The Select Committee on Procedure in the House of Commons met to hear "Oral Evidence" on 2 July 2003 on the subject of the "Sessional Orders". These were a set of rulings pronounced by the Speaker of the House at the start of each session. The first was:
"That the Commissioner of the Police of the Metropolis do take care that the passages through the streets leading to this House be kept free and open and that no obstruction be permitted to hinder the passage of Members to and from this House during the sitting of Parliament, or to hinder Members by any means in the pursuit of their Parliamentary duties in the Parliamentary Estate; and that the Serjeant at Arms attending this House do communicate this Order to the Commissioner."
From time to time, disquiet has been expressed about why this order has not been used to remove Brian Haw from his four year protest about Iraq in Parliament Square, on the other side of a busy road from the Houses of Parliament.
Some of the finest legal minds in the country failed to notice that the reason this law did not, and should not, apply to him was that his protest was nowhere near any of the routes into and out of the Parliamentary Estate.
But this did not deter our public servants from searching for another excuse for removing what has been described as a little cloud of shame that hangs over our representatives day in day out as they go about their business in silent support of the ongoing genocide in Iraq.
In October 2002, Westminster Council failed to get an injunction from the High Court on the grounds of "Obstructing the Highway", because it was not a highway, it was not being obstructed, and anyway it didn't lead anywhere. The Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir John Stevens, testified before the committee, saying that, because of this ruling, it would be impossible to remove Mr Haw unless there was a change in the law.
On 2 July, 8 July and 10 September 2003, the Committee discussed the merits of this at length, citing, among others, the Metropolitan Police Act 1839, the Tumultuous Petitioning Act 1661, and the Seditious Meeting Act 1817.
In their discussions, they discovered that, had Brian been on the grass, rather than the pavement, his demonstration would be illegal because it would have breached Greater London Authority bye-laws with regards to the park space.Sir Michael Cummins said: [I]t causes me great concern on security grounds. That permanent demonstration... could... hide someone who is going to somehow impede access to a particular Member maybe or indeed do him or her harm. The police now regularly search that area three times a day to ensure there is nothing there.
Rosemary McKenna chipped in: [O]ne of the things that worries me about the permanence of the current demonstration is that it actually prevents other groups... from exercising their right to demonstrate, because it is permanently blocked up and they cannot get on it.
During his four year protest, Brian has outlasted numerous demonstrations in the square, including several by the Countryside Alliance, one of which totally occupied the square with dogs, horses, and people on 9 July 2003, which was actively supported by several pro-hunt MPs, such as Nicholas Soames. Not once was there a complaint raised about Brian.
Nicholas Soames got straight to the bottom of the argument: I think [the protest] is very noisy and distracting; I think it is an affront to the dignity of the place and of Parliament; and I would like to try and find a way where it would be possible for demonstrations to take place that are meaningful, orderly, tidy and which do not over-egg the pudding. I believe that this demonstration has now gone on for too long; I think it represents a security risk; I think it is grossly and grotesquely untidy; and I think that Parliament Square needs to be rid of it.
They discussed removing the pavement so there would be nowhere to stand, and they discussed banning the noise, both equally immature measure.
On the subject of the noise, Jeremy Corbyn pointed out: I would have thought... it was an Environmental Health matter. Brian Haw is not particularly noisy; he has very poor equipment. [S]ometimes the blunderbuss of legislation and regulation is not very helpful.
Putting the obstruction argument into perspective, he added: I was delayed by the Prime Minister's motorcade the other week; I could not get in because Whitehall was closed to enable him to cross Whitehall. I was not best pleased about that, but these things happen. It is quite often that it is traffic that delays people more than anything else. He was not arrested for delaying me!
On 5 November 2003 the committee published its report, which "recommend that the Government should introduce appropriaTe legislation to prohibit long-term demonstrations and to ensure that the laws about access are adequate and enforceable. We also expect the appropriate authorities to explore fully the possibility of using existing legislation to control the use of loud-hailers and other amplification equipment; failing that, the Government should consider legislation on this subject."
A full year later, on 3 November 2004, the House of Commons debated this report, in particular the removal of Brian Haw, at length.
The majority of the debate was of little merit and not worth repeating, being pre-occupied by the same non-issues as the Committee. As usual it was agreed, for the sake of the discussion, that the subject of Brian's protest was irrelevant, in spite of the fact that it is the central point of the matter.
There was no mention of the fact that Brian Haw represented the views of many in the country and, in a different electoral system, could have deserved a seat in Parliament. The uninformed enunciation of the rights of democratic expression never went so far as to consider whether the children of Iraq, whom the UK government has been massacring, deserved any democratic voice here. This was no questioned. No one in this country, neither a democratically elected Parliament, nor an appointed government, can possibly have the mandate to dispatch bombing raids to targets that pose no threat of aggression to anyone.
