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Summary

  1. Keith Vaz quits as Home Affairs Committee chair
  2. Ministers back tax disclosure plan amid pressure from MPs
  3. Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to set out her programme for government

Live Reporting

By Pippa Simm

All times stated are UK

Tuesday evening round-up

The main political story of the day has been Labour MP Keith Vaz's resignation as chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, following newspaper claims he paid for the services of two male sex workers.

Mr Vaz said it was in the "best interest" of the committee for him to step down - after nine years at the helm - so the committee could continue its work "without any distractions".

In other news:

Listen: 'Keith has put the work of the committee first'

Radio 4 PM programme

This content only works in the UK.

Keith Vaz has announced he is standing down as chairman of the Home Affairs Select committee, following allegations in a Sunday newspaper that he had paid for the services of escorts.

The acting chair of the committee, Conservative MP Tim Loughton, explained to PM why Mr Vaz had taken the difficult decision to resign after nine years in the role.

Umunna: Shadow cabinet elections can help to heal Labour divisions

BBC News Channel

Labour MP and former shadow minister Chuka Umunna tells BBC News he voted in favour of re-instating elections to Labour's shadow cabinet, saying it would be a way for the party to "in part heal the divisions that there have been within the parliamentary party".

"Once we have finished this leadership contest we need to come together" to focus on scrutinising the Brexit process as the UK leaves the EU, he says. "Having shadow cabinet elections is one way of achieving that," he adds.

Mr Umunna rejects the idea that it could further divisions within the party, saying leader Jeremy Corbyn has been an advocate of elections to the party's front bench, and "in many respects (the vote) is simply implementing the will of the leader as expressed over several years".

What would the Labour rule change mean?

Re-instating elections to the shadow cabinet would give Labour MPs rather than the party leader the power to pick Labour's key team.

Left wingers regard it as an attempt to curb the power of the current leader, Jeremy Corbyn. But the MP behind the idea, Clive Betts, said it was an attempt to make rival Labour politicians "work together".

The issue will now be discussed by Labour's ruling body - the National Executive Committee - which could refer it to the party conference for a final decision.

Mr Corbyn has suggested a wider debate on whether MPs, Labour conference or party members should have a say in picking the shadow cabinet.

The parliamentary Labour Party is largely opposed to the current leadership - having backed a motion of no confidence in him by 172 votes to 40, while the party membership is widely seen as being pro-Mr Corbyn.

Third reading: what does it mean?

Finance Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

The third reading is the final stage in the House of Commons and often immediately follows the report stage.

Third reading provides MPs with a final opportunity to review the contents of a bill and debate is limited to what is actually in the bill rather than what might be included.

After a successful third reading the bill then moves on to first reading in the House of Lords, but as a Money Bill peers will have no powers to amend the contents.

Legislative Grand Committee on England, Wales and Northern Ireland

Finance Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

One of the Associate Serjeant at Arms removes the ceremonial mace, to signify the House is in committee
BBC
One of the Associate Serjeant at Arms removes the ceremonial mace, to signify the House is in committee

John Bercow makes his final decision and some quick procedural formalities are required for the bill to pass its report stage.

The House of Commons is briefly turned into a Legislative Grand Committee on England, Wales and Northern Ireland - where all members may take part in a debate, but only MPs representing England, Wales and Northern Ireland will be able to vote on amendments. 

But with no contentious amendments the Grand Committee gives its consent to the bill, and is immediately disbanded.

The bill now progresses to third reading. 

Labour MPs back shadow cabinet elections

The Parliamentary Labour Party has approved a motion in favour of re-introducing elections to the shadow cabinet. The motion asks Labour's ruling National Executive Committee - which must approve any changes - to bring forward a rule change at this year's annual conference.

Appointments have been the leader's responsibility since 2011 when the elections system was scrapped.

House suspended for EVEL

Finance Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Speaker John Bercow suspends the house to make a deicision on EVEL
BBC
Speaker John Bercow suspends the house to make a deicision on EVEL

The speaker has suspended the House to make a judgement on whether parts of the bill only relate to England, or England and Wales, and so will be subject to English Votes for English Laws procedures.

Normal activities will be resumed within five minutes.

