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Summary

  1. Commons day starts with environment questions
  2. Urgent question on review of children's mental health services
  3. Home secretary makes statement on attempted murder of ex-Russian spy
  4. MPs celebrate International Women's Day

Live Reporting

By Aiden James, Esther Webber and Gary Connor

All times stated are UK

Roll call of women killed by men

International Women's Day debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Labour MP Jess Phillips reads out names of women killed by men in the last year.

The Commons finishes for the day and we'll bring our coverage to a close with a video of Jess Phillip's speech.

SUMMARY: THURSDAY IN PARLIAMENT

The House of Commons devoted the afternoon to debating International Women's Day with powerful speeches from several MPs, including Jess Phillips, who spoke about male violence against women.

The Minister for Women, Victoria Atkins said the government had launched consultation on domestic abuse and that the question needed to change from "Why doesn't she leave him" to "Why doesn't he stop?"

What more can be achieved in two generations?

International Women's Day debate

House of Commons

Parliament

The minister says there is "much more to be done before we achieve gender equality" but on "our one day of the year where we get to celebrate women" she wants to finish on a positive note.

She notes that when her grandmother was born no woman had the right to vote.

"We fast forward two generations and I am here at the dispatch box and we have a female prime minister leading the celebrations.

"I leave this questino to the House. What more can we achieve in another two generations? That's our challenge."

Minister speaks out on domestic abuse

International Women's Day debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Victoria Atkins
HoC

Closing the International Women's Day debate is the Minister for Women, Victoria Atkins, who highlights the speech made by the Labour MP Jess Phillips.

Ms Phillips read out the names of women who have been killed by men since the last International Women's Day.

The minister says: "I join others in wishing fervently that we'll be able to have a day where the honourable member doesn't have to read that list out.

"Home should be a place of love and support and safety. No one should have to suffer violence and abuse today."

She says the government has, today, launched a consultation on domestic abuse which will examine widening the definition beyond physical violence.

She states that the question needs to change from "'Why doesn't she leave him?" to "Why doesn't he stop?"

Duffield: Need women 'in the home and in the House'

International Women's Day debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Rosie Duffield
HoC

Labour's Rosie Duffield makes her debut at the dispatch box in her role as women and equalities spokesperson.

She says it's been a significant year for women as they "continue to push boundaries and challenge expectations".

And she notes that the International Women's Day flag is now "flying proudly" over Parliament.

"We need women in the home and we need women in the House, this House", she declares, wishing women - and men - a happy International Women's Day.

Creasy: 'Grinch of this feminist Christmas'

International Women's Day debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Stellla Creasy
HoC

Stella Creasy calls International Women's Day a "feminist Christmas" but goes on to say that she may, perhaps, be the "grinch of this feminist Christmas".

She explains that the lesson from the suffragettes is that "deeds not words" make a difference.

"It's not enough to pay lip-service, not enough to march, to use the hashtag", she says, "we will only have a more equal future when we have deeds".

She continues: "We are not making the progress we think we are and the progress is agonisingly slow."

With women making up only 30 per cent of MP in this Parliament, she says,it will take another 14 general elections for parity to be achieved.

An extra 3028 women councillors needed

International Women's Day debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Mary Robinson
HoC

A Conservative Mary Robinson reflects on the progress in women's rights since the first International Women's Day in 1911 but notes that there are still cabinet positions that have never been held by a woman.

Turning to the picture in local government, Mary Robinson - a former local councillor - says 3028 more women councillors will need to be elected to create parity with men.

She remarks: "At the present rate of progress, this will take about 68 years."

Not only that, she says, but just 17 per cent of council leaders are women.

How to press for progress

International Women's Day debate

Brock condemns 'grinning idiocy' of some men MPs

International Women's Day debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Deidre Brock
HoC

The SNP Deidre Brock says sexism is "deeply embedded" in our culture and seen as "a part of life" that women have to deal with.

Turning to the culture in Parliament she condemns the "juvenile, grinning idiocy that is so offensive sometimes, the smugness of a minority of men who think that supposedly clever point-scoring proves somethings, anti-intellectual nonsense that makes this continuing debate so tiring."