In the meantime, the MPs who bullshitted most about the bogus issue of security were Nicholas Winterton, Caroline Flint, and especially Oliver Heald, who said that the police "are forced to check around the barrier on the square several times a day to see what is happening behind the posters and placards."
To which Lembit Ípik asked: "Does the hon. Gentleman not accept that those who are concerned about the [signage] in Parliament square could also be concerned about someone sneaking around the statue of Churchill and jumping an unsuspecting Member of Parliament on the way home? The police are present in part to defend our right of free expression under duress, and to say that the gentleman in question presents a security risk is a preposterous argument against his right of expression."
At the end of a debate, a vote was held on the resolution to "take note" of the report. It was passed by 130 votes to 75.
On 24th November 2004, the sought for legislation was found lumped into the The Serious Organised Crime and Police Bill, which is apt, because, although nothing to do with police, the sanctions regime, the ten year "no fly zone" bombing campaign, and the unprovoked Anglo-American invasion of Iraq in March 2003, is a Serious Organised [State] Crime. Most of the Bill was concerned with setting up a British equivalent of the FBI, called SOCA, but it was acting as a dustbin for many other measures, such as the criminalization of religious hatred.
On the front page of the Bill, the Home Secretary uttered what we know, to him, were wholly meaningless words: "In my view the provisions of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Bill are compatible with the Convention [on Human R]ights."
Buried within a large amount of unnecessary convolution was the proposed criminalization of scruffiness in Parliament Square.
Section 123 said:
The senior police officer [on the scene] may ... exercise... powers... if he reasonably believes that a person is behaving in a way [that]... spoil[s] the visual aspect, or otherwise spoil[s] the enjoyment by members of the public, of any part of the designated area.
"The designated area" means an area specified... in an order made by the Secretary of State... [which is not] more than one kilometre in a straight line from the point nearest to it in Parliament Square.
Section 124 said:
A person who knowingly fails to comply with a requirement imposed on him under section 123 is guilty of an offence.
A person who incites another to behave in contravention of a requirement imposed on him by virtue of section 123... is guilty of an offence.
A constable in uniform may arrest without warrant anyone he reasonably suspects is committing an offence...
The second reading debate for this bill was held on 7 December 2004. Little notice was taken of the clauses for outlawing Brian's protest, but David Heath observed: I was hoping to welcome the Bill, believing it to be a serious organised crime Bill... It is perhaps a reflection of the rather excessive personality of the Home Secretary that he could not leave it as a serious organised crime Bill...
He added: We are given to understand that serious organised crime encompasses search on suspicion of harbouring a firework, the power of arrest for dropping a sweet paper, and dear Mr. Brian Haw in Parliament square... I understand that we are nearing the end of a Parliament and the Home Secretary wishes to clear his filing cabinets of all the measures that he has not managed to introduce in any of the previous Bills...
The Bill then passed to Standing Committee D for careful review. The sections related to scruffiness in Parliament Square were discussed for 20 minutes at 6pm on 20 January 2005 during the eighth and final sitting of the Committee.
David Heath proposed a series of amendments to the clauses that would have deleted the worst of the excesses.
He said: Clause 123 is similar to the earlier debate on the proposal to extend the power of arrest to absolutely anybody for absolutely anything. It is an example where the Government have gone completely bonkers. I really do not understand how they can bring forward such disproportionate proposals... What I cannot believe is that the Government, in response to a demonstration that they happen not to like... [is] prepared to bring forward not a civil remedy to provide for an injunction, but a new criminal offence and the power for a police officer, in the rank of constable, to give a direction to someone who is "spoiling the visual aspect... of any part of the designated area."
In other words, a constable can decide that somebody looks untidy in Parliament square. Furthermore, on that basis they can apply an order with the force of law that excludes that person not just from Parliament square but from a radius of 1 km around Parliament square. I have taken care to map that area out so that I know exactly where these people might be excluded from. The area extends to Waterloo station and then goes right the way up to beyond Trafalgar square and across to Buckingham palace. It means that they would not be able to catch their train home if they happened to want to use Waterloo, Victoria, or Charing Cross, because they will be excluded from those areas by the fiat of a constable who thinks that they look untidy.
This is a reduction to the absurd of the powers that the Government apparently wish to exert here. And for what? In order to deal with somebody exercising their democratic right to protest in a free society. I cannot see the argument for it. If -- it is a big if -- the permanent demonstration is a nuisance, there are grounds for applying an injunction against a nuisance. The proper remedy is in the civil courts, and if the Government do not believe that they can get satisfaction from the civil courts, they must try harder, or examine the arrangements for applying for an injunction in the civil courts...
The Committee voted on whether or not to keep this section in the Bill: Evan Harris and David Heath voted to remove it, while Vera Baird, Hazel Blears, Alan Campbell, Paul Farrelly, Caroline Flint, Jane Griffiths, John Heppell, John Mann, and Dari Taylor all voted to retain it.
