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Counting Officers

Volume 301: debated on Monday 24 November 1997

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

I beg to move amendment No. 6, in clause 3, page 2, line 19, at end insert

'but shall not so certify until after the declaration of the results of all local government elections held in Greater London on the same day as the referendum'.
This is a fairly narrow and technical amendment which is intended to put into proper order the way in which the results of the local elections and the referendum should be dealt with. It is the Liberal Democrats' view that London borough election results should take precedence over the Greater London referendum, not least because we will be electing people who will be exercising authority and responsibility on behalf of Londoners there and then. The people who elect them deserve to know the results sooner rather than later.

We will have to wait and see whether excitement about the referendum is stimulated by the Government campaign in support of it, but the results can wait, although that might deny the Government some publicity opportunities, until we have had the London borough results. I hope that the Government will accept the amendment, because it is a modest amendment that will enable the London boroughs to continue their good work and not be delayed by the referendum votes being counted before the local election votes.

7.30 pm

I have difficulty accepting the scenario advanced by the hon. Member for Sutton and Cheam (Mr. Burstow), that the voters of London will have a priority in knowing the results of their choices. I cannot believe, given the enormous public support for the restoration of a democratic voice to Londoners—which has been denied them for so long—that they would not wish to know the results of the referendum in the same way that they will eagerly anticipate the results of the local elections.

We see no good reason for the legislation to stipulate that the local election votes should be counted first. Nor would we expect to provide that the referendum should be counted first before the borough polls can be declared. Detailed count arrangements will rightly be a matter for returning officers and counting officers in the light of legislative provision and any directions from the chief counting officer. We are working closely with returning officers and local electoral administrators.

Can the Minister assure us that no pressure will be applied to persuade counting officers to count the referendum first, if elected members wished to see the London borough elections counted first?

:on mature reflection, I am sure that the hon. Gentleman would wish to withdraw that question. The implications for the standards and approach to their task of counting officers and those who count the votes are unreasonable and unfair. I cannot envisage a situation in which any such pressure would be brought to bear. Perhaps more importantly, I cannot envisage a situation, should such pressure be brought to bear, in which the officers responsible for the proper conduct of the count would give way to it.

I hope that that is the case. I wish to ask another question. I am told on reliable authority that, in the Welsh referendum, the order of declaration of the results was decided by the Secretary of State for Wales. At his express instigation, the Carmarthen result was held back until last. May we have an absolute assurance that the announcement of the results will also not be the subject of any political interference?

With respect, we had an example of the sort of information that the hon. Gentleman said had come from a reliable source when he claimed that Greater London Labour party members had an overwhelming antipathy to the Government's proposals. I am not casting any particular slur on what he has just asked, but I merely remark on what the House is privileged to know from experience.

I repeat that I cannot conceive of any scenario in which those who are responsible for conducting the count, and the post-voting process, would fall victim to undue political pressure. I can give the hon. Gentleman the assurance that I cannot conceive of any such pressure being brought to bear to delay the results of the local elections or the referendum.

The grant money that we will provide to local authorities under clause 5 will, among other things, cover the cost of hiring extra counters to count the referendum alongside the local elections. That seems to us the proper way to proceed. There will inevitably be a time penalty arising from the separation of ballot papers for the two polls, but we have had no indication that those who will be charged with carrying out the count think that that will lead to excessive delay. I hope that I have reassured the hon. Gentleman, and that, in the light of what I have said, he will withdraw the amendment.

I am grateful to the Minister for the reassurance that she has offered, in her confirmation of the additional resources that will be granted to enable the counts to be expedited, and in her comments that no political influence will be brought to bear on the conduct of the counts. On that basis, I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

I beg to move amendment No. 29, in page 2, line 19, at end insert—

'(4A) The Chief Counting Officer shall not certify the total of votes cast for each answer under subsection (4) above unless at least 50 per cent. of the persons entitled to vote in the referendum have voted'.

With this, it will be convenient to discuss amendment No. 30, in page 2, line 19, at end insert—

'(4B) The Chief Counting Officer shall not certify the total of votes cast for each answer under subsection (4) above unless at least 30 per cent. of the persons entitled to vote in the referendum have voted in favour of the government's proposals'.

