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Summary

  1. The first item on the Commons agenda was questions to the Justice Secretary Michael Gove and his ministerial team.
  2. The Wales Bill at second reading was the main business of the day.
  3. There was also an urgent question on football violence at the Euro 2016 tournament, from Labour's Andy Burnham.
  4. Peers passed the Children and Social Work Bill at second reading, after the oral question session

Live Reporting

By Sam Francis and Esther Webber

All times stated are UK

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End of Business in the Lords

Children and Social Work Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Labour withdraw their amendment but Lord Watson of Invergowrie leaves the government with a warning.

Unless the government are more upfront about their plans to change the regulatory system for social workers, Labour intend to bring forward amendments to the bill to remove the government's "skeletal proposals" altogether, he says.

And with that the House of Lords draws to a close. Peers will be back at 11am tomorrow for their last day before a short recess on the EU referendum. Rather fittingly peers will spend the day debating a series of European Union Committee select committee reports.

Bill 'will receive detailed scrutiny'

Children and Social Care Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Education Minister Lord Nash
BBC

Education Minister Lord Nash responds to criticism by saying he "shares the wish" for there to be "adequate time and information for the bill to receive detailed scrutiny".

The bill "will receive detailed scrutiny" during committee stage - where line by line scrutiny usually takes place - he argues.

Addressing criticisms of the bills "skeletal" sections on Social worker regulation, he re-iterates the government promise to "publish indicative draft regulations and policy statements before clauses containing delegated powers are debated in committee". 

There will also be "detailed briefing sessions, the first of which will take place tomorrow" he insists.

Bill will 'not get through the House of Lords'

Children and Social Work Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Labour Education Spokesman, Lord Hunt of Kings Heath, says the bill will "not get through the House of Lords in its current form".

He asks the government to think again about its current "skeletal" proposals for a new regulator of social workers - the subject of Labour's motion to regret.

The bill as it's drafted can allow the Education Secretary to be the regulator, or at least "tell the regulator what to do" he says.

He calls on the government to "leave regulation with the healthcare professions council" and await the results of the ongoing consultation of regulation in health and social care, led by Health Minister Ben Gummer.

Labour Education Spokesman, Lord Hunt of Kings Heath,
BBC

Storey: Bill not being afforded enough time

Children and Social Work Bil

House of Lords

Parliament

Liberal Democrat Education Spokesperson, Lord Storey, complains that the bill is being rushed through the House of Lords.

The committee stage for the bill is the day the Lords return after next weeks parliamentary recess for the EU referendum, which Lord Storey says "doesn't afford the time needed for briefings and discussions to take place".

He says he is "disappointed" in the government. "We can and must do everything possible to ensure that the support, care and attention is provided for children" he says.

As way of an incentive Lord Storey promises Lord Nash a "plastic Virgin Mary with a screw top halo containing holy water" - a memento given to him by a former student who had been in care.

Liberal Democrat Education Spokesperson Lord Storey
BBC

File on 4 investigates the Children and Social Care Bill

Children and Social Work Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

A screen shot of BBC Radio 4's iPlayer page
BBC

 Will the government's plans to reform children's services - contained in the Children and Social Work Bill - really work?

BBC Radio 4's File on 4 is investigating as we speak. Listen live here.

The programme can be accessed after broadcast here.

Criminalisation of children in Care

Children and Social Work Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Child checks phone while sat on the floor
Thinkstock

A report by Crossbench peer Lord Laming, for the Prison Reform Trust, recommends that children in care should not be prosecuted for minor offences.

The review was set up to investigate why children aged 10 to 17 in care are more than five times as likely to be in trouble than other.

The report describes how looked-after children are often prosecuted for challenging behaviour that would normally be dealt with in the family home and calls on the government to draw up new procedures to protect these children from criminalisation.  

A separate report by the Howard League for Penal Reform found that the Police in England and Wales are being called to children's homes thousands of times a year.

One force, West Mercia, saw the equivalent of more than five call-outs a day to homes in 2014-15. 

The report said children were being wrongly "criminalised" because staff often called the police over minor incidents.

