Constitutional Reform and Governance Bill — Should apply to GCHQ — rejected — 3 Nov 2009 at 18:45
The Majority of MPs voted against giving the new Civil Service Commission jurisdiction over civil servants employed in GCHQ.
They did this by voting against a proposed deletion of the third line in the list to Chapter 1 where it outlines the powers to manage the civil service, which says:
This Chapter does not apply to the following parts of the civil service of the State
- the Secret Intelligence Service;
- the Security Service;
- the Government Communications Headquarters;
- the Northern Ireland Civil Service;
- the Northern Ireland Court Service.
The debate was brought because in the original versions of the Bill in 2004 the Government had agreed that GCHQ civil servants would be treated under the same system of accountability.
In the debate Conservative and Liberal Democrat MPs pointed out that by not ensuring Chapter One of the Constitutional Reform and Governance Bill applied to GCHQ the appointments to GCHQ would not, by law, have to be made on merit. It was suggested that this left a loophole open enabling political appointments to GCHQ to be made.
The Conservatives abstained from this vote. Conservative MP Oliver Heald has said: "Conservatives decided to give further consideration to the Minister’s comments and the best way forward. We therefore abstained."
-  Constitutional Reform and Governance Bill, Application of this Chapter
-  David Howarth MP, House of Commons, 3 November 2009
-  David Howarth MP , House of Commons, 3 November 2009
-  Oliver Heald MP, Email to Richard Taylor, 9th November 2009.
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 (No)||Minority (Aye)||Both||Turnout|
|Lab||272 (+2 tell)||4||0||79.7%|
|LDem||0||39 (+2 tell)||0||65.1%|
|John Martin McDonnell||Hayes and Harlington||Lab||aye|
|Jeremy Corbyn||Islington North||Lab||aye|
|Alan Simpson||Nottingham South||Lab||aye|
|Gordon Prentice||Pendle||Lab (minister)||aye|