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Summary

  1. Digital, culture, media and sports questions
  2. Urgent question on Motability scheme
  3. Urgent question on same-sex marriage in Bermuda
  4. The Commons leader sets out forthcoming business
  5. Statement on sexual harassment and workplace grievances at the House of Commons
  6. Statement on acute care
  7. Response to an opposition day debate on the state pension age
  8. Reports from the Environmental Audit Committee and the Work and Pensions Committee
  9. Community bank closures debate
  10. Questions to ministers in the Lords from 11am

Live Reporting

By Aiden James, Julia Butler and Esther Webber

All times stated are UK

Suspension or recall among sanctions for sex harassment MPs

Parliamentarians are to face tougher sanctions for sexual harassment and bullying, leader of the House Andrea Leadsom announced earlier.

Announcing the findings of a cross-party committee, Mrs Leadsom said she found reports of harassment "very troubling".

Mandatory training is proposed for all MPs, peers and their staff while in more serious cases, MPs could be suspended or forced to face a public vote on their future.

Shadow Commons leader Valerie Vaz said everyone in Parliament should enjoy a "safe, secure and constructive workplace" while SNP spokesman Pete Wishart said the report was "a significant, substantial document".

That's all for today

House of Commons

Parliament

That's where we leave our live coverage from Westminster for today.

MPs also have a half-term break next week and will be back on Tuesday 20 February.

Peer expects House to return to 'intractable problem'

Judicial oversight of the European Arrest Warrant

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Jay of Ewelme
HoL

Lord Jay of Ewelme, the crossbench peer who chairs the EU Home Affairs Sub-committee, has the final word in the debate.

He says future judicial oversight over the European Arrest Warrant in the UK after Brexit currently looks like an "intractable problem" which he expects the House to come back to in the future.

The end of the debate brings today's session in the Lords to an end.

It's a half-term break for peers next week. The House will meet again on Tuesday 20 February at 2:30pm.

Minister: We have heard the case for banks to remain open

Community banks debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Minister John Glen
HoC

Economic Secretary to the Treasury John Glen says this debate has rightly "aroused a lot of passion" and the banks will need to respond to what they've heard.

"We have heard the case for banks to remain open," Mr Glen says.

"Ultimately, the government can't reverse market movements or changes in customer behaviour," he adds.

Lord Young: It is in the interests of the UK and the EU to reach agreement

Judicial oversight of the European Arrest Warrant

House of Lords

Parliament

Government spokesman Lord Young of Cookham says that "dispute resolution" is required for close co-operation on arrests and extradition after Brexit.

It is "in the interests of both sides" to reach an agreement, he tells the House, adding that dispute resolution methods are a common part of deals between the EU and non-EU states.

The UK will bring "direct jurisdiction" of the European Court of Justice to an end, he insists.

Labour: Bank closures highlight financial exclusion

Community banks debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Bill Esterton MP
HoC

Shadow Business Minister Bill Esterson says 11% of the population, who are "typically older and poorer" rely on using local bank branches.

Mr Esterson says the closure of these branches highlights "financial exclusion" in action across the country.

The closure of bank branches is felt at a "personal and business level", he adds.

SNP: UK government has 'not lifted a finger' to prevent closures

Community banks debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Patricia Gibson
HoC

SNP consumer affairs spokesperson Patricia Gibson rounds up the debate for her party.

Ms Gibson says banks "reprieved" from closure, following "negotiations with the SNP leadership" are welcomed but do not go far enough.

RBS is to keep 10 closure-threatened branches open until at least the end of the year.

The UK government has "not lifted a single finger" to help prevent the closure programme, she tells the House.

Labour favours 'continued co-operation' with the European Court

Judicial oversight of the European Arrest Warrant

House of Lords

Parliament

"Only a court can appropriately review decisions relating to the liberty of an individual," says shadow foreign affairs spokesman Lord Collins of Highbury.

A "no-deal Brexit" would make continued co-operation "much harder", the Labour peer argues.

He declares that Labour would allow "continued co-operation" with the European Court of Justice.

"This system works," he adds.

"The government has imposed a red line that simply won't work."

Lib Dems: Government should stop posturing

Judicial oversight of the European Arrest Warrant

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Marks of Henley-on-Thames, who is replying to the debate for the Liberal Democrats, proposes that judicial oversight of the arrest warrant could be done by a parallel court.

This could be "effectively a division" of the European Court of Justice but with a British judge, he argues.

He says the government is being influences by Brexit "ideologues" and tells ministers: "In the interests of partnership... please stop posturing."

Cash or card?

Community banks debate

Leaving European Court of Justice jurisdiction is 'folly' says Labour peer

Judicial oversight of the European Arrest Warrant

House of Lords

Parliament

Baroness Kennedy of the Shaws
HoL

Labour peer Baroness Kennedy of the Shaws thinks that the government's decision to have a "red line" of leaving the European Court of Justice was "absolute folly".

