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Summary

  1. Private members' bills - first is Chris Bryant's on assaults on emergency workers
  2. Next bill to be debated Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Bill from Kevin Hollinrake

Live Reporting

By Georgina Pattinson

All times stated are UK

House moves on

House of Commons

Parliament

The Parental Bereavement Bill is given its second reading - MPs do not divide but show their approval by voicing "aye".

The House moves onto the Health and Social Care (National Data Guardian) Bill which is proposed by Conservative MP Peter Bone.

There is little time to discuss the bill, however, and at 2.30pm, MPs move on to the adjournment debate, which is on memorial plaques to World War I servicemen, from Conservative MP David Morris.

That's where we'll leave our coverage of the week's business in Parliament.

We'll be back on Monday afternoon, when the Commons and Lords meet at 2.30pm.

Praise for colleagues

Conservative MP tweets

Conservative MP introduces parental leave bill

Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

We're now onto the Parental Beareavement (Leave and Pay) Bill at second reading.

The bill makes provision about leave and pay for employees whose children have died.

Conservative Kevin Hollinrake is introducing the bill and he says it has cross party support.

The government is supporting this bill.

View more on twitter

Bill progresses to committee stage

Assaults on Emergency Workers Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs do not vote on the second reading of the Assaults on Emergency Workers Bill - it's passed without the House dividing and progresses to committee stage.

Minister expresses government support for bill

Assaults on Emergency Workers Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Sam Gyimah
hoc

Justice Minister Sam Gyimah notes that the public supported Chris Bryant bringing forward this private member's bill.

He too says his parents were emergency workers and he knows how it would have felt to hear his parents were attacked. He says emergency workers are "owed a debt of gratitude" and deserve the protection of the law.

"I am humbled by the stories of bravery we have heard today," he says, also paying tribute to PC Keith Palmer, as well as other frontline emergency staff.

He speaks about the "calmness and professionalism" of prison staff, who, he says, he sees dealing with situations regularly and he says he wants to see them protected under the bill.

Courts do see an offence against those serving the public as more serious, Mr Gyimah says, but this bill provides a safeguard for emergency workers, assaulted simply for carrying out their duties, he says.

The sentence proposed in the bill may be seen by some as too low, he says but the bill deals with common assault - the lowest form of assault - and actual and grevious bodily harm will attract higher sentences.

He finishes by saying this is not a party political issue and "tougher sentences for despicable acts" sends a message that they will not be tolerated.

'Not too much to ask we protect them in law'

Assaults on Emergency Workers Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Louise Haigh
HOc

Speaking from the Labour frontbench, Louise Haigh congratulates Chris Bryant and Holly Lynch for the work they have done.

The shadow policing minister says the emergency services have been under particular pressure this year, as she mentions terror attacks and the Grenfell Tower fire.

"So it's not too much to ask we protect them in law," she says, saying it is clear that the legislation is necessary.

She goes on to outline the pressures the police are under, saying they need more resources to deal with the many and varied situations thrown at them.

She thanks the government from supporting the bill; and asks the justice minister to promise more resources for the service from the Budget next month.

'Shocking statistics'

Labour MP tweets

Briefing: research outlines attacks on emergency workers

Assaults on Emergency Workers Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

The Commons library has produced a research briefing on the bill and many MPs have referenced the figures.

The research says:

The Home Office has estimated that there were 24,000 assaults on Police Officers in 2016/17 in England and Wales. The Police Federation has also stated that its “latest welfare survey data suggests there were more than two million unarmed physical assaults on officers over 12 months, and a further 302,842 assaults using a deadly weapon during the same period. These figures estimate that an assault on a police officer happens every four minutes”.

You can read a summary of the briefing and follow links to the full document here.

Bill reflects personal issue for Tory MP

Assaults on Emergency Workers Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Tom Pursglove
hoC

Conservative MP Tom Pursglove says there is a personal dimension to the bill - both his parents were police officers.

I can't imagine how I would have felt if my mum and dad had come home to tell me they had been assaulted, he says.

He says there is one issue which he hopes Chris Bryant will consider for the bill at committee stage. He recounts an incident in his area, where a police officer was verbally abused by someone in a domestic setting, but because it was not in a public place, no offence took place under current law.

