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Summary

  1. The Commons sat at 14.30 GMT and the first item of the day was work and pensions questions.
  2. Chair of the Home Affairs Committee Keith Vaz asked an urgent question on the death of Luke Somers and the safety of other British nationals in Yemen.
  3. The day's main business is the Infrastructure Bill at second reading.
  4. The final item of business at the end of the day was the adjournment debate: Conservative MP Charlotte Leslie discussed access to free cash withdrawals in less well-off communities.
  5. The Lords also began at 14.30 GMT when Lord Green of Deddington, the head of MirgationWatchUK, took his place as a new peer.
  6. Following that, peers took part in the oral questions session with Government ministers.
  7. Peers gave unanimous support to the Mutuals' Redeemable and Deferred Shares Bill at report stage.
  8. The Consumer Rights Bill completed its passage through the house of Lords. It now enters parliamentary ping pong and will be sent back to the House of Commons.
  9. Peers gave the Modern Slavery Bill its penultimate day of committee stage scrutiny.

Live Reporting

By Aiden James and Sam Francis

All times stated are UK

  1. Goodnight from the Commons

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    And that's the end of today's business at Westminster.

    Join us tomorrow from 11.30 GMT when the main business in the House of Commons will be the committee stage of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill.

  2. 'Good deal'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Treasury Minister Andrea Leadsom, responding for the government.

    "ATM customers generally get a good deal in the UK," she says, but concedes that some machines do charge in order to make providing a service "viable".

    The alternative could be a complete withdrawal of those services, she warns.

  3. 'Nothing short of a disgrace'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Charlotte Leslie says that over 300 areas lack access to free cash withdrawals.

    She says it is "nothing short of a disgrace" that customers are charged to access their own cash.

    Charlotte Leslie
  4. Adjournment debate

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Following the presentation of petitions, the final business today is the adjournment debate.

    Conservative MP Charlotte Leslie is speaking on access to free cash withdrawals in less well-off communities.

    Adjournment debates are short debates held at the end of a day's business, which an MP can use to bring constituency matters to the attention of ministers.

  5. Bill passes second reading

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    MPs pass the bill by 276 votes to 10 - a government majority of 266.

    The bill will now be considered by a committee of MPs, who are required to complete work by 15 January 2015.

  6. What is second reading?

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Second reading is an opportunity for MPs to debate the main principles of a bill.

    First reading is only a formality, in which the title of the bill is read out and there is no debate.

    If the Commons votes against the bill at second reading the legislation can progress no further.

    If the bill is passed at second reading the legislation moves on to committee stage for line-by-line scrutiny.

  7. Labour amendment defeated

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    MPs vote to reject Labour's amendment by 293 votes to 199 - a government majority of 94.

    The House now divides to vote on the second reading of the bill.

  8. Lords amendments

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    The Infrastructure Bill began in the House of Lords and had its third reading last month.

    The only amendments approved by peers were those introduced by the government.

    The amendments approved by the House of Lords included concessions to protect the public forests estate.

    The bill would have made it legal for the government to hand any public land to the Homes and Communities Agency.

    About 150,000 people signed a petition calling on ministers to rule out this move in the bill and were successful.

  9. Vote on amendment

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    MPs are voting on a Labour amendment which would deny a second reading to the Infrastructure Bill and stop its journey through the Commons, effectively killing the bill.

  10. Call to reject Labour amendment

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Minister Stephen Williams describes the infrastructure Bill as "the greatest strategic revamp of infrastructure since Victorian times".

    He urges MPs to reject Labour's amendment.

    Stephen Williams
  11. Goodnight from the Lords

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    And that brings business in the House of Lords to an end.

    Peers will be back at the same time tomorrow to consider Commons' amendments to the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill.

    This is rather a big moment as the Lords have defeated the government four times - three times on judicial review and once on secure colleges - only for MPs to overturn those changes.

    Peers will now have to decide whether they accept the Commons amendments in lieu of their own.

    Things are building to a climax in the House of Commons though as MPs come to the end of their debate on the second reading of the Infrastructure Bill, so stay with us.

  12. More measures in the bill

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    The Infrastructure Bill contains measures affecting the natural and the built environment.

    The bill would allow members of communities the right to buy stakes in local renewable electricity generation facilities.

    It introduces Species Control Orders to control invasive, non-native species that pose environmental threats.