But the Independent Children's Homes Association said homes were "rigorously inspected" and staff well-trained.

End of Commons business

Adjournment debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Transport Minister Robert Goodwill winds up the adjournment debate, saying "many airports are taking the training of staff very seriously indeed" when it comes to dementia and other hidden disabilities. 

That's it from the Commons for today - and MPs return tomorrow at 11.30am for Cabinet Office questions.

MPs call for better provision for air passengers with dementia

Adjournment debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Oliver Colvile
BBC

Conservative MP Oliver Colvile is talking about how to ensure people with dementia can "live a full life without losing their dignity" whilst travelling. 

He says measures to help air passengers with dementia can be helped by airport staff "ensuring they can stay with their family, giving them a more comprehensive briefing on what they can expect from their travelling experience and reading to them from signs". 

Children in Care Statistics

Children and Social Work Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

A young girl sits on a swing alone
Getty Images

Official statistics published by the government last year show that children in care are less likely than other children to achieve academic success or benefit from stable relationships and are are more likely to have problems with crime.

Here are some of the findings:

  • Only 31% of looked after children obtained five GCSEs at grade A* to C, compared with a national figure of 75%
  • 39% of care are leavers aged 19-21 were not in education, employment or training (NEETs), compared with 13% of all young people
  • around 6% of looked after children aged between 10-17 had received a conviction or a final warning or reprimand during the year ending 31 March 2013. This compared with 1% of all children aged 10-17
  • fewer than 1% of children and young people are in the care of local authorities, but a third of boys and 61% of girls in custody either are in care or have been  
  • 6% of former care leavers were in higher education, the same as in 2014. A further 18% were in education other than higher education.
  • around 67% of all those in care had one placement during the year, 23% had two placements and 10% had three or more placements.   

Wales Bill passes at second reading

Wales Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

The Wales Bill passes at second reading and MPs move onto an adjournment debate on provision for air passengers with dementia, led by Conservative Oliver Colvile.

Minister: Welsh devolution cannot copy Scotland

Wales Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Wales Minister Guto Bebb, responding to the debate for the government, recalls when he was young there was an encyclopedia in the house which, under "Wales", said "see England". He accuses Plaid Cymru of taking a similar approach, but substituting "see Scotland". He argues this "ignores fundamental differences" between the two countries.

He also replies to claims the government is breaking a manifesto promise by dropping the referendum requirement for income tax devolution.

He says that to see it as a promise "is something which can be questioned", adding that the manifesto mentioned only "an expectation of a referendum".

Guto Bebb
BBC

'Life is too short' to get Welsh devolution wrong

Wales Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Susan Elan Jones
BBC

For Labour, Susan Elan Jones begins the wind-up speeches by saying it's important to get the Welsh devolution settlement right as "life is too short to keep coming back here". 

She tells MPs Wales has "led the way" on organ donation and measures against domestic violence, and this bill will "further enhance the Assembly's powers". 

Labour MP welcomes recognition of Welsh law

Wales Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Labour MP Christina Rees welcomes the bill's recognition that there is a body of Welsh law.

She admits it's "not a burning issue on the doorstep - what matters is access to justice", and therefore she's supportive of the introduction of justice impact assessments for bills drawn up by the Welsh Assembly. 

Christina Rees
BBC

Examining justice issues

Conservative MP tweets

Ken Livingstone's appearance before MPs

Home Affairs Committee

Sean Curran

Parliamentary correspondent

The former mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, has refused to apologise for his comments about Hitler and Zionism.

Mr Livingstone told the Home Affairs Committee, "if I had said that Hitler was a Zionist I would apologise for that, because it's rubbish... What I said was that when Hitler won his election in 1932 his policy was that the Jews should be moved to Israel. He was supporting Zionism."

Mr Livingstone, who was suspended from the Labour party following the original comments in April, told the MPs on the committee if he could go back in time and avoid referring to Hitler and Zionism he would, "because it allowed all anti-Jeremy people in the Labour party to start whipping up this as an even bigger issue".

Head of social work body criticises bill

Children and Social Work Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Ruth Allen, the chief executive of the British Association of Social Workers (BASW's), has written a blog criticising the Children and Social Work Bill.

