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Summary

  1. Statement on Grenfell Tower fire from Prime Minister Theresa May
  2. There were two other statements: the first on terrorism, the second on forthcoming business
  3. The rest of the day's debate was on the Queen's Speech

Live Reporting

By Esther Webber and Patrick Cowling

All times stated are UK

Focus on cladding during PM’s statement

House of Commons

Parliament

Theresa May made a statement to Parliament on the Grenfell Tower Fire, in west London, which killed at least 79 people.

The prime minister told MPs the cladding used on some tower blocks in the UK is "combustible" according to government test results.

Mrs May said that cladding on all relevant tower blocks was being sent for tests.

And she also said she expected to name the judge who will lead a public inquiry into the fire within the next few days.

During the debate on the Queen’s Speech later, the new Labour MP for Kensington, Emma Dent Coad, told the Commons the "burnt-out carcass" of the tower revealed the "true face" of her constituency, with poverty, malnutrition and overcrowding existing alongside wealth.

In her maiden speech, she criticised people who think social tenants have "no right to live in an area like desirable Kensington", and called for fire service cuts to be reversed.

End of business in the Lords

House of Lords

Parliament

The Lords adjourns for the day and will return on Monday at 14:30 BST.

Brexit a chance to 'reset UK's global role' - minister

Queen's Speech debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Ahmad
HoL

Responding to the day's debate for the government, Foreign Office Minister Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon says as the UK goes out onto the international stage we should be mindful of the "values that bind us together".

The UK will seek "peace, stability and prosperity" as we "reset the UK's role in the world" after Brexit, he tells peers.

He highlights the importance of relations with the Commonwealth and the trade bill outlined in the Queen's Speech.

Defence 'run down' - Labour

Queen's Speech debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Labour spokesman Lord Tunnicliffe says armed forces have been "cut to the bone".

"If Labour had allowed them to become so run-down, there would have been howls of protest," he claims.

He points to comments from the US defence secretary suggesting the UK will not be able to remain a "full partner" to the United States with military resources at current levels, "no matter how many times the prime minister holds hands with Donald Trump.

Daily Mail criticised for aid stance

Queen's Speech debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Bruce
HoL

Responding to the debate for the Lib Dems, Lord Bruce of Bennachie focuses on international aid.

He says "the enemies or critics of aid do not let go" - holding up a copy of the Daily Mail - and he "welcomes the secretary of state's defence of the international aid department".

"We've got to be with the world, not turn our backs on it," he argues.

End of business in the Commons

House of Commons

Parliament

The Commons has now adjourned and will return on Monday at 14:30 BST for continuation of debate on the Queen's Speech.

'Decisions to be taken by clinicians' over Kent Hospital

Adjournment debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Responding, Health Minister Philip Dunne says: "I don't stand here with all the answers to all the questions" as "many decisions will be taken by clinicians".

He cites "legitimate concerns" raised over training at Kent and Canterbury Hospital, and says staffing has been an "ongoing challenge".

MP sounds warning on Kent and Canterbury Hospital

Adjournment debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Whateley
HoC

Conservative Helen Whately opens her adjournment debate on the future of Kent and Canterbury Hospital.

She says "there are thousands who would not be here today" without it but people are "worried because there is a big question mark" over its sustainability.

Acute heart and stroke services were recently transferred to Ashford and Margate.

Tory peer worries about ability of EU to impose sanctions after Brexit

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Suri
HoL

Conservative peer Lord Suri says that he is concerned about the EU's ability and commitment to impose economic sanctions on countries like Russia after the UK leaves the organisation.

He says that the UK has consistently been the strongest advocate in the commission and that we have experts in targeted sanctions who do a "significant proportion" of the heavy lifting for the EU when it comes to this.

Grenfell Tower residents' benefit claims being handled 'sensitively'

Queen's Speech debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Gauke
HoC

David Gauke is making his Commons debut as work and pensions secretary, and he echoes other members in describing the Grenfell Tower fire as a "terrible tragedy".

He tells the House his department is ensuring survivors' benefit claims are treated with "sensitivity and flexibility".

He says more generally his government is committed to providing "work to those who can and help to those who can't" as part of their objective of "fairness for all".

Labour rails against Conservative 'warm words' on fairness

Queen's Speech debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Abrahams
HoC

Shadow work and pensions secretary Debbie Abrahams winds up the day's debate for Labour, paying tribute in particular to her colleague Emma Dent Coad who she says spoke "so movingly about the devastating effect" of the Grenfell Tower fire.

She expresses "profound disappointment" with the Queen's Speech on behalf of all those who "voted against austerity" at the election.

"The government's warm words of making our country fairer ring hollow," she claims.