    And construction firms will be able to offset the carbon emissions of new homes after they have been built.

  13. Amendments withdrawn

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Home Office Minister Lord Bates responds to the debate for the government. He tells peers that he holds the view, expressed by many peers, that those who "have suffered most should be considered most".

    Making psychological assessments of trafficking victims could lead to victims being forced into processes they do not want to, or are too fragile to, take part in.

    Turning to the Lord McColl's amendment, Lord Bates says current provisions under the bill mean that support can be provided for longer than the minimum 45 days, but does not become intrusive to victims.

    Peers seem suitably reassured and withdraw their amendments.

  14. 'No intention' to privatise

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Communities and Local Government Minister Stephen Williams is summing up on the Infrastructure Bill for the government.

    The bill would enable the Highways Agency to be turned from an executive agency into a government-owned company.

    Mr Williams insists that "there is no intention" to privatise the company.

    Pressed by Labour MP Helen Jones to give a "cast-iron guarantee", he says he can give one for the remainder of the current Parliament.

  15. Call to back Labour amendment

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Roberta Blackman-Woods says Labour would "promote growth" and "encourage development" and calls on MPs to back the opposition amendment which calls for a commission to set out infrastructure priorities.

  16. 'Unwanted' reorganisation

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Labour's Roberta Blackman-Woods says infrastructure investment has "slumped" in recent years and the government's Infrastructure Bill will not make up for that.

    She also expresses "complete bewilderment as to why a top-down reorganisation of the Highways Agency is being proposed".

    She links the plan to the government's reorganisation of the NHS in England through the Health and Social Care Act.

    "I would have thought that ministers opposite would have learned their lessons with regard to unwanted and unnecessary reorganisations," she says.

  17. 'Not victim-focused'

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Conservative peer Lord McColl of Dulwich says the Modern Slavery Bill as it currently stands is "not victim-focused".

    He tables an amendment to set out explicit "core principals" for identifying and supporting victims, rather than the "guidance" for public bodies contained in the bill as it stands.

    Under the amendment, assistance would not be "conditional on the willingness of the person to act as a witness, in any criminal proceedings; shall take due regard of the victim's need for safety and protection, including the opportunity to receive assistance from a person of the same gender and shall be provided to assist victims in their physical, psychological and social recovery".

    Under the amendment victims would be entitled to at least 90 days of support, rather than 45 days under the current bill.

  18. Summing up for Labour

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Shadow communities minister Roberta Blackman-Woods is closing the second reading debate for the opposition.

    Labour have responded to the bill by calling for more to be done to tackle youth unemployment and underemployment.

    Responding to the alterations of planning law in the Infrastructure Bill, Labour have highlighted a shortage of construction skills.

    Ms Blackman-Woods also argues that measures to combat climate change should not be diluted.

  19. Not won over to fracking

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Conservative MP Eric Ollerenshaw says he is concerned that a scheme for payments to residents close to fracking sites "is not defined" and the Infrastructure Bill does not appear to require ministers to put one in place.

    "I do not honestly believe that putting these kinds of clauses in this complicated bill will in any way win anybody over in my part of Lancashire," he argues, declaring that he cannot support that part of the bill.

    Minister John Hayes offers to meet him to discuss his concerns, though Mr Ollerenshaw adds that he is "still not convinced".

  20. Privatisation claim

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Labour MP John McDonnell says the proposed Strategic Highways Company is in fact a plan for privatisation.

    He foresees "the road network being sold off" and users having to pay tolls.

    Transport Minister John Hayes says Mr McDonnell is "fantasising".

  21. Post update

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Peers now turn to an amendment in the name of Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Hamwee, that would require all children suspected of being a victim of slavery or trafficking to be assessed psychologically during the investigation of the offence.

    The victims of slavery can be very damaged and very vulnerable, she tells peers.

    But even where this isn't the case a mandatory assessment would "help immensely", she adds, as trafficking and slavery victims are "so very unlike any others" and create so many complexities in legal proceedings.

  22. 'Zero carbon homes'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Liberal Democrat Sir Andrew Stunell says the Infrastructure Bill has "failed to be as ambitious as it could be" in moving towards "zero carbon homes".

    The former communities and local government minister successfully got his private members' bill on sustainable buildings through Parliament in 2004.

