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The Earl of Listowel: My Lords, I thank the Minister for her undertaking that Jeremy Oppenheim, the children's champion at the Immigration and Nationality Directorate, will meet the Children's Commissioner to discuss the issue; that she will carefully review the legal implications of the amendment; and that she will ensure that a report will come to me on the problem. I appreciate greatly the assurances. The response is most encouraging and significant progress has been made since Report stage.
I also thank noble Lords who put their names to and spoke to the amendment in a helpful way. I am reminded that tonight at Yarl's Wood families will be behind bars, seeing the officers there in their prison-style uniforms with their long keychains. I recall one mother's question to me there on one of my visits: "What do I tell my five year-old child when he asks me what he has done wrong to be placed here?". It is a very difficult issue and it needs to be given careful attention. I am very grateful to the Minister for her encouraging response, and I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.
Lord Grocott: My Lords, I have it in command from Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales to acquaint the House that they, having been informed of the purport of the London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Bill, have consented to place their Prerogative and Interest, so far as they are affected by the Bill, at the disposal of Parliament for the purposes of the Bill.
The noble Lord said: My Lords, in speaking to Amendment No. 1, I shall also speak to Amendments Nos. 2, 3, 4, 6 and 7 in my name, and will make a passing reference to Amendment No. 5 in the name of the noble Lord, Lord Clement-Jones.
I am pleased to introduce these amendments, which give broadcasters and publishers greater certainty that editorial and journalistic practices will not be adversely affected by the London Olympics association right. This issue has been debated at some length both in Committee and on Report. There has been a clear uniformity of purpose on both sides of the House in those debates about what the Bill should do. I think that, without question, we all agree that the press should be free to report or comment on any aspect of the games without fear of infringing the London Olympics association right.
Noble Lords have expressed concerns that the current draft of the Bill, specifically the term "necessary incident", would inhibit editorial freedom and give LOCOG a wholly unacceptable role in judging what is classified as editorial content in relation to 2012. That was clearly never the Government's intention. What we sought to do in paragraph 8 of Schedule 4 was to provide an absolute fail-safe to ensure that journalistic and editorial activity would not fall foul of the London Olympics association right. But in creating that exemption for journalistic and editorial activity, we wanted to ensure that we did not create a loophole that an unscrupulous advertiser could exploit. That was the rationale behind the inclusion of the term "necessary incident" in paragraph 8 of Schedule 4; it was nothing more sinister than that.
I have listened carefully to noble Lords on the Front Benches of both the Opposition parties and to the representations from broadcasters and newspaper publishers on this issue. Although our clear legal advice was that the current drafting of paragraph 8 of Schedule 4 would not have the effect that caused noble
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Lords such concern, I understand the confusion and unease that "necessary incident" created in the publishing and broadcasting industries. That is why I have taken the opportunity to table these amendments today to provide greater clarity about the effect of the exemptions in paragraph 8. My amendments would exempt publishing or broadcasting reports or information about the 2012 games from infringing the London Olympics association right. It is important that these exemptions will not apply to advertising materials that are published at the same time as, or in connection with, a report or information. In effect, that ensures that no form of advertising will enjoy the same exemptions as we have created for editorial and journalistic use.
At this point, I should also put on record the fact that my amendments do nothing to change the effect of paragraph 8(d) of Schedule 4. This paragraph ensures that publishers and broadcasters are allowed to advertise and use promotional time to publicise the report or information that they are providing. For example, a broadcaster would be able to promote or advertise the fact that it is running a current affairs programme about the Olympics or that its sports bulletin will include the latest information on the 2012 games.
Although the debate on these amendments was triggered by consideration of the London Olympic association right, the principle applies also to the Olympic and Paralympic association rights created in existing Olympic symbols protection legislation. That is why I have tabled a similar amendment to Schedule 3, which amends the Olympic Symbol etc. (Protection) Act.
In tabling these amendments, the Government have recognised the genuine concerns that the London Olympic association right could have adversely affected the freedom of the pressan intention, which none of us had. I note that the noble Lord, Lord Clement-Jones, who has argued so persuasively on this issue, has tabled Amendment No. 5, which has an effect similar to the amendments which I have put forward. I hope that now that he has had the chance to consider the new amendments, and the assurances that I have given the House about their effect, he will be satisfied that the Government have addressed his concerns. I therefore ask him not to move his amendment, and that all noble Lords accept the amendments that I have tabled today. I beg to move.
Lord Clement-Jones: My Lords, I thank the Minister very much for putting forward the amendments in the way that he has. I hope that he will not be too disappointed if I do not speak to Amendment No. 5, which was tabled purely as a precaution. We are delighted with the amendments, as I am sure are all noble Lords who spoke so strongly in favour of the previous amendments, which were designed to clarify the point that the Minister has made. I know that the newspaper and broadcasting industry are very pleased, not to say relieved, that that clarification has been given. I cannot resist thanking
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the Minister for going the extra mile beyond the legal advice that he received. Clearly, there was some conflict in that respect.
More generally, I thank the Minister for responding extremely helpfully to the concerns raised throughout the Bill. We made it clear from the outsetthe noble Lord, Lord Glentoran, said the same thingthat we were pressing only the key concerns on the Bill. There was nothing frivolous about the points that we made. Of course, we were supported by very strong representations from the Back Benches on both sides of the House. The noble Lord, Lord Borrie, is in his place. He was an extremely effective advocate. I cannot resist also awarding medals to all those involved in the debate in Committee, on Report and at Third Reading, particularly to the Minister, to whom I am extremely grateful.
Further amendments on Report were very welcome to the advertising industry. It is very pleased that its rights to consultation will be enshrined in the Bill. Above all, the great prize during the passage of the Bill was the change from the automatic presumption of liability under the London association right to a much more balanced approach, which gave great relief to those who will have to judge, or try to judge, on behalf of their customers and clients whether they will be infringing. I am very pleased that we have got to the tape in such good shape. We are very supportive of the Bill in its current form.
Lord Glentoran: My Lords, I would like to reiterate a lot of what the noble Lord, Lord Clement-Jones, has said. It has been an interesting Bill. We had some aggressive and strong lobbying from various parts of the advertising and media industries and one or two other people from different directionsincluding LOCOGso it was not all one-sided. The Minister and his Bill team have been in serious listening mode throughout Committee and Report stages and in a number of meetings that we have had with the Minister in his officesometimes with and sometimes without his team.
We have worked to one end. As the noble Lord, Lord Clement-Jones, said, there have been some notable and strong speakers from all around the Houseall with one objective: to do as much as we can to make sure that we get this Bill right in order to create the best possible environment from this House to allow local bodies and the Olympic Delivery Authority to go ahead and make the event a huge success which we desperately want. I want to finish by thanking the Minister, his Bill team and all of those who have been concerned in the whole way this Bill has been tackled. If democracy in this country could run on the sorts of lines that we have debated this particular Bill, this country would be a better place than it is.
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