- Peers have voted by a majority of 103 for an amendment intended to stop the next prime minister being able to prorogue parliament in the autumn to facilitate a no-deal Brexit. The shadow Brexit secretary, Sir Keir Starmer, has welcomed the vote, saying he hopes it does not get overturned by the government in the Commons tomorrow. Tomorrow???s vote should be close because the government lost by just one vote when MPs last debated something similar, and then only because a whip failed to vote by mistake. (See 5.03pm.)
- Theresa May has criticised absolutism in politics in what appeared to be a coded swipe at populist politicians such as Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage and Donald Trump.
- Philip Hammond, the chancellor, has said it is ???terrifying??? that one of Boris Johnson???s close allies, Jacob Rees-Mogg, believes a no-deal Brexit will boost the economy.
- Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn have traded blows in the House of Commons over antisemitism and Islamophobia, each demanding an apology for racism in their respective parties.
That???s all from me for tonight.
Thanks for the comments.
The 13 Tory peers who rebelled to back anti-prorogation amendment
Thirteen Tory peers rebelled against the government and voted for the Anderson amendment, according to the division list.
Government defeated in Lords as peers vote to beef up anti-prorogation measure in Northern Ireland bill
The Anderson amendment (see 4.50pm) has passed by 272 votes to 169 - a majority of 103.
This means the bill, as now amended, could make it illegal for the government to prorogue parliament in the autumn if the power-sharing executive in Northern Ireland has not been restored.
The government will almost certainly try to reverse this when the bill returns to the Commons tomorrow. Dominic Grieve only got his amendment passed by a single vote in the Commons last week, after a government whip forgot to vote, and Grieve lost votes on other related amendments, and so there must be a good chance of this afternoon???s vote being overturned.
Peers vote on amendment to Northern Ireland bill intended to stop autumn prorogation
In the House of Lords peers are now voting on an amendment to the Northern Ireland (executive formation bill) that is designed to stop a future prime minister proroguing parliament in the autumn to facilitate a no-deal Brexit.
The amendment has been tabled by the crossbench peer David Anderson, the former independent reviewer of terror legislation, with support from Labour and the Lib Dems.
It builds on an amendment to the bill passed in the Commons last week when MPs backed a proposal from Dominic Grieve, the Tory pro-European, calling for fortnightly reports from the government on progress being made towards restoring the power-sharing executive. Anderson???s amendment, amendment 3, would ensure these have to be debated. This is what it says:
Page 2, line 20, leave out subsection (2) and insert???
???(2A) The secretary of state must make arrangements for???
(a) a copy of each report published under subsection (1) to be laid before each house of parliament by the end of the day on which it is published,
(b) a motion in neutral terms, to the effect that the House of Commons has considered the report, to be moved in the House of Commons by a minister of the crown, and
(c) a motion for the House of Lords to take note of the report to be tabled in the House of Lords and moved by a minister of the crown.
(2B) The motions required under subsections (2A)(b) and (c) must be moved in the relevant house by a minister of the crown within the period of five calendar days beginning with the end of the day on which the report is laid before parliament.???
May's state of politics speech - Verdict from Twitter commentariat
This is what political journalists and commentators are saying about Theresa May???s speech.
In the Westminster village, it is getting panned.
From my colleague John Crace
From the Times??? Quentin Letts
From the New Statesman???s Patrick Maguire
From my colleague Paul Johnson
From Sky???s Lewis Goodall
From the Independent???s Ashley Cowburn
From my colleague Owen Jones
From ITV???s Paul Brand
From my colleague Jessica Elgot
From Business Insider???s Adam Bienkov
From Good Morning Britain???s Piers Morgan
From the Sun???s Steve Hawkes
From ConservativeHome???s Mark Wallace
Theresa May's state of politics speech - Snap verdict
Shortly before Tony Blair stood down he gave a speech on the media. It did not ???land??? happily. He said the press could be like a ???feral beast??? and, unsurprisingly, when they wrote it up the following day, the newspapers took a dim view. In some ways it was a gutless speech - he singled out the Independent for criticism, but not the Daily Mail - but some of its analysis was sound, and it was vindicated by the Leveson inquiry.
Theresa May has also given a valedictory speech on a general topic, the state of politics. Her general point, that opinion in Britain and elsewhere is becoming increasingly polarised and that this is making compromise harder, was a sound one. In fact, it is one of the great truths of our time. And yet the speech as a whole was exceptionally poor, mainly for two reasons.
First, as many people have been pointing out on Twitter (roundup coming soon), May refused to accept any responsibility at all for this state of affairs. As a speech, it was striking for its lack of self-awareness. You can understand why a prime minister might not want to telegraph their flaws at the start of their premiership, but with just seven days left in office to go, an element of contrition would have been welcome. It would be wrong to claim that May is wholly to blame for our Brexit deadlock (it is possible that no other PM could have found a compromise acceptable to parliament), but May herself played a part in entrenching divisions by pandering to the Brexiter right in her first few months in office, when she was laying down red lines that made subsequent compromise much harder. This was the period when Nigel Farage found it hard to fault a word she said. When she was asked to address this in the Q&A, she just reacted angrily. (See 3.39pm.)
The second problem with the speech, partially related to the first, was that it was almost devoid of analysis. May painted a recognisable picture of a world where opinions are increasingly divided and extreme, but had nothing to say about how we???ve got here. Is it social media? Loss of faith in neoliberalism, or capitalism generally, to deliver rising prosperity? A backlash against multiculturalism? A rise in nationalism? Russian meddling? I don???t know. But May does not seem to know either, and she supposedly has access to the finest minds in government. The absence of an analytic framework in the speech also meant its prescriptions were rather meaningless. We should all be a bit nicer to each other and compromise, she said. But if she had worked out the cause of the problem, she would have been better placed to argue for a solution.
Q: How worried are you about what is happening in the US? How should your successors handle this relationship?
May says the special relationship will remain, regardless of who is in the White House.
She says the US should accept the need for multilateral organisations.
And that???s it. The speech is over.
I will post a verdict and reaction shortly.
Q: What advice do you have for your successor in terms of dealing with China?
May says the UK wants good economic ties with China. But the UK will continue to express its concerns over matters like the joint declaration for Hong Kong.
Q: Have you left the country and your party in a better or worse state? And you do not seem to take any responsiblity for the effects your own words have had, like talking about EU nationals as queue jumpers?
May says she did accept that she should not have used the phrase about EU nationals jumping the queue.
She says it is a matter of deep regret that she has not been able to get Brexit over the line. She did everything she could, including putting her own job on the line.
She says the Tory party has rising membership.
(That is probably largely to do with people joining over the last few months because they knew a leadership election was coming.)
Q: What is your message for investors thinking about the future?
Come to the UK, says May.
She says investment in the UK had held up despite the Brexit negotiations. She says that is a tribute to the underlying strength of the British economy.
May is now taking questions from non-journalists.
Q: You set up Women2Win to get female candidates selected for the Tories. But progress has been glacial. Will you come back and help?
May says she will continue to champion this cause. She says you get better decisions with greater diversity.