She warns that the bill could give "unprecedented direct control" over social work regulation to the government - as opposed to the current independent regime.

BASW’s position is that "retaining an independent regulatory system for social work is a key constitutional and professional requirement".  

Giving local authorities the opportunity to opt out of meeting aspects of statutory duties towards children is also a major concern for BASW, she says.

"As an association, we’re very concerned about the ethics of loosening democratic accountability of social work services in this way and denying children access to rights and entitlements within existing legislation."

Explanatory notes on the bill

Children and Social Work Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Library note from the House of Lords
House of Lords Library

The ever-useful House of Lords Library have produced a note on what's contained in the Children and Social Work Bill.

You can download the note on the "related documents" page for the bill here.

Conservative MP: I do not want Wales to be the weakest link

Wales Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Chris Davies
BBC

Conservative MP Chris Davies, who sits on the Welsh Affairs Committee, says he does not want "Wales to be the weakest link in the United Kingdom chain".

He is unhappy at the dropping of the referendum requirement for income tax devolution, and has already said he is likely to rebel over new legislation to give the assembly more powers.

EU referendum: BBC guides

Flags
BBC

Don't forget, you can find out more about the EU referendum on 23 June, here. With guides to the key referendum arguments - including immigration, trade, travel and the cost of membership, there is a chance to explore all the key arguments from both Leave and Remain campaigns.

Department for Education's view quoted by Labour

Children and Social Work Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Labour's spokesman Lord Watson of Invergowrie responds to Lord Nash's claims by arguing the Department for Education have agreed the bill only contains delegations of powers.

Quoting from the Department for Education's impact assessment on the bill, Lord Watson tells peers that in reference to social work legislation "the bill itself simply enables the making of secondary legislation and does not in itself have any regulatory impact." 

He warns that the "government are on course to repeat the mistakes they made with the teaching profession".

Labour's spokesman Lord Watson of Invergowrie reads from the Department of Educations impact assessment
BBC
Labour's spokesman Lord Watson of Invergowrie reads from the Department of Educations impact assessment

Labour anger

Home Affairs correspondent tweets

Motion to regret

Children and Social Work Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Text from the motion to regret
Parliament

Labour have taken the unusual step of introducing a motion to regret parts of the Children and Social Work Bill, at second reading - which amounts to a request for the government to reconsider its plans.

The motion in the name of shadow education minister Lord Watson of Invergowrie expresses the opposition's displeasure that so many of the core provisions will be left to secondary legislation, to be published later. 

This runs against the recommendation of the Constitution, Secondary Legislation and Delegated Powers Committees of the Lords, who're concerned that too much major policy is pushed through when "skeleton bills" are fleshed out, after they've been passed. The argument is that this undermines proper scrutiny.

This is particularly important, Labour say, when Clauses 20 - 40 of the bill provide for the secretary of state to set up a new regulator of social workers (which could actually be the secretary of state).

This power and all details relating to the new regulator are left to secondary legislation which the House has yet to see - and Labour calls on the government to publish the draft regulations before the House considers those clauses in committee.

Lord Watson has written a blog post setting out Labour's position here.

Plaid Cymru attacks Wales Bill's 'complexity'

Wales Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Hywel Williams
BBC

Plaid Cymru's Hywel Williams begins by welcoming "progress" made in developing the current devolution plans from the draft Wales Bill, particularly the recognition of Welsh law. 

But he says there are "serious concerns about complexity and uncertainty" of the bill - highlighting, for instance, that water services will remain a reserved matter but sewerage is devolved.

He accuses the government of allowing devolution to become "a pick'n'mix of what Sir Humphreys fancy for themselves".

Minister attacks Labour's motion to regret

Children and Social Work Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Opening the debate, Education Minister Lord Nash calls Labour's amendment to regret parts of the bill "factually incorrect" in claiming the bill "only contains delegations of power". 

There are "only two delegations of powers" in the bill, he says.

He tells peers the Children and Social Care Bill will "ensure children's needs are at the heart of local decision making".

