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Summary

  1. Terror watchdog David Anderson says new law needed on surveillance powers
  2. Home Secretary Theresa May said she would bring forward draft legislation in the autumn
  3. David Cameron holds talks with European leaders as he continues his push for EU reforms
  4. In Labour news - Lord Prescott tells David Miliband to 'shut up' and John Healey quits dep leader race
  5. Voters in east London borough Tower Hamlets choose a new mayor to succeed Lutfur Rahman

Live Reporting

By Gerry Holt and Alex Hunt

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Evening recap

    As Thursday draws to a close, here's a round up of the day's political developments. 

    - Terror watchdog David Anderson has said   new laws are needed to regulate the power of security services  to monitor people's online activity

      - The government's immigration cap for non-EU skilled workers  has been hit for the first time , blocking the arrival of some nurses, doctors and teachers  

    - David Miliband  should "shut up" and stop telling the party what to do , according to former Labour deputy leader John Prescott

    - David Cameron has held what were described as  "open and frank" talks with the Belgian prime minister  over his plans for EU reform

    -   Further cuts in government spending will be needed  beyond this parliament in order to bring the national debt under control, the OBR has warned

    - The  government is considering reducing tax credits  for millions of working families as part of its £12bn welfare cuts, the BBC understands

    -   Gordon Brown spent £732 on pen cartridges  before stepping down as an MP at the general election, an FoI has revealed.

  2. 'Desirable thing to do'

    Newsnight

    There's a discussion on Newsnight on the report published today which says clear new laws are needed to cover security services' powers to monitor online activity.

    Conservative former Attorney General Dominic Grieve says there has been a consensus over the need to review the current systems in place, as RIPA is "completely out of date" and "not fit for purpose".

    He says the broad thrust of David Anderson's report is"probably acceptable" to both the Conservatives and Labour. It doesn't suggest that the need to retain bulk data is "excessive or wrong", he adds.

    Asked whether he agrees with the report's recommendation for the judiciary - not the home secretary - to authorise requests to intercept communications, Mr Grieve says it seems "a very desirable thing to do".

  3. 'Take a long hard look in the mirror'

    Matt Hancock

    During exchanges on the EU referendum question, Cabinet Office minister Matt Hancock takes aim at his former colleague and now UKIP MP, Douglas Carswell.

    He says the way the Eurosceptic party talks about immigration is “deeply negative” and tells Mr Carswell: “You need to take a long hard look in the mirror and think about the party you have joined.” 

    Mr Carswell replies: “If you want to slur 400 million people who voted UKIP please go ahead.”

  4. Votes at 16?

    BBC Question Time

    Question Time panel

    Moving on, the panel field a question on the planned referendum on the UK's EU membership. Do they think 16 and 17-year-olds should be allowed to vote?

    Douglas Carswell, UKIP's only MP, thinks not. He says politicians think extending the franchise is a way to reconnect with the public, but this a "saccharine substitute for real political reform".

    The government is against lowering the voting age for the poll, although MPs will vote on it during the EU Referendum Bill's progress through Parliament. Minister Matt Hancock says there has to be a line drawn somewhere and maintains it should be at 18.

    For the SNP, Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh thinks the voting age should be lowered. If young people can pay tax and join the army then they should be allowed a say on their future, she argues.

    Labour's view, Chris Bryant explains, is that the the franchise should be extended, noting that the age at which people can legally have sex is 16.

  5. Bigger liability?

    BBC Question Time

    Douglas Carswell and panel

    UKIP MP Douglas Carswell supports the idea of the sale, saying he's worried that hanging on to RBS will mean it becomes "a bigger liability". He also argues for banking reform.

    Meanwhile, SNP MP Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh says the wants to bring the focus back "to the people most affected by the banking crisis", like nurses and teachers. So there needs to be "a sense of justice", the MP adds, stressing the need to "maximise the return" from the sale.

  6. Independent front page

  7. Bryant: Government wrong on RBS

    BBC Question Time

    Chris Bryant

    The first question to the panel is on the government’s planned sale of RBS. Labour shadow culture secretary Chris Bryant says it is the wrong time to sell. While the government shouldn't hold on to it forever, selling it off now will result in losses of £7bn, he says.

    Defending the government's position, Cabinet Office minister Matt Hancock says it is “the right decision for the country”. He quotes Bank of England governor Mark Carney as saying that delaying the sale could end up costing taxpayers more. So the real question, he says, is "should we trust the governor of the Bank of England or the judgement of the people who got us into this mess in the first place?”

  8. Daily Mail front page

  9. Union power?

    Composite image of Jeremy Corbyn, Yvette Cooper, Andy Burnham, Liz Kendall, Mary Creagh

    Five candidates are in the running to become the next Labour Party leader: Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper, Liz Kendall, Jeremy Corbyn and Mary Creagh.

    Last time round, the unions were crucial in Ed Miliband's election to the top job.

    But now the party's election rules have changed, what influence will they have this time around? Over to BBC political correspondent Iain Watson.

  10. Tomorrow's Times

  11. Tomorrow's i front page

  12. Guardian front page

  13. Telegraph front page

  14. Friday's FT

  15. Coming up later

  16. 'Go with the flow'

    Channel 4

    On her interview with satirist Jon Stewart on his late-night Daily Show, Nicola Sturgeon says it's hard to prepare for such things, so she decided to "go with the flow" and "crossed my fingers and hoped for the best".

    "It was the possibly the toughest interview I've ever done," she tells Channel 4 News's Jon Snow, but swiftly adds "with the exception of the interviews that you do with me, Jon".

    "You know how to win anybody," he responds. You guys!

  17. 'No surprise'

    Channel 4

    Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon - who is currently in the US - says she is "very proud" of the SNP MPs in the House of Commons, saying they are doing "exactly as we promised" and making Scotland's voice heard.

    Asked about the party's bid to amend the Scotland Bill to include full fiscal autonomy, the SNP leader says it should come as "no surprise" as the commitment was in the party's manifesto.

    Ms Sturgeon adds that the party will also seek other amendments as the devolution proposals "don't go far enough".

    Pressed over predicted falling North Sea oil revenues and the potential impact on a fiscally autonomous Scotland, Ms Sturgeon says oil is an important part of the country's economy "but it's not the be all and end all".

    .

