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Summary

  1. First business was questions to ministers in the department for culture, media and sport.
  2. Then there was an urgent question on the meeting of the Overseas Territories Joint Ministerial Council.
  3. The main debate was on the Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Bill. The bill gives more powers to charities and the charity commission.
  4. Peers debated the economy in the light of the autumn statement.

Live Reporting

By Chris Davies, Aiden James and Patrick Cowling

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. House of Lords adjourns

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    That's it from Westminster for today.

    The Lords has adjourned until Monday but the House of Commons will sit tomorrow from 09:30 GMT to debate private members' bills.

  2. Order agreed

    Welfare Reform (Northern Ireland) Order

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Labour's Lord McAvoy gives his party's backing to the order, as does Lib Dem spokesman Lord Newby.

    The House agrees the order and adjourns for the day.

  3. NI welfare reform: Bill passes through House of Lords

    From the BBC News website, 24 November 2015

    Fresh Start agreement

    The Northern Ireland Welfare Reform Bill has passed through the House of Lords.

    The bill will now get Royal Assent and become law.

    The bill was given accelerated passage through the House of Commons on Monday night despite objections from Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) and Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) MPs.

    MLAs voted last week to hand powers over the welfare system to Westminster.

    Read more.

  4. Welfare Reform (Northern Ireland) Order

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    The final business today is the Welfare Reform (Northern Ireland) Order 2015, which enables to the UK government to legislate in the area of welfare reform in Northern Ireland.

    Disagreements between Northern Ireland's political parties over welfare reform led to Westminster legislating in this area, after the Northern Ireland Assembly agreed to allow this.

    Work and Pensions Minister Lord Freud says the UK government has "no desire to legislate on an ongoing basis" in this area, which is a devolved matter in Northern Ireland.

    The legislation which enables this order, the Northern Ireland Welfare Reform Act, specifies that no order can be made after 31 December 2016.

  5. More on the British Overseas Territories

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    The annual Overseas Territories Joint Ministerial Council (JMC) took place in London on 26 - 27 November.

    There are 14 British Overseas Territories under the jurisdiction and sovereignty of the UK, with a total population of about 350,000 people.

    The British Overseas Territories include the Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat and the Cayman Islands.

  6. Urgent question repeat

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Foreign Office Minister Baroness Anelay is repeating the answer to an urgent question, which was tabled in the Commons earlier.

    SDLP MP Mark Durkan tabled the question on the meeting of the Overseas Territories Joint Ministerial Council.

    Mr Durkan claimed the territories are "the location and shelter of all the scams and shams in tax terms".

    Minister James Duddridge said that "an enormous amount has been achieved on the issue of tax".

    Baroness Anelay repeats Mr Duddridge's response that a communique signed by "all members" of the council pledged to address the issue of financial transparency.

    Baroness Anelay
  7. Government response

    Defence debate

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Earl Howe

    Defence Minister Earl Howe replies to the debate on behalf of the government.

    He confirms that the government is committed to spend 50% of its overseas aid budget in areas that Lib Dem peer Lord Bruce called "vulnerable states", focusing on Africa, the Middle East and South Asia.

    He says the armed forces can do the job "that is required of them" and the Royal Navy will "maintain a destroyer and frigate fleet".

  8. Labour empahises 'soft power'

    Lord Touhig

    Labour defence spokesman Lord Touhig says the government should do more to boost the UK's "soft power".

    The Labour peer says many nations are formulating policy "around explicit soft power goals" but the UK is "weakening, rather than bolstering its soft power institutions".

  9. Lib Dem warning over cyber attacks

    Defence debate

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Liberal Democrat defence spokeswoman Baroness Jolly says there is a need to combat cyber attacks, adding: 

    Quote Message: Cyber is real and it poses a serious threat."
  10. Army 'depleted'

    Defence debate

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Lord Robathan

    Former defence minister Lord Robathan says equipment is important but describes the Army as "depleted".

    The Conservative peer says: "I repeat, we need more troops."

    He adds: 

    Quote Message: I told the prime minister this five years ago when I was a minister in the MoD and I survived, for a few years at least."
  11. Labour peer questions PM's 'bravado'

    Defence debate

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Labour peer Lord Anderson of Swansea wonders if he detected a touch of "bravado" in the prime minister's presentation of the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) in the Commons.

    "Have we properly adjusted to our new role in the alliances?" he asks. 

  12. 'Aggrieved and curmudgeonly isolation'

    Defence debate

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Ludford says she wants to focus on "security in its broader sense".

    Baroness Ludford says she "fully supports" the objectives of the government to "promote stability, good governance, and human rights" abroad and "to project our global influence".

    She says she is struggling to match the governments words with its actions however.

    The peer asks how the pledge to remove the Human Rights Act, and the refusal to participate in a strengthened Europol help achieve the government's stated aims

    Baroness Ludford warns against withdrawing into "aggrieved and curmudgeonly isolation".

    Baroness Ludford
  13. Final speech

    Fisheries debate

    Westminster Hall

    Winding up today's debate on fisheries, SDLP MP Margaret Ritchie says that there is "absolutely no doubt" that both onshore and offshore fishing represent enormous value to the UK economy. 

    She calls on the minister to ensure that the industry is not "imperiled" by any proposed downturns in total allowable catches (TACs) for certain species at the forthcoming EU fisheries meeting. 

    And with that, today's debate in Westminster Hall comes to an end. 

    Margaret Ritchie
  14. Commission no longer 'dictating from the centre'

    Fisheries debate

    Westminster Hall

    Responding for the government, fisheries minister George Eustice says MPs should bear in mind that "no man-made" system "will ever be prefect" for fisheries management.

    He says, however, that reforms to the CFP have been a "step in the right direction". 

    In particular, he says the trend towards more devolved decision-making is welcome, meaning the Commission's role is now to "sign off" management plans agreed by national governments instead of "dictating from the centre". 

