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Summary

  1. MPs began the day with questions to the Culture, Media and Sport ministerial team.
  2. After that was the weekly Business statement, followed by two statements: the first on the death of Alexander Litvinenko. The second was on infected blood products.
  3. There were two backbench business debates: one on childhood obesity strategy and the second, a general debate on Holocaust Memorial Day.
  4. A Westminster Hall debate has been looking at the future of the UK steel industry.
  5. After questions at 11am, peers conducted a number of debates, including prison reform and the role of women in business.

Live Reporting

By Alex Partridge, Kate Whannel and Patrick Cowling

All times stated are UK

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  1. House of Lords adjourn

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    And that is it for today.

    Peers will return on Monday at 2:30pm with oral questions on domestic workers, housing benefit and floods relief effort.

    House of Lords clock
  2. 'Full diplomatic weight'

    Strategy against ISIL debate

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Government spokesman, the Earl of Courtown tells peers that the UK is working with existing Syrian institutions and moderate groups on the ground.

    Such work, he says, is aimed at restoring stability as quickly as possible.

    He argues that an end to the civil war in Syria means having in place a government that is broadly accepted by its people.

    For this reason, he says, the UK government is throwing its "full diplomatic weight" into a transition to an inclusive government in Syria. 

    Earl of Courtown
  3. Encourage local forces to fight

    Strategy against ISIL debate

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Labour's spokesman Lord Collins of Highbury argues for the need to encourage local forces to fight.

    He asks the government what steps are being taken to work through existing and new channels.

    He calls on the government to do more to train and provide non-military services to moderate groups.

    Lord Highbury of Collins
  4. Regime change 'a disastrous policy'

    Strategy against ISIL debate

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Liberal Democrat Lord Oates urges the west to learn from its mistakes.

    He notes that from Iran in 1950 to Iraq in 2003, attempting to facilitate regime change has proved a "comprehensively disastrous" policy.

    He points out that to stop war crimes taking place in Bosnia, the west had to first work with Slobodan Milošević.

    "The best way to get rid of him", he argues "was to end the war".

    Lord Oates
  5. Western policy 'an abject failure'

    Strategy against ISIL debate

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Lord Truscott doubts that anyone can find a solution to the Syrian conflict "anytime soon".

    He notes that the most capable forces on the ground, in the absence of western forces, are the Syrian President Assad's army and the Kurds.

    He further notes that 40% of the population support President Assad, and describes the rebels as "a disparate group".

    He concludes that the west’s policy of regime change in Syria has been “an abject failure”

    Lord Truscott
  6. Defeating IS debate

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    The debate on women in economy comes to an end and independent peer Lord Truscott rises to open the debate on the government's strategy to defeat ISIL in Syria.

    The radical Islamist group calling itself "Islamic State" has seized territory in western Iraq and eastern Syria.

    A coalition of countries including US, Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar and Saudi Arabia has conducted more than 3,000 attacks on IS territories in Syria.

    In December 2015 the UK Parliament voted to extend airstrikes against IS from Iraq to Syria.

    IS flag flutters on hillside in the Syrian town of Kobane
  7. Pay gap 'at lowest level on record'

    Women and the economy

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Baroness Neville-Rolfe is encouraged that the gender pay gap, "though it is far too high", is at its lowest on record (19.2%).

    She further notes that the gap is "virtually eliminated" among full time workers under 40.

    From her personal experience, she notes that one of the difficulties is female executives diffidence about asking for pay rises.

    Baroness Neville-Rolfe
  8. Transparency no substitute for fair pay

    Women and the economy

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Labour's Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town welcomes the government's moves to require large companies to publish the gap between male and female earnings.

    However she says the move will do nothing for the millions of women working in small to medium enterprises.

    She also says more transparency will be no substitute for fair pay and flexible working patterns.

    Baroness Hayter
  9. Commons adjourns

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    That's all from the Commons today. MPs will be back from 9:30am tomorrow for a day of debate on private members' bills.

  10. Government 'careful' with funding for vulnerable

    Transport for vulnerable adults

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Health Minister George Freeman says he's glad of the opportunity to "set the record straight". He says the government has tried to ensure that funding for the most vulnerable has been protected.

    We have been "as careful as we can", he says.

    He tells the House that it's a tribute to councils that the "majority" have managed to do "more with less".

    On transport for vulnerable adults he says many parents and carers in Salford have commented on how much "better" the new "more personalised" services are.

    He says the story shouldn't be about cuts, "but about a Labour council making prudent decisions".

  11. Celebrating differences

    Women and the economy

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Conservative Lord Borwick says that differences are "what makes life such fun" but says such differences should not hold back individuals.

    He notes that men are more likely to take risks than women but are also more likely to commit crimes than women "from drug-taking to fraud to murder".

