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Summary

  1. Peers start day with oral questions
  2. The main business of the day is committee stage of Policing and Crime Bill
  3. The Commons is in recess

Live Reporting

By Alex Partridge and Aiden James

All times stated are UK

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House adjourns for the night

House of Lords

Parliament

The House of Lords has adjourned for the night.

Peers now have a short recess, before returning at 2:30pm on Tuesday. 

Lib Dems call for pardons for 'loitering with intent'

Policing and Crime Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Paddick
BBC

Lib Dem peer Lord Paddick has an amendment that would give pardons to people convicted or cautioned for the now-abolished offence of 'loitering with intent'. 

He says that the offence was used to disproportionately target young black men.

He says pardons would be a "huge step forward in healing the pain caused" and the "damage to the trust and confidence held by the black community in the police".

Minister Baroness Williams of Trafford says some gay men were also convicted under the 'loitering with intent' conviction. 

But she says the government "doesn't believe it is appropriate" to offer pardons to people convicted of now-abolished criminal offences. She adds that there is a "compelling moral case" for pardons for offences that were used to persecute gay people, and that it is a special case. 

Additionally, she adds that it's "impossible to know if the conduct in question would still be an offence today". 

Government to support 'Turing amendments'

Policing and Crime Act

House of Lords

Parliament

Baroness Williams of Trafford says she's pleased to support Lord Sharkey's amendments. 

She emphasises that pardons will only be extended to men who engaged in what would now be considered consensual sexual activity with another man aged over sixteen. 

It does not extend to anyone convicted of engaging in sexual activity in a public toilet, which she says is "still illegal today".

She rejects one of Lord Cashman's amendments, saying it's important that men who are alive have to apply to have their conviction disregarded, thereby preventing living men being pardoned for offences that are still illegal now.

She rejects his second amendment too, on soliciting. 

She says it's "relatively straightforward" to disregard the offences that count under current legislation but the old "soliciting" offence "covered quite a broad range of behaviours" so it is not as simple to work out if an offence then would still count as an offence today. 

Labour peer: extend pardons to men convicted of 'soliciting'

Policing and Crime Act

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Cashman
BBC

Labour's Lord Cashman has tabled some other amendments, differing slightly from Lord Sharkey's. 

One would make the pardoning process the same for both the living and the dead, another would pardon men convicted or cautioned for "soliciting".

He says he lived through an era when smiling at another man outside a gay bar could "get me arrested for soliciting for an immoral purpose", even after the Sexual Offences Act 1967 decriminalised private same-sex sexual acts.

He cites the case of a man arrested and cautioned for "soliciting" in a sting by a plain clothes police officer as recently as 1995. He asks why that man's life should be "ruined" for doing nothing wrong. 

Turing amendments 'end of a long campaign'

Policing and Crime Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Sharkey
BBC

Peers are debating Lib Dem Lord Sharkey's 'Turing Amendments', which would posthumously pardon gay men convicted of now abolished sexual offences, and allow pardons for those living if the Home Office agrees that it is no longer an offence.

Lord Sharkey says it's the "culmination of a long campaign". He says that 60,000 men were convicted of same-sex sexual offences before they were abolished, and 49,000 of them are now dead.

In 2013, World War Two codebreaker and computer pioneer Alan Turing was posthumously pardoned.

The amendments have the support of the government.

Current drink drive limit strikes 'important balance'

Policing and Crime Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Baroness Williams of Trafford
BBC

Minister Baroness Williams of Trafford is steadfastly refusing to budge on an amendment to lower the drink-drive alcohol limit. 

She says the current limit in England and Wales strikes an "important balance between safety and personal freedom" and that the government is "targeting the most dangerous of drivers" rather than those who had a drink a long time before driving.

In England and Wales, the drink-drive limit is 80 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood, relatively high among European countries. 

In Scotland the drink drive limit is lower than in the rest of Great Britain, 50 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood.

The amendment being discussed proposes to cut the limit to 20 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millitres. 