Labour peer praises 'extraordinary country and extraordinary people'

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Alli
HoL

Labour's Lord Alli reminds peers that it is the 50th anniversary of the start of the process to decriminalise homosexuality, which he says was by no means a perfect piece of legislation but began the process of bringing the lives of gay men from the shadows and into the open.

He says it is easy to forget how extraordinary the UK is and how extraordinary the people are.

"We tolerate and celebrate the diversity of our land."

Lord Alli tells peers that "divided people are a weaker people" and that equality is not just an issue for those affected but speaks to the character of our country.

He also warns that "too often" it is the big corporations who drive the international agenda; "trade for hunger, disease for keeping the medicine prices competitive, supporting oppressive regimes, and selling arms to people who have no business owning them".

Taken by surprise

PA parliamentary editor tweets

Trump is the 'grim reaper of women's lives' - Baroness Tonge

House of Lords

Parliament

Baroness Tonge
HoL

Non-affiliated peer Baroness Tonge says that she is concerned about the future funding of international sexual and reproductive health during the Trump administration in the United States, after the January announcement of a ban on federal money going to international groups that perform or provide information on abortions.

Baroness Tonge says that it is "simply impossible" to work in this field without mentioning abortions at some stage.

She tells peers that 22 million unsafe abortions are performed every year leading to 50-70,000 maternal deaths, and muses "I wonder if Donald Trump will support the existing children of those motherless families."

"He has become the grim reaper of women's lives in the poorest countries."

Maiden speech: MP for Middlesbrough South

Queen's Speech debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Clarke
HoC

The new Conservative MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, Simon Clarke, is giving his maiden speech.

He says it's fitting that his constituency produced Captain Cook as the UK prepares to go on a journey of discovery after Brexit.

He says he is "passionate about helping people to help themselves" and that's something he wants to pursue on behalf of constituents.

Tory MP condemns 'toxic rubbish' in party manifesto

Esther Webber

BBC News

Several Conservative backbenchers used the first day of debate on the Queen's Speech to pick apart their party's election campaign.

On Wednesday in the Commons, Jacob Rees-Mogg compared the "strong and stable" slogan to Stanley Baldwin's "safety first" message in the 1929 election, condemning them both as "deeply unappealing".

He said Conservatives underperformed at the election because "voters do not feel that we are on their side - they feel instead that it is business as normal" whereas they should be showing "we can help them lead better, more prosperous lives".

Nigel Evans attacked the "toxic rubbish" in the manifesto, including the promise of a free vote on fox-hunting in the manifesto, saying that even in his rural constituency it was seen as "irrelevant".

He added he was "delighted that some of the people involved in putting those things in the manifesto are no longer working at 10 Downing Street and that there is now a change in style of governance".

George Freeman, who was until recently a policy aide to the prime minister, was more conciliatory, but emphasised the government would have to pay more attention to young voters and public service professionals who want a change after "seven years of a particular model of austerity".

Lord Judd warns peers not to overlook their responsibility for Grenfell fire

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Judd
HoL

Labour's Lord Judd begins his contribution by speaking of the Grenfell tower fire, saying that although he is "greatly reassured" by the full public inquiry, he has "one big anxiety" - that in the desire to learn the lessons of the disaster, peers do not overlook "our own responsibility".

He asks what the values are on which our country is operating at the moment - and whether we are too preoccupied with cost and managerial considerations.

Lord Judd also talks of the recent terror attacks in the UK and tells peers that he worries about the "erosion of our values and equalities that make our society worth protecting", saying that it is at the times of the greatest pressures that we must be firmest.

Zac Goldsmith argues for new approach to council housing

Queen's Speech debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Conservative Zac Goldsmith is making his first speech since his comeback - and is reminded by another MP, "you can't be a maiden twice".

He says low-rise, high-density, street-based design is a better solution for council housing and that this issue has taken on a "grim relevance" in light of recent events.

"Now is surely the time to look at a different way of doing things," he argues.

Maiden speech: MP for Enfield Southgate

Queen's Speech debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Charalambous
HoC

The new Labour MP for Enfield Southgate, Bambos Charalambous, is making his maiden speech.

He says his family was welcomed here from Cyprus with "tolerance and warmth" and these values are "precious to us in Enfield in these difficult times".

He describes himself as "beyond proud" to represent the area where he grew up, and promises to campaign for educational opportunities.

MP presses for 'homes fit for habitation' law

Queen's Speech debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Karen Buck, Labour MP for Westminster North, begins by paying tribute to the new MP for North Kensington, Emma Dent-Coad, noting that not many MPs have had to deal with as great a challenge so soon after being elected.

She points out "many residents in towers are not local authority tenants" but leaseholders or legal sublets, and their status needs to be "urgently addressed" so that they are governed by the same rules as council tenants.

