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Live Reporting

By Nick Eardley and Alex Hunt

All times stated are UK

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  1. Thursday round-up

    You can watch Question Time and This Week - and indeed all the day's BBC political output - by clicking on the "live coverage" tab at the top of this page.

    Here are the other political developments that have happened today:

    - The government's remaining 30% stake in Royal Mail is to be sold and £3bn cut from government spending this year, George Osborne has announced

    - A department-by-department list of where the axe will fall can be found here

    - German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said  the EU may have to consider treaty change if that is what it takes to keep the UK in

    - Ed Miliband has made his first Commons speech since resigning the Labour leadership, and used the moment to call for action against inequality

    The IFS warns  that government spending cuts will see unprotected parts of the social security budget fall to their lowest level for 25 years

    - Downing Street has made a fresh appeal to the body that sets MPs' pay to abandon plans for a £7,000 rise

    - The High Court has begun hearing a legal challenge, brought by two MPs, to the government's emergency surveillance law

    And finally, Conservative minister Anna Soubry h as rebuked SNP MP Alex Salmond  for telling her to "behave yourself, women" during heated Commons exchanges.

  2. Lamb: I won't accept pay rise

    BBC Question Time

    Lib Dem leadership contender Norman Lamb says he won't be accepting the proposed pay rise, if it goes ahead.

    He says there is "no other job in the country where you'd vote on your own salary".

  3. MPs' pay rise 'can't be justified'

    Question Time

    This week's Question Time is under way, and the first question to the panel is on the proposed £7,000 pay rise for MPs.

    International Development Secretary Justine Greening says the proposal is unacceptable and can't be justified.

    "We won't be accepting this pay rise," she adds.

    Revealing her frustration with Ipsa, the body which sets MPs' salaries, Ms Greening says it has "got it wrong".

    Quote Message: Personally I think that we do need to sort out what is happening with Ipsa because how anyone can think that this kind of proposal is acceptable is utterly beyond me."
  4. Lawson: EU vote inconsequential


    Lord Lawson

    Former Conservative Chancellor Lord Lawson says that any change David Cameron is likely to secure in his EU reform negotiations is likely to be "inconsequential".

    Speaking on the eve of the 40th anniversary of the 1975 referendum, the peer tells BBC Newsnight that Mr Cameron's optimism is "misplaced" as there's only "a very small chance" he could secure "significant" reforms. But he says the prime minister will present them to the British public "as a major change".

    The ex-chancellor predicts the UK will vote to remain in the EU but says the public will come to regret it "because they will discover that there hasn't been any fundamental change".

    Lord Lawson also suggests the PM is holding the referendum "largely" to keep the Conservative Party together.

  5. Coming up on This Week

    Chris Huhne on This Week set
    Charles Kennedy on This Week set

    Andrew Neil will review the political week with Diane Abbott and Michael Portillo on the big red sofa, live on This Week from 23:45 BST. They will be joined by former Lib Dem MP and minister Chris Huhne to look at the future of the party after the general election result and the death of Charles Kennedy, who appeared many times on the programme.The football-themed round-up film of the week's news will come from the Mail's Quentin Letts, and DJ Edith Bowman will be looking at the "communal experience" of music and literature festivals and party political conferences.

    Desktop viewers can watch via the Live Coverage tab above.

  6. Question Time tonight

    Question Time graphic

    A reminder that Question Time is coming up a little later. The programme, which this week comes from Plymouth, will be broadcast on BBC One at 22.45 BST.

    The line-up includes: International Development Secretary Justine Greening, shadow international development secretary Mary Creagh, Lib Dem leadership contender Norman Lamb, social policy analyst Jill Kirby and journalist Susie Boniface.

  7. Thursday recap

    Royal Mail van

    It's been a busy day at Westminster, with George Osborne announcing the government's remaining 30% stake in the Royal Mail is to be sold and £3bn cut from government spending this year. In other developments: 

    - Labour accused the chancellor of "ripping up" his long term economic plan by springing the announcement on MPs

    - The SNP said the move "poses real danger to the postal service and, in particular, the universal service obligation which is of huge importance to Scotland"

    - Ed Miliband used his first speech in the Commons since resigning as Labour leader to urge action against inequality

    - MPs voted to approve the government's legislative programme, as set out in the Queen's Speech

    - German Chancellor Angela Merkel told the BBC the EU may have to consider treaty change if that is what it takes to keep the UK in the union

    - Downing Street made a fresh appeal to the body that sets MPs' pay to abandon plans for a £7,000 rise

  8. DCMS to cut organisations' funding

    The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has said it will cut the funding of dozens of arts and sports organisations as part of plans to reduce its spending by £30m this financial year.

    The department says its latest forecasts show spending in many areas will be "lower than previously expected" and £25m of its total cuts will come through under-spends.

    As part of that figure, DCMS will cut 1% or £0.9m from its core budget. Another £3.3m will come from a 0.5% across-the-board reduction in funding for arms-length bodies, including the Imperial War Museum, UK Sport, UK Anti-Doping and Royal Parks.

  9. Commons backs government programme

    House of Commons


    The Commons has voted to approve the government's legislative programme as set out in the Queen's Speech. 326 MPs voted in favour, 279 against. 

    Earlier, a Labour amendment was rejected by 325 to 278 votes - a majority of 47.

    The SNP's amendment was rejected with 318 MPs voting against and 60 voting in favour.

