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Summary

  1. MPs will be questioning the Attorney General Jeremy Wright, followed by the new minister for equalities and women, Justine Greening.
  2. It's then time for an urgent question from the Conservative MP Neil Carmichael, who will ask about school funding.
  3. Then it's the Business Statement from the new Leader of the House, David Lidington.
  4. There are two Backbench business debates; the first on the ban on manufacture, sale, possession and use of snares - and then on ,atters to be raised before the forthcoming adjournment.
  5. Peers started the day with questions as usual - then moved on to a series of debates, including the impact of leaving the EU on farmers; and on the NHS.

Live Reporting

By Esther Webber and Sam Francis

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Goodbye

It's been a busy few weeks, but now MPs and peers have disappeared from Westminster for the Parliamentary recess.

Politics continues - of course - and you can follow all the twists and turns through the summer with our BBC colleagues. Just visit BBC Politics for all the latest news.

There could be an unexpected recall, of course, but otherwise, parliamentarians return on Monday 5 September

So until then, goodbye.

Some warm home payments will be late - minister

Draft Warm Home Discount (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2016

House of Lords

Parliament

Labour's Baroness Jones of Whitchurch, who has tabled a motion of regret, says she has "major concerns about the delay" in extending the Warm Homes Discount scheme, and it is "increasingly unlikely that policy objective of reaching payees" by this winter will be achieved. 

In response, Business, Energy and Infrastructure Strategy Minister Baroness Neville-Rolfe says she "regrets" the delay and while some payments will be late, the "majority" should be made this winter. 

The motion passes and the Lords rises for recess. The House sits again in September.

Peers debate Warm Home Discount extension

Draft Warm Home Discount (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2016

House of Lords

Parliament

Peers now move on to the Draft Warm Home Discount (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2016 approval motion.

The Warm Home Discount scheme, which ran for five years to 31 March 2016, has provided assistance with energy costs to around two million low-income and vulnerable households in Great Britain each year. These draft regulations provide that the scheme will run in 2016–17 and 2017–18.  

Business, Energy and Infrastructure Strategy Minister Baroness Neville-Rolfe admits bringing it before the House has "taken longer than we would have liked" but says if it is not passed today payments will not begin until December.

Minister: Wrong to adopt stance on NHS workers

Brexit and the NHS debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Prior
BBC

Health Minister Lord Prior of Brampton responds to the debate for the government, acknowledging that the NHS is "hugely impacted by size of our overall economy" and Brexit will have "a big impact on workforce mobility". 

He stresses he wants to give an "early reassurance" that EU nationals "continue to be welcome" and make a "huge contribution" to the NHS.

However, he says it would be "wrong to set out unilateral position" and pre-empt Brexit negotiations.

End of Commons session

House of Commons

Parliament

And with that business in the House of Commons comes to an end for the term. 

MPs will be back on 5 September for a short plenary session before the political conference season.

Labour calls for emergency taskforce on Brexit impact on universities

Brexit and the NHS debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Hunt
BBC

Opposition health spokesman Lord Hunt of Kings Heath tells the House that the government had already been promoting the "fantasy that the NHS can provide better services on less money" and the "Brexit decision comes on top of a very serious situation".

He asks what preparation the Department of Health had made for this eventuality, adding: "I suspect the answer is none."

"The core of the tension" in this issue is the ability to recruit staff and protect workers' rights, he says, but also calls for an emergency taskforce on Brexit's impact on university research. 

Responsibility lies with the Trust

Adjournment debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Health Minister Philip Dunne
BBC

Health Minister Philip Dunne says while there are examples of good care within the trust the problem of staff shortages in Mid-Yorkshire "is well known".

However the responsibility "for staffing in her constituency does sit with the Mid-Yorkshire NHS Trust", he tells MPs.

There are nationally set standards "nut these are not hard and fast rules" he tells MPs. 

Trusts "have to use their judgement" and "focus on the quality of care" rather than metrics such as staffing ratios.

The "health economy in the area has received a signification cash injection", he tells MPs.

Funding settlement for NHS England 2016/17 had increased funding available to the CCG's in the area - Wakefield increased 3% to £848m, while Kirklees increased 2.5% to £237.1m.

Lib Dems raise concerns over EU nationals working in the NHS

Brexit and the NHS debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Winding up for the Lib Dems, Baroness Tyler of Enfield says it's "vital we have the right number of staff and that they feel valued". 

She discusses the number of NHS staff who come to the UK from other EU countries, claiming the NHS is already "struggling to recruit and retain permanent staff".

She asks the government to "urgently clarify its intentions" on arrangements for EU nationals to work in the UK following Brexit.

'Very little progress has been made'

Adjournment debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Labour's Paula Sheriff intervenes, telling MPs that since she tabled a debate on Mid-Yorkshire NHS Trust in March "very little progress has been made, if any".

