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Summary

  1. Transport questions first item of business in Commons
  2. Urgent question on UK terrorist Jamal Al-Harith
  3. Business Statement next
  4. DUP debate on armed forces and unaccompanied children in Greece and Italy
  5. Lords met at 11am for questions
  6. Main business is Health Services Medical Supplies (Costs) Bill and Neighbourhood Planning Bill

Live Reporting

By Kate Whannel, Ben Butcher and Alex Partridge

All times stated are UK

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Tomorrow in the House of Commons

House of Commons

Parliament

Transport Minister Andrew Jones ends the day with the governments view on HS2. He says the government has met people in the area and "will continue to do so", with HS2 open to a variety of route options.

MPs return at 9:30am tomorrow.

A number of private member's bills are lined up for discussion, but most of the day will likely be spent debating the Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence Bill. 

Adjournment debate on HS2 'havoc' in Derbyshire

Adjournment Debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Dennis Skinner
BBC

Labour's Dennis Skinner introduces his debate on the high speed rail project in Newton, a village in Derbyshire. 

Mr Skinner represents the area and says that the rail project will bring "havoc" to the area. 

Campaigners argue that the line would see homes demolished and adversely affect house prices in the area. 

HS2 has said they are committed to working with the local community to address their concerns. 

Child refugees vote deferred

Backbench debate

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs will defer the vote on the backbench business motion on child refugees in Greece and Italy until Wednesday 1st March. 

The motion calls on the government to "continue to monitor" local authority capacity for the possible transfer of unaccompanied refugee children from camps in Europe.

Abbott: government has not given MPs what they voted for

Backbench debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Diane Abbott
BBC

Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott says the government had "fallen far short from what members in both houses thought they were voting for."

She says that claims made by some MPs during the debate that mainland European countries are safe for refugees are incorrect, citing a report by Amnesty International

"The hallmark of a country is the fairness and the humanity and the way it treats the vulnerable," she says, before finishing "we plead with the government to fulfill it's legal and moral obligations"

Tory backbench offers various views on child refugees

Backbench debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Tory backbench
BBC

The debate has demonstrated a variety of beliefs and interpretations of the government's policy on child refugees on the Conservative backbench. 

Conservative David Burrowes believes that the UK has not ripped up the Dubs amendment, but has revised its "timeslot" according to changing conditions. 

However, fellow Tory Will Quince says that he was "sad and disappointed" to see that only 150 more child refugees would be taken in. 

He believes the UK is "pulling up the drawbridge" and challenges the government to regularly consult local governments to see if new spaces come up. 

Across the House, there has been agreement that the UK's aid and humanitarian response within Syria and its neighbours has been positive. 

Bone: policy on refugees correct

Backbench debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Peter Bone
BBC

Conservative Peter Bone says one of the former prime minister's greatest legacies was on human trafficking.

He says that those who engage in the practice are "the most evil people in the world." 

He says David Cameron's policy to look after the displaced in their region was correct, as it lessens incentive to find safety in Europe, reducing the need for traffickers. 

Mr Bone was previously the chair of the all-parliamentary group on human trafficking .   

He also suggests that the money required to look after 3,000 refugees in Europe could be used to care for 800,000 in the Middle-East.  

Morgan: government needs to be clearer on numbers

Backbench debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Conservative Nicky Morgan asks for the government to be "clearer" with numbers as there are a lot of schemes creating confusion. 

She also asks for the government to push councils and local authorities to "clarify" spaces. 

Lords adjourn

House of Lords

Parliament

House of Lords
BBC

The last group of amendments are withdrawn and debate of the legislation is adjourned...

... as is the day in the House of Lords.

Peers are back on tomorrow to debate bills on homelessness and abortion. 

Latham: people being too 'sentimental'

Backbench debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Conservative Pauline Latham says that policies which involve helping migrants in Europe create more issues than they solve. 

She says the safety and quality of refugee camps in home regions are good, thanks in part to British aid, and that in the long-term migrants will prosper more staying in the Middle-East.

She finishes by saying "although I understand the sentiment of what people say, we should stop being so sentimental and we should actually be looking at what the best thing to do for these families and children and that is to keep them in the area."

Storm Doris hits Westminster

The Sun's Westminster Correspondent tweets

Cox: UK must show 'moral self-worth and dignity'

Backbench debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Geoffrey Cox
BBC

Conservative Geoffrey Cox gives an impassioned plea for the UK to show "moral self worth and dignity" in order to protect its international reputation. 

