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Summary

  1. The Commons began at 14.30 GMT with questions to the Communities and Local Government ministerial team.
  2. There were two urgent questions: on the role of UK forces in Iraq and on the talks in Northern Ireland.
  3. There was a debate on a motion relating to the Firefighters' Pension Scheme and then discussion of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill.
  4. The adjournment debate was on housing development in north Somerset.
  5. Peers also sat at 14.30 GMT and after the introduction of a new peer, they turned their attention to oral questions.
  6. The main business of the day was the Social Action, Responsibility and Heroism Bill at report stage.
  7. There was also a short debate on the report of the European Union Committee on the Role of National Parliaments in the EU.

Live Reporting

By Aiden James and Eleanor Gruffydd-Jones

All times stated are UK

  1. Good night from the Commons

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    And that's the end of business in the House of Commons for today.

    Join us tomorrow from 11.30 GMT for debates including further consideration of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill.

  2. Fox attacks housing plans

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Liam Fox tells MPs that proposals for more housing in Somerset would encroach on flood zones and threaten areas of outstanding natural beauty.

    He calls for building to be focused on brownfield sites.

    Liam Fox
  3. Adjournment debate

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    That's the end of the second day of detailed scrutiny of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill. MPs will return to the bill tomorrow.

    Tonight's final business is the adjournment debate.

    Conservative MP Liam Fox is speaking about housing development in North Somerset.

  4. 'Excessive power'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Labour MP David Winnick claims that, if the home secretary is to have the ability to order the seizure of passports, "excessive powers are being given without any form of legal redress".

    Theresa May tells him that the process will be subject to judicial review.

  5. 'Don't go to Syria'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Summing up for the government in the debate on temporary exclusion orders, Theresa May urges anyone considering travelling to Syria for idealistic or ideological reasons not to go to the country.

    "There are better ways of helping the people of Syria than actually going out there" and possibly losing your life, she says.

  6. 'Targeted action'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Green Party MP Caroline Lucas argues that it is better to have terror suspects in the UK where they can be monitored, rather than excluding them from the country.

    "Surely we want suspected terrorists close at hand so we can take targeted action against them," she says.

  7. Goodnight from the Lords

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    The House of Lords has finished for the day.

    Peers return tomorrow for questions to ministers and debates including consideration of the Taxation of Pensions Bill.

  8. 'Level of secrecy'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Conservative MP and former shadow home secretary David Davis says he is concerned about the power to impose temporary exclusion orders resting with the home secretary.

    He says there is a risk of "a level of secrecy" and "a low level of accountability".

    David Davis
  9. Temporary exclusion orders

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Home Secretary Theresa May is opening a debate on temporary exclusion orders.

    This part of the bill would give ministers the power to disrupt and control the return to the UK of a British citizen reasonably suspected of involvement in terrorist activity abroad.

    She insists that "no one will be made stateless" under the proposal, with UK citizens allowed to return "on our terms, and that could quite possibly be in the company of a police officer".

    Theresa May
  10. Second defeat for Labour

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    The Labour amendment is defeated by 79 votes, with 222 MPs in favour and 301 against.

  11. 'Sunset clause' defeated

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Labour's "sunset clause" amendment is defeated by 301 votes to 220 - a government majority of 81.

    MPs are now voting on another Labour amendment, which would allow a person who has had their travel document removed to appeal against the decision in the courts.

  12. EU debate

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Over in the House of Lords, peers are taking part in their final debate of the day, on the role of national parliaments in the European Union.

  13. Division called

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    MPs are voting on a Labour amendment to require powers to seize and retain suspects' passports to be reviewed after two years.

  14. 'Lack of intent'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Opposing Labour's proposed sunset clause, James Brokenshire argues that it would "send an inadvertent message to would-be jihadists about our lack of intent".

  15. 'Effective' measure

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Home Office Minister James Brokenshire says that border authorities would have the power to seize a passport or travel document and retain it for up to 14 days.

    He argues it is an "effective way to disrupt terrorist activity".