She continues: "There are men in this House who have a record of opposing progressive politics" and who regard "opposing equality as a playground joke."

She adds: "I'm tired of engaging with men who have little, so very little, to offer."

Women MPs' advice for getting started in politics

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Tory MP: Men need to step up

International Women's Day debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Matt Warman
HoC

Conservative MP Matt Warman says one of his faults is "overconfidence" but he admits to a "degree of nervousness" as he speaks in today's debate.

"There is so much that often goes wrong, very wrong, when men try to talk about issues relating to women and their rights," he says, to laughter.

Men as well as women need to "step up", Mr Warman adds, while the existence of female prime ministers and senior ministers does not mean that "the debate is over".

He tells the House: "When the country is better for all women it is better for all men too."

Violence against women 'used as a weapon of war'

House of Commons

Parliament

Rushanara Ali
HoC

Labour MP Rushanara Ali was born in Bangladesh, describing it as a country "born in conflict".

In an emotional speech, she says Bangladesh was a country "where millions of people lost their lives and where rape and violence was used as a weapon of war".

She adds: "That continues in many other countries today."

Ms Ali calls for more work to end sexual violence in conflict zones.

Constituencies represented by women

House of Commons tweets...

Abbott: 'I think of my mother'

Shadow home secretary tweets...

Jess Phillips reads names of women who died from male violence

International Women's Day debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Jess Phillips
HoC

As she did last year, Labour MP Jess Phillips rises to "remember the women killed by male violence since the last International Women's Day debate".

Before she reads the list of names, she says: "After today I will be told that I don't care about men who died, which is obviously ridiculous."

Similar charges are not levelled at people who remember men who have been killed, she adds.

May: 'Proud' to be Britain's second female PM

The Prime Minister tweets...

MPs influenced by Margaret Thatcher - in differing ways

International Women's Day debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Margaret Thatcher pictured in 1984
PA
Margaret Thatcher was Conservative Prime Minister from 1979 to 1990

MPs from both sides of the House offer contrasting views of the ways in which Margaret Thatcher, the UK's first female prime minister, influenced them.

Maria Miller, the Conservative MP who chairs the Women and Equalities Committee, says seeing Mrs Thatcher become Prime Minister "made politics relevant for me".

She says the former Tory leader changed her view of politics from "men in grey raincoats" to something "Technicolor" for "a 14-year-old in South Wales, where there weren't many Tories around".

Labour MP Seema Malhotra was "inspired" in a different way, telling the House she got involved in politics when set a homework project at school to "work ourselves up about something".

She says: "I managed to work myself up about Margaret Thatcher. I will honestly say that the rest is history."

Women Nobel Prize winners

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'Rollercoaster of emotions' for Labour frontbencher

International Women's Day debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Butler
HoC

Shadow equalities minister Dawn Butler describes International Women's Day as "a rollercoaster of emotions" as she reflects on the inequalities arising from class and ethnicity, as well as gender.

She says she wants to focus on the "hidden history" of campaigners such as women of colour in the suffrage movement.

She pays tribute to the push for equal gender representation in Parliament, saying there might be "one more heave" before Labour achieves 50% female MPs.

She offers "applause, but not too loudly" for a female prime minister, whom she accuses of presiding over benefit reforms which have disproportionately affected women.

Rudd: We must press for progress on women's rights

International Women's Day debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Rudd
HoC

Women and Equalities Minister Amber Rudd is opening a debate on the centenary of women's suffrage and International Women's Day.

She says it's an opportunity to celebrate women's achievements and recognise the inequalities that still exist.

She tells MPs that there is now a "more diverse Parliament than ever" but this is not enough unless it leads to "meaningful changes to women's lives".

She pledges the government's determination in "empowering women in the workplace and tackling violence against women and girls, urging: "We must press for progress."

Protests and 'feminist strikes'

Debate: International Women's Day

House of Commons

Parliament

The rest of the day in the Commons is devoted to International Women's Day, which is celebrated on 8 March every year and is the subject of an annual debate in the House.

International Women's Day, first celebrated in 1911, is a day on which women's achievements are recognised in countries around the world.

The idea is to celebrate how far women have come in the fight for gender equality but also to flag up the many areas where progress has not been made.