  10. Royal Mail options

    BBC News Channel

    John Moylan

    John Moylan, BBC industry correspondent, says there are a number of options for the Royal Mail sell off. 

    Quote Message: The big question now is how will the government go about selling it off? Will the big institutional city investors be given some sort of preferential opportunity to buy shares, will they choose to have a big share sale to the public in a 'Tell Sid' type way, or will they drip feed shares out into the market place, as they have been doing with shares in Lloyds Bank?"
  11. 'Best deal for taxpayers'

    BBC News Channel

    Sajid Javid

    Sajid Javid, the business secretary, says there are many ways the government could sell off its remaining stake in the Royal Mail and the decision be based on getting the best deal for taxpayers.

    Although the share will be sold by the end of the current Parliament, Mr Javid says it is not the sort of deal he wants to rush in to. 

  12. IFS warning over social security budget

    Government spending cuts will see unprotected parts of the social security budget fall to their lowest level for 25 years, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has warned.

    The IFS said protecting pensioner benefits meant cuts of almost 10% over two years to the welfare budget. That would take welfare spending as a share of GDP to its lowest since 1990.

    More on the story here

  13. This week line up

  14. Transport savings

    The Department of Transport has provided a bit more detail on the savings it expects to make to its budget - including cuts to Transport for London's budget and underspends on cycling and regional air links.

    The department is expected to save £545m this financial year as part of £3bn in cuts announced by the chancellor this morning. Around £345m is expected to be raised by selling off land around Kings Cross station.

    The remaining savings are:

    • £124m - reduced contingency money held by the department
    • £31m - reduction in Transport for London funding
    • £23m - expected underspend on the Cycle Cities Ambition budget
    • £16m - expected underspend on the Regional Air Connectivity fund
    • £5m -  expected underspend on the Stations Commercial Projects Facility
    • £1m - expected underspend on the Sheffield Tram Train Project
  15. Seagull research programme scrapped


    The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs says it plans to make £83m of savings this financial year through efficiencies and cuts to "low-priority" programmes. A spokesman for Defra says the department "needs to go through a process" to determine exactly where the cuts will fall.

    However, it already plans to scrap a research programme on urban seagulls, which will save £250,000. The funding for the programme, which was meant to find ways to alleviate the noise and mess created by gulls, had been announced in the March budget.

  16. 'Six-day service at risk'

    A bit more from CWU General Secretary Dave Ward on today's Royal Mail sell off announcement. He says the move "threatens the very existence of the one-price-goes-anywhere, six day delivery service that Royal Mail provides to 29 million UK addresses".

    Quote Message: When the first part of this privatisation was completed by the coalition we were told that this was because Royal Mail needed private capital to invest in its future, but if you ask the workforce they have seen hardly any new investment but have witnessed the worst type of short term investors making a killing without any regard to the long term future of the company or the services it provides to the public."
  17. Royal Mail sell off

    Ian Senior

    Ian Senior, the postal economist, says the government made a bad job of the first Royal Mail sell off because it priced shares too low. The new sale should happen in three tranches, he argues, to allow the government to evaluate the price at intervals and eventually make sure it gets the right value for shares. 

    The Royal Mail name can stay even if the service is in private hands, Mr Senior says. He also predicts the universal service obligation is on its way out - Royal Mail will soon be asking to make around three deliveries to each property a week, which is "perfectly logical", he argues. 

  18. 'Of course' MPs should take pay rise

    The Daily Politics

    Former Scottish Secretary Lord Forsyth is asked if MPs should take the annual £7,000 pay rise that has been approved by IPSA, and he replies: "Of course."

    MPs do not vote on their salary, and some have said they will not take the rise. Watch the Daily Politics clip 

    Lord Forsyth picture quote
  19. CWU 'will strike if necessary'

    Dave Ward, general secretary of the Communication Workers Union, has responded to plans to sell off the government's remaining stake in the Royal Mail. 

    Quote Message: The CWU will oppose this final part of the sell-off and continue to campaign against unfair competition and the race to the bottom, which privatisation inevitably brings. Both existing, and any new shareholders should be in no doubt - any attempt to undermine the legally binding agreement that protects Royal Mail workers' terms and conditions will be defended if necessary through strike action."
  20. Tory MP v Stop the Cull

    The Daily Politics

    High street coffee chain Caffe Nero is no longer using milk from dairy farms in the Gloucestershire and Somerset badger culling zones, and protesters are now targeting a supermarket to also stop using milk from these areas.

    On the Daily Politics, Andrew Neil heard from Conservative MP and former farmer Neil Parish, and Jay Tiernan from Stop the Cull, about the campaign, and what it may achieve.

    Watch the debate

  21. Hiding the detail?

    Chris Leslie, the shadow chancellor, has responded to George Osborne's announcement that the last of Royal Mail will be sold off and departmental spending cut.

    Quote Message: Nobody disagrees with sensible efficiencies because spending does need to fall in unprotected areas, but why is the chancellor hiding the detail? George Osborne needs to spell out urgently who is paying the price in this chaotic process. This is a shambolic approach to planning public services, ripping up his own 'long-term plan' set out just weeks ago in the March Budget."
    Quote Message: The Tories' botched privatisation of Royal Mail in the last Parliament short-changed taxpayers by hundreds of millions of pounds. The government now needs to explain how it has learned the lessons of last time so that the same mistakes aren't simply repeated."
  22. 'Only candidate not from the north or London'

    The Daily Politics

    Ben Bradshaw

    Labour MP Ben Bradshaw has been explaining his bid for deputy leadership of his party.