MPs reject restricting VAT on energy saving materials

Finance Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Tellers deliver the results of the vote
BBC
Tellers deliver the results of the vote

MPs have rejected the Labour amendment preventing the government from raising VAT on energy saving materials - such as loft insulation - by 307 votes to 265.

MPs reject review of dividend taxes

Finance Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs have voted to reject Labour's amendment requiring a review on the impact of changes to the tax on dividend income, by 309 votes to 261.

The 2016 Budget announced an overhaul of the dividend tax system, resulting in a significant tax hike for most limited company owners.

According to government estimates, this new dividend tax is expected to raise £2.54bn during 2016/17, with smaller - but still significant - income flowing to the Treasury in subsequent years.  

Call for taxi firms to improve accessibility

Disability and equality debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord McColl
BBC

Conservative Lord McColl of Dulwich focuses his remarks on transport, calling for enforcement of equal access to minicabs, which was first set out in the Disability Discrimination Act. 

He says that the Committee on Disability and the Equality Act heard evidence of many instances of disabled passengers being denied access to cabs, suggesting "the interests of taxi businesses have been placed above those of disabled people".

He urges councils to use licensing powers to ensure that taxis are more accessible, and for mandatory installment of audio-visual announcements on buses. 

'Softly softly' approach to disability equality will not work - peer

Disability and equality debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Baroness Deech
BBC

Crossbencher Baroness Deech is opening a debate on the report of the Select Committee on the Equality Act 2010 and Disability.   

The report, published earlier this year, found that "much more needs to be done" and its witnesses "were almost unanimous in believing that it was a mistake to have attempted to deal with discrimination on grounds of disability, sex, race and other protected characteristics in a single Equality Act". 

Baroness Deech says the debate "could not be more timely", pointing to Theresa May's recent announcement of an audit of public services. 

She warns it will be "impossible for any government except a nasty party" to ignore its recommendations" and a "softly, softly approach will not work". 

Referendums within 56 days on neighbourhood plans

Neighbourhood Planning (Referendums) (Amendment) Regulations 2016

House of Lords

Parliament

Peers dispense with report stage of the Cultural Property (Armed Conflict) Bill and move on to a motion to approve the Neighbourhood Planning (Referendums) (Amendment) Regulations 2016.

The regulations prescribe the time frame in which referendums on neighbourhood plans can take place. 

This would normally be within 56 working days of the decision being taken to hold a referendum, or 84 days in some exceptional circumstances.

Government rejects shorter sentences for cultural property crimes

Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Ashton
BBC

Responding to claims that the maximum sentences for ancillary cultural property offences are too high, Culture Minister Lord Ashton of Hyde says that it would be a matter for the courts and "in practice much shorter sentences or even a fine" could be handed down. 

He adds that ancillary crimes are "not necessarily deserving of a lesser sentence" and it would need to be judged on a case-by-case basis. 

The bill creates a range of offences designed to protect cultural property in the event of armed conflict, including attacking, thieving, pillaging, misappropriating or vandalising protected cultural property, with heavier penalties for extensive destruction and attacking property under enhanced protection.

Tax changes needed on 'the cheapest way to get drunk'

Finance Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Conservative MP David Burrowes
BBC

Conservative MP David Burrowes is making the case for a review on increasing the alcohol duty on super strength cider. 

Sparkling "white" cider of a strength exceeding 5.5% is has the lowest tax duty per unit of alcohol  and "represents the cheapest way to get drunk and continue dependency of addicts".

Mr Burrowes says he won't support a uniform rise of alcohol duty, but something needs to be done on "the nasty stuff" that causes "disproportionate levels of harm", closely associated with dependency and teenage drinking.

Three litre bottles of strong cider are available for as little as £3.50, allowing some to get "absolutely wasted" for the cost of a bottle of beer. 

"This is an anomaly in how we deal with beer," he argues.

Peer urges reduction in maximum sentence for cultural property offences

Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Brown
BBC

Crossbencher Lord Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood introduces an amendment to reduce the maximum sentence for ancillary offences under the Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Bill to 14 years.

