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Summary

  1. The House of Commons began at 11.30 GMT with questions to the Treasury team.
  2. Communities Secretary Eric Pickles announced that he is sending in commissioners to take control over certain functions at Tower Hamlets council.
  3. Conservative MP Fiona Bruce's ten minute rule bill was passed by 181 votes to 1, after being pushed to a division by supporters.
  4. The Modern Slavery Bill passes its final stages in the House of Commons
  5. The day ended with an adjournment debate on the abuse of MPs on the internet, led by the Labour MP John Mann.
  6. Peers sat from 14.30 GMT and the day began with questions to government ministers.
  7. The day's main business was the second reading of the Social Action, Responsibility and Heroism Bill, which cleared second reading unopposed.
  8. The short debate looked at the report of the Economic Affairs Committee on the economic impact of shale gas and oil on the UK's energy policy.

Live Reporting

By Pippa Simm and Sam Francis

All times stated are UK

  1. Join us tomorrow

    It's time for us to say goodbye, but please do join us again tomorrow, from 11.15am, when we'll be bringing you live coverage of the House of Commons.

  2. Commons round up

    Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles told MPs he is sending in commissioners to take control over certain functions at Tower Hamlets council, following the publication of a report from accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCooper on allegations of maladministration.

    During a statement to the House of Commons, Mr Pickles said he was unsure if the report amounted to evidence of fraud but it had identified irregularities in the way the council awarded grants, contracts and sold assets and so would be passed to the police.

    Mr Pickles' opposite number, Hilary Benn, said he supported the local government secretary's decision to use his powers to intervene in the council.

    The Modern Slavery Bill passed its final stages in the House of Commons after five Labour-tabled amendments were defeated, and a ten minute rule bill introduced by Conservative Fiona Bruce was passed by 181 votes to 1 after being pushed to a division by supporters.

    The day began with questions to the chancellor of the exchequer, during which he was questioned over his plans for a Northern Powerhouse, which Labour described as a bribe before the next election.

    The adjournment debate, led by Labour MP John Mann, was on online abuse of members of parliament.

  3. Lords finishes for the day

    The House of Lords has completed its debate on the report on shale gas and oil, meaning the House can now adjourn for the day.

    Peers will be back at 15.00 GMT on Wednesday for the regular daily question session with government ministers.

    The main business of the day will be dedicated to the Serious Crime Bill, followed by the Infrastructure Bill.

  4. Commons finishes for the day

    Business in the House of Commons concludes as Justice Minister Shailesh Vara tells MPs the government is working to combat online abuse, pointing to new clauses in the Criminal Justice and Court Bill which will allow more serious offences to be heard in the Crown Court - where higher sentences can be handed out by senior judges.

    Mr Vara says the government takes online abuse "very, very seriously", and adds that the government will continue to "monitor the situation".

    The House of Commons returns on Wednesday at 11.30 GMT, when international development ministers will be questioned before prime minister's questions at noon.

  5. Government response

    Wrapping up the debate on behalf of the government, Baroness Verma welcomes the committee's conclusion that realising shale gas potential in a safe and sustainable way could enhance energy security, and provide jobs and opportunities for economic growth.

    Baroness Verma
  6. Minister's reply

    Justice Minister Shailesh Vara is responding for the government. He advises any MP that has been the victim of internet abuse to contact the police.

    Recent arrests for online "trolling" show how serious the government and the justice system are about combating abuse, he adds.

  7. 'Great prize'

    Conservative peer Lord Griffiths of Fforestfach says the government has made very clear its support for fracking, but claims its intentions have become "mired in a cautious bureaucracy".

    He says there is a "great prize to be won" and impresses on the government the urgent need to speed up and simplify the process of exploration and development of shale gas.

  8. What are adjournment debates?

    Adjournment debates are short debates held at the end of a day's business. They are used to bring constituency matters to the attention of government ministers.

  9. 'Fake messages'

    John Mann claims that he has received "the most extraordinary" fake messages, allegedly in his name, meant to hurt his reputation and create problems in the community, simply for doing his job.

  10. Adjournment debate begins

    Labour MP John Mann is leading today's adjournment debate which is on abuse received by MPs on the internet.

  11. 'Backed the wrong horse'

    "We have backed the wrong horse in the decarbonisation race," says Conservative peer and scientist Viscount Ridley, drawing a comparison with the United States.

    He says the US has cut its CO2 emissions, using gas to replace coal, by "three times more" than Europe has cuts its carbon emissions using solar and wind.

    Moreover, he tells peers, whereas decarbonisation has cost Europe "hundreds of billions", US decarbonisation with shale gas has benefited that economy "to the tune of £200bn".

    Conservative peer Viscount Ridley
  12. Modern Slavery Bill clears Commons

    MPs pass the Modern Slavery Bill at third reading without the need for a vote. The bill has now completed all its stages in the House of Commons and will transfer to the House of Lords where it will be further scrutinised.

    The adjournment debate will be coming up soon but first, Conservative MP Nigel Evans is presenting a petition on the impact of new housing in Longridge, Clitheroe and Whalley.

  13. No to Nimby

    Lord Giddens, a Labour peer, welcomes the "admirable" and "thorough" report on shale gas, and highlights the potential benefits that shale gas could offer for the UK.