Three months ago, leaders of the trust had "effectively been in crisis mode for the last 14 months", Ms Sherif told MPs.

On a recent "Patient safety walk around" she saw a number of staffing issues remained including one patient who was told "not ring her alarm bell at night because there was only one member of staff on duty".

Mid-Yorkshire Hospital NHS Trust: Safety 'inadequate', inspection finds

Adjournment debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Pinders hospital
BBC

Mid Yorkshire Hospital NHS Trust has been told to improve after its safety was rated as "inadequate" following an inspection by the health regulator.

The CQC found nurse staffing levels "continued to be a problem" while the hospitals controlled by the Trust - Pinderfields Hospital, Pontefract Hospital and Dewsbury and District Hospital  - were each rated as "requires improvement" after the June inspection.

A previous inspection last year found staffing levels in some areas of the trust were a "significant concern".

Overall, the trust's services were rated as "good" for being caring, but as "requires improvement" for being effective, responsive and well led.

Maternity services, services for children and young people, and outpatients and diagnostics at all three hospitals were rated as "good".

Read more here.

'Things will get worse'

Adjournment debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Former shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper
BBC

The adjournment debate is on staffing levels at Mid Yorkshire NHS Trust which was rated "inadequate", following an inspection by health regulator the Care Quality Commission (CQC). 

Former shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper tells MPs that "nothing is being done" and "things will get worse" if this continues.

Tribute to longer serving tea lady

Pre-recess debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Michael Ellis concludes the debate by praising House of Commons staff Noeleen Delaney who retires today after 30 years in Members' Tea Room. 

She serves her last drink with "excellence, warmth and kindness of spirit she always has" he says.

He then wishes "everyone well over he summer recess".

That 'boring anecdote': Michael Ellis promises to explain...

Pre-recess debate

House of Commons

Parliament

offers to expand on his anecdote "over a couple of
BBC

Deputy Leader of the House Michael Ellis offers to expand on his anecdote "over a couple of days" if his opposite number Paul Flynn is free.

This seems unlikely however, as Mr Ellis points out that the shadow leader of the House holds "no fewer than four shadow cabinet briefs".

'Politics in miniature'

Pre-recess debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Shadow leader of the House Paul Flynn
BBC

Shadow leader of the House Paul Flynn thanks MPs for the "splendid debate".

Today has been "politics in miniature" he argues, of "protozoan importance nationally, but of vast gigantic importance concern in our constituencies", he argues.

He also welcomes the new Deputy Leader of the House Michael Ellis to his post. 

He says he worked with Mr Ellis on the Home Affairs Committee, where his cross examination skills often led witnesses "seeking the number of the Samaritans".

Mr Ellis, however, has already reached the "pinnacle of his parliamentary career" when he told what the Telegraph described as "the most boring anecdote ever", Mr Flynn says.

No 10 cat receives medical treatment

Sky News producer tweets, following earlier questions about whether Larry the Cat was being treated properly:

Will Brexit make NHS staff shortages worse?

Nick Triggle

Health Correspondent

Nurses
Science Photo Library

The vote to leave the EU risks making staffing shortages in the NHS worse, health leaders are warning.

The NHS Confederation said doctors and nurses from Europe may be put off accepting jobs after the referendum.

If that happened the NHS could face some major problems, it said.

The organisation, which represents health managers, said there were currently 130,000 EU health and care workers in the UK, including 10% of doctors and 5% of nurses.

Read more.

Seasoned veteran

Parliamentary reporters tweet

Staffing NHS 'more difficult' after Brexit, warns peer

Brexit and the NHS debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Baroness Watkins
BBC

Professor of nursing and crossbencher Baroness Watkins of Tavistock is opening a debate on the implications of the EU referendum result for government policies on ensuring safe staffing levels in the NHS and social care services. 

She sees a "critical need to ensure the security of the future staff supply" which she says will become "more difficult" as the UK leaves the EU. 

She is also concerned that training and professional development will suffer as the government reassesses financial priorities in the context of Brexit. 

Best wishes on a final day

Labour MP tweets

Minister pledges clarity for farmers

Brexit and farming debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Environment Minister Lord Gardiner of Kimble reminds peers that "until we leave [the EU] it's business as usual" and farmers must continue to comply with EU regulations. 

He says on questions over financial support, "we fully recognise need to give clarity to farmers and other land managers".

He adds that government is going to dedicate itself to an "exciting new vision of British agriculture".

Commons should have 'gender quotas and unisex toilets' according to report

Prime Minister Theresa May speaks during Prime Minister"s Questions in the House of Commons
PA

Gender quotas for MPs at the general election, unisex toilets and a gender-balanced political journalist lobby have been proposed in a year-long review to promote diversity in Parliament.