Mr Pursglove says officers should be protected from racist or sexist abuse and he wonders if Mr Bryant will consider that.

More on Wednesday's Opposition Day debate

Conservative MP tweets

Fears more assaults take place than are reported - Labour MP

Assaults on Emergency Workers Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Jim Fitzpatrick
HoC

Labour MP Jim Fitzpatrick says he was a member of London's fire brigade for 23 years.

He notes that November 5 is approaching, and says that all too often fireworks are used as a weapon.

Mr Fitzpatrick says that there seem to be barriers for all the assaults taking place being reported and he believes there could be more assaults on emergency workers than are shown in the figures.

He says the data on assaults on firefighters in England and Wales are not published by the Home Office, as it is in Scotland.

What's in the bill?

Assaults on Emergency Workers Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

You can read more about the bill on the Parliament website and follow its progress through the Commons and Lords.

Click here for the description of the bill.

Here's the summary of the bil:

Bill
HoC

More praise for bill

Green MP tweets

What does the Lords do?

Parliament tweets

Bills receive support from other MPs

Conservative MP tweets

Attacks 'undermine fabric of society' - Tory MP

Assaults on Emergency Workers Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Gareth Johnson
HoC

Conservative MP Gareth Johnson says these attacks undermine the fabric of society, and are not just "disrespectful".

He says it is positive that there is cross party and government support for the bill and says that he hopes lawyers at the Ministry of Justice work on potential loopholes; and that the definition of emergency workers covers, for instance, a nurse on a minor injuries unit.

Chris Bryant assures him those issues will be addressed in committee stage.

Mr Johnson says the bill includes emergency workers who are off duty - someone who steps in to help in an emergency - and that needs looking at to make sure workers are protected.

He also says the Public Order Act needs to come under the scope of the bill - for instance, if someone threatens an emergency worker with a knife.

Story of MP's time on duty with PC

Police tweet

Sentences 'do not serve as deterrent'

Assaults on Emergency Workers Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Holly Lynch
Hoc

Holly Lynch, the Labour MP who represents Halifax, was the MP who began the Protect the Protectors campaign after spending a night out with police officers and watching an attack unfold.

She says emergency workers are depressed that the sentences handed down for the offences do not address the severity of the crime and do not serve as a deterrent.

This is not a new issue, she says, and recounts how both her mother and father - an NHS worker and a police officer - were attacked at work.

What are PMBs?

Parliament tweets

Second bill on the list today

PA's parliamentary editor tweets

Additional workers included in scope of bill?

Labour MP tweets

Current legislation 'too weak' to deal with assaults

Assaults on Emergency Workers Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Stephen Crabb
HoC

Conservative MP Stephen Crabb says justice ministers he has spoken to are keen to see a useful and practical piece of legislation on the statute book.

He says he has been moved by the accounts of some police officers he has spoken to. He says those officers believe it is going to happen to each of them; but the sheer number of assaults that happen is startling, even in an area like his where crime is low.

Mr Crabb says the current framework of legislation is too weak to deal with assualts now.

Emergency workers who are spat at to be protected

Assaults on Emergency Workers Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

The bill makes provision for taking of samples when an assailant has spat at an emergency workers.

Chris Bryant says emergency workers should not be worrying about whether they have contracted a communicable disease.

He says he wants to be very careful about how people refer to HIV in this case, but talks about a police officer he spoke to, who was spat at, and it entered his eye and mouth.

The assailant refused to give a sample, but the police officer was given a false positive test for Hepatitis B - with his family also being tested.

No-one should have to go through that, says the Labour MP.

Support from across the chamber

Conservative MP tweets

What would the bill do?

Assaults on Emergency Workers Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

The bill would introduce tougher penalties for people who attack emergency workers.

It seeks to double the maximum sentence for common assault from six months to a year if committed against an emergency worker while they are on duty.

The bill would apply to all emergency workers, and the offence could also be tried in either a magistrate or crown court.

On Monday, the Home Office minister, Nick Hurd confirmed that the government will support the bill.

'Cry of outrage at heart of bill'

Assaults on Emergency Workers Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

"What every single one of us will feel, it is inconceivable, incomprehensible that when someone comes to save your life, they could be attacked," Chris Bryant says.

"There is a cry of outrage at the heart of this bill," he says - and an attempt to give an extra tool to the authorities to stem the tide of these attacks.

