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Summary

  1. Parliament returns to work following yesterday's terror attack
  2. MPs questioning International Trade ministers
  3. Statement on yesterday's attack
  4. Commons leader outlines forthcoming business
  5. Two debates on compensation for Equitable Life policyholders and Social Mobility Commission State of the Nation report
  6. Peers question government ministers after statement on attacks
  7. Homelessness Reduction Bill receives third reading
  8. Debates on committee reports on Brexit and science, and the environment

Live Reporting

By Esther Webber, Claire Gould and Paul Seddon

All times stated are UK

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PM and Parliament pays tribute to Westminster attack victims

Commons
HoC

Today, Theresa May delivered a statement to Parliament on yesterday's terror attack, telling MPs: "We will never waver in the face of terrorism."

The prime minister paid tribute to the victims of the attack in Westminster, including Pc Keith Palmer, who died after being stabbed.

"He was every inch a hero and his actions will never be forgotten," she said.

Tributes were also paid in the House of Lords.

You can read more about the statement to the Commons, and the response in the Lords, as well as MPs' and peers' responses here .

House of Commons adjourns

House of Commons

Parliament

And now the House of Commons adjourns for the day. 

MPs will return tomorrow for private members' bills: the first on the agenda is Conservative Wendy Morton's Local Audit (Public Access to Documents) Bill.

Take a look at parliamentary correspondent Mark D'Arcy's blog for more information. 

In the meantime, goodbye.

House of Lords adjourns

House of Lords

Parliament

Peers have risen for the day. They are not sitting tomorrow, and will return on Monday. 

Adjournment debate begins

House of Commons

Parliament

It's now time for the adjournment debate in the Commons - Conservative MP Charles Walker is introducing the debate on Ratty's Lane Incinerator in his constituency.

Minister: We don't underestimate Brexit challenge

Brexit and the environment debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Gardiner
BBC

Environment Minister Lord Gardiner of Kimble assures peers the government "does not underestimate" the complexity of writing EU environmental protections into UK law after Brexit. 

He says as the government proceeds with the Great Repeal Bill it will uphold the Conservative manifesto promise to "leave the environment in a better condition than that in which we found it". 

Selective schools help social mobility - minister

Social mobility debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Nick Gibb
HoC

Education Minister Nick Gibb responds to the debate and says he agrees with the importance of improving social mobility.

He points to the pupil premium, the 30 hours of free childcare for the parents of working children, Teachfirst, and a £75m teaching innovation fund as evidence the government is tackling social mobility. He says the new T-levels will also help pupils.

The government has pushed to raise educational standards, he says, and there is more to do. He says the government wants more choice for parents, and that includes lifting the ban on selective school places.

"We know that selective schools are vehicles of social mobility," he says. 

Thanks to the academy and free school programme, teachers have more freedom to tackle poor behaviour in the classroom, he says.

Call from Labour to abandon grammar school policy

Social mobility debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Mike Kane
HoC

Shadow education minister, Labour's Mike Kane, says the report into social mobility presents the government with proposals but "there's no evidence the government has listened".

The Department for Education has made no indication it would adopt the policies outlined in the report, he says. What will the 30 hours of free childcare mean for low income families? he asks. He references Nick Clegg's reference to the importance of quality in childcare, not just quantity.

And he turns to grammar schools, and the recommendation to "rethink" the proposal for grammar schools.

He asks the government for the promised white paper, and for the policy on grammar schools to be based on evidence, not on dogma - "and to abandon this discredited policy," he says.

Cuts to school budget will make it impossible to deliver on many of the recommendations in the report, Mr Kane says, and the £3bn cut from school budgets will not help. 

Labour: Nobody made environmental case in the referendum campaign

Brexit and the environment debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Labour spokesman Lord Grantchester winds up for the opposition, claiming that the environment played "little part" in the EU referendum campaign and "no one made the case" for the EU's role in protecting the natural environment. 

He agrees with the EU Committee's general finding that the "challenges and potential pitfalls [of writing EU regulations into UK law] remain daunting". 

The committee found upholding environmental standards after Brexit will be hard and an enforcement system similar to that provided by EU regulators and courts is needed to maintain existing protections.

UK 'does not need EU help' to protect the environment

House of Lords

Parliament

Conservative the Earl of Caithness highlights steps taken by the UK to protect the natural environment without EU involvement, including the 1848 public health act, and the formation of the National Trust in 1907.

"Yes, we can do it without the help of the EU," he argues. 

Peer foresees environmental uncertainty after Brexit

Brexit and the environment debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Trees
BBC

Crossbencher and veterinarian Lord Trees tells peers he is worried about what he calls "a governance gap" when it comes to the environment. 

He warns it's not clear what will happen "once custody [of the environment] is entrusted to a single government with a five-year horizon" rather than institutions able to take a longer view.

