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Petitions

Volume 502: debated on Monday 14 December 2009

Petitions

Monday 14 December 2009

PRESENTED PETITION

Petition presented to the House but not read on the Floor

Safety of the Armed Forces

The Petition of Mr Martin Burke of Elizabeth Regina Love,

Declares that before the invitation by the Lord Chamberlain on behalf of The Queen that the badge for his business be Her Majesty's Cypher, Mr Burke's background was fully checked.

Declares that on 25 October 2007 Mr Burke attended an on-the-record presentation by Sir Richard Mottram, a former senior civil servant, at the Royal United Services Institute. Declares that Sir Richard mentioned the importance of the Armed Forces' reputation, that there was something in the way that he said what he said; that there was a threat to the Armed Forces; that it could be averted; that he had influence, or knew those who had influence to avert it; that they were willing and able to not only not intervene but initiate; which Mr Burke took as a coded threat.

Declares that on 9 November 2007 Mr Burke wrote to Lord Guthrie to suggest that any recording of the meeting be double checked, in case Mr Burke misheard or misunderstood what was said. Notes that Lord Guthrie was formerly Chief of the Defence Staff and is Colonel Commandant of the Special Air Service Regiment and is an expert on government. Declares that on 13 November 2007 Lord Guthrie replied to the effect that he had heard these points before, and about them was subsequently silent.

Further declares that Sir David Omand, a former senior civil servant, in his discussion paper for the Institute of Public Policy Research, February 2009, insists that professional intelligence operations to find out other people's secrets are going to involve breaking everyday moral rules. Notes that this is based on Sir David's experience as former Security and Intelligence Co-ordinator & Permanent Secretary to the Cabinet Office and a former Director of GCHQ. Notes that this stops short of torture. Further notes that Sir David maintains that it is necessary that the public trusts that the activities of the 3 United Kingdom Intelligence Agencies are reasonable, in private the rules are different. Notes that this raises the question of Sir David's own honesty, as well as the honesty of members of the Intelligence Agencies, in their dealings with members of the House.

Declares that Sir Richard Mottram was formerly a Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee and a Permanent Secretary, also in the Cabinet Office. Notes that the Joint Intelligence Committee is part of the Cabinet Office and sets the requirements for the 3 United Kingdom Intelligence Agencies: the Security Service, the Secret Intelligence Service and GCHQ. Notes that also in the Cabinet Office there is a set of committees to co-ordinate government departments, and a lot of the work is done on the telephone or in conversation. Notes that from the House of Commons Intelligence and Security Committee report 'Could 7/7 have been Prevented?' published in May 2009 the Intelligence Agencies have had and have access to extensive information sources. Notes that examples are: medical records, benefits records, council tax records, bank records, telephone records, telephone conversations, school records, personnel records, police records, court records, commercial databases, agency internal records, travel booking information, CCTV cameras, utility companies, driving licences, TV licences, vehicle registration, passports, people, people who have the trust of others, direct questioning, information from overseas, anything stored on a computer connected to the internet. Notes that the providers of such information are not told its use. Notes that this information is prone to inaccuracy and always will be, and further notes that even as a collection this information is partial and always will be. Notes that access to this information is based mainly on personal relationships and not by technical means.

Declares from the above the natural suspicion of provocative and unrecorded actions by the civil service. Notes some examples of such craftiness: maybe you are on the list to go to a place and someone unexpected is already there, creating at the least embarrassment; or your attention is directed one way and someone approaches from another; or someone expected does not arrive; or you do not arrive because you were not informed, or your time or direction of arrival was not as expected; there are others.

Notes that during the Second World War Sir Winston Churchill spoke in the House of Commons and broadcast to the nation for the first time as Prime Minister in May 1940 and rallied the country for the tasks ahead, and yet on 18 June 1940 just over a month later and 9 months after the start of the war, had to warn the civil service that his Ministers, a Government formed with the near unanimous support of both Houses of Parliament, were going to govern; that they were to be respected and their directions were to be punctually and faithfully obeyed; that 'they were not to be treated as here today and gone tomorrow men. Notes that Sir Winston frequently searched his speeches.

