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  1. David Cameron rejects Harriet Harman claims he is "gloating" in Prime Minister's Questions
  2. Mr Cameron says MPs will get to debate allowing 16 and 17-year-olds an EU referendum vote
  3. Chancellor George Osborne outlines new spending rules at Mansion House dinner
  4. He also says he intends to begin the process of selling off the government's stake in the Royal Bank of Scotland

Live Reporting

By Pippa Simm, Alex Hunt and Gavin Stamp

All times stated are UK

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  1. Labour nominations

    Labour activists' website tweets...

  2. Dinner talk

    George Osborne speaking during the Bankers and Merchants Dinner
    Image caption: George Osborne speaking at the Mansion House this evening
  3. Welfare details

    BBC Newsnight presenter tweets

  4. 'Clear signal' to HSBC

    The BBC's business editor tweets...

  5. 'In Europe but not run by it'

    George Osborne has been talking about his attitude towards the European Union and the aims of the government's proposed renegotiation strategy. 

    Quote Message: Now, there will be those in this room who are absolutely certain that Britain should leave the European Union. And there will be those who think Britain must remain in the European Union, come what may. I suspect the majority of people here would, to borrow an old phrase, like "Britain to be in Europe but not run by Europe". That is what, in essence, I see the renegotiation we are undertaking as seeking to secure." from George Osborne Chancellor of the Exchequer
    George OsborneChancellor of the Exchequer
  6. Osborne's tributes to rivals

    Speaking in the City of London, George Osborne has paid tribute to his former Lib Dem Treasury deputy Danny Alexander, praising him for his "good humour and determination" in restoring the nation's finances during the coalition government. He also spoke kindly of his former adversary Ed Balls, who lost his seat at the election, saying that while he did not agree with the former Labour MP on many economic matters he respected his "deeply held convictions" and thanked him for his "many years of public service". 

  7. Osborne on RBS sell-off

    The government plans to sell its stake in the Royal Bank of Scotland, Chancellor George Osborne is to announce in his annual Mansion House speech.

    Mr Osborne is to say the "decision point" had been reached.

    He will say he has received advice from Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney and a review by investment bank Rothschild.

    Mr Carney said a phased sell-off "would promote financial stability, a more competitive banking sector and the interests of the wider economy."

    Read our full story here

  8. Lib Dem leadership hustings

    Lib Dem blogger writes...

  9. Ed Miliband's plans

    New Statesman editor tweets...

  10. Osborne at the Mansion House

    George Osborne at the Lord Mayor's Dinner for the Bankers and Merchants of the City of London at Mansion House
    Image caption: George Osborne is due to give his annual Mansion House speech, traditionally one of the chancellor's most important addresses of the year, in about half an hour's time
  11. Question Time line-up

  12. Green shots

    Green Party leader Natalie Bennett is not impressed by George Osborne's upcoming Mansion House speech, accusing the chancellor of going soft on the City over tougher regulation. She says:

    Quote Message: The fact that Osborne is prepared to plough on with the same strategy shows which side his bread is buttered on - the side of the City and Britain's bankers. Osborne is once again demonstrating that it is one rule for the bankers and another for the rest of us, as he promises five more years of deep cuts to public services and welfare while letting off the bankers who caused the crash with little more than a slap on the wrist.
  13. Nationalists defy EU condemnation of Russia abuses

    Russian nationalists

    Anti-EU parties including UKIP have voted against a European Parliament resolution, which condemns Russian human rights abuses.

    The strongly-worded, non-binding resolution was passed by a majority of MEPs. It called for a ban on funding of political parties in the EU by non-EU "political or economic stakeholders".

    Reports say the French National Front (FN) has received loans worth several million euros from a Russian bank.

    Russia remains under EU-US sanctions. Read more here.

  14. Planning laws 'favour travellers'

    Philip Hollobone

    Planning laws are "favourably skewed" towards gypsy and traveller communities, an MP has claimed.

    Conservative Philip Hollobone said the law should apply equally to everyone.

    Citing examples of antisocial behaviour, the Kettering MP urged ministers to "listen to these concerns from the heart of middle England".

    But during the Westminster Hall debate, he was criticised by Labour MPs who said his "offensive" comments would "stigmatise" the communities.

    Mr Hollobone called for the end of a section of the Housing Act 1994, which says councils must take into account the "accommodation needs of gypsies and travellers residing in or resorting to their district". Read more here.

  15. Girl power!

    Baroness Stowell, leader of the House of Lords

    Crossbench peer and constitutional expert Lord Norton of Louth has welcomed the prominence of women in senior positions in the House of Lords.

    In his blog, he says four female peers have just been appointed to chair four ad hoc committees: on the 2010 Equality Act; Sexual Violence in Conflict; Social Mobility; and the Built Environment. And he notes that five of the past eight leaders of the House have been women.

    The Commons has more to do to match the Lords' progress, he writes.

  16. SNP committee chairs announced

    Pete Wishart

    SNP MP Pete Wishart is to become the new chairman of the Scottish Affairs Select Committee. He was the party's sole nominee for the role.

    It will be the first time the SNP has chaired a Commons committee. The party has also been given control of the Energy and Climate Change Committee in recognition of its new status as the third largest party in the House. This will be chaired by Angus MacNeil, MP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar.

  17. 'Excellent approach'

    BBC News Channel

    IoD director Simon Walker

    Bank of England governor Mark Carney is to call for rogue bankers to face criminal sanctions, in his Mansion House speech later.

    Institute of Directors chief Simon Walker thinks it "will go down well", saying ordinary, honest businesses are "as much the victims of that kind of abuse as anyone else". He adds that it is a "scandal that no-one has gone to jail for events that brought the economy to its knees".

    Asked for his thoughts on the proposed budget surplus rule, he says it's "an excellent approach". It may be "more symbolic than real", but George Osborne has already been "pretty determined" on that course, he adds. Hopefully it'll stop some of the "wilder excesses" seen in the past.

  18. Call for rogue trader sanctions

    BBC business editor tweets...

  19. Fiscal change

    BBC News Channel

    The more interesting question is whether this is the right fiscal rule, Paul Johnson says.

    Quote Message: It'd be more interesting to know what is the level of debt is he targeting and when does he want to get there. That would tell you something much more useful about the path of fiscal change over the next 10 or 20 years than this law...
  20. IFS on budget surplus rule

    BBC News Channel

    Institute for Fiscal Studies director Paul Johnson says he thinks the chancellor intends that the surplus will run when growth is at 2% or more. 

    What change will legislating for it make in practical terms? Little, he thinks, noting that the child poverty target "hasn't made any difference at all to what government appears to have done". Rather it "signposts" what the government wants to do, Mr Johnson adds.

  21. Planning law 'favours travellers'

    Philip Hollobone

    Planning laws are "favourably skewed" towards gypsy and traveller communities, an MP has claimed.

