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Summary

  1. The day in the Commons began with questions to the Attorney General; and then to the Women and Equalities team.
  2. The Business Statement was next, outlining the week ahead, then there were two backbench business debates.
  3. The debates were on the national security checking of the Iraq Inquiry report; and then on diversity in the BBC.
  4. Peers conducted their usual question time session; then a debate on the access given to retired members of the House.
  5. Peers also considered the High Speed Rail (London - West Midlands) Bill.

Live Reporting

By Kate Whannel, Patrick Cowling and Sam Francis

All times stated are UK

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  1. MPs adjourn

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    That concludes the day and indeed the week in the House of Commons.

    MPs will return on Monday to debate the national living wage and educational attainment in Yorkshire.

    House of Commons clock
  2. We 'should be proud' of safety net

    Adjournment debate

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Communities and Local Government Minister Marcus Jones runs through the numbers in terms of funding for tackling homelessness - saying "the homelessness safety net in this country is still one we should be proud of".

    Government is also "exploring other options" to improve the evidence base in what works in tackling homelessness, Mr Jones says, adding that this will "help local authorities target their interventions more smartly".

    "Supporting local authorities is not just about funding," he says, pointing to the need for "greater innovation, integration of local services, and earlier prevention".

    Mr Jones says that he has reconvened the ministerial working group on homelessness and assures Kate Osamor that the government will "continue to invest in programmes to break the cycle of long term homelessness". 

    Marcus Jones
  3. BBC White Paper promised

    BBC diversity debate

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Concluding his speech, minister Ed Vaizey assures MPs that diversity will be very prominent in the White Paper, which will be published in May.

    The debate has been prominent on Twitter during the afternoon, with the #BBCDiversity trending.

    Screengrab
  4. A look back

    What's happened in the Upper House this week?

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    It has been quite a week in the chamber with the red benches.

    We have seen several government defeats on the Housing and Planning Bill, which after two grueling full days of scrutiny is not even half way through its report stage on the floor of the House.

    The government was also defeated on the Energy Bill on measures surrounding the ending of onshore wind subsidies.

    Political heavyweights from the time of the Good Friday Agreement discussed the Northern Ireland Bill and the implementation of the Stormont House Agreement, which ensured the continuation of effective devolved government in Northern Ireland.

    If you have missed any of those debates - never fear. The Housing and Planning Bill is back for more report stage scrutiny next week, and the highly contentious Trade Union Bill will be dissected and examined by peers on Tuesday.

    Plenty to keep the political aficionado interested...

  5. Debate on homelessness

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    The debate on diversity in the BBC concludes and Kate Osamor rises to introduce her debate on homelessness in Edmonton.

    Enfield Borough Council says that in recent years there has been an increase in homelessness after years of decline.

    The council has argued that it lacks affordable private rented homes to meet demand.

    Homeless person in London
  6. Broadcasters league table

    BBC diversity debate

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Culture, Media and Sport Minister Ed Vaizey rises to respond and sets out his own league table when it comes to broadcasters' actions on diversity.

    At the top, he puts Sky which he believes has made "remarkable" efforts to tackle diversity.

    Next is Channel 4, who he says has made a difference despite being "slightly bureaucratic".

    Towards the bottom are ITV ("they do not have the passion for this issue") and Channel Five ("who appear to do absolutely nothing").

    Concerning the BBC he says he was tempted to give the BBC "a good kicking" but instead acknowledges the changes that have been made. 

    Ed Vaizey
  7. Video content

    Video caption: Co-directors Jack Gamble and Quentin Beroud on performing Richard ll in Parliament.
  8. House adjourns

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Lord Ahmad brings his remarks to a close with a slight "Freudian slip" as he calls it, of expressing the need for a "new runway" - before swiftly correcting himself to say "new railway".

    The minister finishes by saying "HS2 is an investment to a better future and now is the time to secure it".

    After a few queries regarding the committee stage scrutiny of the bill, the minister finishes and the House of Lords adjourns for the day, and indeed for the week.

  9. Northern investment

    High Speed Rail Bill

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Transport Minister Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon addresses the issues raised in the debate on connectivity and investment in the Midlands and the north, saying "investment is clear in the northern powerhouse as we want to correct a historic underinvestment".

    Lord Ahmad says the government will be investing £13bn in northern transport links including improved road access to ports in Liverpool and the Humber.

    Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
  10. Leaving the BBC

    BBC diversity debate

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    David Lammy says he knows of many ethnic minority staff who have left the BBC because of the culture.

    Shadow culture, media and sports minister Chi Onwurah agrees and says that she has a list of many producers, directors and others who have left the BBC.

    She says she will not, read the list out but may do so in a year's time if the situation has not improved.

    Chi Onwurah
  11. Transport spending 'secure'

    High Speed Rail Bill

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon rises after nearly five hours of debate on the High Speed Rail Bill's second reading, and has the happy task of addressing all the questions and issues raised over the course of the debate.

    On the concern that several peers have about HS2 draining financial support for the existing railways, Lord Ahmad says the government is investing £38bn in the railways over the next five years.

    "The overall transport investment outside of HS2 spending is £60bn over the next five years," he also says.

    Lord Ahmad also raises wider positive impacts of the HS2 project, telling the House that it is worth considering "the expertise that we are developing on large scale transport infrastructure".

  12. Newby 'not accepted' by pub tenants

    Pubs Code adjudicator

    Westminster Hall

    Concluding the debate, Lib Dem MP Greg Mulholland says Anna Soubry's decision to keep Paul Newby is "quite absurd given the factual evidence".

    There is a "clear conflict of interests" with Mr Newby's former role and his new position, he argues.

    "All bar one genuine tenant-representing organisation are saying very simply they will not accept Mr Newby and they will not have him act on any of their cases."

    "They should not accept him," he adds and "gently asks" Ms Soubry to "look again at what I have said today".

    Lib Dem MP Greg Mulholland
  13. 'We aren't all straight, able-bodied, white English men'

    BBC diversity debate

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    SNP's John Nicholson opens his speech: "We aren't all straight, able-bodied, white English men and the BBC should reflect us in all our glory."

    He says charter renewal offers "a perfect opportunity to enshrine the principles of diversity".

    The MP begins to sound a little hoarse and his speech is briefly interrupted when David Lammy brings him a glass of water.

    "I feel I am closer to power," he says, noting that the glass is in fact made of glass. "We usually get plastic."

    John Nicholson
  14. A 'new dawning' for pubs

    Pub Codes adjudicator

    Westminster Hall

    Business Minsiter Anna Soubry concludes that she has "full confidence that Paul Newby will be an excellent adjudicator".

    She says she hopes "everyone will welcome this pubs code so we can have a new age and a new dawning for our pubs, so they continue to be great uniquely British places".

    But pubs must have "an element of fairness, not just to the tenants and so we get the right investment and we have a sustainable pub industry in this country".

  15. Railways are forever

    High Speed Rail Bill

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Labour shadow spokesperson Lord Tunnicliffe echoes Lord Rosser's comments at the start of the debate by saying "Labour unambiguously support this project".

    Lord Tunnicliffe tells the chamber that making a railway "is a very special thing".

    "Railways, if they are well done, last, in human terms forever; this railway will be here in hundreds of years' time," he says.

    The Labour shadow minister says that he believes the regenerative benefits of HS2 to the north and the midlands will be "much, much higher than predicted".

    Lord Tunnicliffe
  16. Rupa Huq's 'couch potato days'

    BBC diversity debate

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Labor's Rupa Huq relives her "couch potato days" reminiscing about programmes including Black and White Minstrel Show, Love Thy Neighbour and Mixed Blessings.

    She acknowledges that these programmes were made at a time "before political correctness" but argues that in some senses "we haven't moved on".

    She cites the programme Citizen Khan as a show that stereotypes Muslims by portraying them as backward - "not quite cutting off people's hands but I can imagine that being in a future episode".

    Citizen Khan
    Image caption: BBC sitcom Citizen Khan
  17. Minister: care with decision

    Pubs Code Adjudicator

    Westminster Hall

    Business Minister Anna Soubry sets out in her speech that she "dislikes stereotypes" and says that she too likes "pints of ale in pubs".

    For pubs to survive the government must "ensure the industry is sustainable", and she says she does not want Pubcos to go out of business.

    She says she dislikes the stereotype that as a minister she does not know her responsibilities.

    She says she appointed Paul Newby as Pub Codes Adjudicator as he was the best candidate and she "took the decision with great care".

    Business Minister Anna Soubry