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Summary

  1. Treasury Committee questioning business experts
  2. Inquiry into UK's future economic relationship with EU
  3. Commons day kicks off with Foreign Office questions
  4. Urgent question on NAO report about HMRC estate
  5. Statement on Northern Ireland situation
  6. Commonwealth Development Corporation Bill to be examined
  7. MPs to consider amendments to Policing and Crime Bill

Live Reporting

By Kate Whannel, Aiden James and Claire Gould

All times stated are UK

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House of Commons adjourns

House of Commons

Parliament

House of Commons clock
BBC

And there ends the day in the House of Commons.

MPs return tomorrow at 11:30am for questions to the international development secretary, followed by the first Prime Minister's Questions of the new year.

House adjourns

House of Lords

Parliament

The House of Lords has beaten the Commons to the finishing post tonight.

Peers sit tomorrow from 3pm to put questions to ministers and to continue debate on the Higher Education and Research Bill.

Minister recognises local concerns

Dean Quarry debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Gavin Barwell
BBC

Communities and Local Government Minister Gavin Barwell begins by explaining that he is in a difficult position.

He says that he cannot comment on the detail of the case because the issue is currently subject to a judicial review.

He tells MPs that he recognises the concerns about the potential negative environmental impacts of the quarry.

However, he argues that the local planning system is the best way to address those concerns.

Report stage concludes

Wales Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Bourne says it is right that UK ministers consult the Welsh first minister and the presiding officer of the Assembly on regulations.

Lord Wigley withdraws his amendment and report stage debate on the bill draws to a close.

The Wales Bill will have its final stage, third reading, at a later date.

Plaid Cymru peer argues for 'permanent devolution settlement'

Wales Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

The final amendment is moved by Lord Wigley.

It would require the secretary of state to consult Welsh ministers and the presiding officer of the National Assembly for Wales before making regulations which bring the provisions of the bill into force.

The Plaid Cymru peer says he will not push his amendment to a vote but wishes to hold UK ministers to a commitment to a "permanent devolution settlement" in Wales.

New jobs not 'adequate compensation'

Dean Quarry debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Derek Thomas says Cornwall Council has not fully considered the environmental and economic damage the quarry will do to the area.

He worries that the new jobs created by the quarry will not "adequately compensate" for the effect on tourism and the jobs that depend on that industry.

Ministers 'will engage' with Welsh Language Commissioner

Wales Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Bourne
BBC

Wales Office Minister Lord Bourne rejects any suggestion that the UK government has "failed to engage" with the Welsh Language Commissioner, Meri Huws.

He says ministers are happy to continue to engage.

Adjournment debate begins

House of Commons

Parliament

Derek Thomas
BBC

Debate on Lords amendments to the Policing and Crime Bill concludes. The bill will now return to the House of Lords for their consideration.

We therefore come to the final item of business: the adjournment debate on the reopening of Dean Quarry, led by Conservative MP Derek Thomas. 

The company Shire Oak Quarries is hoping to supply rock to the tidal lagoon in Swansea by reopening the Dean Quarry.

A local campaign group is fighting to prevent the reopening of the quarry, near St Keverne on the Lizard Peninsula, on the grounds that it will damage tourism and ruin the peaceful atmosphere of the area.

In 2015 the High Court blocked the reopening as the council had failed to submit an environmental impact report.

Labour peer accuses minister of having a devolution 'problem'

Wales Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Baroness Morgan
BBC

"Executive powers in devolved areas should be exercised by Welsh ministers," says Labour's Baroness Morgan.

She accuses the government of having "such a problem with this simple proposition".

Amendment on the Welsh language

Wales Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Debate resumes on the Wales Bill, as Plaid Cymru's Lord Wigley introduces an amendment to remove requirements for UK ministers' consent over matters relating to the Welsh language.

"The Welsh language is quintessentially a devolved issue" over which ministers outside Wales may lack an "informed opinion", he says.

MPs reject victims' rights amendment

Policing and Crime Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Brandon Lewis
BBC

MPs support the government's motion to disagree with Lords amendment 136 on a "victims' code", by 298 votes to 198.

