Not one but two by-elections today with Labour defending seats in Stoke-on-Trent Central and Copeland on the West Cumbrian coast. Government parties very rarely win by-elections from the opposition and it would I think be a major surprise if Labour lost either seat. Not impossible but certainly a surprise.
Today in the Commons the business starts with questions to the Secretary of State for Transport then the new Prisons and Courts Bill will be introduced, this is a Bill to make provision about prisons; make provision about practice and procedure in courts and tribunals, organisation of courts and tribunals, functions of the judiciary and of courts and tribunals and their staff, appointment and deployment of the judiciary, and functions of the Judicial Appointments Commission; and make provision about whiplash claims.
There will then be a debate let by the Democratic Unionist Party from Northern Ireland on the motion:
That this House acknowledges the service and sacrifice of the armed forces and police during Operation Banner in Northern Ireland as well as in other theatres of conflict in Iraq, Kosovo and Afghanistan; welcomes the recent decision to close down the Iraq Historical Allegations Team; and calls on the Government to take steps to ensure that current and future processes for investigating and prosecuting legacy cases, whether in Northern Ireland or elsewhere, are balanced and fair.
This will be followed by a debate on unaccompanied children in Greece and Italy selected by the Backbench Business Committee which I sit on.