    Conservative Philip Hollobone said the law should apply equally to everyone.

    Citing examples of antisocial behaviour, the Kettering MP urged ministers to "listen to these concerns from the heart of middle England".

    But during the Westminster Hall debate, he was criticised by Labour MPs who said his "offensive" comments would "stigmatise" the communities.

    Mr Hollobone called for the end of a section of the Housing Act 1994, which says councils must take into account the "accommodation needs of gypsies and travellers residing in or resorting to their district". Read more here.

  22. 'Honoured' by appointment

    Baroness Anelay

    Baroness Anelay has been appointed as the prime minister's special representative on preventing sexual violence in conflict, it has been announced. The Conservative peer and Foreign Office minister said she was "honoured" to be given the role, which was previously held by former foreign secretary William Hague, who retired at the election. 

    Quote Message: I am looking forward to working with civil society, governments, international organisations and survivors to ensure that we drive forward the campaign to end sexual violence in conflict once and for all.”
  23. Flags exchanged

    Commons Leader Chris Grayling (right) and US House of Representatives Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy

    Here is a picture from a "flag exchange" that took place to show the close ties between the UK and the United States.

    In the Speaker's House, Commons Leader Chris Grayling and US House of Representatives Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy swapped a 24-foot union flag, which usually flies over the Palace of Westminster in the winter, for a stars and stripes flown over the Capitol in Washington.

    Mr Grayling said:

    Quote Message: I think it’s a great sign of the ties that do exist, have existed and always should continue to exist between our two countries. I’m delighted we’re doing this. I hope our two Houses will continue to exchange expertise, knowledge and friendship.”
  24. 'Unexpected side effects'

    The chair of the Migration Advisory Committee has said it is worth reviewing the system for skilled migration from outside the EU but the impact on productivity must be considered.

    "You can definitely get migration down but you're always got to have an eye on whether there would be unexpected side effects to do with productivity and the effectiveness of the economy," said Professor Sir David Metcalf.

    The PM has tasked the committee with looking at a range of ways to reduce non-EU skilled migration. It is due to report back to parliament on proposals for a salary threshold by July, and other measures by December.

  25. Obama 'wrong' on UK EU exit

    David Cameron and Barack Obama at the G7 summit in Bavaria

    US President Barack Obama was wrong to urge the UK not to leave the European Union, says Nile Gardiner, director of the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom at the Heritage Foundation in Washington.

    The president said last week that the US was "very much looking forward" to Britain staying in the EU.  

    In an article for CapX, Gardiner criticises the administration's "blatant attempt to influence thinking in Britain" on the subject, saying the intervention was "unprecedented".

    Quote Message: Britain has nothing to fear from Brexit, and so much to gain from the restoration of national sovereignty, trade freedom, and liberation from increasingly burdensome EU regulations that suffocate economic freedom, while giving Europe’s competitors an edge. Whether or not Britain leaves the European Union will be decided by the British people, and not by Downing Street, the White House, or by bureaucrats sitting in the European Commission."
  26. 'Living in cars'

    House of Commons


    People are living in their cars due to a shortage of affordable homes and benefit changes, a Labour MP has claimed in the Commons.

    Speaking during an opposition day debate on housing, Debbie Abrahams said there were 1.4 million families on the waiting list for a social home and that affordable house building was at a 20-year low.

    "In Oldham, in my constituency, people are living in cars as a result of this and of benefit changes," she told MPs.

    Replying for the government, Communities Secretary Greg Clark said Labour's record in office on housing had been poor, and added:

    Quote Message: When it comes to Oldham, to Greater Manchester, I hope you will welcome the Greater Manchester agreement and the city deal that explicitly created a housing fund for Greater Manchester, to allow the people of Manchester, the leaders of Manchester, to invest in more homes for Greater Manchester. That is a big step in the right direction."
  27. Final offer?

    Pollster tweets...

  28. Tory MEP's EU migrant quota call

    David Campbell-Bannerman

    Conservative MP David Campbell-Bannerman has called for quotas on European Union migrants as well as other foreign nationals.

    Mr Campbell-Bannerman, co-chair of Conservatives for Britain and a former deputy leader of UKIP, says border controls must be part of David Cameron's renegotiation of Britain's relationship with Europe.

    His comments come after the PM announced plans to tighten rules on non-EU migrants coming to the UK.

  29. Less business friendly?

    Picture of a welder

    Some more reaction to the PM's immigration proposals, which manufacturers' association EEF says will lead to a "far less business-friendly immigration policy",

    Quote Message: Penalising employers who, when skills shortages are rife, need to look to the global talent pool to find the skills they need, is not the answer to gaining more home-grown talent. The government should instead focus its efforts on boosting our education system and pushing forward planned reforms to apprenticeships.” from Paul Raynes Director of policy
    Paul RaynesDirector of policy
  30. 'Economically illiterate'

    BBC News Channel

    Douglas Carswell

    Commenting on the PM's immigration announcement, UKIP MP Douglas Carswell says it's sensible to ensure the number of work visas that the UK issues matches the skills the country needs. But he says the government's proposals will do nothing to address EU migration.

    Quote Message: It would be economically illiterate if we ran an immigration policy that on the one hand restricted the ability of the people with the skills that we need to come from around the world, but at the same time left in place the right of 400 million people in the EU to come here."

    He advocated an Australian-style immigration system which he said would "allow you to decide the skills you need on an annual basis".

  31. Sturgeon defends Salmond remarks

    The Huffington Post

    Alex Salmond speaking in the House of Commons

    Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has defended her predecessor, Alex Salmond, after he told Small Business Minister Anna Soubry to "behave yourself, woman".

    After the exchange, which came during a Commons debate, Ms Soubry said Mr Salmond's attitude "belongs firmly in the 19th century".

    Mr Salmond has said the phrase behave yourself was a "Scottish idiom" which he had used before and was not sexist in any way.

    And Ms Sturgeon told the Huffington Post:

    Quote Message: I understand it was language that not everybody thinks should be used but it was in a boisterous House of Commons debate. The fundamental question, 'does that language indicate that Alex Salmond is sexist?' Absolutely not, there’s no man I know who is less sexist."
  32. Commons asbestos poses 'negligible risk'

    Fish-eye lens view of empty House of Commons chamber

    Tests have found that asbestos found in the Commons' ventilation systems "is not becoming airborne" and poses "negligible risk", MPs have been told.

    Sir Paul Beresford, the Conservative MP who represents the House of Commons Commission, says traces of asbestos were found in the "ventilation trunking" but the tests provided "high confidence that it is not becoming airborne".

    Professor R J Willey, who reviewed the evidence, said it did not pose a risk - and would be removed by the end of the year.

    Quote Message: Providing current conditions are maintained, there will be negligible risk to any persons supplied with air in the future from the duct system."
  33. Legal aid cuts 'regrettable'

    Reacting to the news, Criminal Bar Association chairman Tony Cross said both decisions were regrettable.

