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Summary

  1. The day began with questions to the Energy and Climate Change ministerial team, followed by the Business statement.
  2. MPs then moved to their second day of debate on the Chilcot report.
  3. Peers began their day with oral questions.
  4. Then they conducted four debates, on subjects including the causes of poverty and EU citizens lawfully resident or working in the UK.

Live Reporting

By Esther Webber and Sam Francis

All times stated are UK

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End of business in the Lords

House of Lords

Parliament

Peers approve the motion without a vote.

And with that business in the House of Lords comes to a conclusion. 

Peers will be back at 2.30pm on Monday for their first chance to scrutinise the Policing and Crime Bill.

Thanks for joining us - and see you then.

Peers debate banning terrorist organisations

Proscribed organisations order

House of Lords

Parliament

Peers are debating adding several groups to the list of banned organisations in the UK.

Under the motion the new groups added to the list of proscribed organisations in the UK will include:

  • Global Islamic Media Front
  • Ansar-al Islam, who are linked to al-Qaeda
  • East Indonesia Mujahedeen 
  • East Turkestan Islamic Party
  • Jamaah Anshorut Daulah

It is a criminal offence to belong to or invite support for a proscribed organisation; to arrange a meeting to support a proscribed organisation; or to wear clothing or carry articles in public which arouse reasonable suspicion that an individual is a member or supporter of the proscribed organisation.

Liz Truss 'will have a huge mountain to climb'

Courts resources debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Justice Minister Lord Faulks
BBC

In what looks set to be his final speech as a minister Lord Faulks says new Lord Chancellor Liz Truss will "have a huge mountain to climb" when she begins her role.

She will have "assistance from an extremely dedicated staff" to create the "sort of court service we ought to have in this country", Justice Minister Lord Faulks says.

Minister: Changes make justice more accessible

Courts resources debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Faulks tells peers the changes to the UK's court structure is to "make justice more accessible".

Court closures will go alongside efforts to "remove some unnecessary hearings and ensure there is digital access where possible".

End of business

House of Commons

Parliament

Today's session has finished and the Commons will return on Monday for questions to the new Communities and Local Government Secretary, Sajid Javid, and his ministerial team.

Government 'undermining' access to justice - Labour minister

Courts resources debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Shadow justice minister Lord Beecham
BBC

Shadow justice minister Lord Beecham accuses the government of "undermining" access to justice.

Pressure on the justice system "engendered by government policy" has reached the highest level, leading to a "growing backlog and ever longer delays" in the Court of Appeal.

At the same time there has be a "curtailment of legal aid and ever rising cost on those who seek justice", Lord Beecham argues.

"It is reasonable to seek to cost the use of the system and make use of modern technology but not at expense of access to justice."

Minister: Police should not make decisions on mental health

Adjournment debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Home Office Minister Mike Penning tells MPs that "police officers are not mental health experts" and their powers under the Mental Health Act should be used as "a last resort".

MP argues for power to detain mentally ill people in private places

Adjournment debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Conservative MP Sir Paul Beresford is opening his adjournment debate on Section 136 of the Mental Health Act 1983, which permits police to take an individual in a public place into custody if they appear "to be suffering from mental disorder".

The current law states that an individual cannot be detained for more than 72 hours without further evaluation.

In 2014 Sir Paul Beresford introduced a Ten Minute Rule Bill to amend section 136 of the Mental Health Act 1983, arguing that the law should be amended so police can intervene in private as well as public places.

Reshuffle news from the Lords: justice minister to stand down

Courts resources debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Liberal Democrat peer Lord Thomas of Gresford confirms that Justice Minister Lord Faulks will be stepping down.

"May I express my regret that my noble friend Lord Faulks has decided not to continue in post," he says.

"I can understand why he has taken that position."

Earlier, Lord Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood was praising the minister during his speech, when Lord Faulks appeared to signal that he was standing down, as this clip shows.

Following the debate

Sister of serviceman killed in Iraq tweets to shadow defence secretary Clive Lewis

We need to look at our decision-making - defence secretary

Iraq inquiry debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Michael Fallon
BBC

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon responds to the debate for the government, saying ministers need to ask whether they have made "significant changes" since the Iraq War.