Clegg: target resources to most deprived families

Social mobility debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Nick Clegg
HoC

It's the turn of Nick Clegg, the former Lib Dem leader. He looks back to his time in government and efforts to promote social mobility. 

When he came into government, he says, he was astonished to find paid interns who were employed on who they knew.

He goes on to talk about the importance of intervention in the early years. Neuroscience and academic research by educationists has confirmed how crucial the early years are; and how much can be fostered by early years and pre-school support.

He says he is proud of the 15 hours entitlement to support for two-year-olds; and says he believes the government is going to have problems delivering the expanded hours it has promised - and wonders whether it is the best use of resources.

He says he believes limited resources should be targeted earlier and to the most deprived families.

Brexit could improve self-sufficiency, says peer

Brexit and the environment debate

House of Lords

Parliament

McIntosh
BBC

Conservative Baroness McIntosh urges the government to work towards a 25-year plan to replace the Common Agricultural Policy to provide certainty to farmers. 

This will help them plan what they produce, she says, adding: "Ideally eating more home-produced food could be one of the benefits that flow from Brexit."

That in turn could help improve the UK's self-sufficiency and food security, she adds. 

'Social contract has broken down' - former education secretary

Social mobility debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Nicky MOrgan
HoC

Former education secretary Nicky Morgan is now speaking in the social mobility debate.

She says that "for some people" the social expectation that things will improve for people's children "has broken down".

"Educational aspiration has ceased to exist" in some deprived communities, she says.

"We should be honest" about the pressures on people's lives, which include job insecurity and the inability to afford housing, she says.

She calls for the government to focus on areas of greatest social inequality to address the break down in the social contract.

Grammar schools 'do nothing' for social mobility

Social mobility debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Lucy Powell
HoC

Labour's Lucy Powell is speaking in the backbench business debate on the Social Mobility Commission report.

She says the London Challenge and the Pupil Premium are examples of government schemes that "do work" to improve the chances of the most disadvantaged children in schools.

She also welcomes the introduction of higher technical qualifications - T Levels -  to help ongoing learning after the age of 16.

However, grammar schools "do nothing for social mobility", she says.

"Poor, bright children are much less likely to attend grammar schools" than less able more well-off children, she says.

She says standards in London have risen, following a comprehensive system.

She says the evidence is that poorer "highly able" children do just as well in comprehensive schools, as they do in grammar schools, she says.

Debate on social mobility begins in Commons

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs have moved on to a debate on social mobility.

The debate is focusing on the content and recommendations of the annual report from the Social Mobility Commission - and it's been by Labour's Lucy Powell, Conservative Nicky Morgan and Liberal Democrat Nick Clegg.

The motion calls for the government to improve social mobility, which they say has got worse in recent years.

The motion also asks for the government to lead a renewed approach to improving social mobility from younger years. The report highlights that children from poorer backgrounds spent less time in education that wealthier counterparts, and that in the last decade, 500,000 poorer children were not school-ready by the age of five.

The report said that those born in the 1980s are the first post-war group not to earn more than previous generation, and it said only one in 10 people on low pay are able to "escape" the salary trap. 

Other findings from the report include: 

  • Only 4% of doctors, 6% of barristers and 11% of journalists are from working-class backgrounds
  • Rates of home ownership for under-44s have fallen by 17% in the last decade, the report says
  • The report also highlights a clear divide between those living in the north, Wales, Midlands and the south.

'High hopes' for Nigeria fading

Syria and Nigeria debate

Westminster Hall

Pauline Latham
HoC

Conservative Pauline Latham is now speaking on the International Development Committee's report on Nigeria.

She says she is concerned on slow progress tackling corruption by the Nigerian government.

"The people will not wait forever for change," she says.

She asks the minister to respond on the UK government's relationship with the Nigerian government, given the long absence of President Buhari last year and ongoing rumours about his state of health.

She asks if the minister can update MPs on the Chibok schoolgirls who were kidnapped by Boko Haram in 2014, how many have been released and how many are still missing.

She closes saying Nigeria "held out so much hope" when the committee visited, but that high hopes in the Nigerian government are beginning to fade due to a failure to make progress on corruption and development.

Peer warns of Brexit impact on the environment

Brexit and the environment debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Countryside
BBC

Peers are now debating the report from the EU Committee,  Brexit: environment and climate change .  

The committee highlighted the need to map out the EU’s environmental laws to assess where the Great Repeal Bill will not be able to preserve legislative and policy stability, and act accordingly to ensure that environmental protection does not diminish as a result of Brexit.  

Lib Dem Lord Teverson, who sits on the committee, says there is a recognition among the public that the EU "had an important role" in environmental protection and it is something we should be "working together as nations" to achieve. 

He expresses concern that recreating the regulations and directives relating to the environment after Brexit will be "extremely difficult". 

