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Summary

  1. Theresa May faced Jeremy Corbyn at Prime Minister's Questions
  2. They clashed over housebuilding figures
  3. May made a statement on Brexit and G20 summit

Live Reporting

By Jackie Storer and Alex Hunt

All times stated are UK

Thursday's Telegraph

Thursday's FT

May ‘seeks to ally Tory fears over grammar schools’

Iain Watson

Political correspondent

The prime minister has tonight sought to reassure some Conservative MPs who oppose any plans to allow the creation of new grammar schools in England.

Addressing a meeting of Conservative MPs, Theresa May made it clear that she would not “turn the clock back” to an era when children up and down the country were separated aged 11 on the basis of academic ability.

But she also pointed out that selection still exists in the system - not just in areas such as Kent and Trafford in Greater Manchester which still have grammar schools -  and, as she put it, there's selection by house price where people often pay more to live in areas with outstanding schools.

Supporters of grammar schools were pleased that she seemed to be signalling that there could be an expansion in areas where there is a demand for them and that a prohibition on new schools might well be lifted.

But opponents were also satisfied that she wasn’t advocating a radical policy of a grammar school in every town, or imposing them where they weren't wanted.

Thursday's Morning Star

Thursday's Guardian

Wednesday round-up

Here's a recap of what's been making the news in politics today:

Decision urged on Hinkley Point

Opposition day debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Hinkley Point
Getty Images

A little earlier in today's debate, Conservative MP for Wells James Heappey praised the government's commitment to ratifying the Paris Agreement but said there were areas in which its policy was "not quite so clear".

He described new nuclear as the only form of energy which can "meet our base-load needs".

"We have to take a decision now," he urged, "and put Hinkey forward at the first possible opportunity."

Plans to build the first new UK nuclear plant in 20 years were unexpectedly delayed after the government postponed a final decision until the early autumn.  

Jeremy Corbyn and future single market membership

Sean Curran

Parliamentary correspondent

Labour sources have made it clear that Jeremy Corbyn thinks the UK's Brexit negotiations should aim to secure "full access to the single market" in goods and services.

But a spokesman for the Labour leader said Mr Corbyn had campaigned against aspects of the single market and would oppose a deal that included "aspects of the existing architecture" that were damaging to working people and public services.

Asked if Jeremy Corbyn wanted the UK to remain a full member of the EU single market the spokesman said there was a question about what "membership of the single market" actually meant.  

Polish ministers 'raised hate crime concerns'

Home Affairs Committee

Select Committee

Parliament

Poland's foreign and interior ministers have visited the UK to raise concerns over racism against Polish nationals in the wake of the EU referendum, the home secretary says.

Amber Rudd
HoC

Responding to a question from Labour's David Winnick about hate crime incidents, Amber Rudd said she and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnston met the Polish ministers this week.

She adds that they were reassured that the government is taking the matter seriously.

Home Affairs Committee adjourns

Home Affairs Committee

Select Committee

Parliament

Labour's David Winnick has the final question and asks about incidents of hate crimes since the EU referendum.

Amber Rudd confirms that there was a spike after the vote but that levels have now returned to levels comparable to last year.

And with that Tim Loughton adjourns the sitting.

Home affairs committee
BBC

Home secretary concerned about current prostitution legislation

Home Affairs Committee

Select Committee

Parliament

Tim Loughton says the final line of questioning will focus on prostitution and notes that there are no declarations of interest.

David Burrowes asks what the home secretary's views are on buying sex from prostitutes.

She replies that it is a complicated issue and would like to consider it further before giving a full answer.

She adds she does have concerns about the current legislation.

Amber Rudd
BBC

What is committee stage?

House of Lords

Parliament

The committee stage is when a lot of the legislative leg work is done in the House of Lords.

A bill is put through detailed line-by-line examination and scrutiny. For major and complex legislation is considered in a committee of the whole House – like today.

All proposed amendments can be considered, and debate on amendments is unrestricted. 

Amendments are rarely put to a vote as there as still two more legislative stages to go before the bill completes its journey through the Lords.

If the bill is passed at committee stage the legislation moves on to report stage, where similar detailed scrutiny also takes place.

Theresa May to meet Donald Tusk to discuss UK role in EU pre-Brexit

Donald Tusk
AFP

Theresa May is set to use a breakfast meeting on Thursday with European Council President Donald Tusk to stress that Britain will play a full role in the EU until it leaves.

It will be Mrs May's first meeting with Mr Tusk since she became prime minister - the pair met before at a summit in Valletta, when she was home secretary.

But this meeting at Downing Street is being billed as an attempt for them to get to know each other ahead of negotiations over Brexit.

Mrs May and Mr Tusk will discuss the agenda of the next summit in October, along with migration, Russian sanctions, the Ukraine and trade.

The PM will chair the cabinet sub committee on Brexit later that day focusing on trade.