  23. Peer reassured

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Lord Patel withdraws his amendment after receiving assurances from Home Office Minister Lord Bates that all child victims of trafficking and slavery will be suitably protected under the Modern Slavery Bill's current child advocacy scheme.

  24. Labour support for children's advocates

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Labour's leader in the Lords, Baroness Royall of Blaisdon, backs an amendment to give the new specialist child trafficking advocates legal powers to compel local councils to provide services a child requires, act for the child in a legal capacity and instruct solicitors on the child's behalf.

    "I would urge the government to support this amendment, or something similar, to ensure advocates have legal powers and trafficked children are entitled to the support and protection they deserve," she says.

    Baroness Royall of Blaisdon
  25. 'Radical amendment'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Green Party MP Caroline Lucas argues that "without some fairly radical amendment, above all to take account of climate change", the Infrastructure Bill will fail to improve planning and infrastructure management.

    "This business-as-usual bill will lock the UK into high carbon, inefficient, polluting transport systems," she claims.

    She also accuses ministers of "simply not listening" to public concerns over fracking.

    Caroline Lucas
  26. Children's advocates

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Peers are debating a probing amendment tabled by Crossbench peer Lord Patel to provide all children separated from their parents with advocates to support them and represent them in legal proceedings.

    Under the Modern Slavery Bill a new children's advocate system will be established including the creation of specialist child trafficking advocates, but Lord Patel's amendment would widen the scope of the advocate scheme.

    So called "probing amendments" are normally used to get the minister to clarify provisions of a bill and outline the thinking behind them and are rarely pushed to a vote.

    Despite this Lord Patel, the former President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, says providing all "separated children" with legal advocates is "the only way to ensure all trafficked children" are provided with the support and help they need.

  27. Backing for fracking

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Conservative MP Peter Lilley, a member of the Energy and Climate Change Committee, gives his support for fracking.

    "Shale gas represents a tremendous opportunity," he says.

    "Either we'll reduce the energy bills of households or we'll reduce the tax bills of households," he adds.

    Peter Lilley
  28. Devolution call

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    SNP MP Mike Weir criticises the Infrastructure Bill's measures on onshore oil and gas extraction, arguing that the Smith Commission has recommended powers over licensing and mineral access rights be devolved.

    The commission, set up after Scotland's referendum to agree new powers for the Scottish Parliament, proposed devolution of rights over onshore oil and gas, such as shale gas.

    "It would be much simpler if all the powers over fracking were in one place," Mr Weir argues.

    The SNP, along with Plaid Cymru MPs, had tabled an amendment accusing the bill of impinging on devolved matters, but it was not selected for debate today by the Speaker.

  29. 'More control' for local people

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Labour MP John Mann, speaking in the second reading debate on the Infrastructure Bill, says he will back amendments to the bill "to give local people more control over the planning system when it comes to housing".

    He also argues that local people should have a say over whether fracking takes place in their area.

    John Mann
  30. Children forced into crime

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Home Office Minister Baroness Garden of Frognal is moving a series of government amendments that would create a statutory defence protecting child victims of slavery or trafficking who commit crimes as a direct result of their situation from being prosecuted.

    Despite current safeguards Baroness Garden tells peers that there is evidence victims forced into crime are still being prosecuted.

    It's vital that "genuine victims trapped by their circumstances can feel confident to come forward without the threat of being prosecuted" Baroness Garden says.

  31. Amendment withdrawn

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Lord Bates says Lord Warner's amendment risks jeopardising the "constructive and collaborative" relationship between the Home Office and the new commissioner, although he adds that the government remains open to considering all of Lord Warner's comments.

    Lord Warner agrees to withdraw the amendment, but advises the government to look again at giving the anti-slavery commissioner more "room to manoeuvre" with the Home Office.

  32. Right to report

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Peers are now debating a series of amendments tabled by Lord Warner designed to give the anti-slavery commissioner greater freedom from the Home Office and prevent it from delaying reports that are critical of the government.

    Lord Warner argues that as things stand, there are plenty of examples of "reports of other independent sources ... languish[ing] in government department in-trays".

  33. Amendments on the horizon

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Lord Bates indicates that the government will consider the peers' suggestions and may incorporate some aspects in a future draft of the bill - hinting especially strongly that crossbench peer Baroness Cox's amendment, requiring the anti-slavery commissioner to promote "best practice" in ending slavery across the world, might make it into the bill.

