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Summary

  1. The day began with questions to the Wales ministerial team; followed by questions for the prime minister from the Labour leader and backbench MPs.
  2. After a motion to approve a statutory instrument relating to terrorism; they turned to the first day's debate on the Chilcot report.
  3. Peers began their day with oral questions.
  4. After that, the Investigatory Powers Bill completed its second day of committee stage scrutiny.
  5. Peers also held a debate on the renewal of the Trident at sea nuclear deterrent.

Live Reporting

By Esther Webber and Sam Francis

All times stated are UK

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Theresa May outside Downing Street at David Cameron's ahead of Cabinet meeting

Theresa May has now succeeded David Cameron as UK prime minister. What are the immediate challenges she faces and what's on her to-do list?

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End of Lords business

House of Lords

Parliament

Defence Minister Earl Howe thanks ministers for the "steel core of consensus" in today's speeches, which have largely been in favour of maintaining the nuclear deterrent.

And with that the House of Lords is drawn to a close. Peers will be back at 11am tomorrow for debates on the causes of poverty in the United Kingdom, led by the Big Issue founder and crossbench peer Lord Bird, and on resourcing and staffing courts in supporting the rule of law led by the former Lord Chief Justice, Lord Woolf.

Labour support for Trident

Trident renewal debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Labour defence spokesman Lord Touhig tells peers his party support the renewal of Trident.

The "true cost" of removing the UK's nuclear deterrent "cannot be measured in money, it is measured in lives" he tells peers.

"Resisting never comes cheap" Lord Touhig says, but balances this against the "60m killed in the second World War".

Labour defence spokesman Lord Touhig
BBC

Taking a 'step down the ladder'

Trident renewal debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Smith of Newnham says her party supports retaining a nuclear deterrent but do not believe in a "like for like replacement".

Baroness Smith, who led her parties review of defence policy, says the Liberal Democrats remain multilateralists but her party is "not persuaded it is essential to keep a four boat solution".

By establishing a new nuclear deterrent that is a "step down the ladder" the UK still "keeps a seat at the top table" in organisations like Nato but also signals "non-proliferation".

Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Smith of Newnham
BBC

Parliament's position on Trident

House of Lords

Parliament

The Houses of Parliament overlook the River Thames in London early Wednesday after members of the House of Lords voted late
AP

Since 2007, when MPs backed plans to renew Trident by 409 to 61 votes, "conceptual" work has been going on considering potential designs for replacement submarines, propulsion systems and other key components. 

The "Initial Gate" phase, consisting of £3bn in procurement of important items, has also been approved. 

But in October 2010, the government decided to delay the ultimate decision on whether to proceed and how many submarines to order until 2016.

'No one can predict the next 50 year' - Lord West

Trident renewal debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Former Chief of the Naval Staff Lord West of Spithead
BBC

Former Chief of the Naval Staff, Lord West of Spithead, says it would be "fool hardy" for any government to end the Trident programme and leave themselves open to "nuclear blackmail".

Lord West, who was responsible for the Trident nuclear deterrent from 2002-6, says the world today is "the most unstable I have known in my 50 years on the active list on the Royal Navy".

Whatever the picture today "no one can predict in that the next 50 years there wont develop a country prepared to use nuclear weapons".

"What is certain is: they are unlikely to use [nuclear weapons] if their use means self-destruction" he adds.

'Rules of the game have changed' - Bishop

Trident renewal debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Bishop of Chester, the Peter Robert Forste
BBC

The "rules of the game have changed" the Bishop of Chester, the Rt. Rev. Peter Robert Forster, argues.

"Countries and armies tend to prepare to fight the war 50 years ago without taking note of how the world has changed" he tells peers.

"Communism has essentially disappeared" and the global threat has "mutated in the face of culture wars" leading to a rise in international terrorism and cyber crime.

This will only become "ever greater in years and decades to come".