    He adds that stock trends for a number of species are "moving in the right direction", noting that the EU has proposed increased limits for next year for haddock, monkish and cod in the North Sea. 

    However, he says he recognises that all is not "universally good news" and that the picture in other sea zones is more mixed. 

    George Eustice
  15. Labour response to debate

    Westminster Hall

    Shadow fisheries minister Alex Cunningham says the European Commission has "rightly" described discarding fish as unethical, and notes that discard rates for certain species remain "staggeringly high".

    However, he notes that the extension of the discard ban due from next January will present "a number of challenges" for fishermen, and that the ban on discarding demersal fish (living near the bottom of the sea) will be "more complex to implement".

    He asks the minister what additional measures he could propose to lower by-catches of this kind of fish. 

    He also asks the minister to secure a "better deal" for small-scale fishermen. 

    Alex Cunningham
  16. New peer backs action against Islamic State

    Defence debate

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Viscount Hailsham

    Conservative peer Viscount Hailsham, the former MP and minister Douglas Hogg, is the fourth new peer to make his maiden speech in the defence debate.

    He says the UK faces "suicidal killers intend on widespread and immediate murder".

    He said he voted against the invasion of Iraq in 2003 but feels there is a moral case for military action by the UK in Syria now, and Parliament did the right thing to back it.

  17. The need to plan ahead

    Fisheries debate

    Westminster Hall

    Eilidh Whiteford is responding to the debate for the Scottish National Party.

    "The government needs to be thinking ahead on these longer term challenges in terms of fish stocks and discards", she says.

    The SNP spokeswomen joins others in saying that renegotiation of the CFP is something with which the UK government could progress "with a much better chance of a positive outcome than some of their other demands".

    Ms Whiteford says "the fishing industry is extremely important to the Scottish economy, bringing in £500 million in revenue and sustains many coastal communities."

    She urges the government to "harness this sustainable resource".

    Eilidh Whiteford
  18. Call for aid for 'fragile states'

    Defence debate

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Lord Bruce of Bennachie

    Another maiden speech, as former Liberal Democrat MP Lord Bruce of Bennachie contributes to the defence debate.

    Lord Bruce says his experience of chairing the Commons International Development Committee led him to wish to contribute today.

    He asks how the Department for International Development will spend 50% of its budget "in fragile states and regions".

  19. Need for a 'common sense policy'

    Fisheries debate

    Westminster Hall

    David Simpson

    DUP member David Simpson who represents Upper Bann says that the changes to the Common Fisheries Policy have caused a great deal of frustration and says industry representatives have told him they feel "disenfranchised" by the moves.

    Mr Simpson finishes by wishing the minister luck with his negotiations and tells him "it is vitally important that we have a common sense approach to this issue".

    Watch here

  20. Thoughts of a Labour Eurosceptic

    Fisheries debate

    Westminster Hall

    Luton North MP Kelvin Hopkins speaks against the CFP and urges the government to unilaterally withdraw from the agreement, which he calls "a nonsense".

    Mr Hopkins says that reestablishing the 200 mile limit on UK home waters would "encourage a massive revival of the British fishing industry and of fish stocks in our waters".

    He also refers to "the appalling insanity of discards" as being the "most grotesque feature of the CFP".  

    Kelvin Hopkins
  21. New peer 'not an optimist'

    Defence debate

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Lord Arbuthnot of Edrom

    Another former MP, Conservative Lord Arbuthnot of Edrom, makes his maiden speech in the Lords.

    The former chairman of the Commons Defence Committee warns peers he is not an optimist.

    Quote Message: I've been described by the TImes as making Eeyore look like a happy, clappy type."
  22. 'Much uncertainty' on CFP changes

    Fisheries debate

    Westminster Hall

    Labour's Melanie Onn, the MP for Grimsby, says the ban on fish discards is the "most significant change" to the CFP since its inception.

    She adds that there is "much uncertainty" within the industry about how it will be implemented, particularly given that the ports obliged to land the catches are "unaware" of the weight of fish they will need to deal with. 

    She asks the minister what steps he is taking to make sure ports are "adequately prepared" for the changes. 

    She finishes her speech by revealing that she will be running the London Marathon next spring in aid of the Fisherman's Mission

    She appeals to members to "throw her a line" as she "casts her net wide" for donations. 

    Watch live here 

    Melanie Onn
  23. 'Pretoria boy' makes maiden speech

    SDSR debate

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Lord Hain

    Former Labour cabinet minister Lord Hain makes his maiden speech in the Lords, saying: "It's been a long journey from Pretoria boy to Neath Lord".

    The South African-born peer pays tribute to his "brave anti-apartheid parents" who were "exiled to London in 1966, when I was 16".

    Turning his attention to defence and security, Lord Hain says Syria represents one of the greatest "foreign policy disasters of modern times".

    He says military action against so-called Islamic state needs a "credible ground force strategy", which does not exist at the moment. 

    He says "Sunni [Muslim] ground forces" from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan and Turkey are required.

  24. Commons business tomorrow

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    The Commons will sit again tomorrow at 09:30 GMT to consider private members' bills. 

    Bills under consideration include the Riot Compensation Bill, the Pavement Parking Bill and the Criminal Cases Review Commission (Information) Bill.

  25. Minister winds up debate

    Adjournment debate

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Health Minister Alistair Burt winds up the adjournment debate with the words "I will do my best to live up to the expectations of the House as expressed by many members today".

    The Commons finishes for the day. MPs will be back tomorrow at 09:30 (GMT)

  26. Minister announces new targets for out of hours mental health care

    Adjournment debate

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Health Minister Alistair Burt says he intends to set a new target for improving out of area mental health care, and will do so in light of reports which are currently being compiled.

    Details of the new targets will be announced by the end of March 2016.

  27. Defence review: Main developments at a glance

    From the BBC News website, 23 November 2015

    Army

    Prime Minister David Cameron's defence announcements include two squadrons of F-35 jets for the Royal Navy's aircraft carriers, nine new maritime patrol aircraft and two 5,000-strong "strike brigades".

