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Summary

  1. MPs met at 14.30 GMT for Work and Pensions questions; followed by the Armed Forces (Service Complaints and Financial Assistance) Bill completing its report stage and third reading.
  2. After that, MPs consider Lords' amendments to the Consumer Rights Bill.
  3. MPs approved the EU Commission's 2015 Work Programme; which was followed by a debate on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference.
  4. Peers also met at 14.30 GMT and after oral questions, considered the International Development (Official Development Assistance Target) Bill at third reading.
  5. This was followed by report stage of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill, and a debate on the awareness of Antiphospholipid Syndrome (APS) in the NHS.

Live Reporting

By Sam Francis and Aiden James

All times stated are UK

  1. Goodnight

    And that brings an end to today's proceedings in the Houses of Parliament.

    MPs will return at 11.30 GMT tomorrow for questions to the Chancellor George Osborne and his ministerial team.

    Peers will return at 14.30 GMT to debate the UK's influence in the world.

  2. Picture: Education Minister David Laws

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Education Minister David Laws
    Image caption: Education Minister David Laws is responding to the debate
  3. Adjournment debate

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    MPs now turn to today's final business, the adjournment debate, today led by led by the Conservative MP for Calder Valley Craig Whittaker on rebuilding of Todmorden and Calder High Schools.

    Both schools recently missed out on rebuild funding from the £2bn Priority Schools Building Programme II.

  4. Government response

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Tobias Ellwood

    Responding to the debate Foreign Office Minister Tobias Ellwood tells MPs that the government "remains deeply committed" to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

    The UK's aims for the upcoming 2015 Review Conference, held from 27 April to 22 May 2015 at UN Headquarters in New York, are to uphold the NPT "along with the web of regimes and controls that compliment it".

    And to "underline our commitment to a world without nuclear weapons", while maintaining a minimum and credible nuclear deterrent, he says.

  5. P5 Conference

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    The Non-Proliferation Treaty Nuclear Weapons States (P5) met in London on 4-5 February 2015 to review progress of commitments made at the NPT 2010 Conference.

    The joint statement issued by the P5 members - the People's Republic of China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States - can be read here.

  6. Labour response

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Shadow foreign office minister John Spellar tells MPs that "countries don't distrust each other because they are armed, but are armed because they distrust each other."

    Peace talks between agitating countries are needed if nuclear disarmament is to have any hope, he says, as "disarmament will proceed from confidence [that a country will not be attacked], and not the other way around.

  7. 'Punching above our weight' myth

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Labour's Paul Flynn accuses Dr Julian Lewis of "forgetting about the existence of the United States" and assuming the UK is the international "key player."

    "If there is an attack on the Baltic states, they wont come looking for us to defend them, they'll look to the United states", he says.

    Dr Lewis is buying into the myth UK must always "punch above its weight" - a "hangover form Victorian times" - that has led to the UK spending beyond its means, and dying beyond its responsibilities, he argues.

  8. Lessons from Ukraine

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Dr Julian Lewis

    Dr Lewis puts forward the argument that Crimea "would not have been land-grabbed" if Ukraine had kept some of its nuclear weapons.

    He calls on MPs top take lessons from Ukraine's "one-sided disarmament in return for unreliable and undeliverable guarantees from other countries."

  9. Not taking a 'blind bit of notice'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Conservative defence expert Dr Julian Lewis says he has "news" for people who argue that the UK cannot criticise other countries for obtaining nuclear weapons "if we persist in renewing ours."

    "Countries who are on the verge of obtaining nuclear weapons are not going to take a blind bit of notice of the likes of us", he says.

    "Countries acquire nuclear weapons when they do as a result of a hard-headed reading of their own strategic interests." he adds.

  10. 'Particular obligation'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Jeremy Corbyn

    Jeremy Corbyn argues that, as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council ,the UK has a "particular obligation" to "pledge towards a nuclear free future".

    If they do not work towards nuclear proliferation, then "who are we to criticise India and Pakistan for not making an agreement", he asks.

    "If we want a nuclear-free world - it is possible, we have a responsibility to play a role in that", he adds.

  11. Poor timing

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn complains that every time there is a Nuclear Proliferation Treaty review, there is a general election.

    He says this means ministers are often too busy to attend, and only some time after the general election are government representatives able to respond to the recommendations.

  12. Goodnight from peers

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    The short debate in the Lords is over and the House rises earlier than usual for a Monday.