    He told Jo Coburn that he had tripled his majority “in the kind of seat that Labour needs to win back if we have any hope of forming a government again”.

    The ex-culture secretary said he offered an “open and inclusive politics” and he was the only candidate applying for a job in the top team that was not from London or the north of England.

    The Daily Politics aims to talk to the candidates in the deputy leadership contest, but not all seven of those declared so far will get the 34 backers needed to make it to the ballot paper. Watch the interview.

  23. Obedient servant?

    Was Andy Burnman lavishing praise on Prince Charles when he signed a reply to the royal with: "I have the honour to remain, sir, your royal highness' most humble and obedient servant"?

    The New Stateman thinks the Labour leadership candidate might have just been following protocol

  24. The Treasury's language problem

    Chris Cook

    Newsnight Policy Editor

    Chancellor George Osborne has announced a further £4.5bn of "savings", this year. Some of this is reductions in spending, some is recognition that some departments are undershooting their spending limits and some comes from asset sales - notably of the government's remaining £1.5bn stake in Royal Mail.

    I'd dispute that some of these things really are "savings" - particularly the asset sales, so there has been some slightly tricksy use of language today by the Treasury. 

    Read the full post on Newsnight Live.

  25. 'Government shouldn't be making fast buck'

    Sadiq Khan

    Labour London mayoral hopeful Sadiq Khan has responded to the chancellor's announcement that the government will sell-off of land around the King's Cross area of central London with the aim of raising more than £345m. 

    Quote Message: London is facing a chronic housing crisis, with land being bought and sold at a premium. The chancellor and the government should not be making a fast buck out of land they own but handing this over to the people of London so we can build affordable housing to buy and rent for future generations - anything else will be a betrayal of Londoners."
  26. 'Worst yet to come'

    BBC News Channel

    Individuals are paying the price of spending cuts in local government, says the LGA's David Sparks. If you go to care homes, he tell BBC News, people may wait longer, while others will be worrying about whether their local library or leisure centres are going to close. Individuals do pay a price and "the worst is yet to come", he says. 

  27. 'New war on local government'

    BBC News Channel

    David Sparks

    Local authorities throughout the country have already set their budgets for this year and any cuts they would have to accommodate "totally upsets the financial plans for the efficient running of local government", says David Sparks from the Local Government Association.

    Today's announcement "does amount to a new shot in a new war on local government expenditure". 

  28. 'Ideological obsession'

    Scottish finance secretary John Swinney has claimed today's spending announcements will mean a cut of £170m to Scotland's budget.

    Quote Message: This cut of around £170m to the Scottish budget this year is completely and utterly unacceptable. The Scottish Parliament has already agreed our budget for this year and that should be respected, not slashed as part of George Osborne and David Cameron’s ideological obsession with austerity."
  29. 'Lessons learned'?

    Shadow business secretary tweets...

  30. 'Humble and obedient servant'

    From Prince Charles' letters to ministers...

  31. Grayling letter on MPs' pay

    Downing Street has published the text of a letter sent to IPSA - the independent watchdog that sets MPs' salaries - by Chris Grayling, leader of the Commons.

    Quote Message: A comprehensive response to your original consultation on the issue of MPs' pay was submitted by the coalition government during the last Parliament. The government opposed the suggestion that there should be a pay rise of this nature at that time, and the view of the government remains that a pay rise of this nature at this time is not appropriate."
  32. Defending spending

    BBC correspondent tweets...

  33. MPs' pay

    BBC News Channel

    John Mann MP

    John Mann says the only option available to MPs who do not agree with their recommended pay rise is to give the money to charity, predicting more and more will announce that is their plan.

    He says members of parliament should get the same pay rises as public service workers: "Whatever's good enough for everybody else, no more, no less, should be good enough for MPs". 

  34. 'Give up pay rise', Church tells MPs

    Charlotte Church

    Singer Charlotte Church has waded in to the debate over MPs' pay. She said the planned 10% rise was "ridiculous" and "one rule for them, another rule for us".

    The celebrity said MPs should give it up: "Put it back in guys, you'll be alright."

  35. 'Royal Mail name will have to go'

    BBC News Channel

    Labour MP John Mann says the Royal Mail brand will have to be ditched once the government sells its remaining stake.You can't have royal endorsement of a privately owned service, he tells BBC News. 

    There are many things the government could sell off, starting with some of the big buildings in Whitehall, to raise funds, he adds. 

  36. Prince Charles letters published

    Prince Charles

    A further batch of correspondence from Prince Charles to government ministers has been published. Trawling through the contents of the letters, BBC correspondent Nick Higham says they relate to 2007 and 2008. He says the prince does some "fairly gentle lobbying" and pushes things "dear to his heart", such as the environment, architecture and housing.

    Most of the letters are "fairy low key and not especially disturbing", but "what disturbs many people is he should be engaged in this kind of correspondence generally", our correspondent adds.

  37. 'Another war on local government'

    The World at One

    BBC Radio 4

    The chairman of the Local Government Association, David Sparks, has said the new spending cuts announced by George Osborne amounted to "an opening shot in another war on local government". He warned it would hit local services, such as initiatives to ease pressure on the NHS by keeping people out of hospitals.