  16. Passport seizures

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    MPs are debating amendments relating to clause 1 of the Counter-Terrorism Bill, which would allow for the seizure of passports from people suspected of involvement in terrorism.

    Labour has proposed that a "sunset clause" be put on the powers, requiring a vote in Parliament to allow them to continue beyond December 2016.

    Meanwhile, Green Party MP Caroline Lucas has proposed amendments to remove the powers from the bill entirely.

  17. Counter-Terrorism Bill

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    MPs are now giving the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill detailed consideration, in the second day of committee stage.

    Opening the debate, shadow Home Office minister David Hanson expresses his condolences "for those who have died" in the Sydney siege.

  18. Labour defeated

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Labour's motion is defeated by 313 votes to 262 - a government majority of 52.

  19. Commons division

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    The Commons divides to vote on a Labour motion to revoke changes made to firefighters' pensions.

  20. MP's doubt

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Conservative MP Peter Bone says he is unsure "which way to vote" on the firefighter's pension regulations.

    "Firefighters are genuinely worried" about losing pension benefits after the age of 55, he says.

    Peter Bone
  21. Closing question

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Home Affairs Committee chair Keith Vaz asks the home secretary about her appearance on the BBC programme Desert Island Discs: and asks what she would like her legacy to be.

    She replies that she would like to see the Home Office as no longer the story - but says she has some way to go to achieve that ambition.

  22. FBU claims

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Officials from the Fire Brigades Union have said that under the government's proposals, firefighters will have to work until they are 60 instead of 55, pay more into their pensions and get less in retirement.

    The proposals will leave firefighters at risk of dismissal as their fitness declines into their 50s, the FBU said.

    The union has held a series of strikes during the dispute.

    Last month, Penny Mordaunt said strike action was "unnecessary" as nearly three quarters of firefighters will see no change in their pension age in 2015.

  23. Government 'divided'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Communities minister Penny Mordaunt says it is "vital" that the pension regulations stand.

    But Labour MP Kate Hoey claims the government is "divided" and urges Conservative MPs to rebel against their party whips.

    "Someone, somewhere stopped the negotiations continuing," she claims.

  24. Home Affairs Committee continues

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Statistics released on 27 November showed that net migration to the UK rose to 260,000 in the year to June, an increase of 78,000 in net immigration on the previous year.

    Net migration is now 16,000 higher than it was when the coalition government was formed in 2010.

    David Cameron has said he hoped to get net migration below 100,000 before the election in 2015.

  25. Post update

    @timloughton

    Tory MP Tim Loughton tweets: Home Secretary currently in front of HA Select Comm gives strong indication child abuse inquiry will need statutory powers as I called for

  26. 'Blown off course'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    The committee moves onto the topic of immigration. Mrs May admits that the Home Office has been "blown off course" in failing to reach immigration targets.

  27. Broad search

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Labour MP Yasmin Qureshi appeals to Mrs May to "look outside the traditional box" in the search for a new chair in order to find someone "victims have utmost confidence in".

    The home secretary acknowledges that the search will be broad, and will consider candidates from overseas.

  28. Previous chairs

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Former chair Fiona Woolf resigned in November saying that the victims involved had no confidence in her as she faced pressure over her link to former home secretary Lord Brittain, who handled the abuse claims in the 1980s.

    Mrs Woolf disclosed that she was socially acquainted with Lord Brittain but that he was not a "close associate". Lord Britain denies any wrongdoing in the handling of a "dossier" on alleged paedophiles.

    Her predecessor, Baroness Butler-Sloss, stood down because her brother was attorney general during the 1980s.

  29. 'Order!'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    "Members must not waste time by jeering and laughing!" the deputy speaker says.

    Eleanor Laing
  30. Approval needed

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    The new candidate will have to be approved by MPs before taking up the role of chairman of the inquiry.

  31. Parties draw battle lines

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Shadow communities secretary Hilary Benn claims the government has based its pensions proposals on a "flawed" standard of firefighters' fitness levels.

