Comparison of Divisions: Counter-Terrorism Bill — Extension of Maximim Period of Police Detention Without Charge in Terror Cases from 28 to 42 Days — 11 Jun 2008 at 17:45 with Division No. 220 on the same day at 17:45

(Swap the two divisions around).

Vote (a) : Counter-Terrorism Bill — Extension of Maximim Period of Police Detention Without Charge in Terror Cases from 28 to 42 Days - 11 Jun 2008 at 17:45 - Division No. 219

The majority of MPs voted to extend the period of police detention without making any criminal charges of terrorist suspects from 28 days[1] to 42 days, subject to a complex series of bureaucratic procedures. See also the next vote which outlined the powers themselves.

The procedures include:

  • Statement - The Home Secretary must make a statement that a grave exceptional terrorist threat has occurred or is occurring for which this power to detain suspects without charge beyond 28 days is necessary for the purposes of investigation and bringing to justice those responsible.[2]
  • Legal advice - Independent legal advice (from a lawyer not employed by the Government) must be obtained as to whether the Home Secretary can be properly satisfied by his or her statement.[3]
  • DPP report - A report must be made by the Director of Public Prosecutions and the chief police officer which states that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the detention of one or more persons beyond 28 days will be necessary to obtain or preserve evidence that relates to the commission by the detained person or persons of a serious terrorist offence.[4]
  • Committee chairs - A copy of the legal advice and the report must be provided in confidence to the chairmen of the Home Affairs Committee, Joint Committee on Human Rights, and the Intelligence and Security Committee.[5]

Although this threatened to be the largest Labour Party rebellion for Gordon Brown,[6] a bigger one occurred six weeks earlier.[7]

A comparison between MPs' votes on the 90 day detention and this 42 day detention is here or reported in the Guardian here. The list of related Parliamentary votes on detaining persons without charge is here.

Vote (b) : Counter-Terrorism Bill — Extension of period of detention to 42 days — Order - 11 Jun 2008 at 17:45 - Division No. 220

The majority of MPs voted to give the Home Secretary the power to allow police detention terrorist suspects without making any criminal charges of for up to 42 days. The Parliamentary procedures to safeguarding this power was established in the previous vote.[1]

Subject to those procedures, the sequence of events would be:

  • Order - The Home Secretary must make a Statutory Order reserving the powers of detention beyond 28 days.[2]
  • Application - The actual application for a detention period beyond 28 days must be made by an agent of the Director of Public Prosecutions to a senior judge.[3]
  • Information - The Home Secretary keep Parliament informed of the dates, times and locations of the persons detained under these conditions.[4]

As these two votes were two halves of the same measure (added to the body and to the Schedule of the Counter-Terrorism Bill), the votes by MPs should be identical. However, 10 Labour MPs who rebelled from their party in the first vote were absent in the second, and Neil Gerrard MP changed sides.[5]

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Difference in Votes - sorted by party

MPs for which their vote on Motion (a) differed from their vote on Motion (b). You can also see just opposite votes between these two divisions, or simply all the votes.

Sort by: Name | Constituency | Party | Vote (a) | Vote (b)

NameConstituencyPartyVote (a)Vote (b)
David DavisHaltemprice and HowdenConno absent
Andrew LoveEdmontonLabaye absent
Austin MitchellGreat GrimsbyLabaye absent
Neil GerrardWalthamstowLabno aye
Richard BurdenBirmingham, NorthfieldLabno absent
Katy ClarkNorth Ayrshire and ArranLabno absent
Harry CohenLeyton and WansteadLabno absent
David DrewStroudLabno absent
Ian GibsonNorwich NorthLabno absent
John GroganSelbyLabno absent
Michael MeacherOldham West and RoytonLabno absent
Julie MorganCardiff NorthLabno absent
Doug NaysmithBristol North WestLabno absent
Emily ThornberryIslington South and FinsburyLabno absent
David TaylorNorth West LeicestershireLabboth both
Mark ToddSouth DerbyshireLababsent aye

Division Similarity Ratio

The measure of similarity between these two divisions is a calculation based on a comparison of their votes.

There were 645 MPs who could have voted in both of these divisions, and 609 voted the same way, with 1 voting in opposite ways. There were 21 MPs who didn't vote in either division, and 14 who voted in only one of them.

We invert the vote on the second division if it makes the distance closer (since the meaning of 'Aye' and 'No' are often interchangeable depending on how the question was put). In this case, they line up the same way. An 's vote in in only one of the divisions contributes a factor of 0.2 to the distance. The calculation runs as follows:

ratio =
[same-votes]
([same-votes] + [differing-votes] + 0.2x[abstain-in-one])
=
609
(609 + 1 + 0.2x14)
=
609
612.8
= 0.994 = 99.4 %.


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