  18. Beware the political dinosaurs!

    Miranda Green is filming her round-up of the political week coming up on This Week from 23:35 BST. She will then join Andrew Neil, David Lammy, Michael Portillo and Suzanne Green live in the studio. 

    Also coming up are the dancer Michael Flatley talking about cultural exports, and the Rev Rose Hudson-Wilkin calling for more urgency and attention on the migrants in the Mediterranean. 

    Read more about the programme

    Miranda Green
  19. Afternoon round-up

    Here are today's need-to-know stories:

    - Terror watchdog David Anderson has said  new laws are needed to regulate the power of security services to monitor people's online activity

    - David Miliband should "shut up" and stop telling the party what to do , according to former Labour deputy leader John Prescott

    - David Cameron has held what were described as "open and frank" talks with the Belgian prime minister over his plans for EU reform

    Further cuts in government spending will be needed beyond this parliament in order to bring the national debt under control, the OBR has warned

    - The government is considering reducing tax credits for millions of working families as part of its £12bn welfare cuts, the BBC understands

    Gordon Brown spent £732 on pen cartridges before stepping down as an MP at the general election, an FoI has revealed.

  20. Quota reached

    The Home Office says this month’s quota for skilled visa applications has been reached. The quota is 1,650 every month apart from April which is 2,550.

    It means for the rest of this month no more visas will be allowed for skilled migrants. Applications will be considered again from July.

  21. Anderson on Snowden

    Eddie Mair

    PM on BBC Radio 4

    "I don't condone what he did - he undoubtedly made the defence of the country more difficult for a time... but you have to accept that what he did sparked a necessary debate - and a debate that was overdue."

    At the beginning of the interview he was asked if the whistle-blower was a hero or a villain (in one word), and he responded: Neither.

  22. Anderson speaks

    Eddie Mair

    PM on BBC Radio 4

    David Anderson

    Today's headlines have been dominated by terror laws watchdog David Anderson's detailed 300-page report. 

    The man himself has just been speaking to PM on BBC Radio 4, where he defended his recommendation that a judge should authorise all warrants for interception of communications, effectively limiting the role of the home secretary in the process:

    Quote Message: It would put the matter beyond argument by getting someone independent in... Ultimately it's a decision not for a politician but for a judge."
  23. 'Honourable brother'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Jo Johnson

    Jo Johnson's sibling, who has been watching from the benches, jumps up to make an intervention on a point about student diversity.

    Boris Johnson says: "Would my honourable brother and friend, on that point about diversity of students agree it is vital to maintain our high profile... particularly in India where we've seen a sad falling away of student numbers."

    Jo Johnson says he "thanks the honourable member for Uxbridge for his helpful intervention" although his face suggests it wasn't overly helpful. 

    He continues: "Of course we do encourage diversity of students."

  24. Live coverage

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Don't forget you can continue to follow live text coverage of today's Commons via Democracy Livehere.

  25. Big brother

  26. 'I don't talk about relations with any MP'

    The Daily Politics

    Robert Rogers

    Here's a look back at Robert Rogers' time as Clerk to the House of Commons, whose departure was met by MPs breaking tradition, and bending the rules to clap.

    Now as Baron Lisvane, the crossbench peer spoke about his time in the post where he was the legal owner of some of the Westminster estate, including some famous landmarks.

    But when asked about a reported rift with the Speaker, he told Andrew Neil "I don't talk about relations with any member of Parliament… discretion is the order of the day."

    Watch the film and interview

  27. 'Normal people don't make that weird grunting noise'

    The Daily Politics

    MPs should "try and behave normally" said a newly-elected member who questioned why some make that "weird grunting noise".

    The SNP's John Nicolson said some Westminster traditions were “very charming”, but others were “a bit alienating” to the ordinary viewer.

    He spoke to Andrew Neil after they watched clips of the Speaker John Bercow telling new Scottish members about traditions in the House of Commons.

    Watch the Daily Politics clip

    John Nicolson
  28. PM's 'hard day'

    Brussels Correspondent, Daily Telegraph, tweets...

  29. Analysis: IFS and Scotland

    Brian Taylor, BBC Scotland political editor

    Scotland would probably face tax increases or spending cuts under plans for full fiscal autonomy advanced by the SNP - that's according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies. 

    The IFS says if Scotland controlled its own tax and spending it would lose cash transfers from the rest of the UK.  

    Autonomy could allow Scotland to pursue better policies which would generate growth. 

    But the institute notes that "the consequences of the short run arithmetic are not easily avoided".

  30. 'Frank' talks on EU

    David Cameron met Charles Michel in Brussels

    David Cameron has held what were described as "open and frank" talks with the Belgian prime minister over his plans for EU reform.

    The PM met Charles Michel and other EU leaders at a summit in Brussels.

    Mr Michel said he respected the UK's decision to hold a referendum on its EU membership, but also warned against "discrimination of European employees" under any reforms to welfare.

    Mr Cameron has said he is "content" with the reception from leaders so far.

    More here

  31. Analysis

    Douglas Fraser

    Scotland business & economy editor

    Chancellor George Osborne wants a law to stop Britain's spending from being in the red. The SNP's Angus Robertson wants us to be more relaxed about it. 

    Who is right?

    Find out here... 

  32. English Democrats and Veritas to merge

    Robin Tilbrook
    Image caption: Robin Tilbrook, English Democrat chairman

    The English Democrats are to hold a joint conference with Veritas where the two parties will decide whether to merge.

    In a statement, the English Democrats said Veritas leader Therese Hirst is to join the party as deputy chairman and national council member. 

    The conference takes place on 18 and 19 September, during which one of the resolutions on the agenda will be merger.  

    Robert Kilroy Silk
    Image caption: Robert Kilroy Silk founded Veritas after leaving UKIP

    The merged party would intend to stand a full slate of 37 candidates for the Police Commissioner positions in England. Robin Tilbrook, the Chairman of the English Democrats said:  

    Quote Message: I am delighted to welcome Therese... I am also looking forward to welcoming the other members of Veritas to the English Democrats. Gradually all those people who are English patriots are waking up to the need for England to have its own political voice.”

      Therese Hirst said:  

    Quote Message: I think the time has come for everyone concerned about England's future to join together to make the English Democrats a stronger voice for England."
  33. Magna Carta anniversary

    Magna Carta

    It's 800 years since Magna Carta was sealed at Runnymede, near Windsor, in June 1215.

