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Summary

  1. MPs questioned the Communities and Local Government ministerial team; followed by a statement on the Nice attacks.
  2. The Commons voted to renew Trident by 472 votes to 117
  3. Peers started the day at 2.30pm, with questions to ministers, followed by second reading of the Policing and Crime Bill.

Live Reporting

By Esther Webber and Sam Francis

All times stated are UK

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More than half Labour MPs vote for Trident

Sky News political editor tweets

End of Commons business

House of Commons

Parliament

And with that business in the House of Commons is brought to a close.

MPs will be back at 11.30am tomorrow ahead of the second reading of the Higher Education and Research Bill- prepared in Sajid Javid's BIS department; he's moved on and higher education's been transferred to the Education Department under Justine Greening.

Increase in support for Trident

Point of order

House of Commons

Parliament

Chair of the Defence Committee Julian Lewis raises a point of order to point out that parliamentary support for Trident has increased since the last time it was voted on. 

Dr Lewis points out that on 14 March 2007, the Commons was asked to approve the general principle of maintaining the deterrent beyond its current lifetime. The motion was passed by 409 to 161 votes - a majority of 248.

"Where as this evening that majority has gone up to 355."

MPs vote to renew Trident

Trident vote

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs have vote to renew the UK's nuclear weapons programme by 472 votes to 117.

The vote marks the culmination of a process that started in December 2006, when Tony Blair's cabinet agreed to sustain the nuclear deterrent over the period 2020 to 2050 and beyond.

The current generation of four submarines would begin to end their working lives some time in the late 2020s. 

The government estimate the renewal to cost £31bn (including inflation), with a contingency of a further £10bn, spread over 35 years - though this figure is disputed. 

Earlier in the day Theresa May told MPs it would be "an act of gross irresponsibility" for the UK to abandon its nuclear weapons.

Tellers deliver the result of the vote
BBC
Tellers deliver the result of the vote

MPs vote on Trident renewal

Trident debate

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs have divided to vote on the motion to renew Trident. 

There's no clear winner on the oral vote, so proceedings are paused to allow MPs to file out and register their votes individually in the lobbies either side of the chamber.

Results are expected shortly

MPs file out of the House of Commons
BBC

Fallon: No other system as capable, resilient or cost effective as Trident

Trident debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon
BBC

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon tells MPs the 2013 review of alternative to Trident found there is "no other system that is as capable, as resilient or as cost effective as the Trident based deterrent".

"The point about deterrents is that it places doubts in the minds of our adversaries" he argues.

Therefore Trident "is not redundant. It is being employed every day and every night" and has been for nearly 50 years.

"We can all agree a world without nuclear weapons would be a better world" but parliament has to "face facts", Mr Fallon argues. 

There are 17,000 nuclear weapons in the world and "the threats we face are growing" Mr Fallon says, pointing to the nuclear ambitions of North Korea and the increased nuclear threat from Russian forces.

He also notes a commitment to renewing Trident was "clearly stated in the manifesto" on which the Conservatives won a general election.

Trident vs conventional military equipment

Trident debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Shadow defence secretary Clive Lewis
BBC

Shadow defence secretary Clive Lewis says the Chilcot report demonstrated that military decisions made on "assumptions and poor evidence the results can be catastrophic".

The government could have addressed some of the concerns about the cost and implementation of Trident "and unite, but have chosen to divide".

He calls for more details on the defence budget and an "urgent assurance nuclear capability is not made at the expense of conventional military equipment". 

Mr Lewis, who served as an Army reservist, tells MPs he knows what it is like "to be under enemy fire and need air support and being told none is available" and he is worried that the Ministry of Defence has "seen its budget suffer a real terms cut of 9%". 

He adds he is not convinced that the government is pursuing a multi-laterailst agenda.

Mr Lewis notes that the Labour party policy is to support the renewal of Trident but points out that there have been "developments since the last conference decision - not least Brexit".  

Trident renewal a 'nail in the coffin of the Union'

Trident debate

House of Commons

Parliament

SNP MP Ian Blackford says that a vote to renew Trident tonight would be a "nail in the coffin of the Union".

"Ultimately my country will be independent and free of nuclear weapons" he tells MPs.

Summing up for Labour, shadow defence secretary Clive Lewis says the Chilcot report demonstrated that military decisions made on "assumptions and poor evidence the results can be catastrophic".