These two amendments would have the important effect of imposing a threshold, before a valid referendum result was achieved, of 50 per cent. for turnout and 30 per cent. for saying yes. We want reform and we recognise that there is a case for a mayor for London. We want a mayor and we want an assembly, but we want an assembly of a different composition from that proposed by the Government. We want an assembly in which the boroughs are more involved. We want the thinking to come from the bottom up and to involve people from the boroughs on a formal basis. We are opposed to the Government's thinking that GLA policy will pass from the Government down to the assembly.

We accept that the Government are unlikely to adopt our proposals, given their majority. However, whatever is decided, the assembly must have legitimacy. The verdict, whatever it is, must be widely supported by Londoners. It will be valid, in our judgment, only if 50 per cent. of London's voters go to the polls. That is a critical figure, because if that threshold is not reached, the majority of Londoners will not have expressed an opinion in the referendum. Accepting the amendment will be the only way for the Government to send a signal to Londoners to reassure them that the changes proposed will have a strong mandate.

The referendum is a test of public opinion and it is essential that the outcome on 7 May is decisive, conclusive and final. It is equally essential that the answer comes from the majority. It is reasonable and right that the arrangements for the referendum send the signal that change cannot happen unless some 2.5 million of London's voters actually vote. The arrangements should ensure that if that turnout is not reached, the changes should not happen. If the voters stay at home, their silence should signal rejection. The Government should not be able to proceed and declare the referendum a success unless it receives that essential mandate.

We require a second threshold. A minimum of 30 per cent. of the voters should say yes. That would mean that1.5million out of London's 5 million voters would say yes. London has 7 million residents and it would be wrong to claim a mandate if fewer than 1.5 million of them had voted yes. That would be unacceptable. The Minister has claimed a mandate, based on the turnout in the general election and, according to my research in the Library,1.6 million people voted for the Labour party in London. If he is not so sure that those 1.6 million people will vote for him again, why on earth should not he accept the amendment? If they do not turn out to vote, it will be a sign of disapproval.

Is the Minister saying that those people turned out at the general election but are not inclined to do so for his proposals for a Greater London authority? If so, he is wrong to claim that he has a mandate for his proposals. Anything less than those 1.6 million votes will show disapproval and rejection by the electorate. The referendum should not go ahead with so little support.

After all, what does the Minister have to lose? Frankly, he will lose his credibility and his mandate. Failure to accept the amendments will show a loss of confidence on his part and will be an admission that he is frightened to test public opinion. Indeed, it will be a contempt of the democratic process. The Prime Minister is on the record as saying that he is not a great proponent of government by referendum, so the Minister should be keen to persuade him that he is wrong and that the people of London will turn out in their millions to support his proposals.

The Minister says that they will; is he saying that 1.5 million will turn out? He is uncharacteristically silent on that point. He should be keen to allay the Prime Minister's fears. If he cannot demonstrate that the people of London will turn out in their millions, he should accept the amendment and send the right signal to the Prime Minister and to Londoners.

By accepting our proposals the Government would effectively be saying, "If enough of you want reform, you should have it; if you stay at home, we get the message."

We oppose the amendments. We do not believe that there is a need for a threshold. It is also important to put it on the record that no one on either side of the argument should be able to suborn and claim those people who do not vote in the referendum. We must ensure that we have a debate that enthuses people enough to make them go and cast their votes. We must remove the barriers that stop people exercising their democratic right to make a choice.

Liberal Democrat Members disagree fundamentally with the Government about the question that they have decided should be put to the people of London, but we believe that it is important to have a campaign that gets people to go out and cast their votes. I hope that it will become clearer, when the White Paper is published, exactly what powers will really reside with the authority. That, as the hon. Member for Brent, East (Mr. Livingstone) said in our first day in Committee, is what will really enthuse people.

People want to know what difference the London authority will make to their lives. That is what we need to communicate. Thresholds are not an answer; they are a device proposed by a party with no sympathy with the idea of a referendum in the first place as Conservative Members said earlier today, when they had a mandate they abolished the Greater London council without the need for a referendum. That is why I and my party do not support the idea of thresholds.

The Minister for London has heard me saying on two previous occasions that I canvassed for 120 hours on the doorsteps of my constituency in the general election campaign—I shall now tell him for the third time and, as the Bellman said in "The Hunting of the Snark",

"What I tell you three times is true"—
and that during that entire time not one person asked me about a Greater London authority and strategic government in London. Incidentally, in that time I did not see one canvasser for or representative of any party other than mine, which is perhaps why I am sitting here today.