    But he cautions that the successful cultivation of shale gas must not distract from investment in renewable energy.

    Lord Giddens also stresses the need to combat Nimbyism - i.e. "not in my back yard", warning that it could "sink the whole show".

  14. 'Victim based'

    Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper tells MPs that the Modern Slavery Bill has the wrong focus, and rather than being "enforcement based" should be "victim based".

    While the bill is a "positive" step, she questions whether it is going to be effective.

  15. Labour's position

    Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper is now at the despatch box.

    Labour supports the bill, she says, but criticises that "it does not go far enough" and accuses the home secretary of being "too complacent" after turning down Labour's amendments.

    She warns that further amendments may be added to the bill when it goes through the House of Lords.

  16. Amendment defeated

    That's five for five as MPs reject Labour's proposed New Clause 22, by 283 votes to 229, bringing to an end the report stage of the Modern Slavery Bill.

    Home Secretary Theresa May opens third reading - the bill's final stage in the Commons before it is sent to the Lords - by telling MPs the "injustice of suffering" slavery is happening in Britain's towns, villages and cities today, which is why the Modern Slavery Bill is "so important".

  17. More divisions

    Labour isn't having any luck with its amendment today but that's not stopping it. After the party's New Clause 2 is rejected by 288 votes to 234, they instantly push their fifth amendment to a vote.

    If passed, New Clause 22 would establish a review of the links between prostitution and human trafficking and sexual exploitation in England and Wales.

  18. Division in the Commons

    A third defeat for Labour today as MPs reject their plans to allow greater powers to be extended to the the Gangmaster's Licensing Authority in the future if evidence of slavery occurs by 292 votes to 234, a government majority of 58.

    MPs instantly divide on Labour's plans to reverse the government's current policy on tying oversees workers visas to their employer, requiring them to remain with an employer to stay in the country.

  19. Coordination needed

    Lord MacGregor tells peers that the risks posed to the environment and public health by fracking are "low" if a robust regulatory regime is in place.

    The committee's verdict, he explains, is that the government should take steps to improve co-ordination, clarity and speed of policy making, and its implementation, on shale gas.

    It recommends a cabinet sub-committee, chaired by the chancellor, to direct and co-ordinate government policy, "with a mandate to promote well-regulated exploration and development of the UK's shale gas resource".

  20. Voting time

    Full House of Commons chamber
    Image caption: MPs once again pack the chamber ahead of an important vote on the Modern Slavery Bill. Labour's tabled amendment would re-write the bill to allow greater regulation of gangmasters.
  21. Labour MP's opposition

    Labour MP John McDonell says he will not support his party's amendment to criminalise those buying or seeking to buy sex.

    The evidence, he says, is unclear and he is worried that criminalising aspects of prostitution will force it under ground where it will become more dangerous.

  22. What is fracking?

    The process of extracting gas and oil from shale rock is known as hydraulic fracturing - or fracking, as it is more commonly known - and it is controversial.

    It involves drilling down into the earth before a high-pressure water mixture is directed at the rock to release the gas inside.

    Water, sand and chemicals are injected into the rock at high pressure which allows the gas to flow out.

    Fracking has concerned environmentalists, who say that it uses potentially carcinogenic chemicals. There are also worries that the fracking process can cause small earth tremors.

    The government says fracking could create thousands of jobs as well as reduce energy bills.

  23. GLA 'needs to be extended'

    Labour MP Jim Sheridan says there is "no doubt whatsoever" the powers of the Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA) need to be extended into other sectors and to tackle slavery.

    Migrant workers are in danger of exploitation from unscrupulous employers and falling foul of health and safety regulations - which can lead to others being injured as well - he tells MPs.

    He adds that legal and legitimate gangmasters were in favour of responsible licensing in their industry and the only people, in his experience, who did not want greater regulation were major retailers, who had to be "dragged by their fingernails" into setting up the GLA.

    Jim Sheridan
  24. Energy self-sufficiency in US

    The committee's inquiry looked at the United States' experience of shale oil and gas, which Lord MacGregor tells peers has been "astonishing".

    The committee's report found that due to shale oil and gas, the US will be more than self sufficient in energy within a decade.

    It also found that low US gas prices due to shale extraction have limited international price increases.

    The committee concluded that "there may well be potential for economic development of shale gas in the UK", but it found that large scale shale production in the UK was being held back by government regulations.

  25. Shale gas and oil debate

    Lord MacGregor of Pulham Market has the floor, as he introduces a debate on an Economic Affairs Committee report on the possible impact of shale gas and oil on the UK economy.

    The Conservative peer is the former chair of the committee.

  26. Second reading

    The amendment is withdrawn, and - after some confusion of the correct procedure - the bill receives an unopposed second reading.

    This means it can progress to committee stage, where more detailed scrutiny and amendment takes place.

  27. Amendment withdrawn

    Lord Lloyd reveals he "tried hard" to get Labour to support his amendment, given its criticism of the bill: "But the ways of political parties are really beyond my understanding. Try as I might I simply could not persuade them."

    He seeks confirmation from the Labour front bench over whether they would vote against or abstain on his motion, to which Lord Beecham tells him they would do the latter. Lord Lloyd reveals that leaves him in "a quandary", and asks: "So what am I to do?"

    After further deliberation, he decides against moving the amendment, surmising that there is not enough support for it to warrant wasting the House's time on a vote.