The government could have addressed some of the concerns about the cost and implementation of Trident "and unite, but have chosen to divide".

He calls for more details on the defence budget and an "urgent assurance nuclear capability is not made at the expense of conventional military equipment". 

Mr Lewis, who served as an Army reservist, tells MPs he knows what it is like "to be under enemy fire and need air support and being told none is available" and he is worried that the Ministry of Defence has "seen its budget suffer a real terms cut of 9%". 

He adds he is not convinced that the government is pursuing a multi-laterailst agenda.

Mr Lewis notes that the Labour party policy is to support the renewal of Trident but points out that there have been "developments since the last conference decision - not least Brexit".  

MPs in the chamber ahead of vote

Political Reporter for the Press Association tweets

Trident is about 'status not safety'

Trident debate

House of Commons

Parliament

SDLP MP Margaret Ritchie
BBC

SDLP MP Margaret Ritchie argues today's debate is "about status and not about safety".

"There is no genuine security argument for the UK to spend this vast money on weapons that can never be used," she argues.

Trident and "weapons of mass destruction" are used to "kill people in a very indiscriminate manner," she tells MPs. 

There is no deterrent that is not already provided "by the much larger arsenals of our allies" she adds.

Reed attacks Corbyn's 'reckless, juvenile, narcissistic irresponsibility'

Trident debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Pro-Trident Labour MP Jamie Reed
BBC

Pro-Trident Labour MP Jamie Reed attacks what he sees as Jeremy Corbyn's "reckless, juvenile, narcissistic irresponsibility" in opposing his own party's policy.

"For the first time I think ever we have witnessed the leader of the Labour party stand up at the despatch box of this House and argue against the policy of the party that he leads" he tells MPs.

The move "makes me fearful of the party that I love".

Mr Reed, whose Copeland constituency is near Barrow-in-Furness where Trident submarines are built, argues "the sheer stupidity of this approach should be dragged out into the light and seen for what it is, because not only is renewal Labour party policy, it is the settled will of the country, and every parliamentary decision relating to it will have been taken by 2020". 

End of business in the Lords

House of Lords

Parliament

That's it from the Lords for tonight - they meet again tomorrow at 14.30 BST for questions on: 

  • the payment of universal credit monthly in arrears 
  • parliamentary scrutiny of the draft Royal Charter of the BBC
  • achieving the target of one million new homes by 2020
  • UK presidency of the European Council in the second half of 2017.

Nuclear weapons 'make us less safe'

Trident debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Earlier in the debate Green MP Caroline Lucas
BBC

Earlier in the Trident debate Green MP Caroline Lucas argued "it cannot be proven" that nuclear weapons make us safer - as it is "impossible to prove a negative".

Many military experts argue that nuclear weapons "make us less safe" because it increases the amount of nuclear material "floating around the world".

By "exacerbating the uncertainty" around the future of the world, Trident is "leading to the situation it was designed to avoid", she argues.

If the nuclear deterrent is so vital for preventing nuclear attacks, why won’t the West allow all countries in the world to have nuclear weapons, she asks.

Labour attacks government 'devolution armada'

Election of mayor orders

House of Lords

Parliament

For Labour, Lord Beecham describes the orders to set up new super councils headed by mayors as "two further vessels in the devolution armada the government is intent on launching".

He points out that some areas covered by the super councils voted against an elected mayor in 2012 referendums.  

The offer being made to these areas is that they can have "devolution of any kind - as long as it's headed by a mayor", he says. 

Mayoral model is 'proven and effective'

Election of mayor orders

House of Lords

Parliament

Peers begin a debate on two orders to set up new super councils with elected mayors - in Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield Combined Authority, and the West Midlands.

Communities Minister Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth says it is part of the government's commitment to "devolve far-reaching economic powers".

The role of mayor is "a proven model for effective local leadership", he tells the House. 

Background: Nuclear policy and non-proliferation

House of Commons

Parliament

Britain is a signatory to a range of agreements and treaties on nuclear weapons, the most important of which is the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation on Nuclear Weapons (NPT).

Article 4 of NPT sets out obligations to work towards reducing the number of nuclear weapons.

The treaty also allows the five recognised nuclear states (Britain, France, USA, China and Russia) to hold nuclear weapons but commits them to arms control and eventual disarmament.

The government believes that replacing Trident is consistent with the treaty as it contains no restrictions on the updating and replacement of weapons system and provides no timescale for disarmament.

