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Summary

  1. MPs began the day with questions to the International Development team, followed by PMQs.
  2. There were two statements scheduled: one on yesterday's EU summit and the other on hate crime.
  3. There was an Opposition day debate on the UK economy; followed by a Backbench business debate on the centenary of the Battle of the Somme.
  4. Peers met at 3pm, and after oral questions, peers turned their attention to committee stage of the Bus Services Bill.

Live Reporting

By Esther Webber and Sam Francis

All times stated are UK

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Theresa May, Andrea Leadsom

Theresa May and Andrea Leadsom are in the final round of the contest to become Conservative Party leader and prime minister. How will it unfold?

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End of business in the Lords

House of Lords

Parliament

The Lords have finished the first day of committee stage on the Bus Services Bill and will return at 11am tomorrow for questions on: 

  • implications of the High Court’s ruling in R (Fox) v Secretary of State for Education 
  • the independent review of online secondary ticketing 
  • ensuring those with diabetes have adequate support to tackle obesity 
  • ensuring that constituency boundary revisions take full account of the electoral registers on 23 June.

Buses 'vitally important' to national parks

Bus Services Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Judd introduces an amendment which would give national park authorities in England more involvement in the provision of bus services. 

He says buses are "vitally importalnt for both residents and visitors to national parks" and lack of access was the main barrier to those wanting to make use of the national parks. 

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and European Council President Donald Tusk (R) address a joint news conference on the second day of the EU Summit in Brussels, Belgium, June 29, 2016

There can be no pick and choose in the single market, EU leaders meeting in Brussels say, after discussing the UK vote to leave.

Read more

End of business in the Commons

House of Commons

Parliament

The Commons winds up for the day, and will return at 9.30am tomorrow for questions to transport ministers. 

After that, MPs will hear the business statement and take part in debates on the privatisation of the Land Registry and on bank branch closures.

Peers resume Bus Services Bill

Bus Services Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Following the dinner-break debate, peers resume committee-stage scrutiny of the Bus Services Bill

The bill aims to give Local Transport Authorities (LTAs) with a wider set of tools to use to address inefficiencies in their local bus markets and to work with commercial bus operators to provide better local bus services for passengers. 

The bill is also intended to make it easier for passengers to access information about routes, fares and timetables, and to ensure ticketing schemes meet passengers’ needs.

Zero-hours contracts 'demonised'

Question for short debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Earl of Courtown
BBC

Government spokesman the Earl of Courtown says zero-hours contracts have been "demonised due to wholly inappropriate use of zero-hours contracts by minority of employers" and there is room for them to fit "positively" in the UK's economic landscape.

CPS confirm UK involved in rendition

Adjournment debate

Today's debate comes shortly after the first-ever confirmation that British officials were involved in CIA renditions and ministers were made aware of that fact.

On 9 June, after years of secrecy a decision by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) confirmed that UK officials were implicated in the 2004 kidnap, mistreatment and ‘rendition’ of two families to Gaddafi’s Libya.

The CPS had been which had been considering whether to charge British officials for kidnapping and other offences in a rendition case for the best part of two years.  

The victims included a pregnant woman and four children aged 12 and under. The CPS also noted that some “political authority” was sought for the operation.

However, the CPS also claimed that there was “insufficient evidence” to bring charges against the lead suspect. 

Has history misjudged the generals of World War I?

MPs are continuing their debate on commemorating the Battle of the Somme. 

Almost a million men from Britain and her Empire were killed during the First World War – a devastating statistic for which Britain’s wartime military leaders have borne the brunt of the blame.

The stereotype is that the ordinary soldiers were lions led by donkeys – the donkeys being incompetent, uncaring generals, responsible for thousands of unnecessary death.

But has history misjudged the generals of World War I?  

Background: Zero-hours contract

Warehouse
BBC

The number of workers on a zero-hours contract for their main job stood at 801,000 in late 2015, up by 104,000 from 2014, the Office for National Statistics said earlier this year.

That meant 2.5% of the employed UK workforce was on such a contract.

The 801,000 figure is the highest since the ONS began monitoring the number of zero-hours contracts.

ONS statistician Nick Palmer said some of the rise could reflect greater recognition of "zero-hours" contracts.

However, he added: "There's also nothing to suggest this form of employment is in decline."

