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Summary

  1. Commons day starts with Transport questions
  2. There's an urgent question on Chagos Islands
  3. MPs hear Business Statement, laying out future debates
  4. Backbench debate on reductions to Employment Support Allowance and Universal Credit
  5. Debate on International Men's Day also scheduled
  6. Peers question government ministers
  7. Statement on government response to Lords reform plan
  8. Debates scheduled for rest of day, including on economy and child poverty

Live Reporting

By Kate Whannel, Patrick Cowling and Julia Butler

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. House adjourns

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    The debate comes to an end and the House of Lords adjourns for the day.

    Both peers and MPs will be back tomorrow for consideration of private members' bills.

    Until then - good night!

  2. Minister: Free trade 'fundamental' to prosperity

    Trade deals with Africa debate

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    International Development Minister Lord Bates responds to the debate and tells peers that "free, fair, and open trade" is "fundamental" for the prosperity of the UK and the world economy.

    "Trade is a driver of growth and development" he says, and tells the chamber that growth is one of the most effective means of raising incomes, creating jobs, and reducing poverty.

    He says that trade opportunities for UK businesses in sub-Saharan Africa provide benefits for both the UK companies and the African nations.

  3. Background to the debate

    Trade deals with Africa debate

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    South African farmer women

    The European Commission says it pursues policies to promote investment in rural areas of developing countries and notes that agriculture accounts for one third of GDP in African countries.

    The Commission says it channels funding for development through geographic projects and thematic programmes.

    The European Development Fund channels development funding to African, Caribbean and Pacific countries. The Fund has total financial resources of 30 billion euros for 2014 - 2020.

  4. Hope for small farmers in Africa

    Trade deals with Africa debate

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Labour's Lord Boateng tells peers how he was born in eastern Ghana and says he has seen first hand the significance and important of agriculture in Africa.

    Agriculture accounts for 32% of the GDP of Africa, he says, and tells peers that it is also the continent's most inclusive labour force.

    Despite this, he says that its yields are "amongst the lowest in the world" and highlights African countries' reliance on imported food, which is rising to feed "an ever growing middle class".

    Nations in Africa spend "upwards of $40bn" on imported food, he says.

    He tells peers that Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) provide the policy context in which African governments relate to the agriculture community.

    Lord Boateng says that small farmers in Africa need a policy environment that inspires modernisation.

    Lord Boateng
  5. Last business underway

    Trade deals with Africa debate

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Liberal Democrat peer Lord Chidgey is now kicking off the last debate of the day which concerns the impact of Economic Partnership Agreements negotiated between the European Commission and economic regions of Africa on the agricultural economies of the African countries concerned.

  6. Peer: Minister gives 'candyfloss' reply

    Overseas students debate

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Baroness Williams of Trafford

    The original mover of the debate, Lord Lucas, gives his concluding remarks.

    He says that having heard many home office responses to debates of this kind before "he had low expectations". 

    Lord Lucas says he feared that the minister would be given a "stick of candyfloss" to respond to the debate with, "sweet, but very little substance".

    "And so it turned out" he says.

    Minister Baroness Williams looks on sheepishly at this verdict.

  7. Minister: Overseas students should be included in migration figures

    Overseas students debate

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Home Office Minister Baroness Williams of Trafford says that the government does not propose to "cap or to limit" the number of overseas students who can come to study in the UK.

    She says that the government has two main aims on this issue, firstly to ensure that UK education institutions can attract the "best and the brightest" students from across the world.

    The second aim, she says, is to be vigilant to guard against abuse of the system. The minister says that the immigration system for overseas students inherited by the government in 2010 "was a mess".

    On the hot issue of the debate of including overseas students in the net migration figures, Baroness Williams says that many other countries including New Zealand and Australia also do this.

    Students who are resident in the UK for over 12 months have an impact on infrastructure, on services, and on communities, she says, so should be included in the figures.

    Baroness Williams stresses however that because there is no cap on overseas students - including them in net migration figures has "no effect" on their ability to come and study in the UK.

  8. Commons adjourn

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    The Speaker now adjourns the business for the day.

    MPs are back tomorrow to debate private members' bills on parliamentary constituencies and Kew Gardens.

    Commons clock
  9. Lee: Maxwellisation is not about seeking consent

    Adjournment debate

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Justice Minister Phillip Lee responds to the debate and says he supports the Maxwellisation process.

    He notes that Sir John Chilcot has said the process was constructive to producing the Iraq Inquiry.

    He does not share Mr Mullin’s concerns about independence arguing that Maxwellisation does not require the author to change their report.

    This process is not, he emphasises, about seeking consent.

    Philip Lee
  10. Mullin: Maxwellisation not a legal necessity

    Adjournment debate

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Roger Mullin

    Roger Mullin tells MPs that the Maxwellisaiton process is a convention, not a legal necessity.

    He notes that the Iraq Inquiry did not need to go through the process "it was simply the choice of Sir John Chilcot".

    Mr Mullin worries that Maxwellisation can affect the independence of official reports.

    He also calls for a time limit on the Maxwellisation process to ensure delays do not occur in future reports.

