Schedule 6

Part of Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 7:30 pm ar 20 Tachwedd 2007.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Edward Garnier Edward Garnier Shadow Minister (Justice) 7:30, 20 Tachwedd 2007

I think that the Minister was a little too defensive at the outset. We are making law for the long term; we are not concerned with the individual holder of the office of Secretary of State at the moment. I am sure that the right hon. Member for Blackburn (Mr. Straw) would never suppress anything, and I have never suggested otherwise. However, we need proper lines of accountability and I happen to think that office holders such as the commissioner should not have to present things as difficult or anxiety-inducing as reports on the conduct of our prisons and on offender management directly to the person who is in charge of the political management of prisons. It would be better for the commissioner to report directly to Parliament, and then we can cross-examine the Minister on the report, or debate the report, at an appropriate time. It is a simple question of accountability.

I happen to disagree with the Minister, but I shall not press the amendment to a Division. I am not entirely satisfied with her response, but I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.