She invites the government to revisit her plan for homes fit for human habitation, introduced as a private member's bill in the last session.

Maiden speech: MP for Aldershot

Queen's Speech debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Docherty
HoC

The new Conservative MP for Aldershot, Leo Docherty, opens his maiden speech by describing his constituency as "the home of the British Army".

He says his background is not in politics but in the military, and he hopes to serve with "public service, energy and compassion".

Stephen Lloyd returns to the Commons

House of Commons

Parliament

Liberal Democrat Stephen Lloyd, who regained Eastbourne in the election after losing it in 2015 to the Conservatives, is now speaking in the debate.

He says that his main areas of interest in social services are Universal Credit, Work-related activity group (WRAG), Personal Independent Payments (PIP), and Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI).

He says he looks forward to working with the department for work and pensions "in a spirit of compromise" so that it delivers what it supposed to - "fairness, equity, and ease of access".

New Scottish Tory makes maiden speech

House of Commons

Parliament

There's another maiden speech from John Lamont, the new Conservative MP for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk after having taken the seat from the SNP in the election.

Mr Lamont resigned as an MSP for Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire to fight the general election.

Unsurprisingly, he says his constituency is the most beautiful part of the UK, and tells MPs that it has great diversity from fishing communities to distinct and historic towns.

The new MP says the challenges ahead "are indeed profound", and says that the countries of the UK are "together worth more than apart".

John Lamont
HoC

Baroness Evans: Government to pay for cladding tests

House of Lords

Parliament

Baroness Evans
BBC

Leader of the House Baroness Evans responds to questions about similar cladding on other tower blocks.

She says that the figure of 600 buildings being investigated relates to buildings with cladding made from aluminium composite material, which is not itself dangerous.

Landlords are now analysing this cladding and testing will reveal how many have "the wrong type of cladding", she adds.

She goes on to say that the testing being undertaken is free and being provided by central government, and urges all landlords to send in samples as the labs can process 100 samples a day and results are turned around in just a few hours.

New Kensington MP makes maiden speech

Queen's Speech debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Emma Dent Coad
HoC

The new Labour MP for Kensington, Emma Dent Coad, says in her maiden speech that she is "walking in the footsteps of giants", citing previous MPs Alan Clark, Michael Portillo and Malcolm Rifkind.

She tells MPs that the Grenfell Tower fire, which took place in her constituency, has opened the eyes of the wealthier residents in the south of the borough - and they are now asking the same questions as those in North Kensington, where the fire took place.

"The tears may never stop" she says, reciting anecdotes of her experiences in the area since the fire.

She says that "the mask has dropped" in Kensington, which is largely seen as an exclusively affluent neighbourhood, adding that she has seen housing conditions that are shocking - where poor health conditions, child poverty, overcrowding and malnutrition are rife.

Grenfell fire statement in the Lords

House of Lords

Parliament

Leader of the House Baroness Evans of Bowes Park repeats a statement made earlier in the Commons on the Grenfell Tower Fire.

Labour's Leader of the Opposition in the Lords, Baroness Smith of Basildon, speaks about the "unspeakable horror" of the fire, and reminds peers that the financial support isn't just for today or tomorrow - "it's for the long term".

Baroness Smith praises the "almost overwhelming" response from the public and the bravery of the emergency services, but goes on to call the response from the local council "nothing short of appalling and a disaster"

She also asks about the reports that up to 600 tower blocks in the country could be at risk due to having similar cladding to that on Grenfell Tower.

SNP MP criticises 'obsession with austerity'

Queen's Speech debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Angela Crawley
HoC

The SNP's Angela Crawley says that, despite the various measures axed from yesterday's Queen's Speech, the Conservatives "continue their obsession with austerity".

This has, however, been "rejected by voters", she adds, and has "failed the economy".

She says she fears the forthcoming roll-out of Universal Credit payments in South Lanarkshire later this year, which she adds "will make some of my constituents homeless".

Labour calls for 'comprehensive' tower block checks

Queen's Speech debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Healey
HoC

Shadow housing secretary John Healey opens the debate for Labour, saying the Queen's Speech is not a programme for action but suggests what the government "can't do, won't do and daren't do".

At the moment he says young people's hopes of buying their own homes are "completely dashed" and the government has offered them nothing.

Turning to Grenfell Tower, he says the prime minister was "right" to apologise this morning and needs to ensure checks now being carried out are "comprehensive and rapid".

He argues the tragedy "is about politics, about ideology - about decisions taken by those in power".

Zac Goldsmith makes Commons return

Queen's Speech debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Zac Goldsmith
HoC

There's a first intervention from Conservative Zac Goldsmith after his return to Parliament at the election earlier this month.

