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Summary

  1. Environment questions first item on agenda
  2. Urgent question on LGBT people in Chechnya
  3. The Leader of the House announces future business
  4. Two statements on select committee reports
  5. Backbench debates on pensions and infectious diseases

Live Reporting

By Aiden James and Alex Partridge

All times stated are UK

  1. Departing MPs say farewell

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Gisela Stuart

    As the Parliament elected in 2015 nears its early end, a number of MPs have indicated that they will not be seeking re-election.

    Among them was Labour MP and high-profile EU Leave campaigner Gisela Stuart.

    In her parting words, she said the next government had to "implement the will of the people" following the EU vote and joked: "I will miss the House more than the House will miss me."

    During the final business statement of the current Parliament, Leader of the House David Lidington paid tribute to all MPs who are standing down at the general election.

    Shadow Commons leader Valerie Vaz paid tribute to the people who lost their lives in the Westminster terrorist attack on 22 March and to "our beloved colleague Jo Cox", who was murdered last year.

    "She should be fighting this election," Ms Vaz said.

    The Speaker, John Bercow, said a memorial to Jo Cox in the House of Commons, which was to have been unveiled on 20 May, would receive commemoration at a later date to avoid clashing with the general election.

    Jo Cox
  2. Commons adjourns

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    And that's an early finish for the Commons for today and, indeed, for this week.

    MPs return on Monday for what is almost certainly going to be the final week before Parliament dissolves for the general election campaign.

    Business on Monday begins at 2:30pm with communities and local government questions.

    And the House of Lords is back from recess for perhaps one week only. Oral questions is at 2:30pm.

  3. Minister: Closure is 'a bitter blow'

    Adjournment debate

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Science Minister Jo Johnson says he recognises the importance of the plant and the closure is "a bitter blow".

    He says the closure is "a commercial matter for Coty" but workers will "receive all the assistance" that the government can offer.

  4. Adjournment debate on factory closure

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Coty plant
    Image caption: Hundreds of people are employed at the site, which was formerly owned by Procter & Gamble

    Finally today, we come to the adjournment debate as Labour MP Ronnie Campbell raises the proposed closure of Coty manufacturing plant in Seaton Delaval.

    Four hundred jobs are set to be lost with the closure of the cosmetics factory in Northumberland.

    The US-based company said after a study of global manufacturing capacities it wanted to consolidate its fragrance operations into "fewer core centres".

    The factory will close by the end of 2018, subject to consultation and board approval.

  5. UK is 'making a difference' - minister

    Tackling infectious diseases

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    International Development Minister James Wharton says the world faces "an extraordinarily significant" challenge.

    He tells MPs that, in 2015, there were 10.4m people who became ill with TB and there were 1.4m deaths. There were 212m cases of malaria and 400,000 deaths, while 2m people were infected with HIV.

    "Neglected tropical diseases affected 1.6bn of the world's poorest people, causing disability, disfigurement and stigma," he adds.

    The minister says the UK is "investing in pioneering research" to tackle neglected tropical diseases, adding: "This is making a difference."

  6. Shadow minister calls for 'commitment' to overseas aid

    Tackling infectious diseases

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Catherine West

    Shadow foreign affairs minister Catherine West welcomes the fact that the Conservative government has "adhered" to a commitment to spend 0.7% of GDP on international aid.

    She adds that Labour remains committed to the target and asks the minister if he has "knowledge" of a similar commitment in the Conservatives' forthcoming election manifesto.

  7. 'No new TB drugs' for 50 years

    Tackling infectious diseases

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    The motion for debate has been backed by Labour MPs Virendra Sharma and Stephen Doughty, and by Conservative MP Jeremy Lefroy.

    In her contribution to the debate, SNP MP Carol Monaghan says: "There have been no new categories of anti-TB drug... since 1967."

    She argues that "it is still a poor country disease", meaning there is no financial incentive to develop new treatments - but there is "a moral incentive".

  8. Debate on tackling infectious diseases

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Virendra Sharma

    The second of this afternoon's backbench debates concerns "research and development on tackling infectious diseases".

    Labour MP Virendra Sharma opens the debate, telling the House that "TB, HIV and malaria are the world's leading infectious killers".

    He says the UK is the second-largest donor to the Global Fund to tackle Aids, tuberculosis and malaria and calls on the ministers to "restate his commitment to that fund".

    But he adds: "It is clear that without new tools, we will not meet the global commitment made in the global goals end the epidemics of HIV, TB and malaria by 2030.

    "At the current rate of progress it will take at least 150 years to end the TB epidemic."

  9. MP hopes to return to the debate after the election

    State pensions for UK expatriates

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Sir Roger Gale

    Closing the debate, Tory MP Sir Roger Gale says that he and others who share his views on this matter "will go on until we get a resolution to this".

    Sir Roger, who intends to return after the election if the voters allow, adds that he hopes the matter can be addressed then.

  10. Pensions 'part of expats' calculations' - minister

    State pensions for UK expatriates

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Work and Pensions Minister Richard Harrington says the debate has focused on partial uprating of overseas pensions, which he takes to mean that pensions would increase in the future but the uprating would not be backdated.

