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Summary

  1. MPs started their day at 2:30pm with questions to ministers from the Department for Work and Pensions.
  2. There was one urgent question scheduled, on safety in custody and violence in prisons. That was followed by a statement on academies.
  3. MPs also took part in a debate on government departments outside London.
  4. The House of Commons also dealt with Lords amendments to three bills: the Energy Bill, Immigration Bill and Housing and Planning Bill.
  5. Peers also met at 2:30pm for oral questions on subjects including trade with China and deportation of asylum seekers.

Live Reporting

By Kate Whannel, Patrick Cowling and Julia Butler

All times stated are UK

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Commons adjourn

House of Commons

Parliament

And that concludes the day's business in the Commons. 

MPs will be back at 9:30am for questions to the Health Secretary.

Commons clock
HOC

Chope: Government is muddled

Adjournment debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Conservative Christopher Chope, who has tabled the debate, accuses the government of being muddled over the issue of ECHR membership.

Minister Dominic Raab seeks to provide clarity. He says the government cannot rule out withdrawal from the convention forever but that such a move is not part of the government's current proposals. 

He says the government's proposals to establish a British Bill of Rights is aimed at restoring the proper role of the legislature. 

Christopher Chope
HOC

MPs agree to Dubs amendment

Immigration Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs agree to Lord Dubs' new amendment, amendment 87B, which requires the government to take in "a specified number" of unaccompanied refugee children from other countries in Europe.

The number of children to be resettled will be determined by the government in consultation with local authorities.  

Refugee camp
AFP/Getty Images

Adjournment debate begins

House of Commons

Parliament

Theresa May
PA

The Immigration Bill will now be "pinged" back to the House of Lords.

MPs move on to the final item of business for the day - an adjournment debate on the UK membership of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

The ECHR, which is separate from EU institutions, was drafted in 1950 and sets out a number of human rights.

European citizens who feel their rights have been violated are entitled to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.

Last month the Home Secretary Theresa May said the UK should quit the ECHR arguing that it “can bind the hands of Parliament”.

MPs vote on detention of pregnant women

Immigration Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

The debate is concluded and voting begins.

The first amendment to be voted on is Lords Amendment 85C which places restrictions on the length of time that a pregnant women can be detained in an immigration centre. 

MPs reject the amendment 296 votes to 258.

MPs division
HOC

Cooper: Government should take advantage of public support

Immigration Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Labour MP Yvette Cooper urges the government to take advantage of public support for accepting child refugees and tells the House that this morning she received an email from an independent boarding school offering two free places for refugees. 

Responding to an intervention from Conservative MP Kelly Tolhurst she agrees that Kent County Council should not be expected to take in any further children but says her own local council has offered to accept children - an offer which has yet to be taken up.

McDonald: Decision will be looked back on with pride

Immigration Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

The SNP's Stuart McDonald gives a cautious welcome to the government's change of heart.

He says it is vital that the government does not rule out taking in children who have never been registered.

He also emphasises the importance of sufficiently supporting the local authorities where the children are resettled. 

He concludes that if implemented "properly" the decision will be looked back on with pride.

Stuart McDonald
HOC

'A cruel policy'

Immigration Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Conservative Sir Gerald Howarth regrets the government's compromise believing their original stance was right. 

He argues that the new approach is "a cruel policy" which encourages "desperate, tragic" parents to send their children "across the inhospitable seas".

Sir Gerald Howarth
HOC

Starmer: Government needs to provide more detail on child refugees

Immigration Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Shadow home office minister Sir Keir Starmer welcomes the government's decision on child refugees.

He asks for more detail on how many children will be taken in and how soon that will happen.

He challenges the government to take 300 of the most at-risk children in Greece and Italy "before the start of the next school term".

Keir Starmer
HOC

The Dubs' amendment

Immigration Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Lord Dubs
AFP/Getty Images

On Lords amendment 87, also known as "the Dubs amendment", James Brokenshire says the government "wholeheartedly shares the Lords' intentions."

Lord Dubs' amendment originally required the government to take in 3,000 unaccompanied refugee children in Europe.