    How has what started as a peace treaty become, over the centuries, the basis and byword for the freedom, justice and democracy enjoyed by billions across the world?

    BBC iWonder charts the creation of the freedoms begun with the Magna Carta.

    And on Sunday, BBC Parliament is showing a series of programmes about it.

  34. Swinney on more powers

    Scotland's Deputy First Minister John Swinney has backed his party's bid to have full fiscal autonomy included in the Scotland Bill. His defence came as new Office for Budget Responsibility figures  predicted falling North Sea oil revenues .

    More here

  35. 'Laziest' party?

    The Guardian

    UKIP

    The Guardian reports on data that - in its words - makes UKIP Europe’s laziest major political party. 

    Between July 2014 and May 2015, its 23 MEPs have on average participated in 62.29% of votes in the European parliament, according to data provided to the paper by VoteWatch Europe.

    Among the parties of Europe’s seven largest states - Germany, France, UK, Italy, Spain, Poland and Romania – that together comprise more than a quarter of EU members, Nigel Farage’s party is by far the most absent from parliamentary votes, the Guardian reports.

  36. 'Precision instruments'

    Brian Paddick

    Lib Dem peer Brian Paddick, a former deputy assistant commissioner of the Met Police, has just been reacting to today's report on terror laws.

    He says the report seems "very balanced", arguing that current laws cannot deliver what is now needed to fight crime.

    Quote Message: We need a fundamental review. We need to give precision instruments to the police and security services to enable them to keep us safe without wholesale trampling on our right to privacy and civil liberties."
  37. Brown spent £732 on pen cartridges

    Gordon Brown

    An FoI request has revealed that ex-PM Gordon Brown spent £732 on 250 refill cartridges for black pens shortly before stepping down from the Commons. 

    Details of the bill emerged as the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority begins publishing MPs' expenses receipts.

    His spokesman said: "Because of his eyesight, after a series of operations on both eyes, Mr Brown uses special felt-tip pens for writing letters and notes. 

    "When his parliamentary office closes down on July 8, Mr Brown's office has already volunteered that it will return refills that have not been used by him or his staff."

  38. FCO spending revealed

    The amount spent by the Foreign Office on external law firms and barristers in the UK almost trebled in four years to £1.68m, official figures show. 

    In 2010-11, just over £600,000 of taxpayers' money went on legal costs beyond those of the FCO's in-house team, it was revealed in response to a Freedom of Information Act request. 

    Officials say the amount "differs from year to year primarily because the number of court cases in which the FCO is involved at any time is variable".

  39. PM and prince hail fallen

    David Cameron and Prince Harry at the Bastion Memorial

    The prime minister joined Prince Harry as the royal unveiled a memorial to those who lost their lives during the Afghanistan conflict. 

    The Bastion Memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum, Staffordshire, bears the names of all 453 UK personnel who died.

  40. Coming up tonight

    David Dimbleby

    Question Time comes from Gateshead tonight. On the panel are: Conservative Cabinet Office minister Matthew Hancock, Labour's shadow culture secretary Chris Bryant, SNP MP Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh, UKIP's Douglas Carswell and Daily Telegraph columnist Cristina Odone. You can watch by clicking on our live video tab above, or tune in on BBC One, 22:35

  41. Legal highs

    BBC Home Affairs editor tweets...

  42. Primary school pupil numbers soaring

    Generic primary school picture

    The primary school population in England has continued to rise sharply, with 94,000 extra pupils this year, reaching the highest levels since the 1970s.

    The 2.1% increase in primary numbers is equivalent to six more pupils for every school.

    "Minority ethnic pupils made up 71% of the increase," says the Department for Education's school census report.

    The annual figures show there are now more super-sized primary schools.

    It will mean more funding demands to create extra places and pressure on places for families looking for schools.

    Read more

  43. 'Years more cuts'

    Further cuts in government spending will be needed beyond this parliament in order to bring the national debt under control, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) is warning.

    In its annual report, the OBR says without further spending cuts or tax rises, the national debt will only increase.

    It says a permanent £20bn cut in annual public spending will be needed by 2020. That would help bring the national debt down to 40% of GDP by 2064, it says.

    Read more

  44. Debt no joke

    PA political reporter tweets...

  45. PM tributes

  46. Afternoon update

    It's been a busy day so far. Here's what you need to know:

    *The UK's anti-terror watchdog said  clear new laws were needed to cover the powers of security services to monitor people's online activity. Home Secretary Theresa May told MPs she would bring forward draft legislation in the autumn

    *Labour has questioned the government's plan to start selling its stake in RBS 

    * David Miliband should "shut up" and stop telling the party what to do, ex-Labour deputy leader John Prescott has said

    *David Cameron is meeting leaders in Brussels as he continues his push for EU reform

  47. Profit for the UK taxpayer?

    Treasury Committee chair questions whether taxpayers will make a profit from RBS sell off

    Tom Edgington

    Radio 4 Political Producer @edgingtont

    Andrew Tyrie MP - who will soon resume his role as chairman of the Treasury Select Committee - points out that the Rothchild report into RBS excludes excludes the cost of funding the Government intervention

    He told the World At One: "If that number is put back into these calculations I'm not sure that there is a profit for the UK taxpayer".

    Table showing that overall surplus from RBS comes to 14.3 billion pounds
    Image caption: Table 2 from Rothchild report on "The UK investment in Royal Bank of Scotland"
  48. 'Value for money'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    David Gauke

    "The British taxpayer expects and deserves good value for money," says Treasury Minister David Gauke, opening the debate.

    He says the seven-year EU budget deal "represents a real-terms cut to the payments limit" with Common Agricultural Policy spending falling "by 13% compared to the 2007 to 2013 EU budget period".

  49. EU Finance Bill

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Now the statements are over, MPs are beginning their consideration of the European Union (Finance) Bill.

    The bill allows the UK to approve the EU's latest arrangements for financing the EU budget.

  50. Healey quits Labour deputy race

    John Healey

    Former Labour minister John Healey has pulled out of the race to be the party's next deputy leader.

    Mr Healey said he had 20 nominations from fellow Labour MPs - not far short of the 35 needed to get on the ballot paper - but the former housing minister told LabourList he wanted to give other candidates, from different wings of the party, a chance.

    The Wentworth and Dearne MP was a Treasury minister under Gordon Brown and has backed Yvette Cooper for the party leadership.

    Tom Watson and Caroline Flint both have enough nominations to get on the deputy leadership ballot.