My parliamentary neighbour, the hon. Member for Regent's Park and Kensington, North (Ms Buck), said on Second Reading that they talk of nothing else in her constituency, although I acknowledge that she said that that involved the time since the general election campaign, as well as the campaign itself.

The royal borough—the Chelsea authority—is separated from the City of Westminster by the River Westbourne, which now flows underground. I am separated from the constituency of the hon. Member for Regent's Park and Kensington, North by a series of Westbourne roads. I find it puzzling that there should be such divergence between the casual conversations in our two constituencies.

I mention that in the context of the test that the threshold would set the Government, who have consistently said that there is overwhelming enthusiasm for their proposal. In a recent debate, the Minister for London mentioned again the 82 per cent. approval in an opinion poll and the 86 per cent. approval by businesses in London. He must be expecting an overwhelming outpouring of votes next May.

7.45 pm

In the schedule stand part debate, the Minister for London said that I would not expect the Government to come up with an unworkable suggestion; I certainly would not. I earlier quoted his remarks at column 416 last Wednesday to the effect that the Government would make absolutely sure that they proposed something that would work and, as he knows, I have enormous trust and confidence in him. I hope that he will have the same trust and confidence in the people of London, and will expect them to turn out to vote.

In those circumstances, the Minister for London should accept the amendment. If he does not, perhaps his confidence in the vote in the referendum is not so great as I previously imagined. In that case, I would begin to wonder whether his proposal for a Greater London authority, in the form that he has advocated, might not be as strong as he has sought to persuade us that it is.

Whether the right hon. Gentleman says something three times or 30 times, it is always well worth hearing, but on this occasion I disagree with his argument. It would perhaps be churlish to suggest that the GLA was never mentioned in those hundreds of hours of campaigning because the driving force for so many people, not only in London but throughout the country, was to get rid of the incumbent Conservative Government.

A few months after the general election, in the Uxbridge by-election, when such questions were not on people's minds, I had exactly the same reaction as my right hon. Friend: London governance was not mentioned once.

Presumably because it was not raised by the hon. Gentleman—and I well understand his reluctance, as his party has come rather late to the idea of restoring a democratic voice to London. As my hon. Friend the Minister for London said on Second Reading, there has been a conversion; but from what I have heard in Committee so far, it seems to me that the problem for Conservative Members is that they are on the horns of a dilemma their basic belief, as shown by their action in abolishing the GLC without any consultation or legitimacy whatever, is that the people of London should not have their democratic voice restored; but they realise that, although they campaigned ferociously against my party's proposals, the idea of restoring that democratic voice is popular in London.

I was left breathless by the arguments advanced by the hon. Member for Croydon, South (Mr. Ottaway), who believes that setting a threshold would impart legitimacy to the referendum. It is strange that he should breathe the word "legitimacy" when the purpose of the Government's action is to restore a democratic voice to London and when his party abolished the GLC without any consultation. I also found interesting his argument that if people stay at home it will be a proof of failure—in a sense, a no vote. If memory serves me correctly, at the time of the Housing Act 1988 and the setting up of tenants' choice, the Conservative Government argued that those who did not vote could be deemed to support the proposal.

The Government totally oppose the sort of franchises and artificial thresholds proposed in the amendments. There is no substantial case for what is essentially a wrecking device. If one amendment suggests that a 50 per cent. threshold is necessary, while another proposes a 30 per cent. threshold, no great principled case is involved.

As with all pre-legislative referendums, this one will be advisory. The referendum is a device employed by Parliament to test the views of the public on a clear point of principle, in this case, whether Londoners favour our plans for a Greater London authority. It will be for Parliament to reflect on the result of the referendum. That is why the insertion of any form of threshold would be inappropriate. The people of London will vote in the referendum, and Parliament will take that vote into account.

Despite the arguments of the hon. Member for Croydon, South, the Government are confident—I am pleased that the hon. Member for Sutton and Cheam (Mr. Burstow) is equally confident—of a particularly high turnout in May. Every opinion poll that asks Londoners directly shows that they categorically and overwhelmingly favour our proposals. Even in the event of a low turnout, there is no case for allowing those who stay at home to be counted as no votes, as argued by the Opposition.

The amendments could produce a ludicrous situation. Londoners could turn out in their millions in the referendum to make their democratic choice but the chief counting officer would be unable to certify the results if fewer than 50 or 30 per cent. had voted in a way acceptable to the hon. Member for Croydon, South. That would be ridiculous. The people of London would deserve to know how they had voted and Parliament, having provided for the referendum, would be entitled to ask what the answer was. I therefore ask the hon. Gentleman to withdraw the amendment.