This year's event - the 107th International Women's Day, is being marked by protests, including a "feminist strike" in Spain.

Lib Dem: Is 'previous love-in with Russia' finished?

Salisbury incident statement

House of Commons

Parliament

"Isn't it time we got more realistic about Russia?" says Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman Sir Ed Davey.

He refers to a memorandum of understanding signed by the UK government, under former PM David Cameron, and Russian state nuclear energy corporation Rosatom, and asks for assurances that "the previous love-in with Russia...is completely finished".

Amber Rudd says she does not recognise that description of the UK's relationship with Russia.

Yvette Cooper urges Rudd to seek extradition guarantees

Salisbury incident statement

House of Commons

Parliament

Cooper
HoC

Labour chair of the Home Affairs Committee Yvette Cooper says she's asked the home secretary to review 14 other cases, and asks if she has considered going to the UN Security Council for assurances about their willingness to extradite suspects.

Amber Rudd reiterates the need to resist "rumour and speculation" and specifies "when it comes to international activity...we will come back to the House with our proposals".

Protect 'human assets' - SNP MP

Salisbury incident statement

House of Commons

Parliament

SNP MP Deirdre Brock says that the emergency services "have done a fantastic job".

She asks how the government protects "human assets" like Mr Skripal and if the incident will lead to a review on how to protect those who are at risk, who are living in the UK.

Amber Rudd joins her in her "admiration and support" for the emergency services.

She says that the investigation is "ongoing at pace" and that it does not help their work on what might happen in the future.

"When we are ready to bring more evidence to the House, I hope to go further with her question."

'Circumstantial evidence against Russia very strong', says Tory MP

Salisbury incident statement

House of Commons

Parliament

"The circumstantial evidence against Russia is very strong," says Conservative MP Sir Edward Leigh.

He repeats a call he made following Boris Johnson's statement on the incident earlier in the week, that the UK needs to achieve "peace through strength".

Sir Edward also calls for more defence spending.

"My first concern must be the incident in hand," Amber Rudd says, adding: "There will be a time for attribution."

Rudd to 'consider' new human rights abuse sanctions

Salisbury incident statement

House of Commons

Parliament

Amber Rudd hails the people of Salisbury "who have reacted so well".

She assures MPs that the police have the resources they need, and promises to keep them updated regularly given the "severity of the situation".

She says the government already has powers to sanction individuals involved in human rights abuses but "additional proposals will be considered" as part of the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill.

Labour: Investigation should take place free from speculation

Salisbury incident statement

House of Commons

Parliament

Afzal Khan
HoC

Shadow Home Office minister Afzal Khan pays tribute to the emergency services for "responding to this horrendous incident", to the police officer who was hospitalised and to the people of Salisbury.

"The investigation should be allowed to take place free from speculation," he argues, and MPs should be "cautious" when commenting on the case.

He calls for all available resources to be deployed and for the home secretary to keep the House updated.

Mr Khan also asks ministers to look again at the powers in the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill, currently being considered by MPs, and asks whether the government is "satisfied that it has all necessary sanctions available to it".

Amber Rudd calls attack on ex-spy 'brazen and reckless'

Salisbury incident statement

House of Commons

Parliament

Home Secretary Amber Rudd
HoC

Home Secretary Amber Rudd says the police officer involved is in a "serious but stable" condition and "our thoughts are with all three families".

She says samples from the victims were tested by world experts before it was determined a nerve agent had been used, and it was "highly likely" the police officer was exposed to it.

She warns it is a "fast-paced criminal investigation" which is "complex and may take some time".

She describes what happened as "a brazen and reckless act" carried out in "the most cruel and public way".

But she stresses the need to "avoid speculation" and says the government will respond "in a robust and appropriate manner once we've determined who was responsible".

Home secretary begins statement on ex-Russian spy

Salisbury incident statement

House of Commons

Parliament

Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia
EPA/ YULIA SKRIPAL/FACEBOOK

Home Secretary Amber Rudd is updating MPs on the attempted murder of ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, in Salisbury.

The pair are still critically ill after being found on a bench in Salisbury.

A police officer, who was in intensive care, is now "stable and conscious", Wiltshire's chief constable said.