    "The announcement in Parliament of a 5% cut, when it is translated into the real world of local government, is a 7% cut in real terms. And it is also in addition to the 40% cut we have had over the last five years," he told BBC Radio 4's World at One programme earlier.

  38. £3bn cuts 'useful downpayment'

    Institute for Fiscal Studies director Paul Johnson says £3bn worth of in-year cuts announced by George Osborne are a "useful downpayment" but "big difficult decisions" are still required.

    The chancellor has outlined plans to cut Whitehall spending through efficiency savings, underspending and selling off assets. He also plans to raise £1.5bn by selling off the government's remaining stake in Royal Mail.

  39. Timing of share sell-off

    There's no clear date on when the remaining 30% of shares will be sold. The Treasury said it could be later this year but sources left plenty of wriggle room, saying they would be completed before the next election, with the timing depending on market conditions and the "appetite" for shares.

  40. Royal Mail savings

    Norman Smith

    Assistant political editor

    Treasury sources say the £3 billion Whitehall  savings unveiled by the Chancellor today will not be used to reduce  planned benefit cuts. It's understood Mr Osborne will still seek £12bn of welfare cuts over the next two years.

    There has been growing uncertainty over how such a level of cuts will be achieved - after the Prime Minister ruled out cuts to Child Benefit. However Treasury sources insist Mr Osborne will not use the money re-couped from Government's departments to offset the level of benefit cuts.

    They say the £3bn forms part of the £13bn of Whitehall savings being sought by the Chancellor. 

  41. Public sale of Royal Mail shares?

    Treasury aides refused to say whether the new Royal Mail offering would be available to the public, or restricted to institutional investors. However, no shares will be reserved for employees - who received 10% last time.

  42. Merkel optimistic about UK

    The German Chancellor Angela Merkel has told the BBC that she is optimistic a solution will be found to keep the UK in the European Union and that if EU treaties need changing then she and other leaders will have to consider that.  Mrs Merkel was speaking to the BBC’s Europe Editor Katya Adler in Berlin ahead of the G7 summit in Germany:

    Quote Message: We know each other - and Great Britain has often had its own ideas but as German Chancellor I can say that I also have my own ideas of how things in the EU should be and we also then hope that others will find a way to us getting what we want. The EU is a union of 28 member states that have to find compromises, only when everyone is agreed and happy can we get proper results. That will is there. We have already found many, many solutions for many, many different questions – It should be like that in this case too."

    She was then asked whether treaties will be changed?  

    Quote Message: If that is really necessarily then we have to think about it. I’m optimistic that if we all want it, we’ll find a good solution."

    See more details in earlier entry posted at 13:40

  43. Royal Mail share price

    Royal Mail share graph

    That looks like a pretty dramatic drop in the Royal Mail share price at the time of George Osborne's announcement of the sell-off. But on closer inspection it means the shares are down 2.4% on the day and remain pretty close to their 52-week high - and well above the 330p price at which the shares were originally sold off.

  44. Royal Mail's value

    BBC News Channel

    John Moylan, BBC industry correspondent, says Royal Mail is already a floated company, so the market has decided what it is worth - so undervaluing won't be an issue this time. 

    Another question is what the sale will mean for customers using the service, he adds. It raises the prospect of a takeover at some point, although there appears to be little appetite for that at the moment. 

  45. Value for money

    BBC News Channel

    In October 2013, Vince Cable came under a lot of fire amid claims he undervalued Royal Mail during the initial sell off, BBC political correspondent Vicki Young recalls. 

    She adds that the government was now hitting the ground running, selling off the remaining share and announcing savings in a number of departments. 

  46. Merkel 'not losing sleep over UK'

    Angela Merkel

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she is confident that conditions can be created for the UK to stay in the EU. Mrs Merkel was speaking in an exclusive BBC interview with Katya Adler in Berlin:

    Quote Message: It's not about losing sleep over this, but about doing our work and creating the necessary preconditions for Britain to remain in the EU... some of the things that David Cameron is asking for I can support... There are other points where we have a different opinion, but we have always been able also to pursue a Europe at different speeds, to find opt-out solutions for example."
  47. Royal Mail shares

    Royal Mail share price

    As you can see from the chart the value of Royal Mail shares were near to their 52 week high this morning. And well above the float price of 330p.

  48. Royal Mail sell-off

    Here's what George Osborne told MPs on the Royal Mail sell-off:

    Quote Message: I am today announcing that the Government will begin selling the remaining 30% shareholding we have in the Royal Mail. It is the right thing to do for the Royal Mail, the businesses and families who depend on it - and crucially for the taxpayer."
  49. 'Scotland is in danger'

    The Daily Politics

    Former Scottish Secretary Lord Forysth has told Daily Politics he believes the union is "in grave danger".

    He stood by his comments made before the election that the Conservatives played a short-term and dangerous game by building up the SNP as a way of damaging Labour. He said he was advised not to appear on TV to discuss his views on this matter as they were deemed unhelpful.

    He told Jo Coburn that "it did indeed work, the Conservatives did get a majority, but the SNP ended up with 56 out of 59 seats in Scotland which was unthinkable and the consequences are now to be dealt with in the long term...  The union is in grave danger and I think Scotland is in danger. The SNP have been elected on a programme which is impossible to deliver."