"We should take a long, hard look at our decision-making processes," he expands, highlighting the work of the National Security Council and the Ministry of Defence, which he argues has been "transformed in recent years our approach to risk". 

He is approached by the SNP's Pete Wishart about how those involved can be held to account.

Mr Fallon answers: "The report holds them to account, it is for them to respond to those judgements." 

State of the courts criticised by MPs

House of Lords

Parliament

Commons Public Account Committee report
Parliament

In May, the influential Commons Public Account Committee published a report which found the "criminal justice system is close to breaking point". 

"The system is already overstretched and we consider that the Ministry of Justice has exhausted the scope to make more cuts without further detriment to performance," the committee found.

The committee was concerned that users of the system won’t "see the full benefit [of reforms] for another four years" - and noted that the government “does not have a good track record of delivering projects that involve significant changes to IT”.

Labour urges 'highest standard of proof' for military action

House of Commons

Parliament

Clive Lewis
BBC

Shadow defence secretary Clive Lewis begins the wind-up speeches by paying tribute to Sir John Chilcot, whose report he says "unflinchingly shone a light" on the events leading up to the Iraq War. 

He says he is not a pacifist, and "we must not be told we are soft on terrorism" if we question plans to intervene in another country. 

"We must demand the highest standard of proof for taking our country to war," he urges. 

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson in the House

BBC Parliament journalist tweets:

Former soldier denies troops 'died for nothing'

Iraq inquiry debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Former soldier and Conservative Johnny Mercer earlier spoke out against the idea that the men and women "died for nothing". 

He said soldiers who are lucky enough to return from combat refuse to remember their colleagues' contribution as futile. 

"For they did make differences, they saved comrades' lives through their bravery, they shielded civilians from brutal enemy intent on showing the very worst of humanity," he told the Commons. 

Court closures criticised

Court resources debate

House of Lords

Parliament

The Public and Commercial Services union, which represents many court workers, have criticised proposals to close courts, saying it would restrict access to justice. 

It has promised to challenge the Ministry of Justice's method for calculating underuse of courtrooms.

General Secretary Mark Serwotka said: "With courts closures and cuts to legal aid, access to justice has been significantly restricted by the previous government and now this one.

"We do not believe it is in the interests of justice to leave our communities without easy access to courthouses and tribunals."

Lucy Hastings, of the independent charity Victim Support, said the government needed to make the court process more efficient.

She said the Crown Court system was taking longer than at any point in the past 15 years to process cases, and the backlog of outstanding cases now stood at over 54,000.

Peers debate court closures

Court resources debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Statue of Justice
BBC

Peers now move to today's final debate, on resourcing and staffing courts in supporting the rule of law led by the former Lord Chief Justice, Lord Woolf.

In 2015, the then justice secretary Michael Gove announced plans to reform the courts and tribunals in England and Wales, and sell a number of underused courts and refurbish others. 

Ministers said 48% of court buildings were empty at least half of the time last year, but the Law Society warns closures could limit access to justice.  

These reforms were expected to deliver savings of approximately £200m a year from 2019/20 and deliver a “more efficient configuration of the estate”. 

The government has published a schedule for the closures, with six phases planned between now and September 2017.  

Former chancellor, George Osborne, announced that the government was increasing total investment to more than £700m “to modernise and fully digitise the courts”. 

'As soon as you scratch the surface it's extremely complicated'

EU citizens debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Home Office Minister Lord Keen of Elie
BBC

Home Office Minister Lord Keen of Elie says "while it may sound simple" to provide assurances to maintain EU nationals rights in the UK "as soon as you scratch the surface it's extremely complicated" - especially as the UK's relationship with EU countries changes.

The government will "never use EU citizens as bargaining chips" he tells peers, and seeks to provide "reassurance to all those [EU nationals] in the UK". 

It is "completely appropriate we protect the rights of EU citizens in the UK so they can continue to practice, live, work and study in the UK", he adds.

Case for Iraq War 'duplicitous'

Iraq inquiry debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Mark Durkan
BBC

The SDLP's Mark Durkan weighs in with heavy criticism of Tony Blair's government, saying: "Never again should dispatch box certitude be mistaken for certainty."

