Sierra Leone — 2 Mar 1999

[Relevant documents: The Second Report from the Foreign Affairs Committee on Sierra Leone, Session 1998-99 (HC 116), and the Report of the Sierra Leone Arms Investigation, Session 1997-98 (HC 1016).]

I beg to move,

That this House endorses the criticisms made of Ministers in the Second Report of Session 1998-99 (HC 116) of the Foreign Affairs Committee on Sierra Leone and the Report of the Legg Inquiry; deplores the conduct of Ministers which led to such criticism; and calls on the Ministers concerned to accept responsibility for their conduct.

It is difficult to imagine a more serious charge. This is the Government who the Prime Minister said must be purer than pure. This is the Foreign Secretary who purported to introduce an ethical foreign policy. This is also the Foreign Secretary who said:

"Tonight Parliament has the opportunity to insist that Ministers must accept responsibility for their conduct in office and to assert that the health of our democracy depends on the honesty of Government to Parliament."--[ Official Report , 26 February 1996; Vol. 272, c. 617.]

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

'welcomes the decision of the Foreign Affairs Committee in its Second Report of Session 1998-99 (HC 116) on Sierra Leone to commend the resolute support which the British Government is giving to the restoration of democracy in Sierra Leone and endorses the conclusion of the Legg Inquiry that no Minister had given encouragement or approval to any breach of the arms embargo on Sierra Leone; notes that the inquiry on Sierra Leone of the Foreign Affairs Committee has found no evidence of Ministerial encouragement or approval; and congratulates Her Majesty's Government on accepting all the recommendations of the Report of the Legg Inquiry and on the steps it has since taken to modernise management in the FCO.'.

When the Committee's persistence prevailed, Ministers yet again sought to impede its progress.

Question put, That the original words stand part of the Question:--

The House divided: Ayes 171, Noes 336.

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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)082.7%
Independent0 10100.0%
Lab335 (+2 tell) 0080.8%
LDem1 30067.4%
PC0 1025.0%
SNP0 2033.3%
UUP0 5050.0%
Total:336 171079.1%

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

Mr Nigel JonesCheltenhamLDemno

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