The bill will "promote greater stability and better support to improve [children in care's] opportunities and outcomes" and raise the "status of the social work profession".

Adding he hopes the motion to regret will not distract the debate's "focus on the content of the bill".

Education Minister Lord Nash
BBC

'Usually deserved it'

Buzzfeed's senior political correspondent tweets

Peers debate changes to children's social care

Children and Social Work Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Page from the Children and Social Work Bill
Parliament

Peers now move to the second reading of the Children and Social Work Bill - which seeks to radically alter children’s social care in the UK.

The government said the bill would “tackle state failure and transform the outcomes of children in care, so that we give all of them the hope of a better future”.  

The bill seeks to implement:

  • a new set of principles for local authorities working with looked-after children and care leavers 
  • a new requirement for local authorities to consult on and publish a local offer setting out the support available for care leavers in that area, and to ensure that all care leavers have access to a personal adviser up to age 25. 
  • extending the role of virtual schools heads and designated teachers in supporting adopted children and children in long-term care
  • provisions to protect the right of children in court decisions about their adoption or long-term care
  • provisions to enable local authorities to develop and trial new ways of delivering children’s social care
  • a new central panel to review child safeguarding cases which raise issues that may be of national importance

'Thank God we are a musical nation'

Euro 2016 statement

House of Lords

Parliament

Crossbench peer Lord Elystan-Morgan congratulates the "24,000 Welsh supporters" in responding to their 2-1 victory over Slovakia at the weekend in "choral harmony".

Quoting Swansea born poet Dylan Thomas the Welsh peer says "thank God we are musical nation".

Wales Fans celebrate in stadium
Getty Images

Former mayor to appear at committee

Home Affairs Committee

Select Committee

Parliament

Former mayor of London Ken Livingstone is due to appear before the Home Affairs Committee shortly.

In a written statement to the committee ahead of his appearance, Mr Livingstone said: "I detest racism and condemn anti-Semitism. 

"Indeed my political career has totally opposed any such views concerning any religious or ethnic group." 

 Mr Livingstone voiced concern over what he said was "a rise of physical and verbal attacks in London motivated by racism and faith hate" over recent years, including an "utterly deplorable" doubling in recorded anti-Semitic hate crime between 2010 and 2015.

In April, the Labour Party suspended Mr Livingstone in a row over remarks made by the MP Naz Shah.

Mr Livingstone defended the Bradford West MP over comments she made on Israel before becoming an MP.

Full text of statement on the violence in Marseille

Copy of statement on
Parliament

The full text of Theresa May's statement on the violence in Marseille is now available on Hansard.

Claims of hostility towards the Welsh language

PA reporter tweets:

House of Commons

Parliament

Helpful guide

Politics watcher tweets

Peers hear statement Marseille violence

Euro 2016 statement

House of Lords

Parliament

Home Office Minister Lord Keen of Elie is now repeating Theresa May's statement on incidents of violence involving England fans at the Euro 2016 from earlier today.

Peers will then be given 10 minutes to ask questions of the government.

Government 'cannot confirm' reports of public burning of Yazidis

Oral questions

House of Lords

Parliament

Crossbench peer Lord Alton of Liverpool
BBC

Crossbench peer Lord Alton of Liverpool asks the government to comment on the reports of the public burning to death of 19 Iraqi Yazidi women in Mosul by the so-called Islamic State (IS).

The women were allegedly burned to death in iron cages because they refused to have sex with Isis fighters, the Kurdish ARA News agency reported.  

The Yazidi are a minority Christian sect from Iraq who are trapped in the mountains in northwest of the country by IS.

Foreign Office Minister Baroness Anely of St Johns replies the government have "not able to verify these reports but its clear Daesh [another name for IS] have carried out appalling atrocities against Christians, Muslims and Yazidis in Iraq".

"The only way to prevent such attrocities is to liberate all areas under IS control," she adds.

Former Wales secretary criticises devolution plans

Wales Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Conservative former Welsh secretary David Jones says the quantity of legislation on Welsh devolution indicates "just how flawed the original devolution settlement was". 