    They were announced as part of an extra £12bn of spending on defence equipment, part of the government's £178bn overall defence equipment and support budget during the next decade.

    Click here for some of the main developments in the government's Strategic Defence and Security Review.

  28. 'Existential threat' to fishing industry

    Fisheries debate

    Westminster Hall

    Labour MP Iain Wright begins his speech in a similar fashion to others who have spoken before him,  by saying that the debate should be taking place "on the floor of the House".

    He adds that it is "really frustrating" that the concerns raised a decade ago still threaten fishermen in his Hartlepool constituency, who he says face an "existential threat" to their livelihoods. 

    In particular, he says that the current quota scheme favours large producers, to the detriment of smaller boats. 

    Iain Wright
  29. Minister answers mental health debate

    Adjournment debate

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Alistair Burt
    Image caption: Alistair Burt

    Health Minister Alistair Burt says that the problems raised in the debate "haven't arisen in the past few months" and have been around for many years.

    He says that "what has puzzled me most since coming in to office" is how care can be so variable between different regions, and says poor management is often to blame.

    He states that "the principle should always be care close to home", later adding that it is "not acceptable" for people to be travelling hundreds of miles when they are unwell. 

    Referring to the constituency case raised by Norman Lamb earlier, Mr Burt says he is concerned that sort of case "might be more common than we think".

    He says that "there are enough beds", but that the admissions system is not allocating them properly.

  30. 'Resource-driven' review

    Defence debate

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Lord West of Spithead

    Labour peer Lord West of Spithead gives the Strategic Defence and Security Review a qualified welcome as an improvement, in his view, on the 2010 SDSR.

    "Our uniformed leaders are so grateful there were no cuts that they welcome SDSR 2015 as a triumph," the former First Sea Lord says.

    However, he criticises UK defence policy for being "resource-driven" rather than security-driven, accusing Whitehall of having a "how much threat can we afford?" culture.

  31. SDSR debate

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Conservative peer Earl Attlee is leading a debate on the United Kingdom’s role in supporting international security and stability in the light of the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR).

    Earl Attlee says he was particularly pleased about increased resources allocated to the BBC World Service and British Council.

    "We need both soft power and hard power" he argues.

    His criticisms of the SDSR include saying "the Royal Navy just is not big enough", and that he is "very concerned about the state of the Army".

    The Conservative peer says he welcomes the extension of the deterrent (Trident) and the decision on new aircraft carriers for the fleet.

    Earl Attlee
  32. Fishing can help 'rebalance' UK economy

    Fisheries debate

    Westminster Hall

    Conservative Peter Aldous points to the wider benefits of promoting the fishing industry, adding that the sector can play a "significant role" in regenerating coastal towns and "rebalancing" the UK economy. 

    He tells MPs, however, that the forthcoming second phase of the discards ban will not be easy to implement, and may require a "significant" upgrading of port infrastructure if it is not to have a detrimental impact on the inshore fishing industry in particular. 

    Peter Aldous
  33. Lack of data on mental health care

    Adjournment debate

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Norman Lamb
    Image caption: Norman Lamb

    Liberal Democrat Norman Lamb, who is a former health minister, says that when he asked officials for information on out of area mental health care, they told him they didn't collect the data. He adds that he changed this.

    He says the new data showed huge regional differences in mental health care provision.

    He adds that there are some private providers who would not take part in the data collection exercise. 

  34. Government response

    Pensions debate

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Baroness Altmann

    Baroness Altmann is responding to the debate for the government and is defending its record on keeping those who would be affected informed about the changes to state pension age.

    "It is difficult for the government to accept that people did not realise their state pension age had risen from 60" she says.

    Speaking about the accusation that people have been left "bereft" by the changes, Baroness Altmann says that there are a number of other benefits available to people who cannot work and were expecting to be able to access their state pension.

    Baroness Altmann also adds, "It has to be said, a state pension is not a right, it is a social security benefit" and says that contributions paid in to the pot go towards a variety of other benefits.

  35. 2013 changes to CFP a 'substantial step forward'

    Fisheries debate

    Westminster Hall

    Calum Kerr, one of May's new intake of SNP MPs, says he has had to learn "a whole new set" of acronyms to get to grip with fisheries policy. 

    He pays tribute to those working in the fishing industry, which he says remains an "inherently dangerous way to earn a living". 

    He says that this year's annual round of negotiations has brought some "good news" for the sector in Scotland, with a "very positive picture" on white fish stocks in particular. 

    He adds that whilst the SNP is "not alone" in its scepticism about the CFP, the 2013 changes to the policy represent a "substantial step forward".

    Labour's Kelvin Hopkins intervenes to suggest that the SNP's policy of continued membership of the EU whilst advocating Scottish withdrawal from the CFP is a "bit of a contradiction". 

    Calum Kerr
  36. 'Scandalous' level of treatment

    Adjournment debate

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Liberal Democrat Norman Lamb tells the House about one of his constituents, who was admitted to Accident and Emergency in Norwich after a suicide attempt.

    After a confusing process, the patient was told they were being sent to a ward in London. The patient was taken to London at 10 pm, by strangers who spoke once in the three hour journey. 

    The patient had a single conversation with a nurse in the ten days they were at the London clinic. The patient described the experience as like "being kept in a holding facility".

    After ten days the patient's parents were able to get them transferred back to Norfolk, where "recovery finally began"

    Mr Lamb describes this level of treatment as "scandalous".

  37. A 'failure to communicate'

    Pensions debate

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Labour shadow minister Lord McKenzie of Luton sums up the debate for the opposition frontbench.

    Lord McKenzie asks for better communication from the government to ensure more realistic expectations for people approaching retirement.

    The shadow minister asks the government if it accepts the accusation that "overall and in the longer term" the new single tier pension system is less generous than the old system "for most people".

    "Pension issues can be complicated even for the sophisticated practitioner" he says, and adds "it is clear that the government is failing to communicate effectively with potential pensioners on these very significant changes to the system".