This was defeated in the Commons but the government has now accepted a revised amendment which removes the specific figure of 3,000.

James Brokenshire says the government will now consider taking in children who registered in Greece, Italy or France before 20 March.

This, he argues, will avoid creating an incentive for children to make "the perilous journey" to Europe.

Debate on Immigration Bill begins

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs now begin consideration of the Lords amendments to the Immigration Bill. 

These amendments concern setting a limit on immigration detention times, detaining pregnant women and taking in unaccompanied child refugees in Europe. 

Home Office Minister James Brokenshire speaks against setting an "arbitrary" limit on detention, which he argues would "not take account of individual circumstances".

He also argues that the government should be able to detain pregnant women but only if they are shortly to be removed from the country or if there are exceptional circumstances. 

James Brokenshire
HOC

MPs reject carbon compliance proposals

Housing and Planning Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs now reject the Lords' carbon compliance proposal, which would have required all new homes to meet emissions standards from 2018.

That concludes voting on the Housing and Planning Bill. The bill will now be sent back to the House of Lords. 

Results announced

Party whips tweet

MPs reject Lords amendments on 'like for like' housing

Housing and Planning Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Another rejection for the Lords, this time by 291 votes to 203 and of MPs representing constituencies in England and Wales by 275 to 174.

MPs now vote on a proposal requiring all new homes to meet the carbon compliance standard by 1 April 2018. 

Rooftop wind energy system on a residential property
BBC

MPs reject Lords on starter homes

Housing and Planning Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs have voted to disagree with Lords amendment 10B by 289 votes to 206. As the provisions only apply to England, the English votes for English laws procedureapplies. Of those MPs representing constituencies England, the result was 273 votes to 176.

They now begin voting on the motion to disagree with Lords amendments 47B and 47C.

The bill requires local authorities to sell-off high value social housing when it becomes vacant.  

These amendment allows the government to fund "like for like" social housing replacements if a local authority can demonstrate the need. 

MPs vote on starter homes

Housing and Planning Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

The debate is concluded and MPs now vote on whether to disagree with Lords amendment 10B.

This amendment would allow a local authority to meet its starter homes requirement through alternative forms of affordable home ownership. 

The bill currently requires 20% of homes on larger sites to be starter homes.

House of Commons division
HOC

'The bank of mum and dad'

Housing and Planning Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Conservative MP Stewart Jackson apologises for being "a little rough" on the House of Lords earlier but says the building of starter homes is a matter of fairness.

He says homes shouldn't just be affordable for people who could rely on "the bank of mum and dad".

Starter homes allow first-time buyers to purchase a property at a 20% discount.

Stewart Jackson
HOC

Betts: bill diminishes chance to rent

Housing and Planning Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Chair of the Communiunities and Local Government Committee Clive Betts says the Conservatives' policy on starter homes was in the manifesto and therefore the government has every right to put it into practice.

However he says the government didn't say that the consequence of the policy would be to diminish or remove people's chance of renting affordable social housing.

He tells MPs that the bill would mean an end to social rented housing in large parts of his constituency.

Clive Betts
HOC

Pearce: government has missed opportunity to tackle housing crisis

Housing and Planning Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Shadow communities and local government minister Teresa Pearce tells MPs that the bill misses an opportunity to tackle the housing crisis.

She expresses concern that many starter homes will not be affordable and therefore welcomes the Lords amendment to allow local authorities to meet their targets through other forms of home ownership schemes.

If the government is serious about encouraging people on to the housing ladder, she argues, it must consider "all forms of tenure", and not just starter homes.

Teresa Pearce
HOC

MP criticises 'unelected panjandrums' in the Lords

Housing and Planning Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Brandon Lewis
HOC

Communities and Local Government Minister Brandon Lewis, above, says he's very surprised that peers have chosen to oppose an important manifesto commitment - "to get more homes built". 

Conservative Stewart Jackson intervenes to say he can't recall a case of another policy which enacted a manifesto pledge and which had received the consent of the elected house only to be struck down by "the unelected, unaccountable panjandrums in the House of Lords". 