And that concludes voting on Lords amendments for the moment.

Home Office Minister Brandon Lewis turns to the remaining group of 300 amendments.

Amongst the amendments is a measure to give pardons to individuals, living or dead, who were convicted of gay sex offences which have now been repealed.

Mr Lewis "unreservedly apologises" to all men who will receive a pardon. Their treatment was "entirely unfair", he says.

PM should make Northern Ireland her highest priority, says Tory peer

Northern Ireland statement

House of Lords

Parliament

Conservative peer Lord Cormack says Prime Minister Theresa May should make the political crisis in Northern Ireland her highest priority.

Lord Cormack chaired the Commons Northern Ireland Affairs Committee when he was an MP.

'Never any question of joint authority' says former NI secretary

Northern Ireland statement

House of Lords

Parliament

Former Northern Ireland Secretary Lord King of Bridgwater says he has been "sufficiently provoked" by Lord Kilclooney to comment on the Ango-Irish Agreement.

"There has never been any question, at any stage, of joint authority" with the Republic of Ireland, the Conservative peer insists.

UUP and DUP clash over Renewable Heat Incentive scheme scandal

Northern Ireland statement

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Empey
BBC

Former Ulster Unionist leader Lord Empey says the crisis is a result of "gross ministerial incompetence, arrogance, greed and opportunism".

But Democratic Unionist peer Lord Hay of Ballyore says the crisis is "not really about the Renewable Heat Incentive" and tells political rivals to "stop the blame game".

Read more about the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme here.

Lord Hay of Ballyore
BBC

'Ten years of good government could be destroyed'

Northern Ireland statement

House of Lords

Parliament

Labour peer and former Northern Ireland Secretary Lord Hain claims that "10 years of good government could be destroyed".

He also asks how, if the courts rule that "all the devolved legislatures should be consulted" over Brexit, can Northern Ireland be consulted if the assembly is dissolved?

"Be in no doubt that the voice of Northern Ireland will be heard loud and clear," insists minister Lord Dunlop, telling him that ministers have been "engaging widely in Northern Ireland".

Peer warns against new 'Anglo-Irish Agreement'

Northern Ireland statement

House of Lords

Parliament

Crossbench peer Lord Kilclooney questions whether another election can resolve the current impasse.

And the former Ulster Unionist MP urges that the government should in "no way repeat the errors of 1985 and go behind the backs of the Northern Ireland people and reach a deal with the Dublin government".

He adds: "The failure of the Anglo-Irish Agreement must not be repeated."

Lib Dems call for 'immediate talks'

Northern Ireland statement

House of Lords

Parliament

Baroness Suttie
BBC

Liberal Democrat Northern Ireland Spokeswoman Baroness Suttie says it is essential that people have "confidence that there is a coherent and collective government in Stormont".

She calls for "immediate talks" with all of Northern Ireland's political parties.

Responding to the opposition parties, Northern Ireland Minister Lord Dunlop says: "This is a time to come together and work together."

He says ministers will "strain every sinew" to find "a way forward".

MPs reject 'Hillsborough amendment'

Policing and Crime Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs support the government's motion to disagree with Lords amendment 96, by 297 votes to 202.

Members now vote on the government motion to disagree with Lords amendment 136.

This amendment sets out a number of rights for victims.  

Labour spokesman warns of 'threat to institutions'

Northern Ireland statement

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord McAvoy
BBC

"The situation today is a threat to institutions that peace and reconciliation are based on," says Labour Northern Ireland spokesman Lord McAvoy.

He pledges Labour's support for the government "in seeking to maintain political stability in Northern Ireland".

The Labour peer says he hopes that talks can resolve "this impasse before another election becomes inevitable".

And he asks what impact the political impasse will have on Northern Ireland's representation in Brexit talks.

Peers hear Northern Ireland statement

Northern Ireland statement

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Dunlop is now repeating a statement on the situation in Northern Ireland, made by the Secretary of State in the Commons earlier today.

Lord Dunlop says that as Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness has resigned, First Minister Arlene Foster must also stand aside.

If a new executive cannot be formed quickly, then an election will be called, he says.