    Peers will be back tomorrow from 14.30 GMT to put questions to ministers.

    There will also be debates on the UK's influence in the world and on the Mental Capacity Act.

    Stay with us tonight as MPs continue their debate on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

  13. Picture: Dame Margaret Beckett

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Labour MP and former foreign secretary Dame Margaret Beckett makes the opening speech in the debate.

    The 2015 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) will take place in April and May.

    Dame Margaret Beckett
  14. Non-Proliferation Treaty conference

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    MPs have passed the motion on the European Commission work programme, with the European Scrutiny Committee amendment.

    Now, Labour MP Dame Margaret Beckett is opening a debate on the forthcoming Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference.

  15. About APS

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS), also known as Hughes syndrome, affects the immune system, causing an increased risk of blood clots.

    People with APS are at risk of developing deep vein thrombosis or arterial thrombosis, which can cause strokes.

    One in six cases of deep vein thrombosis, strokes and heart attacks in people under 50 is caused by APS.

    No cure exists for APS, but early identification can reduce the risk of developing blood clots.

  16. Final debate

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Peers have made swift progress through a long list of amendments and the second day of report stage of the bill ends early.

    The final debate today is on a motion calling on the government to raise awareness of Antiphospholipid Syndrome (APS) amongst GPs and throughout the NHS.

  17. 'Parliament supreme'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Carrying on with the subject of free movement of citizens, Sir Bill tells MPs that "unless we [are] prepared to dig in and make this parliament supreme in the matters of such vital national interest we would not get the changes that [are] needed."

    Some of these changes require treaty change, while other require the overriding of charter of fundamental human rights, he argues, and this is "not on offer in any substantial way from other principal states " or EU institutions, no matter how it may "affect us as a small island with an increasing population."

    Bill Cash
  18. 'Regulation as bad as taxation'

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Conservative peer Lord Borwick introduces an amendment on access to the register of People with Significant Control.

    The bill would require a company to make its register "available for inspection" and Lord Borwick is proposing that anyone requesting the information must do so for a "proper purpose" which must the same as the reason given to the company for the original request.

    He attacks the requirement in the bill, which he claims will lead companies to waste money on lawyers, adding: "Regulation is as bad as taxation, often worse in fact as it is insidious and stealthy."

    It would be better to give firms a corporation tax cut, he suggests.

  19. 'Shockingly delayed'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Chair of the European Scrutiny Committee Sir Bill Cash explains why he has tabled his amendment to today's motion.

    He says it is "truly shocking that it took over a year for the government to bring forward a debate on the question of free movement of citizens when the document in question was recommended in January 2014 on a matter of enormous significance which had goes right to the heart of the European question."

    It is "inconceivable that this matter should be so shockingly delayed", he says.

  20. 'Remain to be seen'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Pat McFadden

    Shadow Europe minister Pat McFadden lends Labour's initial support to the measures.

    While Labour support the new priorities, he tells MPs "It will remain to be seen to if the commission delivers as it has promised, to meet real and urgent priorities and ensure the European Union works in the interest of its citizens over the next five years."

  21. 'Massive con trick'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Former Conservative cabinet minister John Redwood intervenes to argue that most of the 80 measures being withdrawn are "either obsolete or superseded by a measure already gone through or being withdrawn in favour of a more ambitious proposal."

    "It's complete nonsense to say [the European Union is] giving up power and wish to do less, this is a massive work programme and the 80 are a massive con trick."

  22. Minister tries to reassure

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Business Minister Baroness Neville-Rolfe attempts to reassure Lords Watson and Phillips that the bill's proposed register will be adequate and "an additional, bespoke report" is not needed.

    It works, as Lord Watson withdraws the amendments.

  23. European Scrutiny Committee report

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    The European Scrutiny Committee report on the programme can be found here.

  24. Work Programme

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Under the new programme the Commission proposes 23 new initiatives, which are intended to contribute to the ten priorities set out by President Juncker in his political guidelines - to make a difference on the big economic and social and for less EU interference.

    The Commission also plans to withdraw or modify 80 existing proposals, and proposes 79 actions under its Regulatory Fitness and Performance programme (REFIT).

    In comparison to the 2014 Work Programme, this programme contains fewer new initiatives (29 were proposed in 2014), more proposals for withdrawal or modification, and more REFIT actions.

  25. 'Does not help' small businesses

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Conservative peer Lord Forsyth of Drumlean opposes the amendments, arguing that the requirement "does not help the small businessman", who he says will be faced with "additional costs".