  50. One nation?

    House of Commons


    Can One Nation be squared when those at the bottom have to bear £12bn of welfare cuts when those at the top bear no burden at all, asks Ed Miliband.   

    He urges the government to match its "rhetoric" on One Nation. 

    Ken Clarke, who speaks next, praises Mr Miliband's speech. He says the result wasn't down to the leader of the Labour party - it was down to the message. 

  51. 'No heckles'

    Spectator journalist tweets...

  52. Royal Mail sell-off

    More on George Osborne's announcement that the government is to sell its 30% stake in the Royal Mail. The current market value of the government's remaining share is around £1.5 billion, says the Treasury. The government has appointed Rothschild to advise on the sale.

  53. Ed Miliband speaks

    House of Commons


    Ed Miliband

    Ed Miliband tells the Commons he has discovered some pluses from losing the election - he gets to spend more time with his sons - one of who has told him "he used to be famous".

    On the economy, he says there is growing recognition inequality gaps aren't just bad for the poor, but bad for everybody. 

  54. Spending reductions

    George Osborne says the government will make a number of savings in departments this year. Here is a list provided by the Treasury:

    Budget reductions
  55. BreakingRoyal Mail sell-off

    House of Commons


    The government will sell its remaining 30% share in Royal Mail.  

    We have a structural budget deficit and that is not going to be fixed by economic growth alone, says George Osborne. We have to bring spending down so the country lives within its means, he tells the Commons. He says the government has identified £4.5 billion savings to come this year. 

  56. Westminster shortcuts

    New SNP MP tweets...

  57. Video: Osborne tribute to Miliband

    Click on the link in the tweet to watch...

  58. Economic weaknesses

    George Osborne

    We have to tackle "endemic weaknesses" in the economy, that no British government has managed to solve in the past, says George Osborne. The Queen's Speech tackles these issues "head on", the chancellor adds. 

  59. Headstone before post-mortem

    Ed Miliband

    In a reference to the #edstone, George Osborne says Labour has taken the strange approach of erecting a headstone before conducting the post-mortem.  

  60. Lord Forsyth warning

    BBC political correspondent tweets...

  61. Ed Miliband's integrity

    Political journalist tweets...

  62. Osborne tribute to Miliband

    Ed Miliband

    George Osborne pays tribute to Ed Miliband for coming to today's debate. The chancellor says doing so soon after the election defeat earns him the respect of the whole House. He says that despite the fierce arguments during the election campaign Mr Miliband's integrity or belief in his convictions was never in doubt.

  63. 'Party for working people'

    House of Commons


    George Osborne

    George Osborne is up now. He says the Queen's Speech was unwavering in its determination to deliver sound public finances and economic security, without which nothing else is possible. We will govern as the party for working people, he says. 

  64. Ready for No 10?

    House of Commons


    Shadow chancellor Chris Leslie claims George Osborne is measuring up the wallpaper for No 10 Downing Street already. He urges the chancellor to put Britain's interests above his own. 

  65. Fragile recovery

    Chris Leslie

    Progress in the economy is still fragile, says Chris Leslie. He says the numbers having to work a second job have increased "dramatically" as are the numbers of pensioners returning to the workplace. 

  66. IFS on spending cuts to come

    The Institute for Fiscal Studies has  been looking in more detail at the government's proposed spending cuts:

    Quote Message: The cuts that the government announces later this year in next month’s Budget and the following Spending Review may turn out to be deliverable. But they certainly will not feel like just 1% being taken out of each area of spending, nor will it require merely '£13bn from departmental savings' as the Conservative manifesto described. While not inaccurate, these numbers give a misleading impression of what departmental spending in many areas will look like if the manifesto commitment to eliminate the deficit by 2018–19, largely through spending cuts, while not cutting spending in many areas, is to be met."
  67. National interest?

    House of Commons


    Is the chancellor focusing on the long-term needs of the economy or his own long-term future, asks Labour's Chris Leslie. 

  68. Emergency Budget

    House of Commons


    The emergency Budget in July will be crucial for productivity and the health of the economy, says shadow chancellor Chris Leslie. He wants to the Office for Budget Responsibility to report on how the Budget might effect productivity and living standards. 

  69. Pic: Not impressed?

    George Osborne
    Image caption: Chancellor George Osborne and Iain Duncan Smith don't seem enthralled by Chris Leslie's speech
  70. Top tax rate

    House of Commons


    Chris Leslie

    Shadow chancellor Chris Leslie says he wants to know whether the chancellor plans to cut the top rate of tax, for those earning over £150,000. He offers to give way to George Osborne if he can provide an answer, an offer the chancellor declines to take him up on. 

    The Queen's Speech, the shadow chancellor goes on to argue, was high in rhetoric but largely "diversion and distraction". 

    Mr Leslie also argues that while the Conservatives won a majority, they do not have a mandate for specific departmental cuts because they did not set out before the election where these would fall. 

  71. Economy debate

    House of Commons


    Chris Leslie

    Chris Leslie, Labour's new shadow chancellor, is up first in today's Queen's Speech debate. He says he is not delivering the address he wanted to having lost the election, but promises to hold the government to account. 

    "Cutting through the spin" in the Queen's Speech, Mr Leslie says a number of the proposals are either already in place or not what they seem. 

