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Summary

  1. Women and Equalities Committee look at fathers and work
  2. Commons chamber sits from 11.30am
  3. PMQs at noon
  4. Debate on general election motion follows ten minute rule bill
  5. Lords amendments to Technical and Further Education Bill considered
  6. Debate on Section 5 of the European Communities (Amendment) Act 1993

Live Reporting

By Aiden James and Alex Partridge

All times stated are UK

MPs vote for early general election

House of Commons

Parliament

Vote
HoC

A UK general election will be held on 8 June after MPs backed Prime Minister Theresa May's call for an early election today.

The Commons voted by 522 votes to 13, above the two-thirds majority needed, as Labour and the Lib Dems supported the move.

The next general election would have taken place in 2020 under the Fixed Term Parliaments Act - but the act allows for one to be held earlier if it has the support of two-thirds of MPs.  

Mrs May needed 434 MPs to vote for the motion for an election to be called.

The dissolution of Parliament will take place on 3 May - and before then, the government and opposition parties will negotiate in order to pass bills remaining from the government's legislative programme.

UK Athletics due diligence on coaches 'working'

Culture, Media and Sport Committee

Select Committee

Parliament

Ed Warner is telling the committee that in the past year UK Athletics has stopped two unnamed athletes from taking on a new coach "because their past doesn't look as clean as it might be or should be". 

He says the system of due diligence is now working but asks "did it work in 2010?", when Mo Farah went to work with Nike's Project Oregon and Alberto Salazar. 

And with that we're leaving today's coverage of the Culture, Media and Sport Committee.

The committee's inquiry into doping in sport has been a long one but will now come to an enforced end because of the general election. 

However committee chair Damian Collins has promised that the committee's report will still be published.

Early adjournment for the Commons

House of Commons

Parliament

That's it from the House of Commons for today.

MPs voted to back an early general election and to bring the Parliament elected in 2015 to an early end but there are still a few days of business yet.

The House sits tomorrow from 9:30am, beginning with environment questions.

The main business consists of backbench debates on state pensions payable to recipients outside of the UK and on tackling infectious diseases.

Minister says Stormont House agreement is 'the way forward'

Adjournment debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Kris Hopkins
BBC

Northern Ireland Minister Kris Hopkins begins his reply by praising people in the Ulster Defence Regiment for "serving gallantly in very, very troubled times".

On behalf of the government, he says: "We wholly reject the suggestion of some equivalence between the security forces and those who carried out these terrorist atrocities."

He says he believes that the Stormount House agreement, reached between Northern Ireland's main parties and the UK and Irish governments, "remain the best way forward" for dealing with the legacy of the Troubles.

The agreement committed to set up a Historical Investigations Unit to examine unsolved murders carried out during the Troubles.

UK Athletics 'lax' over Mo Farah medical treatment

Culture, Media and Sport Committee

Select Committee

Parliament

Ed Warner
HoC

UK Athletics Chair Ed Warner is talking about Mo Farah's move to the United States to join the Oregon Project, Nike's elite long distance running program. 

He says UKA took back control of Mo Farah's medical care in 2011 after he'd been with the Oregon Project a few months, after the report by Dr John Rogers from an Oregon Project training camp.

Ed Warner says UKA decided they had to have control of medical treatments which "should always be the case for a funded athlete" especially "one of the two or three most high profile". He says "we have to be sure that we're in receipt of all necessary information".

He says that "with hindsight it was lax" that UK Athletics allowed Mo Farah to be treated in Oregon by a local GP for a few months.

Committee Chair Damian Collins asks if UK Athletics would agree to Alberto Salazar coaching and directing medical treatment for a GB athlete in future.

Ed Warner says he'd support the "first but not the latter", depending on the outcome of anti-doping investigations. He says Salazar "shouldn't be directing medical treatment, he's not a medical doctor".