After this demonstration of lack of scrutiny, the faceless people who write the law had second thoughts and went back to their secluded drawing board to came up with a completely new draft. Now, they decided, members of the public would be required to ask the Metropolitan Police Commissioner for permission to demonstrate outside their own Parliament. And the Commissioner would write back and tell them how big their signs could be.
On 7 February 2005 the Serious Organised Crime and Police Bill returned to the House of Commons for its third reading. Caroline Flint had the job of introducing the new version of the ban-Brian-Haw-from-Parliament-Square law.
Section 129 said:
Any person who organises... or takes part... or carries on a demonstration by himself in a public place in the designated area is guilty of an offence if... authorisation for the demonstration has not been given under section 131, [unless it is a strike action].
Section 130 said:
A person seeking authorisation for a demonstration in the designated area must give written notice... to the [Metropolitan Police] Commissioner... 6 clear days before... the demonstration is to start.
The notice must state, the date and time..., the place..., how long it is to last, whether it is to be carried on by a person by himself or not, [and] the name and address of the person giving the notice.
[The] notice... must be deliver[ed] it to a police station in the metropolitan police district, or sen[t]... by recorded delivery.
Section 131 said:
In giving authorisation, the Commissioner may impose... conditions... necessary for... preventing... the hindrance to any person wishing to enter or leave the Palace of Westminster, hindrance to the proper operation of Parliament, serious public disorder, serious damage to property, disruption to the life of the community, a security risk in any part of the designated area, risk to the safety of members of the public.
The conditions may... impose requirements [on]... the place..., times..., period..., number of persons..., the number and size of banners or placards used, [and the] maximum permissible noise levels.
Each person who takes part in or organises a demonstration in the designated area is guilty of an offence if he knowingly fails to comply with a condition... or he knows, or should have known, that the demonstration is carried on otherwise than in accordance with the... authorisation...
Section 132 said:
The senior police office [at the scene] may give directions to those taking part in or organising the demonstration imposing... or varying... condition[s] already imposed.
A person taking part in or organising the demonstration who knowingly fails to comply with a condition which is applicable to him, and which is imposed or varied by a direction under this section, is guilty of an offence.
Section 133 said:
A person guilty of [organising an unauthorised demonstration or one that does not conform to the conditions]... is liable... to imprisonment [for up to] 51 weeks, [and a level 4 fine].
A person guilty of [taking part in an unauthorised demonstration]... is liable... to a [level 3] fine.
A person... guilty of... inciting another to... [commit the above offences] is liable... to imprisonment [for up to] 51 weeks, [and a level 4 fine].
A constable in uniform may arrest without warrant anyone he reasonably believes is committing... [any of the above] offence[s]...
Section 134 said:
[A] loudspeaker shall not be operated, at any time or for any purpose, in a street in the designated area, except... from a Hovercraft.
A person who operates... a loudspeaker in contravention [to this rule]... is liable... to a.. level 5 [fine]... [plus] ú50 for each day on which the offence continues after the conviction.
Section 135 said:
The Secretary of State may... specify an[y] area [within one kilometre of Parliament Square] as the designated area for the purposes of [this Act]... by description, by reference to a map or in any other way...
The MPs in Parliament began their debate with a long discussion about section 134 and the use of loudhailers (Glenda Jackson managed to point out Big Ben makes more noise every fifteen minutes than anything in the Square) before noticing all the other Police-State-worthy measures.
As usual, the issue was to chip at the details, in particular the "6 clear days notice" demanded before the Police Commissioner prior to a demonstration.
Simon Hughes pointed out: [W]e often do things at a day's notice in the house. Where do people who want to protest about something that the Government suddenly announce or introduce in Parliament go so that we can hear and see them...?
Without a hint of irony, the minister, Caroline Flint replied: People... can come to Central Lobby and demand to see their Member of Parliament. I do not believe that there is a lack of opportunity for people to express their point of view. If one person, who may have a huge amount of paraphernalia and loud hailers, wants to hold a demonstration, they should seek the authority to do so, just as people holding a procession do.
But David Heath had to point out, yet again: I do not think the Government have a clue what they are doing. They simply have a visceral dislike of someone disagreeing so obviously, and in such a prolonged way, on their doorstep. That is why we have what can only been described... as a sledgehammer to crack the proverbial nut. I do not believe that the Government should be making it a criminal offence for someone simply to express his view in Parliament square in a time-honoured way, and I do not think they should extend the area to 1 km. I find it alarming enough that the Minister has changed the Government's position since she said in Committee that the intention was to protect Parliament. Now it is Parliament and Government buildings, which is illustrative in itself.
Jeremy Corbyn asked: Are we seriously saying that, because one person, Brian Haw, has been outside for three years, we will sweep away the right that has existed for centuries for people to come to the House, without seeking permission from anyone, to express their view...? This is a very serious matter. I urge hon. Members to think very carefully... before denying that right to others who wish to come to the House and make life uncomfortable for us.