    Quote Message: The executive of the CBA will be discussing our response at the earliest opportunity, including further consultation with our membership. We acknowledge the Secretary of State for Justice's welcome recognition as to the critical importance of quality advocacy in our Criminal Justice System."
  34. MoJ confirms legal aid cut

    Lady Justice on top of the Old Bailey

    The Ministry of Justice has confirmed it will press ahead with a second cut to legal aid fees for criminal cases.

    The last government had planned to reduce fees for litigators in two stages, with a cut of 8.75% last year and another 8.75% this year.

    In a written ministerial statement, Legal Aid Minister Shailesh Vara said the second cut will now come into force on 1 July.

    Mr Vara also said the government would stick with plans to bring in new contracts for duty solicitors.

  35. Shady lady

    Sun political editor tweets...

  36. 'Red herring'

    The Institute of Directors has voiced concerns about the government's plans - announced at PMQ s - to tackle non-EU migration.

    Quote Message: Business cannot have a deaf ear to the public’s concerns on immigration. However, focusing on the supposedly lower cost of migrant labour is a red herring. Among the 50% of IoD members who hire from abroad, just 4% say that the cost of labour has anything to do with it. The fundamental concern is about finding people with the skills needed by employers. from Simon Walker Director
    Simon WalkerDirector

    Mr Walker also said increasing the cost of visas "is essentially a tax on employing people from abroad", and warned it could put at risk the UK economy which is "dependent" on international skills and expertise.  

  37. PMQs moments

      BBC political editor Nick Robinson's give us his  analysis  of today's Commons question time exchanges.  

    And here are some of the lighter moments:

    - A new Labour MP  queried  if David Cameron ever answered a question at PMQs

    - Mr Cameron told a newly-elected Conservative MP  he's his "new best friend"

    - There were were cheers from the Conservatives for their colleague who ousted Ed Balls in Morley and Outwood, as she asked her first question

  38. PMQs recap

    It was quite a news-generating Prime Minister's Questions this week.

    David Cameron said MPs will be given a vote on whether to extend the EU referendum franchise to 16 and 17-year-olds - something the SNP and Labour have called for, while the Tories are against it.

    The PM also unveiled measures to "significantly reduce" the scale of UK migration from outside the EU, includng restrictions on work visas, and a higher salary threshold before people are allowed here. Story to follow.

    Acting Labour leader Harriet Harman  accused David Cameron of "gloating" and "sneering"  after his election win and told him to "show a bit more class".

  39. Chibok girls: 'stain on conscience of world'

    House of Commons


    Diane Abbott

    Diane Abbott asks the prime minister to comment about the abduction of theChibok girlsin Nigeria and says the failure to bring them all back "is a stain on the conscience of the world".

    Mr Cameron says it's all too often that there is an outpouring of grief and then the world "shrugs and moves on". He says, "I am determined that we shouldn't do it with this case. I want Britain to have a long term partnership with Nigeria."

  40. Cameron's migration announcement

    David Cameron has unveiled measures to "significantly reduce" the scale of UK migration from outside the EU.

    During prime minister's questions, he announced new restrictions on work visas, and a higher salary threshold before people are allowed into the UK.

    Home Secretary Theresa May has asked the government's Migration Advisory Committee to come up with firm proposals by the end of the year.

    Non-EU migration was 290,000 in 2014, an increase of 42,000.

  41. PM: ISIL is 'death cult'

    House of Commons


    David Cameron

    David Cameron is still on his feet in the Commons 90 minutes after PMQs started continuing to answer questions on the G7 summit. 

    Speaking about ISIL he says the G7 had long discussions about the group. He tells Labout leadership contender and veteran left-winger Jeremy Corbyn that they are so well armed and funded because it has become a "death cult" and has taken over a country, oil fields and money. 

    He tells Mr Corbyn he disagrees with him on the idea that ISIL has been caused by western aggression and calls it "nonsense". He goes on to say that the growth in extremist Islam happened well before the Iraq war.

  42. No change to 'bedroom tax'

    The World at One

    BBC Radio 4

    Cabinet Office Minister Matt Hancock appears to pour cold water on Tory MP Nigel Mills' call for the benefits change known as the "spare room subsidy" or  "bedroom tax" to be changed to make it fairer, saying it already is fair. 

  43. 'Bad tax'

    SNP MP speaks to Wato..

  44. 'Bedroom tax'

    Tory MP speaks to Wato

  45. PM: Blatter should 'get on and resign'

    House of Commons


    Hannah Bardell

    SNP MP Hannah Bardell asks if the prime minister thinks it is appropriate that Sepp Blatter attends the FIFA women's world cup given his inappropriate comments in the past that women should "wear tighter shorts to make it more popular."

    David Cameron tells her she raises a very important point. He says Mr Blatter's track record is disappointing and that  given he said he would resign, "he should get on and resign".  

    He adds, "FIFA needs new leadership and the sooner that starts the better."

  46. Welfare reform

    Conservative MP speaks to Wato...

  47. Greens welcome G7 pledge

    House of Commons


    Green MP Caroline Lucas says the G7 pledge on climate action is very welcome but asks whether the prime minister will put in place a plan to end the unabated use of coal.

    Mr Cameron says the UK needs to make sure "we invest in carbon capture and storage, in a way that doesn't damage our economic interests as well."

  48. Tories demand school funding reform

    Ross Hawkins

    Political correspondent


    Conservative backbenchers are demanding radical changes to school funding in England within months.

    They say ministers face a campaign from dozens of their own MPs unless they commit to swift reform.

    Teachers will be made redundant and class sizes will increase without action, they say.

    One backbencher, Daniel Kawczynski, said that "huge numbers" of Conservatives in the Commons were demanding change.

    He told BBC Radio 4's the World at One: "I think you would be fascinated how strong the feelings are on this issue and the sort of campaign that is going to be pursued in the course of this year". Read more here.

  49. TTIP advantages

    House of Commons


    Douglas Carswell

    UKIP MP Douglas Carswell asks the Prime Minister what assurance he can give that any transatlantic trade deal will be based on free trade and not on standards drafted in the "interests of big vested corporate interests?"

    Mr Cameron says he expects it will be a combination of both those things.  He says the EU and US writing rules together will make sure "we have good and decent standards" and is a "potential advantage of the TTIP deal".

  50. 'Eyes to the horizon'

    House of Commons


    Responding to Harriet Harman's questions about his intentions in Europe David Cameron tells her that "we should lift our eyes to the horizon". He goes on to say, "there's something very different in this government... we have made the historic decision to let the people decide when it comes to Europe".

    He goes on to speak about human rights in Europe and calls again for a British Bill of Rights, he says, "why not have these decisions made in British courts rather than in Strasbourg courts?"