Read more.

Zero-hours contracts debate

Question for short debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Baroness Quin
BBC

Labour's Baroness Quin is opening a debate on zero-hours contracts. She begins by talking about the importance of ensuring that Brexit does not "undermine" workers' rights. 

She wants to know what assessment the government has made of the effects of such contracts on an individual’s chances of gaining full-time salaried employment, and on specific sectors, both public and private, of the UK economy.

Minister: Buses have part to play in improving air quality

Bus Services Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Ahmad
BBC

Transport Minister Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon acknowledges buses "have a huge part to play in solving some of the country's air quality problems" and it would be "beneficial" for low-emission technology to be used more widely.

He says the bill as drafted does allow local authorities to take a judgement on vehicles'= specification, and the amendment proposed by Baroness Randerson would "tie their hands unnecessarily". 

Call for buses to improve emission levels

Bus Services Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Lib Dem Baroness Randerson introduces an amendment which would mean bus companies would have to meet "requirements as to the standard and type of vehicles to be used, taking account of emission levels".    

She says it's "essential to reinforce the need to improve emission levels".

She's backed up by Labour's Lord Whitty, who says he'd like to see it applied to older buses as well as new vehicles.

Why was the first day of the Somme such a disaster?

MPs are continuing their debate on commemorating the Battle of the Somme.

The first day of the Battle of the Somme, in northern France, was the bloodiest day in the history of the British Army.

On 1 July 1916, the British forces suffered 57,470 casualties, including 19,240 fatalities. They gained just three square miles of territory.

But why? The BBC has put together an interactive guide to one of the most infamous days of World War I here.

Another busy day in politics

Jeremy Corbyn
BBC

Just a reminder that you can keep up with all the day's fast-moving events on the main Politics live page, which has the latest on these stories: 

The First World War on the BBC

Screen grab of BBC's coverage of World War One
BBC

To commemorate the centenary of World War One the BBC has put together a season of programming.

You can see all of the BBC's coverage here. 

What's the Bus Services Bill all about?

Bus Services Bill

Mark D'Arcy

Parliamentary Correspondent

Peers have turned to the first day of detailed committee stage scrutiny of the Bus Services Bill - the first major legislation on buses since the deregulation of the 1980s. 

Normally this stage of debate is devoted to probing and manoeuvre, setting up serious attempts to amend the bill at report stage, but the addition of highly-controversial proposals in Clause 21, that local authorities should be prevented awarding a bus contract to a municipal operator, might lead to a change in tactics. 

There will also be pressure for stronger provision to cater for people with disabilities and for requirements for buses to use cleaner energy.  

The Battle of the Somme

Stretcher-bearers of the Salford Pals in No Man's Land, during the doomed attack on Thiepval on 1 July 1916
BBC
Picture from a drama documentary, The Somme: From Defeat to Victory

The battle of the Somme, fought in Northern France, was one of the bloodiest of World War I - in total there were one million casualties.

  • It began on 1 July 1916 and was fought along a 15-mile front near the River Somme in northern France 
  • 19,240 British soldiers died on the first day - the bloodiest day in the history of the British army
  • The British captured just three square miles of territory on the first day 
  • At the end of hostilities, five months later, the British had advanced just seven miles and failed to break the German defence 
  • In total, there were over a million dead and wounded on all sides, including 420,000 British, about 200,000 from France and an estimated 465,000 from Germany

Remembering the Battle of the Somme

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs are now debating a Backbench Business debate on the Centenary of the Battle of the Somme.

Andrew Murrison is leading the debate. 

'Recognise it won't be plain sailing' - minister

Debate on the UK economy

House of Commons

Parliament

Greg Hands, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, welcomes Labour's Rebecca Long Bailey to her new job and wishes her well in what could be a turbulent time ahead.

He says the Conservative government have "fixed the roof for storms ahead". "We all recognise it won't be plain sailing," he says, but the economy is best-prepared for what comes.

He tells MPs that the markets are functioning and the Bank of England stress test has shown positive results. 

The authorities have all the necessary tools in place to provide stability, have the tools necessary and will not hesitate to take the steps required, he says.

And he affirms that things will not change overnight - work, travel and business will remain unaffected at present. The prime minister's successor will have the time to make adjustment to economic policy needed, before the steps to leave the EU begin.