    Minister Penny Mordaunt claims the new scheme "improves considerably" on a scheme introduced in 2006 by Labour, and says the government has consulted on the plans.

    Both frontbenchers' comments provoke noisy reactions from MPs, and Deputy Speaker Eleanor Laing intervenes to restore order.

  32. Consulting victims

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    The home secretary outlined plans to consult victims before appointing a new chair for the child abuse inquiry and confirmed the inquiry will continue whilst a new chairman is being sought and appointed.

    The inquiry was set up to look at how public institutions handled child sex abuse claims from the 1970s onwards, after claims were made about paedophiles in powerful positions and alleged establishment attempts to cover their actions.

  33. UK reputation

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Paul Flynn
    Image caption: Labour MP Paul Flynn raises his concerns that the Feinstein report "degrades our reputation as allies of the United States".
  34. 'Why not England?'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Shadow communities secretary Hilary Benn says Labour recognises that retirement ages may have to rise to fund pensions.

    He raises concerns about reduced pensions which could be paid to firefighters who retire early.

    He claims that lower reductions are planned in Scotland and Wales, and asks: "Why not in England?"

    North Down MP Sylvia Hermon intervenes to say that a satisfactory deal had been reached in Northern Ireland, avoiding industrial action.

  35. 'Brutal methods'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    The US Senate Intelligence Committee recently released its report of CIA interrogation methods post-9/11, branding their methods them as both brutal and ineffective.

  36. Firefighters' pensions debate

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Urgent questions are over and the House is now considering a Labour motion to revoke the Firefighters' Pension Scheme (England) Regulations 2014.

  37. Sinn Fein 'deluded'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    DUP MP Sammy Wilson claims that Sinn Fein are "deluded" in believing that Northern Ireland can be exempt from UK budget cuts.

    Theresa Villiers insists there will be no more money for welfare.

    Sammy Wilson
  38. Devolution at stake

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Alliance MP Naomi Long says more than the devolution of corporation tax is at stake - it is devolution itself.

    "Without a budget the assembly simply cannot function," she adds.

  39. CIA report

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    MPs are now asking Ms May on the release of the Feinstein Report on the CIA interrogation methods.

  40. 'Not walked away'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Theresa Villiers insists that "the prime minister has not walked away" from efforts to reach a deal.

    Northern Ireland's first and deputy first ministers have joined other UK leaders for talks with David Cameron in Downing Street today.

    Talks aimed as resolving the political deadlock in Northern Ireland are due to resume this week.

    Like Mr Cameron, Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny left Northern Ireland without securing a deal.

  41. Norman Baker's reasons

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Liberal Democrat Norman Baker resigned from his ministerial post in the Home Office in November, accusing Mrs May and other Conservatives of failing to work across party lines.

    David Cameron defended Mrs May, saying that she has has been "outstanding" Home Secretary and an ''incredibly effective minister and administrator".

  42. 'Surprise' at ministerial resignation

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    The first issue on the agenda is the resignation of former minister Norman Baker from his post in the Home Office.

    The home secretary expresses "surprise" at his resignation, describing him as a "diligent" member of her ministerial team.

  43. 'Political paralysis'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Another former Northern Ireland Secretary, Labour's Peter Hain, says he is concerned that Prime Minister David Cameron left the talks early.

    Mr Cameron flew to Belfast last Thursday for all-party talks but left on Friday morning without a deal.

    Mr Hain, who took part in talks alongside Tony Blair, says a prime minister has to "coax" negotiations along.

    If he "walks away", he leaves "political paralysis", Mr Hain adds.

    Peter Hain
  44. Questioning the Home Secretary

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Home Affairs Committee
    Image caption: And so the questioning of the home secretary begins...
  45. 'Enormous significance'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Conservative MP and former Northern Ireland Secretary Owen Patterson says the proposed devolution of corporation tax to Northern Ireland is of "enormous significance".

    "We really are in the final hours," he claims and warns: "If the local parties blow this opportunity they deserve to have future generations descend upon them."

  46. Theresa May session

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    The Home Affairs Committee holds evidence sessions with the home secretary every few months on the work of the Home Office.