    Labour's Lord Watson, one of the proposers of the amendment, claims the amendments are aimed at bigger, international companies.

  26. Commission programme

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    The work programme, that MPs are being asked to vote on, sets out the actions the Commission intends to take over the next 12 months.

    Opening the debate, Europe Minister David Lidington tells MPs that under Jean-Claude Juncker, the commission intends to focus on a "smaller number of key priorities" and set limits on the level of interference from the commission "on matters that can be better handled at local level."

    To jeering from members of the European Scrutiny Committee, Mr Lidington says this is the first time he's been able to say "that the European commission intends to do things in a different fashion from how its work has been carried out in the past."

  27. 'Chain' of ownership

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Labour peer Lord Watson of Invergowrie and Liberal Democrat Lord Phillips of Sudbury have tabled amendments concerning the ownership register of "People with Significant Control".

    The amendments apply to control "exercised through a chain of legal entities" and would require "details of name, service address and jurisdiction of registration of all legal entities in the chain".

    Lord Phillips alleges that there are an "ever-increasing number of really shameful frauds which are conducted by the biggest and best companies and banks".

    Lord Phillips of Sudbury
  28. EU Commission motion

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    MPs now move to a motion to approve a European document on the EU Commission Work Programme 2015.

    Unusually, there's a cross-party amendment signed by members of the European Scrutiny Committee which calls for the government to encourage the Commission to develop policies on the free movement of peoples - an even more controversial issue.

    This is the latest manifestation of a festering complaint that the government has been far too slow to schedule debates on EU business referred to the Commons by the European Scrutiny Committee.

  29. Amendment accepted

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    MPs agree to accept the Lords amendment after a limited rebellion from Tory "awkward squad members" including Philip Davies. The amendment is accepted by 353 votes to 5, a government majority of 348.

  30. Register of ownership

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    The debate on the Small Business Bill leaves the pub and moves on to a Labour amendment to "establish a register of freehold estates and leases owned by or granted to people of significant control".

    Opposition spokesman Lord Mendelsohn says many offshore owners "hide ownership by creating UK holding entities".

    One of the bill's aims is to increase transparency regarding ownership and control of UK companies with a register of beneficial ownership.

  31. Sunset clause

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Philip Davies

    Music and sports organisers are "cock-a-hoop" about the proposed changes because they can use this new information to "blacklist" consumers who want to sell their tickets on for a profit and "stop that secondary ticket market from continuing", Philip Davies argues.

    He moves an amendment to introduce a "sunset clause" into the measures - meaning they would cease after two years - as no one knows "what impact this legislation will have", though he says he reckons it will "inevitably end in some sort of court case."

  32. 'Free market'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Conservative MP Philip Davies accuses the government of doing "a massive U-turn" of which the government should be "embarrassed."

    The current "free" secondary ticket market works "in the best interest of the consumer" by allowing them to make a profit if the tickets go up in price, he argues.

    Tabling an amendment that would require today's amendments to end two years after they are first introduced, he bemoans the fact that the Conservatives are being asked, as he sees it, "to give up on the free market."

  33. Secondary market criticism

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Websites such as Viagogo and Seatwave have long been criticised for allowing tickets for gigs, sporting events and theatre to go to touts, who then sell them on for inflated prices.

    The Conservative co-chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Ticket Abuse, Mike Weatherley, has previoulsy said: "It's been clear for a long time that this market is not working in the interest of genuine fans or the people who put in all the hard work and investment to put on live events. Anyone operating honestly has nothing to fear from these changes, but they will make a big difference for ordinary fans."

  34. Speaking for Labour

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Labour spokesman Lord Mendelsohn addresses peers from the opposition benches.

    Lord Mendelsohn
  35. Secondary tickets market reforms

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Jo Swinson

    Culture Minister Jo Swinson announces that the government will now accept the changes put forwards by peers to provide greater help in stamping out the sale of counterfeit tickets and speculative tickets sold on the secondary market.

    The new measures will ensure that fans buying tickets from reselling companies such as Viagogo, Stubhub and Seatwave will know the precise details of the ticket they are purchasing including "row, seat, face value, age restrictions, its original seller" - currently not legally required.

    Online ticketing market places will also be required to report illegal activity to the police and event organisers, she tells MPs.

    A full independent review into secondary ticket market will also be launched in the summer - to report next year - to look at further ways to reform the secondary ticket market.