Housing and Planning Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Starter Homes
Getty Images

MPs now move onto the Housing and Planning Bill. The Lords amendments to be considered are:

  • allows local authorities to meet their starter home requirements through alternative forms of home ownership
  • allows ‘like for like’ social housing replacement, if a local authority can demonstrate the need to the government
  • gives a right of appeal to parish councils where a development runs contrary to a completed neighbourhood plan
  • requires all new houses to meet the carbon compliance standard by 1 April 2018
  • brings into force a national standard for the implementation of sustainable drainage.

MPs reject Lords amendment

Energy Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs have voted to disagree with the Lords amendment by 286 votes to 260.

The bill will now be "pinged" back to the Lords with the Commons' reasons for disagreeing with the amendment. 

MPs vote on windfarms

Energy Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

The short debate comes to an end and the issue is pushed to a vote.

MPs are voting on a motion to disagree with Lords Amendment 7TB which would require the government to fund the onshore wind power schemes that had been given outline planning permission before the government ended subsidies.

Braes of Doune Wind Farm in Scotland
PA
Braes of Doune Wind Farm in Scotland

McCaig: government has acted without grace

Energy Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

The SNP's energy and climate change spokesman Callum McCaig notes that the debate only concerns four projects in Scotland.

He tells MPs that all four projects have planning permission and therefore public support.

He says the amendment is about a grace period for such projects and accuses the government of acting utterly without grace - "It's not too late to change that."

Callum McCaig
HOC

Cartlidge: there have to be cut off points

Energy Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Conservative MP James Cartlidge says the opposition seeks to characterise the amendment as "a waffer thin" change.

However, he argues that accepting every small adjustment would make it impossible to govern.

He accepts those who lose out will feel aggrieved but says there have to be cutoff points.

James Cartlidge
HOC

Whitehead: This is not about manifesto commitments

Energy Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Back in the Commons and the Energy Bill debate, shadow energy minister Alan Whitehead begins by stating that the amendment was not seeking to alter a manifesto commitment, as minister Andrea Leadsom said.

Rather, he argues that the bill still fulfills the Conservatives' manifesto commitment to ensure no new subsidies for onshore wind - the amendment, he says, concerns the grace period that follows on from fulfilling that commitment.

alan Whitehead
HOC

House adjourns

House of Lords

Parliament

The statement on academies has come to an end and that brings to a close the day's business in the House of Lords. 

Peers return at 2.30pm tomorrow - so until then, good evening from the Upper House.

House adjourns
BBC

Energy Bill debate begins

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs begin consideration of a Lords amendment to the Energy Bill.

This amendment requires the government to fund the onshore wind power schemes which had been given outline planning permission, before the government ended subsidies for such schemes.

Energy and Climate Change Minister Andrea Leadsom offers a robust response opening her speech, "Here we are again."

Peers, she says, have "seen fit yet again to overturn a manifesto commitment and impose further cost on consumer bills".

"We are determined not to put up with that."

Andrea Leadsom
HOC

Minister 'confident' schools will continue to convert

Academies statement

House of Lords

Parliament

Education Minister Lord Nash responds to these points by agreeing that the "blanket" academisation powers in the White Paper "did create quite a lot of anxiety in the system".

He says that having removed the blanket powers to turn all schools into academies, he is "confident" that once the benefits of joining a multi-academy trust are understood, many more will convert as "schools are currently doing in record numbers".

Soubry: Teams should be collected under one roof

BIS Sheffield business proposal

House of Commons

Parliament

Business Minister Anna Soubry rises to respond and emphasises that a final decision has not yet been made.

She takes exception at the suggestion that BIS is out of touch with areas outside London, pointing out that 83% of the people who work for BIS are outside of London.

She then moves on to set out the reasoning behind the proposal arguing that effectiveness, flexibility and good management are harder to achieve if teams are not "collected under one roof".

Anna SOubry
HOC

'Blind concentration on structures'

Academies statement

House of Lords

Parliament

Lib Dem Lord Storey says that it is "good that the government listens" to the concerns of those in the education sector.

Mentioning the government's stated aim of "delivering a good education to every single child", Lord Storey asks, "Don't we all?"