    The ongoing hunt for a new chair of Independent Panel Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse is expected to come up, as well as migrant camps based in Calais and new developments in policing.

    The committee will also hear evidence on the government's counter-terrorism measures including British fighters in Syria, the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill and the CIA's detention and interrogation programme.

  47. 'Collective disengagement'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Ivan Lewis says there is a risk that Christmas could be "a season of entrenched mistrust" in Northern Ireland.

    He alleges the current crisis followed "three years of collective disengagement by the UK government".

    This is "most emphatically not true", Mrs Villiers claims.

  48. Post update

    @julianhuppert

    Lib Dem MP Julian Huppert ‏tweets: At @CommonsHomeAffs for our special session with the Home Secretary. What would you ask her? #fb

  49. New hearing

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    We are about to move away from the Lords for now - and head over to the select committee rooms where Home Secretary Theresa May is being quizzed by MPs.

  50. Northern Ireland talks

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers tells the House that talks began in October and involved the government of the Republic of Ireland.

    She adds that "all five" parties in the Northern Ireland Executive aim to reach an agreement.

    Northern Ireland's devolved government is run by a power-sharing executive comprising the Democratic Unionist Party, Sinn Fein, the Ulster Unionist Party, the Social Democratic and Labour Party and the Alliance Party.

  51. Peers voting

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Division! Peers are voting on Lord Lloyd of Berwick's amendment to remove Clause 2 from the Social Action, Responsibility and Heroism Bill.

  52. Northern Ireland urgent question

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    MPS now move on to the second of today's urgent questions.

    Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary Ivan Lewis asks for an update on the recent all-party talks in Northern Ireland.

  53. Iraqi army 'crumbled'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    DUP MP Sammy Wilson says: "Before we left Iraq, we did train the Iraqi army."

    Despite this, he adds, "they crumbled in the face of ISIS".

    Michael Fallon said the Iraqi army has not commanded the support of many communities in Iraq, but he believes the country's new government "understands the need to be wholly inclusive".

  54. Government defence

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Lord Faulks
    Image caption: Lord Faulks defends Clause 2 on behalf of the government.
  55. 'Mission creep'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    SNP defence spokesman Angus Robertson cautions against "mission creep" in Iraq and asks whether "forward air controllers" are on the ground in Iraq directing air strikes.

  56. Shadow minister's question

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Shadow defence secretary Vernon Coaker asked this urgent question in the Commons.

    Vernon Coaker
  57. UK involvement in Iraq

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    RAF aircraft have been flying missions over Iraq and carrying out air strikes against Islamic State targets since Parliament approved military action on 26 September.

    British aircraft had flown a "huge number" of missions "second only to the United States, five times as many as France", Mr Fallon told the Telegraph.

    "Our role now, apart from the air strikes, is increasingly going to be on training," he said.

  58. Stages of the bill

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    The report stage is an opportunity to consider further amendments following committee stage, and if passed, the legislation moves on to a third reading.

  59. 'Reconciliation'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Conservative MP Rory Stewart, who chairs the Commons Defence Committee, calls on the government to examine the "role of the Shia militia and the Sunni tribes" and to try to "drive" reconciliation in Iraq.

    Michael Fallon says he wants the Iraqi government to "demonstrate that it is inclusive".

  60. Who supports the bill?

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    The bill has been welcomed by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) and British Safety Council, but opposed by the TUC over concerns about potential adverse effects for employees injured at work.

  61. Civil law

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    The Social Action Bill would only apply in England and Wales, as civil law in Scotland and Northern Ireland is devolved.

  62. 'Properly protected'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Michael Fallon says the government will ensure "any training that we do provide is properly protected, even though it's well away from the front line".

    Anything that UK troops do in Iraq will be "at the request of the Iraqi government", he insists.

  63. 'No decisions'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Mr Fallon repeats that "no decisions on troop numbers, units or locations have been made".

    About 50 UK troops are already training Iraqi and Kurdish forces fighting Islamic State militants in Iraq.