  36. 'Kick his wishes into touch'

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Conservative peer Lord Hodgson has tabled an amendment to exempt franchise agreements from the requirement to offer a market rent only option.

    Labour's Lord Snape claims he has heard "a paean of praise for PubCos" from his Tory counterpart.

    He says he hopes the minister will "smother him with honeyed words but kick his wishes into touch".

  37. The power of the PubCos

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    The rise of the pub company or "PubCo" is largely thanks to the so-called Beer Orders, introduced in 1989.

    The orders decreed no brewer could own more than 2,000 pubs and was aimed at enabling small brewers to survive in a market then dominated by six large national firms: Allied, Bass, Courage, Grand Metropolitan, Scottish & Newcastle and Whitbread.

    However, the brewers, reluctant to open up their pubs to rival brewers' beers, instead created pub companies to which they sold their pubs.

    These pub companies were exempt from the Beer Orders legislation and as a result were able to own more pubs than the 2,000 originally decreed.

  38. Post update

    @SharonHodgsonMP

    Labour MP Sharon Hodgson tweets: Consideration of Lords amendments to Consumer Rights Bill underway in Commons now. At long last we will have some much needed transparency!

  39. From today's Public Accounts Committee

    Sean Curran

    Parliamentary correspondent, BBC News

    The chair of the Public Accounts Committee, Margaret Hodge, has called on Rona Fairhead to resign as chair of the BBC Trust.

    Ms Fairhead was giving evidence to the committee in her role as a non-executive director on the board of HSBC.

    Margaret Hodge told her: "I don't think that the record you've shown of your performance here as a guardian of HSBC gives me the confidence that you should be the guardian of the BBC licence fee payers' money.

    "I really do think that you should consider your position and you should think about resigning and if not, I think the government should sack you."

  40. Consumer Rights Bill

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    MPs now turn to the Consumer Rights Bill - where the main business is expected to be finding a workable compromise between MPs and peers requiring secondary ticketing operators to provide the name of the seller, the face value of the ticket, any age restrictions on the ticket, and details of the seat location.

  41. Post update

    @PickardJE

    Financial Times's Jim Pickard tweets: HSBC/PAC: Hodge going for TV clip asking Fairhead if she is "incredibly naive or totally incompetent" - says she should resign from BBC. ‏

  42. Third reading

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    The government amendments are accepted meaning all selected amendments have now been disposed of, and the House now moves onto third reading.

    The third reading is the final review of the contents of the bill - with debate limited to what is actually in the bill.

    Except on highly controversial bills, third reading debates tend to be quiet, valedictory affairs, so expect the front benches and concerned backbenchers to look back somewhat sentimentally at the bill's easy progress through the House.

  43. Another committee

    And over at the Public Accounts Committee, Margaret Hodge is questioning Rona Fairhead, independent non-executive director, at HSBC - and chair of the BBC Trust.

  44. What else is on?

    Elsewhere in Westminster, the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee is hearing from witnesses about post-election government and the implications of coalition forming. There's a long list of witnesses: fascinating stuff.

    Watch Political and Constitutional Reform Committee here.

  45. Labour amendment

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Peers are now considering a new clause to the bill, proposed by Labour, which would put in place regulations when an extension or referral of a rent assessment is granted in return for investment by a pub company.

    Requirements would include a definition and amount of investment and setting the maximum deferral period of the market rent only option at five years.

  46. Extended role

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    The government is now moving a series of amendments to accept changes put forward by MPs during the bill's committee stage to extend the role ombudsman so that:

    • the ombudsman can look at the "substance and the merits" of particular complaints, not just if it had been well handled, and
    • look for any maladministration that may have occurred outside of the particular requests it is looking at.

    Defence Minister Anna Soubry however says that the government has tweaked the wording of the amendments "so that the will of the committee actually has the effect the committee wanted".

  47. Pub tie amendments

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Lib Dem peer Lord Stoneham of Droxford has tabled an amendment which would strengthen a requirement on the pubs adjudicator to determine "the market rent of a tenancy or licence".

    He has also proposed an amendment to widen the definition of a "tied pub" but Baroness Neville-Rolfe argues that this could make the definition apply to pubs who use any tied service, not just alcohol supplies.

    "We must avoid inadvertently capturing free-of-tie pubs," the minister tells the House, which risks confusing the purpose of the regulations.