  28. Withdraw?

    As he draws his remarks to a close, Justice Minister Lord Faulks appeals to Lord Lloyd to consider whether it would be better to withdraw his motion, which seeks to block the bill from progressing any further.

  29. Abuse of domestic workers

    Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Refugees Sarah Teather asked urges the government to reverse its 2012 policy to tie the visas of oversees domestic workers to their employer, requiring them to remain employed to stay in the country.

    The result of the new visas is an increase in "abuse and exploitation" Ms Teather told MPs.

    The former Liberal Democrat minister said she supported the bill, which was as a "rather unique" position for "a piece of Home Office legislation", but added the bill might be undermined if abuse of oversees domestic workers were not protected.

  30. Defence of bill

    Justice Minister Lord Faulks defends the bill, as he summates on behalf of the government.

    He explains that it is designed to reassure people who act responsibly, selflessly or for the benefit of society, by ensuring the courts take the context of their actions into account in the event that something goes wrong, and they are sued.

    The Conservative peer also insists the bill does more than send a message, as it changes the law, "albeit not in any major way".

    And he rejects claims that the "compensation culture" is a "mere figment of the government's imagination", remarking that those who think this are "not paying attention to what normal people say".

    Lord Faulks address the House of Lords from the despatch box
  31. What is the Gangmasters Licensing Authority?

    The Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA) is the body which licenses the supply of temporary labour in the agricultural and food production.

    The GLA was established after the 2004 Morecambe Bay cockling disaster, where 23 Chinese cockle pickers drowned when they were trapped by sweeping tides, in an attempt to tackle illegal gangmasters profiting from workers while paying little regard to their safety.

    The maximum sentence under the Gangmasters Licensing Act for working as an illegal gangmaster is 10 years in jail.

  32. Waste of parliamentary time

    Lord Kennedy restates Labour's view that the bill is unnecessary and a waste of valuable parliamentary time.

    He confirms that the opposition will not oppose the bill at second reading, and would not support Lord Lloyd's "wrecking amendment" if it is moved to a vote.

  33. Duty on gangmasters

    Conservative MP Stephen Barclay stands to support a group of Labour amendments that would put a duty on gangmasters to keep a record of rent books and tenancy agreements of its workers and give police greater powers to inspect properties inhabited by workers in the food production sector.

    The current system of expecting a worker, who quite often has come to the UK as a migrant and doesn't know the language or legal system, to bring a private case against their employer is "unrealistic" he says.

  34. Opposition response

    That's it for backbench speeches. It's up to Lord Kennedy of Southwark to respond to the debate on behalf of the official opposition.

  35. Lord Hurd's criticisms

    Conservative Lord Hurd of Westwell, Margaret Thatcher's former home secretary, reminds the House of the saying, "if it's not necessary to legislate, it is necessary not to legislate", a working principle he fears has been neglected in the case of this bill.

    It is partly for this reason that he supports Lord Lloyd's amendment, Lord Hurd explains, and criticises the opposition for shying away from doing so.

    Conservative peer Lord Hurd of Westwell
  36. Concerns expressed

    Crossbench peer Lord Aberdare has "considerable doubts" about whether the bill will achieve its desired outcomes.

    He has particular concerns over clause four of the bill, which he fears could remove protection from people who act responsibly by taking account of their own safety before acting, as they are taught to do in first aid training.

    "Is that the message we want to send?" he questions.

  37. Lord Pannick's views

    "I think this bill is a public relations exercise unconvincingly disguised as a prospective act of parliament," opines Lord Pannick.

    He argues that the time, effort and money spent on enacting and publicising the bill would have been better spent on press releases and newspaper advertisement.

    The peer commends "heroic" Justice Minister Lord Faulks for defending the bill, and draws laughter from others when he says the minister manages to present Justice Secretary Chris Grayling's proposals "in a manner that makes them sound almost plausible, I stress, almost".

    However, addressing Lord Lloyd, who is seating behind him, Lord Pannick informs him that he will not be supporting his amendment, if it is pushed to a vote.

    Lord Pannick
  38. Modern Slavery Bill debate

    The measure, which will allow a future Home Secretary to empower the Gangmasters Licensing Authority - which regulates the supply of workers to the agricultural, horticultural and shellfish industries - to tackle slavery if evidence of it occurring arises, is the first of a group of 11 amendments being debated together.

    The House of Commons will vote at about 18.00 GMT.

  39. Forensic analysis

    Lord Pannick, a barrister and independent crossbench peer, is offering his thoughts on the government's Heroism Bill, which he is critically dissecting.

    The peer has been a vocal opponent of Justice Secretary Chris Grayling's legal system reforms, most recently to judicial review, inflicting three defeats on the government over its Criminal Justice and Courts Bill.

    He is therefore "pleasantly surprised" to find that the bill is "so anodyne and so pointless" that the only response it warrants is "a shrug of the shoulder" or a raised eyebrow.

    Lord Pannick does not believe it will make "any difference whatsoever" to any case before the courts.

  40. Labour second defeat

    A second defeat for Labour as their attempt to introduce an offence of "exploitation" into the Modern Slavery Bill by 288 votes to 225, a government majority of 63.

    Not to be deterred Labour instantly begin a debate on their clause to enable the Gangmasters Licensing Authority to tackle slavery.