    Lord McKenzie of Luton
  38. Fishing and competitiveness

    Fisheries debate.

    Westminster Hall

    Conservative Craig Mackinlay says in the UK at the moment, "we export what we catch and import what we eat".

    He adds that taking back responsibility for "conserving our own fishing fleets" would be a good way for the prime minister to achieve his stated desire to improve the competitiveness of the UK economy.   

    He notes that the industry is currently beset by a range of problems, including low wages, a lack of local entrants into the sector, and the fact that "too many" fishermen are working alone, presenting a risk to their safety. 

    He adds that low fuel prices are one of few "saving graces" for the industry at the moment. 

    You can watch the debate here

    Craig Mackinlay
  39. Problems in auto-enrollment

    Pensions debate

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Lord Stoneham of Droxford

    Liberal Democrat Lord Stoneham of Droxford says "pension reform is not easy" but argues that the single state pension will "be seen as a great landmark in pension reforms for years to come".

    Despite these warm words, Lord Stoneham has some reservations about the changes, especially in terms of problems in auto-enrollment.

    "Any delay in auto-enrollment effects women proportionately more" he says, and asks for details on these problems and any reassurances the minister can give on dealing with these issues.

  40. Out of area mental health treatment

    Adjournment debate

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Norman Lamb
    Image caption: Norman Lamb

    Liberal Democrat Norman Lamb is opening his adjournment debate on out of area mental health placements.

    The debate is about mental health patients who are sent long distances for acute treatment.

    Some patients have been sent hundreds of miles for treatment because no beds are available locally.

    Mr Lamb says that this would never be tolerated when treating physical conditions, and is a form of discrimination.

    Read more here

  41. Gender attitudes to retirement

    Pensions debate

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Conservative peer Baroness Jenkin of Kennington is highlighting the difference in treatment between men and women in the pension system and in attitudes to retirement.

    Baroness Jenkin says that according to research from the centre for the modern family, the majority of workers over the age of 55 have not planned for retirement.

    But she warns "there is a big difference between men and women in this category, while more than a third of men want to carry on working because they like their jobs barely 1 in 10 women feel this way".

    Baroness Jenkin
  42. Bill passes second reading

    Charities Bill

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Cabinet Office Minister Rob Wilson says this bill is about protecting charities and protecting the public from unfair fundraising techniques.

    The bill passes its second reading and will now go off to be considered in detail in committee.

  43. EU fisheries policy 'does not have many friends'

    Fisheries debate

    Westminster Hall

    Liberal Democrat MP and former Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael says he agrees with Sheryll Murray that the UK should be lobbying for reform of the CFP as part of its EU renegotiation. 

    He says achieving changes to the UK fishing industry's relationship with the EU would give David Cameron a chance to "atone for the sins of his ancestors".

    He adds that getting changes would also be "eminently achievable", adding that the common policy as it stands 

    Quote Message: "does not have many friends, even in Brussels"
    Alistair Carmichael
  44. Bill 'will reinforce public trust'

    Charities Bill

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Rob Wilson
    Image caption: Rob Wilson

    Cabinet Office Minister Rob Wilson answers the debate for the government, and says the bill "will reinforce public trust and confidence" in the charity sector.

    He says he is "deeply disappointed" by the way a "small minority" of charities have used inappropriate fundraising methods, and says the bill makes trustees responsible for ensuring vulnerable people are not exploited.

  45. Pension reforms background

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    The Pensions Act 1995 legislated that the State Pension Age (SPA) increase from 60 to 65 between April 2010 and 2020.

    The coalition government legislated in the Pensions Act 2011 so that women's SPA will reach 65 in November 2018.

    Some women born in the 1950s are arguing that they have been hit hard, with significant changes to their SPA.

    The government has said several times that it will not revisit the timetable introduced by the 2011 Act.

    Some of those born between April 1951 and 1960 will not qualify for a pension until the age of 66.

    Campaigners belonging to Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) say some women had very little notice.

    The government said that all those affected were written to using address details recorded by HM Revenue and Customs.

  46. 'No morality' in throwing away fish

    Fisheries debate

    Westminster Hall

    Conservative MP Sarah Wollaston says that she is sure MPs all agree that there is "no morality" is allowing caught fish to be thrown away. 

    However, she says they are under an obligation, to make sure that there are not "unintended consequences" for the industry in how the new discard ban is implemented. 

    She also stresses the need for "good science" in how  catch limits are set, and asks the minister for an update on what he is doing to push for this in Brussels. 

    Sarah Wollaston
  47. Pension reform arrangement 'a disaster'

    Pension debate

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Baroness Bakewell is now introducing her short debate on the new single tier state pension.

    She says that the aims of the reforms to bring in equality "is all right and proper" and fully supported by the population of the country, but says "the transitional arrangements towards that desire have however been a disaster".

    The Labour peer says that due to "incompetence and faulty communications" many people, most of whom are women, have been left "completely in the dark".

    Baroness Bakewell
  48. Uncertainty over fund change

    Fisheries debate

    Westminster Hall

    Labour MP Alan Campbell says he regrets that the debate has been moved off the floor of the House of Commons and into Westminster Hall. 

    On the topic of fishery policy, he draws attention to a new EU funding scheme called the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF). 

    He says the fund, which is gradually being phased in to replace a previous one, might "work against" smaller ports because of proposed funding caps. 

    He asks the minister for clarification of how the changes might affect smaller ports in his constituency in Tynemouth. 

    Alan Campbell
  49. Labour 'happy to support' the bill

    Charities Bill

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Louise Haigh
    Image caption: Louise Haigh

    Shadow cabinet office minister Louise Haigh says charities play a "special role" in the UK. She notes that "nearly three quarters of us do voluntary work at least once a year."

    She says it's "vital" that the charity commission has the powers it needs to regulate the sector properly, and welcomes the extra powers contained in the bill.