"Now is the time to heal divisions in the country and in our communities," he says.

Bus services in the spotlight

Bus Services Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Bus stop
Getty Images

Peers have moved on to the main business of the day, which is committee stage of the Bus Services Bill.

The bill seeks to expand the range of tools available to directly elected mayors and local transport authorities (LTAs) in areas in England outside of London to improve local bus services. 

They begin with a Lib Dem amendment designed to strengthen the bill's commitment to improving the quality of local services that benefits users.

Hate crime and the EU referendum

'Scaremongering' led to referendum result

Debate on the UK economy

House of Commons

Parliament

Rebecca Long Bailey, shadow Treasury minister, sums up for the Labour front bench. She praises colleagues' words and marks comments made by MPs from around the chamber.

People wanted someone to blame in the referendum vote, she says, but this was confused in the rhetoric of the referendum campaign; and there was scaremongering about immigration rather than the truth of why the economy wasn't working.

Manufacturing had its heart ripped out and communities around the country were destroyed during the 1980s, she says.

Investment is needed in communities which have been neglected for years, she says. "The economic outlook for the UK is uncertain and we are facing turbulent economic times."

Labour is willing to work across the House to ensure people are protected, she says. And she concludes: "Let's be the envy of the world once again."

David Cameron and Jeremy Corbyn

Prime Minister David Cameron tells Jeremy Corbyn to resign as Labour leader, claiming it is not in the national interest for him to continue.

Read more

FTSE 100 closes above pre-Brexit level

Trader watching monitor
AFP

The FTSE 100 has surged through the level it closed at last Thursday recovering all of the ground it had lost in the wake of the Brexit vote.

Trader in London

Global markets jump as Brexit fears ease

The FTSE 100 recovers from heavy losses after last week's Brexit vote, while Wall Street's rally continues, as investors' concerns ease.

Read more

Holidaying at home

Debate on UK economy

More of us could be spending this summer holidaying at home following the UK's Brexit vote, as the weaker pound makes foreign holidays more expensive, BBC Business Correspondent Tim Bowler writes.

Amid economic uncertainty over Britain's relations with the EU, the country's tourist industry could be one of the sectors to see a boost to business following the referendum result.

Tourism is one of the country's biggest earners, worth £121.1bn a year:

  • It accounts for 7.1% of the UK's economy, according to the industry body, the Tourism Alliance
  • Almost four million people work in the sector
  • Nine million holidaymakers came to the UK from the EU last year, says the travel agents group Abta
  • They account for 44% of all overseas visitors spending in the UK - £9.5bn a year.

Sand Castle with a British Flag
GETTY IMAGES

'Plans must include Scotland'

Debate on UK economy

House of Commons

Parliament

SNP MP Roger Mullin says "even Baldrick had a plan", but it seems the Leave side had no plan.

It seems the government were unprepared for the eventuality of a Leave vote too, he says.

"Whatever the scenarios are that are being planned, they must...include the place of Scotland within the European Union," he adds.

He says he has not heard a business person claiming that the falling pound will benefit exports. He says the problem is that without access to markets, the exchange rate is "immaterial".

Lord Rosser: I don't know what's happening to our country

Hate crime statement

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Rosser
BBC

On behalf of Labour, Lord Rosser asks why Theresa May did not give the hate crime statement in the Commons, seeking assurance it was not down to "internal party politics".

In a frank statement, he says, "I don't know what is happening to our country today" and says the question is now "how we put the evil genie back in the bottle". 

He adds that the answers provided earlier on the status of EU nationals in the UK would not have provided much comfort. 

Streeting attacks own front bench over leadership

Debate on the UK economy

House of Commons

Parliament

Labour backbencher Wes Streeting uses the debate to launch an attack on his own "skeletal front bench".

"Labour governments are the only way to deliver progressive change in this country," he argues.   

Pointing to the Conservative benches he says "until we start providing effective opposition this lot will get away with it", he warns Labour MPs. 

"We consign this country to decades of conservative government just as we did when I was growing up in the 80s."

He calls on his colleagues to "put the people the Labour party was founded to represent at the forefront of their judgements and do the right thing".

Labour is a cause, not a personality cult.