  51. Questions for the PM

    House of Commons


    Responding to the statement on the G7 Harriet Harman asks the Prime Minister to answer some questions on his future plans in Europe. She asks him what his reform proposals and his red lines are, and whether he will he sack ministers who don't agree with him.

  52. Speaking notes

  53. Choice facing Putin

    G7 summit statement

    House of Commons


    David Cameron

    David Cameron tells the House that this was the second year the G7 met as seven rather than eight. Quoting President Obama he says the choice facing President Putin is that "Russia's greatness does not depend on violating the territorial integrity and sovereignty of other countries"

    He says the G7 agreed existing sanctions must remain in place until the Minsk agreements are fully implemented.

  54. Harman 'wrong-footed' Cameron

    The Daily Politics

    BBC political editor Nick Robinson says Harriet Harman  "wrong footed" David Cameron by accusing him of gloating and sneering at PMQs. He says the SNP's Angus Robertson also did something interesting. He adopted a "very low key and statesman-like tone" and was trying to "take the heat out of PMQs", he says. Meanwhile the new  Tory MPs "were still operating on the old code book".

  55. Reality check: Solar panels

    Anthony Reuben

    Head of statistics

    In PMQs, David Cameron said he thought we now have almost a million homes in the UK with solar panels. 

    There are 650,000 households fitted with solar panels, according to industry body the Solar Trade Association.

  56. PMQs analysis

    The Daily Politics

    David Cameron announced in PMQs plans to limit the work permits and raise the salary threshold needed before migrants outside the EU can come to the UK. BBC political editor Nick Robinson says the tightening of rules was first mooted back in May. He says there'll now be an argument with specific sectors as to whether they really need to import new skills or if they're being too mean to train up people already in the country.

  57. FIFA and fighting corruption

    House of Commons


    Speaking about the FIFA scandal that broke before the G7 met David Cameron says, "corruption is not just wrecking an institution that is vital for football, it is also sitting at the heart of so many of the problems we face around the world today." 

    He adds, "Cutting corruption by just 10% could benefit the global economy by $380 billion every year."

  58. G7 Statement

    House of Commons


    The Prime Minister remains at the despatch box after PMQs to make a statement about the G7 summit in Bavaria.

    He begins by saying he went to the summit with two clear aims, "to advance our economic security and to protect our national security".

  59. Disability payment delays

    Labour's new MP for Bootle Peter Dowd has the last question to the PM - which is on the High Court's ruling the other day that a delay in paying welfare benefits to two disabled people was unlawful.

    He calls on David Cameron to "personally take charge" to ensure it doesn't happen again. David Cameron agrees that some delays have been unacceptably long. But he says they're coming down and pledges to "keep on this".

  60. Cameron and Boris

    Karl Turner, a Labour MP, asks when the PM will "hand the [leadership] baton to Boris". David Cameron says the House benefits hugely from having Mr Johnson back. The baton he's interested in seeing, he continues to cheers, is the one Boris Johnson hands on "to the next Conservative mayor of London". The London mayor is to stand down from the job next year.

  61. Cameron: I don't support euthanasia

    A Conservative backbencher invites the PM to offer his view on  assisted dying, as Labour MP Rob Marris launches a fresh bid to allow some terminally ill people in England and Wales to end their lives. David Cameron says he doesn't support euthanasia.

    Quote Message: I think the problem is the pressure that is then put on frail elderly people to take a decision that they might not want to go ahead with."
  62. Productivity puzzle?

    Labour's Chi Onwura says British productivity has "plummeted" on David Cameron's watch. But she says the north-east has bucked the trend, and says he should "give us the powers we need". The PM acknowledges the "huge challenge" of trying to raise productivity in his response.

  63. Reality Check: Job creation

    Anthony Reuben

    Head of statistics

    David Cameron says two million more people are working since the 2010 election. The most recent figures from the Office for National Statistics suggest that there were around 31.1 millionemployed people in Britain. At the time of the 2010 election there were around 29 million people in work. So the prime minister’s figure is correct.

  64. Nerves understandable

    Grazia political editor tweets...

  65. UKIP question

    Raising a question on the EU referendum, UKIP MP Douglas Carswell accuses the PM of watering down his ambitions in his reform negotiations. David Cameron responds by listing what it is he's trying to achieve, including "a better balance" between those in the euro and out of it. They're all very important, he adds, before joking about Mr Carswell's ability to have a backbench rebellion in a party of one.

  66. Cameron and Carswell

    BBC political journalist tweets...

  67. PMQ's verdict

    Norman Smith

    Assistant political editor


    Decent day for Harriet Harman. No small achievement given her party is down in the dumps.

    She succesfully chided the PM for gloating and ranting at her. A reminder of Mr Cameron's "calm down dear" moment and his bad old Flashman days which the PM's advisers had hoped they'd got him to drop.

    She also managed to get a significant answer out of Mr Cameron, which is no easy task, as the PM announced there would be a Commons vote on whether 16 and 17-year-olds should be allowed to take part in EU referendum.

    The result could be close as Labour and the SNP line up together - along with some Tory rebels.

  68. Appeal for meeting

    Labour MP Mary Glindon asks the PM to make time to see six boys with muscular dystrophy who are to head to Downing Street later to campaign for a specific drug to be made available on the NHS.

    David Cameron says he "unfortunately" won't be able to meet them as he has to make a statement and head off to an EU summit, but praises the boys' bravery and courage.

  69. Pic: Morley and Outwood winner

    House of Commons


    Andrea Jenkyns
    Image caption: To cheers from Conservatives the new MP for Morley and Outwood, Andrea Jenkyns asks her first question at PMQs since beating Ed Balls. The Prime Minister tells her, "I've been dreaming of your win."
  70. Pic: Cameron in action

    David Cameron
    Image caption: David Cameron said it was the first time quoting the leader of the opposition had been called "gloating"
  71. Pic: Harman in action

    Harriet Harman
    Image caption: Harriet Harman urged the PM to stop gloating
  72. What will PM do without Ed Balls?

    New Statesman political editor tweets...

  73. Tax-free childcare

    By Anthony Reuben

    Reality Check

    Harriet Harman asks whether the government is on track to fulfil its promise on childcare. The Conservatives said that from September parents would be able to claim up to £10,000 in tax free childcare (an increase from £6,000), with tax relief rising from £1,200 to £2,000 a year. 

    To be eligible for tax-free childcare, all parents in the family will need to earn at least £50 a week but less than £150,000 a year (with some exceptions). The new scheme will apply to all children under 12. The prime minister says the detail will be in the Budget.

  74. 'I'd been dreaming of your win'

    House of Commons


    Huge cheers from the Tory benches as the MP who ousted Ed Balls in Morley and Outwood rises to speak. Andrea Jenkyns stumbles at the start of her question but soon finds her verbal feet -  and asks what steps are being taken to tackle economic migration from outside the EU. David Cameron welcomes her presence in the Commons, saying the result was one he had been "dreaming of". In response to her question, he lists steps the government is taking to bring migration "under control".

