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Summary

  1. Government wins first vote on Queen's Speech
  2. MPs reject Labour bid to end public sector pay cap
  3. Theresa May v Jeremy Corbyn at PMQs
  4. They clash over austerity and fire safety

Live Reporting

By Aiden James and Gavin Stamp

All times stated are UK

Wednesday recap

A recap of a day in which the Conservatives survived their first Commons vote as a minority government:

Times: Hammond under pressure to relax public sector pay squeeze

A general view shows Parliament Buildings at Stormont in Belfast

Sinn Féin calls on the UK and Irish governments to intervene as power-sharing talks enter final hours.

Read more

Telegraph: Tory chaos after public pay 'double U-turn'

Thursday's i: Time for justice

Independent digital leads on Hillsborough

Metro: Farce over 1% pay cap

Thursday's papers: 'Tensions in Downing Street'

"Public sector pay U-turn underscores growing tensions in Downing Street," says the Financial Times.

View more on twitter

Former diplomat says 'no deal' option undermines negotiators

Queen's Speech debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Former ambassador and crossbencher Lord Jay of Ewelme says that the scenario in which "we walk away and leave without an agreement may have rhetorical value but doesn't show great confidence in negotiators to secure a deal in our interests".

"We will still need to trade and co-operate on security and defence," he points out, arguing we need to achieve the "closest frictionless relationship possible".

Countries outside the single market 'doing pretty well'

Queen's Speech debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Robathan
HoL

Conservative former minister Lord Robathan says although he's "not a fan of referendums, the people have spoken and we must listen".

He suggests that other speakers such as Lord Mandelson are "ignoring that we had a referendum" and "lacking confidence".

"Most of the rest of the world isn't in the single market - and I'll name two big ones, the USA and Hong Kong - they seem to be doing pretty well."

Tory MP says Labour amendment was 'too partisan'

The Huffington Post

Heidi Allen
Heidi Allen

Labour had appealed to Conservative MPs to back its amendment opposing the public sector pay cap - but one of them has told the Huffington Post why she could not vote for it.

Speaking to HuffPost UK after the vote, Tory MP Heidi Allen - who would like to see the cap lifted - said she was unable to back Labour’s amendment as it was "too partisan".

She also queried introducing a blanket pay rise for all public sector workers.

“'Public services includes the very highest paid chief executives, managers, Whitehall chiefs too' [she said].

“'I cannot support a blanket pay rise to all of those.

“'We need to focus on those public sector workers such as nurses, healthcare assistants and all those on the front line.'”

Farron: Shame on the DUP

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron, whose MPs backed Labour's amendment, has attacked the DUP for voting with the Conservatives.

"This evening the DUP have stood alongside their Tory paymasters cheering at the fact that they have withheld more pay for our police, our firefighters, our nurses and our teachers," he said.

"Shame on them."

Nurses walking in a hospital

Ministers hint the 1% limit could be lifted as a Labour move to scrap it is defeated in Parliament.

Read more

UK Parliament note on public money for opposition parties

BBC Northern Ireland political editor tweets...

Nicky Morgan: Tories should consider May's future in late 2018

Nicholas Watt

Political editor, BBC Newsnight

Nicky Morgan
BBC

Former education secretary Nicky Morgan says Theresa May should consider standing down by autumn 2018 to allow a successor to sell the Brexit deal.

Mrs Morgan was sacked by the prime minister last year.

Shortly after the election, she said Mrs May should not lead the Tories into the next general election.

Mrs Morgan now says the Conservative Party "must not miss the opportunity" to think about its next leader once the Brexit deal is finalised.

Read more.

Corbyn: Tory austerity 'business as usual'

Jeremy Corbyn
bb

Responding to the vote on the Queen's Speech, which saw MPs reject Labour's amendment calling for the 1% public sector pay cap to be lifted, Jeremy Corbyn said: "Tonight, the Conservatives had an opportunity to put their money where their mouth is, by ending cuts to our police and fire service and lifting the public sector pay cap.

"Although government ministers said they had learned the lessons of the general election and were listening to voters, it is clear that nothing has changed.

"They had the perfect opportunity to walk the walk, but instead they marched through the lobby to show Tory austerity is business as usual.