    Following these assurances form Lord Bates, Lord Warner withdraws his amendment.

    However, he warns the government that "the mood is very clear" in the House of Lords that the remit of the anti-slavery commissioner needs to be widened, and the "shackles of the Home Office need to be loosened", hinting that further amendments may be tabled at a later date.

  34. Noble effort

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Home Office Minister Lord Bates is now beginning his herculean task of responding to the debate for the government. A total of 27 amendments have been tabled by peers aiming to widen the role of the anti-slavery commissioner in some way.

  35. Shale gas role

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Conservative MP Charles Hendry says there is "a continuing role for gas in our energy mix".

    Shale gas could make up for "peaks and troughs" in renewable energy generation and would help ensure "security of supply".

    He adds: "Because new gas will be replacing dirty old coal, it also helps us in terms of reducing our carbon emissions."

    But he cautions that gas storage capacity needs to be increased in case shale gas extraction in the UK turns out not to be economically viable.

  36. Co-operation called for

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Victims' Commissioner for England and Wales, and Conservative peer, Baroness Newlove says her role will necessarily have some overlap with the work of anti-slavery commissioner, and calls for the government to mandate for co-operation between the two jobs.

    It is unclear though if her comments are meant as an endorsement of Labour's amendment tabled by Baroness Royall earlier. She tells peers she "doesn't care how" it happens as long as it happens.

    All new measures need to be built around the needs of victims of slavery and human trafficking, she adds.

    Victim's Commissioner Baroness Newlove
    Image caption: Victim's Commissioner Baroness Newlove tells peers she is keen to begin working with the anti-slavery commissioner
  37. People 'concerned' about fracking

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Helen Jones, Labour MP for Warrington North, says her constituents are "very concerned that there are not adequate safeguards" in the bill over fracking.

    She wonders if ministers are "not really serious" about regulation of the industry.

    Shadow transport minister Richard Burden says Labour will press for more regulation.

    Helen Jones
  38. Post update

    @neil_mp

    Conservative MP Neil Carmichael ‏tweets: Infrastructure Bill brings "Community Energy Right" for shared ownership of new onshore renewables if voluntary approach doesn't work.

  39. Commissioner post

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Under the bill, a new post of anti-slavery commissioner will be created to hold law enforcement and other organisations to account.

    In November 2013 the government announced the role will be filled by the former head of the Metropolitan Police's world renowned Human Trafficking Unit, Kevin Hyland.

    Mr Hyland will act as designate commissioner until the bill achieves Royal Assent.

  40. Independent anti-slavery commissioner urged

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Former Conservative Cabinet minister John Gummer, now Lord Deben, urges the government to legislate to make it clearer that the anti-slavery commissioner will be independent from the government.

    He tells peers this is not because he thinks "this home secretary or this commissioner will find it difficult to work together", but will allow the commissioner to develop independently, no matter what its working relationship with the government is in the future.

    A clearer division between the commissioner and government would also aid the fight against slavery globally, he argues.

    The government has been open in its wish for other countries to adopt an anti-slavery commissioner, he tells peers. Enshrining independence in the bill will ensure such commissioners will remain independent in countries who don't "carry with them the same cultural understanding of independence", he says.

  41. Labour amendment

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Shadow transport minister Richard Burden says the Infrastructure Bill "comes nowhere near" meeting the country's needs.

    Labour has tabled an amendment opposing the bill's further progress, claiming that it does not address a "deteriorating" road network and does not ensure sufficient safety standards for fracking projects.

    The amendment calls for "an independent National Infrastructure Commission to set out an evidence-based analysis of future infrastructure priorities in sectors including transport, waste and energy, and to hold governments accountable for delivery".

  42. How best to help victims of slavery

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Labour's leader in the House of Lords, Lady Royall of Blaisdon, tells peers Labour would like to see the role of the anti-slavery commissioner widened to allow it to encroach on the work of the Victim's Commissioner in order to best support victims of slavery and human trafficking.

    The circumstances of the victims of human trafficking and the nature of modern slavery - victims are often deprived of their home and country, identity documents and legal standing - are so different from victims of other crimes that a joint approach is needed, Baroness Royall argues.

