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David Nuttall's attempt to relax the smoking ban falls at the first hurdle - but 77 Tory MPs vote for his Bill (with 38 opposing it)

By Jonathan Isaby

Nuttall David On Tuesday we carried this video of Bury North MP David Nuttall explaining why he wants to relax the smoking ban.

His chance to make his case with a ten minute rule bill in the Commons came yesterday afternoon. Here are key extracts from the speech of Mr Nuttall - a "devout non-smoker":

"Although there are arguments for it to be completely repealed, this Bill aims to deal with what has perhaps been the most contentious aspect of the ban-namely, its application to public houses and private members' clubs. This Bill would exempt such premises from part 1 of the Health Act 2006 and allow them to reintroduce a smoking room if those in charge chose to do so. Smoking would be permitted in a separate room, provided that appropriate and effective air extraction equipment was fitted. Smoking would continue to be prohibited where food was being served."

"There are two main reasons why the blanket ban should be relaxed and smoking should once again be permitted in public houses and private members' clubs. First, there is the economic case; and, secondly, there is what I believe to be an even more important reason-namely, freedom of choice and the desirability of devolving decisions to the lowest appropriate level."

"Since the ban was introduced, thousands of public houses have closed down. As ever with statistics, it is possible to choose the ones that best suit the desired argument. Few could argue against the fact, however, that since the introduction of the smoking ban, thousands of public houses have closed down. I do not claim that the smoking ban was the only cause of all those closures, as other factors such as the availability of lower-price drinks from supermarkets, the cost of satellite television and the general economic climate no doubt all played a part. For many, however, the smoking ban was the final straw."

"Let me turn to deal with the second reason-freedom of choice and localism. I believe that in the case of a private members' club, the decision should be taken by the members of that club. I believe that the decision on whether smoking takes place in a public house should be taken by the pub landlord. I believe in trusting the people. This means giving individuals the power and the responsibility to take decisions for themselves.

"Pub landlords are the right people to decide whether allowing a smoking room is the best thing to do for their establishments. Some would no doubt choose to take advantage of the freedom that the Bill would give them, but I know from my own constituency that many would not. As smoking would continue to be prohibited where food was being served, many public houses would remain just as they are today. Customers would have a choice whether to use a completely non-smoking pub or to use one with a smoking room. The establishment of separate smoking rooms in some pubs would also reduce the incidence of smokers' being forced to gather on the pavements outside pubs.

"The Bill puts into practice the principle of localism that my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister set out with such clarity in his speech to the Conservative party conference last week. It transfers power from the state to the citizen, from politicians to people. It puts the "local" back into localism."

Mr Nuttall's attempt to introduce the Bill was defeated by 141 votes to 86.

The official Conservative line was to abstain, but a total of 77 backbench Tory MPs supported this attempt to relax the smoking ban:

  1. Richard Bacon
  2. Steve Baker
  3. Guto Bebb
  4. Andrew Bingham
  5. Brian Binley
  6. Peter Bone
  7. Graham Brady
  8. Andrew Bridgen
  9. Aidan Burley
  10. Douglas Carswell
  11. Rehman Chishti
  12. Chris Chope
  13. Thérèse Coffey
  14. Oliver Colvile
  15. David Davies
  16. Philip Davies
  17. David Davis
  18. Caroline Dinenage
  19. Jackie Doyle-Price
  20. Charlie Elphicke
  21. Jonathan Evans
  22. Zac Goldsmith
  23. Ben Gummer
  24. Robert Halfon
  25. Gordon Henderson
  26. Damian Hinds
  27. Philip Hollobone
  28. Sajid Javid
  29. Gareth Johnson
  30. Jo Johnson
  31. Simon Kirby
  32. Greg Knight
  33. Kwasi Kwarteng
  34. Pauline Latham
  35. Edward Leigh
  36. Ian Liddell-Grainger
  37. Peter Lilley
  38. Jack Lopresti
  39. Paul Maynard
  40. Karl McCartney
  41. Anne McIntosh
  42. Mark Menzies
  43. Patrick Mercer
  44. Stephen Metcalfe
  45. Penny Mordaunt
  46. Anne Marie Morris
  47. David Morris
  48. Stephen Mosley
  49. David Mowat
  50. David Nuttall
  51. Eric Ollerenshaw
  52. Richard Ottaway
  53. Priti Patel
  54. Christopher Pincher
  55. Jacob Rees-Mogg
  56. Laurence Robertson
  57. Amber Rudd
  58. Alec Shelbrooke
  59. Chris Skidmore
  60. Henry Smith
  61. Andrew Stephenson
  62. Bob Stewart
  63. Iain Stewart
  64. Rory Stewart
  65. Sir Peter Tapsell
  66. Elizabeth Truss
  67. Andrew Turner
  68. Andrew Tyrie
  69. Paul Uppal
  70. Charles Walker
  71. Robin Walker
  72. Robert  Walter
  73. Mike Weatherley
  74. James Wharton
  75. Craig Whittaker
  76. John Whittingdale
  77. Gavin Williamson

Meanwhile, the following 38 Conservatives actively voted against allowing the Bill to proceed any further:

  1. Stuart Andrew
  2. Steve Barclay
  3. Sir Paul Beresford
  4. Nick Boles
  5. Peter Bottomley
  6. Steve Brine
  7. Fiona Bruce
  8. Damian Collins
  9. Jane Ellison
  10. Graham Evans
  11. Mike Freer
  12. Richard Fuller
  13. Sam Gyimah
  14. Matthew Hancock
  15. Rebecca Harris
  16. George Hollingbery
  17. Margot James
  18. Chris Kelly
  19. Eleanor Laing
  20. Andrea Leadsom
  21. Phillip Lee
  22. Jeremy Lefroy
  23. Karen Lumley
  24. Nigel Mills
  25. James Morris
  26. Sheryll Murray
  27. Caroline Nokes
  28. Matthew Offord
  29. Andrew Percy
  30. Stephen Phillips
  31. Daniel Poulter
  32. Andrew Rosindell
  33. Julian Smith
  34. John Stevenson
  35. Mel Stride
  36. Justin Tomlinson
  37. Chris White
  38. Sarah Wollaston


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