If the "forces of terrorism do one day acquire nuclear capacity of some sort I'm not sure submarine based nuclear missiles will actually be much of a counter threat" he says.

What is the Trident nuclear deterrent?

House of Lords

Parliament

Trident submarine
PA

Since 1969, according to government documents, a British submarine carrying nuclear weapons has always been on patrol, gliding silently beneath the waves, somewhere in the world's oceans.

The four current Trident-armed Vanguard Class submarines are due to retire by 2028. The missiles on them are having their operational lives extended to 2042.  

The logic is to deter a nuclear attack on the UK because, even if the nation's conventional defence capabilities were destroyed, the silent submarine would still be able to launch a catastrophic retaliatory strike on the aggressor, a concept known as mutually assured destruction.

The submarines carry up to 8 Trident missiles, each can be fitted with a number of warheads, which can be directed at a range of different targets.

Each of the four submarines carries a sealed "letter of last resort" in the prime minister's hand, containing instructions to follow if the UK has been devastated by a nuclear strike and the government annihilated.

Read more here.

Labour's position

Trident renewal debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Shadow defence minister Lord Tunnicliffe says his party remain committed to a renewal of the Trident nuclear deterrent, as only a vote at Labour conference can change its policy and this hasn't happened - yet. 

Lord Tunnicliffe notes "it is clear our leader Jeremy Corbyn does not hold that view very firmly personally" and is opposed to the replacement of Trident nuclear weapons.

Labour's current defence policy review has "not reached a conclusion on the deterrent".

But a parallel backbench Labour MP defence committee has "re-affirmed the parties commitment to replace the UK's vanguard submarine fleet".

The committee, led by Labour rebel John Woodcock, found that there had been "no substantial change to the need for [Trident Renewal]" since Labour's 2015 manifesto pledge to maintain the nuclear deterrent.

"I hope I have given a fair overview of the situation" Lord Tunncliffe concludes.

Shadow defence minister Lord Tunnicliffe
BBC

Reality Check: How much would Trident replacement cost?

House of Lords

Parliament

Artists impression of a nuclear submarine
BBC

Earl Howe has said whatever the cost of a nuclear deterrent it is a "price worth paying". So, what costs are involved when it comes to renewing the defence system?

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has said it will cost £17.5bn to £23.4bn to procure the replacement system. That is the estimate at 2013-14 prices.

Of that, between £12.9bn and £16.4bn would be spent on the submarines themselves.

However critics, including the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) claim the renewal will cost a round £100bn.

Douglas Fraser, the BBC's Scotland Economy editor has the facts here.

'Ultimate guarantor of our national security and way of life'

Trident renewal debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Opening the debate Defence Minister Earl Howe
BBC

Opening the debate Defence Minister Earl Howe calls Trident "ultimate guarantor of our national security and way of life".

The trident missiles are at the "extreme end" of the UK's hard power and "kept us and our Nato allies safe during the cold war and has kept us safe since".

Earl Howe notes that there an estimated 17,000 nuclear weapons around the world - a number he suggest may increase as the global situation "has become more dangerous and fragmented".

That is why the government have "committed to building four new ballistic missile submarines to replace the ageing Vanguard fleet".

But the "time to act is now to replace the current fleet on time and without a break".

Peers debate renewing the UK's nuclear deterrent

Trident renewal debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Peers now move to a debate on renewing the UK's Trident at sea nuclear deterrent.

The debate was arranged at short notice earlier in the week to allow peers to get the views on the record before MPs debate the subject in the House of Commons next week.

End of business in the Commons

House of Commons

Parliament

Communities Minister James Wharton winds up the adjournment debate by telling MPs about the successes of "bespoke" city deals.

The Commons returns tomorrow at 9.30am for Energy and Climate Change questions. 

Dundee city deal 'thrown into uncertainty' by referendum

Adjournment debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Chris Law
BBC

SNP MP Chris Law says city deals can play "a vital role in economic revival" and the planned deal for Dundee has been "thrown into uncertainty" by the referendum result.