  72. Queen's Speech debate

    Ed Miliband

    MPs are discussing the Queen's Speech, with a focus on the economy. George Osborne will be the main government speaker. Ex-Labour leader Ed Miliband is in the chamber for the debate.

  73. David Miliband speech

  74. Ed's in the house

    The BBC's deputy political editor tweets...

  75. Daily Politics debates Labour campaign

    Daily Politics

    The panel have been picking over the revelations in Patrick Wintour's story of the Labour election campaign in today's Guardian. Read the article here.

  76. MPs pay

    Robin Brant

    Political Correspondent

    The government has written to the independent body which sets MPs pay in a fresh submission to try to stop it proposing a 10% pay rise for members of Parliament.

    The leader of the commons Chris Grayling wrote to IPSA this morning. The letter is expected to be made public shortly. The prime minister's official spokesman said it was to "underline" a submission made in November last year in which it objected to the proposed increase.

  77. Pay rise debate

    BBC political correspondent tweets...

  78. A post election poll

    Editor of politicalbetting website tweets...

  79. Grayling urges BBC 'sensitivity'

    Leader of the Commons Chris Grayling has criticised a planned BBC reality show, warning the corporation against exploiting the participants.

    Almost 26,000 people have signed a petition urging the BBC not to broadcast "Britain's Hardest Grafter" which pits low-paid workers against each other to win £15,000.

    Asked if he would schedule a debate on whether the broadcaster was "fulfilling its objectives on airing programmes of quality and distinctiveness" in light of the programme, Mr Grayling told MPs: 

    Quote Message: Challenges in our society should not be used to create showbusiness opportunities. I would always ask all the broadcasters to approach the work they do on analysing life in this country and elsewhere with the utmost caution and sensitivity."
  80. Scottish FMQs

    First Minister's Questions is getting started in the Scottish Parliament. You can follow proceedings here

  81. More on today's Daily Politics

    The Daily Politics

    Andrew Neil and Jo Coburn are joined by former Scottish Secretary Lord Forsyth, and they will recall his election warning when he debates with the SNP’s Pete Wishart. 

    They will speak to Ben Bradshaw, one of Labour’s deputy leadership contenders, and also hear from George Eaton from the New Statesman and Dan Hodges from the Daily Telegraph. 

    They will also be taking a look at badger culling with the Conservative MP and former farmer Neil Parish, and Jay Tiernan from Stop the Cull.

    And they will hear about Greece and European matters with Marina Prentoulis, a member of Syriza and Daily Telegraph deputy editor Allister Heath, while ComRes pollster Tom Mludzinski will look at how well it did on the election result.

  82. Daily Politics

    On today's programme...

  83. 'Crossrail makes me dead proud'

    David Cameron

    Away from the Commons, David Cameron has marked thecompletion of tunnellingfor Crossrail by hailing the £14.8 billion cross-London project as "an engineering triumph". Addressing around 150 Crossrail workers deep underground at Farringdon in London, Mr Cameron said the project made him "dead proud to be your prime minister". Crossrail, running from Reading in Berkshire in the west to Shenfield in Essex in the east, is due to open in 2018 with full services running in 2019.

  84. EU referendum

    Commons leader Chris Grayling - who quoted the lyrics of The Farm song All Together Now at one point - has told MPs that the second reading of the bill paving the way for the EU referendum will be next Tuesday.

  85. Scotland Bill

    House of Commons


    The SNP's Pete Wishart welcomes planned parliamentary time for of the Scotland Bill in the Commons. He tells the Commons his party sees the Smith Commission proposals - arrived at immediately after the No vote in the independence referendum - as "a baseline" and a "very minimum", pledging to improve the bill when it comes forward. 

  86. 'Publish Fifa report before election'

  87. Miliband 'distraught' after deficit omission

    In his widely praised piece on Ed Miliband's leadership of the Labour Party in the Guardian today, Patrick Wintour looks back to the conference speech in which Mr MIliband forgot to mention the deficit. He writes the then Labour leader knew the story "would prove devastating". 

    Quote Message: Miliband was so distraught that he shut himself in his hotel room, where a series of people, including his wife Justine, joined him and tried to offer some reassurance"

    The full piece is well worth a read .

  88. Watch: Bercow welcomes Clarke

    Click on the link in tweet to watch clip...

  89. Free social care

    natalie Bennett

    Natalie Bennett, the leader of the Green Party in England and Wales, has called for free social care for everyone. She says austerity is "misguided" and argues Britain "could afford to pay for social care for all who need it". Her party says £1.1bn budget cuts to adult social services are planned.

    Quote Message: These drastic cuts are causing suffering among the elderly and disabled in the world's sixth richest economy, which could afford to pay for social care for all who need it, were it not for the misguided policy of austerity, which was only this week criticised by the IMF."
    Quote Message: The Green Party believes that in a decent, humane, caring society social care should be free for all who need it, so that our elderly and disabled can live dignified, fulfilling lives."
  90. Health urgent question

    House of Commons


    Ben Gummer

    Health minister Ben Gummer says it is "extraordinary" Mr Burnham did not talk about patients in his question. He accuses Mr Burnham of using urgent questions for his own political reasons, something he argues reflects badly on the shadow health secretary. 

    The plan for health is not one being imposed from Whitehall, Mr Gummer tells MPs. Instead, it has been arrived at through "a genuine conversation" between local patients and health commissioners, the health minister adds. 