Since the end of the Cold War, the UK has taken several steps to reduce its nuclear weapons. Only the Royal Navy now has the capability to fire weapons, the Army and RAF no longer do so. Britain is also has the smallest stockpile of the five nuclear nations, which will have reduced in size by 65% by the mid-2020s.

Government defends Police and Crime Commissioners

Policing and Crime Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Keen
BBC

Concluding the debate for the government, Home Office spokesman Lord Keen of Elie defends plans to give Police and Crime Commissioners oversight of fire services, saying the PCCs "have been a success". 

Addressing mental health concerns, he says that the use of police cells as a place of safety would only occur in "exceptional circumstances". 

Responding to calls for Leveson inquiry recommendations to be fully implemented, Lord Keen tells peers it cannot be brought forward while relevant legal cases are ongoing. 

Labour criticises police watchdog plans

Policing and Crime Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Tunnicliffe
BBC

Winding up for Labour, Lord Tunnicliffe echoes earlier criticism of the bill's proposals to allow Police and Crime Commissioners to oversee fire services, saying he would not want to see it "forced on a successful fire authority". 

Discussing the bill's measures on complaints against the police, he argues there is still "a variety of problems" with the police. 

He adds that redesigning the Independent Police Complaints Commission as the Police Conduct Authority "does not sound like anything holding anybody to account".

Trident: How did we get here?

House of Commons

Parliament

In 2006, the then Labour government concluded that the international security situation did not justify the UK’s nuclear disarmament and that retaining Trident was the most effective deterrent.

In order to maintain the UK’s nuclear capability, the government decided to replace the existing Vanguard submarines and take part in the US led missile life-extension programme.

On 14 March 2007, the Commons approved the general principle of maintaining the deterrent beyond its current lifetime by 409 to 161 votes - you can read the report here.

Of those, 36 MPs who are still in the House voted against that motion, including six members of the shadow cabinet.

The programme to replace the submarines is currently in its five year assessment phase. 

While some “long-lead” items, such as the specialised steel for the first submarine have already been purchased, the submarines will not be built until parliamentary approval has been gained.

The current generation of four submarines would begin to end their working lives some time in the late 2020s. It is generally agreed that a decision to start building a replacement cannot be delayed any longer as the submarines alone could take up to 17 years to develop.

Lib Dems raise mental health concerns

Policing and Crime Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Baroness Hamwee
BBC

Responding to the debate for the Lib Dems, Baroness Hamwee says on protecting people with mental health problems, "the concern to do more and better comes through loud and clear".

She calls attention to the need for places of safety, and her party's belief that tasers should not be used in mental health facilities. 

Labour MP: The 'world has changed and that's why I've changed my view'

Trident debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Labour MP Roger Godsiff
BBC

Labour MP Roger Godsiff tells MPs that he was formerly a multilateralist who had "never been a member of groups like [the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament]" but that he has changed his mind.

"The world has changed and that's why I've changed my view," he tells MPs - going in the opposite direction of prospective Labour leader Owen Smith.

The programme is expensive and does not provide the kind of independent power that some are suggesting, Mr Godsiff argues.

The UK would also be unlikely to lose its place on the UN Security Council, he argues, as when the council was formed "only one of the five had nuclear weapons".

Trident 'not meant for terrorist groups' - Labour MP

Trident debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Former shadow defence secretary Vernon Coaker
BBC

Former shadow defence secretary Vernon Coaker says he wants to "dispel the myth" that Trident is meant to deter "terrorist outrages" or so-called Islamic State.

"Nobody in this house would argue that under any circumstance [Trident] will deter the sort of attacks we see on the London underground", he tells MPs. 

The nuclear deterrent is meant to deal with "interstate actors we see in China and Russia" instead.

He criticises the SNP for wanting to get rid of nuclear weapons while arguing for an independent Scotland to be a member of Nato. 

Nato members have to agree to the use of nuclear weapons in certain circumstances, he tells MPs.  

Tory MP: Second-strike ability 'ultimate guarantee of security'

Trident debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Conservative MP and Territorial Army Officer, Tom Tugendhat
BBC

Conservative MP and Territorial Army Officer, Tom Tugendhat tells MPs that Trident's "second-strike capability" means a country cannot attack the UK without knowing it will also be attacked.

"That is the ultimate guarantee of sovereignty and ultimate guarantee of security", he tells MPs.

