Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill — 10 Feb 2000

Order for Second Reading read.

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

The Bill is based on the principle of equality before the law. It also provides added protection for the vulnerable. I am deeply committed to the Bill, although the Government and, I believe, the Opposition regard it entirely as a matter for a free vote according to individual conscience, rather than a matter for the party Whips.

I am saddened that yet another year has passed without this reform on the statute book. The House has endorsed the principle of equality not once but twice. We included child protection measures as part of the Bill last year and asked the other place to agree. Regrettably, it has rejected the Bill. It has opposed equality and failed to support--indeed, even properly to consider--the child protection measures.

Mr. Desmond Swayne (New Forest, West)

rose --

and women. As the hon. Member for Bethnal Green and Bow said, the Bill will lead us towards a more tolerant, less bigoted society in which all people, after centuries of struggle, will at last be treated as equals. The measure is a small step in that direction. Please let us not put up barriers of bigotry now; let us move on to a more enabling and refreshing agenda.

The report also stated that, last year, of the 1,070 heterosexual people living in Britain who contracted human immune deficiency virus--many of whom underwent HIV testing because of increased concern among women about the disease--only 62 contracted the disease in this country. When I pointed out to the hon. Member for Rochdale (Lorna Fitzsimons) that the great majority of the women in that group came from the sub-continent, she jumped on the statement and said that it simply showed that heterosexual populations in other countries are severely affected by the disease.

Question put, That the Bill be now read a Second time:--

The House divided: Ayes 263, Noes 102.

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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 (Aye)Minority (No)BothTurnout
Con10 89 (+2 tell)062.7%
DUP0 20100.0%
Independent0 1050.0%
Lab235 (+2 tell) 6058.3%
LDem16 3041.3%
PC1 0025.0%
SNP1 0016.7%
UUP0 1010.0%
Total:263 102056.9%

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

John BercowBuckinghamCon (front bench)aye
Tim BoswellDaventryCon (front bench)aye
Peter BottomleyWorthing WestCon (front bench)aye
Graham BradyAltrincham and Sale WestCon (front bench)aye
Alan DuncanRutland and MeltonCon (front bench)aye
Nigel EvansRibble ValleyCon (front bench)aye
Michael FabricantLichfieldCon (front bench)aye
Eleanor LaingEpping ForestCon (front bench)aye
Mr Michael PortilloKensington and ChelseaConaye
Mr David PriorNorth NorfolkCon (front bench)aye
Joe BentonBootleLabno
Mr Jamie CannIpswichLabno
Mr Denzil DaviesLlanelliLabno
Mr Kerry PollardSt AlbansLabno
Mr Raymond PowellOgmoreLabno
Geraldine SmithMorecambe and LunesdaleLabno
Colin BreedSouth East CornwallLDemno
Mrs Ray MichieArgyll and ButeLDemno
Bob RussellColchesterLDem (front bench)no

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