"When you have the plight of a child, it transcends these kinds of complexities of pull factors and push factors," he says, criticising some of the lines taken in the debate.

He says the UK's "obligations" were only for a "modest few", not all 30,000 child refugees estimated in Europe. 

"Suffer the little children and forbid them not to come unto me," he says in conclusion, to the applause of some SNP MPs. 

BreakingGovernment defeated on planning amendment

Neighbourhood Planning bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Peers have voted to accept the Lib Dem amendment 113 votes to 107.

The next group of amendments deal with the restrictions on powers to impose planning conditions. 

Cooper: government shouldn't 'rip up' good work

Backbench debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Yvette Cooper
BBC

Chair of the Home Affairs Committee Yvette Cooper says the government has "pulled the plug" on the Dubs amendment. 

Despite it only being in place for just six months she says it was "saving lives and helping children" and says evidence had shown it was "reducing dangerous illegal journeys." 

She says that the government "has done some good things, don't rip it up now."

Conservative Pauline Latham intervenes to suggest that the French should be dealing with child migrants in Calais, not the UK - "France isn't an unsafe country," she says. 

Yvette Cooper agrees that the French could do more, but the key is "co-operation" with both France and the UK sharing the load. 

Peers vote on planning permission conditions

Neighbourhood Planning Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Peers are now voting on amendment 18.

This Lib Dem amendment would ensure that local authorities can go as far as the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) allows in relation to pre-commencement conditions. 

The amendments would also allow a local authority to go beyond the NPPF with the consent of the person who applied for planning permission.

The NPPF sets out the government's planning policies for England and how it expects those polices to be applied.

Minister: UK is 'fully committed' to helping child refugees

Backbench debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Robert Goodwill
BBC

Home Office Minister Robert Goodwill states the "government is absolutely and fully committed to helping and supporting the most vulnerable children"

He notes that the government aims to remove the risk of unaccompanied children making perilous journeys across the Mediterranean, hence the bulk of funding and refugee relocation is focused on Syria and its' neighbours. 

He says 5,400 Syrian refugees and 350 child refugees have arrived in the UK since October 2015. 

He says the Dubs amendment did not specify nor did it legally bind the government to a number, and that the new number of 350 came from consultation with local authorities.

The SNP's Margaret Ferrier intervenes to say that Glasgow City Council has expressed a willingness to take more child refugees. Yesterday the Home Affairs Committee heard evidence that a number of councils had spare capacity. One, Hammersmith and Fulham, said it had been trying to fill two spare slots for child refugees since October last year.

McGovern: child refugees are not a party political issue

Backbench debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Child refugees
PA

Labour's Alison McGovern opens the second debate of the afternoon by saying the subject of child refugees is "not a party political issue."

However, she criticises the recent decision to cancel the so-called Dubs amendment scheme , "slamming the door shut" after taking in just 350 child refugees out of a proposed 3,000. 

She asks the government to admit that the "pull" of a legal route to Britain was not the issue causing children to make their way to Europe, but "war and famine" in the Middle-East. 

The cross-party backbench motion praises the UK's aid efforts in Syria, but criticises the government's slow response to re-housing child refugees, in particular from Greece and Italy. 

In 2015 alone an estimated 90,000 unaccompanied children and teenagers sought asylum across Europe. 

Minister: current system is 'disproportionate'

Opposition day debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Minister
BBC

Northern Ireland Minister Kris Hopkins summarises by saying the "rule of law applies to all", but acknowledges that the current system is "disproportionate" in its treatment of soldiers and policemen.

He says that the "full and faithful implementation of the Stormont Agreement" will help address this.

The Stormont House Agreement will create a number of new agencies including the Historical Investigations Unit that will examine unsolved murders carried out during the Troubles.

Watch again: DUP MP recalls cousin's death

DUP MP Jim Shannon recalls the death of his cousin in the Troubles, during a speech about the prosecution of historical cases among the armed forces.

Minister 'sympathetic' to the issue

Neighbourhood Planning Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Bourne says he is sympathetic to the principles of the amendment.

He tells peers he wants to consider the issue further.

Baroness Parminter says she is "grateful" for his commitment and withdraws the amendment. 

Emotional Jim Shannon remembers his cousin

Opposition day debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Jim Shannon
BBC

An emotional Jim Shannon (DUP) holds back tears as he remembers his cousin, who was killed by the IRA. 

He knows what "closure" can mean to those impacted on both sides, he says, but says "there is no multimillion pound investigation available [for his cousin]."

"I resent the idea at the present that one life is worth more than another. It's not," he says.