  75. Helpful question

    A favourable question from the PM from Jonny Mercer, the new Plymouth Moor View MP, invites David Cameron to cite the government's plans to raise the personal allowance, which he say will make "a real difference". He adds that he wants that to be mirrored by progress on the minimum wage.

  76. New views

    House of Commons


    David Cameron
    Commons chamber

    Here are some more views from the new camera angles brought in to the Commons since the election.

  77. 'My new best friend'

    Nigel Huddleston, the new Mid Worcestershire MP, shoehorns the long-term economic plan and a reference to a railway line close to the PM's constituency into his question to David Cameron - much to the delight of the PM. "He is already my new best friend," Cameron says.

  78. Demonstration fears

    House of Commons


    Mike Freer, Conservative MP for Finchley and Golders Green, raises fears about a far-right demonstration planned in his constituency - and calls on David Cameron to combat "his anti-Semitic demonstration". 

    The PM says the home secretary has written to the Met Police commissioner and said that where any criminal offence is committed demonstrators "should face the full force of the law". Freedom of speech should not be confused with harassment or threatening behaviour, he adds.

  79. Living wage question

    House of Commons


    The SNP's Westminster leader Angus Robertson uses his question to promote the living wage and ask David Cameron to praise employers who pay it - which he duly does. 

    The PM says No 10 is a living wage employer - and Speaker Bercow intervenes to say the Commons is, too. In his follow up question, Mr Robertson says the Scottish government is the "only accredited living wage employer as a whole" - and asks when the UK government will be too.

  80. Classy joke?

    House of Commons


    David Cameron
    Image caption: David Cameron laughs at Harriet Harman's suggestion that he shows "a bit more class"
  81. Go Harriet

    Independent on Sunday journalist tweets...

  82. Cameron on 'gloating'

    After David Cameron takes a pop at Harriet Harman she says he can't resist an opportunity to "gloat". "Perhaps we can have an answer rather than a gloating session in the next question," she says.

    He says he's "sorry if she thinks I'm gloating", adding "it must be the first time anyone has been accused of gloating while quoting the leader of the opposition". Cheers and laughter emanate from the green benches - which brings an end to the leaders' exchanges.

  83. Harman's class act?

    ITV journalist tweets...

  84. 'Greater childcare choice'

    Harriet Harman asks how the PM can guarantee people will benefit from the policy - and not be hit by fees elsewhere. David Cameron outlines some of the detail of the policy, and says families will have "far greater choice on childcare".

  85. Doubling childcare

    Reality Check

    David Cameron says his government is doubling to 30 hours the amount of childcare available to parents of three and four-year-olds. That's not quite right. Only families in which all parents are working will receive the extra 15 hours while all parents with children of the right age get the first 15 hours.

  86. Childcare question

    House of Commons


    The acting Labour leader says the PM promised that his tax-free childcare policy would be launched before autumn - and asks if he's on track to meet that promise. David Cameron says it's an important policy, adding that the government is on the side of "working people". The chancellor will set out the timing of its introduction in his July budget, he adds.

  87. Class war

    Conservative MP tweets...

  88. Harman tells the PM off

    Independent on Sunday journalist tweets..

  89. Younger voting

    BBC Chief Political Correspondent tweets...

  90. Referendum timing

    Continuing with the referendum theme, Harriet Harman asks the PM to guarantee it will not be held on the same day as other elections. David Cameron says the timing should be determined "by the timing of the renegotiation" - and not the timing of other elections.

  91. 'Show a bit more class'

    House of Commons


    Harriet Harman says the PM won the election so "he doesn't need to do ranting, sneering and gloating" - before telling him to "show a bit more class". Lots of noise in the chamber.

    Turning to her question, Ms Harman questions why the government is to axe the purdah period in the run up to the referendum. David Cameron says there are two reasons: he doesn't want a situation where in the four weeks before the vote government minister aren't able to talk about EU-related matters. Also, the government shouldn't be "neutral" on the issue once the negotiations are complete.

  92. Missing the sound of Balls?...

    Conservative MP for Hexham tweets..

  93. EU referendum question

    House of Commons


    Acting Labour leader Harriet Harman is on her feet - and leads on the EU referendum. She asks why the government won't give 16 and 17-year-olds the vote. They did in the Scottish referendum, she says. The PM thanks Labour for "joining us in the division lobbies last night after five years of opposing a referendum". It was the biggest mass conversion since that Chinese general baptised those troops with a hosepipe, he says. On extending the franchise, he maintains the government line but says the Common should have a vote on it.

  94. Business and transport

    The first question to the PM comes from James Berry, the Conservative MP for Kingston and Surbiton. He praises levels of job creation under David Cameron's government - before calling for better train services in his constituency. David Cameron congratulates him on his election and says there are two million more people in work as a result of the government's policies since 2010. The PM cites plans for Crossrail which he says will be brilliant for the economy.

  95. PMQs

    House of Commons


    Image caption: MPs crowd into the chamber ready for Prime Minister's Questions
  96. If it's so bad why is it popular?

    Political commentary site tweets...

  97. PMQs predictions

    The Daily Politics

    BBC political editor Nick Robinson says the chancellor's budget surplus rule is an attempt to "define your opponents, before they define themselves".

    Looking ahead to PMQs, he thinks acting Labour leader Harriet Harman may choose to go on the so-called bedroom tax, which the PM's former speech writer has come out and criticised.

  98. Labour's Kaufman slams PMQs

    National newspaper tweets...

  99. Sensible economics?

    The Daily Politics

    Offering his thoughts on George Osborne's spending proposals, shadow Welsh secretary Owen Smith says Labour needs to look at the detail of the proposal. He says running a surplus on the current account (ie everyday spending) rather than an overall surplus is "probably more sensible economics".

    The shadow minister goes on to say the chancellor's proposal is a "stunt" that is more about "setting traps".

  100. Trade union Tory

    5 News political editor tweets...

  101. One-a-side

    House of Commons


    Ian Murray

    The new Shadow Scottish Secretary Ian Murray is on his feet in in the Commons. As the only Labour MP in Scotland he faces the only Conservative MP in Scotland across the dispatch box.

    Ian Murray also pays tribute to Charles Kennedy calling him "warm, witty and kind". He then asks the Scottish secretary, "how many more Scottish children of working age families will fall into poverty as a result of his government's decisions on welfare."

    David Mundell tells him there is no evidence to support his claim. He adds that in the provisions of the Scotland Bill welfare will be devolved and the Scottish Parliament "will have the opportunity to top up or create new benefits."