Under the city deal scheme, certain powers, such as the ability to set and spend budgets, are devolved from central government to local authorities in a bid to increase growth.  

In 2014 Glasgow became the first city in Scotland to benefit from City Deal status - an agreement between the UK Treasury and a city region.

'Double lock' warrants

Investigatory Powers Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Peers are debating the "double lock" approval of warrants. 

Under this system an application for a warrant for targeted interception must be approved by both the Home Secretary and by a Judicial Commissioner before it can be issued.  

In urgent situations a warrant can be issued without a commissioner’s involvement, although it must be retrospectively approved by a commissioner within three working days or it will cease to have effect. 

This authorisation system applies to communications interceptions, targeted equipment interference warrants, bulk communications and bulk personal dataset warrants.

Tay Cities Deal

Adjournment debate

House of Commons

Parliament

The SNP's Chris Law is opening his adjournment debate on the Tay Cities Deal.

Green MP backs contempt motion

Iraq inquiry debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Caroline Lucas
bb

Green MP Caroline Lucas says she would support a contempt motion against Tony Blair.

She claims he "was responsible for fixing evidence around a policy whilst telling us he was doing the opposite" and it showed "disrespect amounting to contempt".

Although the Chilcot report found he did not act in bad faith, she says politicians are "not elected to show good faith but good judgement". 

Timeline of key moments since 2009

Chilcot report

Sir John Chilcot
PA

The UK inquiry into the 2003 Iraq war was published last week.

The report has been looking at the run-up to the conflict, whether troops were properly prepared, how the war was conducted and what planning there was for its aftermath.

Here's a timeline of the main developments since the inquiry, under Sir John Chilcot's leadership, began in July 2009.

Minister: No chilling effect on lawyer-client relationships

Investigatory Powers Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Home Office Minister Lord Keen Elie
BBC

Home Office Minister Lord Keen of Elie replies that an exemption to legal professional privilege for "highly exceptional cases" - such as terrorist attacks - has been in place since 2000.

He challenges Lord Pannick to come up with a "concrete example" of these powers having a "chilling effect on lawyer-client relationships".  

Lord Keen says he cannot think of an example of the exemption being used in the last 16 years "but that doesn't render it speculative".

Lib Dem leader: Charles Kennedy 'vindicated'

Iraq inquiry debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Tim Farron
BBC

Lib Dem leader Tim Farron starts by saying his party are not pacifists, but believe in military action as a last resort. 

"We did not believe that test had been met," he says of the decision to go to war, and the then Lib Dem leader, the late Charles Kennedy's "reasoned opposition was met with vile derision". 

Mr Kennedy has now been "vindicated", Mr Farron tells MPs, but it is a "tragedy" that neither he nor Robin Cook are here to see it. 

He claims it is sometimes appropriate for the UK to support US foreign policy, but making this a priority "gave rise to the error of making the evidence fit the judgement rather than the other way round". 

Bill could impact legal privilege

Investigatory Powers Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Crossbench peer and QC Lord Pannick
BBC

Crossbench peer and QC Lord Pannick argues that the bill introduces a new exemption to legal professional privilege.

Lord Pannick argues that the "right of the client to seek and obtain legal advice in confidence is of fundamental importance to the rule of law".

There are already exemptions, and legal profession privilege does not apply when legal advice helps further a criminal endeavour - known as the "inequity exception".

But under the bill "the authorities may be able to listen in to clients' discussions with lawyers when there is no reason to think a criminal purpose is being furthered".

Authorities can access discussions if they "believe that the discussion may reveal some fact to enable the authorities to stop a terrorist outrage". 

Hilary Benn calls for earlier intervention in conflict

Iraq inquiry debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Hilary Benn
BBC

Labour's Hilary Benn, who became international development secretary shortly after the Iraq War, argues that "we need to be much more effective and determined" in intervening in conflicts before they become "brutal civil wars". 

