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Summary

  1. The day began with Foreign Office questions.
  2. Following this, there was a ten minute rule bill from Lib Dem Tom Brake on the right of EU citizens to stay in the United Kingdom.
  3. There were two Opposition day debates: the first on the environmental implications of Brexit, the second on SATs results.
  4. Peers debated the Chilcot report into the Iraq war.

Live Reporting

By Esther Webber and Sam Francis

All times stated are UK

Get involved

End of business

House of Lords

Parliament

That's it from the Lords for today - they return tomorrow at 3pm for questions on: 

  • council tenants in receipt of Universal Credit who are in arrears 
  • the Welsh government's increase in recycling rates 
  • the leak of telegrams from UK Embassy in Ankara and vetting of FCO staff 
  • resurgence of violence in South Sudan.

Government insists it won't 'pull up drawbridge' after Iraq

Iraq inquiry debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Cabinet Office Minister Lord Bridges of Headley winds up the debate by saying: "Learning the lessons of Iraq does not mean pulling up the drawbridge." 

Sir John Chilcot last week outlined his findings on the UK's involvement in the 2003 Iraq War and the lessons to be learned from it.

The report spans almost a decade of UK government policy decisions between 2001 and 2009.

It covers the background to the decision to go to war, whether troops were properly prepared, how the conflict was conducted and what planning there was for its aftermath, a period in which there was intense sectarian violence.

Labour: Leaders must take decision to go to war

Iraq inquiry debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Collins
BBC

Labour spokesman Lord Collins of Highbury says the Chilcot report is unlikely to have changed many people's minds. 

He claims the report portrays the Iraq War as "a big mistake", but does not make the case for non-interventionism or find that anyone acted in "bad faith".

He says the report "accepts that ultimately leaders have to make decisions and especially the tough ones". 

Lib Dems: Government was warned over Iraq

Iraq inquiry debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Responding to the debate for the Lib Dems, Baroness Northover tells peers the Chilcot report "hasn't pulled its punches" even though "much of it comes as no surprise". 

"Nobody could say the government wasn't warned," she says, citing letters from her colleagues and from legal and military analysts. 

Senior diplomat: Government did not listen to Lords on Iraq

Iraq inquiry debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Wright
BBC

Crossbencher and former head of HM Diplomatic Service Lord Wright of Richmond recalls he "warned" against military action at the time. 

"There is no sign any of the powerful interventions in this House.. were ever brought to the attention of the prime minister," he says, adding that he was given "repeated assurance that regime change was no part of the government's policy". 

He advises that if the UK is to support the US in its foreign policy Parliament must "examine very closely" its motives. 

How Tony Blair came to be so unpopular

Jim Naughtie

Radio 4 presenter

Tony Blair
BBC

No British prime minister in modern times has experienced a plunge in fortune like Tony Blair's.

Cheered to the echo as he left the Commons chamber for the last time as prime minister in 2007, after 10 years of largely untroubled dominance, the tragedy of Iraq quickly ensnared him so completely that by this summer he admitted he would be a liability in the campaign to keep Britain in the European Union. The old Blair magic had turned to sand.

But it had once seemed like magic. A parliamentary majority in 1997 of proportions that no-one in politics could remember, and along with it a feeling that like Margaret Thatcher, whom he'd watched in amazement as a young MP in the 1980s, he had set a national mood that made a permanent break with the past.

Then, after Bill Clinton had welcomed him on to the world stage, came George W Bush.

The Chilcot report lays out the consequences of that relationship - the "whatever" memo of support to the president in 2002 will surely stand as its emblem - and catalogues Blair's journey to the assault on Baghdad and his inability to control, perhaps even to influence, the chaos that followed.

Read more.

Peer attacks legal basis for Iraq War

Iraq inquiry debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Thomas
BBC

Lib Dem Lord Thomas of Gresford argues the Chilcot report demonstrates the government and advisers played "pass the parcel" with legal advice. 

He concludes it led to an "illegal war of aggression", and the practice by which Tony Blair could be brought before Parliament to account for his actions is "not obsolete". 

End of Commons business

House of Commons

Parliament

Business in the House of Commons draws to a finish. 

MPs will be back at 11.30am tomorrow ahead of David Cameron's last prime minister's questions.

Government working on 'long-term solution' for supported housing

Adjournment debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Housing Minister Marcus Jones
BBC

Housing Minister Marcus Jones argues properly funding supported housing feeds into one of the government's "key commitments to protect the most vulnerable in society".

