Members of the House:

      i) should act always on their personal honour;

      ii) must comply with the Code of Conduct;

      iii) must never accept any financial inducement as an incentive or reward for exercising parliamentary influence;

      iv) must not vote on any bill or motion, or ask any question in the House or a Committee, or promote any matter, in return for payment or any other material benefit (the “no paid advocacy” rule).

    5.      Members of the House should observe the seven general principles of conduct identified by the Committee on Standards in Public Life. The seven principles are:

      Selflessness: Holders of public office should take decisions solely in terms of the public interest. They should not do so in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends.

      Integrity: Holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might influence them in the performance of their official duties.

      Objectivity: In carrying out public business, including making public appointments, awarding contracts, or recommending individuals for rewards and benefits, holders of public office should make choices on merit.

      Accountability: Holders of public office are accountable for their decisions and actions to the public and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their office.

      Openness: Holders of public office should be as open as possible about all the decisions and actions that they take. They should give reasons for their decisions and restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly demands.

      Honesty: Holders of public office have a duty to declare any private interests relating to their public duties and to take steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects the public interest.

      Leadership: Holders of public office should promote and support these principles by leadership and example.

Primacy of the public interest

    6.      In the conduct of their parliamentary duties, Members of the House shall resolve any conflict between their personal interest and the public interest in favour of the public interest.

Registration and Declaration of Relevant Interests

    7.      Members of the House must:

      i) Declare any relevant interest of their own or of their spouse, which is pertinent to a debate, when speaking in the House and otherwise pertinent when communicating with Ministers, government departments and executive agencies. This is necessary in order that their audience may form a balanced judgment of their arguments.

      ii) Register in the Register of Lords’ Interests all relevant interests of their own or of their spouse, in order to make clear those interests that might reasonably be thought to influence their actions.

What is a relevant interest?

    8.      The test of relevant interest is whether the interest might reasonably be thought by the public to affect the way in which a Member of the House of Lords discharges his or her parliamentary duties.

    9.      The test of relevant interest is therefore not whether a Member’s actions in Parliament will be influenced by the interest, but whether others might reasonably think that this might be the case.

    10.      Relevant interests are capable of including both financial and non-financial interests.

Relevant financial interests

    11.      Relevant financial interests connected with the provision of Parliamentary services include:

      i) Parliamentary consultancies;

      ii) Receiving payment for advice in relation to parliamentary matters;

      iii) Employment or other financial interests in businesses involved in parliamentary lobbying on behalf of clients, including public relations, accountancy and law firms.

    12.      Members are obliged to refrain from speaking or voting on any matter connected with the provision of parliamentary services. However, Members of the House involved with organisations that offer commercial lobbying services are not obliged to refrain from participating in parliamentary business in connection with all clients of that organisation, but only their personal clients.

    13.      All Members of the House must:

      i) Register in the Register of Lords’ Interests any consultancy agreement under which they provide parliamentary advice or services;

      ii) Deposit a copy of any such consultancy agreement, excluding levels of remuneration, with the Registrar of Lords’ Interests so that it is available for public inspection;

      iii) Register any financial interest in a parliamentary lobbying business.

    14.      Other relevant financial interests are:

      i) Remunerated directorships and partnerships;

      ii) Remunerated employment (excluding occasional income from speeches, lecturing, broadcasting, journalism and writing);

      iii) Provision by an outside body of secretarial and research assistance;

      iv) Any remunerated service which Members of the House may provide by virtue of their position as Members.

    15.      In addition, relevant financial interests may also include:

      i) Significant shareholdings;

      ii) Significant landholdings (other than Members’ homes);

      iii) Any other financial interest or inducement, which might reasonably be thought to influence a Member of the House.

    16.      Members of the House are not required to disclose how much they earn from the financial interests set out in paragraphs 11 to 15.

Relevant non-financial interests

    17.      The following non-financial interests are always relevant and therefore must be registered:

      i) membership of public bodies, such as hospital trusts, the governing bodies of universities, colleges and schools, and local authorities;

      ii) trusteeships of museums, galleries or similar bodies;

      iii) acting as an office-holder or trustee in a voluntary or not-for-profit organisation, pressure group or trade union.

    18.      Relevant non-financial interests may also include (depending on their significance):

      i) other trusteeships (excepting family trusts);

      ii) unpaid membership of voluntary organisations.

    19.      Members of the House are under no obligation to register unpaid membership of organisations or membership of Churches, religious bodies and quasi-religious organisations. But it may be necessary to declare such interests. (See paragraph 20)

Interests relevant in specific contexts only

    20.      Some financial and non-financial interests may not be relevant generally, because they could not reasonably be regarded by the public as affecting the way in which a Member of the House discharges his or her parliamentary duties. But such interests may be thought to have such an effect in the context of a particular debate, division or correspondence. Such interests should therefore be declared as pertinent to that debate, division or correspondence. In cases where a Member of the House votes in a division where he has a pertinent interest that he has not been able to declare, he should register that interest within 24 hours of the division.

Advice

    21.      The meaning of “relevant interest” may depend on circumstances. The Registrar is available to advise Members. A peer who acts on advice of the Registrar in determining what is a relevant interest satisfies fully the requirements of the Code of Conduct.

Enforcement of the Code of Conduct

    22.      Allegations of non-compliance with this Code are to be dealt with as follows:

      i) Any allegation should, as a normal courtesy, be raised first with the Member complained against. However, there may also be circumstances when it is more appropriate to raise the matter with a party Leader or Chief Whip, or the Convenor of the Cross Bench Peers.

      ii) If, after the above steps have been taken, the complainant chooses to pursue the matter, he or she should refer the allegation directly, and in private, to the Sub-Committee on Lords’ Interests through its Chairman.

      iii) The Sub-Committee will then examine the allegation and may decide to investigate it further or to dismiss it.

      iv) In investigation and adjudication of complaints against them, Members of the House have the right to safeguards as rigorous as those applied in the courts and professional disciplinary bodies.

      v) If, after investigation, the Sub-Committee finds the allegation proved, the Member complained against has a right of appeal to the Committee for Privileges.

      vi) The conclusions of the Sub-Committee and of the Committee for Privileges will be reported to the House. "

    23.      The adoption of this Code shall have effect from a date to be determined by a resolution of the House, which shall not be before 31st March 2002;

    after debate, the amendment was disagreed to (see division list); then the original motion was agreed to; the House was resumed and the proposed Code of Conduct was reported to the House; the report was received and the House resolved to adopt the Code of Conduct for Members of the House of Lords.

22.  International Development Bill [HL]—It was moved by the Baroness Amos that the bill be now read a second time; after debate, the motion was agreed to and the bill was committed to a Committee of the Whole House.

23.  Arts Council of England—The Viscount Falkland asked Her Majesty’s Government whether they intend to implement the changes in the structure of the Arts Council of England; and, if so, what is their timetable; after debate, the question was answered by the Baroness Blackstone.

The House was adjourned at twenty-three minutes past eleven o’clock

till tomorrow, half-past two o’clock.

MICHAEL DAVIES

Cler: Parliamentor:

 
 
 
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Prepared: 3 july 2001