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Mark D'Arcy, Parliamentary correspondent

Mark D'Arcy Parliamentary correspondent

This is where you can come for my take on what goes on in the chambers and committee rooms around Westminster

Week ahead

There is some very interesting legislative action in prospect next week, as DRIP - the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill - is rushed through both Houses, while Peers gear up for a marathon debate on assisted dying.

It is also worth noting that, while the legislative load has been fairly light in the Commons, so far in this new parliamentary session, the "carryover" bills from the last one have been passed on to the Lords, where such measures as the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill have been undergoing detailed scrutiny.

Now, as the Summer break approaches, some of the measures promised in the Queen's Speech are beginning to materialise in the Commons.

To add spice to the week, there is also the expectation of a government reshuffle. It's entirely possible some of the question times listed below may feature ministers, even secretaries of state, who've only just arrived in a new department.

Here's my rundown of the week:

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Private members bill games

Ho, ho ho!

Some amusing Private Members Bill japes in prospect when the Commons Friday sittings resume in September.

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Week ahead

Next week's edgiest parliamentary event will be the debate on Thursday on the government's approach to opting in and out of an assortment of EU cooperative arrangements on justice and home affairs.

Although this is only a general debate - which means no vote is scheduled - this is a touchy issue for Eurosceptics, and any hint that ministers are trying to push something through could have a toxic effect on confidence in David Cameron's handling of EU policy.

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The future of committee selection

More than two years ago, an ugly row shook the Scottish Affairs select committee.

Its SNP member Dr Eilidh Whiteford had a row with the Chair, Labour MP Ian Davidson, claiming he had told her he would give her "a doing" if she leaked information discussed during one of its meetings.

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Private members bill chicken

What's more important to Conservative backbenchers?

Getting their referendum on Britain's EU membership or stopping a bill which would enshrine in law a commitment for the UK to devote 0.7 per cent of its national income to international aid?

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Week ahead

There's some genuine legislative meat for both houses to chew on this week, but there's no doubt that the toughest political battle will come when the Prime Minister reports back on this week's EU summit - and the battle may not be between the parties.

Monday

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Week ahead

There is quite a lot of heavy legislative lifting this week, as MPs deal with the leftovers from the last Parliamentary session, but I suspect the main political excitement may come more from ministerial statements about the situation in Iraq and the problems in the passport office.

Here's my rundown of the week

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Chair's election shows ambitions

Farewell to Buggin's turn.

The election of Dr Sarah Wollaston to the Chair of the Commons Health Select Committee provides more evidence of the reach and ambition of the Conservatives' glittering 2010 intake of MPs.

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Conservative backbench election

Small election; not many dead.

There was little excitement to be had from the elections to the executive of the Conservatives' backbench 1922 Committee, which saw all its previous membership returned unopposed, with the sole change coming from Nigel Evans's replacement of Guto Bebb, who stood down.

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Week ahead

Next week's most intriguing parliamentary event looks set to be the report stage debate on Conservative backbencher Nick de Bois' amendments for mandatory sentences for repeat possession of a knife, by over and under 18s, in the Criminal justice and Courts Bill - which are signed by about 50 Conservative MPs.

The vote could pit Conservatives against their Liberal Democrat coalition partners - leaving the issue to be decided by Labour MPs. There is a distinct possibility that the Conservatives can defeat the Lib Dems with the aid of Labour votes, which could mean coalicious infighting... and perhaps set a precedent for the Lib Dems to pull the same stroke against the Tories.

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About Mark

Mark has been a correspondent for Today in Parliament since 2002, and also presents BBC Parliament's political book review show, Book Talk.

His career has included stints at LWT's Weekend World and the Leicester Mercury. He has also produced and occasionally presented Radio 4's The Westminster Hour.

As well as being a politics nerd, he is a cricket fanatic, amateur cook and Bruce Springsteen fan.

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