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Summary

  1. MPs on the Foreign Affairs Committee took evidence on Libya, examining the UK's intervention.
  2. MPs met at 11.30am, for questions to the Treasury ministerial team. Then there was an urgent question on a death from Ebola in Sierra Leone from Conservative MP Stephen Phillips.
  3. The main debates of the day were on student maintenance grants and the cost of public transport.
  4. The Home Affairs Committee took evidence on countering extremism, with US Ambassador Matthew W. Barzun.
  5. Peers met at 2.30pm and after oral questions, examined the Scotland Bill at committee stage.

Live Reporting

By Alex Partridge, Kate Whannel and Patrick Cowling

All times stated are UK

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  1. Peers adjourn

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    House of Lords clock

    As promised, Baroness Quin withdraws her amendment which concludes today's debate on the Scotland Bill.

    It also concludes the day's business in the House of Lords.

    Peers will return tomorrow at 3:00pm for oral questions, followed by further debate on the Immigration Bill at committee stage.

  2. No change necessary

    Scotland Bill

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Scotland Office Minister Lord Dunlop seeks to reassure peers that the principle under which the Smith Commission operated was not to cause detriment to the country as a whole.

    He points out that the commission rejected the devolution of National Insurance, on the grounds that it could undermine the Union.

    He concludes that whilst he fully supports the sentiment behind the amendments, he does not believe a change to the legislation is necessary. 

  3. The North 'doesn't end with Leeds'

    Scotland Bill

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Hadrians Wall

    Crossbencher Lord Curry of Kirkharle rises to support the amendment. 

    He acknowledges that the bill is good for Scotland and doesn't oppose it but fears it could be to the detriment of the North East.

    He laments the fact that those in Whitehall often need to be reminded that the North doesn't end with Manchester of Leeds.

    An impact report, he argues, would force attention on the disparity of funding between the North East and their Scottish neighbours.

  4. Impact of the legislation on border regions

    Scotland Bill

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Baroness Quin rises to speak to two amendments which she says she has tabled to highlight the bill's implications for the rest of the United Kingdom.

    She calls on the government to produce a report one year after the act is passed assessing the legislation's impact on areas that border Scotland. 

    Baroness Quin
  5. Water 'flows all the time'

    Scotland Bill

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Former Liberal Leader Lord Steel of Aikwood speaks to an amendment which seeks to promote the use of hydro power incentive schemes. 

    He tells peers that when the wind doesn't blow the wind turbines don't work, when the sun doesn't shine solar panels won't generate however "water flows all the time". 

    "Sometimes rather excessively", he adds. 

    Lord Steel
  6. Smith Commission Report not 'a strait jacket'

    Scotland Bill

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Leader of Liberal Democrat peers Lord Wallace of Tankerness notes that in the debate so far, the government has made frequent use of the phrase "the bill enacts what was recommended in the Smith Commission Report".

    Lord Wallace suggests that the authors of the report hadn't expected their recommendations to be "a strait jacket" for legislation.

    Lord Wallace
  7. Bidding for rail franchises

    Scotland Bill

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Train in Edinburgh

    Shadow Scotland Spokesman Lord McAvoy is next up, and speaks to amendment 63 which would allow not for profit operators to bid for rail franchises.

    Lord Dunlop argues that the amendment is unnecessary as the Scotland Bill already makes provisions allowing not-for-profit entities to bid for rail franchises. 

    He suggest that the amendment will only add "uncertainty" to the clause.

  8. Fragmentation or devolution?

    Scotland Bill

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Lord Dunlop says the government does not support the devolution of estate agent regulation as it would lead to fragmentation across Great Britain and would harm consumers.

    Lord Stephen suggests another name for fragmentation would be devolution, but agrees to withdraw the amendment at this stage.

  9. Regulating estate agents

    Scotland Bill

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Peers return to the Scotland Bill, where we have now reached a set of amendments on business associations, regulation of estate agencies and health and safety.

    The Liberal Democrats have tabled an amendment which would enable the Scottish Parliament to regulate estate agents.

    Lord Stephen points out that estate agencies across the border work in the context of Scottish land practice, and that the amendment would allow for regulation "more closely aligned to the Scottish legal system".

    Lord Stephen
  10. 'Significant improvements' to prison education

    Education in prisons debate

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Government Spokeswoman Baroness Evans of Bowes Park says education must be at the heart of the prison system.

    She notes "significant improvements", and tells peers that prisoner participation in education is "at its highest level".

    She expresses the hope that a review by Dame Sally Coates will develop new ideas to boost prison education. 

    Baroness Evans of Bowes Park
  11. Investment provides 'generous return' for taxpayers

    Education in prisons debate

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Liberal Democrat Lord Marks of Henley-on-Thames urges the government to find the resources to fund education in prison.