If the UK can help "demonstrate that multilateralism can provide the answer" then it will show there is "another and a better way" to conduct foreign policy.

Iraq 'worst foreign policy mistake' - David Davis

Iraq inquiry debate

House of Commons

Parliament

David Davis
BBC

Conservative David Davis begins his speech by saying Iraq has been "destroyed" and there is "a significantly increased threat from terrorism". 

He calls the decision to go to war in Iraq "the worst foreign policy mistake in our modern history". 

If Parliament is to take the decision to go to war again, he says, "we must be able to rely on being told the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth by our prime minister."

Wilson doctrine amendment

Investigatory powers bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Under Baroness Jones's amendment, the Home Secretary would no longer sign off on warrants and a judge would have oversight of access to parliamentarians' communications.

A warrant will only be allowed if there are reasonable grounds for believing that a serious criminal offence has been committed and it is in the public interest, with the right of MPs to correspond confidentially with constituents also borne in mind. 

This would prevent parliamentarians abusing their status to commit serious criminal acts "such as paedophilia", Baroness Jones argues.  

Jones: Wilson doctrine 'fairly worthless'

Investigatory Powers Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Green peer Baroness Jones
BBC

Green peer Baroness Jones tables an amendment to tighten up the so-called Wilson doctrine - a longstanding protection against MPs' communications being intercepted, named after former Prime Minister Harold Wilson.

Baroness Jones tells peers that the Wilson doctrine "only applies to targeted interceptions" but not "incidental interception", and so is "fairly worthless".

This leaves it open to "the risk of a partisan motivation, whether real or apparent", she adds. 

Baroness Jones, who was put on Metropolitan Police's domestic extremest database after police surveillance according to a whistle-blower, argues that "surveillance of parliamentarians is a constitutional issue".

"We need to be able to hold the executive to account without interference and without inhibition", she tells peers.

"If I can be targeted then I'm very nervous where such authorising comes from." 

Margaret Beckett: Tony Blair's critics reading from 'simple script'

Iraq inquiry debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Margaret Beckett
BBC

Labour former foreign secretary Margaret Beckett says there is "much to learn from the Chilcot report".  

She goes on to criticise commentators who have portrayed Tony Blair as a liar, pointing out that after several inquiries into the Iraq War, "none have verified that incredibly simple script". 

She tells MPs that "most people very firmly believed" that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, and the report bears out that Mr Blair was sincere when he communicated that message to the House. 

What does the bill do?

House of Lords

Parliament

Computer technology cable cables wire wires.
BBC

The Investigatory Powers Bill introduces a new system for the authorisation of warrants, whereby the approval of the secretary of state and an independent judicial commissioner will be required.  

Under the proposals the home secretary or Scottish minister may issue a warrant for intercepting on-line communications and bulk data sets.

The decision is then subject to approval by a judicial commissioner, who will have access to the same evidence as the home secretary, who can then deny the warrant.

In urgent cases a warrant may be issued without the approval of a judicial commissioner, but the judicial commissioner must still be notified and must decide whether to approve the warrant within five working days. 

Cautionary tales for MPs, says Grieve

Iraq war debate

House of Commons

Parliament

The chair of the Intelligence and Security Committee, Dominic Grieve, says he supported the action in Iraq, and he came to regret that.

Sir John Chilcot's report shows how the decision-making process can become distorted by events. "There are plenty of cautionary tales for us in this House today," he says.

Mr Blair formed his resolution we should support the United States and the processes of Whitehall and government were skewed to support that, whether it was intelligence or the "thorny" issue of legality.

Mr Grieve calls the way intelligence was handled in the run up to the Iraq war "breathtaking", and he hopes those who work in such services examine Sir John's report carefully, to see how it was misused to the purpose of justifying a theory.