The bill creates a range of offences designed to protect cultural property in the event of armed conflict, including attacking, thieving, pillaging, misappropriating or vandalising protected cultural property, with heavier penalties for extensive destruction and attacking property under enhanced protection    

He says the maximum sentence of 30 years is "absurdly high" and puts it on a footing with war crimes. 

No 10 'won't comment on internal government documents'

Tom Bateman

Political Correspondent, Millbank

Downing Street has refused to be drawn on a minister's inadvertent revelations on grammar schools, saying only that the government will set out its policies in "due course".

It comes after a document was photographed being carried into No 10 by deputy Lords leader Earl Howe appearing to suggest new grammar schools could be planned for England.

Asked about the document, the prime minister's official spokeswoman said both Theresa May and Education Secretary Justine Greening had already set out their views on "building a country that works for everyone not just the privileged few".

She said: "That's why we are looking at a range of options to make sure that children can access a school that lets them rise as far as their talents will take them."

Asked repeatedly about whether one of the options would be a return to grammar schools, the spokeswoman said: "We will set out policies in due course."

On the question of whether Earl Howe had been told to cover up confidential government documents in future, the spokeswoman said: "I'm not going to get into commenting on internal government documents."

UBS sign

The Swiss banking group UBS says that up to 1,500 of its jobs in London may be moved abroad once the UK leaves the European Union.

Read more

Minister: UK can't identify all EU citizens in UK

Select Committee

Parliament

Chuka Umunna
House of Commons

Labour's Chuka Umunna asks immigration minister Robert Goodwill whether the UK government would be in a position to identify all EU citizens currently in the UK if it was deemed necessary to remove them from the country post Brexit.

The minister looks slightly puzzled before replying no - but then adds the caveat that he could not "foresee a circumstance" in which such a situation would occur given the vital contribution EU citizens in the UK make to the economy and public life.

If that is the case, Mr Umunna retorts, shouldn't ministers give up the "pretence" that the status of EU nationals in the UK might not be able to be guaranteed.

Mr Goodwill says he sees the route that Mr Umunna wants to take him down but says he won't go there - prompting the Labour MP to suggest that he already has, adding.

You have just told us you can't (get rid of EU citizens)...What on earth is the point, minister, in holding out the hope that you could not guarantee them the right to stay here?"

Only PM has ultimate authority to 'cut a deal' in Europe

Select Committee

Parliament

Robert Goodwill
House of Commons

The discussion in the Home Affairs Committee meeting now moves on to Brexit. Mr Goodwill is pressed on how the Home Office will work with other government departments in implementing the will of the British people that the UK should leave the EU.

He says it will be a collaborative exercise but that when it comes to immigration, the Home Office rather than the Brexit department will have the final say and that it is the PM who has the ultimate authority to "cut a deal" when it comes to the negotiations.

Moving on to the status of EU nationals already living in the UK, he says there is no threat to their current status or their ultimate right to remain unless other EU countries do not give reciprocal rights to British citizens living elsewhere in the EU.

Asked by Labour's Chuka Umunna if there might be a cut-off or reference point for deciding who can automatically stay, Mr Goodwill says it has not been decided and says a number of dates have been mentioned including the date of the referendum, the moment Article 50 is triggered or the actual date of departure from the EU. 

Corbyn: Vaz's decision should be respected

Reacting to Keith Vaz's resignation, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said “we should respect that decision, thank him for his work as chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee and move on from there".

Mr Corbyn, who was speaking at a press conference alongside UB40, said Mr Vaz will attend Labour's National Executive Committee next week where the issue of his position there will be discussed.

Keith will be there as I understand it, he's an elected member of the NEC and whatever decision is made on his future obviously will be partly made by him but at the moment we are awaiting news on this."

To suggestions that Mr Vaz should be suspended from the NEC - Labour's ruling body - while the allegations against him are investigated, in the same way that former London Mayor Ken Livingstone was suspended a few months ago,  Mr Corbyn said: "Can we look at the allegations first."  

Higher fees allowed for current students

Sean Coughlan

BBC News, education correspondent

University graduates
BBC

The watchdog for university access has given the green light to universities to increase tuition fees in England to £9,250.

Almost all universities have been approved to charge the higher fees from 2017-18 as the new upper limit.