    Quote Message: Men are more likely to drink themselves silly on champagne rendering them useless to run a business and leaving the Veuve Clicquot to run things."
    Lord Borwick
  12. 'The holy grail' of workplace equality

    Women and the economy

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Baroness Rock, who works as the Director of Business Engagement for the Conservative Party, gives the second maiden speech of the day.

    She describes flexible working as "the holy grail" of equality in the workplace.

    She says that equality should not be about quotas or equality for equalities sake but about the UK competing in the global economy.

    Baroness Rock
  13. Adjournment debate

    Transport for vulnerable adults

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Labour MP for Salford and Eccles Rebecca Long Bailey is leading a debate on transport for vulnerable adults.

    She says that "until recently" councils provided transport for vulnerable adults to attend day centres, which she calls a "vital service".

    She says "countless" councils have cut the service entirely, because efficiency savings are now impossible.

    Rebecca Long Bailey
  14. Front benchers wind the debate up

    Holocaust Memorial Day Debate

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Shadow communities and local government minister Liz McInnes says the Holocaust was one of the reasons for the creation of the European Convention on Human Rights in the wake of World War II.

    It was intended, she says, to ensure "people own the government", not the other way round. That is, she says, the "lasting legacy" of the horrors of the Nazi genocide.

    Communities and Local Government Minister Marcus Jones says it's important to remember other genocides, citing the Srebrenica massacre as an example of a genocide on the European continent, in the very recent past.

    He assures the House that the government will continue to fund Holocaust education, and says we can "never be complacent".

  15. Ethnic minority women in business

    Women and the economy

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Baroness Falkner of Margravine

    Liberal Democrat Baroness Falkner of Margravine speaks about ethnic minority women in business.

    She tells peers that 44% of Muslim women don't work because they are looking after the home and that 52% of Muslim women believe the family suffers when the woman works. 

    This compares with 34% of Christians and 23% of non-religious people.

    She concludes that male-dominated cultures reflecting the perceived norms of the home country enforce the idea of a housebound role for women.

  16. Maiden speech

    Women and the economy

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Conservative Baroness McGregor-Smith rises to make her maiden speech.

    Baroness McGregor-Smith is the CEO of the Mitie Group and the only Asian female chief executive in the FTSE 250.

    She says her "unlikely" journey to the House of Lords took its turn when she was two and her Muslim parents decided to leave India for the UK.

    She tells peers that she was fortunate to have parents and mentors who supported her dream of having a career and a family - "If I can do it anyone can do it."

    Baroness McGregor-Smith
  17. End of the steel industry debate

    Westminster Hall

    On the issue of Chinese steel dumping Ms Soubry says "it isn't the government that makes the complaint to the EU, the complaint comes from the steel industry itself".

    Anna Soubry also warns Labour MPs about misleading their constituents on the issue of China being granted market economic status.

    "If China gets market economic status then the UK is not precluded from introducing tariffs at a later date" to protect UK steel from dumping, she says. 

    Running right up to the three hour cut-off point Anna Soubry finishes by saying "this government will continue to do everything it can to protect the steel industry and ensure that steel continues to be made at both Scunthorpe and Port Talbot".

  18. Backbench debate continues

    Holocaust Memorial Day debate

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Conservative MP Bob Blackman raises what he calls a "forgotten" genocide, the exodus of the Kashmiri Pandit people, a Hindu minority, from their homes after the eruption of an insurgency in the contested Indian province.

    The SNP's Peter Grant tells the House that the Holocaust reminds us that ordinary people can do "genuinely diabolical" things.

    Conservative Robert Jenrick tells the House about the National Holocaust Centre and Museum in his Newark constituency, the UK's only museum devoted to marking genocide.

  19. Unlocking opportunities

    Women and the economy

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Baroness Brady

    Conservative peer Baroness Brady focuses her speech on how to unlock opportunities for women in business.

    She says that her generation are fortunate that they can point to equality before the law.

    However, she also calls for a cultural change to end the stereotype that it is women's responsibility to look after the children rather than work.

    She argues that encouraging flexible working is the most important thing that can be done to support women into business.

  20. EU state aid rules

    Westminster Hall

    Minister Anna Soubry is giving a robust response and is sparring with the SNP's Marion Fellows over what she has said about the Scottish government's actions on protecting the steel industry.

    Ms Soubry say that Marion Fellows has not told the chamber what the Scottish government has actually done, because she says that changing business rates is not as easy as it sounds.

    "Any loan has to be at commercial rates - if they aren't, they breach state aid rules, no debate, no messing around; that is a fact," she says.

    Ms Fellows responds that she is not an expert but says that to the best of her knowledge the rates will be reduced according to Scottish government findings.