He goes on to argue the reserved powers model embodied in the bill leaves it "in danger of overlooking the constitutional fact that this Parliament is supreme".

Under this model, Westminster cannot legislate on any devolved matters without the permission of the Welsh Assembly.

He says he "strongly questions" whether this bill is the right approach. 

David Jones
BBC

Tobaccos industries of 'encouraging cigarette smuggling'

Oral questions

House of Lords

Parliament

Liberal Democrat peer Lord Rennard accuses the tobaccos industries of "encouraging cigarette smuggling" by "grossly oversupplying certain markets where taxation is low".

Peers are debating the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products and the European Union Tobacco Products Directive 2015 - which prevents the tobacco industry from implementing its own tracking and tracing systems to prevent illegal cigarette trafficking.

Baroness Crawley says the UK cannot "allow the tobacco industry to regulate itself and use its own tracing and tracing system on packs of cigarettes".

Liberal Democrat peer Lord Rennard
BBC

Anderson: Farage not a 'Commonwealth man'

Oral questions

House of Lords

Parliament

Labour's Lord Anderson of Swansea
BBC

Labour's Lord Anderson of Swansea accuses the government of allowing "Mr Farage to get away with claiming he is a Commonwealth man" when it is the "unambiguous position" of most leaders of these countries that the UK remain in the EU.

Foreign Office Minister Baroness Anelay of St Johns replies that the government "has noted that on each occasion when the wide variety of heads of government in these countries have called for the UK to remain in the EU they have based their views on facts".

'Deliberately offensive'

Home Affairs Committee

Select Committee

Parliament

The President of the Board of Deputies, Jonathan Arkush, has told MPs on the Home Affairs Committee that Ken Livingstone's comments about Hitler and Zionism were "plainly anti-semitic".

Mr Arkush said the former Mayor of London had been "deliberately offensive and purposefully provocative".

Overseas views on leaving the EU

Oral questions

House of Lords

Parliament

Former Labour foreign affairs spokesman Lord Anderson of Swansea gets business under way in the House of Lords asking what the British Overseas Territories (BOTs) and other Commonwealth countries think about the UK's potential exit from the European Union.

The Friends of British Overseas Territories and the Caribbean Council - which advises many trade bodies in Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands and the Cayman Islands - have both written that a vote to leave the EU may inadvertently affect the special status of BOTs.

Given their special relationship with the UK, BOTs are regarded as being associated with the EU - and are able to receive EU funding and EU rules.

Baroness Scotland, the newly appointed Commonwealth Secretary-General, has said campaigners who say Commonwealth ties should replace links with the European Union are offering voters a "false choice" ahead of Britain's June 23 EU referendum.

However John Howard, former Australian Prime Minister, has come out in favour of Britain leaving the EU.

May outlines football measures

Home Secretary Theresa May outlines measures put in place following violence at Euro 2016.
Home Secretary Theresa May tells MPs about measures put in place by French police, following violence at Euro 2016 between English and Russian fans.

Lords business

Coming up...

House of Lords

Parliament

Order paper from the House of Lords
Parliament

The House of Lords is due to begin shortly. After the usual half hour of questions to ministers, Lord Keen of Elie will repeat the answer to today's urgent question on incidents of violence involving England fans at the Euro 2016.

The main event is the second reading of the Children and Social Work Bill.

Unusually Labour has tacked on a motion of regret to the second reading – which is normally a general debate on the principles and themes of the bill.

Labour has labelled it a “skeleton bill”, being used to pave the way for major policy changes to be brought through later through secondary legislation, which tends to get less scrutiny on the floor of the house.

This runs against the recommendation of the Constitution, Secondary Legislation and Delegated Powers Committees of the Lords, who're concerned that too much major policy is being pushed through when "skeleton bills" are fleshed out after they've been passed.

This is particularly important, Labour says, when Clauses 20 - 40 of the bill provide for the secretary of state to set up a new regulator of social workers (which could actually be the secretary of state).

This power and all details relating to the new regulator are left to secondary legislation which the House has yet to see - and Labour calls on the government to publish the draft regulations before the House considers those clauses in committee.