Minister: UK will champion science after Brexit

Brexit and science debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Prior
BBC

After some sustained criticism, Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Lord Prior of Brampton tells the House the government will "support a healthier science and technology ecosystem than ever before".

He says they are funding the biggest increase in research funding since 1979, have underwritten all successful bids for Horizon 2020 funding, and taken steps to "reassure" current students from the EU that their studies will not be affected. 

UK government supporting Lebanese government on help to refugees

Syria and Nigeria debate

Westminster Hall

James Wharton
HoC

International Development Minister James Wharton is now answering the debate in Westminster Hall.

He addresses the committee's Syria report first, the debate on Nigeria will follow on.

Mr Wharton says the Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC) is looking at future opportunities to assist refugees in Syria and the surrounding region.

On Lebanon, Mr Wharton says the government there has relaxed its toughened measures slowing the flow of refugees. The UK government has made representations and the Lebanese government has now waived the residency permit fee.

Mr Wharton says the UK government has been able to assist the Lebanese government to give school places to over 200,000 refugee school children. 

Brexit is 'worst challenge' to UK science

Brexit and science debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Walmsley
HoL

Lib Dem peer Baroness Walmsley says she intends to speak in "forthright" terms in the debate.

She describes Brexit as the "worst challenge" to UK science, putting international collaboration at risk, and closing access to UK science's biggest market.

Baroness Walmsley says she welcomes government pledges to continue funding the Horizon 2020 scheme, which had attracted EU funding.  

Good regulation "gives us the right to sell and the confidence to buy" she says, urging the government to negotiate to keep the UK within the EU's medicine regulation framework.

She goes on to speak on the uncertainty around the immigration status of research students, and the forthcoming immigration fees to be applied to tier two visa applicants.  She calls for NHS workers to be included in the exempted list of scientific disciplines. 

Government urged to ensure pledged funds are distributed

Syria and Nigeria debate

Westminster Hall

Imran Hussain
HoC

Shadow Development Minister Imran Hussain is now speaking.

He asks what the government is doing to ensure that all pledged funds are being distributed to the UN and agencies supporting refugees, and that all countries contribute.

Mr Hussain say he supports the use of cash grants to refugees in certain circumstances, and asks if cash programmes are to be continued.

"Helping refugees in the region is the most economic way to help" says Mr Hussain, and causes them the least disruption.

He goes on to say that he "shares the deep concern" expressed in the debate about the slow progress in resettling unaccompanied child refugees who are in Europe. 

Public concern at fate of child refugees

Syria and Nigeria debate

Westminster Hall

Patrick Grady
HoC

The SNP's International Development spokesperson Patrick Grady is now speaking.

Mr Grady says there has been an "incredible" response from people in the UK to the plight of refugees from Syria.

He says Scotland has been proud to welcome refugees, but the UK has not taken "a fair share" and that the fate of unaccompanied child refugees is "of huge concern" to the public.

He argues that funding from the overseas development budget could be used to support the resettlement of refugees in the UK.

Back to work

Political reporter, Press Association, tweets

Doctoral research 'backbone of British science'

Brexit and science debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Winston
HoL

Lord Winston says the government's response to concerns of the scientific community is "totally inadequate", with no reassurance on the ability of post-doctoral students to continue their research in the UK or elsewhere in the EU.

"They are the backbone of British science," he says of EU post-doctoral students and their UK counterparts.

He goes on to speak about his own specialism in reproductive medicine, saying it is important for understanding not just fertility but human growth, genetic disease and cancer treatments.

"It is, in my view, the very foundation of biological science," he says, listing all the nationalities of research scientists who worked at his own clinic in Hammersmith Hospital and Imperial College.

He fears Imperial College will fail to find a suitable candidate to chair its Reproductive Science department, as professors in the EU will be reluctant to apply given the uncertainty over post-Brexit immigration rules.

Call for help for unaccompanied child refugees

Syria and Nigeria debate

Westminster Hall

Labour MP Stephen Twigg asks the minister who will answer the debate about a number of issues, including UK government help for vulnerable refugees, such as disabled people.

He calls for support for the Lebanese government, which is hosting the largest number of Syrian refugees, many not even in official camps, with births of children going unregistered.

Mr Twigg goes on to ask for an update on the resettlement of child refugees in the UK under the 'Dubs amendment' to the Immigration Act, and whether the scheme has been closed.

He says only a "fraction" of the numbers of unaccompanied child refugees in Europe have been resettled in the UK.

He says unaccompanied children entering Europe are going missing and are falling prey to traffickers.

MPs consider International Development Comittee reports

Syria and Nigeria debate

Westminster Hall

Stephen Twigg
HoC

MPs in Westminster Hall are debating two reports by the International Development Committee on Syrian refugees and on DFID's programme in Nigeria.

Committee chair Stephen Twigg is opening the debate.

