Week ahead in Parliament

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionTheresa May tells MPs: "I don't pretend this has been a comfortable process."

The toxic fallout from the announcement of the government's proposed Brexit deal looks set to pervade parliamentary events across the coming week...

Watch out for a slew (can anybody think of a better collective noun) of urgent questions about No Deal preparations, with the not very concealed intention of ramping up tension levels.

And there is also a suggestion that some Conservative Brexiteers (and perhaps the DUP) will be looking for a way to flex their muscles and perhaps pull their backing from the government in some vote or other this week - as I write, the DUP say their "Confidence and Supply" deal, which binds them to support the government on money matters, still stands.

But as I will explain below, that might still leave some wriggle room when it comes to amendments to the Finance Bill on Monday and Tuesday.

The biggest fallout of all would be if a leadership confidence motion was held by the Conservative party.... an event which would doubtless spill over into the Commons chamber, with MPs rushing to defend or attack Theresa May, and potential successors preening at the dispatch box.

Read full article Week ahead in Parliament

Debate on Lord Lester conduct 'not a formality'

Lord Lester Image copyright UK Parliament

Thursday's debate on the conduct of Lord Lester of Herne Hill is not going to be a formality.

The Lords Privileges and Conduct Committee wants him suspended from the House until 3 June 2022, after accepting complaints against him of sexual harassment, and offering a complainant "corrupt inducements" to sleep with him, in the form of a promise of a peerage.

Read full article Debate on Lord Lester conduct 'not a formality'

Week ahead in Parliament

flags Image copyright PA

With the government's attempts to secure Cabinet agreement on a Brexit deal increasingly resembling a "will-they-won't-they" plotline in a bad soap opera, there is at least the potential for next week's scheduled Westminster action to be completely eclipsed by the announcement of a deal.

If a deal does emerge, it would require a prime ministerial statement of such length that the business for the rest of the day, and quite possibly the rest of the week, might have to be rescheduled.

Read full article Week ahead in Parliament

Week ahead in Parliament

The 10th Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment Image copyright Paul Walmsley
Image caption Men from 10th battalion West Yorkshire in training - they fought at the Battle of the Somme. Parliament will remember the sacrifices made in World War One in debates this week.

It's half-term week, so MPs and peers are sitting for just two days - and those are mostly filled with in-house business and solemn debates to mark the Armistice, the centenary of the end of the First World War.

No big votes are scheduled, but the build-up will begin to what promises to the arrival of the Finance Bill, which enacts the measures announced in the Budget.

Read full article Week ahead in Parliament

What are the limits to parliamentary free speech?

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionLord Hain said the details were "clearly in the public interest"

When the Labour peer, Lord Hain, used parliamentary privilege to name Sir Philip Green as the businessman at the centre of a legal action about harassment, did he open a parliamentary Pandora's Box?

The ancient right of parliamentary privilege gives MPs and peers unrestricted free speech in their debating chambers - this enables them to name names without any fear of being dragged before the courts and sued for defamation.

Read full article What are the limits to parliamentary free speech?

Week ahead in Parliament

Philip Hammond - Budget 2017 Image copyright Getty Images

This is the week when all the ominous rumbling about "voting down the Budget", or "amending the Budget" will collide with the realities of parliamentary procedure.

In theory, Westminster's Brexit obsession is temporarily elbowed aside by one of the big set-pieces of the Westminster year; in practice the politics of Brexit will never be far away, and might drive some attempts to wound, or at least discomfit the government.

Read full article Week ahead in Parliament

Week ahead in Parliament

Theresa May at ASEM leaders summit Image copyright Reuters

Westminster feels as if it's on the brink of something big - but it could be anything from a Brexit breakthrough to a Cabinet coup.

The Palace almost quivers with tension, and some of that is bound to spill out onto the floors of the Commons and the Lords, despite a week of fairly humdrum legislating.

Read full article Week ahead in Parliament

Brexit: How will Parliament vote on a final deal?

flags Image copyright PA

Here we go down the rabbit holeā€¦..what will be the meaning of Parliament's promised "meaningful vote" on the terms of any Brexit deal Theresa May negotiates with the EU?

This is a question which takes its asker into the heavily-mined, crater-dotted, no-man's land that lies between Parliament and government.

Read full article Brexit: How will Parliament vote on a final deal?

Week ahead in Parliament

Arlene Foster and Nigel Dodds Image copyright PA
Image caption DUP leader Arlene Foster, and the DUP's leader at Westminster, Nigel Dodds, have been in negotiations with the government

Last week was a strange and ominous Westminster week, where the DUP delivered a warning crack of the whip to Theresa May, by failing to turn up for a vote on the Agriculture Bill.

No legislation was harmed in the making of their point - the bill got through second reading unscathed - but the message was delivered; they're really unhappy about a Brexit deal which could mean separate treatment for Northern Ireland, perhaps for a very long time.

Read full article Week ahead in Parliament

What's hot on committee corridor?

Pepper Image copyright Middlesex University
Image caption Pepper the Robot, visiting Parliament...

October is the coolest month - at least on Parliament's committee corridor; it's the month when new inquiries really get going.

And the new crop suggest that the Commons select committees are really sinking their teeth into big, long-term issues, potentially supplying a wide-ranging social agenda to a government busy with Brexit.

Read full article What's hot on committee corridor?