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Summary

  1. MPs met at 11.30am for Cabinet Office questions, followed by Prime Minister's questions.
  2. There was a statement on the Hillsborough verdict.
  3. MPs then moved on to consideration of Lords amendments to the Trade Union Bill.
  4. Peers began their day with questions, and then considered the Housing and Planning Bill at third reading.
  5. MPs on the Work and Pensions Committee have questioned the Pensions Minister Baroness Altmann,

Live Reporting

By Kate Whannel, Patrick Cowling and Claire Gould

All times stated are UK

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  1. House adjourns

    Armed Forces Bill

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Labour frontbench spokesperson Lord Touhig responds briefly to say that Labour does not support the amendment because, although he sympathises with its aims, it does not ensure operational security.

    Earl Howe responds to the debate by outlining the process by which targets are assessed and fired upon by UK forces.

    The defence minister says "all military targeting is governed by strict rules of engagement in accordance with both UK and international humanitarian law".

    "We will not use UK military force unless we are satisfied that its use is both necessary and lawful."

    With these assurances, Baroness Smith withdraws her amendment and that brings the day's proceedings to an end.

    Peers return bright and early at 11am tomorrow - but until then, good night. 

  2. Reporting civilian casualties

    Armed Forces Bill

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    After a detailed response that covered the many legal aspects of the issue, Earl Howe finishes his remarks and Lord Thomas says he is "convinced" by the minister's arguments and withdraws his amendment.

    Lib Dem defence spokesperson Baroness Smith of Newnham is now moving the last amendment of the evening, which seeks to introduce a reporting obligation for civilian casualties in overseas deployments.

    Baroness Smith says that one of the main issues of reporting civilian casualties is definition, and tells peers that the wording in her amendment relates to "civilian non-combatant casualties" in order to reduce confusion.

    Conservative peer Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbots speaks in support of the amendment, saying that the concept of "operational confidentiality" that is often used by the military is a "fairly elastic concept" that could be used to cover "any range of operations".

    "Proper legislative teeth" on the issue would address this danger, he says. 

  3. Extra-territorial jurisdiction

    Armed Forces Bill

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    The amendments on mental health provision are withdrawn after the assurances given by the minister on the matter.

    Liberal Democrat legal affairs spokesperson Lord Thomas of Gresford is now moving his amendments that seek to give UK civil courts extra-territorial jurisdiction for sexual offences committed by those in the armed forces abroad. 

  4. Existing help for mental health sufferers

    Armed Forces Bill

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Defence Minister Earl Howe says the armed forces compensation scheme already makes awards for injuries and disorders predominantly caused by service - including mental health conditions.

    He says these awards are tariff-based and designed to "make full and final awards as early as possible".

    The Ministry of Defence, Earl howe says, knows that owing to "stigma and perceived impact on career", some people may delay seeking help.

    This means in practice that those who have left the armed forces some time ago and then submit a claim to the AFCS will receive compensation "as soon as the claim is accepted". 

    House of Lords
  5. Mental health amendments

    Armed Forces Bill

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    The amendments on under-18s in the armed forces are withdrawn, and debate turns to amendments 9 and 10 which have been moved by Labour peer Lord Touhig and Lib Dem Baroness Jolly.

    Amendment 9 would introduce provisions for sufferers of mental health conditions "caused by serving in the armed forces" to be eligible for compensation.

    Amendment 10 would introduce a requirement for the armed forces covenant to report on mental health parity of esteem with physical healthcare.

  6. 'No reliable evidence' for issues

    Armed Forces Bill

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Earl Howe says that the government does not support the amendment because there is "no reliable evidence" that those who serve in the armed forces under the age of 18 suffer any specific disadvantage compared to other service people.

    "The amendment obliges us to treat those who join under the age of 18 as a separate category - perhaps for the rest of their service", he says.

    "I continue to maintain a position that this is an inappropriate distinction to build into legislation".

    Lord Judd responds to thank the minister for his "admonishments", but says "I do not accept those admonishments". 