  41. Plea for common sense

    Lord Cotter, who sits on the Liberal Democrat benches, also gives his backing to the bill, which he hopes will "bring more certainty and common sense to the life that we lead".

  42. Labour plan defeated

    MPs vote against Labour's plans to introduce a new offence of "child exploitation" into the Modern Slavery Bill by 288 votes to 227, a government majority of 61.

    The chamber instantly divides to vote on the second of Labour's amendment introducing a broader offence of "exploitation". Results are expected at 16.28 GMT.

  43. Voting on amendments

    Full House of Commons Chamber
    Image caption: MPs fill the chamber after voting on Labour's amendment to create a new offence of "exploitation", the first in a group of 18 amendments.
  44. Backing the bill

    Conservative peer Baroness Browning offers her backing to the bill, telling peers "we are a litigious society", in which conkers is regarded as a "dangerous" sport which "requires risk assessments" to be made.

    She does have some concerns about the bill's provisions, but urges Lord Lloyd to think carefully about moving the amendment to decline to give the bill a second reading.

    Baroness Browning
  45. Lords debate

    The bill being debated by peers establishes the conditions that a court of law must take into account when determining negligence claims or breaches of statutory duty.

    The government hopes the measures will help tackle the perception of a "compensation culture", which may deter people from volunteer work or involvement in community activity.

  46. Burden of proof

    Social Democratic and Labour Party MP Mark Durkan tables another amendment - there are 18 in this group alone - to remove the requirement for children to have to prove compulsion in human trafficking cases.

    Compulsion should be "irrelevant" when debating child victims of human trafficking and forcing them to prove compulsion in a court case will simply add "further psychological damage" he says.

  47. Who's next?

    Liberal Democrat Lord Philips of Sudbury rises to speak next in the debate, but he is cut short when it is pointed out to him that there is a speakers' list. Some mild confusion ensues.

    Conservative Baroness Browning, due to speak after the opposition front bench, thanks the peer who intervened for "coming to my rescue". She begins to address the chamber.

  48. Criticism by peers

    The opposition is highly critical of the bill, which it dismisses as a "[Justice Secretary Chris] Grayling gimmick" which is being pursued despite a time of "crisis" in the prisons system in England and Wales.

    Shadow spokesman Lord Beecham notes the criticism of the bill by government backbenchers in the Commons, and describes its provisions as "trivial".

    He indicates, however, that Labour will not oppose the bill at second reading, with the intent of changing it in committee.

    Setting out why the Labour frontbench will not support Lord Lloyd's wrecking amendment, he tells peers the House is "traditionally cautious" about seeking to defeat a bill at this stage; and comments that it would give "a trivial bill far too high a profile".

  49. Recovering proceeds of crime

    Conservative MP Stephen Barclay tables an additional amendment to make it easier to recover money from criminals who take part in the trafficking trade. At the moment only 23p from every £100 identified as criminal assets are recovered, he says.

    The amendment would make it easier to freeze criminal assets to prevent funds from being spent or hidden, and would allow police forces to keep funds they secure from criminals in order to encourage them to recover the money.

    The measure will "strike at the heart" of the human trafficking trade, which runs on money he says.

    Conservative MP Stephen Barclay
  50. Peers consider bill

    Lord Lloyd address the chamber
    Image caption: Peers on the independent crossbenches listen intently to Lord Lloyd's reasons for opposing the bill
  51. 'Reject bill', Lord Lloyd urges

    Lord Lloyd urges the House to reject the government's Heroism Bill on the grounds that it is "unnecessary", and a "misuse by the government of the legislative process".

    "The purpose of legislation is to make law that can be enforced in the courts, it is not for sending out government messages, however well-intentioned," he concludes.

    But the crossbench peer informs the House that if the bill does proceed to the next stage, he will seek to amend it so it consists "of nothing but its title", and remarks: "I wonder what the legal historians will make of that."

  52. Labour amendment

    Former Solicitor General Sir Edward Garnier says the Labour amendment comes close to identifying the "menace" of exploitation of vulnerable people.

    Sir Edward says that there are laws to protect children, those under a mental impairment or the elderly, but none for "adults who have come under pressure from other with malevolent intent" and urges the government to consider protecting them in the new bill.

    Despite this support Sir Edward, who has put his name to the amendment, says he does not feel he can vote for it.

    Sir Edward Garnier
  53. 'Useless' legislation

    Lord Lloyd defends his attempt to essentially "wreck" the bill by declining to give it a second reading, describing the proposed legislation as "useless".

    The former law lord notes the "negligible support" the bill received in the House of Commons, in particular from the government's former solicitor general, Conservative MP Sir Edward Garnier, who said it would be greeted with "derision" by judges.

    He also quoted former Attorney General Dominic Grieve as saying the bill is "utter tosh".

    "We should listen to what former law officers have said, coming as they do from the government side. They should know," Lord Lloyd tells peers.

    Lord Lloyd of Berwick
  54. Exploitation exposed

    MPs are debating a series of Labour-tabled amendments that would introduce a new offence of "child and adult exploitation".