But more than 30 have this as a minimum - raising the prospect the increase will also be applied to current students or those starting this year.

Exeter has already announced it is raising fees for continuing students.

Read more

Minister updates MPs on Syrian refugee figures

Select Committee

Parliament

Robert Goodwill
House of Commons

Mr Goodwill says the UK has a proud tradition of helping those most in need and is pleased with the progress that has been made in giving sanctuary to those displaced by the conflict in Syria and living in camps in neighbouring countries.

He updates MPs on the latest figures, saying 2,898 people have been accepted by the UK under the terms of the Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme so far. 

Of these, he says 48% are under 18 and 49% are female, adding that more than 80% have come to the UK since last October. 

Immigration minister: I will visit Calais soon

Select Committee

Parliament

Mr Goodwill says he plans to visit the migrant and refugee camp in Calais - dubbed the Jungle - "as soon as I possibly can". 

Labour MP David Winnick presses him on this, saying given the gravity of the humanitarian situation there, shouldn't the minister be going there this week?

Mr Goodwill says he will look at his diary and reiterates his belief that the conditions in Calais, particularly for unaccompanied children, are unacceptable. He says he will do all he can to ensure those who qualify to be given refuge in the UK under the Dublin Convention and other international agreements are moved as quickly as possible.  

I have made it clear to my officials. It wasn't them suggesting I should go. I said I need to go to Calais, I need to see the situation myself.

'Historical abuse inquiry needs to refocus'

The World at One

BBC Radio 4

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The former head of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, Dame Lowell Goddard, has criticised the remit of the investigation

Immigration minister hopes MPs won't 'grill' him

Select Committee

Parliament

With the position of Mr Vaz dealt with, the committee gets on to its main business.

Immigration minister Robert Goodwill is giving evidence - his first appearance since getting the job after Theresa May became PM in July.

Mr Goodwill says the more he learns about immigration the more he realises there is to learn. Conceding that he is new in the job, he apologises if he cannot answer every question and jokes that he hopes that the committee will not, as was reported in this morning's newspapers, set about "grilling" him.

Mr Loughton says the committee is "robust but fair" and going along with the slightly playful tone, says he hopes to elicit answers without "resorting to violence". 

Home Affairs Select Committee meets without Vaz

Select Committee

Parliament

Interim chair Tim Loughton
House of Commons

The first meeting of the Home Affairs Select Committee of the post-Vaz era is underway - a big moment given that this is the first time this has happened since 2007.

Interim chair, Tory MP Tim Loughton, begins by noting the "change in regime" and tells observers that "if you were hoping to see Mr Vaz I am sorry to disappoint you" before adding "we will endeavour to keep standards up".

Peers consider protection of cultural property

Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Peers move on to report stage of the Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Bill, the main purpose of which is to enable the United Kingdom to implement the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict of 1954.

They kick off with an amendment from crossbencher the Earl of Clancarty, seeking to make the language in the bill more consistent. 

Senior NHS England doctor accused of 'homophobic language'

Lords debate on HIV

Esther Webber

BBC News

Lord Scriven
BBC

Several peers have attacked a senior NHS England official Jonathan Fielden following the High Court ruling that NHS can fund a drug that can prevent HIV called pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).

Lib Dem Lord Scriven said in a debate last night that Dr Fielden, deputy medical director of NHS England and director of specialised commissioning, had compared PrEP "with not being able to afford treatment for children with cystic fibrosis or children who do not have limbs".

Lord Scriven went on to say Dr Fielden's position was "at best unfortunate and at worst showed institutionalised homophobic language... I do not think is worthy of a senior doctor of this country". 

The criticism was echoed by Labour health spokesman Lord Hunt of Kings Heath, who said many involved in specialist HIV services "feel that blackmail is being undertaken by ​NHS England". 

He accused Dr Fielden of "a disgraceful use of words" and said he was "surprised" ministers had not called him to account.

But Health Minister Lord Prior of Brampton, who told peers he knew the doctor, responded: "He is a very humane, decent and experienced doctor and I think he would be horrified to feel that what he said or how he said it... would be interpreted in the way it has been."