Notes that we are at war in Afghanistan. Notes that the size of the packets for biological and chemical agents are about the same as those for drugs which are regularly imported here. Notes that a small nuclear device is about the size of a small generator. Notes that most in Afghanistan would not, however quite a few would.

Notes that the 4 men mentioned in this petition have a great amount of experience of government. Notes that the heads of the 3 United Kingdom Intelligence Agencies are capable of speaking in public and do so. Notes that the Cabinet Office has changed the way it organises itself frequently. Notes that the first man referred to in the letter to Lord Guthrie possibly came from Helton in Cornwall, or another village. Notes that this is Mr Burke's third petition and was first posted to his constituency Member of Parliament on 1st November 2009. Notes that Mr Burke regrets the length of this petition and thanks Members of House for their patience.

The petitioner therefore requests that in order to begin the process of restoring trust in the 3 United Kingdom Intelligence Agencies that Members of the House of Commons, who are elected and serve to lead this country, form an oversight committee to conduct regular hearings with the heads of these 3 Intelligence Agencies in public so that deeply loyal and completely trustworthy members of the Intelligence Agencies are fully supported, even if discussion is limited to the state of the Intelligence Agencies' accommodation; and that should the question be put the House consent to the request in this petition.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Sir Gerald Kaufman .]

[P000637]

OBSERVATIONS

Treasury

Equitable Life (Bury St. Edmunds)

The Petition of residents of the constituency of Bury St. Edmunds, Stowmarket and Needham Market in England regarding the Government’s response to the Parliamentary Ombudsman’s reports on Equitable Life,

Declares that the Petitioners either are or they represent or support members, former members or personal representatives of deceased members of the Equitable Life Assurance Society who have suffered maladministration leading to injustice, as found by the Parliamentary Ombudsman in her report upon Equitable Life, ordered by the House of Commons to be printed on 16 July 2008 and bearing reference number HC 815; and further declares that the Petitioners or those whom they represent or support have suffered regulatory failure on the part of the public bodies responsible from the year 1992 onwards, but have not received compensation for the resulting losses and outrage.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to uphold the constitutional standing of the Parliamentary Ombudsman by complying with the findings and recommendations of her Report upon Equitable Life.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Mr. David Ruffley, Official Report, 19 November 2009; Vol. 501, c. 1P .]

[P000426]

Equitable Life (Carshalton and Wallington)

The Petition of residents of the constituency of Carshalton and Wallington in the Surrey region of England regarding the Government’s response to the Parliamentary Ombudsman’s reports on Equitable Life,

Declares that the Petitioners either are or they represent or support members, former members or personal representatives of deceased members of the Equitable Life Assurance Society who have suffered maladministration leading to injustice, as found by the Parliamentary Ombudsman in her report upon Equitable Life, ordered by the House of Commons to be printed on 16 July 2008 and bearing reference number HC 815; and further declares that the Petitioners or those whom they represent or support have suffered regulatory failure on the part of the public bodies responsible from the year 1992 onwards, but have not received compensation for the resulting losses and outrage.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to uphold the constitutional standing of the Parliamentary Ombudsman by complying with the findings and recommendations of her Report upon Equitable Life.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Tom Brake, Official Report, 8 December 2009; Vol. 502, c. 295 .]

[P000482]

Equitable Life (Daventry)

The Petition of residents of the constituency of Daventry in Northamptonshire,

Declares that the petitioners either are or they represent or support members, former members or personal representatives of deceased members of the Equitable Life Assurance Society who have suffered maladministration leading to injustice, as found by the Parliamentary Ombudsman in her report upon Equitable Life, ordered by the House of Commons to be printed on 16 July 2008 and bearing reference number HC 815; and further declares that the petitioners or those whom they represent or support have suffered regulatory failure on the part of the public bodies responsible from the year 1992 onwards, but have not received compensation for the resulting losses and outrage.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to uphold the constitutional standing of the Parliamentary Ombudsman by complying with the findings and recommendations of her Report upon Equitable Life.

And the Petitioners remain, etc—[Presented by Mr. Tim Boswell, Official Report, 5 November 2009; Vol. 498, c. 1095 .]