    Opening the debate, shadow home affairs minister Diana Johnson told MPs that the clause would be an "historic measure" which would help stop workers being "exploited and paid below minimum wages", which, she said, is often a driving force behind small business being undercut by unscrupulous employers.

    shadow home affairs minister Diana Johnson
  55. Post update

    @JohnHyde1982

    Reporter for the Law Society Gazette John Hyde ‏tweets: Lord Lloyd: Heroism Bill is exceptional not because of its importance but because it is not important at all. It is useless. #SARAHBill

  56. Wrecking amendment

    That wraps up the government front bencher's speech, and it's over to former law lord, Lord Lloyd of Berwick, who is seeking to prevent the bill from progressing further.

    The peer, who sits on the independent crossbenches, has tabled an amendment to the main motion to "decline to give the bill a second reading", for he believes that the subject matter is already covered by existing legislation.

  57. Government aim explained

    Explaining the purpose of the bill, Justice Minister Lord Faulks tells peers it will help to further the government's aim to create a more altruistic and cohesive society, by ensuring that people who want to get involved are not discouraged from socially beneficial action by the fear of being sued.

    Lord Faulks address the Lords

    He explains that the legislation would require courts to take account of the context where someone is acting in a socially beneficial way for the benefit of others.

    The package of measures will assure businesses, individuals and organisations that "the law is on their side", the minister insists.

    But he assures peers that the bill does not confer immunity from civil liability on anyone whose actions fall within its scope, insisting that those who are injured through negligence will continue to have access to legal redress.

  58. Volunteering rising

    Lord Faulks tells peers the number of people involved in volunteering is on the rise, which he attributes in part to government schemes designed to boost volunteering.

  59. Main business in Lords

    The question session is over, and attention turns to the second reading debate on the government's Social Action, Responsibility and Heroism Bill.

    The debate - which will focus on the general aims of the bill - is being opened on behalf of the government by Justice Minister Lord Faulks.

  60. Several ministers

    Oral questions in the House Lords are not restricted to one government department per session, as is the case in the Commons. On any given day, ministers from up to four different departments can be questioned in the upper chamber.

  61. Final question

    We're on to the final question in the half-hour session, and it comes from Liberal Democrat peer Lord Addington, who calls for a proper funding criteria for team sports.

    Government spokesman Lord Gardiner of Kimble responds, and is now fielding supplementary questions on the subject from other peers.

  62. Happy in post?

    Baroness Kramer, a Lib Dem minister in the Department for Transport, is asked whether she is "more or less happy" in her work in the department than her Lib Dem colleague Norman Baker, who has just resigned from his post in the Home Office, claiming that working with Conservative Home Secretary Theresa May is like "walking through mud".

    The question draws laughter from peers, and Lady Kramer replies: "I love my time in the Department for Transport and I can say it's one of the most collegiate places that I've worked."

    Baroness Kramer
  63. London airports question

    Conservative peer Lord Spicer, a minister for aviation in the 1980s, is pressing the government over its policy on London airports expansion.

    Transport Minister Baroness Kramer tells peers the Davies Commission on airport expansion will submit its findings in summer 2015, and that the government will respond in due course.

    The commission says there is a need for one additional runway in the south east of England by 2030.

    There are three options: a new runway at Heathrow, extending an existing runway at Heathrow or a second runway at Gatwick.

    The commission last year decided not to shortlist proposals for expanding Stansted or Birmingham.

  64. Support for UN mission

    Peers are currently raising questions with the government on support for the UN Mission in the Central African Republic (CAR).

    CAR has suffered ethnic and religious unrest since mainly Muslim Seleka rebels seized power in the majority Christian country in March 2013.

  65. Security for NI

    Opposition spokesman Lord McAvoy says the security of the people in Northern Ireland is put at risk by restrictions on NCA operations there.

    The government should "stop hiding behind" David Ford, minister for justice in Northern Ireland, and do more to bring about a change, he adds.

    For the government, Baroness Randerson counters that Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers has been "constantly involved" with the Northern Ireland parties on the issue, but she agrees with his assessment that the people of Northern Ireland are not afforded the same protections as those elsewhere in the UK while the matter remains unresolved.

    Northern Ireland spokesman Baroness Randerson
  66. Progress on NCA urged

    Government spokeswoman Baroness Randerson tells peers the UK government continues to urge all parties in Northern Ireland to make progress on the issue, to allow the NCA to operate in it is full capacity.

    Responding, Lord Empey calls on the government to overturn Sinn Fein's "veto" and fully establish the NCA in Northern Ireland "right away".

    Lady Randerson stresses that it is a devolved issue, and adds that every effort must be made by the Northern Ireland parties to reach a decision.

  67. NCA in Northern Ireland

    Ulster Unionist Party peer Lord Empey has the first question to the government, and it is on the operation of the National Crime Agency (NCA) in Northern Ireland.

    The NCA came into being last year, replacing the Serious and Organised Crime Agency. It targets crime gangs across local, national and international borders.

    The body does not have the powers to carry out police operations and recruit agents in Northern Ireland, after Sinn Féin and the SDLP blocked the move over concerns about accountability.

  68. Question session

    Peers are hurrying in to the chamber for the start of the daily question session, which is usually one of the most well-attended sessions in the House of Lords. We'll be underway in just a few moments.

  69. US comparison

    Mark Durkan, SDLP's Foyle MP, compares the bill to legislation in the United States, as he explains the clause he wishes to add to the bill.