    She adds that Labour is happy to support this bill through second reading.

  50. Government 'will reach budget surplus'

    Economy debate

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Lord O'Neill of Gatley

    Treasury Minister Lord O'Neill of Gatley says the government is still on course to achieve a budget surplus by 2019/20.

    The government is able to borrow less and invest more, he adds.

  51. EU quota system has been 'absolute disaster'

    Fisheries debate

    Westminster Hall

    Opening the debate, Conservative MP Sheryll Murray says MPs hear the "same message" during every annual fishing debate, that the industry is "struggling to survive".

    She says the EU system of TACs and quotas has been an "absolute disaster", and that proposed tweaks to the system have been "no more credible".

    She adds that the latest proposals from the European Commission "fly in the face" of sustainable fishing of stocks in certain parts of the UK.

    In particular, she calls on the government to "totally oppose" the Commission's proposals to reduce the limits for haddock. 

    She calls for a control of UK fisheries to be included in the UK's renegotiation of EU membership. 

    Sheryll Murray
  52. 'Crisis' in charity governance

    Charities Bill

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Robert Jenrick
    Image caption: Robert Jenrick

    Conservative Robert Jenrick says the "governance of charities is in crisis".

    He raises the issues of high salaries for charity executives and questionable fundraising methods, and says the problem "comes down to trustees".

    He adds that failure of the Kids Company charity demonstrated the problem with "ineffective" trustees. Kids Company closed earlier this year, amid allegations of financial mismanagement.

    Read more about Kids Company here.

  53. 'Don't scare trustees to death'

    Charities Bill

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Labour MP Susan Elan Jones says there is widespread agreement across the voluntary sector and in the general public on the need for further regulation.

    Ms Jones does have words of warning about the provisions in the bill relating to charity trustees though.

    "There are 943,000 trustees across England and Wales" she says and it is our responsibility to not "scare them to death with regulation".

    "We are talking mostly about people who give up their time on management committees, often when they don't have much time to give up" she says.

    Susan Elan Jones
  54. CFP changes and the ban on ‘discards’

    Fisheries policy debate in Westminster Hall

    A ban on the controversial practice of ‘discarding’, or throwing way, fish to meet quotas is currently being phased in as a result of wide-ranging changes to the CFP introduced in 2013.

    A ban on discarding pelagic fish (living near the top of the sea) has been in force since January this year, whilst discards for demersal fish (near the bottom of the sea) will be banned from next year.

    It is likely that this second phase of the ban is likely to be harder for fishermen to implement, since demersal fish are often caught as by-catches along with other species. 

    The 2013 changes also committed EU countries to fishing stocks at or below the scientifically-defined Maximum Sustainable Yield by 2020 at the latest.

    Given that a large number of EU stocks are currently overfished, this commitment could cause increased tensions between fishermen and environmental groups during this year’s negotiations. 

    Fishing boats
  55. Background on the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP)

    Fisheries debate in Westminster Hall

    The CFP is the EU’s collective fisheries policy, first introduced in the 1970s.

    In order to promote the sustainable fishing of stocks, the CFP sets limits (called Total Allowable Catches) on how many fish from different species can be caught in a single year.

    Following negotiations between national fisheries ministers, this EU-wide limits are then converted into national quotas for the different member states.

    Ministers are due to meet in Brussels in just over a week’s time to agree the national quotas for 2016.

    The European Commission has proposed to maintain or increase the overall limits for 35 stocks next year, whilst limits for 28 stocks will go down. 

    You can watch today's debate here

  56. 'Vital' to protect confidence in sector

    Charities Bill

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Maggie Throup

    Conservative Maggie Throup says "our charities play an extremely important role across our nation and I believe we are stronger for the extensive work they carry out".

    Ms Throup says that although misconduct is rare it is "vital that measures are in place" so that the public and charity workers do not lose confidence in the sector when abuses take place.

  57. 'Government intends to savage the welfare budget'

    Economy debate

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Lord Davies of Oldham

    Labour Treasury spokesman Lord Davies of Oldham says "the government still intends to savage the welfare budget" despite the reversal on tax credits.

    He claims the performance of the UK economy is "substantially behind other countries in the G7" group of industrialised nations.

  58. Fisheries debate to begin in Westminster Hall

    Starting shortly in Westminster Hall, MPs are holding their annual debate about fisheries policy in the UK.

    The debate, proposed by the Backbench Business Committee, will see MPs debate likely challenges in the year ahead for the UK fishing industry as a result of both UK and EU fisheries policies. 

    You canwatch the debate here, or follow updates on this page. 

    Fishing boats in North Yorkshire
  59. Charities should 'inform social policy'

    Charities Bill

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    SNP MP Tommy Sheppard responds to the bill for the SNP and tells the chamber that the absence of his colleagues from their benches today "is not due to any lack of interest" but because the provisions of the bill relate to England and Wales only.

    Mr Sheppard reminds the House that people who work for charities are not just service providers but also a "vital source of information and opinion that can inform our social policies".

    The SNP member says the government has "some bridges to mend" with the charitable sector, citing disability charities who have raised concerns with government policy.

    Tommy Sheppard
  60. Lib Dem peer: 'Low tax economies do not grow faster'

    Economy debate

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    "Low tax economies do not grow faster than high-spending ones," claims Liberal Democrat Lord Taverne, who was the first director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

    He argues that evidence from Europe and the United States shows that, when polices to reduce inequality were applied, "economic growth was actually higher than in the days of inequality".

  61. Businessman calls for cut in top rate of tax

    Economy debate

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Lord Bilimoria

    "There is no questions that the budget deficit needs to be cut and the chancellor needs to balance the books," says crossbench peer Lord Bilimoria.

    The entrepreneur behind Cobra beer welcomes a low rate of corporation tax but thinks the top rate of income tax should go down from 45% to 40% and capital gains tax should be cut.

  62. Warning of language used in bill

    Charities Bill

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Fiona Bruce

    Conservative MP Fiona Bruce joins others in praising the bill for having "important purposes", but warns against some of the wording and definitions in the bill.

