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Summary

  1. MPs asked questions of the Attorney General and the minister for women and equalities.
  2. The Business statement followed; then two debates on space policy, and House of Lords reform.
  3. MPs also took part in a debate on VAT evasion and internet retailers in Westminster Hall.
  4. The House of Lords held debates on the NHS, the long term strategy for flood management and potential use of identity documentation.
  5. The day in the Lords finished with a debate on the ratification of the Hague Convention for the protection of cultural property.

Live Reporting

By Alex Partridge, Kate Whannel and Claire Gould

All times stated are UK

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  1. End of the day in the Lords

    Protection of cultural property in conflict

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Baroness Neville-Rolfe finishes the debate for the government.

    She says in recent months the world has witnessed "wanton destruction" of cultural heritage by Islamic State militants, which has shown the importance of the convention. 

    She tells the House that the government is planning on ratifying the convention officially via a government bill, but UK armed forces already act in accordance with it.

    She adds that the government is taking "concerted" efforts against ISIS, attacking them militarily and "squeezing their finances." The government is also working internationally to stop the trade in looted antiquities. 

    And that's that for the week in the Lords, they'll be back at 2:30 on Monday.

    Houses of Parliament
  2. 62-year ratification delay 'profoundly unfortunate'

    Protection of cultural property in conflict

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    The UK is coming under criticism for only having just decided to ratify a treaty that originally came into force in 1954.

    Lord Howarth of Newport calls the fact "profoundly unfortunate, a nod and a wink to the vandals and traffickers. It is a scandal."

    He asks what the government's strategy is to stop ISIL's trafficking in artefacts, which they sell on the international market. Last summer The Guardian reported on how artefacts sold by ISIL were found openly on sale in London.

  3. Protection of cultural property in conflict debate

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    The Lords moves on to its final debate of the day. It is on the Hague Convention for the protection of cultural property in the event of armed conflict.

    The UK government has recently ratified the treaty, which protects monuments, art, books and "other objects of artistic, historical or archaeological interest".

    Baroness Andrews, introducing the debate, says the world has seen a wave of "cultural nihilism" which is destroying cultural sites and artefacts, most notably in Syria where parts of the ancient Roman city of Palmyra have been destroyed by the so-called Islamic State.

    Roman amphitheatr at Palmyra
    Image caption: Roman amphitheatre at Palmyra
  4. ID card case 'found wanting'

    Identity documents debate

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Home Office Minister Lord Bates is replying for the government.

    He says police have not indicated that ID cards are badly needed. Equally he says there is little evidence that crime levels are lower in ID card countries, or that makes any difference to terrorism or illegal migration.

    He finishes by saying it is not something his government and party is against ideologically, they just think the case being made in favour "has been found wanting".

  5. Order, Order

    The House of Commons adjourns

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    And that ends the day's and indeed week's business in the Commons.

    MPs will return on Monday at 2.30pm for defence questions followed by debate of the Energy Bill.

  6. 'He's done the people of Somerset proud'

    Adjournment debate

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Energy and Climate Change Minister Andrea Leadsom joins in the praise for the MP for Wells' constituency but cannot comment on the pros and cons of the proposal as "the decision is still under consideration". 

    She seeks to reassure members that consideration will be rigorous and take into account the issues raised.

    "He has done the people of Somerset proud," she concludes.

  7. 'It is where the holiday starts'

    Adjournment debate

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Glastonbury Tor

    James Heappey urges the government to prevent pylons being built over in "some of the most beautiful countryside in the United Kingdom".

    "For so many tourists travelling to the south west," he tells the House "it is where the holiday starts."

    He envisions visitors cresting the Mendip Hills and instead of seeing Glastonbury Tor they will see "these giant monoliths".

  8. Case for ID cards must be 'considered carefully'

    Identity documents debate

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Lord Rosser speaks from the frontbench for the Labour Party.

    He says ID cards are "not some revolutionary, untested idea" and are in use elsewhere in Europe. 

    He says the case in favour of them deserves to be considered carefully and given an "evidence based response" by the government.

  9. Pylon guidelines

    Adjournment debate

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    James Heappey believes there are inconsistencies in the guidelines that determine when power lines should be buried.