The MP's then voted twice, the first time to pass Section 129, which outlawed all unauthorised demonstrations in Parliament Square (301 votes to 88), and a second time to pass Sections 130 to 135, to stipulate the conditions under which the police would give authorization (265 votes to 90). Only 88 MPs were consistent enough with their votes to be reported as being against this law.
The 88 MP's who voted against the Criminalization of Protest in the vicinity of Parliament
Lembit Ípik [LDem], Richard Allan [LDem], Norman Baker [LDem], John Baron [Con], John Barrett [LDem], Sir Paul Beresford [Con], Julian Brazier [Con], Annette Brooke [LDem], Angela Browning [Con], Malcolm Bruce [LDem], Paul Burstow [LDem], Alistair Burt [Con], Vincent Cable [LDem], Rt Hon Menzies Campbell [LDem], Christopher Chope [Con], Geoffrey Clifton-Brown [Con], Jeremy Corbyn [Lab], Brian Cotter [LDem], John Cummings [Lab], Edward Davey [LDem], Hilton Dawson [Lab], Annabelle Ewing [SNP], Mark Fisher [Lab], Don Foster [LDem], Andrew George [LDem], Dominic Grieve [Con], John Grogan [Lab], Mike Hancock [LDem], Evan Harris [LDem], David Heath [LDem], Rt Hon David Heathcoat-Amory [Con], Kate Hoey [Lab], Paul Holmes [LDem], Gerald Howarth [Con], Simon Hughes [LDem], Jacqui Lait [Con], Andrew Lansley [Con], Ian Liddell-Grainger [Con], David Lidington [Con], Elfyn Llwyd [PC], Tim Loughton [Con], Alice Mahon [Lab], Rt Hon Francis Maude [Con], Rt Hon Theresa May [Con], John McDonnell [Lab], Patrick McLoughlin [Con], Andrew Murrison [Con], Archie Norman [Con], Mark Oaten [LDem], John Pugh [LDem], Alan Reid [LDem], Angus Robertson [SNP], Laurence Robertson [Con], Bob Russell [LDem], Alex Salmond [SNP], Adrian Sanders [LDem], Andrew Selous [Con], Richard Shepherd [Con], Rt Hon Clare Short [Lab], Alan Simpson [Lab], Sir Robert Smith [LDem], Martin Smyth [UU], Bob Spink [Con], Richard Spring [Con], Sir John Stanley [Con], Anthony Steen [Con], Gary Streeter [Con], Andrew Stunell [LDem], Desmond Swayne [Con], Robert Syms [Con], John Taylor [Con], Matthew Taylor [LDem], Richard Taylor [Ind], Sarah Teather [LDem], Simon Thomas [PC], Sir John Thurso [LDem], Paul Tyler [LDem], Peter Viggers [Con], Robert Wareing [Lab], Nigel Waterson [Con], Steve Webb [LDem], John Whittingdale [Con], Rt Hon Alan Williams [Lab], Roger Williams [LDem], Phil Willis [LDem], David Wilshire [Con], Pete Wishart [SNP], Richard Younger-Ross [LDem]
The 316 MP's who voted for the sections of the Act which
outlawed the right of free public protest in the vicinity of
Government and Parliament
Diane Abbott [Lab], Nick Ainger [Lab], Bob Ainsworth [Lab], Douglas Alexander [Lab], Graham Allen [Lab], Rt Hon Hilary Armstrong [Lab], Charlotte Atkins [Lab], Peter Atkinson [Con], John Austin [Lab], Adrian Bailey [Lab], Tony Banks [Lab], Harry Barnes [Lab], Rt Hon Kevin Barron [Lab], Rt Hon John Battle [Lab], Hugh Bayley [Lab], Anne Begg [Lab], Stuart Bell [Lab], Joe Benton [Lab], John Bercow [Con], Roger Berry [Lab], Liz Blackman [Lab], Hazel Blears [Lab], Rt Hon Keith Bradley [Lab], Peter Bradley [Lab], Ben Bradshaw [Lab], Kevin Brennan [Lab], Rt Hon Nick Brown [Lab], Russell Brown [Lab], Des Browne [Lab], Chris Bryant [Lab], Karen Buck [Lab], Colin Burgon [Lab], Andy Burnham [Lab], John Butterfill [Con], Liam Byrne [Lab], Rt Hon Richard Caborn [Lab], David Cairns [Lab], Alan Campbell [Lab], Anne Campbell [Lab], Gregory Campbell [DU], Ronnie Campbell [Lab], Ivor Caplin [Lab], Roger Casale [Lab], Martin Caton [Lab], Ian Cawsey [Lab], Colin Challen [Lab], Ben Chapman [Lab], David Chaytor [Lab], Lynda Clark [Lab], Paul Clark [Lab], Rt Hon Charles Clarke [Lab], Rt Hon Tom Clarke [Lab], Tony Clarke [Lab], Ann Clwyd [Lab], Vernon Coaker [Lab], Ann Coffey [Lab], Harry Cohen [Lab], Tony Colman [Lab], Michael Connarty [Lab], Derek Conway [Con], Rt Hon Robin Cook [Lab], Sir Patrick