  102. Quick-fire questions

    The Daily Politics

    Matt Hancock is quizzed by presenter Andrew Neil over how big are the surpluses in Sweden and Canada - two countries cited by the minister as examples of where the fiscal rule is already in place. "You tell me," comes his reply. Defending the policy, he says both countries were better prepared for the 2008 crash than the UK.

  103. 'Overall surplus'

    The Daily Politics

    Ahead of George Osborne's speech at the annual Mansion House dinner in the City of London later, Cabinet Office minister Matt Hancock is asked about the chancellor's proposal to require government to maintain a budget surplus when the economy is growing,

    Mr Hancock says it will be an "overall surplus" in the British budget, which is "important" to make sure the country's finances are secure.

  104. Bercow puts his foot down

    Political news website tweets...

  105. 'Look at the evidence'

    The Daily Politics

    Asked about his views on e-cigs, government minister Matt Hancock says "we've got to look at the evidence of what works", and points out that public health England is looking into it.

  106. PMQs debut

    Conservative MP for Kingston and Surbiton tweets...

  107. A permanent shift to the right?

    Robert Peston

    Economics editor

    George Osborne

    George Osborne's move to enshrine in law the rule that governments would generate surpluses in all so-called "normal times" represents a significant shift to small "c" conservatism in the stewardship of the public finances, compared with the consensus of the last 70 years.

    Typically governments have either had no such statutory rules at all, or have been subject to looser constraints. Read the full blog here.

  108. Owen Smith on Wales' e-cigs ban

    The Daily Politics

    Asked about the Welsh Government's plan to ban e-cigarette use in enclosed public places, Labour's Owen Smith says it "wouldn't be the first thing I'd do as health minister", but adds that he supports the "emphasis" on tackling public health issues. Would Labour look to do it in England, too? "We should look at whether further regulation is needed," he says, adding: "It's a reasonable question to ask."

  109. Tribute to Charles Kennedy

    House of Commons


    David Mundell

    David Mundell opens the question session by paying tribute to Charles Kennedy saying he was a regular participant at Scottish Questions and he sends his personal condolences to Mr Kennedy's family.

    SNP MP Roger Mullin asks whether there have been discussions with the chancellor about the effects of the next Budget on Scotland and follows up by asking about RBS branch closures.

    Secretary of State for Scotland David Mundell says he will take up Mr Mullin's concerns with RBS.

  110. Labour 'will support benefits cap'

    The Daily Politics

    Labour leadership contender Andy Burnham got heckled at a hustings with union members yesterday over his failure to give a 'yes or no' answer to whether he supported the government's benefit cap.

    Shadow Wales secretary Owen Smith is asked on Daily Politics whether Labour supports it or not? Yes, he says, it's "reasonable". But he goes on to brand it a "political stunt".

    Cabinet Office minister Matt Hancock says the suggestion it is a political tool is absurd, saying it's about fairness and making sure the welfare system is "affordable". Is £23,000 the limit until 2020? It's our policy "for the time being".

  111. Scottish Questions

    House of Commons


    The first session of Scotland Office questions of the new parliament is just starting in the Commons. 

    With the SNP now boasting 56 MPs we can expect it to be a different affair to previous sessions. 

    Today’s question topics include the impact of the next Budget on Scotland and the potential effect on Scotland of full fiscal autonomy.

  112. Labour to seek EU Ref Bill change

    Carole Walker

    Political correspondent

    Labour is demanding new changes to the government's EU Referendum Bill. They would require the government to publish independent assessments from the Office of Budget Responsibility and the Bank of England on the consequences of the UK leaving the EU, at least 10 weeks before the referendum is held.

    The Labour Party has put down fresh amendments to the EU Bill, which will be considered at later stages as the bill proceeds through the House.

    A party spokesman said it was important that independent views were set out for the public.

    Labour is also demanding that 16 and 17-year-olds be allowed to vote and that the EU referendum is not held on the same date as other elections.

  113. Votes at 16?

    Political journalist tweets...

  114. Osborne's 'distraction technique'

    BBC News Channel

    Shadow chancellor Chris Leslie gives his reaction to George Osborne's new fiscal rule proposal. In principle he's OK with it, saying "no-one" would disagree with achieving a surplus "if the economic circumstances allow".

    But he claims it's a "distraction technique" by the chancellor, pointing out that there a £74bn deficit remains for him to deal with. What is he going to cut and how can he explain the "unfunded promises" made during the election, he asks.

  115. EU 'needs to do more'

    Victoria Derbyshire

    Keith Vaz

    Back to his interview earlier, the most recent Home Affairs committee chairman Keith Vaz was asked why migrants were trying to come to the UK. He says they want to "work illegally" as "they find us the most attractive place to work". He says it's "too late" to deal with the problem in Calais, arguing that the Italian and Spanish governments need to better control their borders to stop people getting into the EU first of all.

    Quote Message: Even though we are going to be at the end picking up the tab for this it's our EU partners that need to do much more."
  116. 'No quick decision' on airport expansion

    A picture of a plane

    There will be no immediate response to the final report of the commission looking at airport expansion, government sources say.

    The Airports Commission, chaired by Sir Howard Davies, is expected to publish its final report this summer.

    It has shortlisted three options: a third runway at Heathrow, lengthening an existing runway at Heathrow or building a second runway at Gatwick.

    The Financial Times reports there will be no decision until Christmas.

    BBC assistant political editor Norman Smith said government sources had told him ministers would take "some time" to consider Sir Howard's findings.

    Read more

  117. Classic move?

    Spectator political editor...

  118. MP wants anonymity for rape suspects

    The Daily Politics

    Nigel Evans in court scene

    Conservative MP and former deputy Speaker Nigel Evans was arrested in 2013 on suspicion of rape and sexual assault. He denied the charges and was found not guilty at trial, but his experiences have led him to campaign for anonymity for those accused of rape. 

    In a personal film, the MP lists other famous names who faced publicity after being named in connection with alleged sex crimes, but were later released without charge. 

    He said: "There is no absolutely no appreciation at all for the awful trauma the accused faces." 

    Mr Evans will debate this film on Wednesday's Daily Politics, after PMQs, with fellow MPs Matt Hancock and Owen Smith.

  119. 'Huge sympathy' for truck drivers

    Victoria Derbyshire

    Labour MP Keith Vaz - who chaired the Home Affairs Committee in the last Parliament - says he has "huge sympathy" with British lorry drivers having to deal with migrants trying to get to Britain from Calais.

    "It shows that this problem happens outside our borders, in the EU, and the way to tackle it is to work with the French and Frontex to make sure they do their jobs effectively."

    He acknowledges that the UK government has spent £12m on security in Calais. But he says more needs to be done in Europe.

  120. Unemployed or mentally ill?

    Brian Wheeler


    Unemployment is being "rebranded" by the government as a psychological disorder, a new study claims.

    Those that do not exhibit a "positive" outlook must undergo "reprogramming" or face having their benefits cut, says the Wellcome Trust-backed report.

