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)
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.
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.
|Party||Majority (Aye)||Minority (No)||Both||Turnout|
|Con||10||89 (+2 tell)||0||62.7%|
|Lab||235 (+2 tell)||6||0||58.3%|
|John Bercow||Buckingham||Con (front bench)||aye|
|Tim Boswell||Daventry||Con (front bench)||aye|
|Peter Bottomley||Worthing West||Con (front bench)||aye|
|Graham Brady||Altrincham and Sale West||Con (front bench)||aye|
|Alan Duncan||Rutland and Melton||Con (front bench)||aye|
|Nigel Evans||Ribble Valley||Con (front bench)||aye|
|Michael Fabricant||Lichfield||Con (front bench)||aye|
|Eleanor Laing||Epping Forest||Con (front bench)||aye|
|Mr Michael Portillo||Kensington and Chelsea||Con||aye|
|Mr David Prior||North Norfolk||Con (front bench)||aye|
|Mr Jamie Cann||Ipswich||Lab||no|
|Mr Denzil Davies||Llanelli||Lab||no|
|Mr Kerry Pollard||St Albans||Lab||no|
|Mr Raymond Powell||Ogmore||Lab||no|
|Geraldine Smith||Morecambe and Lunesdale||Lab||no|
|Colin Breed||South East Cornwall||LDem||no|
|Mrs Ray Michie||Argyll and Bute||LDem||no|
|Bob Russell||Colchester||LDem (front bench)||no|