The report by Professor Sarah Childs said Parliament’s “working practices still reflect the traditions and preferences of those who historically populated it”.

Speaker John Bercow set up a Commons Reference Group to look at how to promote diversity in Westminster, which is characterised as "white, male, and elite"

Amongst the other recommendation were looking again at allowing breastfeeding in the House of Commons, ending Friday sittings and allowing parents to vote or present bills by proxy.

Last week, the UK's second female prime minister took office; but only 191 of the House of Commons’ 650 MPs are women, just under 30%.  The number of black and ethnic minority MPs would need to more than double, from 41 to 83, to reflect their percentage in the UK population.

'Penny has dropped' for farmers on Brexit - Labour

Brexit and farming debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Labour spokesperson Baroness Jones of Whitchurch talks about driving around the countryside in the south east during the referendum campaign and seeing "numerous Vote Leave billboards", whereas afterwards at the Kent County Show farmers expressed "major concerns".

"The penny has dropped," she says, "and quite right too - the future outside Europe is inevitably going to be tough for farmers."

What does Brexit mean for the countryside?

Roger Harrabin

BBC environment analyst

Cow
BBC

Farmers and environmentalists alike are facing anxiety as the shadow of Brexit looms over Britain's countryside.

Some farmers fear their subsidies will be axed, making farming unviable on poor quality land.

Campaigners worry that the new Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom may cut rules protecting wildlife.

A government spokesman said policy changes were impossible to predict, but that long-term nature protection was expected to proceed.

Read more.

Promises to farmers must be kept post-Brexit, says peer

Brexit and farming debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Baroness McIntosh
BBC

Conservative and former chair of the Environment Committee Baroness McIntosh of Pickering is opening her debate on the impact on British farmers of the decision to leave the EU. 

She says that "promises were made that now have to be kept" in the wake of the vote to leave the EU, and she wants to ensure the "voices of farmers and growers will be heard". 

In particular, she's concerned about access to the single market and the future of migrant workers, as well as how the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs will work with the Department for Exiting the EU. 

Some farmers fear their subsidies will be axed, making farming unviable on poor quality land, and campaigners have raised concerns that the new Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom may cut rules protecting wildlife.

The government has said policy changes are impossible to predict, and that long-term nature protection is expected to proceed.

Not just the politicians...

BBC East's political corresondent tweets

How much time?

Parliamentary reporters tweet

Combating homelessness

Pre-recess debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Conservative MP Bob Blackman is one MP raising a subject close to his heart. He's talking about combating homelessness, and his private members' bill which will see its second reading on 28 October.

You can read more about the bill here.

Summer matters arising...

Pre-recess debate

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs now move onto a debate in which they can bring up any matter they feel necessary before they rise for the summer recess.

It means backbench MPs have a chance to raise subjects they want to.

Snaring used to manage species, says minister

Banning snares debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Therese Coffey
BBC

Therese Coffey, the new Environment Minister, says she understands the passions shown by MPs and constituents for higher standards of animal welfare.

"We are proud to have the highest animal welfare standards in the world," she says and says more can be done to improve snaring practices.

Snaring is part of a range of measures to manage species, she says. It can provide managers with an effective means to restrain wild animals, when done under best practice - but she acknowledges that when it is done wrongly it can promote suffering.

She refers to new guidance from conservation groups which will be published soon; and says it would be good to let the new code of practice a chance to come into force. She says she is confident this new code of practice will be found satisfactory.

Snares 'indiscriminate and inhumane'

Banning snares debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Rachael Maskell
BBC

Shadow environment, food and rural affairs secretary Rachael Maskell says the law is not working on snares and calls for the outlawing of snares.

"It was Labour in 2005 which brought forward a code of practice," she says, adding that the government determined the extent of use and humaneness, and that it would be right to move on to ban snares.

She says not only animals, domestic and wild, but humans too such as fell walkers and ramblers, can be hurt.

"Today could not be soon enough," to bring in a ban on snares, she says, pointing out that 87% of vets support the move; and that snares are indiscriminate and inhumane.

Rules on snares

House of Commons

Parliament

Snares are controlled in England and Wales under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. This:

  • Prohibits the use of self-locking snares. These are not defined in the Act, but they are generally taken to be snares that continue to tighten when the animal struggles and thereby lead to asphyxiation;
  • Prohibits the setting of any type of snare in places where they are likely to catch certain non-target animals such as badgers;
  • Requires snares to be inspected on a daily basis.

In 2005 DEFRA issued a non-statutory Code of good practice on the use of snares in fox and rabbit control. 

This was followed by DEFRA-commissioned research on Determining the Extent of Use and Humaneness of Snares in England and Wales.

Snares in devolved legislation

House of Commons

Parliament

In recent years Scotland has tightened regulations on snares beyond the situation in England and Wales. 