He believes "the evidence was bent and melted and confected" and, while the Chilcot report found Mr Blair had not lied, "nobody can say it was not the case there was duplicity". 

Many voted against 'better judgement'

Iraq inquiry debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Alistair Carmichael
BBC

Lib Dem MP Alistair Carmichael says he is grateful to Sir John Chilcot for the thoroughness of the work done.

The report fills in the background details, he says, but he places on the page "a lot of the dots" and it's for Parliament to join them up. He says in particular, we can draw conclusions from the evidence on the legality of the war, which Sir John did not proffer an opinion on.

The removal of the Baath party stands out to a strategic error, he says. For many ordinary Iraqis, removing the infrastructure of government in the way it was done left a void which remains to this day.

Of the MPs who were in the House at the time, 172 remain. Of that number, 141 voted in favour and 21 against. He calls the atmosphere at that time "brutal" and it was that that forced many to vote "against their better judgement".

Government should just admit that EU citizens will stay in UK, says peer

EU citizens debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Lucas
BBC

Lord Lucas argues the votes in the House of Commons make it clear to EU citizens that they will have a right to remain in the UK, so the government should just admit it.

The government's argument that giving unilateral reassurance to EU citizens in this country leaves our citizens in EU countries unprotected "is now gone".

But the damage caused by that position remain, including EU citizens "feeling other and unwanted".

The government has a chance to "set the tone for the referendum debate" and "re-affirm friendships across Europe".

Don't dip into defence - Labour MP

Iraq inquiry debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Labour's Madeleine Moon - a member of the Defence Committee - says there's been a tinge of self-righteousness about where MPs stood on the vote in 2003.

Mrs Moon, who was elected in 2005, said she never thought she would spend most of her time on defence matters. "I went out of my way to teach myself defence," she says. "You have to do that, unless you've been in the armed forces, you have to learn, you have to find out how decisions are made."

It is not enough to be a member of this Parliament and dip into the subject of defence, she tells MPs.

And she says MPs need to be more responsible in understanding defence, and the tasks that are placed in front of Britain's armed forces.

EU citizens in the UK

EU citizens debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Peers now move to Conservative peer Lord Lucas' topical debate on the right of EU citizens to remain in the UK following the Brexit vote – a popular subject over in the House of Commons as well. MPs have twice voted on the subject in the last week, in an Opposition Day debate and a Ten Minute Rule Bill.

Government 'committed to tackling the root causes of poverty' - minister

Debate on causes of poverty

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Freud says his government are "committed to tackling the root causes of poverty".

This is why the government rejected the "narrow income based approach" of the Child Poverty Act, installed under the last government.

"Focusing on moving families above a notional poverty line is not sufficient if we want to tackle disadvantage," he tells peers.

The government have introduced two new statutory measures "to drive continued action on worklessness and educational attainment".

Reshuffle causes 'unusual circumstances' in Lords

Debate on causes of poverty

House of Lords

Parliament

Work and Pensions Minister Lord Freud
BBC

Work and Pensions Minister Lord Freud says he is "responding to debate in most unusual circumstances". 

Referring to Baroness Evans of Bowes Park he tells peers he began the debate "with a whip next to me, she disappeared after a few minutes and pops up on my telephone screen as my new boss".

While watching the ongoing cabinet reshuffle he says: "I see my other boss [former work and pensions secretary Stephen Crabb] has apparently resigned."

Intention was 'to invade Iraq'

Iraq inquiry debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Hywel Williams
BBC

Plaid Cymru's Westminster leader Hywel Williams says the party is not a pacifist party - and supported emergency action in Libya.

But the party opposed the invasion in Iraq, because, he says, the diplomatic options were not exhausted, as Chilcot said. 

He recounts a story of visiting Washington in September 2002 with another Plaid MP, and being told bluntly by an official that the intention was to invade Iraq - with friends if they would, but without them if necessary. And, Mr Williams says, if the official knew that, so did Mr Bush and Mr Blair.

On asking what the war aims were, he was told it was to produce a "democratic Iraq within its current borders".

He says "there was no secrecy about this" or deficiency of vision - just a deficiency of "realism and good sense".