Cormack [Con], Rt Hon Jean Corston [Lab], Jim Cousins [Lab], Ross Cranston [Lab], David Crausby [Lab], Jon Cruddas [Lab], John Cryer [Lab], Tony Cunningham [Lab], Rt Hon Alistair Darling [Lab], Valerie Davey [Lab], Wayne David [Lab], Ian Davidson [Lab], Rt Hon Denzil Davies [Lab], Geraint Davies [Lab], Quentin Davies [Con], Rt Hon David Davis [Con], Janet Dean [Lab], Rt Hon John Denham [Lab], Parmjit Dhanda [Lab], Andrew Dismore [Lab], Jim Dobbin [Lab], Rt Hon Frank Dobson [Lab], Nigel Dodds [DU], Jeffrey M Donaldson [DU], Brian H Donohoe [Lab], Frank Doran [Lab], Rt Hon Stephen Dorrell [Con], Jim Dowd [Lab], Gwyneth Dunwoody [Lab], Angela Eagle [Lab], Maria Eagle [Lab], Huw Edwards [Lab], Clive Efford [Lab], Louise Ellman [Lab], Bill Etherington [Lab], Michael Fabricant [Con], Paul Farrelly [Lab], Rt Hon Frank Field [Lab], Jim Fitzpatrick [Lab], Lorna Fitzsimons [Lab], Caroline Flint [Lab], Adrian Flook [Con], Paul Flynn [Lab], Michael Foster [Lab], Michael Jabez Foster [Lab], Rt Hon George Foulkes [Lab], Hywel Francis [Lab], Roger Gale [Con], Mike Gapes [Lab], Rt Hon Bruce George [Lab], Neil Gerrard [Lab], Nick Gibb [Con], Ian Gibson [Lab], Linda Gilroy [Lab], Roger Godsiff [Lab], Paul Goggins [Lab], Damian Green [Con], Jane Griffiths [Lab], Nigel Griffiths [Lab], Win Griffiths [Lab], Rt Hon Peter Hain [Lab], Mike Hall [Lab], David Hanson [Lab], Rt Hon Harriet Harman [Lab], Tom Harris [Lab], Dai Havard [Lab], John Hayes [Con], John Healey [Lab], Doug Henderson [Lab], Ivan Henderson [Lab], Mark Hendrick [Lab], Stephen Hepburn [Lab], John Heppell [Lab], David Heyes [Lab], Rt Hon Keith Hill [Lab], David Hinchliffe [Lab], Rt Hon Margaret Hodge [Lab], Jimmy Hood [Lab], Rt Hon Geoff Hoon [Lab], Phil Hope [Lab], Kelvin Hopkins [Lab], Rt Hon Alan Howarth [Lab], George Howarth [Lab], Hon Lindsay Hoyle [Lab], Beverley Hughes [Lab], Joan Humble [Lab], Andrew Hunter [DU], Alan Hurst [Lab], Rt Hon John Hutton [Lab], Brian Iddon [Lab], Rt Hon Adam Ingram [Lab], Huw Irranca-Davies [Lab], Glenda Jackson [Lab], Helen Jackson [Lab], Robert Jackson [Lab], David Jamieson [Lab], Brian Jenkins [Lab], Alan Johnson [Lab], Melanie Johnson [Lab], Helen Jones [Lab], Lynne Jones [Lab], Martyn Jones [Lab], Eric Joyce [Lab], Rt Hon Gerald Kaufman [Lab], Sally Keeble [Lab], Alan Keen [Lab], Ann Keen [Lab], Jane Kennedy [Lab], Robert Key [Con], Piara S Khabra [Lab], David Kidney [Lab], Peter Kilfoyle [Lab], Andy King [Lab], Julie Kirkbride [Con], Rt Hon Greg Knight [Con], Jim Knight [Lab], Ashok Kumar [Lab], David Lammy [Lab], Mark Lazarowicz [Lab], Christopher Leslie [Lab], Tom Levitt [Lab], Ivan Lewis [Lab], Rt Hon Helen Liddell [Lab], Martin Linton [Lab], Tony Lloyd [Lab], Andrew Love [Lab], Ian Lucas [Lab], Iain Luke [Lab], Calum MacDonald [Lab], John MacDougall [Lab], Denis MacShane [Lab], Fiona Mactaggart [Lab], Khalid Mahmood [Lab], John Mann [Lab], David Marshall [Lab], Robert Marshall-Andrews [Lab], Rt Hon Thomas McAvoy [Lab], Stephen McCabe [Lab], Rt Hon Ian McCartney [Lab], Siobhain McDonagh [Lab], John McFall [Lab], Anne McGuire [Lab], Anne McIntosh [Con], Shona McIsaac [Lab], Rosemary McKenna [Lab], Kevin McNamara [Lab], Tony McNulty [Lab], Tony McWalter [Lab], John McWilliam [Lab], Rt Hon Michael Meacher [Lab], Alan Meale [Lab], Gillian Merron [Lab], Rt Hon Alun Michael [Lab], Andrew Miller [Lab], Andrew Mitchell [Con], Laura Moffatt [Lab], Chris Mole [Lab], Lewis Moonie [Lab], Margaret Moran [Lab], Elliot Morley [Lab], Rt Hon Estelle Morris [Lab], George Mudie [Lab], Meg Munn [Lab], Denis Murphy [Lab], Jim Murphy [Lab], Doug Naysmith [Lab], Mike O'Brien [Lab], Diana Organ [Lab], Sandra Osborne [Lab], James Paice [Con], Nick Palmer [Lab], Ian Pearson [Lab], Anne Picking [Lab], Colin Pickthall [Lab], Peter Pike [Lab], James Plaskitt [Lab], Stephen Pound [Lab], Bridget Prentice [Lab], Gordon Prentice [Lab], Rt