'This was not done in our name'

Adjournment debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Margaret Ritchie
BBC

SDLP MP Margaret Ritchie intervenes on Jim Shannon to say she remembers "our shock and our revulsion" at the killings.

She adds that a peace demonstration in Downpatrick followed, which "was done to clearly illustrate that this was not done in our name".

Adjournment debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Jim Shannon
BBC

MPs have rattled through their remaining business and we come, somewhat early, to the adjournment debate.

DUP MP Jim Shannon is raising the case of the Ballydugan Four.

In 1990, four members of the Ulster Defence Regiment were killed at Ballydugan, near Downpatrick, County Down when the IRA detonated a 1,000lb landmine bomb.

An emotional Mr Shannon tells MPs that he served in the UDR, a former regiment of the British Army, and remembers the men who died personally.

MPs approve government economic assessment

European Communities Act motion

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs vote to approve the government's assessment of the UK economy by 298 votes to 191, giving the government a majority of 107.

Could UK Sport have done more?

Culture, Media and Sport Committee

Select Committee

Parliament

The committee is now hearing from Ed Warner, the Chair of UK Athletics and Liz Nicholls, CEO of UK Sport. UK Sport is the body that distributes funding to Olympic level elite sport in Britain.

Damian Collins begins this half of the session by asking if UK Sport "could and should" have taken more interest in how programs like British Cycling's high performance program were being delivered. 

The committee has heard allegations throughout this inquiry about a culture of bullying and sexism at British Cycling.

Liz Nicholls says UK Sport has "added quite a lot" to the funding agreements signed with individual sports for the next Olympic cycle, for the 2020 games in Tokyo. She says UK Sport has to "protect the integrity of sport" but also wants "to create a system that helps athletes be the very best in the world". 

Vote on government's economic assessment

European Communities Act motion

House of Commons

Parliament

Debate was short but the motion to approve the government's assessment of the UK economy is put to a vote.

The House divides.

'No concerns' over Alberto Salazar

Culture, Media and Sport Committee

Select Committee

Parliament

Alberto Salzar
Getty Images

Dr Barry Fudge of UK Athletics is telling the committee he has "never" had any concerns about Alberto Salazar's training methods at the Nike Oregon Project attended by GB runner Mo Farah. 

Additionally,he says, Mr Salazar has no influence over Mo Farah's medical treatments, which are the responsibility of UK Athletics.

Committee chair Damian Collins asks why, if he has no influence, advice was taken from Salazar over the administering of L-carnitine.

Dr Fudge says UKA takes "advice from coaches all the time" and didn't tell Salazar the dosage they planned to administer. 

He adds that he was "not aware" of what was recorded on Mo Farah's doping control form. 

MPs debate government's economic assessment

European Communities Act motion

House of Commons

Parliament

Next up is a motion to conform with Section 5 of the European Communities (Amendment) Act 1993.

The UK is still a member of the EU at present and, in the words of Chief Secretary to the Treasury David Gauke, has "a legal requirement to give the European Commission an update on the UK's economic position".

The motion for debate asks MPs to approve the government's economic assessment. 

Lords amendments rejected

Technical and Further Education Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs reject Lords Amendment One by 298 votes to 182, then reject the further Lords amendment without a vote.

The bill will return to the House of Lords, where peers will have the option of reintroducing the amendment or accepting the Commons' vote - if there is sufficient time before the general election. 

UK Athletics 'on right side' of right and wrong

Culture, Media and Sport Committee

Select Committee

Parliament

Dr Barry Fudge
HoC
Dr Barry Fudge

Labour's Chris Matheson accuses the doctors of administering a "legal performance enhancing substance" to Mo Farah, which they agree with. 

He says it's "nowt to do with their athletic prowess, it's everything to do with using a chemical process within the body to increase performance, why should that be legal and not illegal?"