    He accuses the Treasury of failing to evaluate the future savings that could be made by spending now, adding: 

    Quote Message: Every pound invested in helping offenders avoid a life of crime provides a generous return for us all"
  12. 'An appalling imbalance'

    Education in prisons debate

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Lord Ramsbotham tells peers that when he was Chief Inspector of Prisons, he realised that education was the most important element in rehabilitation.

    At the time, he says, individual governors were able to cut education budgets without any checks or balances creating "an appalling imbalance between prisons".

    Consequently, he says he campaigned for the ring-fencing of funding for educational and vocational skills. 

    Lord Ramsbotham
  13. In the 'collective interest' to educate prisoners

    Education in prisons debate

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Former Home Office Minister Viscount Hailsham acknowledged that his experience on the subject is "not as direct" as Lord Hanningfields' "but it is extensive".

    He tells peers it is "in our collective interest" that prisoners, once released, "don't resume their criminal ways".

    He says the fact many do return to crime is down to a lack of personal or education skills.

  14. Education in Prisons Debate

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Lord Hanningfield

    Peers take a break from debating to Scotland Bill to discuss education in prisons.

    The debate is opened by former Leader of Essex County Council, Lord Hanningfield who was jailed in 2011 after falsely claiming £13,379 of parliamentary expenses. 

    He says his own experience of education in prisons was "rather ridiculous" telling peers that when asked, he said he would like to improve his IT skills but heard nothing further.

    He laments the number of young people in prison who could be useful in their future lives "if they could only be taught to read or do simple mathematics". 

  15. Minister praises Redcar task force

    Adjournment debate

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Anna Soubry

    Industry Minister Anna Soubry says there's no better example of the determination of the task force to help those who lost their jobs at SSI than what happened to the apprentices who had been at the plant. 

    She says placements were found elsewhere for all 51 within a week.

    She says she thinks there's "good news" to come from Redcar. According to her figures, more than 700 SSI workers are no longer claiming benefits, another 400 have never claimed at all. But there is, she says, more to do.

    And with that the House of Commons adjourns for the day. 

    MPs return at 11:30 tomorrow.

  16. "The crack-cocaine of gambling"

    Scotland Bill

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Gaming machines

    The lengthy debate on the British Transport Police comes to an end and we now move on to a group of amendments concerning gaming machines.

    In its current form the bill will devolve oversight powers in relation to gaming machines or fixed odds betting terminals where the maximum charge for a single play is more than £10.  

    Liberal Democrat Lord Bruce of Bennachie wants the Scottish government to have the power to regulate all machines regardless of the stake.

    He also wants the Scottish government to have the power to limit the number of gaming machines, which he calls "the crack-cocaine of gambling", that can be in a single shop.

  17. Redcar has been through 'toughest time'

    Adjournment debate

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Anna Turley says her constituency has gone through "one of the toughest times" possible.

    She says the package of support has had some successes, but also some problems. She raises the "dehumanising" treatment some ex-SSI workers have experienced at the job centre as an example.

    She also says there are many people who have not yet got the help they need. But with the right help she sees "no reason why we cannot overcome this tragedy".

  18. 'Completely vague' proposals

    Scotland Bill

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Intervening on Lord Dunlop, Lord Forsyth says the minister has been "completely vague" as to what the outcome will be of the bill's proposals on the British Transport Police.

    Lord Dunlop replies that when a power is devolved it is up to the Scottish Government to decide how it will work. 

    Lord Empey describes Lord Dunlop as "a very capable minister" but that "not even he has been able to offer one scintilla for doing this".

    Nevertheless he agrees to withdraw the amendment on the understanding that there will be further discussion on the subject.

    Lord Empey
  19. MPs vote against Labour motion

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    MPs have voted against Labour's opposition day motion on the cost of public transport by 305 votes to 213, a majority of 92

    The final business of the day is an adjournment debate led by Redcar MP Anna Turley, on the support package for workers at the closed SSI steelworks.

    When the plant closed in October, with the loss of more than 2,000 jobs, ministers promised an £80m package to "support people who have lost their jobs as a result of SSI's liquidation, and mitigate the impacts on the local economy".

  20. MPs divide on public transport debate

    Cost of public transport debate

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Transport Minister Robert Goodwill says that before the election he left a note at the Department for Transport for any Labour successor. He tells the House the note read "there is money for infrastructure due to our long term economic plan."

    He says the Conservatives have a "record of delivering" unlike Labour in government.

    He also says that European countries like Italy and Spain want to emulate Britain's competitive franchise system before being cut off by the time limit.

    So MPs divide to vote on Labour's motion. The motion calls on the government to enable bus re-regulation, and to allow publicly owned bodies to bid for rail franchises.