Government 'alive to dangers' of Fixed Odds Betting Terminals

Policing and Crime Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Minister Baroness Chisholm of Owlpen says the government is "alive to the dangers" of fixed-odds betting terminals, and has "already set controls", including lowering the maximum cash stake.

She says the government is planning a review into the gambling industry and encourages members to contribute to it. 

She adds that FOBTs will be a significant part of the review, with consideration given to the harm they cause to both communities and players. 

Baroness Chisholm of Owlpen
BBC

Peers seek curbs on fixed odds betting terminals

Policing and Crime Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Peers are now debating an amendment that would regulate fixed odds betting terminals.

The amendment, backed by a cross party group of peers, would set the maximum stake at £10. 

Currently users of the machines can gamble up to £50 a go. If they want to gamble more, they have to ask at the betting shop's counter.

The Rt Rev Nick Holtam, the Bishop of Salisbury, says he's worried about "FOBT rage" where customers "destroy machines or assault staff" after losing. 

Rt Rev Nick Holtam, Bishop of Salisbury
BBC

Peers debate accessibility of entertainment venues

Policing and Crime Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

A Lords committee report criticised pubs, clubs and restaurants for their lack of disabled facilities.
Philip Toscano/PA Wire
A Lords committee report criticised pubs, clubs and restaurants for their lack of disabled facilities.

Peers have been debating an amendment that would force restaurants, bars and clubs to comply with the Equalities Act 2010 and be accessible to disabled people.

Last year a Lords committee report made the same recommendation, after finding that "many of the pleasures which most of us take for granted are denied to disabled people".

They criticised restaurants, bars and night clubs, many of which do not even have a disabled toilet.

Minister Baroness Williams of Trafford says the Equalities Act 2010 already prohibits businesses from discriminating against staff or customers, which the government believes is "sufficient protection". 

She also warns against "duplicating" legislation that already exists. 

Tory peer seeks assurances on late-night levy amendment

Policing and Crime Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Baroness McIntosh of Pickering
BBC
Baroness McIntosh of Pickering

Responding to concern over government amendments, Baroness Chisholm of Owlpen says the government will wait until the findings of the Licensing Act 2003 select committee are published.

Conservative peer Baroness McIntosh of Pickering asks if she would change the wording of the amendments if they conflict with the committee's findings. Baroness Chisholm says she has gone as far as she can go today.

Baroness McIntosh intervenes to asks again for the government to accept the committee's findings, telling peers: "We want to have good laws" because the late night levies "appear not to be working".

Baroness Chisholm says she will look carefully at the findings of the committee, and adds "I think that's as far as I can go." 

Baroness Chisholm of Owlpen
BBC
Baroness Chisholm of Owlpen

Stepping on committee's toes?

Policing and Crime Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Conservative peer Baroness McIntosh of Pickering, who is chair of the Licensing Act 2003 Committee, and other members raise concerns about the government's amendments to the late night levy. 

Committee member and Labour peer Baroness Henig says the government is pre-empting the work of the committee which is currently looking into the issue.

Liberal Democrat Baroness Grender stresses to the House that only seven local authorities have taken up use of the levy. 

She goes on to ask why the government has tabled the amendments on the levy after the Licensing Act 2003 committee was set up. 

Changes to late night levy

Policing and Crime Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Baroness Chisholm of Owlpen is introducing government amendments to the Policing and Crime Bill. 

She tells peers that the government wants to change the late-night levy,which enables licensing authorities to raise a contribution from late-opening alcohol suppliers towards policing the nighttime economy.

She says the government wants to allow licencing authorities to be more specific on which areas are subject to the levy rather than having it apply to the whole of a local authority area. 

House of Lords
BBC

Peer: 'Strong case' for health and social care to be closer

Unsafe hospital discharges

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Prior of Brampton
BBC
Lord Prior of Brampton

Lord Prior of Brampton is summing up for the government in the short debate on unsafe discharge from hospital. He says only 0.1% of all discharges are problematic and says that should be taken into consideration.

He says the experience of patients supports a strong case for closer working between health and social care. He goes on to say that there is a tempatation to restructure the system again but adds that "we must be careful" when there has already been so much change in the health service.