The court "is the best arbiter", she argues.

Committee proposes post-Brexit extradition agreement

Judicial oversight of the European Arrest Warrant

House of Lords

Parliament

Handcuffed suspect
PA

Over in the House of Lords, peers are debating a report from the European Union Committee on Brexit and judicial oversight of the European Arrest Warrant (EAW).

The arrest warrant operates in all EU member states and replaced separate extradition arrangements.

The report notes that the government has said it wants to remain party to the EAW scheme but that it also "intends to remove the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice (CJEU) in the UK" after leaving the EU.

The committee suggests a possible solution "might be to follow the precedent set by Norway and Iceland and seek a bilateral extradition agreement with the EU that mirrors the EAW’s provisions as far as possible".

If no agreement is reached, "falling back on the 1957 Council of Europe Convention on Extradition would significantly slow down extradition proceedings", the report says.

Background: Community bank closures

Local bank
Getty Images

The public and government have worried over the seemingly remorseless decline in the number of bank branches in high streets and rural areas for at least 30 years.

The forces driving closure programmes are varied but financial innovation, a fall in the use of cheques as a payment means and increased use of electronic payment services have all played their part.

The impact of the financial crisis and the new regulatory costs bearing down on profits have made banks look again at the viability of their branch networks.

Last year, RBS revealed plans to close 62 Scottish branches, including some in remote and rural communities.

The full closure plans, which also involved 197 NatWest branches, were attacked by politicians and local authorities.

Wragg: Half of banks branches closed in last 25 years

Community banks debate

House of Commons

Parliament

William Wragg
HoC

Conservative MP William Wragg says it's likely that all MPs taking part in the debate "have an interest from their own constituencies".

Mr Wragg claims that 10,000 bank branches have closed in the last 25 years - "over half of all of them".

It is "right to embrace technological change" but many customers prefer "face-to-face service" and the chance to talk to people, he says.

Mr Wragg adds that banks offer "personal relationships" with customers which is "particularly important for elderly and vulnerable people".

Bank closures 'rip the heart' out of towns - MP

Community banks debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Ruth Smeeth MP
HoC

Labour MP Ruth Smeeth opens her debate on community banks, saying that local bank closures "rip the heart" out of towns.

The motion says such banks are of "vital importance" and expresses concern about the effect of branch closure announcements by Lloyds Bank, RBS/NatWest and Santander.

The motion, tabled by Ms Smeeth along with Conservative MP William Wragg, calls on the government to support measures to protect access to banking services in local communities in the UK.

The UK's four big High Street banks closed, or announced plans to shut, a total of 948 branches during 2017.

Creagh: 'Certain irony' that MoJ failing to meet own guidance

Environmental Audit Committee report

House of Commons

Parliament

Mary Creagh MP
HoC

Labour's Mary Creagh, chair of the Environmental Audit Committee, is introducing a report by her committee on the Ministry of Justice's environmental footprint.

The report found the Ministry is "failing to meet many of its own unambitious targets" and called for it to make new commitments as soon as possible.

The committee also recommended the government should review the oversight and governance arrangements of contractors’ performance.

Ms Creagh tells MPs there is a "certain irony" that the department tasked with upholding the law is failing to meet its own guidance.

Plaid MP questions 'arbitrary deadline' for complaints

State pension age statement

House of Commons

Parliament

Plaid Cymru's Jonathan Edward asks for the reasons behind the "arbritary" 31st March deadline this year for those wishing to make a complaint to the DWP about lack of notice of the pension age changes.

Mr Opperman says he can't give a "precise answer" to that, but assures Mr Edwards he will write to him.

Jonathan Edwards MP
HoC

Three-party clash over pensions record

State pension age statement

House of Commons

Parliament

Labour's Carolyn Harris calls on the minister to meet her and Conservative MP Tim Loughton for further discussions and to "acknowledge the problem and come up with a respectful answer".

Minister Guy Opperman says the matter has "been debated since 1995" and successive governments have taken a similar line.

Liberal Democrat work and pensions spokesman Stephen Lloyd says the Conservatives and Labour did little in government to address the problem.

Mr Opperman reminds him that he supported the Conservatives in coalition government to pass the Pensions Act in 2011 when, according to the minister, the Lib Dems supported fiscal discipline.

Amongst other measures, the Pensions Act 2011 accelerated an existing timetable for increasing the state pension age to 66. It is due to increase to 68 between 2037 and 2039.

SNP: Time for UK government to 'pay out'

State pension age statement

House of Commons

Parliament

SNP MP Patrick Grady says there is "clearly majority in this house" in support of women born in 1950s.