Funding for supported housing must be "efficient, workable, transparent and sustainable" in order to support a "high quality service for those who need it".

"Long-term reform of the sector is overdue," he acknowledges, going on to say the Local Housing Allowance cap is "a short-term fix" and the government is "working on a long-term solution".

"Universal credit provides an opportunity to drive that reform as housing benefit is phased out" he argues.

Motion on Trident renewal debate dropped

Business of the House

House of Commons

Parliament

Before the adjournment debate began a motion that was subject to some criticism earlier today was unexpectedly dropped.

The motion, to set aside time for a debate next Monday on renewing the UK's Trident nuclear defence programme (a controversial subject for the Labour party), had been tabled before the debate itself had been formally announced - leading to some MPs to questions the government's motives.

Though the motion was dropped the debate is still likely to go ahead - according to Leader of the House Chris Grayling's office - and will be announced in this Thursday's business statement.

The future of supported housing

Adjournment debate

House of Commons

Parliament

An elderly man in a wheelchair
BBC

We now come to today's final business, the adjournment debate, which is led by Conservative MP Peter Aldous on future funding of supported housing.

Supported housing is social housing provided to those people who cannot live by themselves without an element of care. Often these people have mental health problems, have suffered from addiction, are ex-servicemen and women, or are young adults with severe learning difficulties.  

Due to the Local Housing Allowance cap, housing benefit paid to those in supported housing will be capped at the LHA rate for each local authority - set based on a measurement of the bottom 30% of the rental market. 

Critics say this will not be enough and many supported housing schemes will be forced to close. 

New hereditary peer announced: Lord Boyle

House of Lords

Parliament

Earlier, a new crossbench hereditary peer was announced following the recent by-election. 

Earl of Cork and Orrery (Lord Boyle) said in his statement he was interested in "the continued attrition of the armed forces, the inherent dangers of the Scottish independence debate, and abuse of charity legislation".

MPs approve increase in tribunal fees

Orders and regulations

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs approve the increase in tribunal fees by 278 votes to 218.

MPs vote on increasing cost of access to tribunals

Orders and Regulations

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs have divided to vote on approve new measures to increase a number of fees charged in the civil and magistrates courts by 10%.

Under the draft Civil Proceedings, First-tier Tribunal, Upper Tribunal and Employment Tribunals Fees (Amendment) Order 2016 fees in judicial review proceedings heard in the immigration and asylum chamber will be increased, but "the uplift will not apply to fees in civil proceedings that are already set above cost".

MPs reject Labour motion on SATs

Opposition Day debate

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs vote to reject Labour's call to ditch using this year's SATs to measure school performance by 278 votes to 178.

Decision to vote after 'considerable discussion'

Iraq inquiry debate

Baroness Armstrong
BBC

Former Labour chief whip Baroness Armstrong of Hilltop tells peers she reached the decision to vote for military action after "considerable discussion with colleagues - it wasn't just sprung upon us". 

She says that "we are all very good at hindsight, we do not know what the outcome would have been" had the UK not invaded Iraq. 

The report shows the need to "strengthen and reform the UN" so that it is equipped to act in the future, Lady Armstrong says. 

MPs vote on using 2016 SATs results to measure school performance

Opposition Day debate

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs file out of the chamber to register their votes
BBC
MPs file out of the chamber to register their votes

MPs have divided to vote on the Labour motion on calling on the government to not use the low 2016 SATs results for measuring school performance.

Results are expected shortly.

What are they voting on?

Labour whips tweet

Gibb: Reforms are working

Opposition Day debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Education Minister Nick Gibb
BBC

Education Minister Nick Gibb says it would have been easier not to "have changed the system" and "taken on vested interest" but that would have "allowed the continued inflation of results...masking the decline in standards".

Over 120,000 six year-olds are "reading more effectively today because of these government reforms".

"We know we are asking more, but we're doing that because we are committed to giving you people the best start in life."

Chilcot report: MI6, a Hollywood movie and faulty intelligence

Gordon Corera

Security correspondent, BBC News

The Iraq Inquiry by Sir John Chilcot presents a devastating picture of intelligence that is damning for both spies and the politicians.

It is critical of MI6's collection and presentation of its sources; of the analysis by the wider intelligence community; of the way the Joint Intelligence Committee allowed its material to be used and of the way in which politicians talked about intelligence to the public.

The story of one particular MI6 agent, as told in the inquiry report, reveals much of what went wrong.

Read more.

Government 'failed to spot fundamental flaw'

Opposition Day debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Shadow education minister Gordon Marsden
BBC

Shadow education minister Gordon Marsden accuses the government of "rushing ahead with policy without properly including parents or professionals".