You can read the committee's report on Syrian refugees here .

You can read the committee's report on Nigeria here.

EU holds back innovation, peer argues

Brexit and science debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Conservative Viscount Ridley is a dissenting voice on the committee's report. 

He says the EU has held countries back in the way it regulates products and wildlife including "GM crops, snus and vaping, great-crested newts and long-eared bats".

He looks forward to a day when the UK has a more "light-touch" regulatory framework, which he believes will advance innovation. 

Committee chair: Including students in immigrant numbers is 'idiocy'

Brexit and science debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Science and Technology Select Committee chair the Earl of Selborne is leading a debate on his committee's report on science and research after Brexit. 

The report recommends: 

  • asking the National Academies and the new UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) to recruit outstanding scientific leaders
  • making compelling offers of research funding to scientific leaders for their first 10 years in the UK 
  • consulting the science community to identify opportunities to host at least one new international research facility.

He describes the government's inclusion of international students in immigration numbers bluntly as "idiocy" and asks what the government will do about it.

MPs move on to backbench debate

Backbench debate

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs now turn to one of the backbench business debates on compensation for Equitable Life policyholders.

Conservative MP Bob Blackman is moving the motion.

The motion calls on the government to give full compensation to Equitable Life policyholders who were not fully repaid. Nearly a million policyholders lost money due to the life insurer's mismanagement in the 1980s and 1990s.

In 2000, the business closed with policyholders receiving low payouts in order to keep the business solvent.

In 2008, the Parliamentary Ombudsman said the government should compensate the £4.1bn lost by customers - she said government departments and regulators should have noticed Equitable Life's mounting mismanagement problems.

Former Chancellor George Osborne agreed with the Ombudsman's findings in 2010, but so far only £1.5bn has been paid. 

Conservative Bob Blackman is chair of the all-party parliamentary group on justice for the policyholders. The group has 227 members from across all political parties.

Call for first aid training

Labour MP tweets

Bill becomes law...

Conservative MP tweets

'We're all Londoners today' - SNP MP

Westminster attack statement

House of Commons

Parliament

Pete Wishart
HoC

SNP MP Pete Wishart responds to the statement, also thanking Mr Lidington for his actions and leadership yesterday.

"I want to stress my heartfelt condolences to the family of Keith Palmer and all those who lost their lives," he says.

He says the "resilience" of Londoners in responding to the attack has been "inspiring" to him as a Scottish Member of Parliament.

"I think we're all Londoners today," he says.

He moves on to ask what Westminster's response will be to the Scottish Parliament's forthcoming vote on a second independence referendum, and to call for a debate marking the triggering of Article 50.

Lord Speaker says security arrangements to be reviewed

Westminster attack statement

House of Lords

Parliament

Fowler
BBC

A little earlier, the Lord Speaker told peers he wanted to "reassure" them that the House of Lords Commission would - with its Commons counterparts - be reviewing security arrangements to see if there are any "lessons to be learned".

He offered thanks to all those who "worked to protect us" yesterday. 

Practical matters and business as usual in the Commons

Business statement

House of Commons

Parliament

Lidington
HoC

Leader of the House David Lidington now rises to make the Business Statement, but first he has an update for MPs on some "practical matters" arising from yesterday.

He asks for MPs and staff to be patient with tightened security arrangements.

Mr Lidington says books of condolence to PC Palmer are now open, and that the chapel in the undercroft of Parliament will be open all day with the Speaker's Chaplain conducting short services.

He goes on to set out the forthcoming business in the Commons, this includes the Pensions Schemes Bill, which was interrupted by the attack yesterday.

Shadow Leader of the House Valerie Vaz responds, thanking Mr Lidington for the "leadership he showed yesterday".

She goes on to describe the late PC Palmer as a "superhero," and thanks the police and parliamentary security service for their actions.

She says she will proceed with "business as usual" as she goes on to question the Leader of the House on the government's programme.

'We stand for the values of democracy' says PM at end of statement

Westminster attack statement

House of Commons

Parliament

The final question following the prime minister's statement goes to Labour's Geraint Davies who relays a message from the Imam of his constituency mosque in Swansea, who wished to share his shock and condolences.  

He calls for attempts to divide communities to be resisted.

The prime minister agrees that terrorist acts are not done in the name of any religion, but the result of a "warped ideology".

"We must be very clear that we stand for the values of democracy, the values of the rule of law, that make the society in which we all live," she says.

With that, Speaker Bercow brings this statement to a close, thanking all members "for what they have said, and the way in which they have said it."

MPs now move on to hear the regular Business Statement from the Leader of the House.

Defiance in face of terrorism

The Herald's Westminster correspondent tweets

Watch: Justin Welby tells of staff member's 'narrow' miss

The Archbishop of Canterbury pays tribute to a staff member who was 'narrowly' missed.