[P000411]

Equitable Life (Gravesham)

The Petition of residents of the constituency of Gravesham, in the County of Kent region of the U.K. regarding the Government’s response to the Parliamentary Ombudsman’s reports on Equitable Life,

Declares that the petitioners either are or they represent or support members, former members or personal representatives of deceased members of the Equitable Life Assurance Society who have suffered maladministration leading to injustice, as found by the Parliamentary Ombudsman in her report upon Equitable Life, ordered by the House of Commons to be printed on 16 July 2008 and bearing reference number HC 815; and further declares that the petitioners or those whom they represent or support have suffered regulatory failure on the part of the public bodies responsible from the year 1992 onwards, but have not received compensation for the resulting losses and outrage.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to uphold the constitutional standing of the Parliamentary Ombudsman by complying with the findings and recommendations of her Report upon Equitable Life.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Mr. Adam Holloway, Official Report, 10 November 2009; Vol. 499, c. 1P .]

[P000418]

Equitable Life (Halesowen and Rowley Regis)

The Petition of residents of the constituency of Halesowen and Rowley Regis in the West Midlands region of the U.K. regarding the Government’s response to the Parliamentary Ombudsman’s reports on Equitable Life,

Declares that the Petitioners either are or they represent or support members, former members or personal representatives of deceased members of the Equitable Life Assurance Society who have suffered maladministration leading to injustice, as found by the Parliamentary Ombudsman in her report upon Equitable Life, ordered by the House of Commons to be printed on 16 July 2008 and bearing reference number HC 815; and further declares that the Petitioners or those whom they represent or support have suffered regulatory failure on the part of the public bodies responsible from the year 1992 onwards, but have not received compensation for the resulting losses and outrage.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to uphold the constitutional standing of the Parliamentary Ombudsman by complying with the findings and recommendations of her Report upon Equitable Life.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.

[P000423]

Equitable Life (Hampstead and Highgate)

The Petition of residents of the constituency of Hampstead and Highgate in the Northwest London region of the UK,

Declares that the petitioners either are or they represent or support members, former members or personal representatives of deceased members of the Equitable Life Assurance Society who have suffered maladministration leading to injustice, as found by the Parliamentary Ombudsman in her report upon Equitable Life, ordered by the House of Commons to be printed on 16 July 2008 and bearing reference number HC 815; and further declares that the petitioners or those whom they represent or support have suffered regulatory failure on the part of the public bodies responsible from the year 1992 onwards, but have not received compensation for the resulting losses and outrage.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to uphold the constitutional standing of the Parliamentary Ombudsman by complying with the findings and recommendations of her Report upon Equitable Life.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Glenda Jackson, Official Report, 10 November 2009; Vol. 499, c. 2P .]

[P000419]

Equitable Life (Hemel Hempstead)

The Petition of residents of the constituency of Hemel Hempstead in the Eastern region of England regarding the Government's response to the Parliamentary Ombudsman's reports on Equitable Life,

Declares that the Petitioners either are or they represent or support members, former members or personal representatives of deceased members of the Equitable Life Assurance Society who have suffered maladministration leading to injustice, as found by the Parliamentary Ombudsman in her report upon Equitable Life, ordered by the House of Commons to be printed on 16 July 2008 and bearing reference number HC 815; and further declares that the Petitioners or those whom they represent or support have suffered regulatory failure on the part of the public bodies responsible from the year 1992 onwards, but have not received compensation for the resulting losses and outrage.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to uphold the constitutional standing of the Parliamentary Ombudsman by complying in full with the findings and recommendations of her Report upon Equitable Life.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Mike Penning, Official Report, 19 November 2009; Vol. 501, c. 243 .]

[P000416]

Equitable Life (Hendon)

The Petition of residents of the constituency of Hendon in London,

Declares that the petitioners either are or they represent or support members, former members or personal representatives of deceased members of the Equitable Life Assurance Society who have suffered maladministration leading to injustice, as found by the Parliamentary Ombudsman in her report upon Equitable Life, ordered by the House of Commons to be printed on 16 July 2008 and bearing reference number HC 815; and further declares that the petitioners or those whom they represent or support have suffered regulatory failure on the part of the public bodies responsible from the year 1992 onwards, but have not received compensation for the resulting losses and outrage.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to uphold the constitutional standing of the Parliamentary Ombudsman by complying in full with the findings and recommendations of her Report upon Equitable Life.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Mr. Andrew Dismore, Official Report, 4 November 2009; Vol. 498, c. 3P .]