Labour backbencher Wes Streeting
BBC

MPs probe UK-EU economic ties

Andrew Tyrie
PA

On Tuesday the Treasury committee began its inquiry into the UK's future economic relationship with the EU. 

Before the House of Commons breaks up for summer the Committee says it will take further evidence including about "the trade-offs between market access and control that are likely to be involved, and the practical consequences for people and businesses". 

The UK’s negotiating position has yet to be established. Article 50 should not be triggered until it has been. A crucial task is to identify the maximum level of EU market access, consistent with the need for some control on migration. Work must also be done to identify not just the risks of leaving, some of which are becoming apparent, but also the opportunities. The Committee’s first hearing took some evidence on both.

Andrew TyrieChairman of the Treasury Committee

Scenes in the Lords

BBC journalist tweets

Government 'committed' to fighting hate crime

Hate crime statement

House of Lords

Parliament

Home Office Minister Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon is now repeating a statement on hate crime in the wake of the referendum.   

"Hate crime of any kind directed at any community, race or religion has absolutely no place in our society," he says.

He says "scenes we have seen in recent days... are utterly despicable". 

Echoing the words of the prime minister earlier he tells peers the government is "ultimately committed" to extra funding in order to combat hate crime.

How are the markets responding?

Debate on the UK economy

UK shares and the pound have continued to regain some of the ground lost in the wake of the Brexit vote.

The FTSE 100 share index was up 2.3% at 6,280.49, after rising 2.6% on Tuesday.

The pound rose 0.9% against the dollar to $1.3467, although sterling still remains well below levels reached before the referendum.

Analysts also warned that the rally of the past couple of days might be short-lived.

Read more here.

A trader flanked by many computer screens
AFP

Leave campaigner asks for clarity from government

European Council statement

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Forsyth
BBC

Lord Forsyth, a Conservative peer who campaigned for leave, asks for assurance the position of EU nationals in the UK remains unchanged.  

He says "many people concerned about their position and their future" and the government needs to make it "absolutely clear there is no question mark over that [their right to remain in the UK]".

Lady Stowell replies he is asking her to "go beyond what I can say at this point". 

Lords leader acknowledges 'it's an uncertain time'

European Council statement

House of Lords

Parliament

Baroness Stowell
BBC

Lib Dem leader in the Lords Lord Wallace of Tankerness puts forward his view "the leave that Mr Farage campaigned for is not the leave Mr Johnson campaigned for" and asks if the new unit set up to look at what the UK will do after leaving will reflect the full range of options.

Baroness Stowell tells peers "I don't dispute it's a very uncertain time" and stresses "we need to focus our energies on negotiations".

She says the so-called Brexit unit will be dedicated to "gathering as much information as possible" in order for negotiations to proceed "swiftly". 

Earlier, MPs presenting new bills

SNP MP tweets

What has Brexit done to the economy?

House of Commons

Parliament

There have been many claims and counter claims about what Brexit has done to the UK's economy.

To help cut through the spin and statistics the BBC have provided a handy guide on the post-Brexit economy and public finances.

Read more here.

A pound coin and a Euro on an EU flag
PA

Hosie refuses to comment on opposition to Article 50

Debate on the UK economy

House of Commons

Parliament

Stewart Hosie refuses to be drawn on whether the SNP would vote against invoking Article 50 - which would officially begin the process of the UK leaving the EU - despite questioning from Conservative James Cartlidge.

The prime minister had made clear that it would be for his successor to decide how and when to invoke Article 50, so the SNP have "at least three months" to make up their mind on how to proceed, he argues.

He notes that the Chancellor in his earlier speech made the case for "respecting the will of the people of the UK".

"I hope the same will apply to the will of the Scottish people 67%."

Gearing up for a day in the Lords

Labour peer tweets

Labour claims Brexit poses enormous risks

European Council statement

House of Lords

Parliament

Baroness Smith
BBC

Responding, shadow leader of the Lords Baroness Smith of Basildon says of the prime minister's assurance the UK remains a full member of the EU for now: "I have to say - it doesn't feel like that."

She asks for an update on appointing a new European Commissioner after the resignation of Lord Hill, and on whether the UK will still take on presidency of the European Council in 2017.

She says as part of the EU, the UK felt the "influence we could bring to bear for greater good" but now "our long-held cohesion faces enormous risk".