And in response to an intervention from Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg - who congratulates him on bringing forward a private members' bill which is widely supported - he says there is no reason why the bill could not be on the statute book by Easter.

How to define emergency worker?

Assaults on Emergency Workers Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Chris Bryant
HoC

Chris Bryant says he has spoken to government ministers and says he is not sure the definition of emergency workers is correct in the bill - following an intervention from a fellow Labour MP, who mentions PCSOs.

He says he hopes the definition of emergency workers will be clarified in committee stage (which is when the details of the bill are pored over, line-by-line).

Supporting the bill

Labour MP tweets

Call to protect emergency workers

Assaults on Emergency Workers Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Labour MP Chris Bryant opens his speech saying it's incomprehensible that people attack emergency workers and says it's time we did "everything in our power to protect them".

He remembers PC Keith Palmer, who was killed in the line of duty, protecting Parliament during a terror attack in Westminster.

An attack happens every four minutes on police officers, the Police Federation estimates, he says and that does not take into account PCSOs.

Plenty of Labour MPs intervene to recount their own stories, and to point out the cost to the NHS and other services.

Good morning

Welcome to our coverage of today in Westminster - the first session debating private members' bills in the Commons since the general election.

The first bill to be examined is the Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Bill which is being introduced by Labour MP Chris Bryant.

It's designed to make certain offences aggravated when carried out against such emergency workers, such as the police, paramedics and the fire service.

And we'll leave you with this...

Here's our very own Esther Webber, explaining what's happened to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill...

View more on twitter

Concerns expressed over Grenfell families

Summary: urgent question on Grenfell Tower disaster

House of Commons

Parliament

Labour's shadow housing minister John Healey accused the government of breaking a series of promises made in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

In an urgent question, Mr Healey also criticised the government's efforts on rehousing and safety tests four months on from the tragedy in west London.

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid told MPs that 14 families have now accepted offers of permanent accommodation, adding that people were being treated as survivors rather than statistics.

Many MPs expressed concern about safety standards in other blocks of flats.

Commons adjourns

House of Commons

Parliament

That's the end of the debate in the Commons.

We'll be returning tomorrow morning at 9.30am for private members' bills.

Join us then.

Minister responds to corruption concerns

Adjournment debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Business Minister Margot James responds to concerns raised by Dame Margaret Hodge, saying all relevant information should be given to the National Crime Agency where they can be investigated.

You can read more about this adjournment debate, Dame Margaret Hodge's speech in full and the minister's response in Hansard here.

MP claims UK is 'safe haven' for foreign money-laundering

Adjournment debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Labour's Dame Margaret Hodge opens her adjournment debate about UK companies and Azerbaijan's money-laundering and tax evasion scheme.

She says "we tell ourselves this [the UK] is a country that prides itself on high ethical standards" but leaked documents suggest "our self-belief is flawed".

She says there's evidence Azerbaijani tax evasion and corruption has been given a "safe haven" by the way the Treasury devises our corporate structures.

End of the day in the House of Lords

Community pharmacy review

House of Lords

Parliament

Labour frontbencher Lord Hunt of Kings Heath says there's a difference between making "efficiency" savings and cutting community pharmacies.

He says he's glad he's raised the issue and that the House can at least agree that community pharmacies are a crucial part of the NHS. But he withdraws his motion, and, with that, the day ends.

Peers return from 2:30pm on Monday for questions to ministers.

Pharmacies a 'trusted partner'

Community pharmacy review

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord O'Shaughnessy
HoL

Health Minister Lord O'Shaughnessy says the government "disagrees" with the premise of today's motion but welcomes the opportunity to discuss a "critical" sector.

He calls community pharmacies "a health asset and a social asset" and says that the review of current structures has been delayed to allow a "proper and wide-ranging" consultation of stakeholders.

He says reforms are not just about efficiency and cutting government spending, but also about improving services.

The government is, he says, moving away from paying pharmacies "solely for operating" and is now making payments to community pharmacies on quality of service rather than quantity of prescriptions distributed.

He says they're also taking account of which areas have higher health needs, where pharmacies have been protected.

He says he wants to assure peers of the governments commitment to the sector and says "pharmacy will continue to be a trusted partner in delivering a world class NHS".