This meant the government "failed to spot the fundamental flaw in the design" which is that the new tests were "insufficiently comparable".

The government needs "a sense of common enterprise and evidence driven policy", he argues.

Trident business motion could be debated

Parliamentary journalism project tweets

Peer says Iraq 'not functioning'

Iraq inquiry debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Crossbencher Lord Williams of Baglan, a former special adviser to Robin Cook and Jack Straw as foreign secretary, is discussing the legacy of the Iraq War.

He says that for all its problems under Saddam Hussein, "Iraq was a nation state" and now it is "not a functioning state". 

He notes that so-called Islamic State is stronger in Iraq than any other country in the region. 

Petition for Nicky Morgan to resign over SATs

Nearly 14,000 have signed a petition calling on Education Secretary Nicky Morgan to “apologise and resign” over failings linked to the new SAT tests.

The petition complains that this year 47% of 11-year-olds will be told they haven't reached the “expected” standard in at least one of their SATs papers.

It says: "Because of the major failings of a key reform, and because of the effect of those failings on schools and children, Nicky Morgan must first of all apologise to all those children who took KS2 SATs this year, and then resign her post."

Former security minister: Iraq damaged trust in intelligence agencies

Iraq inquiry debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Baroness Neville-Jones
BBC

Conservative and former security minister Baroness Neville-Jones focuses her remarks on intelligence failures which preceded the Iraq war, saying the Chilcot report tells "a sad story of professional error, exaggeration and political manipulation".

She concludes it has left a "damaging legacy of suspicion and mistrust" in intelligence agencies which continues today and plays into objections to the Investigatory Powers Bill currently before Parliament. 

'Shooting fish in a barrel'

Opposition day debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Liberal Democrat MP Dr John Pugh
BBC

Liberal Democrat MP Dr John Pugh says Nicky Morgan describing the SATs as a "success" has made "criticising the government very easy, like shooting fish in a barrel". 

Some "humility" from the education secretary could help create a "sense of common enterprise between the teaching profession and the government", he argues.

Dr Pugh calls on the government to take a lesson from countries like Finland who have "very few tests like our SATs and they do very well", and questions the need to train children in grammar. 

"Many of the best orators aren't thinking about the grammar of their speech," he argues.

Labour leader's story explained

Listen to Episode 1

BBC Radio 4

In this Radio 4 series, Steve Richards examines the dramatic story of Jeremy Corbyn over the past year, and what it tells us about the bitter battle for the soul of the Labour party.

Almost half of primary pupils miss new SATs standard

Students in a classroom
GDLIMAGES

Almost half of pupils in England have failed to meet a new tough standard in reading, writing and mathematics in this year's SATs tests.

Official data shows just over half (53%) of 11-year-olds made the grade in reading, writing and mathematics.

This means 47% of pupils are considered not to have made the grade in the 3 Rs by the end of their primary years.

Last year 80% met the required standard in reading, writing and maths - but that was under a system which was dropped this year.

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan says lower results should not be interpreted as a decline in performance by pupils.

This year's tests were more demanding and were based on a new curriculum.

Read more here.

Students 'let down by the Labour party'

Opposition day debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan
BBC

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan attacks Angela Rayner's speech as "everything that is wrong with the Labour Party".

She says the speech was full of "mad conspiracy theories, deferring to the unions and zero answer for the problems faced by this country".

Ms Morgan argues students have been "let down by the Labour party" who allowed "ever higher pass rates" at the cost of "driving down standards".

UK students are "far behind their peers across the world" and nothing is more important than "mastering the three Rs [reading, writing and arithmetic], and mastering them early" - which is why the new curriculum and testing standards were introduced. 

The Conservatives had "always been clear" that the results would be lower as the new system "beds in", she adds.

SATs an 'unmitigated disaster'

Opposition day debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Shadow education secretary Angela Rayner
BBC

Shadow education secretary Angela Rayner says primary school pupils are being "set up to fail" as a result of the government's changes to SATs.

This year's SATs tests are the first to asses the new primary national curriculum introduced in 2014, but the Department of Education has "chopped and changed too much" and set new benchmarks have been "set at a level beyond the reach of the majority of children".

The result is an "unmitigated disaster and a nightmare for thousands of children" who will go to their next schools "thinking they are failures".

The results have serious consequences for "thousands for schools" because SATs results are used to rank schools in a league table and used by school inspectors to measure success, she tells MPs.