"While the money is there when the Conservatives need it to keep themselves in office, the rest of the country now face more devastating cuts to our emergency and other vital services."

Government accused of 'alienating' other EU countries

Queen's Speech debate

House of Lords

Parliament

The crossbencher and architect of Article 50, author Lord Kerr of Kinlochard, earlier criticised the government's whole approach to Brexit negotiations.

He said the government were "alienating" and "insulting" other member states, and: "That is resented across the Channel. I can't remember when this country was so isolated and impotent in Brussels as it is now."

If the UK were to put forward a positive plan "that would change the atmosphere of the negotiation", Lord Kerr advised.

Queen's Speech debate continues in the Lords

House of Lords

Parliament

A few lines from the Queen's Speech debate in the Lords a little earlier, where Brexit rather than public sector pay dominates.

Former Lib Dem leader Lord Campbell of Pittenweem complained that Theresa May "missed a golden opportunity by not publishing details" of arrangements for leaving the EU, particularly relating to EU nationals' rights.

He noted that Philip Hammond, who he said has "recently been released from the bondage imposed on him by Theresa May's former chiefs of staff", said people did not vote to become poorer but "many of them are already".

He said he cannot work to further a cause which he believes to be "profoundly against our interests".

But Conservative peer and former minister Lord Jopling said it is important we don't descend into fighting the referendum over and over again, to approving noises from peers behind him.

He argued for letting the "determined band of Brexiteers" get on with steering the UK through Brexit.

Tories just 'talking the talk' on pay action

BBC News Channel

Andrew Gwynne (left) and John Penrose
BBC

Now on the BBC News channel, Andrew Gwynne says Conservative MPs "talk the talk" about ending the public sector pay cap but didn't back it in a Commons vote.

The Labour frontbencher says people supported his party in the general election because they saw "we can have a different approach".

Conservative MP John Penrose says that Labour "had a surge at the end of the campaign but it didn't win".

Workers, he adds, are also taxpayers and it is important to get the maximum value for money - although he also says the Tories will listen to voters, and all sides of the House want to spend more on public services.

Turning to the narrow result in the Commons a short time ago, Mr Penrose says "a majority of 14 is workable but it's not huge" and the government needs to work within the constraints of a hung Parliament.

All 10 DUP MPs voted with the government

BBC Northern Ireland political correspondent tweets...

MPs clash over cost of public sector pay rise

Sky News

Labour's Andrew Gwynne says the Conservatives won the vote with the help of the Democratic Unionist Party.

Speaking on Sky News, the shadow communities secretary argues that the Tories managed to find £1bn for Northern Ireland to make a deal with the DUP but will not fund a pay rise for public sector workers.

But Conservative former minister John Penrose claims Mr Gwynne is "gently trying to gloss over" the fact that "the size of the bill will be far, far, far greater" if the public sector pay cap ends.

More Queen's Speech votes on Thursday

The government has survived its first vote on the Queen's Speech but there could be up to three more votes at the end of the final day of debate on the government's legislative programme on Thursday.

This will include another Labour amendment and the Speaker can choose two more from other parties or backbench MPs.

He'll say which ones he's picked at the start of the debate at around 10:30 BST.

BreakingLabour amendment defeated by 14 votes

Queen's Speech debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Labour's amendment calling for an end to the public sector pay cap is defeated by 323 votes to 309 - giving the government a majority of 14.

Tory peer says he was sacked from committee for rebelling

Queen's Speech debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Cormack
HoL

Conservative peer Lord Cormack claims he was sacked from his role on the EU Committee's Home Affairs Sub-Committee because he "had the temerity" to vote for amendments to the government's Article 50 bill.

"That is not the spirit of leadership we require from our government at a time like this," he says.

He says the idea of a cross-party commission of both Houses on Brexit merits "careful consideration".

First division of the Parliament

Queen's Speech debate

House of Commons

Parliament

John Bercow
HoC

Jeremy Hunt wraps up his speech by asserting that the Conservative Party is the party of the NHS, and accuses Labour of using it "to milk votes".