Rudd: Social media sites should do more to remove radical material

Home Affairs Committee

Select Committee

Parliament

James Berry
BBC

Conservative James Berry asks if "something is amiss" when hundreds of police officers are scouring the internet for extremist material whilst social media sites make money from providing the platform.

Amber Rudd says such companies should do more and that she would like to see an industry regulated board similar to one established on child exploitation.

Mr Berry tells her that his suggestion that social media sites should pay for police time did not go down very well.

Prevent: counter-terrorism programme a success or failure?

Home Affairs Committee

Select Committee

Parliament

Prevent is part of the government's counter-terrorism strategy, aimed at stopping people from being drawn into or supporting terrorism.

It includes measures to stop "apologists for terrorism" coming to the UK, supporting community campaigns that oppose extremism and provide mentoring for individuals "at risk" of becoming involved in terrorist activity.

Young Muslim extremists
Reuters

The strategy covers "all forms" of terrorism, including far-right extremism.

But it has been heavily criticised, including by the Muslim Council of Britain, which said it had "really failed", particularly on engaging with young Muslims.

Chuka Umunna: Single Market membership is vital for British working people

Labour's Chuka Umunna, chair of Vote Leave Watch, says working people "benefit enormously" from Britain's place in the European Single Market, through rights to equal pay, regular rest breaks and equal treatment for agency workers.

It helps our companies sell without barriers to our biggest market, creating good jobs in manufacturing, technology, and other industries... Labour should be fighting for Britain to stay in the Single Market, not turning a blind eye to its advantages. I hope our party clarifies its position in support of UK membership of the Single Market, and continued close engagement with Europe."

Peers scrutinise spy powers bill

Investigatory Powers Bill.

House of Lords

Parliament

Peers now move to the day's main legislating - the penultimate day of committee stage scrutiny on the Investigatory Powers Bill.

This is the latest bill aimed at giving the security services and the police up-to-date powers to monitor activity on the internet.

The bill aims to secure and update the powers contained in the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act (DRIPA), which only made it through Parliament after a clause was added to make it expire at the end of December.

The bill has to be passed before the DRIPA expires otherwise the legal authority for the existing powers will lapse - although there's always the option, in extremis, of passing an emergency mini-bill to continue the existing powers for a couple of months.

Tale of two new secretaries of state

BBC Home Affairs correspondent tweets...

Darling: Government must 'set out its stall' on Brexit

G20 Statement

House of Lords

Parliament

Former Labour Chancellor Alistair Darling c
BBC

Former Labour Chancellor Alistair Darling criticises the campaign to Leave the EU for not putting forward any plans for what should happen after Brexit.

The Labour peer warns the UK is "never going to get anywhere" until the government sets out its plans for Brexit.

He calls on the government to give a date by which it will "set out its stall" so "we can have the proper debate in this country that we missed out on two months ago".

Baroness Evans of Bowes Park reiterates Theresa May's comment that the government "will not be giving a running commentary", adding it would be "inappropriate to set out timelines". 

"We want the best deal, not the quickest one." 

Rudd: Prevent has been a success

Home Affairs Committee

Select Committee

Parliament

Labour's Naz Shah raises the Prevent Programme.

She suggests the counter-terrorism project has been a failure and increased Islamophobia of which "women bear the brunt".

"How does that help build trust?" she asks.

Amber Rudd defends the project and insists that Islamophobia should be seen as a separate issue.

Naz Shah
BBC

Pound falls against dollar

Pound-dollar chart
BBC

After a six day winning streak against the US greenback, the pound's rally has run out of steam.

As Mark Carney has been giving evidence to the Treasury Select Committee the pound is down 0.7% on the day, at $1.3342.

Mr Carney had indicated to the committee that he would lower interest rates further if necessary.

Banks say they will 'wait and see' on Brexit moves abroad

City skyline
Hannah McKay

The UK's banks say they have not decided whether to move operations outside of the UK after Brexit, a top banker has said.

Anthony Browne, chief executive of the British Bankers' Association, told a House of Lords EU committee that banks are pondering moves abroad.

He called for current arrangements to stay as close as possible to those now in place with the European Union.

He said transitional arrangements with the EU were needed.

Read more

No cash air drop from Carney

Helicopter
Getty Images

Mark Carney confirms that he has ruled out the use of "helicopter money".

That is, the idea that central banks create new cash and give it directly to citizens to spend on whatever they want. 

But fellow MPC member Gertjan Vlieghe says he is "not happy to rule anything out, including helicopter money".

Dubs amendment being implemented

G20 Statement

House of Lords

Parliament

Calais Jungle
AFP

Leader of the House of Lords Baroness Evans of Bowes Park tells peers that the government have "begun work to implement the Dubs amendment".

The amendment to the Immigration Act, originally put forward by Lord Dubs, requires the government to arrange for the transfer to the UK and support of unaccompanied refugee children from Europe.  

The Conservative peer announces that "discussions are happening with local authorities" and EU leaders in Greece, France and Italy to "speed up the process".