[P000412]

Equitable Life (Hertford and Stortford)

The Petition of residents of the constituency of Hertford and Stortford in England regarding the Government’s response to the Parliamentary Ombudsman’s reports on Equitable Life,

Declares that the Petitioners either are or they represent or support members, former members or personal representatives of deceased members of the Equitable Life Assurance Society who have suffered maladministration leading to injustice, as found by the Parliamentary Ombudsman in her report upon Equitable Life, ordered by the House of Commons to be printed on 16 July 2008 and bearing reference number HC 815; and further declares that the Petitioners or those whom they represent or support have suffered regulatory failure on the part of the public bodies responsible from the year 1992 onwards, but have not received compensation for the resulting losses and outrage.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to uphold the constitutional standing of the Parliamentary Ombudsman by complying with the findings and recommendations of her Report upon Equitable Life.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Mr. Mark Prisk, Official Report, 8 December 2009; Vol. 502, c. 288 .]

[P000450]

Equitable Life (Kingston and Surbiton)

The Petition of residents of the constituency of Kingston and Surbiton in Greater London and others

Declares that the Petitioners either are or they represent or support members, former members or personal representatives of deceased members of the Equitable Life Assurance Society who have suffered maladministration leading to injustice, as found by the Parliamentary Ombudsman in her report upon Equitable Life, ordered by the House of Commons to be printed on 16 July 2008 and bearing reference number HC 815; and further declares that the Petitioners or those whom they represent or support have suffered regulatory failure on the part of the public bodies responsible from the year 1992 onwards, but have not received compensation for the resulting losses and outrage.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to uphold the constitutional standing of the Parliamentary Ombudsman by complying with the findings and recommendations of her Report upon Equitable Life.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Mr. Edward Davey, Official Report, 25 November 2009; Vol. 501, c. 5P .]

[P000431]

Equitable Life (Meriden)

The Petition of residents of the constituency of Meriden in the West Midlands,

Declares that the petitioners either are or they represent or support members, former members or personal representatives of deceased members of the Equitable Life Assurance Society who have suffered maladministration leading to injustice, as found by the Parliamentary Ombudsman in her report upon Equitable Life, ordered by the House of Commons to be printed on 16 July 2008 and bearing reference number HC 815; and further declares that the petitioners or those whom they represent or support have suffered regulatory failure on the part of the public bodies responsible from the year 1992 onwards, but have not received compensation for the resulting losses.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to uphold the constitutional standing of the Parliamentary Ombudsman by complying with the findings and recommendations of her Report upon Equitable Life and to act quickly so that policyholders receive the justice that they have so long been denied

And the Petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Mrs. Caroline Spelman, Official Report, 4 November 2009; Vol. 498, c. 962 .]

[P000408]

Equitable Life (Mid Worcestershire)

The Petition of residents of the constituency of Mid Worcestershire in the Worcestershire region of the UK regarding the Government’s response to the Parliamentary Ombudsman’s reports on Equitable Life,

Declares that the Petitioners either are or they represent or support members, former members or personal representatives of deceased members of the Equitable Life Assurance Society who have suffered maladministration leading to injustice, as found by the Parliamentary Ombudsman in her report upon Equitable Life, ordered by the House of Commons to be printed on 16 July 2008 and bearing reference number HC 815; and further declares that the Petitioners or those whom they represent or support have suffered regulatory failure on the part of the public bodies responsible from the year 1992 onwards, but have not received compensation for the resulting losses and outrage.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to uphold the constitutional standing of the Parliamentary Ombudsman by complying with the findings and recommendations of her Report upon Equitable Life.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Peter Luff, Official Report, 30 November 2009; Vol. 501, c. 942 .]

