Second Reading of Freedoms Bill

The second reading of the Protection of Freedoms Bill will take place on Tuesday 1 March in the House of Commons. This is the first opportunity for MPs to debate the main principles of the Bill. The Government minister, spokesperson or MP responsible for the Bill opens the second reading debate. The official Opposition spokesperson then responds with their views on the Bill.  Key points from the debate will be added here.

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper argued that “most parents” would think that a move to loosen the requirements for people working with children and vulnerable adults to undergo a criminal background check was “wrong”. :

 “Somebody could have been barred, somebody could be barred for grooming a child. They apply for a job, a voluntary post perhaps as a teaching assistant. “The school will not be told if they are barred but [Mrs May] thinks that is okay because they may be able to get some of the information that led to the barring in the first place, that might be summarised on a CRB check.”Why not give them the information that someone has been previously barred?” she asked.

The debate continues with other Opposition parties and backbench MPs giving their opinions. At the end of the debate, the Commons decides whether the Bill should be given its second reading by voting, meaning it can proceed to the next stage.  This is the committee stage and will be considered in a Public Bill Committee. Each clause (part) and any amendments (proposals for change) to the Bill may be debated