Hunt: those in poverty have shorter and worse lives

Debate on causes of poverty

House of Lords

Parliament

Shadow deputy leader of the House Lord Hunt of Kings Heath
BBC

Shadow deputy leader of the House Lord Hunt of Kings Heath tells peers that the people in poor areas have live shorter lives in poorer health than the rest of the UK.

The variation "in disability free life expectancy is 17 years" in poorer areas, he says.

"This means that people in poor areas not only die sooner but also spend more of their shorter lives with a disability."

Improving health, education or housing alone won't solve the issue of poverty, Lord Hunt argues and calls on the government to take a "holistic approach" across several government departments.

Telling-off from the Speaker

Parliamentary reporter tweets

Chilcot report: Findings at-a-glance

Iraq Inquiry: 'Peaceful options not exhausted' - Sir John Chilcot

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 more about the main points here.

Baroness Sharp makes valedictory speech

Debate causes of poverty

House of Lords

Parliament

Baroness Sharp of Guildford
BBC

Baroness Sharp of Guildford makes her valedictory speech - marking her retirement from the House of Lords after 18 years.

She tells peers she wants to spend more time doing things with her husband who recently turned 85, and looks forward to "reading books, and not library papers".

Peers have been able to retire from the upper chamber since the introduction of the House of Lords Reform Act 2014 - it was agreed that retiring members should be able to make a valedictory speech to mark their retirement.

She uses her speech to focus on the importance of education in ending poverty. 

Leaders should 'rage that 4m people live in poverty', says peer

Debate on causes of poverty

House of Lords

Parliament

Crossbench peer Lord Ouseley
BBC

Crossbench peer Lord Ouseley tells the House that he grew up in "third world poverty" in Guyana which "makes poverty in this country seem relatively mild".

To survive he had to "beg, steal, borrow and hustle to survive", which is the reality for "most people across the world dealing with disasters". 

Since moving to the UK, the poverty he experienced was "almost luxury" but he also noticed that "each the gap between the haves and have-nots widens".

The UK's systems "ensure power remain in the privileged circles of who you know that override fairness, justice and merit".

He welcomes Theresa May's appointment as Prime Minister, but argues political leaders should "rage that 4m people live in poverty" in the UK.

Lord Ouseley's parting message for the new government is that "education is key to allowing people to work their way out of poverty".

Measuring poverty

House of Lords

Parliament

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation has stated that there is “no single best measure of poverty”, adding that it is a “complex problem that needs a range of measures telling us different things”. 

Measures which the Foundation use to measure poverty include: 

  • Relative poverty: where households have less than 60 percent of contemporary median income.
  • Material deprivation: where people can’t afford certain essential items and activities. 
  • Absolute poverty: where households have less than 60 percent of the median income in 2010/11, uprated by inflation. 
  • Educational attainment gaps between those on Free School Meals and those that are not
  • Overcrowded homes and homelessness. 
  • Unemployment and low pay.  

Process cannot avert hard decisions, says MP

Iraq inquiry debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Pat McFadden
BBC

Labour's Pat McFadden says that while Sir John Chilcot's recommendations are "eminently sensible, it's not just a matter of process".

He argues: "You can have all the committees and procedures you like, you still have to decide - and your decision could go wrong." 

He does not want to see this become a basis for non-interventionism, asking: "What message would that send out to the oppressors of the world?" 

Persistent poverty stats

House of Lords

Parliament

In May 2016, the Office for National Statistics found that

  • In 2014, 6.5% of the UK population - or 3.9m people -  were in persistent poverty. Persistent poverty is defined as experiencing relative low income in the current year, as well as at least 2 out of the 3 preceding years. 
  • the UK has the third-lowest persistent poverty rate in the EU, but the overall poverty rate for 2014, at 16.8%, was the twelfth highest. 
  • The persistent poverty rate for women was 1.5% higher than for men in 2014 in the UK.
  • Single-person households were more likely to experience persistent poverty than households with 2 adults. 
  • Between 2011 and 2014, almost a third (32.5%) of the UK population experienced poverty at least once. 
  • 43% of people who left education without any formal qualifications experienced poverty at least once between 2011 and 2014, twice as many as those with a degree or higher. 