Mr McGuinness has resigned in protest against the handling of a botched energy scheme that could cost taxpayers £490m.  

Read more here.

MPs reject Leveson 2 amendment

Policing and Crime Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Division announcement
BBC

MPs support the government's motion to oppose the Lords amendment on Leveson 2 299 votes to 196.

Of those MPs England and Wales constituencies the vote was 296 in favour and 190 against.

MPs are now voting on the government motion to disagree with Lords amendment 96.

This amendment would ensure that the family of the deceased would have legal parity at an inquest where the police are an "interested person". 

Labour amendment on employment terms falls to a tied vote

Wales Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

The vote on amendment 90 has ended in a tie of 222 to 222, this means that the amendment falls.

MPs vote on Leveson 2 amendment

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs now vote on the motion to disagree with Lords amendment 24.

This amendment would establish an inquiry into corrupt relationships between the police and the press.

Deputy Speaker Natasha Engel reminds MPs that as this amendment affects England and Wales a double majority (a majority of both all MPs and English and Welsh MPs) will be required for the motion to pass. 

Peers vote on public sector employment terms amendment

Wales Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Peers voted by 223 to 90 to reject amendment 81.

They now move on to vote on amendment 90, tabled by Labour, which relates to the terms and conditions of employment of people working for public authorities, or in services procured by local authorities in Wales.

John Whittingdale opposes Leveson 2 amendment

Policing and Crime Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

John Whittingdale
BBC

Conservative MP and former Culture Secretary John Whittingdale notes that Leveson 2 cannot proceed until current relevant criminal prosecutions have been completed.

He says that it is worth looking at the outcome of the cases that have taken place so far - specifically he notes that many of the cases in Operation Elveden have "overwhelmingly resulted in the acquittal of journalists".  

This, he argues, suggests that the idea that there was a "massive corrupt relationship" between the police and journalists has not been proven.

Peers vote on antisocial behaviour amendment

Wales Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Thomas
BBC

While Labour "regrefully" withdraws its amendment relating to industrial relations law, Lord Thomas puts his amendment on antisocial behaviour to a vote.

Amendment 81 would remove antisocial behaviour legislation, including that covering dangerous dogs, from the list of reserved powers in the Wales Bill.

'End of devolution chapter' says minister

Wales Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Bourne
BBC

Lord Bourne answers the debate on this group of amendments for the government.

He says he's served on "bodies a-go go" on all aspects of devolution and that "we've reached the end of this chapter".

Lord Bourne "regrets", despite the powerful arguments, that he will not be accepting any of the opposition amendments in this grouping.

Amendments will be brought forward at third reading on the role of the Open University in Wales, he says.

Equality of representation 'absolutely critical'

Policing and Crime Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Charles Walker
BBC

Conservative MP Charles Walker tells MPs that in the last parliament he was "politically incontinent" voting both for and against the government.

He says that in this parliament he has tried to remain loyal but fears that tonight he will have to vote against the government on parity of funding for bereaved families.

He argues that equality of representation is "absolutely critical".

'Beautiful, fancy rules' mean 'naff all'

Policing and Crime Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Jess Phillips
BBC

Labour's Jess Phillips rises to support amendments that seek to strengthen rights for victims.

She tells MPs that they can make "beautiful, fancy rules written on fancy goat's skin" but it means "naff all" to people.

She argues that very few victims know what rights they have and says the proposed amendments will help strengthen victims law.

Police acted like 'partially-owned subsidiary of News International' - Bryant

Policing and Crime Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Chris Bryant
BBC

Labour's Chris Bryant asks why Leveson 2 is "so important".

It is, he argues, because it deals with corruption in "one of the country’s most important public bodies".

He accuses the Metropolitan Police of acting like the "partially-owned subsidiary of News International".

Watch again: The Bourne Apology

BBC Wales Politics tweets...

Tory peer argues bill has 'sufficient flexibility'

Wales Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Baroness Finn
BBC

Conservative peer Baroness Finn says "we all agree" that employment law should be a reserved UK matter.

She opposes Labour peer Lord Hain's amendment on terms and conditions in the public sector, arguing that there is "sufficient flexibility" in the legislation to cover terms and conditions.