Hon Dawn Primarolo [Lab], Gwyn Prosser [Lab], Ken Purchase [Lab], James Purnell [Lab], Rt Hon Joyce Quin [Lab], Lawrie Quinn [Lab], Syd Rapson [Lab], Rt Hon Nick Raynsford [Lab], Andy Reed [Lab], Rt Hon John Reid [Lab], Hugh Robertson [Con], Geoffrey Robinson [Lab], Iris Robinson [DU], Peter Robinson [DU], Barbara Roche [Lab], Terry Rooney [Lab], Andrew Rosindell [Con], Ernie Ross [Lab], Frank Roy [Lab], Chris Ruane [Lab], Joan Ruddock [Lab], Joan Ryan [Lab], Martin Salter [Lab], Mohammad Sarwar [Lab], Malcolm Savidge [Lab], Brian Sedgemore [Lab], Jonathan R Shaw [Lab], Jim Sheridan [Lab], Si˘n Simon [Lab], Marsha Singh [Lab], Dennis Skinner [Lab], Rt Hon Andrew Smith [Lab], Rt Hon Chris Smith [Lab], Geraldine Smith [Lab], Jacqui Smith [Lab], Llew Smith [Lab], Clive Soley [Lab], Helen Southworth [Lab], Phyllis Starkey [Lab], Gerry Steinberg [Lab], Paul Stinchcombe [Lab], Howard Stoate [Lab], Rt Hon Gavin Strang [Lab], Graham Stringer [Lab], Gerry Sutcliffe [Lab], Rt Hon Ann Taylor [Lab], Dari Taylor [Lab], David Taylor [Lab], Gareth Thomas [Lab], Paddy Tipping [Lab], Mark Todd [Lab], David Tredinnick [Con], Jon Trickett [Lab], Desmond Turner [Lab], Neil Turner [Lab], Stephen Twigg [Lab], Bill Tynan [Lab], Keith Vaz [Lab], Rudi Vis [Lab], Joan Walley [Lab], Claire Ward [Lab], Tom Watson [Lab], Dave Watts [Lab], Alan Whitehead [Lab], Bill Wiggin [Con], David Winnick [Lab], Ann Winterton [Con], Sir Nicholas Winterton [Con], Rosie Winterton [Lab], Mike Wood [Lab], Shaun Woodward [Lab], Phil Woolas [Lab], Tony Worthington [Lab], David Wright [Lab], Iain Wright [Lab], Tony Wright [Lab]
The 255 MP's who did not vote
Gerry Adams [SF], Irene Adams [Lab], Peter Ainsworth [Con], David Amess [Con], Rt Hon Michael Ancram [Con], Rt Hon Donald Anderson [Lab], Janet Anderson [Lab], Rt Hon James Arbuthnot [Con], Candy Atherton [Lab], David Atkinson [Con], Richard Bacon [Con], Vera Baird [Lab], Tony Baldry [Con], Gregory Barker [Con], Nigel Beard [Lab], Rt Hon Margaret Beckett [Lab], Roy Beggs [UU], Rt Hon A J Beith [LDem], Henry Bellingham [Con], Hilary Benn [Lab], Andrew Bennett [Lab], Harold Best [Lab], Clive Betts [Lab], Rt Hon Tony Blair [Lab], Bob Blizzard [Lab], Rt Hon David Blunkett [Lab], Crispin Blunt [Con], Rt Hon Paul Boateng [Lab], David Borrow [Lab], Tim Boswell [Con], Peter Bottomley [Con], Rt Hon Virginia Bottomley [Con], Graham Brady [Con], Tom Brake [LDem], Colin Breed [LDem], Rt Hon Gordon Brown [Lab], Richard Burden [Lab], John Burnett [LDem], Simon Burns [Con], David Burnside [UU], Rt Hon Stephen Byers [Lab], Patsy Calton [LDem], David Cameron [Con], Alistair Carmichael [LDem], William Cash [Con], Sir Sydney Chapman [Con], David Chidgey [LDem], Michael Clapham [Lab], James Clappison [Con], Helen Clark [Lab], Rt Hon Kenneth Clarke [Con], David Clelland [Lab], Iain Coleman [Lab], Tim Collins [Con], Frank Cook [Lab], Yvette Cooper [Lab], Tom Cox [Lab], James Cran [Con], Ann Cryer [Lab], Rt Hon Jack Cunningham [Lab], Jim Cunningham [Lab], Rt Hon David Curry [Con], Claire Curtis-Thomas [Lab], Tam Dalyell [Lab], Jonathan Djanogly [Con], Pat Doherty [SF], Sue Doughty [LDem], David Drew [Lab], Julia Drown [Lab], Alan Duncan [Con], Peter Duncan [Con], Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith [Con], Jeff Ennis [Lab], Nigel Evans [Con], Michael Fallon [Con], Mark Field [Con], Howard Flight [Con], Barbara Follett [Lab], Rt Hon Eric Forth [Con], Rt Hon Derek Foster [Lab], Liam Fox [Con], Mark Francois [Con], George Galloway [Ind], Barry Gardiner [Lab], Edward Garnier [Con], Sandra Gidley [LDem], Michelle Gildernew [SF], Parmjit Gill [LDem], Cheryl Gillan [Con], Paul Goodman [Con], James Gray [Con], Chris Grayling [Con], Matthew Green [LDem], John Greenway [Con], Rt Hon John Gummer [Con], Rt Hon William Hague [Con], Patrick Hall [Lab], David Hamilton [Lab], Fabian Hamilton [Lab], Philip