  7. Support for enlisting at 16

    Armed Forces Bill

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Lord West of Spithead

    Labour's Lord West of Spithead and Conservative Earl Attlee both rise to support the enlisting of 16- and 17-year-olds into the armed forces.

    Earl Attlee says that the army offers young people of this age group a chance to begin a "brilliant career" in the armed forces.

    Former First Sea Lord, Lord West, says that he tried to join up at 14 but "this was slightly too young" and tells peers he finally managed to enlist at 17.

    Speaking about some of those who join up at 16 or 17 "they come from quite disadvantaged backgrounds" and he says that "what the military does with them is really quite remarkable".

  8. The enlistment of minors

    Armed Forces Bill

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Labour's Lord Judd rises to move his amendments 7 and 8 to the bill which seeks to introduce a requirement for the armed forces to report on the enlistment of minors - those under 18.

    The report must evaluate the effects on the individual, and on the armed forces, of the enlistment of persons under the age of 18, and should have regard for the principle that the best interests of minors must be paramount in all policy relating to them.

    Lord Judd says the amendments in this group are not about eliminating recruitment at 16, but are about "taking our duty of care seriously".

    British army
  9. Government promises review on sexual assaults in armed forces

    Armed Forces Bill

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Earl Howe

    Earl Howe says that the government does not think it is "necessary or appropriate" for peers to press their amendments.

    The minister says that current regulations mean that a commanding officer has no role in investigating "almost all sexual offences on the statute book, including rape". 

    He adds that these offences must always be reported to the service police, so the amendment removing commanding officer discretion in these cases is not needed.

    The defence minister says that there will be a review on the issue of investigating sexual assaults in the armed forces.

    On the issue of reporting statistics for sexual assaults in the armed forces, Earl Howe says the issue is "in hand" and agrees that there is a need for data to be "robust and consistent".

  10. A 'precursor to further problems'

    Armed Forces Bill

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Conservative peer Earl Attlee says that although he agrees with the "general thrust" of the amendments, one of them is "defective" because it does not address the issue of inappropriate contact - which he says can be a "precursor to further problems".

    Speaking about the publication of statistics, he says that he "feels very strongly" about the need for record keeping by service police, but raises concerns that the print media will "use these statistics to publish an easy story".

  11. Sexual assault amendments

    Armed Forces Bill

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Minister Earl Howe tells peers that the government thinks these amendments will "seriously erode fundamental aspects of the court martial system", and for that reason - along with the assurances he has given Lord Thomas - he asks for the peer to to withdraw his amendment.

    Lord Thomas agrees and his amendment is withdrawn. 

    Having passed a group of amendments relating to appeals for court martial decisions, peers now turn to an opposition amendment which relates to the removal of Commanding Officer’s discretion to investigate allegations of sexual assault, and introducing a requirement to publish statistics on sexual assault and rape in the armed forces. 

    Lord Touhig
  12. Setback for government on council house sales

    Today in Parliament

    Today in Parliament

    The government has suffered a further defeat in the House of Lords over its housing plans.

    Peers have backed a change to the Housing and Planning Bill that would allow councils forced to sell off homes to use the money to build like-for-like replacements.

    Peers backed the proposal from the crossbench peer, Lord Kerslake, by 275 votes to 197 - a majority of 78.

    The Bill later completed its passage through the Lords and will now return to the Commons, where ministers will have to decide whether to overturn the 13 defeats inflicted by peers on the Bill.

  13. Leave.EU: 'If Iceland can trade with China on its own, then Britain can'

    Select Committee

    Parliament

    The Treasury committee turned to Barack Obama's intervention in the EU debate, which Leave.EU's Richard Tice said was simply a president "representing the interests of the United States".

    He rejected Mr Obama's claim that Britain would move to the back of the queue in any future trade deal, stressing that not all senior US politicians supported that view, including Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz.

    He argued that Britain is the fifth largest economy in the world, and if a small country like Iceland can negotiate a trade deal with China, then the UK definitely can.

    Arron Banks chimed in that it's people and companies that trade, not governments. "We're actually trading with the US really nicely," he said, before the committee hearing was brought to a close.