    This can be "humiliating" for job seekers and does not help them find suitable work, the researchers say.

    But the Department for Work and Pensions said there was no evidence to back up the "highly misleading" claims. Read more here.

  121. MacShane on jail and pay

    Victoria Derbyshire

    What did jail teach you? That a lot of people are in there for non-violent crimes "that don't need to be in there", MacShane says.

    Quote Message: We have the only parliament in the world where a rich man can buy the right to be a lawmaker: that is to say that people are put in the House of Lords simply by signing a cheque."

    On the proposed 10% pay rise for MPs, MacShane says he "doesn't really want to go there" but pressed further he appears to indicate they should take it. He also recommends a retirement age of 65 for MPs.

    MacShane, 65, was a Labour MP for 18 years and served as Europe minister under Tony Blair between 2002 and 2005.

  122. Politicians 'want to make example of me'

    Victoria Derbyshire

    Denis MacShane
    Image caption: Denis MacShane pleaded guilty in 2013

    Denis MacShane was jailed for six months for expenses fraud after admitting submitting 19 fake receipts amounting to £12,900.

    Asked about it, the former MP says it was "wrong" and "foolish" but says none of the money was for "personal gain".

    He says he was investigated and the initial police case against him was dropped but adds that the politicians "want to make an example of me" and "a very politically-orientated" director of public prosecutions chose to reverse the initial the decision.

    MacShane suggests he pleaded guilty because he was "exhausted" and "my savings had gone", adding: "Did you think I was going to fight this?"

    But he adds that "I did wrong" and says he is "not complaining" about what happened.

  123. Parliament 'still tainted' by expenses scandal

    Victoria Derbyshire

    Former Labour MP Denis MacShane, who was jailed for expenses fraud, says Parliament is still tainted six years on from the expenses scandal.

    He says until the pre-2010 generation "quietly fades" away the reputation of Parliament won't be restored.

     "We should be looking at the strictest practices around the in the best parliament of the world and applying that [to our system]," he says.

  124. Do we need a new law?

    Nick Robinson

    Political editor

    Why pass a law to force yourself to so something you already intend to do? That was my first reaction to the news that the chancellor plans to legislate to oblige him to run a budget surplus in "normal times" - in other words to raise more in tax than he spends when the economy's not in recession.

    So, is this announcement pure politics? After all, George Osborne knows that the first rule of political strategy is to "define your opponent before they can define themselves".

    By announcing this now but delaying a vote on it until the Autumn he is ensuring that the argument about spending will dominate the Labour leadership campaign and that the new Labour leader will have to decide whether to vote for or against balancing the books.

    This, though, is about more than merely wrong-footing Ed Miliband's successor.

    Ream more from Nick  

  125. What's going on in the Lords?

    House of Lords


    The House of Lords begins at the later time of 15:00 BST with a half-hour question session with government ministers. Subjects will cover meat inspections, legal aid, apprenticeships and disability payments.

    Peers will spend most of the day debating the general principles of the Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Bill, and there will be a short debate on Ghurkas.

  126. Coming up in the Commons

    House of Commons


    The House of Commons kicks off its business today at the usual Wednesday time of 11.30 BST. First on the agenda is Scotland questions, which will be followed by David Cameron's weekly grilling from MPs and then a statement from the PM on the weekend's G7 summit. The main business is dedicated to two Labour-led debates: on housing and climate change, while Conservative MP for Dartford Gareth Johnson will bring the day to a close with a short debate on "unduly lenient sentences".

  127. 1975 throwback

    Members of the cross-party political group Keep Britain in Europe: Jeremy Thorpe, Edward Heath, Roy Jenkins and Lord Harris (l-r)

    One of the arguments used most frequently in favour of the principle of holding a referendum is the suggestion that a plebiscite on a particular issue will produce some sort of decisive result that settles the matter.

    The evident falsity of this idea is easily demonstrated by the last two referendums in mainland Britain - on a proposal to introduce a change in the electoral system in 2011 and on Scottish independence last year. Neither of these issues could possibly be described as having been resolved.

    But it is the 1975 referendum on Britain's continued membership of Europe that provides the best example.

    Read more.

  128. 'Some time' until airport response

    BBC assistant political editor tweets...

  129. 'It's not about gimmicks'

    Sky News

    Is the chancellor's new fiscal rule pledge just short-term politics? Not at all, says Treasury minister David Gauke. He says countries such as Sweden and Canada, with "centre-left" governments, already have such rules - and argues that they were better prepared for the 2008 crash because their finances were in a better place.

    "It's not about gimmicks, it's about entrenching lower levels of debt," the minister adds - and says he hopes there'll be cross-party support for the move.

  130. Food fights block EU–US trade deal

    Women eating a burger

    Food safety is a major stumbling block in EU-US talks aimed at creating the world's biggest free trade zone.

    The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) would dwarf previous free trade deals. The European Commission estimates that by 2027 it could boost the size of the EU economy by €120bn (£94bn; $152bn) - equal to 0.5% of GDP - and the US economy by €95bn (0.4% of GDP).

    European opponents argue that TTIP risks watering down EU regulations in the drive to remove trade barriers.

    There are tensions over TTIP in the European Parliament, whose draft recommendations proved too controversial for MEPs to vote on it this week.

    What divides the EU and US on food safety?

  131. Brussels 'running scared' over TTIP

    Nigel Farage has accused Brussels of "running scared" of public disquiet over a the EU-US deal, after a debate and vote in the European Parliament was pulled at the last minute.

    MEPs narrowly voted to postpone today's consideration of the  Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) following the announcement that there would be no vote.

    Martin Schulz, president of the European Parliament, said the delay was necessary because more than 200 amendments had been tabled that should be considered by the international trade committee.

    But critics hailed the move as a recognition of growing opposition to aspects of the proposed deal, including concerns over its potential impact on the NHS and other public services.

  132. 'No consolation in vindication'

    David Miliband

    David Miliband has said he finds "no consolation in any sense of vindication" about Labour's performance in the general election. Mr Miliband was beaten by his brother, Ed, to the Labour leadership in 2010 told the Times that "all my worst fears were confirmed" by May's election result.

    Quote Message: I have to say that any sense of vindication is massively outweighed by a sense of frustration and anger about what's going to happen to the country… It’s now facing ten years out of power."

    Mr Miliband said it was “doubly painful” for him as he didn’t want his brother to be “hurt” or “vilified” as a result of Labour's defeat.

  133. 'Flexibility needed'

    BBC News Channel

    Asked whether the caveat that the new fiscal rule being proposed by the chancellor will apply in "normal times" is a get out of jail card, Treasury Minister David Gauke says there needs to be "flexibility" - during a recession, for example. But he says the independent OBR can "hold the government's feet to the fire" and ensure the rule isn't "abused".

    It is really important for governments to focus on bringing down the debt, and that means running a budget surplus in normal years, he adds.