    He argues that people live overseas by choice but Conservative MP Sir Gerald Howarth intervenes on that point.

    Sir Gerald says he is standing down from Parliament and wants "to put on record my support for our overseas pensioners".

    Many have been "obliged to move to support their families", he argues.

    However, Mr Harrington maintains that when people live overseas, "the pension part of it is part of their calculations when moving away".

  11. Labour spokesman commits to 'partial uplifting' of overseas pensions

    State pensions for UK expatriates

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Shadow work and pensions minister Alex Cunningham says he hopes the forthcoming election campaign will allow a chance to address the situation of pensioners.

    He asks whether ministers "will ditch the triple lock" on pensions - which guarantees that pensions will increase by inflation, average earnings or 2.5%, whichever is higher.

    Turning to the pensions of UK citizens overseas, Mr Cunningham recalls Liberal Democrat Greg Mulholland's earlier comments that he didn't expect parties to commit to uprating these pensions at the moment.

    The Labour MP tells the House: "While he can't guarantee a partial uplifting will be in the Lib Dem manifesto, it certainly will be in ours."

  12. SNP's Ferrier says UK offers 'pitiful and paltry pensions'

    State pensions for UK expatriates

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    SNP MP Margaret Ferrier attacks the level of the UK state pension and adds that warnings over pensions were part of the "No" campaign in the 2014 Scottish independence referendum.

    "The reality is that this great fantastic Union with its mighty broad shoulders offers one of the most shamelessly pitiful and paltry pensions in the world," she says.

  13. Pensions disparity is 'a failure of the United Kingdom' - SNP MP

    State pensions for UK expatriates

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Ian Blackford

    SNP pensions spokesman Ian Blackford says the matter is "one fundamentally about fairness and one which should have been resolved many decades ago".

    He says the UK is the only nation in the OECD to not offer "full pension rights including annual uprating of pensions".

    He adds: "It is a failure of the United Kingdom to accept its responsibilities to make full pension entitlement to those who have earned that right."

  14. Pensions situation 'a disgraceful injustice' - Lib Dem MP

    State pensions for UK expatriates

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    "This is just a disgraceful injustice. It cannot continue," says Liberal Democrat MP Greg Mulholland of the disparity in state pension payments to some UK citizens overseas.

    He also argues that the situation may prove "legally unsustainable in an increasingly globalised world".

    Mr Mulholland says all UK citizens around the world should get the state pension "that they paid for and they deserve" but he thinks the government will not commit to that at the moment. 

  15. MPs debate pensions for ex-pats

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Niagara Falls

    Conservative MP Sir Roger Gale is leading a backbench debate on state pensions for UK citizens living abroad.

    Around a million UK pensioners live overseas, but more than half of them have their state pension frozen at the rate it was when they left the UK. This depends entirely on whether someone is moving to one of the 150 countries with which the UK government has a deal.

    Sir Roger says this leads to the "ludicrous situation" where a British pensioner living on the Canadian side of the Niagara Falls has a frozen pension, while a British pensioner living a mile away in the United States would have their pension uprated on a regular basis in line with UK residents.

  16. Manchester Gorton by-election cancelled

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    The Commons has just approved a motion to cancel the Manchester Gorton by-election, due to be held on 4 May following the death of the incumbent Labour MP, Sir Gerald Kaufman.

    Because of the surprise general election, the current Parliament will be dissolved at 12:01am on 3 May and there will be no sitting Parliament for a winner of the contest to join. Manchester Gorton will instead choose its next MP as part of the general election on 8 June.

    Leader of the House David Lidington said cancelling the by-election would avoid "unnecessary expense and uncertainty".

  17. Prison autonomy plans need 'clarity'

    Prison reform report

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Bob Neill

    Justice Committee Chair Bob Neill is presenting his committee's report on prison reform.

    He says it's likely that the current Prison and Courts Bill "will be lost" before the early election, but says he hopes it will return if the Conservatives return to government.

    He says his committee "supports" the idea of more autonomy for prison governors, but the report criticises the lack of "clarity" from the government over how the plans will work in practice.

    Changes to give more powers to governors are due to come into force this month.

    He says there is "no doubt that our prisons are in a difficult period" with assaults and deaths up "despite the best efforts of prison officers", but that more prison autonomy creates "opportunities" for improvement.

  18. UK electoral system 'resilient' to outside attack

    Lessons learned from the EU referendum

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Labour's shadow cabinet office minister Jon Trickett asks about a section in the select committee's report dealing with the possibility of cyber attacks on UK elections and votes. 

    He asks if the systems in place are strong enough to deal with a "concerted cyber attack" from a foreign power or some other source and if there is anything that can be done for the election.

    Committee chair Bernard Jenkin says the UK has a "pretty resilient system". The "vast majority of votes cast are pencils or pens on bits of paper, and they're physically counted" which means "it's basically an impossible system to hack". 

    Additionally, he says the electoral register is "resilient" because of its dispersal among local authorities. He tells the House that he doesn't think any country influenced the result of the referendum, but we "need to understand" why some countries are attempting to meddle in elections.