Lord Prior says: "The structural difficulties with the NHS are quite profound." 

With that, peers go back to considering the Policing and Crime Bill. 

Peers debate unsafe hospital discharges

House of Lords

Parliament

Peers have stopped discussing the Policing and Crime Bill to go for lunch, so Labour's Baroness Wheeler is introducing a short debate on the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman's report into unsafe discharge from hospital.

The report found that complaints about NHS admissions, transfers and discharge had increased by 6% in a year.

The report also found four basic issues:

  • patients being discharged before they were clinically ready to go
  • patients not being assessed or consulted properly about their discharge
  • relatives and carers not being told their loved one had been discharged
  • patients being discharged with no home care plan in place, or being kept in hospital due to poor coordination between services 
A hospital ward
Peter Byrne/PA Wire

Concerns raised over powdered alcohol

Policing and Crime Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Peers have been speaking against a clause in the bill that recognises alcohol in non-liquid forms, like vapour and powder. 

Crossbencher Baroness Finlay of Landaff says she worries that alcohol in non-liquid forms contributes to alcohol abuse, while Labour's Lord Brooke of Alverthorpe worries that the Home Office is "behind the times" on the issue.

Powdered alcohol exists, but is not yet available for sale commercially.

Baroness Williams of Trafford says that the clause is simply to ensure that licencing laws keep up with the forms in which alcohol is sold and can clarify their legal position. 

Government attempt to ban flares at music festivals

Policing and Crime Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Baroness Chisholm of Owlpen is introducing a government amendment outlawing the use of flares, smoke bombs and fireworks by people attending music festivals.

She says that while flares, fireworks and smoke bombs are banned at football matches because of the danger they pose in crowds, there is no legislation that bans their use at other events.

Under the amendment, the offence would carry a prison term of up to three months. 

FC Copenhagen fans light flares before their team's game at Leicester City.
ALLSPORT/Getty Images
FC Copenhagen fans lit flares before their game at Leicester City earlier this year.

Peer calls for lifetime bans for negligent gun owners

Policing and Crime Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Harris of Harringey
BBC

Labour's Lord Harris of Harringey says that in an average year 800 legally owned firearms are stolen or lost, which is part of a "seepage" of firearms into the illegal economy. Who acquires the guns is "almost irrelevant", he says: they can cause serious harm.

He says anyone who loses a gun should be banned from owning a firearm for life and that in this case the "punishment fits the crime".

Baroness Williams of Trafford says loss or theft of a firearm is taken "very seriously" by police, but adds that only a small proportion go missing.

She then outlines a series of bans available for gun owners who commit weapons offences. She says she hopes her answer will have satisfied the Labour peer. Lord Harris says he's "partially reassured".

Baroness Williams of Trafford
BBC

Peers debate Policing and Crime Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Peers are now debating amendments to the Policing and Crime Bill at committee stage.

The bill makes a number of changes to policing in England and Wales, including expanding the role of police and crime commissioners to encompass fire and ambulance services and expanding the number of volunteers in the police.

Peers are currently debating amendments to the section of the bill which closes a number of loopholes in the Firearms Act. 

Police officers
BBC

'Damning indictment' of the Met

Operation Midland question

Lord Lamont
BBC

Lord Lamont says the report "appears to be a damning indictment" of the Metropolitan Police. He asks why Lady Brittan, the widow of Leon Brittan, hasn't been given a copy of the report.

The former Home Secretary was interviewed by police officers in connection to sex abuse allegations but no charges were brought. 

He died in January last year without being told he had been cleared of the allegation.  

Minister Baroness Williams of Trafford says that "suffering arises when people have their names released and in fact are guilty of nothing", but says that victims also often don't come forward.

Operation Midland question

House of Lords

Parliament

Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer has tabled a private notice question asking what the government is doing to restore confidence in the Metropolitan Police following a critical report into 'Operation Midland', the investigation into VIP sex abuse allegations.

A number of high-profile figures were publicly investigated by the police, but no one was ever charged.