    Mr Coaker says that MPs would be dismayed that the defence secretary "told a Sunday newspaper" before the House of Commons.

    He asks if the troops deployed will be "solely under UK command".

  64. Post update

    @naomi_long

    Naomi Long MP tweets: Urgent questions on UK Forces in Iraq and NI Peace Negotiations in House of Commons now.

  65. Protection of the public?

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Under the bill, courts would have to consider whether actions were taken "for the benefit of society or any of its members", if someone demonstrated a "generally responsible" approach to protecting the safety of others; or if a person was acting "heroically" by intervening to assist an individual in danger.

  66. Iraq urgent question

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Shadow defence secretary Vernon Coaker has tabled an urgent question on armed forces in Iraq.

    It follows an announcement at the weekend that hundreds of British troops will be sent to Iraq in the New Year.

    Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said the fresh troop deployment would be made in January and would be to four training centres that US forces are establishing.

    The Ministry of Defence said the move had not yet been formally approved.

  67. The bill's aims

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    The Social Action, Responsibility and Heroism Bill is one of a number of government initiatives aimed to tackle the perception of a "compensation culture", which, among other things, may deter people from volunteering or getting involved in community activity.

  68. Pensions row

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Labour has tabled a debate on firefighters' pensions, to take place later today.

    Firefighters across England have staged strikes as part of a long-running row over pensions, including a one-day strike last week.

    Fire Brigades Union (FBU) officials say that under government proposals, firefighters will have to work until they are 60 instead of 55, pay more into their pensions and get less in retirement.

    The plans will leave firefighters at risk of dismissal as their fitness declines into their 50s, the FBU said.

  69. 'Publicity exercise'

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Lord Lloyd of Berwick

    Lord Lloyd of Berwick's amendment would leave out Clause 2 of the bill, which obliges a court to consider whether a person was acting for the benefit of society in cases of negligence and breaches of statutory duty.

    Lord Lloyd criticises the clause in the bill as "nothing but a publicity exercise" from the government.

  70. Firefighters' pensions

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Labour MP Jim Fitzpatrick asks how many firefighters will retire early on medical grounds with a reduced pension after the introduction of the new Firefighters' Pension Scheme.

    Minister Penny Mordaunt says: "Any firefighter who retires early on medical grounds due to being permanently unable to undertake their role will be entitled to take their pension without a reduction."

    She claims the new pension rules will mean a better deal than under an alternative proposed by the Fire Brigades Union.

    Mr Fitzpatrick claims "two thirds of firefighters will not make the cut" according to Dr Tony Williams, who was appointed by the government to assess the regulations.

  71. What's the bill?

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    The bill faces amendments from Labour's Lord Beecham and the former law lord Lord Lloyd which, taken together, delete the main clauses of the bill.

  72. Social Action Bill

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Oral questions are done for the day so peers now move onto the report stage debate of the Social Action, Responsibility and Heroism Bill.

  73. Post update

    @LibDemLords

    Lib Dem Lords tweets: Jonathan Marks asks Govt if they have considered that a serving Judge for the chair of child sexual abuse inquiry #LordsQs

  74. Coming up

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Home Secretary Theresa May is due to appear in front of the Home Affairs Committee at 4.30pm to discuss the appointment of a new chair.

  75. Final question

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Final oral question of the day - on appointing a new chair for the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse.

    Lord Bates is answering this question from Lord Marks of Henley-on-Thames on behalf of the government.

  76. Parking charges

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Eric Pickles says the government is bringing forward measures to address parking charges by local authorities, including a requirement to consider local businesses.

    He is answering a question from Conservative MP Nick de Bois who is calling for action to "stop unfair parking enforcement practices".

    Eric Pickles
  77. Arts and culture

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    The Earl of Clancarty
    Image caption: This question has been tabled by the Earl of Clancarty
  78. Third question

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Culture Minister Lord Gardiner of Kimble is answering on behalf of the government, on the question of devolution on arts and culture in the UK.