  70. Slavery campaigner

    Labour MP Frank Field gets to his feet to congratulate the government on the amendment, saying, to laughter from other MPs: "Some credit ought to go to the prime minister for changing his mind on this."

    He says, though, while the work on the bill is commendable, the real work will be over enforcement and convincing consumers not to buy goods that are tainted by slavery.

  71. Post update

    ‏@karen__bradley

    Home Office Minister Karen Bradley tweets: Pleased to introduce supply chains amendment to #modernslavery bill during today's report stage

  72. Slavery in the UK

    According to Anti-Slavery International there is evidence of slavery in different stages of the supply chain from the production of raw materials in cocoa and cotton farming, to manufacturing goods such as hand-knotted rugs and even as the product reaches the market.

    Last month the Salvation Army reported that the number of people who had sought support from them due to labour or sexual exploitation had risen by 62% over the past year.

    It had supported 550 people in the past year, with victims of labour exploitation overtaking the victims of sexual exploitation for the first time.

  73. Report on shale gas

    At a convenient point in the day, the House will turn its attention to a debate on an Economic Affairs Committee report on the possible impact of shale gas and oil on the UK economy.

    This will either form the last item of business of the day, or be used to split the Heroism Bill debate into two parts, to give peers taking part in that debate a break.

    That's the full line-up for today's proceedings in the upper chamber; there will be no statements or private notice questions.

  74. Main business for peers

    That will be followed by a day's debate on the general principles of the Social Action, Responsibility and Heroism Bill - known as SARAH, which the government says is designed to help tackle the perception of a "compensation culture".

    This stage is known as "second reading", and it is very rare for the House to block a government bill at this point in the legislative process. However, Lord Lloyd of Berwick, a crossbencher and former law lord, will attempt to do just that: he has tabled an amendment to prevent the bill from progressing further.

    Lord Lloyd believes the bill is "unnecessary", arguing that the subject matter is already covered by existing legislation. The government says the package of measures is designed to send a "powerful message" to the courts, but Lord Lloyd will argue that this is "not a proper use of legislation".

  75. Lords business to begin shortly

    The House of Lords begins its business with the usual daily half-hour question session, at 14.30 GMT.

    Topics to be raised with the government include the operation of the National Crime Agency in Northern Ireland, the UN Mission in the Central African Republic, London's airports and team sports funding.

  76. Supply chains

    The government amendment would require companies to show how they ensure their supply chains are "slavery free".

    The amendment is a re-introduction of a measure that was included in the draft version of the bill. The u-turn comes after Frank Field, the Labour MP who chaired the joint parliamentary committee which scrutinised the bill in draft form, criticised the prime minister in an article in the Spectator for rejecting the idea.

  77. Government amendments

    Tabling a series of government amendments aimed at tackling slavery in the supply chain Home Office Minister Karen Bradley says that tackling modern slavery "is not only about catching the perpetrator" but "making sure that communities and business do not inadvertently fuel the demand for slavery".

    Karen Bradley
  78. Main business

    MPs now begin the report stage of the Modern Slavery Bill after agreeing to the bill's programme motion without a vote.

  79. House procedure

    Using a point of order, Conservative MP Steve Baker explains that he and fellow Conservative MP Gary Streeter initially voted against Ms Bruce's bill in order to push it to a vote so that "the house should have the opportunity to express its view" in the hope that it will reach the statute book.

    Both he and Mr Streeter support the bill, he says.

  80. Voting margin

    Conservative Fiona Bruce's bill is passed by 181 votes to 1.

    Despite this huge margin very few ten minute rule bills end up as law, so this may well be the last we see of it.

  81. Tower Hamlets report

    Read more on the Tower Hamlets story, after a report into allegations of fraud at Tower Hamlets Council, which criticised its awarding of grants and selling of property reveals a "culture of cronyism", the government said.

    Lutfur Rahman
    Image caption: Lutfur Rahman has denied all allegations of financial irregularities
  82. Bill explained

    Fiona Bruce's bill makes it explicitly illegal for doctors to carry out sex-selective abortions.

    Research suggests that some 1,400 girls are "missing" due to sex-selective abortions in certain ethnic communities.

    The charity Jeena International says women in some ethnic communities face pressure to produce sons for their husbands.

  83. Fiona Bruce's bill

    Fiona Bruce
    Image caption: Conservative MP Fiona Bruce telling MPs that they must not "turn a blind eye" to have sex-selective abortions
  84. Ten minute rule bill

    Conservative MP Fiona Bruce is now tabling her ten minute rule bill to outlaw sex-selective abortion.

    While sex-selective abortion is illegal under the 1967 Abortion Act, Ms Bruce says the reality of the law is proving more complicated, and urgent clarification is needed to put beyond doubt that sex-selective abortion is not permitted in UK law - which is the central purpose of the bill.

  85. Roles defined?

    Labour MP Andrew Gwynne urges Eric Pickles to "more closely define" the roles and responsibilities and expectations of an elected mayor and "uphold the role of the local civil service in law".

    Mr Pickles says that some rights are already enshrined in law and says that "for the most part" elected mayors work for the benefit of their community, so there isn't need for more regulation.