    Ms Bruce says that the charity commission may issue a warning to a charity trustee "who it considers" has committed misconduct. "This is a very wide-ranging phrase" she suggests.

    She also raises concerns that at this stage the charity commission can publish this warning publicly. "I am concerned that there is the ability to publish without the opportunity to respond" she says.

  63. 'Local services scaled back'

    Economy debate

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Labour peer Lord Judd says many "local services, which people cherish, will have to be drastically scaled back" or cut as a result of the government's decisions.

    "We have moved into an age in which the economy and society have become separated," he argues.

    Lord Judd calls for "evidence of what is really happening in society" to be considered alongside economic statistics.

  64. A 'good and important bill'

    Charities Bill

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Shadow cabinet office minister Anna Turley praises the "open and cooperative way" that the government has engaged with the opposition, calling it "a good and important bill".

    Ms Turley says it is "vital we get the right balance between a strong and sound regulatory environment that ensures trust but also allows charities to be innovative".

    The Labour shadow minister says that charities should have the right to dispose of their assets as they see fit, a direct reference to the government's policy of extending the right to buy to Housing Associations.

    Ms Turley says Labour back giving charities the statutory backing to ensure they cannot "be bullied by a government determined to sell off and run down affordable housing".

    Anna Turley
  65. 'No austerity Autumn Statement'

    Economy debate

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Baroness Noakes

    Baroness Noakes, a former Conservative Treasury spokeswoman in the Lords, says the Office for Budget Responsibility's forecast of higher tax revenues has enabled the government to increase spending.

    Quote Message: This is no austerity Autumn Statement. Spending will continue to go up year after year."
  66. Charity fundraising techniques

    Charities Bill

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Matthew Hancock says the Charities Bill will protect people from "undue pressure" caused by some charity fundraising.

    Fundraising methods have come under scrutiny since the death of poppy seller Olive Cooke, 92, in May.

    Read more here

  67. New powers for the Charity Commission

    Charities Bill

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Matthew Hancock says the Charities Bill will turn the charity Commission into a "tough, clear and proactive regulator".

    He adds that an "effective regulator needs to have teeth", and that the bill will give the Charity Commission new powers.

    Read more about the Charity Commission here.

  68. Government approach 'out of balance'

    Economy debate

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    "No government should attempt to balance the books on the backs of the poor" says Liberal Democrat peer Lord Shipley,

    Quote Message: I'm glad the government now recognises that its approach has been out of balance, trying to get too much from cuts [and] too little from tax."
  69. Charities Bill debate

    Charities Bill

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Matthew Hancock
    Image caption: Matthew Hancock

    MPs have begun to debate the second reading of the Charities (protection and social investment) Bill.

    The bill amends the Charities Act 2011. It provides stronger protection for charities to remove unfit trustees, and empowers the charity commission to close unfit charities.

    It also allows housing associations to sell off housing stock at discounted rates.

    Cabinet Office Minister Matthew Hancock is introducing the bill.

  70. 'Chancellor has cashed in his chips'

    Economy debate

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Lord McFall

    Labour peer Lord McFall says that "the chancellor has cashed in all his chips", despite the OBR saying there was only a 50% chance of meeting deficit reduction targets.

    Lord McFall, who as an MP chaired the Commons Treasury Committee, says the chancellor has missed all his targets to cut the deficit so far.

  71. Autumn Statement: Public finances better off by £27bn

    Anthony Reuben

    Business reporter

    Graphic

    Public finances over the next five years are looking £27bn better than they were in July, according to the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR).

    The improvement is due to a combination of better tax receipts and lower interest payments on debt, Chancellor George Osborne said in his Autumn Statement.

    It means the government can borrow £8bn less over the next five years.

    It also means there can be £12bn more investment in capital projects.

    Read more here.

  72. Tory peer on the 'lucky chancellor'

    Economy debate

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Conservative peer Lord Carrington of Fulham says the UK economy is "at last coming out of the black hole" thanks to the government and Chancellor George Osborne.

    He says the chancellor was lucky that the public finances were in better state than expected, although he adds that "chancellors often create their own luck".

    He claims the UK's economic crisis was caused by the last Labour government's "belief that the good times would last forever". 

    He adds:

    Quote Message: Cutting the welfare budget is harrowing, so I was pleased that the tax credits have not been reduced."
  73. E-cigarettes in Parliament

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Mark Pawsey
    Image caption: Mark Pawsey

    Conservative Mark Pawsey calls for a debate on the use of e-cigarettes on the parliamentary estate.

    At the moment, MPs must go to designated smoking areas to have a vape.

    Chris Grayling says this is a matter for the Administration Committee.

    Read more about the debate on e-cigs here

  74. Economy debate begins

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Questions are over and Conservative peer Lord Carrington of Fulham opens that first of today's debates, which is on "the economy in the light of the Autumn Statement". 

  75. Grooming on social media

    Business questions

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Conservative Andrew Bridgen calls for a debate on how "social media is used for sexual grooming", after a case in his constituency.

    Chris Grayling sends his condolences to the victims, and says the government will listen carefully to any suggestions about what can be done. 

  76. Relations with Saudi Arabia

    Business questions

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Douglas Carswell
    Image caption: Douglas Carswell

    UKIP MP Douglas Carswell calls for a debate on sanctions against Saudi Arabia, which he says has exported extremism for "too long". 

    Chris Grayling says that the UK has a "long partnership" with Saudi Arabia, that that it has "worked with them to improve their society".

    He says the government has "the right balance." 

  77. Flood defences

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Baroness McIntosh of Pickering

    The fourth and final question today, tabled by Conservative peer Baroness McIntosh of Pickering, is on the state of the UK's flood defences. 

    Government spokesman Lord Gardiner of Kimble says the the Environment Agency and other "key responders" are able to rapidly "deploy pumps and temporary barriers having learned the lessons of the winter of 2013-14".