    Mr Healey said: 

    Quote Message: I joined the contest for deputy leader to talk about the deeper thinking Labour must now do, and the big challenges we must face. I’ll continue to do this as part of Labour’s team as we rethink and rebuild to win in 2020. I really appreciate the strong support from those MPs who’ve nominated me. We know the mountain Labour must now climb to convince people that we’re ready again to lead the country."
  51. Another way?

    Green MP tweets...

  52. 'We will have to wait and see'

    The World at One

    BBC Radio 4

    Andrew Tyrie is asked about the chancellor's plan to legislate to require governments to always run a budget surplus "in normal times".

    The Conservative MP says it's "probably" the right thing to do. The law "may offer some protections and is certainly better than nothing, but how much protection it is offering we will have to wait and see," he adds.

  53. Benefit of hindsight?

    The World at One

    BBC Radio 4

    Andrew Tyrie, the Conservative Treasury Committee chair, says it is the right time to sell off RBS, saying government "is not the natural owner".

    "The government should not try to act as an investment manager on a grand scale," he says.

    Askhed whether the bank should have been nationalised, he says "with hindsight I certainly think RBS should have been considered for a break-up very early on".

    Mr Tyrie says he's not sure there is a profit for the UK taxpayer from the sell off.  

  54. Osborne's 'constant meddling'

    The World at One

    BBC Radio 4

    Last night the chancellor announced plans to sell off the government's remaining stake in the Royal Bank of Scotland. Former Labour City minister Lord Myners - now a crossbench peer - says the sale could have been started earlier. He accuses George Osborne of "constant meddling" and "prevaricating" over RBS.

  55. 'Back into a deficit'

    The World at One

    BBC Radio 4

    Robert Chote

    So where does this leave the government's budget surplus rule (which the OBR will be responsible for policing)?

    Robert Chote says pressures on public finances, such as an ageing population mean "you would see the economy moving from a surplus at the end of our medium-term forecast overtime back into a deficit and an increasingly large one in the future".

    The OBR chief adds that the budget surplus is "ambitious".  

  56. Pension lock 'more expensive than anticipated'

    The World at One

    BBC Radio 4

    The government's triple lock on pensions - which protects their value - "has been more expensive than anticipated over the last few years", says Robert Chote, head of the independent Office for Budget Responsibility.

    Why? Because earnings growth has been weaker due to weak productivity, he says.

    Quote Message: Our working assumption... is that the triple lock does put systematic upward pressure on pensions spending as a share of GDP."
  57. 'They are amateurs

    The World at One

    BBC Radio 4

    David Davis says David Anderson's recommendations involve "a significant reduction" in the powers of the secretaries of state for home and foreign affairs. But he says the current system of political oversight is "not accountable at all".

    "When they come to this job they are amateurs," adding that he would rather trust a judge with "a long history" of dealing with security matters.

  58. Davis welcomes report

    The World at One

    BBC Radio 4

    Former Conservative minister David Davis is now on Radio 4 talking about the intelligence report. "Fundamentally this call for judicial prior approval I've always said would solve 80% of the surveillance problems of our state," he tells the World at One.

    The civil liberties campaigner says other than Zimbabwe the UK is the "only country that relies on political approval of surveillance of citizens of our country".

  59. EU renegotiation

  60. Newspaper row

    The Daily Politics

    John Nicolson, the SNP MP ticked off recently by the Speaker for reading a newspaper in the chamber, says he had been reading an editorial that was being quoted during the debate - but hadn't wanted to kick up a fuss when he was reprimanded. He also says the SNP will "probably" stop applauding in the Commons, which has also incurred Mr Bercow's wrath. Former clerk Robert Rogers says he has "no idea" why clapping is banned.

  61. 'Discretion' from ex-clerk

    The Daily Politics

    Robert Rogers

    Robert Rogers - now Lord Lisvane - the former clerk of the House of Commons, will not be drawn on his reportedly fractious relationship with Speaker John Bercow. 

    Quote Message: I do not talk about relations with any Member of Parliament. The reason is that as a matter of professional pride and credibility we always give our advice even with the most contentious issues in private. Discretion is the order of the day."

    But former Deputy Speaker Nigel Evans suggests their relationship might one day become the subject of "an Agatha Christie novel".

  62. Where's Osborne?

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Shadow Chancellor Chris Leslie is on his feet and wastes no time in querying: "Where is the chancellor of the exchequer?"

    Quote Message: Shouldn't he have the courtesy to come to the House to answer questions on what might be one of the most important decisions of this Parliament?"
  63. Prescott on David Miliband

    The Daily Politics

    John Prescott has a message for David Miliband, who has criticised Labour's election campaign: "He should shut up." The older Miliband brother should "stick to his international job", he says.

    Quote Message: Do not come over here telling us what we should do."

    Lord Prescott also says Ed Miliband should not have resigned straight after the election "run away" - and should instead have stayed on to steer the party through the transition to a new leader.

  64. 'Pay back'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    "It is the right thing to do for British businesses, British taxpayers and the British economy," says Harriett Baldwin on the RBS sell-off.

    Quote Message: We are making sure taxpayers get back billions more than they were forced to put in."
  65. Prescott on the Labour leadership race

    John Prescott

    Former deputy prime minister John Prescott says the nomination rule for the Labour leadership contest - under which MPs need the support of 15% of their colleagues in order to stand - is "too limited" and will not offer enough choice of candidates. He appeals to those MPs who have not yet nominated anyone to "get more candidates into the field".

  66. 'Turn benefits into repayable loan'

    Kwasi Kwarteng

    Young unemployed people should be forced to repay their benefit money when they get a job, an influential group of Conservative MPs has said.

    The proposal to pay benefits as a loan would give them "an additional incentive to find work rather than allow the debt to build up".

    The idea is included in a new book setting out a "radical" free market agenda for the Conservative government.

    Author Kwasi Kwarteng is seen as a rising star on the right of the party.

    The Conservative MP and junior ministerial aide argues that free enterprise - rather than government interference - is the answer to the problems facing Britain.

    Read more

  67. RBS statement

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    The May statement has now finished and Harriett Baldwin, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, is now speaking about the RBS sell-off.

    She says this government was not responsible for the bailout but "we are responsible for getting the best deal now for the taxpayer". 