  86. Post update

    @localgovexec

    LGE ‏tweets: Pickles proposes commissioners appoint electoral registration officer and returning officer "as matter of urgency" #TowerHamlets

  87. Backbench support

    Former Labour communities minister Nick Raynsford says he supports Mr Pickles' intervention in Tower Hamlets, telling MPs that as a minister he was involved in a similar intervention in Hackney which led to lasting improvements.

  88. Community relations

    Conservative MP Paul Uppal says that the report is an opportunity to improve electoral system to stamp out fraud, which he says would improve relations with the south Asian community, who have a large population in Tower Hamlets.

    He tells MPs that many from the south Asian community have left their countries to escape from electoral fraud and electoral dishonesty.

  89. Post update

    @Alex__Stevenson

    Parliamentary editor of Politics.co.uk Alex Stevenson ‏tweets: "There can be no place for rotten boroughs in 21st century Britain" - Eric Pickles on Tower Hamlets. Astonishing stuff

  90. Serious questions

    Chair of the Communities and Local Government Committee, Clive Betts, says there are serious questions to be asked of accountants KPMG, who signed off on Tower Hamlets accounts, and their use of government money.

    Eric Pickles says he agrees it "wasn't their finest hour" and accuses them of "standing around doing nothing" but says it is up to financial regulators to deal with KPMG.

  91. Statement

    Eric Pickles reads MPs a statement from Tower Hamlets Mayor Lutfur Rahman on the report, which he says the report highlights flaws in the council process which they will strengthen accordingly.

    Mr Pickles says he is not convinced by Mr Rahamn's statement and says if he was mayor of Tower Hamlets he would be "holding his head in shame".

  92. New evidence?

    In response to a question from Hilary Benn, Eric Pickles says he does not know whether the PwC report contains new evidence of criminality or not. But a copy of the report will be sent to the police "for their information".

  93. Commissioners to be chosen

    Eric Pickles says he has not chosen the commissioners yet, but that the council will pay their costs when they are chosen.

    He will make regular progress reports to MPs, he says.

  94. Detail requested

    Hilary Benn asks for greater detail on the new commissioners that have been announced, including when their names will be made public, how much they will be paid and who will be footing the bill.

  95. Caution

    Hilary Benn says MPs must ensure that the powers being exercised by Mr Pickles here are "not used lightly and not because of political disagreement".

  96. 'Serious step'

    Mr Benn says Labour supports the course of action Eric Pickles has announced, but says it must be recognised this is a "very serious step to take".

  97. Labour response

    Shadow communities and local government minister Hilary Benn is now responding for Labour.

    He begins by saying it was clearly right for Mr Pickles to appoint PwC to investigate Tower Hamlets Council, who he said did a "comprehensive job".

  98. Property decisions

    Any property decisions must be agreed to by the commissioners as well, Mr Pickles says.

  99. Commissioners' powers

    Powers to provide future grants will be taken away from the council and will now be overseen by the new commissioners, Mr Pickles says.

  100. Team to oversee

    Eric Pickles announces a team of three commissioners, who will be accountable to Mr Pickles, will be sent in to oversee changes to the council.

  101. 'Rebuild'

    The proposed intervention will need to put an end to all council activities that are not "compatible with its best value duty", remove risk of of further failures to comply with the duty and rebuild the governance of the council, Eric Pickles tells MPs.

  102. MPs listen to Eric Pickles

    House of Commons
    Image caption: Communities Secretary Eric Pickles addresses MPs in the House
  103. Intervention

    Mr Pickles announces that he will intervene in Tower Hamlets as there has been a "fundamental breakdown of governance".

  104. No comment on election claims

    Mr Pickles says he cannot comment on claims that May's council election was marred by bribery, corrupt practices and undue influence over voters by the borough's elected mayor Lutfur Rahman and his party, as matters are currently being heard by a court.

  105. Council failures

    The report concludes that the council had failed to comply with "best value duty" and that the governance in Tower Hamlets is unable to deal with the failures of the Mayor, Mr Pickles says.

  106. Report outlines

    The report outlines that the Mayoral administration handed out grants without any "apparent rationale" and without transparency, Mr Pickles says.

    He adds that 81% of all officer recommendations were rejected by the Mayoral teams and £400,000 given to bodies that failed to reach minimum threshold for grants.

  107. Statement on Tower Hamlets

    Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles is now at the dispatch box making a statement on a report into allegations of Tower Hamlets election fraud.

    He opens the by claiming the government has long been concerned about what's happening in Tower Hamlets which led to the investigation by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

  108. Shadow team

    Ed Balls
    Image caption: Shadow chancellor Ed Balls at the dispatch box quizzing George Osborne
  109. EU warnings

    Shadow chancellor Ed Balls accuses George Osborne of being "asleep at the wheel" after he failed to warn the prime minister that the UK would be liable to pay an extra £1.7bn towards the European Union's budget despite reports that the ONS and the Financial Secretary to the Treasury David Gauke knew weeks before.

    The Chancellor says that timings of his advice to the prime minister were "very similar" to other European countries in a similar position.

  110. Coming up

    At 12.30 GMT: Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles will be making a statement on a report on allegations of malpractice at Tower Hamlets Council report by accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

    Tower Hamlets Council has been strongly criticised in the report.

    PwC inspectors were appointed in April to examine allegations of "governance failure, poor financial management and fraud" in the east London borough.

