The week ahead in Westminster

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There will no doubt be many eyes on Labour this week, looking for signs of growing discontent following last week's by-election defeat in the party's long-held Copeland seat.

While many usually vocal critics of Jeremy Corbyn have chosen to remain silent in public about the result, the weekly meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) could see the leader facing some tough questions.

Meanwhile, over in the House of Lords, peers will continue debating the Government's Brexit Bill, as the countdown to Theresa May's self-imposed March 31 deadline for triggering Article 50 fast approaches.

The legislation enters committee stage this week, and if reports are to be believed, Mrs May could be facing a defeat over an amendment to secure the future rights of EU citizens already living in the UK.

Monday February 27

The week kicks-off at 2.30pm with questions to the Communities and Local Government Secretary Sajid Javid. As the row over business rates rages on, this could see MPs press Mr Javid for further details of the extra support he has hinted could be on the way for the worst-affected businesses.

This will be followed by votes on a series of departmental funding decisions relating to flood defence spending and health and social care.

In the evening Middlesbrough South MP Tom Blenkinsop leads an adjournment debate on the ICL potash mine in Boulby. The site made headlines last year following a spate of accidents, including one that resulted in the death of miner John Anderson.

Over in Westminster Hall, MPs will debate a petition calling for the creation of a specific offence for attacks on NHS medical staff. This complements a similar campaign by the Halifax MP Holly Lynch, who has introduced a private members bill that sets out tougher penalties for offenders guilty of assaulting emergency services staff.

And in the Lords, peers will resume debating the EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill as it enters day one of committee stage.

Tuesday February 28

MPs will gather in the Commons at 11.30am for questions to the Chancellor Philip Hammond. This could again see calls for further details of support for businesses facing steep increases in their rates, as well as last-minute appeals ahead of next week's spring Budget.

The Scunthorpe MP Nic Dakin will then present a ten minute rule motion calling for better careers guidance in schools. This will be followed by a debate on further funding decisions relating to the Government's productivity plan and measures to promote integenerational fairness.

Over in Westminster Hall, the recently-elected Lib Dem MP Sarah Olney will lead a debate on Heathrow expansion - the very issue that triggered the by-election which saw her defeat incumbent Zac Goldsmith.

Meanwhile, members of the International Trade Select Committee will grill Nissan's senior vice president Colin Lawther about post-Brexit trade, and will no doubt have questions about the alleged "secret deal" the company was offered after it raised doubts about it’s future in the UK.

Business draws to a close with a debate about rationing surgery led by the York MP Rachael Maskell. The Vale of York CCG came under fire toward the end of last year when it announced plans to limit access to non-life threatening procedures for patients who are overweight or smoke.

Wednesday March 1

Business begins at 11.30 with questions to the Secretary of State for Scotland.

This is followed by PMQs at 12, which will no doubt see Theresa make the most of the opportunity to watch Labour squirm as she celebrates her party's historic victory in Copeland.

The former Education Secretary Nicky Morgan will then table a Bill under the ten minute rule motion that would enable transgender persons to apply to the registrar of companies for England and Wales for documentation relating to their change of name to be treated as protected information.

Afterwards, the Busses Bill - which among other things grants directly elected metro mayors the power to create new bus franchises - will have its second reading in the Commons. MPs and councillors have complained that these powers should be rolled out equally to all local authorities.

Over in Westminster Hall Labour MP Luciana Berger will lead a debate on rates of suicide and self-harm in prisons.

And the Lords will begin day two of committee stage for the Governments Brexit Bill.

Thursday March 2

The Commons meets at 9.30am for questions to the Secretary for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, followed by the ever-lively questions to the Leader of the House.

The afternoon will be dominated by two backbench debates, the first of which is led by Labour's Jess Phillips to mark International Women's Day.

Outside the main chamber the Brexit Select Committee will be speaking to the leaders of Wales' major universities about the Government's plans for negotiations.

And over in Westminster Hall MPs will discuss the Government's proposed reforms to bereavement benefits, including concerns that support for widowed parents does not go far enough and the current cap on funding for funerals is not enough to cover costs.

Friday March 3

Parliament is in recess for the day