Mr Tugenhadt praises Theresa Mayundefinedfor saying she would be willing to use the nuclear bomb, giving the “clarity” that a deterrent requires.

SNP spokesman: Clyde base would not close without Trident

Trident debate

House of Commons

Parliament

SNP defence spokesman Brendan O'Hara
BBC

SNP defence spokesman Brendan O'Hara argues that the "world has changed almost beyond recognition" since the implementation of Trident. 

Today's debate should "force us to re-examine everything we once took for granted", he says. 

Mr O'Hara, whose constituency contains Faslane, the main Royal Navy base for the UK's four nuclear-armed submarines, argues that ending Trident would not necessarily lead to its closure. 

HMNB Clyde has a "bright non-nuclear future as a conventional naval base in an independent Scotland" he tells MPs. 

What is Trident?

Trident debate

House of Commons

Parliament

The Royal Navy's Vanguard nuclear 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 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, based at Faslane on the River Clyde, carry up to eight Trident missiles; each can be fitted with a number of warheads.

Read more about the history of the UK's nuclear weapons system

Motion text

House of Commons

Parliament

The motion being debated states:

  • "the UK's independent minimum credible nuclear deterrent, based on a Continuous at Sea Deterrence posture, will remain essential to the UK's security today as it has for over 60 years, and for as long as the global security situation demands, to deter the most extreme threats to the UK's national security and way of life and that of the UK's allies; supports the decision to take the necessary steps required to maintain the current posture by replacing the current Vanguard Class submarines with four Successor submarines; recognises the importance of this programme to the UK’s defence industrial base and in supporting thousands of highly skilled engineering jobs; notes that the Government will continue to provide annual reports to Parliament on the programme; recognises that the UK remains committed to reducing its overall nuclear weapon stockpile by the mid-2020s; and supports the Government’s commitment to continue work towards a safer and more stable world, pressing for key steps towards multilateral disarmament"

Lord Prescott says his phone-hacking concerns 'not accepted'

Policing and Crime Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Prescott
BBC

Speaking earlier in a Lords debate on policing, former deputy prime minister Lord Prescott said that when he first raised suspicions his phone had been hacked with relevant police bodies "none of them accepted it". 

In 2012 he received a payout over phone hacking by the News of the World, which he said had followed years of "aggressive denials".

News International apologised in court but later said senior staff knew nothing about the wrongdoing.

He is calling on the government to implement the recommendations of the Leveson inquiry, particularly financial support for complainants against the police. 

He urges: "No more delay!"

Woodcock: Labour is being ignored by a leader saving his own skin

Trident debate

House of Commons

Parliament

John Woodcock
BBC

John Woodcock says he is proud to be "speaking for the Labour party in this debate" unlike his own front bench.

Mr Woodcock, who chairs the Labour party's backbench defence committee, says he speaks for the party of "Attlee, Bevan, and Stafford Cripps" who "understood with heavy hearts" that maintaining nuclear weapons "prevents others from unleashing it again".

It is "not an act of global leadership" to call for unilateral disarmament but a "destabilising and futile abdication of responsibility". 

The Labour leadership did not engage with his review - which found that Trident was the "most cost effective and secure deterrent available” - in person "but were happy to debate on Twitter", he tells MPs.

The Labour members and trade unionists who engaged in his committee's review are "being ignored by the party leader who clings to an idea of party democracy to save his own skin", adding "and it is not right".

Doping should be made a criminal offence, says peer

Policing and Crime Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Moynihan
BBC

Conservative peer, and former chairman of the British Olympic Association, Lord Moynihan is arguing for a specific offence of doping in sport, which at present can be prosecuted as fraud.  

He says such a step is "long overdue" since "cheating is inimical to the essence of sport". 

The current law is "ineffective" and the new offence should also cover match-fixing, he argues. 

Labour MP attacks frontbench stance on Trident

The Spectator's political editor tweets

Trident renewal will cost £179bn, says committee chair

Trident debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee Crispin Blunt
BBC

The Trident renewal will cost £179bn throughout the course of its life, chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee Crispin Blunt tells MPs.

During an intervention, Mr Blunt says this figure is based on the government's announcements of "capital costs of £31bn with £10bn contingency" and that the programme will cost "6% of the defence budget".

This does not take into account currency fluctuations, he adds, so this figure could be higher with a weak pound.