We will do no such thing. The hon. Lady gave no good arguments for withdrawing the amendments; indeed, she had no arguments at all. She said that her proposals had overwhelming support in the polls. If that is the case, let her put it to the test: let her put her money where her mouth is and prove to the people of London that her proposals have overwhelming support.

From the Minister's speech, one would think that she was nostalgically proposing the return of the GLC, but that is not being restored. We make no apology for having abolished it and have no wish to see it restored—any more than she has. If the Bill is so popular, let us put the proposals to the test and give the people of London a chance to show what they want. If the majority of them decline to do so, the result should be declared invalid. We intend to divide the House.

The Committee divided: Ayes 113, Noes 315.

Division No. 95]

[7.53 pm

AYES

Ainsworth, Peter (E Surrey)Grieve, Dominic
Arbuthnot, JamesHamilton, Rt Hon Sir Archie
Atkinson, David (Bour'mth E)Hammond, Philip
Baldry, TonyHawkins, Nick
Bercow, JohnHayes, John
Beresford, Sir PaulHeathcoat-Amory, Rt Hon David
Blunt, CrispinHoram, John
Body, Sir RichardHoward, Rt Hon Michael
Boswell, TimHowarth, Gerald (Aldershot)
Bottomley, Rt Hon Mrs VirginiaHunter, Andrew
Brady, GrahamJack, Rt Hon Michael
Brazier, JulianJackson, Robert (Wantage)
Brooke, Rt Hon PeterJenkin, Bernard
Browning, Mrs AngelaJohnson Smith,
Bruce, Ian (S Dorset)Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey
Burns, SimonKey, Robert
Butterfill, JohnKing, Rt Hon Tom (Bridgwater)
Cash, WilliamKirkbride, Miss Julie
Clappison, JamesLaing, Mrs Eleanor
Clark, Dr Michael (Rayleigh)Lansley, Andrew
Clifton-Brown, GeoffreyLeigh, Edward
Cran, JamesLetwin, Oliver
Davis, Rt Hon David (Haltemprice)Lewis, Dr Julian (New Forest E)
Day, StephenLidington, David
Dorrell, Rt Hon StephenLilley, Rt Hon Peter
Duncan, AlanLloyd, Rt Hon Sir Peter (Fareham)
Evans, NigelLoughton, Tim
Fabricant, MichaelLyell, Rt Hon Sir Nicholas
Fallon, MichaelMacKay, Andrew
Flight, HowardMaclean, Rt Hon David
Forth, Rt Hon EricMcLoughlin, Patrick
Fowler, Rt Hon Sir NormanMadel, Sir David
Fraser, ChristopherMalins, Humfrey
Gale, RogerMaples, John
Garnier, EdwardMay, Mrs Theresa
Gibb, NickMoss, Malcolm
Gillan, Mrs CherylNicholls, Patrick
Goodlad, Rt Hon Sir AlastairOttaway, Richard
Gray, JamesPage, Richard
Green, DamianPaice, James
Greenway, JohnPaterson, Owen

Pickles, EricTapsell, Sir Peter
Prior, DavidTaylor, John M (Solihull)
Randall, JohnTaylor, Sir Teddy
Redwood, Rt Hon JohnTredinnick, David
Robertson, Laurence (Tewk'b'ry)Trend, Michael
Roe, Mrs Marion (Broxboume)Tyrie, Andrew
Ruffley, DavidViggers, Peter
St Aubyn, NickWalter, Robert
Sayeed, JonathanWhitney, Sir Raymond
Shephard, Rt Hon Mrs GillianWhittingdale, John
Shepherd, RichardWiddecombe, Rt Hon Miss Ann
Simpson, Keith (Mid-Norfolk)Willetts, David
Spelman, Mrs CarolineWilshire, David
Spicer, Sir MichaelWinterton, Mrs Ann (Congleton)
Steen, Anthony
Streeter, Gary

Tellers for the Ayes:

Swayne, Desmond

Mr. Oliver Heald and

Syms, Robert

Mr. Nigel Waterson.