    He notes that power lines must go under Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty but that pylons can be visible on the land that abuts it. 

    He wants the rules that govern where mobile masts are permitted to also apply to pylons.

    Site where the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station will be constructed in Bridgwater
  10. Adjournment debate

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    The debate on House of Lords reform is concluded and we now come to the adjournment debate on the Hinkley C Connection Project tabled by Conservative, James Heappey.

    It is hoped that the new nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset will be able to fill the generating capacity gap left by the closure of the UK's coal-fired power plants. 

    The National Grid are planning to connect the new electricity generators to the network with 30 miles of overhead wires between Bridgwater and Seabank in Avonmouth - James Heappey is calling for more of the route to be buried.

  11. 'The forces of inertia have a tendency to win'

    House of Lords reform debate

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Thrones at the House of Lords

    John Penrose concludes the challenge of reform is not to agree that change is needed but to reach a "large consensus" about what that change should be.

    He acknowledges that when consensus does not exist "the forces of inertia have a tendency to win".

  12. 'Show me the evidence'

    Identity documents debate

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Fingerprints

    Lib Dem Lord Scriven dismisses the idea that ID cards would protect against terrorism or reduce identity or benefit fraud and demands of pro-ID card peers, "show me the evidence".

    Lord Blair of Boughton, crossbencher and former Metropolitan Police commissioner, says ID cards are an "idea whose time has come". 

    He says that after today's events in Jakarta and last year's attacks in Paris he doesn't "think the public will understand why" the Conservative party continue to resist implementing some form of ID cards and database.

  13. Lords scrutiny 'frustrating but democratically desirable'

    House of Lords reform debate

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Cabinet Office Minister John Penrose admits that, for governments, the level of scrutiny provided by the House of Lords "is not a comfortable experience".

    However, while it can be frustrating he acknowledges that peers' scrutiny is democratically desirable.

  14. Reform must be consensual

    House of Lords reform debate

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Wayne David sets out three themes he believes should characterise any House of Lords reform.

    Firstly, he says reform should elicit a degree of consensus between political parties.

    Secondly he argues that Lords reform has to be accompanied by more devolution and increased popular political engagement.

    Finally, he says reform cannot be a top down approach and calls for a people's constitutional convention to debate the governance of the UK. 

  15. SNP's consistency and uniformity

    House of Lords reform debate

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Shadow cabinet office minister Wayne David opens his speech congratulating the SNP on "the consistency and uniformity" of their arguments.

    He notes that one MP made a reference to reform rather than abolition and welcomes this "difference of emphasis if not opinion" within the political group.

  16. Lords is 'beyond reform'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Kirsty Blackman criticises the composition of the House of Lords as "ridiculous" arguing that it should not have hereditary peers or people nominated by any religious organisations such as the Church of England.

    "It is beyond reform," she concludes "and should be abolished."

  17. Crossbench peer appointments

    House of Lords reform debate

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Although wishing to see the House of Lords abolished, the SNP's Kirsty Blackman does praise the thorough process by which crossbench peers are appointed, noting that they have to make "a major commitment" to spending time in the House of Lords.

  18. 'Chaotic' identity assurance needs simplification

    Identity documents debate

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Fingerprint

    Crossbench peer Lord Ramsbotham speaks in support of identity cards calling them a "spend to save measure" which will simplify the process of identity verification.

    Labour peer Lord Harris speaks about the importance of being able to establish identity, especially online. He says he regrets the Labour government's "mis-selling" of their identity card proposals.

    Conservative peer Lord Marlesford says the use of biometric data is the only way to establish identity against fraud, and describes the current situation of multiple identity documents as "chaotic".

  19. Timeline: the House of Lords and reform

    Parliament website

    State Opening of Parliament

    Reform of the House of Lords is a topic of much debate. Catch up on key reform milestones so far

    14 May 2014: The House of Lords Reform Act receives Royal Assent. It introduces the principle of resignation from the House of Lords, and allows for the expulsion of members in certain specified circumstances.

    3 September 2012: Deputy prime minister makes a statement announcing the withdrawal of the House of Lords Reform Bill.

    Read more