Lord Blunkett: media assumed Chilcot would call Blair a liar

Iraq inquiry debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Blunkett
BBC

Former home secretary and Labour peer Lord Blunkett calls it "regrettable that vitriol has been poured on individuals", saying it makes it difficult to address key issues.

He continues: "Some of our media which should know better had already assumed it would be found Tony Blair was a liar and sought to misled the nation even though Chilcot found the opposite."

Lord Blunkett voted for the war, but has previously said the government should never have published its controversial second dossier on Iraq's weapons.

SATs debate

Opposition Day debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Motion text
Parliament

MPs now move to the second of today's opposition day motions, calling on the government to disregard the low 2016 SATs results for measuring school performance.

MPs reject Labour motion

Opposition day debate

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs vote to reject the Labour motion by 278 votes to 229.

Tellers deliver the results of the vote
BBC
Tellers deliver the results of the vote

No time to ponder Iraq decisions - bishop

Iraq inquiry debate

House of Lords

Parliament

The Bishop of London emphasises pressures on government including an ally anxious for action and 24-hour news cycle which he believes meant that senior politicians did "not have much time for pondering decisions". 

He says this, along with 9/11, amounted to "a culture and assumptions which were hugely significant". 

MPs vote on Labour motion

Opposition Day debate

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs divide to vote on the Labour motion criticising the government for a lack of planning on Brexit and calling for the government to "identify and fill any legislative gaps in environmental protection that may arise from the removal of EU law".

The results are excepted shortly.

Stewart: UK environmentalism predates the EU

Opposition Day debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Environment Minister Rory Stewart
BBC

Environment Minister Rory Stewart argues there was an "extremely strong powerful tradition of environmentalism in the UK long before we joined the EU".

The history of environmental protection "stretches back almost a thousand years to the formation of the Royal forests in Scotland and Royal forests in England" and includes figures such as Walter Scott and Wordsworth, he tells MPs.

He goes on to argue that there are advantages to leaving the EU in greater flexibility to flood management - through moving money between budgets to allow the planting of more tress on farm land.

"Rigid legal structures, implemented by 28 EU member states, have made it quite difficult to respond to recent developments" in science and improved environmental inspection, he says.

Chilcot report: Findings at-a-glance

Tony Blair and George W Bush
ap

Sir John Chilcot has outlined his findings on the UK's involvement in the 2003 Iraq War and the lessons to be learned from it.

The report spans almost a decade of UK government policy decisions between 2001 and 2009.

It covers the background to the decision to go to war, whether troops were properly prepared, how the conflict was conducted and what planning there was for its aftermath, a period in which there was intense sectarian violence.

Read the main points.

Former civil service chief: Tony Blair was sincere

Iraq inquiry debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Butler
BBC

Crossbencher and former head of the civil service Lord Butler of Brockwell reminds peers that "virtually all" intelligence agencies were of the view that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. 

"Intelligence is not uniquely worthy of belief - it is uniquely worthy of scepticism," he finds.

He adds he has "considerable sympathy" for Tony Blair, and "I have never believed he lied - I accept he was sincere".

He stresses the importance of following Cabinet procedures, and that they should not be treated as "impositions on busy ministers". 

The Chilcot report found that in Tony Blair's Cabinet, there was little questioning of the attorney general's advice and no substantive discussion of the legal issues recorded.

'Our worst fear' confirmed

Opposition day debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Shadow environment, food and rural affairs secretary Rachael Maskell
BBC

Today's debate has revealed "our worst fear that the government called a referendum without first carrying out the analysis about what could happen should the electorate opt to leave the EU", shadow environment, food and rural affairs secretary Rachael Maskell says.

The government's lack of planning is "nothing but reckless" she argues.

"We have not heard from the opposite front bench how much legislation is tied up with the EU," she argues.

While there have been many government promises during the debate "we need to know the detail".

Lord Campbell questions government and opposition on Iraq

Iraq inquiry debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Campbell
BBC

Former Lib Dem leader Lord Campbell of Pittenweem, a prominent critic of the decision to go to war in Iraq, strikes a different note to the two frontbench speakers. 

He begins by saying Earl Howe's characterisation of Iraq as "a better, freer place" is open to challenge. 

He also says of Labour's Lord Touhig assertion there was "mutual respect" among MPs voting for or against Iraq: "I beg leave to question that."  

He summarises Tony Blair's mistake as "making the evidence fit his judgement - not making his judgement fit the evidence".

Mr Blair's famous assurance to George W Bush - "I will be with you whatever" is, for Lord Campbell, "at the heart of his disastrous decision".