  79. 'Bad deal'

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    The Higher Education Commission's report expressed concerns of creating "a system where everybody feels like they are getting a bad deal".

    The report says that the government is writing off student debt as opposed to directly investing in teaching grants.

  80. Student debt

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    The Higher Education Commission published its latest report on funding high education on 18 November.

    It warns that although students are paying more for their student loans, the government is still writing off high levels of student debt.

  81. 'Shockingly complacent'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Shadow communities minister Andy Sawford says the minister has given a "shockingly complacent response" to the findings of the National Audit Office.

    "Does the minister have a clue about the real impact of his massive cuts to local government?" he asks.

    Kris Hopkins says he is "confident that local authorities will continue to deliver high quality services".

    Andy Sawford
  82. NHS questiosn

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Shadow health minister Lord Hunt of Kings Heath is speaking on behalf of the opposition.

  83. Report on local authorities

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    The NAO report, published in November, concluded: "Local authorities have coped well with reductions in government funding, but some groups of authorities are showing clear signs of financial stress.

    "The Department for Communities and Local Government has a limited understanding of authorities' financial sustainability and the impacts of funding cuts on services, according to the National Audit Office."

  84. NHS staff

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Statistics from the Health and Social Care Information Centre show 11% of NHS staff are not British and 2.1% of NHS staff have trained in South Africa.

  85. Oral questions

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Peers have moved onto oral questions. First up - Lord Fowler is asking Health Minister Earl Howe a question on the numbers of NHS medical staff trained in Africa.

  86. Post update

    @MaeveSherlock

    Labour peer Maeve Sherlock ‏tweets: Welcome to the Bishop of Southwark who has just been introduced into the Lords.

  87. 'Wholesale review'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    A number of MPs have tabled questions on a National Audit Office report entitled Financial Sustainability of Local Authorities 2014.

    Minister Kris Hopkins says every government department has to "do its bit" to reduce the deficit, which he blames on the last Labour government.

    Liberal Democrat John Pugh says that both the Conservatives and Labour plan to cut spending and asks: "Is it not time for a wholesale review of local authority finance?"

  88. Place on the bench

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Christopher Chessun's past work has included the role of Chaplain at St Paul's Cathedral in London.

    In 2005 Christopher Chessun was ordained to the episcopate and became the Bishop of Woolwich.

  89. New peer

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Christopher Chessun is being introduced to the House as the Bishop of Southwark.

  90. First question

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    The first question in the Commons is from Lib Dem MP Sir Nick Harvey, on the future of local welfare assistance schemes.

  91. Local government questions

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    The Commons is about to begin with questions to the Communities and Local Government Secretary, Eric Pickles, and his team of ministers.

    Topics will include local welfare assistance schemes, the financial sustainability of local authorities and building new homes.

  92. In the Lords

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Coming up in the Lords - the introduction of the Lord Bishop of Southwark, followed by oral questions on training NHS staff, the effect of devolution on the arts and a new chair of the independent child sex abuse inquiry.

    Peers then debate the Social Action, Responsibility and Heroism Bill at report stage and two urgent questions from the Commons are being repeated - on UK troops and all-party talks in Northern Ireland.

    Today's business ends with a debate on a European Union Committee report on the role of National Parliaments in the European Union.

  93. Adjournment debate

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    The final business in the Commons tonight will be an adjournment debate led by Conservative MP Liam Fox, on housing development in North Somerset.

  94. Post update

    ‏@MikeGapes

    Labour MP Mike Gapes tweets: I'll be backing our brave #firefighters & @fbunational @LondonFire today by voting against Government's reckless pension changes

  95. Good afternoon

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Welcome to our live coverage of the final week of business in Parliament before the Christmas recess.

    The House of Commons kicks off at 14.30 GMT with communities and local government questions.

    Two urgent questions follow. The first is on the deployment of UK troops to Iraq, while the second concerns the recent all-party talks in Northern Ireland.

    MPs will then debate a motion from Labour leader Ed Miliband on the firefighters' pension scheme.

    This will be followed by the second day of committee stage consideration of the Counter-Terrorism Bill.