Dr Barry Fudge says: "it's quite clear that there's wrong and there's right, and we work on the right side of it". Dr Rob Chakraverty talks about their rigorous application of the World Anti-Doping Agency's banned list.

Chris Matheson suggests that the sort of medical expertise available to the likes of Mo Farah is unfair on runners from poorer countries.

Dr Fudge says "when it comes down to it, Mo Farah is the best distance runner on the planet, bar none. It's as simple as that", adding that it's "very hard where you draw a line with these things". 

BBC to set out its election coverage 'in due course'

The BBC has issued a statement saying it will set out its general election coverage plans "in due course".

BBC head of Newsgathering Jonathan Munro told the Daily Telegraph that the BBC does not "want to get in a position where a party leader stops us doing a programme in the public interest".

Division in the Commons

Technical and Further Education Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

The House divides on a motion to oppose Lords Amendment One, on financial support for people undertaking apprenticeships. 

Mo Farah supplement 'for performance reasons'

Culture, Media and Sport Committee

Select Committee

Parliament

Discussion moves to one of the main issues of the day: the dosage of L-carnitine supplement that was administered to the GB athlete Mo Farah in the run-up to the 2014 London Marathon. 

Former UK Athletics Doctor Rob Chakraverty says 2.7ml of L-carnitine was administered to Mo Farah "for performance reasons", primarily in this case to aid weight loss as part of his transition from track to road racing and the longer distances involved.

Dr Barry Fudge, who still works for UK Athletics, says the impetus for the treatment didn't come from Alberto Salazar alone, and that Dr Fudge is the one who decided on the dosage.

Committee chair Damian Collins expresses his confusion at the need for the treatment, given that it was so far below the legal limit of 50ml. He says it "seems strange" that the dosage was so small and it is "not clear...what the purpose was".

It was the only instance of Mo Farah taking L-carnitine in his career. 

Lords amendments

Technical and Further Education Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

The bill is at the parliamentary stage known as "ping pong", meaning that it bounces between the House of Commons and House of Lords until the final text of the bill is agreed.

Both Houses must agree on the final form of the bill for it to proceed to royal assent and become law.

Peers passed an amendment to extend child benefit to young people undertaking a statutory apprenticeship. Education Minister Robert Halfon argues that this would impinge on the financial privilege of the Commons.

Another Lords amendment would widen the bill's definition of “technical education qualifications” to mean "the full range of work-based qualifications". 

The government has proposed its own amendment on careers guidance in place of this. 

Who voted against the general election motion?

Nine Labour MPs: 

1.       Ronnie Campbell

2.       Ann Clwyd

3.       Paul Farrelly

4.       Jim Fitzpatrick

5.       Clive Lewis

6.       Fiona Mactaggart

7.       Liz McInnes

8.       Dennis Skinner

9.       Graham Stringer

 

Three Independent MPs:

1.       Lady Sylvia Hermon

2.       Natalie McGarry (suspended SNP)

3.       Michelle Thomson (suspended SNP)

 

One SLDP MP: 

1.       Dr Alasdair McDonnell

'Open' Salazar clear anti-doping rules not being broken at Oregon Project

Culture, Media and Sport Committee

Select Committee

Parliament

Dr John Rogers
HoC

One of the witnesses this afternoon is Dr John Rogers, formerly of UK Athletics. 

He attended a training camp in France in July 2011 organised by the Oregon Project, Nike's elite long distance running program. Afterwards he sent an email to UKA colleagues expressing concerns over Salazar and treatments administered to Mo Farah, the one British athlete on the Oregon Project.

Dr Rogers says he's "passionate about drug free sport" and that Oregon Project chief Alberto Salazar was "open and transparent" about what he was doing and very clear that anti-doping rules were not being broken. 

Dr Rogers says he had concerns about medical side effects from some of the "treatments and strategies being followed". He says his main concern was over a treatment called "nasal calcitonin", which was supposed to prevent stress fractures. He also raised concerns about vitamin D supplements, which are "commonplace" in sports medicine but the dose was "particularly high". Both treatments could cause high blood calcium levels. 