  11. Current laws 'damage the pursuit of knowledge'

    Overseas students debate

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale

    Labour peer and former First Minister of Scotland Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale begins his contribution by saying:

    "If we were to recruit a group of cultural philistines and educational vandals and send them away for a weekend to devise a policy that could do the most damage to this country in the shortest period of time, they would be hard pressed to come up with a better outcome than the policies and practices of this government."

    He goes on to say that current policy in this area is "incredible" in a time of international competition and cooperation, and says it damages the pursuit of knowledge "in a way that we should be ashamed of".

  12. Adjournment debate begins

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    David Suchet playing Robert Maxwell in a BBC dramatisation
    Image caption: David Suchet playing Robert Maxwell in a BBC dramatisation

    The debate concludes and MPs move on to the the adjournment debate on Maxwellisation led by SNP Roger Mullin.

    The Maxwellisation process is the procedure by which people named in official reports are allowed to respond before publication.

    The process takes its name from the newspaper proprietor Robert Maxwell, who took the government to court after it published a critical report of his businesses.

    The Chilcot Inquiry into the Iraq War was delayed, in part, due to carrying out the Maxwellisation process. 

  13. Equality 'not a zero sum game'

    International Men's Day debate

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Caroline Dinenage

    Concluding the debate Women and Equalities Minister Caroline Dinenage argues that the fact that men suffer sexism is "not a sign that equality has gone too far". Equality is not a zero sum game, she says.

    She runs through a number of actions the government has taken to tackle inequality wherever it occurs. 

    This includes introducing shared parental leave, tackling homophobic bullying and establishing a programme on body image. 

  14. Gary Connor

    Political Reporter, The Westminster Hour, Radio 4

    Theresa May

    Gary Connor

    Political Reporter, The Westminster Hour, Radio 4

    The PM has a small majority, so how can she navigate her government through the trickiest of times?

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    next
  15. Sherriff: Men's day should not be seen in a vacuum

    International Men's Day Debate

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Opposition spokesperson Paula Sherriff welcomes the debate on International Men's Day but urges people not to see the event in a vacuum.

    She argues that International Men's Day stands alongside Women's Day "rather than in opposition to it".

    Everyone's goal should be to achieve equality, she says "and we will have no truck with those who seek to further divides us".

    Paula Sherriff
  16. Background to the debate on overseas students

    Overseas students debate

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    The government says visa applications to study at UK universities have risen by 17% since 2010.

    A BBC investigation revealed the Home Office has curtailed the visas of nearly 100,000 students since 2012.

    The Home Office says it had "cracked down" on abuses that were damaging the reputation of UK universities. In all, 201,763 people applied for UK study visas in 2014-15, the majority to attend universities.

    Universities are lobbying government to remove overseas students from immigration figures and targets.

    The Home Office says there are "no limits" on numbers of genuine students entering the UK.

    Universities UK says overseas students are worth £7bn to the UK each year.

  17. 'Toxic masculinity' hurts men and women

    International Men's Day

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh

    SNP MP Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh tells the House that they should not pretend there are no institutions which hurt men.

    She acknowledges that "toxic masculinity" hurts men as much as women.

    However she argues that what hurts men and women more "than all of the issues" International Men's Day seek to fight is the insistence that sexism does not exist.

  18. Rivals 'stealing a march' on UK universities

    Overseas students debate

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Crossbencher Lord Bilimoria says he came as a student to the UK from India in the 1980s, and tells peers that his son is now the fourth generation of his family to study here.

    He explains that the number of students seeking to study abroad is "growing vastly", but warns that the government's attitude to international students has "seen our rivals steal a march on us".

    Lord Bilimoria bemoans the fact that the prime minister did not mention higher education once during her recent visit to India. 

  19. Baroness Chakrabarti's maiden speech

    Overseas students debate

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Baroness Chakrabarti

    Labour's Baroness Chakrabarti is making her maiden speech in the House of Lords.

    She was formerly the director of human and civil rights campaign group Liberty, and is now Labour's shadow attorney general.

    Baroness Chakrabarti begins by saying that "after two months of listening and attempting to learn I utter my first words" in the chamber. Being a regular visitor to Parliament does not necessarily make for a less daunting migration, she says.

    She praises the "civility of discourse" in the House of Lords, which she says is "in sharp contrast with what goes on outside it". If more debates "escaped the walls" of the chamber to the world outside, "all humanity would benefit" she says.

    Speaking on the subject today, she tells peers that she owes "every life chance that brings me here to a wonderful British education".

    The next speaker, Labour's Baroness Royall compliments her new colleague on keeping her politics unknown publicly whilst heading Liberty, and tells the chamber that a Conservative peer had previously predicted that Baroness Chakrabarti would end up on the Tory benches.

    "Their loss is certainly our huge gain."

  20. Men are becoming the 'weaker sex'

    International Men's Day

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Paul Beresford

    Conservative Paul Beresford says it can appear as though men "dominate cultural life".

    However he says there is plenty of cause for concern and suggest men are "becoming the weaker sex".

    He says men are more likely to be in jail, more likely to be estranged from their children and more likely to commit suicide.

    On less serious note he notes that King Lear is now being played by a woman - "Christopher Biggins playing Window Twanky doesn't quite match".