[P000434]

Equitable Life (North Dorset)

The Petition of residents of the constituency of North Dorset,

Declares that the petitioners either are or they represent or support members, former members or personal representatives of deceased members of the Equitable Life Assurance Society who have suffered maladministration leading to injustice, as found by the Parliamentary Ombudsman in her report upon Equitable Life, ordered by the House of Commons to be printed on 16 July 2008 and bearing reference number HC 815; and further declares that the petitioners or those whom they represent or support have suffered regulatory failure on the part of the public bodies responsible from the year 1992 onwards, but have not received compensation for the resulting losses and outrage.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to uphold the constitutional standing of the Parliamentary Ombudsman by complying in full with the findings and recommendations of her Report upon Equitable Life.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Mr. Robert Walter, Official Report, 10 November 2009; Vol. 499, c. 220 .]

[P000420]

Equitable Life (Northavon)

The Petition of residents of the constituency of Northavon in South Gloucestershire,

Declares that the petitioners either are or they represent or support members, former members or personal representatives of deceased members of the Equitable Life Assurance Society who have suffered maladministration leading to injustice, as found by the Parliamentary Ombudsman in her report upon Equitable Life, ordered by the House of Commons to be printed on 16 July 2008 and bearing reference number HC 815; and further declares that the petitioners or those whom they represent or support have suffered regulatory failure on the part of the public bodies responsible from the year 1992 onwards, but have not received compensation for the resulting losses and outrage.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to uphold the constitutional standing of the Parliamentary Ombudsman by complying with the findings and recommendations of her Report upon Equitable Life.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Steve Webb, Official Report, 9 November 2009; Vol. 499, c. 132 .]

[P000409]

Equitable Life (Poole)

The Petition of residents of the constituency of Poole Borough in the Dorset region of the U.K. regarding the Government’s response to the Parliamentary Ombudsman’s reports on Equitable Life,

Declares that the Petitioners either are or they represent or support members, former members or personal representatives of deceased members of the Equitable Life Assurance Society who have suffered maladministration leading to injustice, as found by the Parliamentary Ombudsman in her report upon Equitable Life, ordered by the House of Commons to be printed on 16 July 2008 and bearing reference number HC 815; and further declares that the Petitioners or those whom they represent or support have suffered regulatory failure on the part of the public bodies responsible from the year 1992 onwards, but have not received compensation for the resulting losses and outrage.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to uphold the constitutional standing of the Parliamentary Ombudsman by complying with the findings and recommendations of her Report upon Equitable Life.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Mr. Robert Syms, Official Report, 26 November 2009; Vol. 501, c. 798 .]

[P000429]

Equitable Life (Portsmouth South)

The Petition of the residents of the constituency of Portsmouth South,

Declares that the Petitioners either are or they represent or support members, former members or personal representatives of deceased members of the Equitable Life Assurance Society who have suffered maladministration leading to injustice, as found by the Parliamentary Ombudsman in her report upon Equitable Life, ordered by the House of Commons to be printed on 16 July 2008 and bearing reference number HC 815; and further declares that the Petitioners or those whom they represent or support have suffered regulatory failure on the part of the public bodies responsible from the year 1992 onwards, but have not received compensation for the resulting losses and outrage.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to uphold the constitutional standing of the Parliamentary Ombudsman by complying in full with the findings and recommendations of her Report upon Equitable Life.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Mr. Mike Hancock, Official Report, 25 November 2009; Vol. 501, c. 645 .]

[P000425]

Equitable Life (Redbridge)

The Petition of residents of the constituency of Redbridge in Essex,

Declares that the petitioners either are or they represent or support members, former members or personal representatives of deceased members of the Equitable Life Assurance Society who have suffered maladministration leading to injustice, as found by the Parliamentary Ombudsman in her report upon Equitable Life, ordered by the House of Commons to be printed on 16 July 2008 and bearing reference number HC 815; and further declares that the petitioners or those whom they represent or support have suffered regulatory failure on the part of the public bodies responsible from the year 1992 onwards, but have not received compensation for the resulting losses and outrage.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to uphold the constitutional standing of the Parliamentary Ombudsman by complying with the findings and recommendations of her Report upon Equitable Life.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.