Mr Goldsmith lost his seat last year after resigning and calling a by-election in protest at the decision to expand Heathrow Airport.

He says housing associations in London want the government to accelerate the release of publicly-owned land in the capital so they can "ramp up" the number of homes they build.

He asks whether this is still "part of the agenda".

Sajid Javid replies that the public sector land programme is "designed to do just that", and has released "record amounts" of public land over last seven years.

Grenfell Tower: Minister calls for 'change in attitude' to social tenants

Queen's Speech debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Sajid Javid
HoC

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid opens a second day of debate on the Queen's Speech.

He begins by discussing the response to the fatal fire at Grenfell Tower, saying it must include not just "technical" changes to legislation but also "a change in attitude".

He says we need to "reflect on the way successive governments have engaged with social tenants".

Their voices "fell on deaf ears", he acknowledges, and we need to ensure "they can never be ignored again".

Government to 'look carefully' at benefits ruling

Business statement

House of Commons

Parliament

The SNP's Alison Thewliss calls attention to the ruling today against the benefit cap's application to single parents with a child under two.

She urges the government to "stop wasting money on appeals" and scrap the policy.

Andrea Leadsom responds that the government "will be looking very carefully at the judgement".

Concerns raised over affordable home reductions

Business statement

House of Commons

Parliament

De Cordova
HoC

The new MP for Battersea, Marsha de Cordova, says developers have been using viability assessments to reduce their affordable home commitments, including the company redeveloping Battersea Power Station.

She asks for a debate on the issue.

Commons leader Andrea Leadsom agrees affordable homes are "absolutely vital" and says she might like to raise the matter during this afternoon's debate, which covers housing aspects of the Queen's Speech.

Deputy speakers' election to take place next week

House of Commons tweets...

Former EU diplomat: Trump 'at cross purposes' with UK

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Hannay of Chiswick
BBC

Former UK ambassador to the EU Lord Hannay of Chiswick shares some unimpressed thoughts about the new US administration.

He says that President Trump's policies on climate change, trade, NATO, the UN and human rights "put him at cross-purposes with our own policy objectives".

Lord Hannay also says that the "erratic and intemperate" policy announcements from the White house undermine the structure of a rules-based international community.

On Brexit, the former diplomat says the UK is at risk of turning its back on 500 years of British foreign policy in maintaining the balance of power among our closest neighbours.

"We risk becoming fully detached from that tradition" he warns, adding that this will not be improved by "meaningless mantras" such as "we are leaving the EU but not leaving Europe".

Commons leader defends peerage for Conservative candidate

Business statement

House of Commons

Parliament

The SNP's Pete Wishart says it is an "affront to democracy" that the Conservative MEP Ian Duncan, whom he narrowly defeated in the election, is to be made a peer and a minister.

Commons leader Andrea Leadsom defends the appointment, saying: "Decisions are taken on merit and on the basis of political contributions right across the public sector."

Leadsom: We'll leave 'no stone unturned' on Grenfell Tower

Business statement

House of Commons

Parliament

Leadsom
HoC

Andrea Leadsom echoes the sentiments already expressed on terror attacks and events in north Kensington.

She says her "heart goes out" to all those affected, and promises to "leave no stone unturned" in finding out what went wrong.

On parliamentary business, she says her door is "always open" to members.

Lord West - 'incoherent cuts' in armed forces 'may affect nation's survival'

House of Lords

Parliament

Labour's Lord West of Spithead, the former First Sea Lord (2002-2006), says the UK's soft power is formidable but "it is nothing" if not backed by hard power - which he says has allowed us to punch above our weight for decades.

"It no longer does," he says; adding that the UK has ensured Europe's safety for 70 years "but is no longer able".

He says the government has given "comfortable words about defence" for many years but says this is "no longer good enough" and claims that UK forces are actually underfunded due to "incoherent cuts" to balance budgets.

Lord West says that military ships lack basic munitions, adding that this is "not an abstract issue". He says that world events could lead to a situation where we will have ships across the world that could face a fight, and where "we will have ships sunk and people will die".

It is a disgrace for our great maritime nation, he says, and warns it may affect our nation's survival.

Philip Hammond accused of 'running commentary'

Business statement

House of Commons

Parliament

Shadow Commons leader Valerie Vaz asks for parliamentary time on secondary legislation from the previous session, including on disability benefits and the so-called "rape clause".

She says "the pain of loss never goes away" following the recent terror attacks and fire in Kensington asks why it took so long for the PM to confirm that all Grenfell Tower residents will be rehoused.

She asks how MPs will be kept updated on Brexit, accusing Philip Hammond of "providing his own running commentary".