  134. PMQs line-up

    BBC political correspondent tweets...

  135. 'Shouters and yellers'

    Today Programme

    BBC Radio 4

    Is PMQs damaging the reputation of politicians? Yes, argues Sir Gerald - and Parliament, too. You've got "a shouter" for a prime minister and "yellers" for backbenchers, the Labour MP adds. In Margaret Thatcher's day MPs could question her and she answered them in "a rational sensible way". She took it seriously, he says.  

  136. 'Apocalyptic'

    Today Programme

    BBC Radio 4

    Lord Lisvane, author of How Parliament Works, says he wouldn't be as  "apocalyptic" as Sir Gerald. But he says all parliamentary question sessions - not just PMQs - over the past 40 years have changed from being "fairly inquisitorial to exchanging of assertions".

    He suggests holding alternate sessions of PMQs in a committee room, with members drawn by ballot to question the prime minister. Sir Gerald likes the idea but says "it's not going to happen". The PM likes it this way, he argues.

  137. PMQs 'is a load of rubbish'

    Today Programme

    BBC Radio 4

    Sir Gerald Kaufman

    The format and behaviour of Prime Minister's Questions is up for discussion on Today, after David Cameron was criticised for his behaviour last week for turning questions from acting Labour leader Harriet Harman back on her.

    Labour MP Sir Gerald Kaufman, the Father of the House (ie longest serving MP), says it doesn't matter in the least "because it's all a load of rubbish". For years PMQs has been "an exchange of pointless and useless declamations" with the prime minister preparing what he's going to say regardless of the questions that are put, he says.

    "I don't blame him, waste of space that he is," adds Sir Gerald. He adds that nobody is interested in PMQs anymore, and nobody cares.

  138. Airport expansion

    Today Programme

    BBC Radio 4

    Amid reports suggesting the government will not respond to the findings of the Airports Commission on airport expansion at Heathrow and Gatwick, Lord Lawson says the "sooner they do it the better". But he adds that the government has "made it quite clear" it'll accept the commission's recommendations.

    Sir Howard Davies' review is expected to issue its final report this summer. 

  139. Banking system 'needs cleaning up'

    Today Programme

    BBC Radio 4

    Lord Lawson says the UK is the greatest financial sector in the world. But he says the banking system "really needs to be cleaned up", although he cautions that this needs to be done at the same time as making clear "that we are not against the system as such" - just the "bad banking and some of the skulduggery that has gone on".

  140. 'Not a political move'

    Today Programme

    BBC Radio 4

    Lord Lawson
    Image caption: Lord Lawson was chancellor in the 1980s

    Is it a political move by the chancellor? Lord Lawson thinks not. He says it may be one of the dimensions but not the chief reasoning behind George Osborne's plan:

    Quote Message: He would not be doing this if it didn't make sense for the economy as a whole of the medium and longer term."
  141. Lawson: It's good for growth

    Today Programme

    BBC Radio 4

    Former Conservative Chancellor Lord Lawson says it may be new to legislate to bind future governments to maintaining a budget surplus when the economy is growing, but it is not a new doctrine.

    "I think he wants to put a straitjacket for future chancellors who might not be as responsible as he is," he says. He thinks there's been too much discretion in the past and that more rules are needed, adding: "It's good for growth."

  142. 'Sensible prudence or debt fetishism?'

    Today Programme

    BBC Radio 4

    BBC economics editor Robert Peston says the chancellor's plans to commit his, and future, governments to balancing the books in normal times "is very significant". He says the previous Labour government had a "golden fiscal rule" that allowed it to borrow to invest, and no government since World War II has been subject to the kind of "straitjacket that the chancellor wishes to put on himself".

    What Mr Osborne is saying is that in normal times there should be no borrowing at all, which is "a massive reduction in his discretion to behave in the way that chancellors have in the past", he says. The big issue is whether it  is "sensible prudence or debt fetishism"?

  143. Labour nominations

    Labour contenders

    Andy Burnham has the most support so far among Labour MPs to become the party's next leader, with 53 colleagues backing the shadow health secretary.

    According to figures released by Labour, Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall have also exceeded the threshold of 35 nominations needed to get on to the ballot paper with 41 and 36 each.

    Jeremy Corbyn and Mary Creagh have 11 and five nominations at the moment. But more than a third of Labour's 232 MPs have yet to state a preference.

    Contenders need the support of 15% of MPs to secure a place on the ballot paper for September's election. The winner will be decided by a vote of Labour party representatives, members and affiliates, to be conducted on a one-member, one-vote basis.

    Details of the progress that the quintet are making towards the nominations target have been published on the party's website and will be updated until nominations close on 15 June.

    The BBC's Laura Kuenssberg said that 86 out of Labour's 232 Labour MPs have yet to support any of the candidates.

  144. Free vote debate continues

    Graham Brady

    Tory ministers should be free to "speak their minds" about the future EU referendum, the chairman of the Conservative 1922 Committee has said.

    Graham Brady urged PM David Cameron to declare now that the vote would be "a matter of conscience for ministers and backbench MPs alike".

    It would allow a "mature and rational" debate on the EU vote, Mr Brady said.

    No 10 has denied reports ministers may have to resign if they did not back any deal Mr Cameron reaches on the EU.

    Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Mr Brady - chairman of the influential committee of backbench Conservative MPs - said the vote on European Union membership was a "totemic issue".

    Read more

  145. EU Referendum Bill backed

    The foreign secretary

    Last night MPs overwhelmingly backed plans for a referendum on the UK's membership of the European Union. The vote, which followed the first debate on the EU Referendum Bill, means the legislation moves to the next stage of its progress through Parliament.

    Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said a "generation" had been denied a say on the UK's place in Europe, and the public must now have the "final say". MPs voted by 544 to 53 in favour of the bill.

    The Conservatives and Labour support the bill, but the SNP opposes it.

    Read more

  146. Osborne's spending pledge

    George Osborne

    A quick catch-up on the top politics stories at the moment beginning with the news that Chancellor George Osborne is to introduce a rule that will commit future governments to spending no more than they collect in revenue.

    Mr Osborne will use his annual Mansion House speech later to outline his plan to limit governments to a balanced budget in "normal" times, defined as any time the economy is growing. It is something that has been achieved by few governments since World War II.

    Mr Osborne will announce the change in his set piece speech, using that 'fix the roof' phrase we've become quite used to since the financial crisis:

    Quote Message: With our national debt unsustainably high, and with the uncertainty about what the world economy will throw at us in the coming years, we must now fix the roof while the sun is shining."
  147. Good morning

    Hello and welcome to our rolling political coverage of a day which is centred, literally, around Prime Minister's Questions at noon. That will be followed by David Cameron delivering a statement to MPs about the G7 summit. This evening Chancellor George Osborne has some big announcements planned for his Mansion House speech in the City.