Earlier today Labour peer Lord Dubs, who came to Britain on the Kindertransport programme for Jewish children, criticised the government over the fact no-one had arrived in the UK under a scheme pledged in May.  

Immigration controls 'must be a priority' in Brexit talks

G20 Statement

House of Lords

Parliament

Baroness Evans of Bowes Park
BBC

Baroness Evans of Bowes Park tells peers that the process of leaving the EU "will not be brief and it will not be straightforward".

But many international leaders have agreed to "work with us to make Brexit a success", she says.

The vote to leave the EU showed it "must be a priority to gain more control on the numbers of people who come here form abroad", she adds. 

Conservative MP questions extent of climate change

Opposition day debate

House of Commons

Parliament

David TC Davies
BBC

Conservative David TC Davies begins by saying he's "very pleased" that industrial strategy is going to be a "key part" of the newly-formed department responsible for energy policy. 

He accepts that climate change does exist and is ongoing, but argues the change over the past 250 years is "not particularly exceptional" and questions the extent to which it is man-made. 

Inflation 'likely to pick up and overshoot'

BBC Economics correspondent Andy Verity tweets...

Calais wall 'not a new initiative' - Amber Rudd

Home Secretary Amber Rudd says a wall to be built in Calais is "not a new initiative". She told the influential Commons Home Affairs Committee it was about making sure the French had the right amount of security to prevent "illegals" trying to get to the UK.

We support the French with money to help them do that...it is up to them how they decide to secure their borders in Calais and around it."

Labour committee member Chuka Umunna commented that the French were inspired by Donald Trump, not the British Government. 

Amber Rudd replied: "Er... I couldn't possibly comment on that." 

Bond buyers details set to be published

Mark Carney has said that the Bank will release a "Market key" in two weeks detailing which firms have purchased bonds as part of its quantitative easing programme.

"What we want to avoid is people arbitraging this for the purposes outside the economy that doesn't do anything for monetary stimulus in this economy," Mr Carney says.

He says he hopes the report will contribute to issuance in sterling bonds.

Miliband: Brexit the 'elephant in the room' on climate change

Opposition day debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Former Labour leader Ed Miliband is on his feet, and describes Brexit as "the elephant in the room" when it comes to British diplomacy on climate change. 

He adds he understands the prime minister doesn't want a running commentary on Brexit, but that "there's a difference between this and a Trappist vow". 

"We've got to engage in the issues," he continues, "and saying 'Brexit means Brexit' doesn't really solve the problem."

"Britain's ability to be a persuader for greater ambition [on tackling climate change] is endangered by Brexit," he warns. 

Ed Miliband
BBC

Hammond to meet business, importers and exporters ahead of Autumn Statement

Foreign Secretary tweets...

'Achieving net migration in the tens of thousands will take time'

BBC Home Affairs correspondent tweets...

Amber Rudd: Up to the French what they do with cash for port security

BBC Home Affairs correspondent tweets...

Home secretary to urge ex-child abuse inquiry head to give evidence

BBC Home Affairs correspondent tweets...

Nicola Sturgeon urges 'decision making' role for Scotland over Brexit

Scotland's first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has called for a "decision-making" role in the UK's Brexit preparations.

In a Holyrood statement, Ms Sturgeon said the Scottish government would not provide "window-dressing in a talking shop".

The UK government is expected to set up a joint ministerial committee to involve the devolved governments in discussions.

But the Brexit secretary, David Davis, has made clear there will not be any "veto" for Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.

Ms Sturgeon wants the UK to continue in the EU single market - which she described as the "least worst" outcome.

Leaving the EU she said would be an "extraordinary self-inflicted blow to the UK's competitiveness and it will be compounded if the decision is to leave the single market as well".

Screen grab from the online edition of Le Figaro

The debate in Britain about how and when to leave the European Union continues to interest the press on the continent.

Read more

'Parliament will influence asset prices'

UK Parliament
Getty Images

Mark Carney says that much of what happens to UK-focused asset prices will depend on the decisions Parliament take.

"UK-focused asset prices are going to be crucially important, and we all hope very much positively influenced by the major decisions that Parliament are going to take with respect to our relationship first with Europe and then with the rest of the world, and broader productivity and other strategies that are catalysed by this or are associated with this," he says.

House being built in Bristol

Jeremy Corbyn says only one in five homes sold under the right to buy has been replaced, not one for one as was promised.

Read more

Mark Carney 'serene' about Bank of England's Brexit stance

Mark Carney
BBC

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has said he is "absolutely serene" about the Bank's preparations for the impact from the Brexit vote.

Mr Carney is being questioned by MPs about how the Bank handled the referendum outcome and its decision to cut interest rates to a record low.

The Bank was criticised by Brexit supporters for saying the economy would be hit from a vote to leave the EU.

But Mr Carney said the Bank's decisions had so far been "validated".

Read more