'Rising rage'

Neigbourhood Planning Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Baroness Young of Old Scone
BBC

Labour's Baroness Young of Old Scone says "rising rage" has prompted her to intervene.

She tells peers she lives in a village in North Bedfordshire which has been "ruined" by a new garden town. 

She describes new towns as the result of "an unholy alliance" between developers and local authorities to achieve housing targets.

Ritchie: 'No-one should be above the rule of law'

Opposition day debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Margaret Ritchie
BBC

SDLP's Margaret Ritchie says inquiries "must be balanced and fair" and that the processes "must be set by victims and survivors, with truth and accountability at its very core". 

She says that "no one is or should be above the rule of law." 

She acknowledges that inquests and prosecutions can look disproportionate, but they are only "part of what we are doing" and everyone should face justice. 

Porter: This make sense

Neighbourhood Planning Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

This makes sense, says Lord Porter.

He argues that the amendment will be a useful tool to fix the housing shortage by encouraging local councils to set up new towns.

He adds that it gives power to the councils and therefore closer to the people they represent. 

Garden villages: Locations of first 14 announced

5 January 2017

BBC News UK

Builder
Getty Images

England's first garden villages have been proposed for 14 sites spread across the country from Cornwall to Cumbria, the government has announced.

Ministers have lent their support to 14 planned developments which will each deliver between 1,500 and 10,000 properties and establish new villages.

The new garden villages could provide 48,000 homes, the government says.

Larger garden towns in Buckinghamshire, Somerset and the Essex-Hertfordshire border were also approved.

Read more here.

Peers debate new towns amendment

Neighbourhood Planning Bill

House of Lords

Parliament


          Aerial shot of proposed garden town on the Essex-Hertfordshire border
Places for People

Lib Dem peers have warned that they may push this next amendment to a vote if they cannot get a concession from the government.

This amendment would ensure that new garden towns and villages are established under local authority control.

Baroness Parminter asks why, in the age of localism, should these new towns hand control of finance to the secretary of state.

Sinn Fein 'using Northern Ireland election'

Opposition day debate

House of Commons

Parliament

DUP's Sammy Wilson says that the on-going election in Northern Ireland is part of Sinn Féin's attempts to influence legacy inquests. 

He says that Sinn Féin will "put pressure on a government which will be dead keen to get them back into government and their price will be policemen and soldiers sacrificed in the courts."

As part of Northern Ireland's power-sharing agreement, the government must have Sinn Féin membership. 

Minister rejects amendment

Neighbourhood Planning Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Bourne
BBC

Lord Bourne argues that it would not be helpful for planning inspectors to be told in advance what their decision should be by the government.

He accepts that this is not the intention of the amendment but it is "dangerously close" to the effect of it.

Baroness Cumberlege withdraws her amendment. 

'They defended us, and we must defend them'

Opposition day debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Nigel Dodds
BBC

DUP Westminster leader Nigel Dodds says there is a perception in Northern Ireland that "those who defended our communities are being prosecuted with more zeal" than terrorists who threatened them. 

He says there is "substance to that perception".

Without the British Army's operation in Northern Ireland, terrorism would not have been defeated and the roots of peace could not have been sown. 

He says that "they defended us and we must defend them, never forgetting that paramilitary terrorists, both loyalist and republican, were responsible for 90% of deaths" during the Troubles.

He says the army is "held to the highest standards of professionalism" and to suggest that misconduct was rife is a "distortion" and that there is a "danger that the past is being rewritten".

Planning inspectors have gone 'feral'

Neighbourhood Planning Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Porter
BBC

Some planning inspectors have gone feral, says Conservative Lord Porter.

He argues that the government needs to take "a firmer grip" of the planning inspectorate to ensure that they are acting in a way the government has sanctioned.

'Morally repugnant' to compare army with terrorists

Opposition day debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Conservative Sir Julian Brazier says it's "morally repugnant to compare killings by the security forces to killings by terrorists".

He adds that terror groups "didn't keep records" which makes them harder to prosecute and that historical prosecutions must not be retried unless it's proven that there's "fresh evidence".

Are local plans being ignored?

Neighbourhood Planning Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Baroness Parminter
BBC

Lib Dem Baroness Parminter notes that there is no recourse to appeal for those who have put together a neighbourhood plan.

Their only option, she says, is to go to judicial review - something, she argues, they often don't have the budget for.

She tells the minister that she would be happy to give him the benefit of the doubt if the department was monitoring how often neighbourhood plans are ignored by local authorities.

