BUSINESS QUESTION – TREASON (& ADDRESSES) – 26 February 2009

Dr Julian Lewis: Will the Leader of the House convey my thanks to the Justice Minister [Michael Wills] for the help I have received from his officials in defining both the content and form of my amendment that, if Mr. Speaker selects it on Monday, will allow Members to decide whether candidates should be forced to reveal their home addresses during elections? When she is thanking the Justice Minister, will she ask for a statement from a Minister or a Law Officer about whether the law on treason still applies? I ask that in the light of yesterday's serious reports that British passport holders are operating in war zones and attacking British Service personnel. It needs to be made clear to anyone who seeks or holds a British passport that such activity is not only criminal, but treasonable.

[The Leader of the House of Commons (Ms Harriet Harman): I will ask the Attorney-General [The Rt Hon. the Baroness Scotland QC] to write to the hon. Gentleman about the enforceability of different aspects of our domestic law in respect of overseas actions. She can set out the full position for him.

I will convey the hon. Gentleman's comments to the Justice Secretary [Jack Straw], but I wish to thank the hon. Gentleman for his work. He has tabled a good amendment that, if selected and accepted, will make it clear to electors in which constituency candidates live without forcing candidates to reveal their addresses if they do not want to do so. That is a very sensible amendment, and I understand that Labour Members will have a free vote on it. If it is selected, I shall certainly vote for it.]