  91. 'Far-reaching implications'

    House of Commons


    Andy Burnham

    Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham says the announcement has "far-reaching implications" for people in the areas affected. He questions why it was not mentioned during a Commons debate on the issue and why Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is not present to answer the urgent question.

    He asks for more details on the scheme and assurances on staffing and safety. He suggests the scheme is evidence of failure of government's local commissioning. 

  92. Hospitals 'success regime'

    Ben GUmmer

    Andy Burnham, Labour's shadow health secretary, is asking now about on the "success regime" applied to failing hospitals.

    Ben Gummer, a government heath minister, says he welcomes the regime, which is designed to improve health and care services for patients in systems struggling with financial and quality issues.   

    The regime, he says, is designed to help some of the most challenged "health and care economies". North Cumbria, Essex, and North East and West Devon are the first selected, based on data, he adds. 

  93. Leak sanctions?

    Pete Wishart

    The SNP's Pete Wishart calls for sanctions for ministers who leak information to the media - suggesting they should not be allowed to give the oral statement in the Commons. Mr Whittingdale says Mr Wishart should treat current cabinet minister as innocent unless they are proven guilty. 

  94. Policy announcements

    House of Commons


    Chris Grayling

    Chris Grayling, the leader of the house, is being asked about ministers making policy announcements outside the Commons. He refers in particular to David Cameron's announcement about the government's immigration policy.

    Mr Grayling says the house was not sitting at that stage and that leaders on all sides have been making announcement of their plans in recent weeks. We'll continue to make sure Parliament is treated with the respect it deserves, Mr Grayling adds. 

  95. Licence fee

    House of Commons


    Asked about the BBC licence fee, John Whittingdale tells MPs he agrees with Chris Bryant that "elements of the licence fee are regressive because everyone has to pay it and so it falls as a greater percentage of the income on the poorest people."

    He says he hopes he will be able to renew the charter by the end of 2017. 

  96. 'Stinking sink of corruption'

    House of Commons


    Chris Bryant

    Chris Bryant, Labour's shadow secretary for culture, media and sport, tells the Commons it is "increasingly evident" Fifa is a "stinking sink of corruption" that has "polluted everything it has touched". He says it would be "wholly inappropriate" for UK broadcasters' money to go to the organisation until there is serious reform.

    Mr Whittindale says he will wait to see the outcome of investigations into the World Cup bid process. The case for a rerun would be strong if there was evidence of corruption, he says, but it would be unfair to say to British fans they can't watch their teams on TV if the tournaments go ahead. 

  97. Could England host in 2022?

    House of Commons


    John Whittingdale is asked whether England could host the 2022 World Cup if it was decided it should not take place in Qatar.

    The culture secretary replies it was "unlikely" another European country would be asked to host with the 2018 tournament taking place in Russia, but adds England has facilities and mounted a "very impressive if unsuccessful" bid for the 2018 tournament. 

  98. Wait and see

    BBC assistant political editor tweets...

  99. Fifa allegations

    House of Commons


    Sepp Blatter

    John Whittingdale, the culture secretary, is asked about the corruption allegations surrounding Fifa. He is asked whether it is time for a fresh look at the 2022 World Cup due to be held in Qatar. 

    Mr Whittingdale tells MPs the first requirement towards reform was a change in leadership and Sepp Blatter's resignation was the "beginning of the process". The home nations should work with others who want to see change to make sure the new leadership is "properly committed" to reforms, he adds.

  100. Media announcements

    BBC correspondent tweets...

  101. Parliamentary business

    House of Commons


    Culture, Media and Sport Questions is under way in the Commons. We'll bring you the key updates - but don't forget that you can follow details on everything that's happening in Parliament on Westminster Live

  102. Question Time

    Tonight's panel...

  103. The big issues

    Daily Telegraph journalist tweets...

  104. Proposed pay rise for MPs

    Norman Smith

    Assistant political editor

    There is mounting pressure on the prime minister. Why? Well very obviously because at a time when most in the public sector are just going to get a 1% increase, MPs seem on course for a whopping great 10% increase. 

    That's not the prime minister's decision, that is the decision of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority. Nevertheless it looks dreadful at a time when you're trying to curb public sector pay. 

    But it has taken on much more of sharp political edge because of decision of some key figures at Westminster to say "look, we won't take the money, we will give it to charity". 

  105. Scotland 'being left out on energy'

    Fergus Ewing

    The Scottish Government's energy minister has claimed Scotland is being frozen out of key decisions on green energy.

    The Conservative UK government plans to stop subsidies to onshore wind power. David Cameron has pledged to consult with Scotland before any change.

    But SNP minister Fergus Ewing has written to UK counterpart Amber Rudd saying he has not received any information on the possible implications. 

    Quote Message: It is disappointing that I have not had the opportunity to engage with you on this ahead of it being a matter for speculation in the press. We have not received any information from your department on the possible options you are considering or what analysis has been done to assess the impact on projects in Scotland."
  106. Top 20 in MPs' ballot

    Here's the full Top 20 chart for private members' bills. The ones at the top have the most chance of getting their bill into law.