What about the legal advice? he goes on to ask. Legal advice is often advice which cannot be certain, he says. And when it concerns international law, it is an intensely gray area.

He says his impression is that the attorney general was only given a sketchy background of the factual analysis on which his legal advice was being sought. He contrasts that with today, when law officers are asked to advise they are given better intelligence and factual briefings.

And he says we shouldn't be surprised that if there is no challenge to views - as there was not in Cabinet in this case - decisions tend to get "rubber stamped".

Computer hacking warrants questioned by peers

Investigatory Powers Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Peers now move back to detailed scrutiny of the Investigatory Powers Bill - which increases on-line powers for the police and security services.

First up an amendment by Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Hamwee to test the government's position on the process of approving of warrants for communications interception and computer hacking by the judicial commissioner.

Lack of truthfulness to Parliament - Salmond

Iraq war debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Alex Salmond
BBC

The former SNP leader, Alex Salmond, now the International Affairs spokesman, says he went back to look at the debate from 2003, and wants to remind people of others' speeches, such as then Lib Dem leader Charles Kennedy, who opposed action.

He says in terms of Parliament's responsibility, if it is to hold future executives to account, that despite the changes that have been made, he says he does not accept the foreign secretary's belief that such mistakes could not be repeated.

They are not just changes in terms of government processes, but parliamentary accountability - and that is deciding if Parliament has been misled.

In the past, we've held people accountable, he says. "My contention would be that Chilcot gives a huge array of evidence...of lack of parliamentary truthfulness," he says - which went on over several months and is shown by the evidence of the private memos between Tony Blair and George Bush.

Baroness Kinnock calls for arms embargo on South Sudan

Oral questions

House of Lords

Parliament

Labour peer Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead
BBC

Labour peer Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead calls on the government to ensure the safety of those seeking refuge in Southern Sudan.

The UN Security Council has called on warring factions in South Sudan to immediately end the recent fighting and prevent the spread of violence.  

More than 200 people are reported to have died in clashes since fighting broke out when troops loyal to President Salva Kiir and first Vice-President Riek Machar began shooting at each other in the streets of the South Sudanese capital, Juba.

Baroness Kinnock calls for an immediate UN Security Council arms embargo "which could ground South Sudan helicopters that are lethal when deployed against civilians". 

Divisions on miners strike resurface in Lords

Oral questions

House of Lords

Parliament

Former Conservative MP Douglas Hogg, now the Viscount Hailsham
BBC

Old political divisions have resurfaced as peers clash over the events of the Battle of Orgreave.

Former Conservative MP Douglas Hogg, now the Viscount Hailsham, says the "primary responsibility" for the violence "rests on the leaders of the mining community".

Lord Hailsham says miners "brought a very large numbers of people" and threatened violence in order to "implement policies that were as much political as industrial" and "subvert democratic government".

Former Labour MP for the mining community of South Shields, Lord Clark of Windermere, replies he is "disappointed" in Lord Hailsahms comments.

Lord Clark tells peers he saw police violence at miners' strikes, and calls for an inquiry into police tactics during the minor strike.

Police violence is "one of the reasons of distrust of politics" which resulted in the recent vote to leave the EU, he argues.

Lord Clark of Windermere
BBC

No inquiry on Orgreave until after Hillsborough investigations

Oral questions

House of Lords

Parliament

Thousands of miners and police clashed at the Orgreave coking site in South Yorkshire
PA

Former Conservative trade union envoy Lord Balfe calls on the government to launch a public inquiry into police actions during the Orgreave miners clash.

Thousands of miners and police clashed at the Orgreave coking plant  in June 1984 in the most violent day of the year-long miners' strike leading to the injury of more than 120 officers and pickets.

There was violence from both sides but the debate goes on about who acted first.

Home Office Minister Lord Keen of Elie says no formal decision will be made until the IPPC and CPS decide whether Orgreave material is relevant to ongoing Hillsborough investigations.