  68. 'Stand test of time'

    Conservative Bob Blackman points out the legislative process is slow compared with how quickly criminals adapt.

    He urges the new legislation be future-proofed so MPs don't need to discuss the same issue "time and time again".

    Theresa May agrees it's an important point, adding David Anderson highlights in his report  the importance that changes are "technology neutral". She says: 

    Quote Message: I would hope that the legislation that we introduce will be able to stand the test of time."
  69. Resources questioned

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Conservative Bob Stewart tells MPs that, having been involved in covert operations, he is surprised how many people are needed to carry them out. 

    He queries whether the security services have enough resources.

    Theresa May answers it is an issue that is regularly looked at - and says this will continue to be the case.

  70. PM's EU 'wishlist'

    The Daily Politics

    Guy Verhofstadt

    David Cameron is continuing his meetings with other European leaders as he tries to win support for his planned changes to the EU. The PM met the Belgian leader this morning. Former Belgian prime minister Guy Verhofstadt says other countries also want to see reforms.

    Quote Message: It's not only about the wish list of David Cameron. It's going to be a global renegotiation."

    On Mr Cameron's bid to curb EU migrants' welfare rights, Mr Verhofstadt says there can be no changes to the principle of free movement - but adds that the UK already has power to stop abuse of its welfare system. It's not about the EU's future, he adds, it is about an "internal political battle inside the Conservative Party".

  71. Debate call

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Labour's Emily Thornberry calls for a day's debate on the plans. "This is too important... we need to have a more profound debate," she adds.

  72. Web-browsing question

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Lib Dem MP Tom Brake asks about what he describes as a plan to keep details of web-browsing for "40 million people".

    Theresa May says it is a complete miss-description of what's being proposed. "I suggest that if he wants a proper debate he stops using those terms," she adds.

  73. Trade union's nuclear warning

    Bradwell

    A union says the site of a former nuclear power station is going to be handed over "lock, stock and barrel" to China's national nuclear corporation.

    The GMB has written to the government warning of "serious safety issues" if the Chinese build a new plant at the Bradwell site in Essex.

    It also said this would be an "absolute disaster" for jobs in the UK.

    The government said any new facility would be subject to the UK's "thorough and transparent" safety regime.

    Read the full story

  74. David Davis

    The Daily Politics

    Conservative MP and civil liberties campaigner David Davis says the key part of David Anderson's report is the "recognition of the need for transparency and proper oversight and not just trusting politicians".

    He thinks Mr Anderson is pushing for a US-style court that gives judicial approval to "pretty much everything the security services do", which he says would be a major step forward.

  75. 'Great affront'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Labour MP David Winnick says the so-called snooper's charter is a "greater affront to civil liberties than any measure that has been introduced in recent years".

    Theresa May, responding, reiterates there is "no such thing" - it's about ensuring agencies have the right powers, she adds.

  76. Fishing trips?

    The Daily Politics

    Daily Politics

    Asked by Andrew Neil whether security services will go on "fishing expeditions" to access data that is not connected to a terror threat, counter terrorism adviser Richard Barrett says they are "very scrupulous about their observance of the law" and that they do not have the time to access other records.

  77. RIPA question

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Former attorney general Dominic Grieve says he "greatly welcomes" the new legislative framework - but says it needs clarity. 

    Keith Vaz, chairman of the home affairs select committee, follows him. He thanks David Anderson for his "excellent report" - but asks if the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act is also on the agenda. 

    Responding, Theresa May says "of course some of this does relate to RIPA and of course that will be considered as part" of the new legislation.

  78. Benefit graphs

    Newsnight's policy editor tweets...

  79. Green MP calls for RIPA axe

    Caroline Lucas, Green MP, has called for the Government to scrap the Regulatory Investigatory Powers Act 2000. She said:

    Quote Message: This report is a damning indictment of the Government's current unlawful, intrusive and disproportionate surveillance laws... it’s absolutely right that the granting of interception warrants should be a matter for the judiciary, not politicians. For the sake of transparency and accountability the Government must urgently adopt this change with haste and take this power away from the ministers."
  80. No snooper's charter

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Theresa May says SNP MP Joanna Cherry, who is the party's justice and home affairs spokesperson, is "quite wrong" to refer to a snooper's charter in her questioning.

    "There was never any proposal for a snoopers charter," says May, adding: "It's about ensuring that laws and powers are up to date."

    Quote Message: There was never any proposal for a snooper's charter... it's about ensuring that laws and powers are up to date."
  81. Data retention

    BBC political correspondent tweets...

  82. No 'snooper's charter'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    There is no snooper's charter, Theresa May says in response to SNP home affairs spokeswoman Joanna Cherry.

    Quote Message: It's about ensuring the law is up to date and the powers are up to date."
  83. Judicial authority

    Conservative David Davis - a vocal critic of the so-called 'snooper's charter' - welcomes the "excellent" report from David Anderson. He says the UK relies on ministerial authority more than almost any other country apart from Zimbabwe, and calls for a transfer of power to a "proper judicial authority" instead. Theresa May says this, and the rest of the 124 recommendations will be carefully considered.

  84. Primed for pix

    Here are some pictures of David Cameron meeting leaders in Brussels for EU reform talks

    Prime Minister David Cameron (L) shakes hands with Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel
    Image caption: The PM with Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel...
    Cameron with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy
    Image caption: ...and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy
    Finland's Prime Minister Juha Sipila
    Image caption: ...and Finland's Prime Minister Juha Sipila

    We'll try not to bring you too many more pictures of men in suits shaking hands - but we will bring you the latest lines from Brussels...

  85. Concerns

    Lib Dem MP tweets

  86. Coming up from noon

    The Daily Politics

    Sir Robert Rogers

    Andrew Neil will be talking about 'snooping' and spying powers with Conservative MP David Davis and counter terrorism adviser Richard Barrett, who was a director of Global Counter Terrorism Operations.

    And former Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt discusses David Cameron’s renegotiation strategy in Europe when he joins Jo Coburn in Strasbourg.

    Former deputy prime minister John Prescott will offer his views on the contest to find a new leader and deputy for the Labour Party.

    Reporter Giles Dilnot will be looking at MPs getting on their bikes and you can watch his film here.

    And we will also hear about new MPs being told off for not keeping to the rules of the Commons, with SNP MP John Nicolson

    The guest of the day is the former Clerk of the House, Lord Lisvane, better known as Sir Robert Rogers, and he will offer his thoughts on modernising parliament.