Big Issue founder: 'Confused' welfare system traps many in poverty

Debate on the causes of poverty

House of Lords

Parliament

Big Issue founder and crossbench peer Lord Bird.
BBC

Peers move on to debate are on the causes of poverty in the United Kingdom, led by the Big Issue founder and crossbench peer Lord Bird.

Lord Bird argues that the "confusion and complexity" of the UK's welfare system means people are getting stuck in poverty.

He blames changes under Margaret Thatcher's government for "opening the sluice gates" and increasing access to benefits.

"Rather than investing in getting people out of poverty, enormous amounts of people were parked up and warehoused" he tells peers.

As well as allowing people to work their way out of poverty, peers need to "make sure people who are entirely dependent are looked after and not shifted on to work or another situation because they have no means of providing for themselves". 

He adds that he wants peers to consider whether government support actually leads to getting people out of poverty, or whether it is "a device to help people be comfortable in poverty" and therefore not in a situation to escape it. 

Defence committee chair: Blair 'genuinely expected' to find WMDs

Iraq inquiry debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Julian Lewis
BBC

Conservative and chair of the Defence Committee Julian Lewis is the first speaker in today's debate on the Chilcot report. 

He questions whether Tony Blair would have been "any less excoriated" had he "honestly highlighted question marks about the intelligence". 

He says the then prime minister and many others "genuinely believed and expected" to find stocks of weapons of mass destruction. 

He admits, however, he also believed if Saddam Hussein were removed "we might see the emergence of some form of democracy", and in that he was "profoundly mistaken". 

Former speaker criticises 'bureaucratic and buck-passing' police

Oral questions

House of Lords

Parliament

Former speaker of the House of Commons Baroness Boothroyd
BBC

Former speaker of the House of Commons Baroness Boothroyd complains that current police training for hate crimes has "little resemblance to working in the front line".

It's been 15 years since the passing of the Race Relations Acts, but ministers are "still talking about action plans for issues that they have failed to tackle back then", she says.

The current "bureaucratic and buck-passing behaviour of the police" needs to end, she argues.

According to official figures form the National Police Chiefs Council, there has been a 42% increase in the reporting of hate crime nationally following the vote to leave the EU.

Homes Office Minster Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon says that the UK has a "strong legislative framework" to tackle hate crime. 

"Hate crime will not be tolerated and we will take action against those who promote hatred", he adds. 

Peer calls for right-to-die legislation

Oral questions

House of Lords

Parliament

Baroness Meacher
BBC

Crossbench peer and former social worker Baroness Meacher says it was "time for government to pass legislation" to allow the right to die with the help of a doctor.

The European Court of Human Rights has rejected a right-to-die case brought by a paralysed former builder Paul Lamb and the widow of Tony Nicklinson who had locked-in syndrome.  

In a written judgement the court said: "In its decision in the case of Nicklinson and Lamb v. the United Kingdom, the European Court of Human Rights has unanimously declared the applications inadmissible. The decision is final."

Justice Minister Lord Faulks argues that it this is "a matter for parliament to decide rather than government policy", but notes that two assisted suicide bills have been defeated in Parliament in recent years.

MPs resume debate on Iraq

Iraq inquiry debate

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs now move on to their second day of debate on Sir John Chilcot's report following the Iraq inquiry. 

Tony Blair overstated the threat posed by Saddam Hussein, sent ill-prepared troops into battle and had "wholly inadequate" plans for the aftermath, the Iraq War inquiry found.

Chairman Sir John Chilcot said the 2003 invasion was not the "last resort" action presented to MPs and the public.

There was no "imminent threat" from Saddam - and the intelligence case was "not justified", he said.

Mr Blair has apologised for any mistakes made but not the decision to go to war. 

MP suggests 'zipwire network' for Boris Johnson

Business statement

House of Commons

Parliament

Tom Brake
BBC

Lib Dem MP Tom Brake asks for a debate on "the fantastic contribution of our leisure industries", which could explore the possibility of "a transcontinental network of zipwires to allow the new foreign secretary to travel in the manner to which he's accustomed". 

Commons Leader Chris Grayling calls it "an interesting idea".