Snares must have safety stops fitted and users are required to now attend a training course and register for a personal identification number. 

This ID number is required to be displayed on all snares which are set.

Northern Ireland have added additional restrictions on the use of snares, but are holding a consultation before implementing the new restrictions. 

The Welsh government has published The Code of Best Practice on the Use of Snares in Fox Control which aimed “to deliver higher animal welfare standards, increased efficiency in terms of fox control, and ensure that fewer non-target species are being caught”.

Snares benefit conservation, says Conservative MP

Banning snares debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Conservative MP Geoffrey Clifton-Brown
BBC

Conservative MP Geoffrey Clifton-Brown tells MPs that snares are an "important tool in wildlife management" which "benefits conservation".

Mr Clifton-Brown, who is a farmer and chair of the shooting and conservation group APPG, says he is upset that Jim Dowd paid "so little attention endangered species" that are preyed on by foxes.

"It is necessary to control foxes if we want important species to survive and thrive", he argues.

There are "no practical and effective replacements for snaring at crucial times of the year" when there is heavy leaf cover, he tells MPs.

Extensive field studies show that "given good practice" less than 1% of foxes caught in snares "were injured or dead as a result of capture".

Peer urges 'context' for debate on Palestinian children

Palestinian living conditions debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Lib Dem Lord Palmer of Childs Hill says he wishes to provide context he claims has been "missing" from the debate so far. 

He tells peers that the situation of Palestinian children in Gaza and the West Bank is "not great - certainly not great, but it is better than many other Middle Eastern countries" and that they often receive treatment in Israeli hospitals. 

Snares are cruel and grossly inefficient, says Labour MP

Banning snares debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Labour's Jim Dowd,
BBC

Labour's Jim Dowd, who is leading the debate, says only one type of snare is currently legally available for catching animals due to their "barbarity", but most snare operators ignore the rules.

Free running snares "tighten as the captured animals struggles but loosens when stationary", but he adds that often these malfunction and continue tightening, leading to the "wire cutting through to the bone".

Mr Dowd says his view of the traps -  thin wire nooses set to catch wild animals - are formed "not just because of the inherent cruelty" but also their "gross inefficiency".   

While designed to "immobilise target animals" snares create "extreme suffering" and lead to a painful lingering death" of many animals "as it's impossible to control which animals will get caught".

Snares are "not useful for what it does without causing unacceptable consequences", he says, including animals "gnawing off their own limbs". 

Palestinian musicians refused permission to travel, claims peer

Palestinian living conditions debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Conservative Lord Cope of Berkeley is talking about his involvement with a music charity which works with Palestinian children, saying: "Music opens hearts." 

However, he relates that some musicians were refused permission to travel with the orchestra, arguing this is symptomatic of the Israeli government's attitude. 

MPs debate banning snares

Debate on banning snares

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs now move to the first of today's two Backbench Business debates, on banning the manufacture, sale, possession and use of snares. 

MP voices concerns over safety of Larry the cat

Business statement

House of Commons

Parliament

Larry the cat at 10 downing street
AP
Larry followed in the paw prints of several Downing Street moggies, known unofficially as Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office

All aspects of David Lindington's brief are being tested during his first appearance as leader of the House. 

Labour's Ann Clywd says she is concerned that Larry, the 10 Downing Street cat, isn't getting the care he needs from the new Prime Minister.

She adds that he is "in a sorry state" after a possible fight with Palmerston, the Chief Mouser at the Foreign Office. 

Mr Lindington says he can confirm Theresa May's "good intentions". 

He says he hopes that after the fracas, the two cats have established "a modus vivendi"-  agreement that allows conflicting parties to coexist peacefully. 

Peer condemns living conditions of Palestinian children

Palestinian living conditions debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Warner
BBC

Non-affiliated peer Lord Warner is opening his debate on the living conditions of Palestinian children in Gaza, the West Bank and east Jerusalem. 

He says the situation there is "appalling" and asks if "the government will keep trundling along the path of recent years" in its interactions with the Israeli government. 

He argues that the UK's actions in this area affect the country's "credibility" as an international actor.  

'Human equivalent of a smouldering volcano'

Business statement

House of Commons

Parliament

Speaker John Bercow
BBC

There's some unrest in the House of Commons. It's been a mammoth Business statement - well over an hour at this point - with dozens of MPs trying to secure debates for causes close to their hearts.

The frustration at not being called to speak appears to be getting to Labour veteran Barry Sheerman, whom Speaker John Bercow says is the "human equivalent of a smouldering volcano".

Mr Bercow promises he will get a space but Mr Sheerman will have to address "a slightly underdeveloped sense of others".

"We're saving him up", he says.

When it's his turn to speak, minutes later, Barry Sheerman says he was "smouldering like a volcano because it's about time we have a debate on the barriers on people with autism to leading a full life."