NOES

Abbott, Ms DianeClwyd, Ann
Adams, Mrs Irene (Paisley N)Coaker, Vernon
Ainger, NickCoffey, Ms Ann
Ainsworth, Robert (Cov'try NE)Coleman, Iain
Alexander, DouglasColman, Tony
Allan, RichardConnarty, Michael
Allen, GrahamCook, Frank (Stockton N)
Anderson, Donald (Swansea E)Cooper, Yvette
Anderson, Janet (Rossendale)Corbyn, Jeremy
Armstrong, Ms HilaryCorston, Ms Jean
Ashton, JoeCotter, Brian
Atkins, CharlotteCousins, Jim
Ballard, Mrs JackieCox, Tom
Banks, TonyCryer, Mrs Ann (Keighley)
Barnes, HarryCryer, John (Hornchurch)
Bayley, HughCunliffe, Lawrence
Beard, NigelCunningham, Jim (Cov'try S)
Beckett, Rt Hon Mrs MargaretDalyell, Tam
Begg, Miss AnneDarling, Rt Hon Alistair
Beith, Rt Hon A JDarvill, Keith
Bell, Martin (Tatton)Davey, Edward (Kingston)
Benn, Rt Hon TonyDavey, Valerie (Bristol W)
Bennett, Andrew FDavidson, Ian
Benton, JoeDavies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli)
Bermingham, GeraldDavis, Terry (B'ham Hodge H)
Betts, CliveDawson, Hilton
Boateng, PaulDean, Mrs Janet
Bradley, Keith (Withington)Denham, John
Bradley, Peter (The Wrekin)Dewar, Rt Hon Donald
Brand, Dr PeterDismore, Andrew
Brinton, Mrs HelenDobbin, Jim
Bruce, Malcolm (Gordon)Donohoe, Brian H
Buck, Ms KarenDoran, Frank
Burden, RichardDowd, Jim
Burgon, ColinDrew, David
Burstow, PaulDrown, Ms Julia
Butler, Mrs ChristineDunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth
Byers, StephenEagle, Maria (L'pool Garston)
Cable, Dr VincentEdwards, Huw
Campbell, Alan (Tynemouth)Efford, Clive
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)Ellman, Mrs Louise
Campbell, Menzies (NE Fife)Ennis, Jeff
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V)Fatchett, Derek
Campbell-Savours, DaleFitzsimons, Lorna
Casale, RogerFlint, Caroline
Cawsey, IanFoster, Rt Hon Derek
Chapman, Ben (Wirral S)Foster, Don (Bath)
Chaytor, DavidFoster, Michael Jabez (Hastings)
Chidgey, DavidFoster, Michael J (Worcester)
Clark, Rt Hon Dr David (S Shields)Galloway, George
Clark, Dr Lynda (Edinburgh Pentlands)Gardiner, Barry
Gerrard, Neil
Clark, Paul (Gillingham)Gibson, Dr Ian
Clarke, Charles (Norwich S)Godsiff, Roger
Clarke, Eric (Midlothian)Golding, Mrs Llin
Clarke, Tony (Northampton S)Gordon, Mrs Eileen
Clelland, DavidGorrie, Donald