"The difference is that some of us don't believe that the absolute blind concentration on structures and types of schools is the answer," he muses.

Academies 'decrease school freedom'

Academies statement

House of Lords

Parliament

Shadow education minister Lord Watson of Invergowrie says that the argument that making a school an academy gives it more freedom is false, as "academy chains have far more power over schools than local authorities currently do".

He asks what evidence the government has that only academisation leads to school improvement and says it is "surely self evident that we want to see educational improvement everywhere".

The Labour frontbencher finishes by saying "further structural changes are at best a distraction" and warns that the policy is moving the focus "from where it should be".

Lord Watson of Invergowrie
BBC

'A desperate scrabble for cash?'

BIS Sheffield proposal debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Shadow business, innovation and skills minister Bill Esterson notes that many MPs in the course of the debate have expressed bafflement at the reasoning for the closure proposal.

He offers his own suggestions: "Is it so ministers can have water-cooler conversations with staff, or is it a desperate scrabble for cash to plug the black hole?"

Perhaps, he muses, the government hopes that many staff will leave as a result of the closure and costs will be reduced.

"Whatever the reason, the minister should tell us."

Bill Esterson
HOC

Academies statement repeated

Academies statement

House of Lords

Parliament

BBC
BBC

Education Minister Lord Nash is repeating a statement made earlier in the House of Commons on academies by Education Secretary Nicky Morgan.

The statement says that the government still wants every school to become an academy by 2020 but has decided that it is not necessary to introduce "blanket powers to convert good schools to academies". 

Last week, the government announced a climb-down from its plan to force all schools in England to become academies. 

Find out more here.

Alcohol abuse 'a great challenge' for prison service

Urgent question on prison safety

House of Lords

Parliament

Crossbench peer Baroness Masham of Ilton asks if prison officers are trained in dealing with problems such as "alcohol and drug abuse". 

Justice Minister Lord Faulks says mental health problems are incredibly prevalent in the prison system, and alcohol and drug abuse does provide "a great challenge" for the prison service. 

Baroness Masham
BBC

Urgent question repeated

Urgent question on prison safety

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Faulks, the justice minister in the House of Lords, is repeating an answer to an urgent question made earlier in the House of Commons. 

Andy Slaughter, shadow justice minister, asked his urgent question on safety in custody and violence in prisons. 

Justice Minister Andrew Selous said that statistics on death and violence in prisons are too high but argued that the government is implementing "fundamental reform in prisons". 

BBC
BBC

Mullin: Very unhealthy to base all advisers in London

BIS Sheffield proposal debate

House of Commons

Parliament

The SNP's Roger Mullin expresses concern about the concentration of government offices based in London.

He warns that it is "very unhealthy" for advisers to all be in one location - "especially if that location is out of character with the rest of the country".

Roger Mullin
HOC

Williams: workers feel insulted

BIS Sheffield proposal debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Conservative Craig Williams represents Cardiff North, which is also due to lose jobs to London.

He says the workers in his constituency, who have been living "with a cloud over their head", feel insulted by the lack of engagement.

He urges the government to provide more clarity.

Craig Williams
HOC

Stowell: 'clarity' most important

Governance in the Lords debate

House of Lords

Parliament

BBC
BBC

Leader of the House of Lords, Baroness Stowell brings the debate to an end.

She praises the work of the Lord Speaker, Baroness D'Souza, in being "behind efforts" improve collaboration between both Houses.

She notes that 64% of expenditure is joint between the two Houses of Parliament, and this is something "we want to see increase".   

In praising the report, a "clarity of remit" for the members of each committee is "what is most important", she argues.  

She concludes by thanking peers for their contributions and says a "governance system is only as good as the people who operate within it". 

Barron: Closure will be devastating for South Yorkshire

BIS Sheffield proposal debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Labour MP Kevin Barron says the closure will be "devastating" for South Yorkshire but will also mean "a huge loss of expertise" for the BIS department.

He also argues that moving the office to London will mean a less prompt services for organisations based in the Midlands and the north; and additional costs due to pay differentials.

Kevin Barron
HOC