  87. 'New challenges'

    We need both freedom and security in our democracy, Yvette Cooper tells MPs.

    Quote Message: The digital age is a wonderful source of freedom and opportunity, but also brings new challenges from new crimes, new threats to our security."

    Theresa May thanks her Labour rival for the tone of her response.

  88. Labour response

    Yvette Cooper

    Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper is up now. 

    She echoes Theresa May's tribute and adds that she strongly welcomes the Anderson report's publication:

    Quote Message: Technology has moved on, but neither the law nor the oversight have."
  89. May tribute

    Theresa May finishes by paying tribute to "the vital work" of the men and women of the intelligence and law enforcement community:

    Quote Message: Whose work is not always known, whose successes often go unrecognised, and whose efforts day in and day out are fundamental to keeping everyone in this country safe."
  90. May: Draft bill this year

    Theresa May

    This and other reports will be carefully considered, but collectively they provide a "firm basis" for legislation, Theresa May says.

    She says a draft bill will be published in the autumn, with the bill put to Parliament early in the new year.

  91. Terror statement

    Theresa May says she would like to put on record her thanks to David Anderson for his work and says the report highlights the range of threats against the UK. 

  92. Terror statement

    No redactions have been made to the report, which makes 124 recommendations, Theresa May says.

  93. Terror statement

    Theresa May

    Home Secretary Theresa May is now addressing MPs on the publication of the Anderson surveillance report.

  94. Prescott's coming up

  95. 'Heart of democracy'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Alan Mak

    Chris Grayling is asked by Conservative MP Alan Mak the implications of refurbishment on the working of the Houses of Parliament. 

    Mr Grayling tells him the palace of Westminster is the "vital heart to our democracy" and goes on to mention an email from a clerk about the independent report on "how the building has a long and successful future".

    He says there are difficult decisions ahead but it is important that, "we don't end up being forced to move somewhere else".

  96. RBS sell-off

    Chris Leslie

    Shadow chancellor Chris Leslie says the government is putting an "interesting spin" on the RBS sale - and its benefit to the taxpayer.

    Quote Message: It's a bit like saying, 'Well, I've sold the family house at a great loss but don't worry I got a bit more on the car... a loss on RBS, I think, would be something taxpayers would be concerned about. "It's legitimate for taxpayers to want their money back."

    He adds everyone is agreed they want to return the bank back to the market - but "the question is, 'Is it necessary to make such a loss for the taxpayer?"  

  97. Terror report

    House of Commons

    Parliament

  98. 'Exponential' cyber crime increase

    Sir David Omand

    Former GCHQ director Sir David Omand says cyber crime is increasing "exponentially" and it would be "crazy" not to allow the same access to cyberspace as we do to the "three dimensions of the ordinary world".

    Quote Message: The key question is how do we allow access to the digital world but have respect for freedom of speech."
  99. May to speak soon

    A reminder that any minute now we are expecting Theresa May to address MPs in response to the Anderson report into government surveillance powers.

  100. Number checking

    BBC FOI specialist tweets...

  101. English laws

    BBC deputy political editor tweets...

  102. RBS sell-off

    Breaking away from terror report reaction for a moment - some reaction has come in from the TaxPayers' Alliance CEO Jonathan Isaby on the plans to sell-off the government's shares in RBS:

    Quote Message: The headlines will be grabbed by a potential loss on the sale of RBS. But the overall profit from the combined bank bailouts suggests that the chancellor is making the best of a bad job, especially as these were emergency recapitalisations rather than long-term investment decisions.
    Quote Message: RBS belongs in the private sector - it will be freer to lend, freer to operate and taxpayers will no longer have to bear the cost of fines and high pay. The government should not play the stock market, and therefore the Chancellor is right to sell off the stake as quickly as practically possible."
  103. 'Incredibly complicated'

    Victoria Derbyshire

    Kim Howells, a former Labour minister and ex-chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee, says David Anderson's call for surveillance laws to be simplified "sounds very sensible". The current rules are "incredibly complicated", he says.

  104. Terror report

    Analysis, Gordon Corera, BBC security correspondent

    David Anderson looks at the fact that technology is being used by those planning attacks.

    Increasingly we're seeing groups like Islamic State communicating over social media platforms. Often these will be based outside of the UK.

    In the past, you could go to the phone company to intercept communications but now you're finding they're using social media and maybe through a company based abroad - maybe a company that doesn't recognise UK law.

    So there are new challenges for the government and security services in dealing with the way terrorists and criminals are using technology.

  105. Terror report

    Mr Anderson says in the report: "Modern communications can be used by the unscrupulous for purposes ranging from cyber-attack, terrorism and espionage to fraud, kidnap and child sexual exploitation. 

    "A successful response to these threats depends on entrusting public bodies with the powers they need to identify and follow suspects in a borderless online world.

    "But trust requires verification."

    Full report here

  106. Terror report

    Analysis: Gordon Corera, BBC security correspondent

    David Anderson is calling for a sweeping new set of laws to replace the existing patchwork of laws - and he's saying that if the state is going to have these very powerful capabilities there will need to be much stricter safeguards over the way they use them. 

    For instance, judges not ministers should sign off on warrants to intercept people's communications. 

  107. Terror report

    Analysis: Gordon Corera, BBC security correspondent

    Gordon Corera

    What Mr Anderson has said in this report, is that the powers intelligence services and police have are necessary. 

    He gives a number of examples - murder inquiries, drugs busts as well as intelligence cases, in which he argues that the power to intercept communications, to gather data, to process the kind of bulk data that GCHQ does is necessary - but he says the current laws surrounding interception and surveillance are intolerable and undemocratic and simply unintelligable to most people.

  108. Terror report

    Key recommendations:

    *A new measure be introduced requiring the authorisation of a judge for all warrants for interception, which allow services to view the content of a suspect's communication, limiting the role of the Home Secretary in this process to selected instances

    *The definition of communications data - currently described as the who, when and how but not the content of an email or phone call - should be "reviewed, clarified and brought up to date" and supervision of its use should be improved

    *The power to force providers to retain communications data for a period of time should be maintained. That capacity could be "enhanced" to include records of user interaction, but only after a rigorous assessment; :: 

    *Security and intelligence agencies should be allowed to continue practising "bulk collection" of intercepted material but "strict additional safeguards" should be introduced

    *In relation to encrypted communications, "no go areas" for intelligence and law enforcement should be "minimised" but requests for encryption keys should be covered by a law-based system

  109. Terror report

    David Anderson

    Mr Anderson calls for a "clean slate" in the approach to intrusive powers used by authorities to combat terrorism and serious crime, saying the current framework is "fragmented" and "obscure". 