The BBC has asked NHS England for comment.

You can read the whole debate in Hansard here.  

Archbishop of Canterbury warns of delays in reuniting refugee children with families

Oral questions

House of Lords

Parliament

Archbishop of Canterbury
BBC

Following a question from Lib Dem Lord Roberts of Llandudno, the Archbishop of Canterbury highlights what he calls "continual delays" in bringing unaccompanied refugee children across when they have family in the UK.

Labour's Lord Dubs, who fled the Nazis as a child on the Kindertransport, says he has seen the living conditions of refugee children in the Calais camp and they are "deplorable"

Home Office Minister Baroness Williams of Trafford tells peers that 122 children have come to the UK so far under the Dublin Agreement but "one child [there] is too much if a child has to stay longer than it should".

Redwood: No increase in VAT on energy saving materials

Finance Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Conservative MP John Redwood
BBC

Conservative MP John Redwood calls on the government to announce today that it will not increase VAT on energy saving materials (such as loft insulation).

The level of VAT on energy saving materials is currently the subject of an EU court case, after Parliament voted to set the "lowest rate we are able to in EU law".

But since the UK voted to leave the EU and "take back control of laws over taxes", he calls on the government to take the opportunity to say it has "no wish to put up VAT".

"If we didn't tax it, it would be a bit cheaper for people to do it," and it would send out a positive message, Mr Redwood argues.

MP calls for a 'rough and ready' tax system

Finance Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Labour's Rob Marris rises to urge the government to simplify the 1,200 tax reliefs currently available.

He acknowledges that tax simplification would mean a loss of nuance and create a more "rough and ready" approach but says such a move would help businesses. 

Rob Marris
BBC

Home Affairs Committee accepted Vaz resignation 'with sadness'

'Fulsome tributes for Vaz' from committee members - Loughton

"The committee listened, I think in sadness to what Keith had to say and with a good deal of respect," says Tim Loughton,

He says Mr Vaz has "clearly acted in the best interests" of the committee and the "important work that we do", by deciding to step down. Mr Vaz also apologised, he says.

He says the panel paid "very fulsome tribute" to the work Mr Vaz has done, and added that the committee was determined to carry on with "business as usual". A new chair would probably be in place in October, he added.  

Vaz gave committee 'very frank account' of events

Home Affairs Committee
BBC

The Home Affairs Committee has been meeting in private to discuss the allegations regarding the private life of the now former chairman, Keith Vaz.

In a statement in Westminster, committee member Tim Loughton says Mr Vaz was present, and gave a "very frank account of what had happened" and informed them of his intention to resign.

An election will be held for a new Labour member to take over the chairmanship, he says, adding that he would be the acting chair until that election takes place.

Listen: Owen Smith confronted by disabled Corbyn voter

The World at One

BBC Radio 4

This content only works in the UK.

Labour leadership hopeful Owen Smith has been pressed by a disabled Jeremy Corbyn supporter on his failure to vote against the government's changes to disability benefits. Taking part in a World at One's phone-in discussion, Mr Smith tells Anne Shelbourn he would have voted against the measures were he not bound by his membership of the shadow cabinet to abstain.  

Government pressed over detainees in Iran

Oral questions

House of Lords

Parliament

Zaghari-Ratcliffes
BBC

The first question is from crossbencher Lord Alton of Liverpool, who raises the case of a British mother detained in Tehran since April.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is due on trial on as yet unspecified charges, after being arrested while she was at an airport with her daughter Gabriella following a visit to her family on holiday.

Lord Alton asked what consideration was given to her situation and that of other detainees before the announcement of upgrading diplomatic relations with Iran and BA flights to the country.

Foreign Office Minister Baroness Anelay of St Johns replies that "we continue to raise our strong concerns", telling peers "we share concerns of this family" and Iran's participation in the international community should be contingent on "all the responsibilities that involves". 

Plans afoot for grammar schools expansion?

A photographer has captured text of a cabinet document this morning which appears to detail plans on how the government might introduce new grammar schools in England.

The photo on Twitter reveals that a consultation document suggests looking at reforming and expanding existing grammar schools in ways which wouldn't disadvantage those that don't get a place. 

View more on twitter