SNP: Must have 'trust' in process

Opposition day debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Like everyone else who has spoken, the SNP's devolved nations spokesperson Deidre Brock says she condemns the attempted bomb attack on a the home of a serving police officer this week and "can't get into the mind" of someone who wants a return to violence in Northern Ireland.

She says the SNP's position is clear, that they "believe that the people of Northern Ireland" can "make a better fist of things there than we [in Westminster] can". 

This applies to the process of prosecuting historical cases arising from the Troubles, and she says politicians outside of Northern Ireland must trust those in charge of prosecutions to "take decisions in the best interests of the people that they serve".

Cumberlege: Democratically elected councils are being overruled

Neighbourhood Planning Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

New home being built
Reuters

Peers now move on to an amendment from Conservative Baroness Cumberlege and Lib Dem Lord Shipley concerning planning appeals.

The amendment states that the Secretary of State must support a decision of the local planning authority unless "it contravenes a development scheme of national importance". 

This would apply in cases where planning permission had been rejected on the grounds that it was not in accordance with local development plans.

Baroness Cumberlege says she is "appalled" by the numbers of appeals to planning decisions.

Too often, she argues, the decisions of democratically elected local councils is being overruled.

Labour: 'no untouched dark corners' in NI

Opposition day debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Stephen Pound
BBC

Shadow Northern Ireland minister Stephen Pound congratulates James Brokenshire on his "impassioned" speech. He says Labour supports the "very sensible" motion put forward by the DUP. It calls for "balanced and fair" investigations into historical cases involving the army.

He notes some statistics on historical investigations during the Troubles currently being investigated by the PSNI. 

He says there are 1,188 investigations ongoing, 530 into republican paramilitaries, 271 into loyalist paramilitaries, 354 into the security forces and 33 where the perpetrators are unknown. He says this means that 32% of investigations are into the security forces, including the police and the army. 

He says that "the past has to be looked at objectively...we have to investigate every aspect" and notes the "higher duty that people who wear the Queen's uniform have". 

There "can be no untouched dark corners", he says.

'Better dialogue may be needed'

Neighbourhood Planning Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth argues that the amendment may have unintended consequences such as an examiner permitting a development which could have negative impact on a listed building.

He suggests that a "better dialogue may be needed" but asks Baroness Cumberlege to withdraw her amendment. 

She reasserts her point that the groups involved in putting together a neighbourhood plan need to work together better but withdraws her amendment. 

Legacy tribunals are 'not delivering for anyone'

Opposition day debate

House of Commons

Parliament

James Brokenshire
BBC

Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire speaks in favour of reforming legacy tribunals in Northern Ireland. 

The police and armed forces cannot "act above [the law] or outside it", he says, but notes the vast majority acted "honestly and with bravery".

Where soldiers do face legal action, the government will supply counsel and "taxpayer funded legal support will be provided" for as long as necessary. 

He says, however, that in the case of Northern Ireland, the legacy cases have favored those against the state. 

He says that the system in Northern Ireland is not "delivering for anyone", and promises - in line with the Conservative manifesto - to reform the legacy tribunals and fully implement the Stormont House agreement

He described those who use the courts to make money off legacy cases were "appalling", and says it was the right decision to shut the Iraq Historical Allegation Team and strike off human rights lawyer Phil Shiner.

Local people were left 'confounded'

Neighbourhood Planning Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Baroness Cumberlege
BBC

Conservative peer Baroness Cumberlege's next amendment seeks to clarify the role of "the examiner" in the process.

The role of the examiner is to support those putting together their neighbourhood plans. 

She tells peers that her own community was "in the vanguard" of those putting together a neighbourhood plan.

She describes her community's own negative experience of working with the examiner.

"We never met him," she says or got the chance to "explain what we were trying to achieve". 

The result, she says, was that the examiner changed their plans and deleted pages leaving local people "confounded".

Northern Irish legacy claims 'disproportionate' and 'immoral'

House of Commons

Parliament

Sir Jeffrey Donaldson
BBC

DUP's Sir Jeffrey Donaldson says "hundreds of millions of pounds has been spent on hounding the British armed forces" in Northern Ireland legacy claims. 

He says despite the IRA and paramilitary groups being responsible for 90% of total deaths during the Troubles, there has been a "disproportionate" focus in courts. 

He says, particularly with Iraq legacy cases, "so-called lawyers" have become rich "often from the public purse", whilst frontline soldiers "feel betrayed".

Conservative Sir Gerald Howarth calls the harassment of veterans 45 years after incidents occurred "immoral".