Counter-terrorism officers are working to uncover the origin of the nerve agent used in the attack.

'Brexit will enhance women's rights'

Oral questions

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Forsyth
HoL

Conservative Lord Forsyth puts it to the minister: "When we've left the EU we'll be able to enhance women's rights in the workforce and not have to seek the agreement of 27 other EU states."

Business Minister Lord Henley replies that he "makes a very good point" and having more control over our own rights is part of why the UK voted to leave.

Conservative Lord Cormack chips in: "The very last thing we should leave to Henry VIII powers is women's rights."

Home Office pledges no reduction in women's refuge places

Oral questions

House of Lords

Parliament

Williams
HoL

Conservative Baroness Bertin raises domestic violence at question time in the Lords, saying "all women fleeing must have safe place to run to" and asks the minister to address reports that refuge places are being reduced.

Home Office Minister Baroness Williams of Trafford says the government has allocated £100m in this area, but recognises the need to "do more still" to bring to justice the perpetrators of "these terrible crimes".

She stresses "we're very clear we're not going to reduce" refuge provision.

Forthcoming business in the Commons

Business statement

House of Commons

Parliament

Andrea Leadsom is outlining future business in the House of Commons.

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View more on twitter

CQC report labelled 'damning'

Urgent question: Mental health services

House of Commons

Parliament

Lamb
HoC

Lib Dem former health minister Norman Lamb describes the report's findings as "damning", pointing to £1.25bn allocated to this area "which has fallen short".

He asks the government to meet that shortfall.

Steve Brine insists the government has "not exactly been shy" in investing £1.4bn over five years, and assures MPs: "We don't want to bury our heads in the sand."

Look into referral criteria, Labour urges

Urgent question: Mental health services

House of Commons

Parliament

Shadow health minister Barbara Keeley asks if the minister recognises that imposing high eligibility thresholds means that children are treated only when their condition becomes more serious.

She asks the minister to look into referral criteria as a matter of urgency.

Health Minister Steve Brine says that this is the "first government" to introduce waiting time standards.

He says the government has proposals that aim to improve the join-up with specialist services, resulting in "more appropriate" referrals.

SNP links mental health service issues to austerity

Urgent question: Mental health services

House of Commons

Parliament

Martyn Day
HoC

The SNP's Martyn Day calls it "shocking" that some young people have only received help after attempting suicide, linking it to "understaffing and the impact of austerity-driven agenda".

The minister signals his commitment to early intervention, and urges MPs to remember "this is about the health of young people".

Mental health 'is everyone's business' - minister

Urgent question: Mental health services

House of Commons

Parliament

Steve Brine
HoC

Health and Social Care Minister Steve Brine is on his feet replying to the urgent question.

He thanks the Care Quality Commission for their work, and says that the government has committed to an additional £1.4bn to improve mental health services for children and young people.

"We will of course respond to this CQC review...this summer", he says.

"This government and these ministers remain committed wholly to making mental health everyone's business," he says.

Labour asks about young people's mental health

Urgent question

House of Commons

Parliament

Shadow health minister Barbara Keeley is asking an urgent question on a review of mental health services for children and young people by the Care Quality Commission.

The report found the system is "complex and fragmented" and providers "do not always work together in a joined-up way".

It concluded that "too many children and young people have a poor experience of care and some are unable to access timely and appropriate support".

What are you doing about people eating songbirds, asks Conservative MP

Environment questions

House of Commons

Parliament

"What has she done to stop our songbirds from being trapped and eaten in Cyprus," asks Conservative MP Sir Desmond Swayne.

Minister Therese Coffey thanks him for bringing up an "important issue", and commends the work of the Ministry of Defence in Cyprus.

She says the illegal trapping of birds has been a "long running sore", but reassures him that it has reduced by 70%.

'Don't be a tosser', says minister

Environment questions

House of Commons

Parliament

Therese Coffey
HoC

Following questions on a deposit scheme, Labour MP Chi Onwurah attacks the level of litter, adding: "On the environment, this government is rubbish!"

Minister Therese Coffey disagrees and attacks "litter louts" with a her own slogan: "I reiterate my phrase: don't be a tosser!"