Hammond [Con], Nick Harvey [LDem], Sir Alan Haselhurst [Deputy Speaker], Nick Hawkins [Con], Sylvia Heal [Deputy Speaker], Oliver Heald [Con], Charles Hendry [Con], Lady Hermon [UU], Stephen Hesford [Lab], Rt Hon Patricia Hewitt [Lab], Mark Hoban [Con], Rt Hon Douglas Hogg [Con], John Horam [Con], Rt Hon Michael Howard [Con], Kim Howells [Lab], Kevin Hughes [Lab], John Hume [SDLP], Eric Illsley [Lab], Rt Hon Michael Jack [Con], Bernard Jenkin [Con], Boris Johnson [Con], Jon Owen Jones [Lab], Kevan Jones [Lab], Nigel Jones [LDem], Rt Hon Tessa Jowell [Lab], Paul Keetch [LDem], Ruth Kelly [Lab], Fraser Kemp [Lab], Rt Hon Charles Kennedy [LDem], Oona King [Lab], Sir Archy Kirkwood [LDem], Stephen Ladyman [Lab], Eleanor Laing [Con], Norman Lamb [LDem], Jackie Lawrence [Lab], David Laws [LDem], Bob Laxton [Lab], Edward Leigh [Con], David Lepper [Lab], Rt Hon Oliver Letwin [Con], Julian Lewis [Con], Terry Lewis [Lab], Rt Hon Peter Lilley [Con], Sir Michael Lord [Deputy Speaker], Peter Luff [Con], John Lyons [Lab], Rt Hon Andrew MacKay [Con], Andrew MacKinlay [Lab], Rt Hon David Maclean [Con], Humfrey Malins [Con], Judy Mallaber [Lab], Seamus Mallon [SDLP], John Maples [Con], Rob Marris [Lab], Gordon Marsden [Lab], Paul Marsden [LDem], Rt Hon Michael Martin [Speaker], Eric Martlew [Lab], Michael Mates [Con], Sir Brian Mawhinney [Con], Chris McCafferty [Lab], Eddie McGrady [SDLP], Martin McGuinness [SF], Ann McKechin [Lab], Patrick Mercer [Con], Rt Hon Alan Milburn [Lab], David Miliband [Lab], Austin Mitchell [Lab], Michael Moore [LDem], Julie Morgan [Lab], Malcolm Moss [Con], Kali Mountford [Lab], Chris Mullin [Lab], Rt Hon Paul Murphy [Lab], Dan Norris [Lab], Bill O'Brien [Lab], Stephen O'Brien [Con], Edward O'Hara [Lab], Martin O'Neill [Lab], Bill Olner [Lab], George Osborne [Con], Richard Ottaway [Con], Albert Owen [Lab], Richard Page [Con], Ian Paisley [DU], Owen Paterson [Con], Linda Perham [Lab], Eric Pickles [Con], Kerry Pollard [Lab], Chris Pond [Lab], Greg Pope [Lab], Rt Hon Michael Portillo [Con], Rt Hon John Prescott [Lab], Adam Price [PC], Mark Prisk [Con], Bill Rammell [Lab], John Randall [Con], Rt Hon John Redwood [Con], David Rendel [LDem], Andrew Robathan [Con], John Robertson [Lab], Marion Roe [Con], David Ruffley [Con], Christine Russell [Lab], Phil Sawford [Lab], Jonathan Sayeed [Ind], Barry Sheerman [Lab], Rt Hon Gillian Shephard [Con], Debra Shipley [Lab], Mark Simmonds [Con], Keith Simpson [Con], Angela Smith [Lab], John Smith [Lab], Nicholas Soames [Con], Rt Hon John Spellar [Lab], Caroline Spelman [Con], Sir Michael Spicer [Con], Rachel Squire [Lab], George Stevenson [Lab], David Stewart [Lab], Ian Stewart [Lab], Rt Hon Jack Straw [Lab], Gisela Stuart [Lab], Hugo Swire [Con], Mark Tami [Lab], Sir Peter Tapsell [Con], Ian Taylor [Con], Sir Teddy Taylor [Con], Gareth Thomas [Lab], Stephen Timms [Lab], Jenny Tonge [LDem], Don Touhig [Lab], Hon Michael Trend [Con], Rt Hon David Trimble [UU], Paul Truswell [Lab], Andrew Turner [Con], Dennis Turner [Lab], Derek Twigg [Lab], Andrew Tyrie [Con], Robert Walter [Con], Angela Watkinson [Con], Michael Weir [SNP], Brian White [Lab], Malcolm Wicks [Lab], Rt Hon Ann Widdecombe [Con], John Wilkinson [Con], David Willetts [Con], Betty Williams [Lab], Hywel Williams [PC], Michael Wills [Lab], Rt Hon Brian Wilson [Lab], Jimmy Wray [Lab], Anthony D Wright [Lab], Derek Wyatt [Lab], Tim Yeo [Con], Sir George Young [Con]
The Lords reviewed the Serious Organized Crime and Police Bill on 5 April 2005. In their discussion of the clauses, they considered requiring that there be a "serious disruption to the life of the community", rather than just a disruption, but they didn't carry it through.
They also accepted the promise from Baroness Scotland of Asthal that, although the Bill allowed for Trafalgar Square to be part of the designated area, the Secretary of State would never put it in.