Former miners' union president Arthur Scargill has also called for an inquiry.

Cabinet and Parliament 'should not be seen as hurdles'

Iraq war debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Ken Clarke
BBC

Ken Clarke says that lessons to be learned include that blindly following the US president in what he wants to do is not a good idea. 

You may damage the special relationship for "a month or two", he says, but not permanently. And he says he believes the special relationship between the US and the UK is one of the most important aspects of British foreign policy.

He says another lesson is that not enough diplomats, or Foreign Office Arabists, were involved in the move to war.

And he asks: how does Cabinet come into this? What about accountability to Parliament? It was obvious that Cabinet government was not working properly in the government of Tony Blair, he says.

He says Cabinet and Parliament should not be seen as hurdles, and that is the wrong mindset. 

Learning from Wales on recycling

Oral questions

House of Lords

Parliament

Welsh councils are being asked to meet increasingly more ambitious recycling targets
BBC
Welsh councils are being asked to meet increasingly more ambitious recycling targets

Shadow environment minister Baroness Jones of Whitchurch calls on the government to follow the example set by the Welsh government.

Recycling rates in Wales have risen, according to new figures. They show 56% of waste in 2014/15 was recycled by Welsh councils - up 2% on the previous year.

The UK as a whole has to achieve a 20% EU recycling rate by 2020.  

Wales''s success has come because the Welsh government "have shown leadership" by setting targets for local authorities, streamlined bin collection and set statutory requirements. 

Environment Minister Lord Gardiner of Kimble replies the government's view is that decisions are best made by local authorities, 

"All parts had success in improving recycling rates" and we can "all learn form each others successes", Lord Gardiner adds.

The 'problem' of the legality of action

Iraq war debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Conservative MP Ken Clarke says it is too soon to follow up on the findings of the report, but in considering the political aspect - as Sir John Chilcot is "not a politician" - the House can look at the findings with "different eyes".

He says it is pointless to say "let's persecute Tony Blair, he was in charge". What this makes clear, he says, is no-one has committed a crime, and that those politicians believed they were acting in the public interest. 

The Americans were so keen to have the British on-side, that they were prepared to give Mr Blair some time to tackle the "problem" of the legality of the action they planned to take, Mr Clarke tells MPs.

He says he believes the participants in the US and in this country believed they were acting in the best interests.

Once understanding that mind-set, "one can understand why some of these extraordinary processes" happened, he said.

A delay happened to help the British more time to get through the "convoluted legal stuff", Mr Clarke says, pointing out that he is using these words sarcastically.

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Universal Credit pushing tenants 'into the arms of loan sharks' - Labour peer

Oral questions

House of Lords

Parliament

Labour peer Lord McKenzie of Luton
BBC

Labour peer Lord McKenzie of Luton attacks the government's flagship Universal Credit reform, which he says is "causing a build up debt amongst social housing tenants" pushing them "into the arms of loan sharks".

More than three-quarters of council tenants in receipt of Universal Credit  are in rent arrears, according to research by the National Federation of ALMOs and the Association of Retained Council Housing.

The report found a "indisputable link" between universal credit and the proportion of tenants experiencing difficulties and falling into rent arrears.

Work and Pensions Minister Lord Freud replies the "Universal Credit is not the sole issue" and the "reality is there are a lot of factors at play" including pre-existing arrears.

Evidence suggests that those on Universal Credit are "successfully reducing their arrears".

Hope new PM studies report 'as guide to future'

Iraq inquiry debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry says we cannot turn the clock back, correct the mistakes made, bring back the lives lost or undo the chaos.

She says too often the outgoing prime minister has created the same mistakes as were shown in Iraq - keeping Parliament in the dark, failing to plan and relying on speculative intelligence.

"It is hoped that the new prime minister will study the Chilcot report...as a guide to future decisions that she will have to make," she says.

Waiting to speak

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