Mr Blunt tells MPs that he will not be supporting the motion, and will not vote with the government tonight.

Robertson: No idea what the cost will be

Trident debate

House of Commons

Parliament

The SNP's Westminster leader, Angus Robertson, says it is "remarkable" that two hours into the debate, "we still have no idea whatsoever of what the through-life costs of Trident replacement are".

How can the government "ask us to vote on something but cannot tell us how much it will cost?" he asks.

There is "no circumstances" where the SNP would endorse "spending money on nuclear weapons". He calls Trident an "immoral, obscene and redundant weapons system".

He points out that many Conservative MPs "pride themselves on fiscal rectitude" but "not one of them have insisted the frontbench set out how much this will cost".

SNP's Westminster Leader Angus Robertson
BBC

Lewis: Dictators do not share our scruples

Trident debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Chair of the Defence Committee Dr Julian Lewis
BBC

Chair of the Defence Committee Dr Julian Lewis starts his speech by arguing that Jeremy Corbyn's election as Labour leader just proves the "unpredictability of political developments".

Just because the UK would "baulk at the idea of launching nuclear weapons" that does not mean "dictators share our scruples, or our values, or our self restraint".

He argues that the only reason chemical weapons were not deployed across whole cities during World War II, is because "Winston Churchill told Hitler that British stocks of chemical weapons greatly exceed his own" and "any retaliation would dwarf Nazi attacks". 

Police and Crime Commissioners 'made no significant difference'

Policing and Crime Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Following the statement, peers return to second reading of the Policing and Crime Bill - which covers collaboration between the emergency services, handling of police complaints, police conduct, super-complaints about policing and the investigation of concerns about policing raised by whistle-blowers.

Lib Dem Baroness Harris of Richmond recalls she "profoundly disagreed" with the decision to introduce Police and Crime Commissioners, and says she still finds people asking her why it was agreed. 

In her view, the innovation has "not made the significant difference we were told it would make".

Labour MP challenges leader on Trident policy

Trident renewal debate

Labour MP questions leader Jeremy Corbyn on the party's policy on nuclear weapons.

Corbyn: I will be voting against this motion

Trident debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Responding to some hostile questioning, Jeremy Corbyn replies that "parties review party policy".

This is why Labour have a defence review under way, in order to "to look at issues of employment of and investment" and the necessity of having government intervention "through defence diversification" to support industries that become "over-reliant on defence contracts".

He says many MPs will vote for the motion tonight because they think nuclear weapons work, but points out the motion does not address the costs.

Tonight's motion would not allow Britain to move to a nuclear free world, he says.

"In case it's not obvious I will actually be voting against this motion tonight," he tells MPs.

Minister: Hate crime spike could follow Nice attack

Nice attack statement

House of Lords

Parliament

Baroness Williams
BBC

Home Office Minister Baroness Williams tells peers the police and security services are "always learning lessons" and will work with French authorities to learn more about what can be done to prevent this type of assault in the future. 

She says she "wouldn't be surprised if another incident triggered another spike in hate crimes" and communities must work together to achieve "resilience". 

She also agrees with Lord Paddick that "these individuals are not originally motivated by religion", whilst cautioning we do not know the full details of this case yet. 

Labour MP questions Corbyn on party policy

Labour MP questions leader Jeremy Corbyn on the party's policy on nuclear weapons.
Labour MP Neil Coyle questions leader Jeremy Corbyn on the party's policy on nuclear weapons, exposing the divisions within the party.

Cameron leaves chamber

Parliamentary reporters tweet

Corbyn: Threat of mass murder is not legitimate approach

Trident renewal debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Today's motion proposes an "open ended commitment to nuclear capability" for as long as is needed.

What we are talking about here is "weapons of mass destruction", Jeremy Corbyn argues. 

Each of the the 40 warheads is "eight times as powerful as the atomic bomb which killed 140,000 in Hiroshima" and is capable of killing "more than one million people".

"What is the threat we are facing that one million people's deaths actually deters?" he asks, pointing out the nuclear deterrent did not stop the formation of the so-called Islamic State, atrocities in Yemen, the Saddam Hussein regime, the war crimes in the Balkans, nor the genocide in Rwanda.

"The threat of mass murder is not a legitimate way to go about international relations," he argues.

Where will the successor submarines be based, he asks, given that "the people of Scotland have objected" to it being maintained in Scotland.