    Baroness Neville-Rolfe
  48. 'Reinforcing' independence

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Anna Soubry

    Defence Minister Anna Soubry argues that the bill as it stands will ensure that ombudsman will "carry out their role with impartiality".

    Removing the ombudsman from the military chain of command, placing the ombudsman's offices "outside the defence estate" and allowing the ombudsman to recruit their own staff will "reinforce their independence".

    She also points out that the Defence Committee will conduct a pre-appointment hearing of the government's preferred ombudsman candidate.

  49. Peers urged to back government

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Baroness Neville-Rolfe says the government's amendments on the market rent only option for pubs "meet the concerns of supporters" and calls on peers to back them.

  50. Post update

    @HouseofCommons

    House of Commons tweets: Later today MPs consider amendments made in @UKHouseofLords to the #ConsumerRightsBill. Find out more about the Bill .

  51. Post update

    @JustineGreening

    International Development Secretary Justine Greening tweets: Passage of 0.7% aid bill demonstrates UK leadership in addressing the world's most pressing problems @DFID_UK

  52. International Development Bill passes

    The Daily Telegraph

    The newspaper reports on the House of Lords passing the International Development Bill, enshrining in law the international development budget at 0.7% of national income on foreign aid.

    The paper reports:

    Britain will be forced to spend 0.7 per cent of national income on foreign aid after peers approved a new law committing the Government to spending billions on international development every year.

    Despite an ongoing row over Britain's failure to commit to spending two per cent of GDP on defence, the House of Lords, backed by the Lib Dems and Labour, has approved plans to enshrine foreign aid spending in law.

    Tory MPs condemned the move. Philip Davies, the MP for Shipley, said: "It is idiotic and unjustifiable to be spending more and more money on overseas aid when we are still borrowing so much money and have to make savings at home.

    "Putting it into law is gesture politics of the worst kind and no self-respecting Conservative could ever believe in being judged simply on the amount of money you spend on something."

  53. New Ombudsman

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    The bill will create a new watchdog to investigate the way bullying and abuse cases are dealt with in the armed forces, following warnings the current complaints system was failing, with some cases badly handled.

    Military personnel will be able to take complaints they believe have not been properly dealt with to an independent ombudsman, who will have the ability to overturn a decision to exclude a complaint.

    The reforms come after a coroner in the inquest of Cpl Anne-Marie Ellement, who was found hanged at her barracks, called for the Ministry of Defence to review its care for vulnerable soldiers.

  54. Ombudsman independence

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    First up, a series of probing amendments from the Defence Committee designed to find out the government's safeguards to ensure the independence of the new Service Complaints Ombudsman.

    Chair of the Defence Committee, Rory Stewart, moves a series of amendments which would require the ombudsman to have been out of the military for at least five years before taking the role and making the Ombudsman's tenure to be a "non-renewable term" - but tells MPs he will not be pushing the amendments to a vote.

  55. More about the Small Business Bill

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill aims to ensure that the red tape that affects small businesses is frequently reviewed to ensure regulations are either cut or remain effective, and to place that requirement into law.

    Small firms will be given fair access to government and other public sector contracts - and it will be made easier for them to expand overseas.

    The bill also aims to tackle abuses of the National Minimum Wage and zero-hours contracts.

    The bill applies mainly to England and Wales, with certain provisions also extending to Scotland and Northern Ireland.

  56. Armed Forces Bill

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    MPs now move to the report stage of the Armed Forces (Service Complaints and Financial Assistance) Bill, which seeks to introduce a new Service Complaints Ombudsman to deal with grievances in the armed services.

  57. Hard-Hearted Hannah

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Barry Sheerman

    In a bad tempered points of order session, Labour's Barry Sheerman attacks Esther McVey for "calling [him] a sexist" after he referred to her as a "hard-hearted Hannah" - a reference, he says, to an Ella Fitzgerald song - during the Work and Pension question session.

    Ms McVey says she made her comments because as Labour "have form" when it comes to misogyny against her, pointing to reports that Labour MP John McDonnell called on a crowd to "lynch the bitch" [referring to Ms McVey].

    Speaker John Bercow intervenes to calm tempers, calling on MPs to "try to preserve the courtesies as best we can" and thanks both MPs for their comments, before moving on.

  58. Pub code 'uncertainties'

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Conservative peer Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts says that campaign organisation Camra believes "a tide of money is ready to pour into the pub trade".