Wales 'should be equal partner' says assembly member

Wales Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Elis-Thomas
BBC

Lord Elis-Thomas, a former presiding officer in the Welsh Assembly, says the Welsh government and Assembly must be "an equal partner in constitution-building in the United Kingdom".

The UK should be "an association of equal nations", he argues, and there should be a "basis of equality" between Cardiff and Westminster.

Labour urges government to support Lords amendments

Policing and Crime Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Lyn Brown
BBC

Shadow home office minister Lyn Brown warns that if Leveson 2 is not implemented the public will draw the conclusion that the government has "no commitment to asking the important, hard questions of our national institutions".

She also urges the government to support the Lords amendment on bereaved families arguing that the "scales of justice are weighted against the families" at inquests.

On the stalking amendment Lyn Brown says she is "delighted" that the government has chosen to "accept our case".

Government rejects 'Hillsborough amendment'

Policing and Crime Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Brandon Lewis
BBC

On the amendment seeking to provide parity of funding for bereaved families at inquests, Brandon Lewis argues that the proposal is premature.

He says it pre-empts a review by the Bishop James Jones into the issue and adds that the "potential significant financial implications" must be taken to account.

Former minister accuses government of 'clawing back' powers

Wales Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Hain
BBC

Former Welsh secretary Lord Hain, introducing an amendment on employment rights and industrial relations in public services, accuses the UK government of "attempting to claw back powers" from the Welsh Assembly.

The Labour peer says that "many of the public sector disputes afflicting England" - such as the junior doctors' strike - did not affect Wales.

Optimism in the face of extremism

Home Affairs Committee

Select Committee

Parliament

Labour's David Winnick asks if British democracy is secure in the face of threats from extremism or terrorism.

"The terrorists can't do that to us," says Professor Feldman, adding that only British society can decide to overturn parliamentary democracy. 

Julia Ebner says trust in society needs to be restored, so that community divisions can be overcome.  

She says particular resource should be focused on helping communities that are experiencing "reciprocal radicalisation" - where different sections of a community take extreme positions against each other.

Overall the panel remain optomistic about the ability for the UK to retain its moderate politics in the long term.

On that note, committee chair Yvette Cooper thanks the witnesses and closes this session of the committee.

MP accuses media of 'real paranoia'

Policing and Crime Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Gerald Howarth
BBC

On stalking, Home Office Minister Brandon Lewis tells MPs that the government will double the maximum sentencing for stalking to 10 years in England and Wales. 

Turning to the "Leveson amendment" he explains that the government will take no final decision until related legal proceedings have been concluded.

At this point Conservative MP Gerald Howarth intervenes to urge the minister not to be "intimidated" by a "press campaign" against the inquiry.

He tells MPs that an article he wrote for the Aldershot News on press freedom was blocked due to "real paranoia" in the media on the issue.

He argues that Leveson 2 is about "protecting ordinary people".

Debate of Policing and Crime Bill begins

House of Commons

Parliament

Police Vans
Reuters

The CDC bill completes its passage through the Commons and will now head to the Lords. 

The next item of the business is consideration of Lords' amendments to the Policing and Crime Bill. 

There are four Lords amendments to be considered:

  • Implementing "Leveson 2" - an inquiry into complaints alleging corrupt relationships between police and newspaper organisations
  • Providing the parity of funding between bereaved families and other parties such as the police at an inquest - also known as "the Hillsborough Inquiry"
  • Increasing the maximum sentencing for stalking offences
  • Establishing a framework for reviews in unsolved homicide cases

Should extreme groups be banned?

Home Affairs Committee

Select Committee

Parliament

Professor Feldman says he is "agnostic" on the question of whether it is a good idea to ban extreme groups that have gone beyond the boundary of "acceptable discourse".

He says banning groups makes their membership and activities harder to monitor, although he agrees with the decision to ban National Action, which is the only extreme right wing group to have been banned.

Julia Ebner says there is evidence that banned groups are turning to the so-called dark net to communicate in an encrypted form online.

She goes on to cite examples of extreme online forums which have been banned from Google indexing in France, making them harder to find.