  43. Post update

    @JonathanPlaid

    Plaid Cymru MP Jonathan Edwards tweets: Made case during infrastructure bill debate that powers over onshore oil and gas licensing should be devolved to Wales and Scotland

  44. Data on human trafficking

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    The former head of the inquiry into historical sex abuse, Baroness Butler-Sloss, tells peers the new anti-slavery commissioner should collect data on the victims of human trafficking and where they come from.

    Under the bill as it stands "there is nothing to show at the moment as to who will collect the data", she says.

  45. 'Bold' bill

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Transport Minister John Hayes says the Infrastructure Bill shows that the coalition could be "bold".

    He adds that the approval for Hinkley Point C nuclear power station is an example of such boldness.

    Last year the government gave the go-ahead for the UK's first new nuclear station in a generation.

    France's EDF Energy will lead a consortium, which includes Chinese investors, to build the plant in Somerset.

    However, critics have warned the guarantee given to the group, of a price for electricity at twice the current level, would raise bills.

  46. Role of anti-slavery commissioner

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Peers are debating a series of amendments tabled by Labour peer Lord Warner to widen the role of the proposed Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner- whose job it will be to oversee and co-ordinate law enforcement efforts, and ensure victims of slavery and trafficking receive compensation.

    The amendment reinstates the joint committee on the draft bill's definition of the commissioner's role, based on the work of similar offices in Holland and Finland.

    Under the proposals the commissioner will focus on the "Four Ps" of combating modern slavery: prevention, protection, prosecution, and partnership, Lord Warner says.

  47. What's the news?

    You Tube

    The BBC's Chris Mason has a quick summary of the afternoon lobby briefing. Take a look at it here.

  48. More on the bill

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Opening the debate, Transport Minister John Hayes tells MPs that the Infrastructure Bill is "both urgent and ambitious".

    The bill, which was included as part of the Queen's Speech, would enable the Highways Agency to be turned from an executive agency into a government-owned company.

    Applying for a development consent orders for building projects of national significance will be made simpler and faster.

    Dependant on consultation, the bill would mean developers could run shale gas pipelines under land without the owners' consent.

  49. Infrastructure Bill

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    MPs now move on to the second reading of the Infrastructure Bill.

    Speaker John Bercow announces that he has selected the Labour amendment which opposes the bill.

  50. Line-by-line examination

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Peers now turn their attention to the penultimate day of committee stage scrutiny - where peers go through the contents of a bill line by line - of the Modern Slavery Bill.

  51. Final stage finished

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Despite some controversy during its passage through the House of Lords, the Consumer Rights Bill passes its third reading, its final stage in the House of Lords, in around half an hour.

    Several peers, including Lord Moynihan - whose amendment to give consumers more protection from ticket touts was accepted into the bill at report stage - use the final chance to debate the bill to urge MPs to accept changes made to the bill in the House of Lords.

    The bill now enters what is known as parliamentary ping-pong and will return to the House of Commons to allow MPs to consider peers' amendments.

  52. Travel advice

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Tobias Ellwood says he is "unable to provide the House" with detailed intelligence information about the hostage situation involving Mr Somers.

    He adds that the Foreign Office now advises against all travel to Yemen and urges British nationals in the country to leave.

  53. Labour condemnation

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Shadow Foreign Office minister Gareth Thomas adds his condemnation of the murders of Luke Somers and Pierre Korkie.

    He asks the government what information there had been to indicate there was an imminent danger to Mr Somers, and what is being done to aid other UK citizens in Yemen.

  54. 'Civil war'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Keith Vaz, who was born in Yemen, says the country is on the edge of a civil war.

    He says the rescue attempt was "the right thing to do", adding: "There was a clear and present danger to Mr Somers."

  55. Death of hostages in Yemen

    Luke Somers, file pic
    Image caption: Luke Somers was abducted in Yemen in September 2013
  56. Luke Somers death

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Luke Somers was killed by al-Qaeda militants in Yemen during a failed rescue bid.

    The rescue operation was carried out by joint United States and Yemeni special forces in the southern Shabwa region.

    Luke Somers was being held by militants from al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), an off-shoot group of al-Qaeda.

    South African teacher Pierre Korkie also died during the same rescue operation.

  57. Urgent question

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Foreign Office Minister Tobias Ellwood is answering an urgent question tabled by Labour MP Keith Vaz, following the death of UK-born US photojournalist Luke Somers.

    "Hostage-taking is a uniquely traumatic and deplorable crime," Mr Ellwood says.

