Tribunal and Inquiries Debate

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Department: Ministry of Justice

Tribunal and Inquiries

Robert Neill Excerpts
Friday 24th May 2024

(1 month, 3 weeks ago)

Commons Chamber
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Gareth Bacon Portrait Gareth Bacon
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For the benefit of the people in the Strangers’ Gallery, I should say that it is not normal for politicians to be so nice to each other across the Dispatch Box. It gets a lot worse than this normally. I am very grateful to the hon. Gentleman for his words.

Robert Neill Portrait Sir Robert Neill (Bromley and Chislehurst) (Con)
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Will the Minister give way on the topic of being nice?

Gareth Bacon Portrait Gareth Bacon
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I am really not sure that I should sully—no, of course I will.

Robert Neill Portrait Sir Robert Neill
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I appreciate that this is perhaps one of the most contentious bits of legislation that we have to deal with in the wash-up, but I want to thank the Minister for the constructive approach that he has always adopted towards the business, and in particular for the way that he has engaged with the Justice Committee, which I have chaired, on a number of difficult issues over his time in post.

Gareth Bacon Portrait Gareth Bacon
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I am extremely grateful to my hon. and learned Friend, my constituency neighbour, for his kind words. I have known him for more than 25 years. If the House will indulge me, I first met him when he defeated my wife in the selection for the Bexley and Bromley London Assembly constituency. We overcame that particular bump in the road very swiftly, and he has very much been a guiding light and mentor for me in the quarter of a century that has elapsed since. He is somebody who I have consistently looked up to—perhaps not physically, but certainly in every other sense.

I am grateful for the opportunity to close this debate. There will be a lot of valedictory speeches, and my right hon. Friend the Member for Nuneaton (Mr Jones) will lead off on those, but I would like to personally mark this point. Many hon. and right hon. Members are retiring from the House today, as is inevitable when an election comes around. I pay tribute to my right hon. Friend the Member for Maidenhead (Mrs May). She has been an exceptional public servant over her 27 years in this House. Taking into account her local government experience in the London Borough of Merton, her public service extends for more than three decades. In my humble opinion, she personifies all that is best about public servants, with her selflessness and her devotion to duty and to the people she seeks to represent. The House will not be the same without her—or without you, Madam Deputy Speaker—and I wanted to get that on the record.

I am grateful for the contributions to this debate. The measure is a key element in the implementation of the Illegal Migration Act 2023. As I said in opening this debate, it is being considered today so that we can ensure that it is ready for IMA commencement after the election. I note the comments from the hon. Member for Aberdeen North (Kirsty Blackman). I disagree with them profoundly, but that will be no surprise to her, because she disagrees with my position profoundly, and that is perfectly okay, and we will obviously contest this matter in a Division.

By laying this statutory instrument before Parliament, the Ministry of Justice has complied with the Lord Chancellor’s statutory obligations under section 50 of the IMA and ensured that the appropriate rules and procedures are in place for when the duty to remove commences. I commend the measures to the House.

Question put.