  14. Banks: Democracy is 'paramount' in EU debate

    Select Committee

    Parliament

    The Treasury Select Committee

    Labour's Helen Goodman takes over the baton and asks Arron Banks what the median household income is in the UK. Mr Banks says that it is £45,000 - but the MP corrects him, saying it is actually £25,630 - a figure Mr Banks in turn disputes. 

    The MP continues to prod the businessmen about the economic consequences for families of Brexit, leading Mr Banks to embark upon a passionate defence of his belief that the UK is better off outside the EU.

    Quote Message: I certainly regard our parliamentary democracy and the right to make our own rules as paramount above anything else. I don't think people when they hit the beaches of Normandy were saying this was going to cost us £2,000. They were fighting for democracy. I know that is a bit of an extreme example but that is the way I feel about the EU."
  15. Minister: Current system 'safe, independent and impartial'

    Armed Forces Bill

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Responding to the debate on this group of amendments, Defence Minister Earl Howe says he understands that there are those who have questioned the fairness of simple majorities, but tells peers the government has established at the European Court of Human Rights and in the civilian courts, that the court martial system is "in principle, safe, independent and impartial". 

    Earl Howe tells Lord Thomas that the government is "prepared to review the current arrangements for majority verdicts". 

  16. Bring civil and military courts 'closer together'

    Armed Forces Bill

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Peers now move on to the report stage debate of the Armed Forces Bill.

    Lords Thomas of Gresford rises to speak on his amendment 1, which sets out rules for accepting majority verdicts in Courts Martial.

    He says his amendment "expressly provides" that announcements of majority verdicts are only made in the event of a conviction.  

    If a person is acquitted, the nature of the verdict would not be revealed, just as happens in Crown Courts.

    He moves on to speak on his amendment 2, which would require a judge advocate to make the final decision on sentencing or punishment in Courts Martial.  

    Lord Thomas says his amendments attempt to "bring closer together" the civil and military courts systems, and to promote public confidence in Courts Martial. 

    Thomas
  17. Marathon scrutiny session draws to an end

    Housing and Planning Bill

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Peers agree the final grouping of amendments en bloc, bringing to an end this marathon consideration of the bill.

    Baroness Williams rises to wrap up debate on the very long legislative process.  

    Her voice almost fails her, but she ends her thanks and hands over to Viscount Younger who has some final clarifications for the opposition.

    Shadow spokesman Lord Kennedy rises to thank Baroness Williams personally for her hard work on the bill, and "hopes the bill doesn't come back on ping pong".

    After further thanks from Conservative peer Baroness Parkes, the bill can finally pass. It now goes to the Commons for consideration of the many amendments made by peers. 

    Williams
  18. Government defeat on high income tenants

    Housing and Planning Bill

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Peers accept Labour's amendment 8 by 235 votes to 201, a majority of 34.

    The amendment increases the measure for defining high income local authority tenants by the Consumer Price Index every three years.

    Peers now begin considering a large group of government amendments on lengths of tenancy.  

    Baroness Williams can take a break, as fellow minister Baroness Evans rises to the despatch box. 

  19. Amendment 8

    Housing and Planning Bill

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Labour peers have pressed their amendment 8, which would change the way 'higher earning' tenants are defined, to a vote. 

    Under the proposed change, the measure for defining high income would be increased every three years by inflation linked to the consumer price index (CPI). 

    Under the proposals included in the bill, higher-earning tenants would see their local authority rent increased to the market rate or a proportion of the market rate.

    The bill defines high household income as above £40,000 outside of London, and £50,000 within London.

    Peers are now voting on the amendment - the result is expected shortly. 

  20. Commons adjourns

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    That concludes the debate and the remaining amendments are nodded through.

    Usually, at this point, there would be an adjournment debate - tonight's debate, on train services in Southend, was due to be led by Sir David Amess.

    However, owing to his (as yet unexplained) absence in the chamber, the debate cannot take place and the day in the House of Commons is adjourned.

    MPs will return tomorrow at 9:30am with questions to the Transport Secretary. 

    House of Commons adjourns