  58. Quick work

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Lord Naseby's Mutuals' Redeemable and Deferred Shares Bill receives its report stage on the nod and peers now move straight onto the third reading of the Consumer Rights Bill.

    Business Minister Baroness Neville Rolfe tables a series of technical government amendments she says are aimed at "tidying up the bill".

  59. Prisoner wellbeing

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Former Chief Inspector of Prisons Lord Ramsbotham says the effect of the "new way of working in prisons" has led to staff cuts and not enough work for prisoners to do, which he says impacts on prisoner wellbeing - leading to an increase in suicides - and potential employment when they are rehabilitated.

    When will ministers admit there is a crisis in the prisons, he asks.

    Justice Minister Lord Faulks says he does not recognise this "characterisation of prisons at all" and tells peers that the government has increased the number of working hours for prisoners and have a number of schemes in place to prevent the rate of suicides of prisoners increasing.

  60. Care for carers

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Former chief executive of Carers UK, Baroness Pitkeathley, said that the government has implied that the carers were not taking part in the development of the economy - she says carers contribute an estimated £119bn, and calls for the government to re-instate a pledge to alleviate the financial hardship of carers by 2018 - which was dropped by this government.

    Health Spokesman Baroness Jolly says that the government does not underestimate the value of carers and recognises Baroness Pitkelathly's figures on the subject.

  61. 'Dickensian'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Labour's Chris Bryant says: "The Conservative club in the Rhondda closed and is now a food bank."

    He suggests that the number of people in work relying on food banks is a "Dickensian" situation.

    "We've got more people in jobs than ever before," Work and Pensions Minister Esther McVey responds.

  62. Helping residents

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Conservative peer of Baroness Gardner of Parkes says that proposed changes to letting legislation contained in the Deregulation Bill - aimed at making it easier for London residents to let out their properties without having to apply for permission - could lead to greater abuse of properties by revellers taking up short term holiday lets.

    Communities and Local Government Minister Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon says there is already legislation to help people tackle anti-social tenants, even in short term rent.

  63. Personal independence payments

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Shadow minister for disabled people Kate Green says "disabled people are having to wait months for a decision" on their eligibility for personal independence payments.

    She urges ministers to "bring down the backlog".

    Mark Harper says his department is working with local authorities on the transition from the old disability living allowance.

    Kate Green
  64. Post update

    ‏@BarrySheerman

    Labour MP Barry Sheerman tweets: DWP ministers backs to the wall in Questions seem to have lost all will to defend their failed policies! @UKParliament

  65. Child poverty

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Shadow education minister Baroness Jones of Whitchurch gets the oral questions session underway, asking about the impact of child poverty on children's early years educational development.

    Baroness Jones says there is overwhelming evidence that links poverty with "poor education outcomes". Referencing a report by the Children's Commissioner she tells the House that since 2010 the governments' tax and welfare measures have widened the poverty gap, inevitably "damaging [the poorest children's] education and life chances".

    Education Minister Lord Nash says the best way to tackle poverty is to improve the economy. He says government changes now mean there are now 200,000 fewer households living in poverty and 400,000 fewer families living in workless households.

    Lord Nash adds that there are several government schemes aimed at eliminating poverty and tells peers that 85% of childcare costs are met through Universal Credit.

  66. Welfare payments and poverty - report findings

    MPs have been urged to "pay benefits faster", in a report.

    An income squeeze, benefit delays and excessive utility bills are blamed by a cross-party group of MPs for a huge rise in the use of food banks.

    The inquiry, by Conservative and Labour MPs and church leaders, says many families are one unexpected bill away from financial crisis.

    They urge quicker benefit payments, the extension of free school meals and a living wage to reduce hunger.

    Downing Street said it would consider the report "seriously".

  67. New peer

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Lord Green of Deddington
    Image caption: Chair of MigrationWatch, Lord Green of Deddington, is being introduced in the into the House of Lords where he will sit as a crossbencher.
  68. Introduction underway

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Black Rod
    Image caption: A smiling Black Rod gets business underway in the House of Lords. Black Rod, the head of security in the Lords, also has a role in the introduction of new peers.
  69. Food banks claim

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Labour MP Jim Cunningham asks if the government will make it policy to pay employment and support allowance during the period of mandatory reconsideration.

    Minister Mark Harper says there will be no change of policy.

    "The government must hold some kind of record for food banks in this country," Mr Cunningham claims.