Speaker John Bercow then calls the first division of the new Parliament to vote on Labour's amendment which seeks to end the public sector pay cap and give emergency and public services' staff a "fair pay rise".

The result of the vote is expected at 7.15pm.

Hunt: No decision on public sector pay yet

Queen's Speech debate

House of Commons

Parliament

“We will not make our decision on public sector pay until the pay review body has reported," Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt tells MPs.

"And we will listen to what they say, and we will listen to what people in this House have said before making a final decision."

Farron says Tories have 'U-turned on their own U-turn'

"The Tories are in utter chaos. They have U-turned on their own U-turn within the space of a few hours," says Lib Dem leader Tim Farron.

"This is not strong and stable, it is a government that is spinning out of control.

"The Treasury can find £1 billion for the DUP so Theresa May can cling on to power, but can't find the cash to properly pay our teachers, nurses and police.

"Public sector workers deserve a pay rise now, not for this decision to be kicked into the long grass."

Hunt: 'It takes two to tango' for cross-party consensus

Queen's Speech debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Jeremy Hunt
HoC

The health secretary is concluding the debate for the government, and joins others in praising the work of emergency staff during the tragic events of the past weeks, remarking after one anecdote that "there is no such thing as 'just a job' in the NHS - it is a vocation".

Jeremy Hunt speaks about MPs who have called for cross-party consensus on health and social care issues.

He says that governments always seek to get consensus on difficult policy issues and that this government is no different, but adds that it "takes two to tango".

Labour, he says, have fought two elections in a row where they have sought to turn it into a referendum on the NHS.

Shadow health secretary calls on Conservative MPs to support Labour amendment

Queen's Speech debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Jon Ashworth
HoC

Shadow health secretary Jon Ashworth responds to the debate from the Labour frontbench.

He lists some of the problems being faced by the National Health Service before saying: "What was there in the Queen's Speech for the NHS and social care? Nothing!"

Mr Ashworth tells MPs that the health secretary has previously expressed sympathy for underpaid health workers, but says "sympathy won't put food on the table".

Speaking to the Labour amendment, Mr Ashworth tells Conservative MPs that they can give public sector workers a pay rise tonight "if they join us in the lobby".

SNP MP attacks 'dementia tax'

Queen's Speech debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Tommy Sheppard
HoC

The SNP's Tommy Sheppard says he believes that the reason government went into an election with a majority and lost it is because of the so-called "dementia tax" policy in the Conservative Party manifesto.

He says that the promised review of social care and its funding in the Queen's Speech worries him as he is concerned that the thinking behind that policy is still alive and well in the Conservative Party.

Mr Sheppard says there is a perfectly legitimate point of view on the political right that funding for public services should be shifted from the state to the individual - saying it is "coherent but wrong".

"That point of view becomes incoherent and unjust when you say it is only going to be applied on those who contract debilitating illnesses," he says.

DUP MPs 'worth more than Ronaldo', Commons told

Each Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) MP is now "worth more" than Cristiano Ronaldo, a Scottish National Party MP has told the House of Commons.

Alison Thewliss made the remark as she questioned the Tory government about the £1bn deal they signed with the DUP.

But her comparison of the 10 DUP MPs with the world's third most expensive footballer led to roars of laughter.

Read more.

John Woodcock and 'Lazarus Lynch' unexpectedly return to Parliament

Queen's Speech debate

House of Commons

Parliament

John Woodcock and Holly Lynch
HoC

Two Labour MPs who expected to lose their seats in the general election have spoken of their surprise and delight at being returned to Parliament.

Vocal Corbyn critic John Woodcock spoke earlier, saying it was good to see Lindsay Hoyle back in his position as deputy speaker before adding "and rather good to be back in mine after everything that happened".

Mr Woodcock had predicted a "historic and catastrophic" defeat for Labour in the election and said he expected to lose his seat.

Holly Lynch, the returning Labour MP for Halifax, strikes a similar tone - saying that after surviving an election she went into with a majority of 428 and the betting odds 10/1 against her, one of her Labour colleagues had greeted her as "Lazarus Lynch".

She thanks Theresa May for launching the Conservative manifesto in her constituency and "parking her tanks firmly on my lawn".

