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Hansard 28 Feb: Column 127-131 ...
Hansard 28 Feb: Column 127-131

The Bill to reduce the age of consent for homosexual sex to 16 and to create a new criminal offence of breach of trust for those in positions of authority was given an undebated third reading

in the commons by 317 votes to 117.

This followed an intervention by Nick St Aubyn, Conservative MP for Guildford, who said he wiched to raise concerns expressed by teachers, who could face criminal prosectution under the Bill. Under its provisions, teachers, social workers and others in position of authority and trust will be guilty of an offence if they have sexual relationships with 16 and 17 year olds in their care.

The speaker explained under the special procedure adopted by the government, which meant the Bill had no committee stage, she could not allow debate at this stage. The government has reintroduced the Bill in the commons to prevent the house of lords again rejecting the measure.

The lowering of the age of homosexual consent was consistently defeated during the last session of parliament and, again, during the current session, prompting the government to give 'ownership' of the Bill to MPs, of whom a majority are in favour of the change.

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