Instead of "bluster and "passing the buck" the government should improving arrangements for women who have been "adversely effected" by changes to the state pension age, he says.

It's time for the UK government to "pay out", he adds.

Minister Guy Opperman says if an individual is of working age then they can be "addressed with assistance" by the Scottish Government - citing the words of Scottish Social Security Minister Jeane Freeman MSP.

Patrick Grady
HoC

Scottish Waspi women call for pension justice

Andrew Kerr

BBC Scotland political correspondent

Waspi women
BBC

Women affected by the accelerated changes to the state pension age have been telling the BBC of the hardship and inequality they say they face.

In the same week that marked the centenary of some women gaining the vote, the so-called Waspi women say their modern-day campaign is not going to go away.

Read more.

Labour: Government failing women born in the 1950s

State pension age statement

House of Commons

Parliament

Shadow pensions minister Jack Dromey says today's statement should be considered in "the wider context of the government's uninspiring record on pensions".

The increase in the state penion age to 68 was based on forecasts of increasing life expectancy, Mr Dromey says, but a study has pointed to "a century-long rise in life expectancy" having flatlined and many people will "live shorter lives than previously expected".

Ministers are failing women born in the 1950s, he says, while MPs have repeatedly called on them to act.

Minister defends state pension age policy

State pension age statement

House of Commons

Parliament

Opperman
HoC

Pensions Minister Guy Opperman is making a statement in response to an SNP opposition day debate held in November criticising the raising of the state pension age for women.

One of the main complaints was lack of communication about the change, but the minister says the government went to "significant lengths" to publicise it.

He specifies that "life expectancy and state spending have driven these changes" and any transitional arrangement would come at "great cost".

'Why wasn't the chief executive fired?'

Acute and community health statement

House of Commons

Parliament

Labour's Rosie Cooper first raised concerns about the trust in 2014 and has been instrumental in bringing its problems to light.

She says "the higher echelons of the NHS closed ranks to protect themselves" and were able to find jobs within the NHS for senior figures at LCH.

She asks: "Why wasn't the chief executive and board fired?" and adds that it is "incomprehensible" that they weren't.

Stephen Barclay tells her that NHS England has been "asked to clarify" how those NHS managers were found new jobs but says there's "a recognition this [practice] has changed significantly".

Warnings over consequences of cuts for patients

Acute and community health statement

House of Commons

Parliament

Justin Madders
HoC

Shadow health minister Justin Madders expresses "huge concern" that the failures at LCH went unchecked after the Francis Report and the introduction of a "duty of candour" for NHS staff.

He asks, in light of Dr Bill Kirkup's findings, how the government will ensure that NHS trusts are "no longer being allowed to prioritise financial savings over patient care".

This point is echoed by the Conservative chair of the Health Committee, Sarah Wollaston, who says cost-cutting has "disastrous consequences" for patients.

Minister Stephen Barclay says the methodology used to alert regulators to areas of concern has been revised but it "remains to be explained" how poor care could continue after several disciplinary measures.

He acknowledges that a culture of cost-cutting led to failings, adding: "It's a culture we need to put an end to."

Minister apologises to Liverpool Community Health patients

Acute and community health statement

House of Commons

Parliament

Stephen Barclay
HoC

Health Minister Stephen Barclay is making a statement on acute and community health, following a review of Liverpool Community Health Trust carried out by Dr Bill Kirkup.

The report found that patients trust suffered "unnecessary harm" because a senior leadership team was "out of its depth".

It also concluded that cost-cutting led to severe staff shortages and bullying.

Mr Barclay apologises to patients on behalf of the government for the "poor care and lack of insight" and says their families have been "vindicated" in their fight for justice.

He says the government accepts the report's recommendations in full.

'A right to be treated with dignity and respect'

Leadsom: Complainants will be 'at the heart' of procedure

Sexual harassment statement

House of Commons

Parliament

Harriet Harman
HoC
Labour's Harriet Harman called for those making complaints to be protected

Labour MP and Mother of the House Harriet Harman commends the "serious and committed" approach of the Leader of the House, Andrea Leadsom.

"We all have an interest" in making sure "grotesque events" do not happen in Parliament, she says, calling for the interests of complainants to be protected.

Mrs Leadsom says Ms Harman has shown her commitment to equality, fairness and justice "over decades" and assures her that is is "absolutely the intention" to put complainants "at the heart of everything we do".

Cross-party welcome for new Westminster grievance policy

Sexual harassment statement

House of Commons

Parliament

Conservative MP Dame Cheryl Gillan agrees that Parliament should be a "no-go area" for harassers, but asks what help will be available for MPs who have "malicious claims" raised against them.

The SNP's Pete Wishart welcomes the report as "a significant, substantial document" and asks what help will be available before it is implemented.