    Baroness McIntosh calls for spending on maintenance to "match capital spending on flood defences".  

  78. Debate on prison terms called for

    Business questions

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Conservative Philip Davies asks for a debate on prison terms.

    He say people who are released from prison on license and commit an offence are returned to prison for 28 days rather than for the rest of their term. 

    Chris Grayling says that the issue should be raised at justice questions next week.

  79. Third question

    Lords questions

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Crossbencher Lord Hylton asks the government whether or not they will reclassify the Kurdistan Workers’ Party as a national resistance movement.

    The group, also known as the PKK, wants an independent or autonomous Kurdish state within Turkey and is proscribed by the UK government.

    Lord Hylton says the PKK "long ago stopped killing civilians" and has offered several ceasefires to the Turkish government.

    Home Office Minister Lord Bates says legislation does not enable a group to be designated a "resistance movement", adding: "The PKK has been responsible for 140 deaths of military police and civilians in Turkey, just in recent months."

  80. Anti-Modi protest questioned

    Business questions

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Bob Blackman
    Image caption: Bob Blackman

    Conservative Bob Blackman says that on remembrance Sunday a swastika was projected on to the Palace of Westminster in protest against the visit by Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi. He asks what action will be taken to ensure that this type of incident doesn't happen again.

    Chris Grayling replies that "it is not clear" this incident actually happened, and it may have been a doctored photograph shared on social media.

  81. Strathclyde review

    Lords questions

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    The second question comes from shadow deputy leader of the House of Lords, Lord Hunt of Kings Heath, concerning a review of the powers of the chamber by Conservative peer Lord Strathclyde.

    It follows government accusations that peers overreached themselves by holding up and seeking major changes to tax credit cuts which had been approved three times by elected MPs.

    Lord Hunt says that if Lord Strathclyde recommends reducing the powers of the House of Lords, peers should have a chance to debate his  proposals before the government implements them.

    Leader of the House Baroness Stowell says she is "confident" peers will have an opportunity to consider any proposals.

  82. 'Golden-bladder'

    Business questions

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Pete Wishart

    SNP commons business spokesperson Pete Wishart commends the speaker for overseeing yesterday's marathon Syria debate from beginning to end, and says he has earned the nickname "golden-bladder' as a result.

    He adds that he thinks there should have been a longer debate on the subject, noting that around fifty members did not get to speak.

  83. Call to save London art school

    Lords questions

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Earl of Clancarty

    Crossbencher the Earl of Clancarty asks the first question.

    He asks if ministers will intervene to halt the sale of the Sir John Cass Faculty of Art, Architecture and Design building in east London.

    The peer, also known as the artist and writer Nicholas Trench, calls the school one of the foremost centres of "art, design and culture in this country".

    Government spokeswoman Baroness Evans of Bowes Park says "this is not a matter for government intervention" but for London Metropolitan University, which owns the building.

  84. Grayling pays tribute to Bryant

    Business questions

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Chris Grayling

    Leader of the House Chris Grayling pays tribute to Chris Bryant for his "brave" stance during the Syria vote last night.

    Mr Bryant voted in favour of extending air strikes against the Islamic State group.

    Mr Grayling said that abuse and intimidation of MPs was unacceptable.

    Responding to Mr Bryant's comments on Tyson Fury, Mr Grayling adds that homophobia is not acceptable in sport.

  85. Second new peer

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Lord Watts

    The second new peer is Labour's Lord Watts.

    Dave Watts is the former Labour MP for St Helens North and was also a Commons whip.

  86. Tyson Fury criticised

    Business statement

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Shadow leader of the House Chris Bryant criticises boxer Tyson Fury for allegedly making homophobic comments.

    He says Mr Fury should be invited to the the House where Mr Bryant would be willing "to go head to head with him."

  87. MPs receiving abuse

    Business statement

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Shadow leader of the House Chris Bryant asks the speaker to confirm that MPs are sent to Parliament as "representatives, not delegates."

    He notes that several members have received abuse via social media far worse that the "hurly-burly" he says MPs should expect.

    He ask for a review of Commons security procedures.

    Read more here.

  88. Business statement and a sartorial request

    Business statement

    Chris Bryant

    The weekly business statement begins with shadow leader of the House Chris Bryant asking the Leader Chris Grayling to give a statement on forthcoming Commons business, and adds a request for the minister to "straighten his tie"

    Chris Grayling
    Image caption: Chris Grayling and his tie
  89. New peers introduced

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Two more new peers are being introduced to the Lords.

    The first today is the Liberal Democrat, Baroness Thornhill.

    Dorothy Thornhill was the first directly elected mayor of Watford.

    Lady Thornhill
  90. What are the British Overseas Territories?

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    The annual Overseas Territories Joint Ministerial Council (JMC) took place in London on 26 - 27 November.

    The JMC is the principle forum for promoting the security and good governance of the territories.

    There are 14 British Overseas Territories under the jurisdiction and sovereignty of the UK.

    The British Overseas Territories include the Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat and the Cayman Islands.

    The British Overseas Territories have a total population of about 350,000 people.

  91. In the Lords today

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Good morning.

    The House of Lords sits shortly. 

    The day begins with the introduction of two new peers.

    Then there are questions, including on the future of the upper chamber and on flooding.

    There will then be a repeat of an urgent quesion being asked in the Commons on the UK's overseas territories.

    The main debate is on the UK economy, in the light of the autumn statement.

  92. 'Lack of ambition'

    Urgent question

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Shadow foreign office minister Catherine West says the opposition welcomes progress when progress has been made but says "we all know there is much more room for improvement"

    The shadow minister says "there is a real lack of ambition" on the question of transparency.

    Ms West calls for a number of steps to be taken to address issues of financial transparency but is chided by Speaker John Bercow for "making a speech" in response to an urgent question instead of "pithy questions".