[P000410]

Equitable Life (Reigate)

The Petition of residents of the constituency of Reigate in the Surrey region of the U.K. regarding the Government’s response to the Parliamentary Ombudsman’s reports on Equitable Life,

Declares that the Petitioners either are or they represent or support members, former members or personal representatives of deceased members of the Equitable Life Assurance Society who have suffered maladministration leading to injustice, as found by the Parliamentary Ombudsman in her report upon Equitable Life, ordered by the House of Commons to be printed on 16 July 2008 and bearing reference number HC 815; and further declares that the Petitioners or those whom they represent or support have suffered regulatory failure on the part of the public bodies responsible from the year 1992 onwards, but have not received compensation for the resulting losses and outrage.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to uphold the constitutional standing of the Parliamentary Ombudsman by complying with the findings and recommendations of her Report upon Equitable Life.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Mr. Crispin Blunt, Official Report, 26 November 2009; Vol. 501, c. 794 .]

[P000428]

Equitable Life (Shipley)

The Petition of residents of the constituency of Shipley in the West Yorkshire region of the U.K. regarding the Government’s response to the Parliamentary Ombudsman’s reports on Equitable Life,

Declares that the Petitioners either are or they represent or support members, former members or personal representatives of deceased members of the Equitable Life Assurance Society who have suffered maladministration leading to injustice, as found by the Parliamentary Ombudsman in her report upon Equitable Life, ordered by the House of Commons to be printed on 16 July 2008 and bearing reference number HC 815; and further declares that the Petitioners or those whom they represent or support have suffered regulatory failure on the part of the public bodies responsible from the year 1992 onwards, but have not received compensation for the resulting losses and outrage.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to uphold the constitutional standing of the Parliamentary Ombudsman by complying with the findings and recommendations of her Report upon Equitable Life.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Philip Davies, Official Report, 26 November 2009; Vol. 501, c. 797 .]

[P000427]

Equitable Life (South Cambridgeshire)

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to uphold the constitutional standing of the Parliamentary Ombudsman by complying in full with the findings and recommendations of her Report upon Equitable Life.

Declares that the Petitioners either are or they represent or support members, former members or personal representatives of deceased members of the Equitable Life Assurance Society who have suffered maladministration leading to injustice, as found by the Parliamentary Ombudsman in her report upon Equitable Life, ordered by the House of Commons to be printed on 16 July 2008 and bearing reference number HC 815; and further declares that the Petitioners or those whom they represent or support have suffered regulatory failure on the part of the public bodies responsible from the year 1992 onwards, but have not received compensation for the resulting losses and outrage.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to uphold the constitutional standing of the Parliamentary Ombudsman by complying with the findings and recommendations of her Report upon Equitable Life.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Mr. Andrew Lansley, Official Report, 8 December 2009; Vol. 502, c. 321 .]

[P000563]

Equitable Life (South Staffordshire)

The Petition of residents of the constituency of South Staffordshire in the Staffordshire region of the U.K. regarding the Government’s response to the Parliamentary Ombudsman’s reports on Equitable Life,

Declares that the Petitioners either are or they represent or support members, former members or personal representatives of deceased members of the Equitable Life Assurance Society who have suffered maladministration leading to injustice, as found by the Parliamentary Ombudsman in her report upon Equitable Life, ordered by the House of Commons to be printed on 16 July 2008 and bearing reference number HC 815; and further declares that the Petitioners or those whom they represent or support have suffered regulatory failure on the part of the public bodies responsible from the year 1992 onwards, but have not received compensation for the resulting losses and outrage.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to uphold the constitutional standing of the Parliamentary Ombudsman by complying with the findings and recommendations of her Report upon Equitable Life.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Sir Patrick Cormack, Official Report, 26 November 2009; Vol. 501, c. 798 .]

[P000430]

Equitable Life (Stratford-on-Avon)

The Petition of residents of the constituency of Stratford-on-Avon in the Warwickshire region of the U.K. regarding the Government’s response to the Parliamentary Ombudsman’s reports on Equitable Life,

Declares that the Petitioners either are or they represent or support members, former members or personal representatives of deceased members of the Equitable Life Assurance Society who have suffered maladministration leading to injustice, as found by the Parliamentary Ombudsman in her report upon Equitable Life, ordered by the House of Commons to be printed on 16 July 2008 and bearing reference number HC 815; and further declares that the Petitioners or those whom they represent or support have suffered regulatory failure on the part of the public bodies responsible from the year 1992 onwards, but have not received compensation for the resulting losses and outrage.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to uphold the constitutional standing of the Parliamentary Ombudsman by complying with the findings and recommendations of her Report upon Equitable Life.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.