Griffiths, Jane (Reading E)McLeish, Henry
Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)McNulty, Tony
Grocott, BruceMacShane, Denis
Hall, Mike (Weaver Vale)Mactaggart, Fiona
Hamilton, Fabian (Leeds NE)McWalter, Tony
Hanson, DavidMahon, Mrs Alice
Harris, Dr EvanMallaber, Judy
Harvey, NickMarek, Dr John
Heal, Mrs SylviaMarsden, Gordon (Blackpool S)
Healey, JohnMarshall-Andrews, Robert
Heath, David (Somerton & Frome)Martlew, Eric
Henderson, Ivan (Harwich)Maxton, John
Hepburn, StephenMeale, Alan
Heppell, JohnMerron, Gillian
Hesford, StephenMichael, Alun
Hill, KeithMichie, Bill (Shef'ld Heeley)
Hinchliffe, DavidMichie, Mrs Ray (Argyll & Bute)
Hodge, Ms MargaretMilbum, Alan
Hoey, KateMiller, Andrew
Home Robertson, JohnMoore, Michael
Hoon, GeoffreyMorgan, Rhodri (Cardiff W)
Hope, PhilMorley, Elliot
Hopkins, KelvinMountford, Kali
Howarth, Alan (Newport E)Mudie, George
Howarth, George (Knowsley N)Mullin, Chris
Howells, Dr KimMurphy, Denis (Wansbeck)
Hoyle, LindsayNaysmith, Dr Doug
Hughes, Ms Beverley (Stretford)Norris, Dan
Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)O'Brien, Mike (N Warks)
Hughes, Simon (Southwark N)Öpik, Lembit
Humble, Mrs JoanOsbome, Ms Sandra
Hurst, AlanPalmer, Dr Nick
Hutton, JohnPearson, Ian
Illsley, EricPendry, Tom
Ingram, AdamPickthall, Colin
Jackson, Ms Glenda (Hampstead)Pike, Peter L
Jackson, Helen (Hillsborough)Plaskitt, James
Jenkins, BrianPollard, Kerry
Johnson, Alan (Hull W & Hessle)Pond, Chris
Johnson, Miss Melanie (Welwyn Hatfield)Pope, Greg
Pound, Stephen
Jones, Barry (Alyn & Deeside)Powell, Sir Raymond
Jones, Helen (Warrington N)Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lewisham E)
Jones, Ms Jenny (Wolverh'ton SW)Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)
Primarolo, Dawn
Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C)Prosser, Gwyn
Jones, Dr Lynne (Selly Oak)Purchase, Ken
Keeble, Ms SallyQuin, Ms Joyce
Keen, Alan (Feltham & Heston)Quinn, Lawrie
Keen, Ann (Brentford & Isleworth)Rapson, Syd
Kemp, FraserRaynsford, Nick
Kidney, DavidReed, Andrew (Loughborough)
Kilfoyle, PeterReid, Dr John (Hamilton N)
King, Andy (Rugby & Kenilworth)Rendel, David
Kirkwood, ArchyRogers, Allan
Ladyman, Dr StephenRooker, Jeff
Lawrence, Ms JackieRooney, Terry
Laxton, BobRowlands, Ted
Lepper, DavidRoy, Frank
Leslie, ChristopherRuddock, Ms Joan
Levitt, TomRussell, Bob (Colchester)
Lewis, Ivan (Bury S)Russell, Ms Christine (Chester)
Liddell, Mrs HelenRyan, Ms Joan
Linton, MartinSalter, Martin
Livingstone, KenSanders, Adrian
Lock, DavidSavidge, Malcolm
McAllion, JohnSawford, Phil
McAvoy, ThomasSedgemore, Brian
McCabe, SteveShaw, Jonathan
McCafferty, Ms ChrisSheldon, Rt Hon Robert
McDonagh, SiobhainSimpson, Alan (Nottingham S)
Macdonald, CalumSingh, Marsha
McFall, JohnSkinner, Dennis
Mclsaac, ShonaSmith, Rt Hon Andrew (Oxford E)
McKenna, Mrs RosemarySmith, Rt Hon Chris (Islington S)
Mackinlay, AndrewSmith, Miss Geraldine (Morecambe & Lunesdale)

Tumer, Dennis (Wolverh'ton SE)
Smith, Jacqui (Redditch)Tumer, Dr George (NW Norfolk)
Smith, John (Glamorgan)Twigg, Derek (Halton)
Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)Twigg, Stephen (Enfield)
Snape, PeterTyler, Paul
Soley, CliveWallace, James
Southworth, Ms HelenWalley, Ms Joan
Squire, Ms RachelWard, Ms Claire
Starkey, Dr PhyllisWareing, Robert N
Steinberg, GerryWatts, David
Stevenson, GeorgeWebb, Steve
Stewart, Ian (Eccles)White, Brian
Stinchcombe, PaulWhitehead, Dr Alan
Stoate, Dr HowardWilliams, Alan W (E Carmarthen)
Stringer, GrahamWilliams, Mrs Betty (Conwy)
Stuart, Ms GiselaWillis, Phil
Stunell, AndrewWills, Michael
Sutcliffe, GerryWinnick, David
Taylor, Rt Hon Mrs Ann (Dewsbury)Wise, Audrey
Wood, Mike
Taylor, Ms Dari (Stockton S)Worthington, Tony
Taylor, David (NW Leics)Wray, James
Thomas, Gareth R (Harrow W)Wright, Anthony D (Gt Yarmouth)
Timms, StephenWright, Dr Tony (Cannock)
Tipping, PaddyWyatt, Derek
Todd, Mark
Touhig, Don

Tellers for the Noes:

Trickett, Jon

Jane Kennedy and

Truswell, Paul

Mr. David Jamieson.

Question accordingly negatived.

Clause 3 ordered to stand part of the Bill.