Baroness Williams of Trafford says allegations of sexual offences are "amongst the most serious" and police have a "duty" to investigate them thoroughly. 

She says it is for the Metropolitan Police to address the findings and take action. 

Baroness Williams of Trafford
BBC

Turkish MPs detention question

House of Lords

Parliament

Conservative Lord Balfe asks what action the government is taking following the detention by Turkey of the co-chairs of the pro-Kurdish HDP party.

The Turkish government says they are being detained for failure to cooperate with an anti-terrorism investigation.

Speaking for the Foreign Office, the Earl of Courtown says the government is following current events in Turkey "closely" and maintains the importance of the rule of law, human rights and freedom of the press. 

He says both the UK and European Union have both expressed their concerns.

Earl of Courtown
BBC

'Long history' of UK-Saudi cooperation

Oral questions

House of Lords

Parliament

With issues with the builders seemingly resolved, business continues in a much quieter chamber.

Lib Dem foreign affairs spokesperson Lord Wallace of Saltaire continues exactly where he left off during a question on what discussions have been had with Saudi Arabia over companies there withholding wages due to migrant workers.

He says that since major construction companies in Saudi Arabia are "unable to pay their consutruction workers" that suggests that the Saudi economy is in such a poor state that government hopes of replacing some lost EU trade post-Brexit with trade with Saudi Arabia are "over optimistic".

Minister Baroness Goldie thanks the peer for a "question I could hear". 

She says there is a "long history of cooperation and understanding" and that Saudi Arabia is "recognising the need to diversify its economy".

She adds that when an economy is in trouble it is "important that international partners do what they can". 

Baroness Goldie
BBC

House adjourns briefly...due to noise

House of Lords

Parliament

During a question on migrant workers in Saudi Arabia, several members complain that they cannot hear proceedings because of a loud noise from outside.

Government chief whip Lord Taylor of Holbeach intervenes to explain that, because the House is sitting early for a Wednesday, "the builders who normally have free run of the place are cleaning some of the stonework outside".

He proposes that the House adjourns for five minutes while the problem is "sorted out". 

Labour asks for government 'honesty' over cancer targets

Oral questions

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath
BBC

During a question on NHS cancer statistics, Labour's Lord Hunt of Kings Heath asks the government for "honesty" over its prospects of meeting cancer targets.

He says the government is missing its 62-day cancer treatment waiting time and the two week cancer referral target. 

He says early diagnosis is "essential" but the government is failing. "Isn't it time for the government to start coming clean and really admit they can't deliver this?", he adds. 

Health Minister Lord Prior of Brampton says he has "never hidden the fact that these targets are very tough" and that "we accept that early diagnosis is critical", but says the government is "making progress". 

Anti-piracy mercenaries of 'great benefit'

Oral questions

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord West
BBC

Labour's Lord West of Sptihead says anti-piracy companies operating in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean have led to the "greatest drop in piracy in that region". 

He says the industry is of "great benefit to global shipping, it is something we should support" and asks what advice the government offers to people choosing to work for the companies. 

Minister Baroness Goldie says the Foreign Office can't "control the decisions of people who work abroad, in any arena". 

She adds that it is important to reduce piracy, but also important for companies working in anti-piracy to comply with international and local laws. 

Peer raises case of British prisoners in India

Oral questions

House of Lords

Parliament

Lib Dem Lord Beith asks the first question of the day, on the UK ex-servicemen currently imprisoned in India for firearms offences.

The six men had been working on a US-owned ship that offered cargo vessels protection from pirates in the Indian Ocean and Red Sea. The men deny any wrongdoing.

Minister Baroness Goldie says the government has "repeatedly raised" the case at the highest levels, including by Prime Minister Theresa May with Indian Prime Minister Modi this week.   

Lord Beith
BBC

Today in the House of Lords

House of Lords

Parliament

The eyes of the political world may be elsewhere today, but the House of Lords has a full sitting day planned.

Questions to government ministers begin at 11am. The main business of the day is the committee stage of the policing and crime bill.

There is no word, as yet, on any government statement in the Upper House on the result of the US election.