The right hon. Gentleman [Mr Cameron] says that we have done nothing about sex offences, but let me just remind him that the Sex Offences Act 2003 created and redefined more than 50 sex offences and set tough new maximum sentences. We set up the sex offenders register. The Criminal Justice Act 2003 allows us, for the first time, to give indeterminate sentences for the most dangerous, violent or sexual
offenders. What did the right hon. Gentleman do when that Act came before
Parliament? He voted against it. [HON. MEMBERS: “Oh!”] It is true. This is the
single most important thing that we can do. For the first time, we can keep those who are a threat to the public behind bars—but when it came to the tough decision, he ducked it.
This is not true, as the Parliamentary record shows. There was no division at the end of the Second Reading debate on the Bill - i.e. it had Conservative support (Hansard, 15 July 2003, Col.248). See HERE. Indeed, during the Second Reading Debate, David Cameron welcomed the Bill. He said:
'Like other hon. Members, I welcome the Bill. It is right to codify and bring
together the law on sexual offences. It is right to update the law, as the Bill
does in a range of ways. It is also right to introduce the new offences that
many hon. Members have spoken about, not least to keep pace with technology'
(Hansard, 15 July 2003, Col. 234).
There was no division at the end of the Third Reading debate - i.e. it had Conservative support (Hansard, 3 November 2003, Col. 637). In his speech during the Third Reading debate, the Conservative spokesman, Dominic Grieve, said:
'I am grateful to the Home Secretary for his words and the spirit in which the
legislation has been introduced. The subject is not easy-I certainly did not
find it so, and I am sure that that is true of all those who served in
Committee. There was a common determination that we should not approach the Bill in a partisan way, and I hope and believe that we have created legislation that
will stand the test of time... The good note that I can end on is that I think
that we have done-I hope that we have done-a good job. I thank all those who
have participated in the Bill for making that possible' (Hansard, 3 November
David Cameron was not a member of the Standing Committee that considered the Sexual Offences Bill, so could not have voted against aspects of it at that stage.
Perhaps Mr Blair would like to issue one of his famous apologies.