"Not only did the tanks misfire, the engines seized up, and the tracks completely fell off."

DUP's new man says it is an 'honour and a privilege' to be an MP

Queen's Speech debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Paul Girvan
HoC

The DUP's new MP for South Antrim, Paul Girvan, makes his maiden speech in the House of Commons.

He speaks of the UUP MP who he defeated, Danny Kinahan, and says that the two of them were the best of friends even during the election campaign. "I don't know if Danny will still say that about me," he muses, to laughter from his DUP colleagues.

"Political life is somewhat daunting as you receive your P45 in public on a stage," he observes.

Mr Girvan says that it is an honour and a privilege to become an MP and he will support the armed forces and the Union during his time in Parliament.

Listen: Northern Ireland looms large

Today in Parliament

Today in Parliament

The issue of Northern Ireland looms large over Parliament.

Talks to restore the devolved government there are still continuing as the deadline for a deal approaches on Thursday.

And, of course, an agreement with the Democratic Unionist Party now gives the Conservatives a majority at Westminster - twin topics which MPs were anxious to discuss, as Mandy Baker reports.

EU budget commissioner Guenther Oettinger holds a press conference at the EU Commission in Brussels, Belgium, on 30 May 2017

Not only is the UK leaving but the EU also has pressing new spending demands, a commissioner warns.

Read more

Health secretary listens to debate

Queen's Speech debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Jeremy Hunt
HoC
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt listens to the debate as Labour MPs Stella Creasy and Tracy Brabin both raise the issue of free access to abortions in England and Wales for women from Northern Ireland

Deciphering the public sector pay hints

Laura Kuenssberg

BBC political editor

Pay protest
EPA

Nurse, social worker, teacher, doctor - pretty much any public sector worker in England, Wales and Northern Ireland would have been justified in feeling a bit more chipper this morning, had they had time to listen to comments from the defence secretary or the transport secretary, both hinting that the limit on their pay rises might be about to come to an end.

They might been further bolstered by comments after Prime Minister's Questions, if they had been watching the news this afternoon, when Number 10's spokesman suggested that although it was important still to balance the books, the government understands people are "weary" after years of the limit.

By teatime however, after the Treasury had slightly less enthusiastically said they were "open to discussion", that nurse, social worker, teacher or doctor had slightly less cause for feeling optimistic about a bigger pay rise any time soon.

Read Laura's blog

Tory MP urges action on pay cap

Conservative MP and former nurse Maria Caulfield has said medical workers “will vote with their feet” unless the pay freeze is tackled.

She said the difference in pay between nurses and hospital managers “cannot be right” given that nurses “are making life and death decisions on every single shift that they do”.

Ms Caulfield said “as a nurse who worked from 2010 to 2015 under the pay cap, I know exactly how difficult it is and how challenging those finances are. Most nurses I know work on their hospital bank to supplement their wages”.

Government 'shambles' over pay cap - SNP

The SNP has weighed into the debate over the public sector pay cap, accusing the government of being in "total chaos".

The party's economy spokesman Kirsty Blackman says: “Another day, another shambles from the Tory government – it is totally unacceptable for millions of public sector workers across the UK to be messed around like this.

“This whole sorry episode reveals that, behind the scenes, the Tories agree with us that the public sector pay cap is increasingly unsustainable."

She adds that the Conservatives "found a magic money tree to buy support from the DUP – so they cannot claim there isn’t money available for fair pay for workers".

“If the UK Government proceed with this pay rise, then there must be absolutely no attempt to get round the Barnett formula and avoid giving Scotland its fair share of any spending increases - as they have so shamefully done with their DUP deal.”

Lord Mandelson aligns himself with Philip Hammond on Brexit

Queen's Speech debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Mandelson
HoL

Labour former EU commissioner Lord Mandelson claims the government has taken an "inflexible" approach to Brexit thus far.

He says the choice we're faced with is "regulatory autonomy versus securing place in the single market" and "Philip Hammond is acutely aware of this, whereas Theresa May chose to ignore it in her Lancaster House speech".

He speaks of the need for government to "tell the truth about the implications for prosperity", adding that Mr Hammond, unlike his colleagues, understands this.