At this stage, two small concessions were made. You were allowed to give the Police Commissioner less than 6 days notice if there was a good enough reason for it (example: the matter on you wanted to protest arose sooner than this period), and the Commissioner could send you your permission by email.
They also accepted the promise from Baroness Scotland of Asthal that, although the law would allow for Trafalgar Square to be part of the designated area, the Secretary of State would never put it in.
At this stage, two small concessions were made. You were allowed to give the Police Commissioner less than 6 days notice if there was a good enough excuse (for example, the matter on you wanted to protest arose sooner than this period), and the Commissioner could send you your permission by email, which, I guess is a way to save him money.
The 2005 general election was then called on 5th April, and the MPs had to work quickly to get this piece of legislation onto the books before Parliament dissolved and all their fine work would have been wasted. They ditched the sections of the Bill to do with "religious hatred" that could have caused delay in the House of Lords, and secured its assent into law on the 7th April 2005.
On 17th May 2005, after this sorry excuse for "democracy" that this defunct electorial system and current political class represents, the MPs returned once again to Parliament. The Speaker, Michael Martin, stood up at the beginning of the session to read the "Sessional Orders" to the Metropolitan police, and said: Before the Dissolution, legislation was enacted on the control of demonstrations and other activities in the environs of Parliament, including Parliament square, but I understand that this will not be brought into effect until later this year. I must express my personal hope that the Government will indeed put the new legislation into effect as soon as possible. That will make it unnecessary for the House to pass the Sessional Order again in future.
And so our substantial citizens were pleased that there would soon be no more noise from any member of the public who had a mind to think that things were seriously astray.
The full text of the act can be found at the Office of Public Sector Information website.
On 8 June 2005, The Right Honourable Charles Clarke wrote the designation order, Statutory Instrument 2005 No. 1537, which he laid before Parliament on the 10th June.
It defined the designated area, and said that system for applying to the Police Commissioner for permission to demonstrate in the area would be in place on 1 July, while the rules that criminalized unpermitted demonstrations would come in to force on the 1st August 2005.
Please refer to the map for a visualization of the description presented in the order, and bear in mind that the pretext for this law was to evict a single long-term peace protester from his place in Parliament Square.
Note, also, that it is already illegal to obstruct people, threaten terrorist atrocities, and damage property in this area as it is elsewhere in the country; this new law is wholly unrelated to those crimes, and listing them is an effort to distract people from its true nature, which is to silence peaceful political process on the doorstep of Parliament and the Government.
Finally, the reason this order is "laid before Parliament" is to give the MPs the opportunity to hold a vote and veto it, should they be minded to do so. It is normal for them to rubber-stamp these things while shouldering the responsibility. It is in their power, and always remains in their power, to end this ridiculous state of affairs any time with a single vote in Parliament sits. To claim otherwise is a lie.
Thanks to: www.publicwhip.org.uk, www.theyworkforyou.com, www.bloggerheads.com, and www.parliament.uk.