Additionally, he says, Mo Farah was being given "higher doses of iron" than would "normally" be used.

Committee chair Damian Collins asks if Dr Rogers was "concerned that Mo Farah's health could be compromised" by the treatments being administered by the Oregon Project.

Dr Rogers says he "did ask" for one of the treatments to be stopped.

Transport minister probed on HS2 contracts

Transport Committee

Select Committee

Parliament

Euston Station concourse
Getty Images
Euston Station will be the London terminus of HS2.

The Transport Committee is hearing evidence on the withdrawal of the engineering firm CH2M from a £170m contract to deliver part of the HS2 project. HS2 is a high speed rail link initially connecting London to Birmingham.

CH2M was supposed to help develop Phase 2b of the project, from Crewe to Manchester and Birmingham to Leeds, but withdrew from the contract. Mace, a rival bidder for the contract, had raised concerns about conflicts of interest. The contract has now been awarded to another firm, Bechtel.

The committee is hearing from Transport Secretary Chris Grayling, and Sir David Higgins, Non-Executive Chairman of High Speed 2.

About the bill

Technical and Further Education Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

The bill follows an independent report by Lord Sainsbury and the government's Post-16 Skills Plan.

The Institute for Apprenticeships will be renamed the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education as part of the reforms.

The Institute will support the government in delivering three million "high quality" apprenticeships by 2020.

The bill also seeks to clarify existing law regarding what happens in the event of a college insolvency and contains provisions on data collection regarding further education.

Debate on the Technical and Further Education Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

The fun is not over yet though, as MPs turn to the Technical and Further Education Bill.

MPs are considering amendments made in the House of Lords.

Committee's doping inquiry continues

Culture, Media and Sport Committee

Select Committee

Parliament

Alberto Salazar (centre) with Oregon Project athletes Galen Rupp and GB's Mo Farah
Getty Images
Alberto Salazar (centre) with Oregon Project athletes Galen Rupp and GB's Mo Farah, at the 2012 London Olympics where Farah and Rupp came first and second in the men's 10,000 metres.

This afternoon the Culture, Media and Sport Committee is holding another session in its inquiry into doping in sport. Today's session is expected to focus on the links between UK Athletics and sportswear firm Nike's "Oregon Project" distance running program. Oregon Project chief Alberto Salazar has been under investigation by UK and US anti-doping authorities since 2015.

Questions have been raised over the administering of a legal supplement, L-carnitine, to the British four time Olympic champion Mo Farah prior to the 2014 London Marathon. The supplement was administered by UK Athletics medics under instructions from Alberto Salazar.

The US anti-doping authorities are looking into the treatment, and at allegations UK Athletics did not record the dosage. A spokesman for Mo Farah has said that the treatment fell "well below" the 50 millilitre dosage permitted.

The BBC has reported on a number of allegations of unethical practices at Nike's Oregon Project. No Oregon Project athlete has ever failed a drugs test.

The committee will hear from:

  • Dr Barry Fudge, UK Athletics
  • Dr John Rogers, UK Athletics
  • Dr Rob Chakraverty, formerly UK Athletics

BreakingMPs vote for early general election

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs approve a motion for an early election by 522 votes to 13.

That's a majority of 509.

Which means that the general election will take place on 8 June...

MPs vote on early election

House of Commons

Parliament

House of Commons
BBC

The debate reaches its allotted end and the House divides on the government motion "that there shall be an early parliamentary general election".

Sinn Fein wants to use Brexit to break up the UK, says Ulster Unionist MP

House of Commons

Parliament

UUP MP Danny Kinahan says people in Northern Ireland are "fed up to the teeth with elections".

He also warns Theresa May: "Brexit for us is a very different and brittle world."

He adds: "It is going to be used by Sinn Fein to really try and break up the Union."