Housing Bill — Improvements in Energy Efficiency — rejected — 8 Nov 2004 at 18:45

Mr Dennis Skinner MP, Bolsover voted in the minority (No).

The majority of the MPs voted to delete a clause from the Housing Bill that had been inserted earlier by the House of Lords[1] which said:[2]

  • For the purposes of
  • improving the energy efficiency of residential accommodation;
  • increasing the comfort level of occupants of residential accommodation; and
  • alleviating fuel poverty,
  • the Secretary of State shall take reasonable steps to ensure an increase in residential energy efficiency of at least 20% by 2010 based upon 2000 levels.

Following this vote, Greenpeace took out newspaper adverts naming the MPs who had signed an EDM with the same promise, but who had voted against this clause.[3]

A complaint by an unnamed MP to the ASA about this ad was later partly upheld.[4][5]

When the Bill returned to the Lords with the reason for rejection as "Because it involves a charge on public funds", the Lords inserted a an alternative clause, which read:[6]

  • The Secretary of State must take reasonable steps to ensure that by 2010 the general level of energy efficiency of residential accommodation in England has increased by at least 20 per cent compared with the general level of such energy efficiency in 2000.

This new clause (which looks a lot like the old one that was rejected by MPs) was accepted by the House of Commons, with the minister explaining:[7]

  • ...we recognise the strength of feeling on this issue. We still believe that duties based on specific numerical figures are inflexible and better avoided in primary legislation, but we have decided to accede to the principle of the amendment as providing some comfort that the Government stand by the energy efficiency aim that they have declared...
  • We listened carefully to the arguments made in this House and elsewhere and we accepted the strength of those arguments. What we emphatically did not take into account was the disgraceful full-page advertisement naming names that appeared in The Guardian newspaper after the vote here...

The minister then said that the full-page advertisement in The Guardian, paid for by Greenpeace, "betrayed a total ignorance of the way in which Parliament works". He reminded the House that although he acknowledged the position of Members who felt they could not support the government during a debate, the only "voices to which [he] listened were the private representations of the colleagues who rightly supported the Government in the Divisions."

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 (Aye)Minority (No)BothTurnout
Con0 123 (+2 tell)076.7%
DUP0 2033.3%
Ind Con0 10100.0%
Lab258 (+2 tell) 26070.3%
LDem1 28052.7%
PC0 3075.0%
SNP0 1020.0%
UUP0 2040.0%
Total:259 186069.5%

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
Mr Harry BarnesNorth East DerbyshireLabno
Mrs Anne CampbellCambridgeLabno
Mr Martin CatonGowerLabno
Mr Tony ClarkeNorthampton SouthLabno
Mr Jeremy CorbynIslington NorthLabno
Mrs Valerie DaveyBristol WestLabno
Mrs Gwyneth DunwoodyCrewe and NantwichLabno
Mrs Barbara FollettStevenageLabno
Mr Neil GerrardWalthamstowLabno
Dr Ian GibsonNorwich NorthLabno
Mr John GroganSelbyLabno
Dr Brian IddonBolton South EastLabno
Dr Lynne JonesBirmingham, Selly OakLabno
Mr Terry LewisWorsleyLabno
Mr Alan MealeMansfieldLabno
Mr Martin O'NeillOchilLabno
Mr Gordon PrenticePendleLabno
Ms Joan RuddockLewisham, DeptfordLabno
Mr Brian SedgemoreHackney South and ShoreditchLabno
Mr Alan SimpsonNottingham SouthLabno
Mr Dennis SkinnerBolsoverLabno
Mr Llew SmithBlaenau GwentLabno
Mr Clive SoleyEaling, Acton and Shepherd's BushLabno
Mr David TaylorNorth West LeicestershireLabno
Mr Robert WareingLiverpool, West DerbyLabno
Mr Brian WhiteNorth East Milton KeynesLabno
Mr Andrew GeorgeSt IvesLDem (front bench)aye

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