Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants, Etc.) Bill — Give support to failed asylum seekers and their families — rejected — 1 Mar 2004 at 18:00

Charles Hendry MP, Wealden voted with the majority (No).

The majority No voters rejected an amendment[1] to the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants, Etc.) Bill.

The Bill withdraws support for failed asylum seekers and their families[2]. This occurs when the asylum seeker has not taken reasonable steps to leave the UK. It also limits the grounds on which asylum seekers can appeal against this decision. In this vote the Aye voters aimed to prevent this change from taking place but were defeated.

In moving the amendment Hilton Dawson MP explained that:

  • 'I am not aware of any measure that has reached this stage in the House that would make children in this country destitute. I cannot believe that such a measure is acceptable. Frankly, I cannot believe that it is coming from the party of which I have been a member for more than quarter of a century. Such a measure is unnecessary and would be counter-productive. Once all advocacy has failed, there is a more effective way to work with families who have to return home.'[3]

However, Beverley Hughes MP argued that the amendment would:

  • 'mean that we would be unable to withdraw support from families, no matter how much resistance they had shown or how much time and opportunity they had been given to leave the country once their claim had failed. We would therefore be in a very difficult position, both in terms of trying to achieve our policy objective and of explaining to our constituents how we could require people who were not legally in the country to leave but, if they refused to do so, we would have to continue to pay them to stay here indefinitely.'[4]

The Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants, etc.) Bill became law in 2004. Its main aims were to:[5]

  • Simplify the process of appeal for asylum seekers
  • Criminalise people who arrive into the UK without a valid travel document unless they have a reasonable excuse
  • Stop supporting failed asylum seekers and their families if they do not leave the UK
  • Allow the government to tag and track asylum seekers
  • Provide accommodation to failed asylum seekers who cannot return home immediately

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Debate in Parliament | Historical Hansard | Source |

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
Con132 2082.7%
Ind0 1050.0%
Ind Con1 0050.0%
Lab309 (+2 tell) 26 (+2 tell)083.1%
LDem0 46085.2%
PC0 3075.0%
SNP0 4080.0%
UUP2 0040.0%
Total:444 82082.6%

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
Richard ShepherdAldridge-BrownhillsCon (front bench)aye
Robert WalterNorth DorsetCon (front bench)aye
Diane AbbottHackney North and Stoke NewingtonLabaye
John AustinErith and ThamesmeadLabaye
Harry BarnesNorth East DerbyshireLabaye
Andrew BennettDenton and ReddishLabaye
Karen BuckRegent's Park and Kensington NorthLab (minister)tellaye
Martin CatonGowerLab (minister)aye
Harry CohenLeyton and WansteadLabaye
Iain ColemanHammersmith and FulhamLabaye
Frank CookStockton NorthLabaye
Jeremy CorbynIslington NorthLabaye
Hilton DawsonLancaster and WyreLabaye
David DrewStroudLabaye
Gwyneth DunwoodyCrewe and NantwichLabaye
Louise EllmanLiverpool, RiversideLab (minister)aye
Bill EtheringtonSunderland NorthLabaye
Mark FisherStoke-on-Trent CentralLabaye
Neil GerrardWalthamstowLabtellaye
Kelvin HopkinsLuton NorthLab (minister)aye
Glenda JacksonHampstead and HighgateLabaye
Lynne JonesBirmingham, Selly OakLabaye
Jim MarshallLeicester SouthLabaye
Robert Marshall-AndrewsMedwayLabaye
John McDonnellHayes and HarlingtonLabaye
Brian SedgemoreHackney South and ShoreditchLabaye
Alan SimpsonNottingham SouthLabaye
Dennis SkinnerBolsoverLab (minister)aye
Rudi VisFinchley and Golders GreenLabaye
Robert WareingLiverpool, West DerbyLabaye

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