    However, he feels this is "far from the truth" as potential pub buyers will not wish "to take on the uncertainties of the pub code and adjudicator".

    This could lead to developers deciding to convert the pub to another use, he argues.

  59. Pubs campaign

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Liberal Democrat MP Greg Mulholland, one of the campaigners for the change, argued that the 400-year old tie system has been abused by the pub companies and that the basic deal - that a tied-pub tenant pays a lower rent to compensate for the higher beer price they pay - is no longer the case.

    Mr Mulholland - who chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Save the Pub Group - claims that the average tied rent is now higher than the rent paid by non-tied tenants meaning, he says, that tied tenants are "being overcharged twice".

    However, some analysts say that some pub owners will find it hard to manage the costs of paying market-rate rents and as a result more pubs will close and there will be even less competition on prices.

    Pint being pulled
  60. 'Worse off' under Universal Credit

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Rachel Reeves

    Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Rachel Reeves tells MPs that 2.8 million households will be worse off when Universal Credit is rolled out.

    Iain Duncan Smith replies that Universal Credit will benefit "the vast majority of claimants in this country", and criticises Ms Reeves for playing "cheap politics".

  61. 'Market rent only'

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    "The problems we are trying to address in the pubs industry have a long history," says Business, Innovation and Skills Minister Baroness Neville-Rolfe.

    The government has backed the "market rent only" option, which MPs added to the bill last year.

    The new rules mean that a tied tenant of a large pub company, one which owns more than 500 pubs, would be able to have the amount of rent they pay independently assessed. This would happen when a rent review is due, or if there was a sudden change in circumstances, such as a rival pub opening nearby offering cheaper prices.

    If they choose, the tied tenant could then instead choose a rent- only agreement.

  62. Topical questions

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    MPs now move to topical questions for the last 10 minutes of today's oral question session.

    During "topical questions" MPs can raise questions on any subject that comes under the work and pensions brief.

  63. Small Business Bill

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Peers are now considering the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill.

    This is the second day of report stage debate, in which peers give the bill detailed scrutiny and have the opportunity to table amendments.

    The first set of amendments concern the new pubs adjudicator.

    The government has said the adjudicator's role will be "address the imbalance in bargaining power between large pub owning companies and their tied tenants".

  64. Universal Credit roll out

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Chair of the Work and Pensions Committee, Dame Anne Begg, asks when a new piloted "digital" Universal Credit system will be rolled out across the UK as the original IT system "doesn't work".

    The government will be reporting on this pilot "as we go", Iain Duncan Smith tells MPs.

  65. Post update

    @KathPinnock

    Lib Dem peer Kath Pinnock ‏tweets: 2 Lib Dems - @PurvisTweed and @MichaelMooreBRS - have won 0.7% for Overseas Aid enshrined in legislation. Brilliant achievement!

  66. 'Time's up!'

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    After some noisy disagreement amongst peers, Leader of the House Baroness Stowell declares question time over.

    After approving some statutory instruments, peers pass Lord Purvis of Tweed's International Development (Official Development Assistance Target) Bill.

    This private members' bill would put into law a target of spending at least 0.7% of national income on aid.

  67. 'Thank you'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Iain Duncan Smith

    Labour MP Kelvin Hopkins asks Iain Duncan Smith to thank the previous Labour administration for keeping the UK out of the euro "which is the principle cause of the devastation of the Southern European members of the eurozone".

    Mr Duncan Smith says he is "very happy" to thank the Labour government but argues that the UK's "prosperity" is down to his government rather than simply staying out of the euro.

  68. Anyone for tennis?

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Conservative peer Lord Cormack suggests that instead of following the principle to "talk softly and carry a big stick", the UK is "using a megaphone and carrying a tennis racquet".

  69. Last question

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Conservative peer Lord Spicer asks the fourth and final question today, on the implications of the situation in Ukraine for UK defence policy.

    Lord Spicer argues that the UK should "raise our guard" and increase spending.

    Answering, Defence Minister Lord Astor of Hever says the UK has the highest defence spending in the EU and second-highest in Nato.

  70. Blocking bill

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Liberal Democrat MP Greg Mulholland attacks the government for "blocking" the Affordable Homes Bill, tabled by his Liberal Democrat colleague Andrew George.

    The bill would mean people who could not be found a smaller home would be exempt from the under-occupancy penalty - also known as the bedroom tax - as well as disabled people who need a spare bedroom or who have adapted homes.