Leader of the House Andrea Leadsom emphasises the independence of the proposed grievance procedure and reiterates that it needs to be set up as quickly as possible.

An end in sight?

ParlyApp tweets...

Labour: Parliament must be a 'safe, secure and constructive' workplace

Sexual harassment statement

House of Commons

Parliament

Valerie Vaz MP
HoC

Shadow Commons leader Valerie Vaz says it has felt like a "long, long time" since work on these proposals began and "all credit" must go to the staff supporting the committee.

Ms Vaz confirms Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has read the report and passes on his thanks to all involved.

She tells MPs that everyone in Parliament should enjoy a "safe, secure and constructive workplace" so that all can benefit from "working for the common good".

MPs to vote on grievance policy by the end of February

Sexual harassment statement

House of Commons

Parliament

Andrea Leadsom says the government is committed to proceeding "at pace" and will bring in a motion on the new proposals, for MPs to debate and vote on by the end of February.

Leadsom: Sexual harassment reports at Westminster 'troubling'

Sexual harassment statement

House of Commons

Parliament

Leadsom
HoC

Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom is making a statement on sexual harassment and the grievance procedure at Parliament.

A cross-party committee has recommended that complaints of sexual harassment at Westminster should be handled by a trained sexual violence adviser.

The committee found such behaviour had been "a feature in the lives" of many who work in Parliament and concluded that MPs found to have harassed staff should face suspension or deselection.

Mandatory training is proposed for all MPs, peers and their staff.

Mrs Leadsom calls the reports of harassment "very troubling", warning it could "deter people from entering politics and threaten our democracy".

She expresses her hope that these proposals will prove "robust".

Tory MP warns of 'backsliding' on Brexit immigration bill

Business statement

House of Commons

Parliament

Conservative Philip Davies draws attention to press reports there may be "backsliding" in bringing forward an immigration bill ahead of Brexit.

Andrea Leadsom says he can "rest assured" that Brexit will be a success and "all legislation will be brought forward as soon as we need to do that".

Minister has 'drawn the short straw'

Oral questions

House of Lords

Parliament

Labour peer Lord Harris of Haringey asks ministers "what measures they are taking to protect nurseries and schools from terrorist attack".

Home Office Minister Baroness Williams of Trafford tells him that the government provides "tailored advice for educational establishments".

But Lord Harris thinks the minister has "drawn the short straw" as he thinks the question is really for the Department for Education, which is responsible for schools in England.

The Labour peer, who produced a report on London's preparedness for major terrorist incidents, thinks all schools should appoint someone to take a lead on the matter - but the department has left it up to individual schools.

Baroness Williams replies that school governors have a range of responsibilities regarding their schools.

SNP: Scotland tethered to 'dysfunctional Titanic'

Business statement

House of Commons

Parliament

Pete Wishart
HoC

SNP business spokesperson Pete Wishart says: "Scotland doesn't want the Tory hard Brexit" and is "tethered to this dysfunctional Titanic as it careers into the abyss."

Mr Wishart also calls for a debate on the "£1bn bung to the DUP" given as part of the prime minister's deal following the 2017 general elelection and says "there has never been a chance" for debate.

Leader of the House Andrea Leadsom tells him the government is working to "make a success" of Brexit for the "whole United Kingdom".

In reference to the money given to the DUP, Ms Leadsom informs him that "£50m of the settlement has been set aside for health and education".

An unusual request

Times sketchwriter tweets...

View more on twitter

The Speaker declines Mr Bone's request.

Leadsom defends government on women's rights

Business statement

House of Commons

Parliament

Andrea Leadsom acknowledges that there is "particular concern" over Northamptonshire County Council, but reminds Labour that the council has its own powers to deal with its current budget issues.

The leader of the House tackles Valerie Vaz's comments about gender inequality, pointing out that the UK was the first country to introduce gender pay gap reporting and that the full-time pay gap is at an all-time low.

Labour asks for 'deeds not words'

Business statement

House of Commons

Parliament

Vaz
HoC

Shadow Commons leader Valerie Vaz asks for a explanation about the European Research Group, suggesting it's "another secret society around the House that only a few members can join".

She raises the plight of Northamptonshire County Council, asking how long the inspection will take and when it will report.

She also refers to the centenary of women's suffrage, saying the government needs to come up with "deeds not words" as its cuts hit women harder than men.

What's on the agenda?

Leader's Office tweets...

Peer urges 'Brexit-paralysed government' to address prison conditions

Oral questions

House of Lords

Parliament

Liberal Democrat peer Lord Lee of Trafford opens Lords questions by asking about conditions within prisons.

He says there has been "a 12% rise in both assaults and self-injuries" and urges "this Brexit-paralysed government" to act on prisons.

Justice spokesman Lord Keen of Elie says the government plans a "programme of new establishments" to address overcrowding and improve conditions.