  110. BreakingTerror report

    Terror legislation watchdog David Anderson QC calls for a "comprehensive and comprehensible" new law governing police and security services' access to online communications. 

  111. Re-cap

    A quick reminder of today's top politics stories:

    * Reaction continues to pour in after Chancellor George Osborne announced  plans to sell the government's 80% stake in the Royal Bank of Scotland

    * Meanwhile, the government has kicked off the sale of half of its remaining stake in Royal Mail - Labour has been critical of the move

    * The chancellor is looking at proposals to reduce tax credits for millions of working families  as part of its £12bn welfare cuts

    * A report from the independent reviewer of terror laws will be published - a Commons statement from Home Secretary Theresa May is coming up just after 11:00, just as the report goes live

  112. Campbell on Lab leadership

    Alastair Campbell

    Former Labour spin doctor Alastair Campbell says whoever wins the party's leadership contest should put themselves up for re-election in two years' time, so they have the backing of the party going into the 2020 general election. 

    Speaking on to BBC Radio Stoke, he says the party has been split over whether it could win going into the last two elections and there should be some way of taking action once they've been in the job:

    Quote Message: We don't know at the moment whether the people in the frame at the moment are prime ministerial material."
  113. Scottish powers

    Money

    Just a reminder of the top story in Scottish politics this morning - the SNP has submitted an amendment to the Scotland Bill calling for the country's Parliament to be able to introduce full fiscal autonomy.

    The party's Westminster leader Angus Robertson says the Bill for more devolved powers does "not go far enough".

    Full story here

  114. The long road back

    Ed Miliband

    Remember the election? It might feel like a lifetime away now - but battered and bruised Labour supporters are still counting the cost.

    Political reporter for BBC Radio 4's The Westminster Hour, Leala Padmanabhan, has been speaking to party campaigners in north-west England about their reaction to the defeat and where Labour goes from here.

    Read more

  115. Trading places

    Executive Editor, Politics, HuffingtonPost UK, tweets...

  116. Full running order for the Commons

    It's promising to be a busy day in the House of Commons. Here's what's coming up: 

    • 9:30: Transport questions
    • 10:30: Business questions
    • Next: Anderson report statement
    • Next: RBS statement
    • Next: EU Finance Bill
    • About 17:00: Mental health and higher education debate
  117. Commons statements

    We are expecting a Commons statement at about 11:15 BST from Home Secretary Theresa May on the Anderson Report into intelligence and communications data. That will be followed about an hour later by a statement from Chancellor George Osborne on plans to sell off shares in Royal Bank of Scotland. 

  118. Analysis: Terror report

    Robin Brant

    Political Correspondent

    This is the most extensive and probably most significant report David Anderson has written since he took up the job as independent reviewer. 

    He's been to numerous ally countries along the way; from California to meet Twitter, to London to talk to the National Crime Agency. 

    I understand that those at the very top of government have been "very receptive" to his proposals. 

    There will be much discussion today about the spooks and snooping, but they aren't united. 

    While the Met Police in London are keen on wide-ranging powers to gather intelligence - not just building cases - I'm told GCHQ and the National Crime Agency are less keen; they believe there are overwhelming impracticalities of dealing with mass data on that scale. 

    The direction of traffic is towards more stringent - legislated - arrangements with ISPs and the Googles and Facebooks of the world, allowing warranted access to data. 

    This is the tight rope for the politicians. Both because there are substantial civil liberties issues and the fact they are US based. 

    Downing Street effectively pointed the finger at Facebook after Parliament's ISC reported on the events leading up to the murder of Lee Rigby in Woolwich. 

    The role of that body will come in for more questions too. It has more power of oversight over MI5 and the other agencies thanks to changes under the coalition but it's often criticised for being too close to the government.

  119. Analysis: RBS sell-off

    Norman Smith

    Assistant political editor

    The politics of this are difficult when we're just three weeks away from a Budget where we know the chancellor is going to detail £12bn in benefit cuts. 

    My sense is it's almost more about pragmatism than politics; the view in government that there is never going to be a good time to try and try and get RBS back into the private sector. Now is perhaps as good as it is going to get. 

    More than that there's a view that RBS in state hands is inhibited from doing the type of lending that it really needs to do to help the economy. 

    And lastly, there's a view that if you get it back into the private sector it will encourage competition among the banks.

  120. Javid on RBS

    BBC News Channel

    Sajid Javid

    Business Secretary Sajid Javid has been defending plans for the RBS sell-off.

    He says the government took the decision following independent advice from the governor of the Bank of England and independent advisers who said it was "in the best interest of the taxpayers to start selling the shares".

    Taxpayers can expect to get back £14bn more than they put in, he says.

    "You can absolutely justify it [the loss of £7bn]," he says, adding: "We shouldn't duck difficult decisions."

  121. Terror report

    Coming up this morning - a big report from the independent reviewer of terror laws will be published. 

    The report, by David Anderson QC, is expected to detail the investigatory powers police and intelligence agencies need, and whether there are sufficient controls and oversight. 

    Home Secretary Theresa May will be delivering a statement in the House of Commons about it at about 11:15 BST - we'll bring you what she (and it) has to say as we get it...

  122. Paper review

    FT

    Many of today's papers focus on the RBS sell-off. The FT says the move stands to lose the taxpayer up to £7.2bn of the £32bn stake the state has in the bank.

    But it adds this is a "substantial improvement" on the £20bn to £50bn loss, predicted by then-chancellor Alistair Darling in 2009.

    The Times, meanwhile, notes Mr Osborne said in his speech that to delay privatisation would be "bad for the economy". 

    The Daily Mirror's editorial says the decision to sell off RBS now is "a scandalous triumph of Tory dogma over value for money". It accuses Mr Osborne of "ideological fanaticism" in planning the privatisation.