    Work and Pensions Minister Mark Harper tells MPs that the estimated cost of the bill is £1,000m, and asks Mr Mulholland to highlight which "other benefits are going to be cut to keep us inside the benefit cap".

  71. Today in the Lords

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Once questions are over, the main business in the Lords today is the second day of report stage debate on the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill.

    There will also be a short debate on raising awareness of the autoimmune condition Antiphospholipid Syndrome (APS), which can cause dangerous blood clots.

  72. Picture: Baroness Kinnock

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Labour peer Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead puts a question to ministers.

    Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead
  73. About the UN goals

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Gender parity in education was one of the UN Millennium Development Goals, which were agreed in 2000.

    Millennium Development Goals (MDG) included pledges to eradicate extreme poverty, hunger and disease.

    The MDGs included pledges to provide universal primary education and reduce infant mortality, to promote gender equality and improve maternal health.

    The current set of eight UN Millennium Development Goals are due to expire in 2015.

  74. Post update

    @NJav

    Campaigner Nadeem Javaid ‏tweets: Off to Parliament to get the final outcome of the 0.7% UK Aid Bill. This could be historic #TurnUpSaveLives @IslamicReliefUK

  75. 'Yellow card'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Labour MP Frank Field calls for a new "yellow card" first warning system for benefit sanctions to allow claimants time to "make their case" against sanctions that are being imposed on them, often unfairly.

    He says that the level of sanctions applied is now "greater than all of the fines imposed by magistrates courts [in the UK]."

  76. Third question

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead asks for the government's assessment of progress made towards meeting the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls.

  77. Detecting gender-based violence

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    The second question in the Lords today concerns improving screenings in health clinics, including HIV centres, to screen for gender-based violence.

    It was tabled by the Labour peer, Baroness Gould of Potternewton.

  78. 'Stop scaremongering'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Labour MP David Hanson asks why "if everything's going so well" youth unemployment has risen by 33,000 in the last two months.

    Work Minister Esther McVey tells MPs that youth unemployment has fallen compared to this time last year and has "fallen considerably" since 2010. While there was a "slight increase" recently the trend is "consistently downward for unemployment".

    She tells Labour MPs to "stop scaremongering, get your facts straight and help get young people into jobs.".

    Esther McVey
  79. Unemployment question

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Conservative MP Henry Bellingham has the first question in the House of Commons, which he uses to ask what change there has been in the level of unemployment in the North West Norfolk constituency since 2010?

    Work and Pensions Minister Esther McVey tells MPs that unemployment has fallen by nearly 60% to just over 900 in North West Norfolk, Mr Bellingham's constituency.

  80. Post update

    @LabourDWP

    Labour DWP Team ‏tweets: The last DWP questions before the election takes place in the House of Commons this afternoon. We'll be live tweeting highlights from 2.30pm

  81. Work and Pensions questions

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    But before all that MPs will meet at 14.30 GMT to put questions to Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith and his ministerial team.

  82. Backbench debates

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Once the legislative work is out of the way the House will move to a Backbench Business Committee debate on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference - a debate requested by an eclectic group of MPs, including the former foreign secretary Margaret Beckett, the former defence minister, Sir Nick Harvey, Conservative defence expert Dr Julian Lewis, and Labour backbenchers Jeremy Corbyn and Paul Flynn.

    This will be followed by the adjournment debate, on rebuilding of Todmorden and Calder High Schools, led by the Conservative MP for Calder Valley Craig Whittaker. Both schools recently missed out on rebuild funding from the £2bn Priority Schools Building Programme 2.

  83. Good Afternoon

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Our live coverage of today's events in Parliament as they happen is about to begin.

    Today is devoted to rattling through some of the remaining legislation before the end of the parliamentary term - expected in a couple of weeks.

    First: MPs will debate detailed amendments to the Armed Forces (Service Complaints and Financial Assistance) Bill - particularly concerning the role of the Services Complaints Ombudsman - before giving the bill its third reading.

    Next comes the Consumer Rights Bill - where MPs will deal with Lords' amendments, which should nail down a compromise between MPs and peers requiring secondary ticketing operators to provide the name of the seller, the face value of the ticket, any age restrictions on the ticket, and details of the seat location.

    And that will be followed by a motion to approve a European document on the EU Commission Work Programme 2015.

    Unusually there's a cross party amendment signed by members of the European Scrutiny Committee. It calls for the government to encourage the Commission to develop policies on the Free Movement of Peoples.