  111. Deficit trouble

    Labour MP Stephen Timms tells MPs that the deficit went up in the first half of this year and says that the government's "scaled back" plan of halving the deficit by the end of this parliament - the government had originally pledged to eliminate the annual deficit by the 2015 election - is in trouble.

    Treasury Minister Alison Seabeck says that the deficit reduction has been set back by "external shocks" rather than government policy.

  112. Mayor question

    Liberal Democrat MP John Pugh asks if there is any "concrete evidence" between economic growth and the establishment of elected mayors.

    Treasury Minister Priti Patel says that devolving powers to local areas will allow areas to "take responsibility for the decisions that affect their areas" which will "in the long run will create good, solid, strong local long term economic plans".

  113. Clamping down

    Liberal Democrat MP Mark Hunter says he welcomes that a "record £24bn in additional tax revenue" had been recovered last year as a result of the government clamping down on tax avoidance, but says that much more needs to be down to ensure that multinationals such as Starbucks pay their "fair share of tax".

    Treasury Minister David Gauke says that he won't be drawn on commenting on individual companies but says the government are planning to take further action against multinationals who are not paying their tax and are planning to work internationally to do so.

  114. Speaker intervenes

    Speaker John Bercow intervenes in the debate after Conservative MP Philip Hollobone draws a confirmation from the front bench that the UK will not be paying the extra £1.7bn (2.1bn euros) towards the European Union's budget because the economy has performed better than expected in recent years.

    Mr Bercow reminds the chamber that this isn't a question for the Treasury as HM Revenue and Customs "are not the tax collector" for this sum.

  115. Underemployment?

    Tabling a question, Labour MP Ian Murray says that despite a rise in employment income, tax receipts to the Treasury have remained flat, meaning the "government is presiding over an explosion in underemployment" which will prevent the government dealing with the deficit.

    First Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander responds by saying that 80% of the jobs created in last 12 months were in full time employment, rather than in part time jobs that are normally indicative of underemployment.

  116. Post update

    @DavidJonesMP

    Conservative MP David Jones tweets: @George_Osborne points to the reopening of the Halton Curve, for which I campaigned, as an example of improved #NorthWales connectivity

  117. Labour criticism

    Shadow treasury minister Catherine McKinnell accuses the government of using 'Northern powerhouse' announcements as a bribe after years of moving funds away from the North creating economic hardship.

    She calls on the Chancellor to match Labour's plan to devolve powers and £30bn of funding to regional areas.

    George Osborne says Labour ran "one of the most centralised government's in history" and accuses Labour of being muddled over its own policies.

  118. Four years late?

    Labour MP Barry Sheerman says he welcomes the announcements for a Northern Powerhouse, but asks why it was only announced this year.

    To loud cheers form Labour MPs, Mr Sheerman asks where the Chancellor "has been for the last four years" implying that the announcement was made to try and cultivate goodwill ahead of the forthcoming general election.

  119. Chancellor's question session

    George Osborne
    Image caption: Chancellor George Osborne is answering questions from MPs in the chamber
  120. Welsh effect

    Chancellor George Osborne tells MPs that a new 'Northern Powerhouse' could have an impact in Wales.

    He adds that his "door is open" to any other city that wants to discuss getting an elected mayor to preside over regional issues, to replicate what has been announced in Manchester.

  121. Post update

    @EricPickles

    Communities Secretary Eric Pickles ‏tweets: PwC report on #TowerHamlets I will be giving the Govt response at 12:30

  122. Northern question

    Conservative MP David Jones gets questions under way asking the chancellor about the creation of a Northern Powerhouse.

  123. Post update

    Mark D'Arcy

    Parliamentary correspondent

    BBC's Mark D'Arcy tweets: Rare event in Lords this PM - move to block Govt's Social Action Responsibility & Heroism Bill at 2nd Reading - from fmer Law Lord Ld Lloyd

    Last time I remember a Lds amdt to deny a Govt Bill its 2nd Reading was the Late Bns Young on age of consent.....in late '90s. #Heroism Bill

  124. Question session

    Before all that MPs will put questions to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and his ministerial team.

    A large number of questions have been tabled on the plans to create a 'Northern powerhouse' between Manchester and Leeds, so expect a lot of debate on George Osborne's recently announced plans to give Greater Manchester an elected mayor to preside over regional issues.

    Other questions will focus on usual subjects such as taxation on pensions and the deficit.

  125. Main business of the day

    Today's main business is the final stages of the Modern Slavery Bill in the House of Commons.

    The bill's programme motion - which sets out the expected timetable for its progress through Parliament - and third reading and report stage will all be debated in one session.

    The debate is expected to focus around a series of important amendments from the former Home Office minister Fiona Mactaggart, outlawing procuring sex for payment and creating a system to assist people out of prostitution - and to repeal section one of the Street Offences Act, which deals with soliciting.

  126. Good Morning

    Welcome to our live coverage of the Houses of Parliament. The day in the Commons is about to begin.

    Communities and Local Government Minister Eric Pickles is due to make a statement following publication of a report into allegations of Tower Hamlets voting fraud.

    Allegations were made in a BBC Panorama investigation that directly-elected mayor Lutfur Rahman diverted charity money for political support. Mr Rahman has denied all allegations of electoral malpractice.

    Following this, Conservative MP Fiona Bruce has a ten minute rule bill to outlaw sex-selective abortion.