    Read more

  123. Public 'wary' over sell-off

    BBC Radio 5 Live

    Shadow treasury minister Alison McGovern has just been talking about the government's plans to sell shares in Royal Bank of Scotland. When it was bailed out the share price was £5 and shares are now roughly £3.50. She says the plans need to be analysed closely: 

    Quote Message: We all want the best value for the taxpayer and I think that we need to look at the advice in detail and see what is being suggested. But given the government's performance over the past five years, particularly that Royal Mail sell off, I think the public are wary."
  124. Scotland powers

    The SNP are to push for full fiscal autonomy to be included in the Scotland Bill. 

    The party has submitted an amendment to the bill which would give the Scottish Parliament power over taxation, borrowing and public expenditure. 

    The SNP say they also intend to put forward more amendments for additional control over the minimum wage and responsibility for welfare decisions.

    SNP Westminster Leader Angus Robertson MP said: 

    Quote Message: Scotland needs significant new powers over our economy, job creation, welfare, wages and living standards if we are to make the most of our nation's potential. The proposals in the Scotland Bill do not go far enough."
  125. In focus: The RBS sale

    Norman Smith

    Assistant political editor

    The sell-off of RBS is set to take years and is likely to cost the taxpayer £7bn. Despite this, Chancellor George Osborne believes there may never be a better time to sell off the bank. Indeed delay, he warns, could result in bigger losses, and further inhibit the bank's ability to lend thereby damaging the economy.

    The sale - which could eventually be open to the public - may even prompt a recovery in the share price, believes Mr Osborne as investors gain in confidence about the bank's prospects back in the private sector.

    And the chancellor has sought to put the best gloss on the figures by suggesting when the sale of all the other previously state owned banks - such as Lloyds and Northern Rock - are taken into account - the taxpayers actually ends up with a profit of £14bn.

    Nevertheless ahead of a Budget next month expected to detail £12bn pounds worth of benefit cuts - writing off billions for a bank bailout - is a political risk.

    Labour has already condemned the sale as rushed and say taxpayers will want their money back in full - and Mr Osborne is likely to come under pressure to make a statement in the Commons today to justify his decision.

  126. 'Best campain'

    BBC political correspondent tweets...

  127. Diplomatic push

    David Cameron

    More on what to expect from today now - David Cameron is attending an EU summit in Belgium where he's set to sound out more leaders about his plans for EU reform.

    He's due to have one-on-one talks with his counterparts from Spain, Finland, Romania and Cyprus.

    Mr Cameron is seeking support for his plan to renegotiate the UK's membership before holding an in-out referendum.

    Read more

  128. 'Make it stick'

    Today Programme

    BBC Radio 4

    Virgibn Money's Jayne-Anne Gadhia, who sat next to George Osborne during his Mansion House speech, says the pair discussed banking regulation. 

    It is right to have rules and people should be held to account, she says, adding if wrongdoing is identified people should pay the price and go to prison. 

    Quote Message: The question is how do we make it stick."
  129. RBS decision 'right'

    Today Programme

    BBC Radio 4

    Jayne-Anne Gadhia, Virgin Money chief executive, who worked for RBS for six years until October 2006, says she believes banks are "much more successful in private hands":

    Quote Message: I think the time for recovery is now and it's the right thing to do. I think the argument that the chancellor makes... the taxpayer will have made £14bn - that to me feels like a success."
  130. Straw's advice

    The Times chief political correspondent tweets...

  131. 'PM prepared for worst'

  132. Simple steps 'could save NHS £5bn'

    The NHS in England could save £5bn a year with improved staff organisation and a better approach to purchasing everyday items, a review will say.

    Lord Carter came to the conclusion after spending a year working with 22 hospitals on behalf of the government.

    He found a wide variation in spending on items, from aprons to latex gloves.

    He also identified huge inefficiencies in the way staff were managed, with one hospital losing £10,000 a month through workers claiming too much leave.

    The report, which will be published in full later, will also say hospitals need to make better use of staff through flexible working and better rostering.

    Meanwhile, better use of medicines could also have a substantial impact, the efficiency review will say.

    Read more

  133. UKIP spat

    Raheem Kassam

    UKIP's sole MP Douglas Carswell has not fitted in with the party and sees it as a way to be an independent MP, Nigel Farage's ex-chief of staff has said.

    Raheem Kassam said some people wished the Clacton MP would play a bigger role within UKIP, "rather than being the Douglas Carswell party".

    Mr Kassam left UKIP amid internal friction within the party following the election - which saw it win one seat.

    He said Mr Farage also needs to help lead the EU referendum "no" campaign.

    Speaking to BBC's Newsnight, Mr Kassam said Mr Carswell could fit in with UKIP if he wanted to, but said: "I'm just not getting the sense that he wants to at the moment."

    Read more

  134. Child tax credit cut?

    Allegra Stratton

    Newsnight Political Editor

    A piggy bank

    The government is considering reducing tax credits for millions of working families as part of its £12bn welfare cuts, the BBC understands.

    Allies of George Osborne are studying an Institute for Fiscal Studies idea to return tax credits to 2003/4 levels, plus inflation - saving £5bn.

    Changes would cut entitlements for about 3.7 million low-income families by about £1,400 a year, the IFS said.

    Political allies of Mr Osborne say the move would increase incentives to work.

    The plan would return the per-child element of child tax credit to its real CPI-adjusted 2003/4 level.

    Government sources said it would represent a cutting of the system of tax credits put in place by former prime minister Gordon Brown, which they believe "papered over" poverty in the UK rather than seeking to address its "root causes".

    MPs and experts close to Mr Osborne believe reducing current tax credits would see low-income households encouraged to take on more work to keep their family income up.

    Read more

  135. Bank shares

    RBS

    We'll start our morning round-up with news that the government plans to sell its stake in the Royal Bank of Scotland - Chancellor George Osborne announced it last night in his annual Mansion House speech. Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney said the phased sell-off "would promote financial stability" and benefit the wider economy. The government provided RBS with a £45.5bn bailout in 2008. But the plan drew criticism from the Unite union, whose members include bank workers.

    It said the government was "short changing the public". The government paid 500p a share for RBS, compared with the current price of 354.8p. Mr Osborne also set out more details of the sell-off of the government's remaining stake in Royal Mail. Royal Mail employees will share a further 1% tranche in the firm, while 15% will be placed with institutional investors.

    Read more

  136. Good morning

    Hello and welcome to our rolling political coverage. There's plenty going on, with David Cameron at a European summit plus all the fallout from the news of the RBS and Royal Mail share sales. We'll start with a catch-up on all the main political stories this morning.