  70. Zero-hours contracts

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Labour MP Gerry Sutcliffe asks how many of those in full-time jobs are on zero-hours contracts.

    Ms McVey claims only 2% of the workforce are on zero-hours contracts and the majority of new jobs are full-time and permanent.

  71. Numbers up

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Work and Pensions Minister Esther McVey tells MPs that the numbers in employment are up 600,000 in the last 12 months.

  72. Questions begin

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    The day in the Commons begins with questions to Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith and his team of ministers.

    Topics include the level of youth unemployment and the processing of personal independence payment applications.

    The first question is from Conservative MP Nigel Adams, asking for an estimate of the number of people in full-time employment in the last 12 months.

  73. Infrastructure Bill opposed

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    There are three amendments tabled ahead of the debate on the Infrastructure Bill opposing the bill's second reading, though the Speaker might not select them all for consideration.

    An amendment tabled by SNP and Plaid Cymru MPs argues that the measures in the bill allowing fracking beneath land without the consent of the owners impinges on powers which are devolved to the Scottish Parliament, while not allowing the Welsh Assembly to impose its own conditions.

    A Labour amendment raises a number of concerns over road-building and fracking, and accuses the government of failing "to strike the right balance between communities and developers in the discharge of planning conditions".

    Finally, Green MP Caroline Lucas has joined with Labour's Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell to oppose the bill, arguing that it is inconsistent with the government's obligations to cut carbon emissions.

  74. New peer

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    But before that founder of MigrationWatch UK, Sir Andrew Green, will be introduced in the House of Lords.

    Prime Minister David Cameron has been accused of hurrying through Sir Andrew's peerage in the face of Conservative worries about UKIP by Labour's leader in the House of Lords, Lady Royall of Blaisdon.

    Sir Andrew will take the title Lord Green of Deddington, and will sit as a crossbencher - i.e. becoming member with no party-political affiliation.

  75. Questions to ministers in the Lords

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    At round 14.40 GMT Peers will hold their daily oral question session. Topics today will cover:

    • the impact of child poverty on children's early years educational development
    • enforcing planning and other regulations relating to short-term holiday lets
    • the financial contribution of unpaid carers to the national economy, and
    • the number of prisoners in England and Wales at work since 2010,
  76. Slavery bill

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    The last piece of legislation in the House of Lords will be the third day of committee stage scrutiny of the Modern Slavery Bill - where peers will be focusing on the clauses dealing with the proposed Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner and the protection of victims.

    Key issues include a child trafficking advocate, a statutory defence for trafficking, and a national referral mechanism.

  77. Consumer protection

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Then peers move onto the third reading of the Consumer Rights Bill - the government's attempt to make consumers better informed and protected when they buy goods, services or digital content by formalising in law the standards a consumer can expect when making a purchase.

    Peers have been unhappy with many of the measures contained in the bill but have so far failed to alter the bill. The government have seen off attempts to introduce measures such as opting-in to adult content online, outlawing charging of agents fees for tenants and controlling the timing of adverts for payday lenders.

    While amendments can still be tabled at third reading in the house of Lords - if the subject hasn't already been substantially debated and/or voted on - so one of these subjects crop up again for debate, but it is unlikely anything big will pass.

  78. Both houses

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    And our live coverage of the House of Lords is about to begin.

    Peers have a full day of legislation today as they scrutinise three bills, beginning with the report stage of Lord Naseby's private member's bill.

    The Mutuals' Redeemable and Deferred Shares Bill, which enjoys cross-party and business support, would create a legal framework for shares to be issued in a range of mutuals, helping them to raise additional funds without undermining their mutual purpose.

    Currently, mutuals can only raise capital from retained earnings or borrowing and do not have the flexibility to raise additional funds from their members or other external sources).

  79. Good afternoon

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Welcome to our live coverage from Westminster.

    The House of Commons will sit at 14.30 GMT, beginning with questions to work and pensions ministers.

    Then, Labour MP Keith Vaz, who chairs the Home Affairs Select Committee, will ask an urgent question about British nationals in Yemen. It follows the death of UK-born US journalist Luke Somers, who was killed by al-Qaeda militants in Yemen during a failed rescue bid.

    The main business is the second reading of the Infrastructure Bill. This is a contentious piece of legislation, with amendments tabled opposing its further progress through Parliament.