    Catherine West
    John Bercow
  93. LGBT rights in overseas territories

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Crispin Blunt

    Foreign Affairs Committee chair Crispin Blunt asks the minister about the issue of discrimination against same sex couples in the overseas territories including unequal legislation on same sex unions and adoption.

    Minister Duddridge says "progress has been made" and tells the House that the Cayman Islands announced this week that they would be recognising equal marriage.

    "This is a priority in a number of territories and we will do all we can to support them in bringing forward modern legislation to ensure people are treated equally", he says.

  94. Urgent question

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    SDLP MP Mark Durkan has tabled an urgent question on the meeting of the Overseas Territories Joint Ministerial Council.

    Mr Durkan asks the minister about the issue of financial services transparency in the territories and asks how satisfied he is that "significant progress" was being made. 

    The territories are "the location and shelter of all the scams and shams in tax terms" he says.

    Mr Durkan asks the minister what progress is being made on tackling tax avoidance schemes that are hosted in many of these territories

    "When will we know more?" he asks.

    Minister James Duddridge responds that "an enormous amount has been achieved on the issue of tax"

    Mr Duddridge says that a communique signed by "all members" of the council pledged to address the issue of financial transparency with "the highest priority". 

    Mark Durkan
  95. The format of PMQs

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Peter Bone

    Conservative MP Peter Bone calls for a return to the old format of prime minister's questions where there were two fifteen minute sessions rather than one lasting half an hour.

    Mr Bone says that because of the debate yesterday PMQs was "quite rightly" cancelled but says "if we had two sets he would have at least been here once"

    "He is the servant of the House, he is not a president".

    Leader of the House Chris Grayling responds that there will be no change to the format of PMQs as it allows the prime minister to better represent the UK abroad.

  96. Sitting hours of the House of Commons

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Culture, Media and Sport Questions have come to an end and now we move on to questions to the House of Commons Commission.

    The first question is about bringing forward proposals to reform the sitting hours of the House.

    Conservative Will Quince calls for a 09:30 start on Tuesday and Wednesday to make the House more "family friendly" and allow some members to "see their family of an evening"

    Martyn Day of the SNP asks about the unfriendly hours for the staff of the House and about their health and wellbeing.

    Liberal Democrat. Greg Mulholland calls for private member's bills to be moved from Friday to Tuesday evenings to allow more MPs to be involved.

    Veteran Friday attendee Philip Davies responds that if members want a nine to five job "there are plenty out there".

  97. Support for the Welsh language

    Culture, media and sport questions

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Conservative MP Glyn Davies says S4C plays a key role in supporting the Welsh language in Wales.

    He asks the government to "understand the widespread disappointment" in Wales that the DCMS contribution for the channel was "significantly reduced" in the autumn statement.

    Minister Vaizey says "I'm afraid my glass is half full on this one".

    "Even now if you take into account the contribution made by BBC News will receive a guaranteed income of £90 million a year" he says.

    Glyn Davies
  98. Sports strategy

    Culture, media and sport questions

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Tracey Crouch

    Labour MP Ruth Smeeth says that the number of young people engaging in sport has fallen under this government and reminds the House that Stoke on Trent has been awarded the European city of sport next year.

    "When is the government going to stop talking and start delivering?" she asks.

    Minister, Tracey Crouch responds that Ms Smeeth "only has to wait a very short time" to see what the government is doing to deliver a brand new strategy on sport.

    "Making sure that children participate in sport at a very early age is something that is very important", Ms Crouch says.

  99. Arts and culture in disadvantaged communities

    Culture, media and sport questions

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Shadow culture, media and sport secretary Michael Dugher says that in the government's 'Taking Part' survey there is a "marked decline" in the percentage of young children engaged in arts and culture activities.

    "Isn't it the case that under this government access to the arts has undeniably gone backwards and that it is disproportionately disadvantaged communities and working class kids that lose out the most", he says.

    Minister Ed Vaizey says museums have never received more visitors and arts organisations are thriving.  He calls on Mr Dugher to apologise for the "appalling scare mongering" he undertook before the autumn statement about arts funding.

    Mr Dugher responds that "it's an odd request to be asked to apologise for the government's own figures".

    Michael Dugher
    Ed Vaizey
  100. Arts funding outside London

    Culture, media and sport questions

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Labour MP Paula Sherriff asks the government about improving access to culture and the arts for more disadvantaged communities.

    Minister Ed Vaizey says that he was "delighted" with the autumn statement that didn't cut funding for the arts and culture, and says he seeks to address this issue further in a white paper being brought forward in the new year.

    Ms Sherriff responds that the Arts Council is estimated to be spending 43% of its annual funding in London. The Dewsbury MP calls for action to "rebalance funding between London and the regions".

  101. Super fast broadband

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    John Whittingdale

    Conservative MP Kevin Hollinrake starts the session with a question about the roll-out of super fast broadband.

    Culture, Media and Sport Secretary John Whittingdale says "by the end of 2017 95% of homes and businesses in the UK will have access to super fast broadband".

    The MP for Thirsk and Malton asks about the unwillingness of private companies to invest in connection infrastructure in the meantime because they fear they will lose their access to markets when the state sponsored roll-out eventually arrives.

    "How does the secretary of state propose to solve this important conundrum?"

    Mr Whittingdale responds that the government will welcome all alternative suppliers in the meantime and says there will be "different solutions appropriate for different areas".

  102. Today in the Commons

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    After the decision last night about UK military action in Syria, the Commons is returning to its more usual itinerary of ministerial questions and scrutiny of legislation.

    At 09:30 GMT we have culture, media and sport questions with the usual questions on the roll-out of broadband to rural areas, as well as  on the financial cost of supporting Premier League football.

    At 10:15 GMT members of the House of Commons Commission will take questions on the day to day running of the House.

    An urgent question on the Overseas Territories Joint Ministerial Council follows questions at 10:30 GMT, and then the Leader of the House will set out forthcoming business in the chamber in his weekly business statement.

    The main business of the day is consideration of the Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Bill [HL] at second reading.