    Position in the ballot

    1. Rob Marris2. Chris Heaton-Harris3. Sir Gerald Howarth4. Julie Cooper5. Wendy Morton6. Teresa Pearce7. Mike Wood8. Nick Thomas-Symonds9. Ms Karen Buck10. Simon Hoare11. Dame Angela Watkinson12. Lilian Greenwood13. Sir William Cash14. William Wragg15. Heidi Allen16. Vicky Foxcroft17. Mark Pawsey 18. Mr Geoffrey Cox19. James Cleverly20. Caroline Ansell

    There's more info here on the Parliament website

  107. Urgent question

    House of Commons


    Andy Burnham

    Labour leadership candidate Andy Burnham has been granted an Urgent Question later this morning in the Commons asking for a statement on the "success regime" applied to failing hospitals. 

  108. Private members ballot

    House of Commons


    Labour's Rob Marris has come top in the annual ballot to determine which backbenchers get to propose new laws to Parliament. 

  109. Ed's plan to oust PM

    Ed Miliband

    Patrick Wintour, the Guardian's political editor, has written an account of Labour's election campaign. In it, he highlights "a detailed action plan" drawn up by the party to start to oust David Cameron from Downing Street in the event of a hung Parliament. 

    According to the piece, none of the post-election scenarios considered by Ed Miliband and his party involved a Tory majority.

    More here.  

  110. Police funding cuts

    Generic police picture

    The National Audit Office says the Home Office has "insufficient information" on how much further it can cut police funding in England and Wales without "degrading services".

    It said ministers lacked information to know when a police force was at risk of being "unable to deliver services".

    Police funding was cut by 18% in real terms from 2010-16, and "significant" further cuts are expected, it added.

    Minister Mike Penning said forces still had funds "to do their important work".

    More here.

  111. 'We will give pay rise to charity'

    Norman Smith

    Assistant political editor

    Tim Farron and Norman Lamb

    The two leading Lib Dem leadership candidates have said they will not take the planned pay rise for MPs. Tim Farron and Norman Lamb have both pledged to give the money to charity. It means all the main opposition party leaders and candidates to be leader have now pledged to reject the rise.

  112. MPs' pay rise

    Amid opposition to the move from ministers and other MPs, Downing Street is to write to IPSA saying now is not the time for a pay rise for MPs. The body - which decides on pay for elected parliamentarians at Westminster - has said only new or compelling evidence would lead to a change in their decision.  

    MPs' pay is a "profoundly difficult and awkward issue", our assistant political editor Norman Smith says. He adds that the government is trying to negotiate the issue with as little political damage as possible. 

  113. World Cup rerun?

    Today Programme

    BBC Radio 4

    A lot of countries will be standing ready to host the World Cup if the process is reopened, says former sports minister  Richard Caborn. If the Garcia report find massive corruption in the decisions to award for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, England would be in the frame, he says. 

  114. Fifa row

    Today Programme

    BBC Radio 4

    Former Fifa Vice President Jack Warner has said in a TV appearance that he will prove a link between soccer's governing body and the national elections in his native Trinidad and Tobago

    Former FBI deputy general counsel, Lisa Osofsky,has said his statement is extraordinary. She says the FBI will have a plan for how to deal with such a situation and will have assessed the relationship between the US Justice Department and authorities in Trinidad and Tobago. 

    She predicts alleged corruption in Fifa will have touched jurisdictions across the world. 

    Watch Warner's broadcast

  115. Dickens letters

    Screen grab

    Letters from the 1980s have been released, in which MP Geoffrey Dickens called for then-Home Secretary Leon Brittan to ban a pro-paedophilia group.

    In 1983, The Conservative MP wrote he "would not rest" until the Paedophile Information Exchange was outlawed.

    Lord Brittan wanted to see if existing laws proved adequate first.

    The letters between Lord Brittan and Mr Dickens, who died in 1995, have been made public after a Freedom of Information request from the BBC.

    Read more

  116. New role for Blair

    Tony Blair

    Tony Blair is to become the chairman of an organisation that combats anti-Semitism and racism in Europe.

    The former UK prime minister will join the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation, which has campaigned for tougher laws on extremism.

    Mr Blair is standing down this month as the Middle East envoy representing the US, Russia, the UN and the EU.

    He will not be paid in his new role, but his faith foundation will reportedly receive an annual donation.

    The ECTR describes itself as an "opinion-making and advisory body".

    Read more

  117. Surveillance laws

    Tom Watson and David Davis

    The High Court is to hear a legal challenge to the government's emergency surveillance law brought by two MPs.

    The Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act was fast-tracked through Parliament in three days last July.

    It allows Britain's intelligence agencies to gather people's phone and internet communications data.

    But former Conservative minister David Davis and Labour's Tom Watson will argue that the legislation is incompatible with human rights.

    Individuals or organisations have the power to seek a judicial review of any decision by a public body that they believe has been made unlawfully.

    Read more

  118. German warning

    Joschka Fischer

    Former German foreign minister Joschka Fischer has warned British PM David Cameron not to be too sure of German support in his bid to reform the EU.

    It comes a week after German Chancellor Angela Merkel pledged to try to find a solution to the UK's drive for reform.

    Mr Fischer, an architect of European foreign policy, told the BBC that the UK was not a priority for Mrs Merkel.

    Mr Cameron is starting renegotiation of the terms of Britain's EU membership ahead of a referendum.

    Read more

  119. Good morning

    Hello and welcome to our rolling political coverage. There's no one political story dominating at the moment - but there are developments on data surveillance laws, a German warning over the EU referendum, MPs' pay and we are expecting Culture Secretary John Whittingdale to talk about the latest events at Fifa.