Police (Northern Ireland) Bill — 6 Jun 2000

Oliver Letwin MP, West Dorset voted in the minority (Aye).

Order for Second Reading read .

I beg to move, That the Bill be now read a Second time.

I gather that several colleagues have been delayed by late flights. Doubtless they will join us shortly. [Interruption.] The flights were not fixed by me.

the link between the RUC and the new Police Service should be recognized.

I beg to move, To leave out from "That" to the end of the Question, and to add instead thereof:

"this House declines to give the Police (Northern Ireland) Bill a Second Reading as it fails to preserve the proud title and insignia of the Royal Ulster Constabulary; enables the political representatives of paramilitary organisations to sit on the Policing Board and District Policing Partnerships without a start to the decommissioning of illegally-held arms and explosives; provides inadequate safeguards against people convicted of terrorist offences serving on the Policing Board or the District Policing Partnerships; and threatens significantly to increase the politicisation of policing in Northern Ireland."

The RUC are the people who have held together the community in Northern Ireland. There would have been absolute anarchy but for the efforts of the RUC.

cause major offence in the Protestant community but will not lead to significant improvements in support for the Police among Catholics.

a new beginning to policing in Northern Ireland with a police service capable of attracting and sustaining support from the community as a whole.

should henceforth be named the Northern Ireland Police Service.

The Northern Ireland Police Service should adopt a new badge and symbols which are entirely free from any association with either the British or Irish states.

the Union flag should no longer be flown from police buildings.

if you are going to get a police service which young Catholics as well as young Protestants . . . are going to join, then it can't be identified with the central political argument in Northern Ireland and it is as simple as that.

It has been the RUC who have held the fabric of this society together over the past 30 years.

However, some lines by Housman are also relevant:

To skies that knit their heartstrings right,

To fields that bred them brave,

The saviours come not home tonight,

Themselves they could not save.

threatens significantly to increase the politicisation of policing in Northern Ireland.

For example, the "tradition" of violence and the "belief" that it is legitimate to use violence for political ends.

the Secretary of State's intention threatens to undermine the credibility of the new body before it even gets off the ground.

We are extremely concerned that if the legislation goes through as it stands, the Policing Board could actually have less power than the current Police Authority--a ludicrous situation . . .

accountable, both under the law for its actions and to the community it serves; representative of the society it polices, and operates within a coherent and co-operative criminal justice system, which conforms with human rights norms. . .

make arrangements to facilitate consultation

an inquiry into any aspect of the police service or police conduct. Depending on the circumstances, the Board should have the option to request the Police Ombudsman, the Inspectorate of Constabulary or the Audit Office to conduct or contribute to such an inquiry, or to use the Board's own staff, or even private consultants for such a purpose.

A sergeant based in the south of the province said: "Did anyone ever expect Patten to come back and say, Keep it up, you're doing a great job? Of course the name change will offend some people,

it is not satisfactory to suggest, as some people have, that one should somehow accept that every organisation has . . . "bad apples." They should be dealt with.

it fails to preserve the proud title and insignia

to make recommendations for future policing arrangements in Northern Ireland including means of encouraging widespread community support for these arrangements . . .

In our judgment that new beginning cannot be achieved unless the reality that part of the community feels unable to identify with the present name and symbols associated with the police is

addressed. Like the unique constitutional arrangements, our proposals seek to achieve a situation in which people can be British, Irish or Northern Irish, as they wish, and all regard the police service as their own.

The aim must be that the police service should recruit not only more Catholics, but nationalists (of whom there are some but not many at the moment) and republicans (of whom there are almost certainly none now); and that there should be many more women, and, we hope, also more members from ethnic minorities and greater tolerance of sexual diversity.

the deepest hurt of all is the removal of our proud title.

70 per cent. of Catholic respondents to the latest Community Attitudes Survey cited intimidation or fear of attack as the main reason why Catholics were deterred from entering the police . . .

Above all, the suggestion that Sinn Fein/IRA be given "ownership" of the force by allowing them to be represented on the province's new policing board and on local committees is a madness worthy of Ken Livingstone's GLC, circa 1981. It has a particular piquancy for me, since I know that Sinn Fein/IRA have not given up violence.

Each one was a jewel.

'Till strangers came,

and tried to take them from me.

presumption should be that everything should be available for public scrutiny

in the public interest--not the police interest--to hold it back.

in the interests of the efficiency or effectiveness of the police force.

provides the opportunity for a new beginning to policing in Northern Ireland with a police service capable of attracting and sustaining support from the community as a whole.

In carrying out their functions the members of the police force shall have regard to the code of ethics under section 48.

Question put, That the amendment be made:--

The House proceeded to a Division.

The House having divided: Ayes 142, Noes 342.

Historical Hansard | Online Hansard |

Party Summary

Votes by party, red entries are votes against the majority for that party.

What is Tell? '+1 tell' means that in addition one member of that party was a teller for that division lobby.

What are Boths? An MP can vote both aye and no in the same division. The boths page explains this.

What is Turnout? This is measured against the total membership of the party at the time of the vote.

PartyMajority (No)Minority (Aye)BothTurnout
Con0 132 (+2 tell)083.8%
DUP0 20100.0%
Independent1 0033.3%
Lab301 (+2 tell) 0073.0%
LDem34 0072.3%
PC2 0050.0%
SDLP3 00100.0%
SNP1 0016.7%
UKUP0 10100.0%
UUP0 7077.8%
Total:342 142075.1%

Rebel Voters - sorted by party

MPs for which their vote in this division differed from the majority vote of their party. You can see all votes in this division, or every eligible MP who could have voted in this division

Sort by: Name | Constituency | Party | Vote

NameConstituencyPartyVote
no rebellions

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