[P000466]

Equitable Life (Wantage)

The Petition of residents of the constituency of Wantage in Oxfordshire,

Declares that the petitioners either are or they represent or support members, former members or personal representatives of deceased members of the Equitable Life Assurance Society who have suffered maladministration leading to injustice, as found by the Parliamentary Ombudsman in her report upon Equitable Life, ordered by the House of Commons to be printed on 16 July 2008 and bearing reference number HC 815; and further declares that the petitioners or those whom they represent or support have suffered regulatory failure on the part of the public bodies responsible from the year 1992 onwards, but have not received compensation for the resulting losses and outrage.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to uphold the constitutional standing of the Parliamentary Ombudsman by complying in full with the findings and recommendations of her Report upon Equitable Life.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.

[P000414]

Equitable Life (West Chelmsford)

The Petition of residents of the constituency of West Chelmsford, Essex,

Declares that the petitioners either are or they represent or support members, former members or personal representatives of deceased members of the Equitable Life Assurance Society who have suffered maladministration leading to injustice, as found by the Parliamentary Ombudsman in her report upon Equitable Life, ordered by the House of Commons to be printed on 16 July 2008 and bearing reference number HC 815; and further declares that the petitioners or those whom they represent or support have suffered regulatory failure on the part of the public bodies responsible from the year 1992 onwards, but have not received compensation for the resulting losses and outrage.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to uphold the constitutional standing of the Parliamentary Ombudsman by complying in full with the findings and recommendations of her Report upon Equitable Life.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Mr. Simon Burns, Official Report, 11 November 2009; Vol. 499, c. 321 .]

[P000413]

Observations from the Chancellor of the Exchequer:

The Government responded to the Parliamentary Ombudsman’s report into the prudential regulation of Equitable Life on 15 January 2009. The Government have the greatest respect for the Office of the Ombudsman. The Ombudsman’s important role in the maintenance of standards of public service is unquestioned.

The Government are permitted, in certain circumstances, to reject the Ombudsman’s findings and/or her recommendations for remedy. In this instance, where the Government departed from findings in her report, and her compensation recommendation, it did so only after very careful consideration.

The recent judgment in the judicial review of our response confirmed the legality of the Government’s decision to reject the Ombudsman’s compensation recommendation. With regard to her findings, the Court found in three instances that the Government had focused too narrowly on the issue of regulatory compliance, and we have accepted those findings.

The Government must act in a way that balances the legitimate interests of the taxpayer with those of policyholders affected by events at Equitable Life. The Ombudsman herself recognised in her report that the public interest is a relevant consideration. What this means is that it is appropriate to consider the impact on the general taxpayer of any payments.

A further issue is that the Ombudsman was only able within her remit to consider the role of the regulator and not the role and responsibility of Equitable Life and other parties. The Government do not believe that the taxpayer should fund payments for any losses attributable to other factors, such as market conditions or the actions of Equitable Life itself.

The Government also explained in their response that they do not believe that it is generally appropriate to pay compensation where there is regulatory failure. The responsibility to minimise risks and to prevent problems occurring in a particular financial institution lies, first and foremost, with the people who own and run that institution.

Nevertheless, the Government recognise that some policyholders have been disproportionately affected by the events at Equitable Life. There are strong reasons to act quickly to help those hardest hit. We remain firmly committed to introducing a fair ex gratia payment scheme as soon as possible. The ex gratia payment scheme will be developed based upon consideration of Sir John Chadwick’s advice and to take into account other relevant considerations such as the position of the public finances. Our goal is to introduce a scheme that is administratively quicker and simpler to deliver than that envisaged by the Ombudsman.

The Government expect Sir John to submit his final report in spring 2010. Once the Government have had an opportunity to consider Sir John’s advice, details of the payment scheme that is fair to both taxpayers and policyholders will be announced.