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ULSTER: The independent assessor who oversees the military complaints system in Ulster is to be retained despite the continuing cease-fire, Sir Patrick Mayhew, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, announced last night. But he added: "I look forward to the day when there will be no further need for it."

nBUSINESS TODAY -Commons: Home Office questions; Prime Minister's questions; Crown Agents Bill, remaining stages. Lords: Statute Law (Repeals) Bill, Third Reading; Merchant Shipping Bill, Third Reading; Shipping and Trading Interests (Protection) Bill, Third Reading; Goods Vehicles (Licensing of Operators) Bill, Third Reading; Gas Bill, Committee; Appropriation (Northern Ireland) Order.