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Summary

  1. MPs were debating private members' bills. The first bill to be debated was the NHS (Charitable Trusts Etc) Bill at report stage.

Live Reporting

By Patrick Cowling

All times stated are UK

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  1. And they're off

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Education Minister Sam Gyimah wraps up his comments at top speed and debate comes to an end.

    With that the House of Commons adjourns for the week.

    Join us next week for more live coverage of the Houses of Parliament, but until then - goodbye.

  2. Current system 'penalises successful schools'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Mike Freer

    Mike Freer says the current funding structure "is weighted against schools in London and other densely populated areas and penalises successful schools".

    He calls on the minister to provide clear guidance as to how funding can be made available in the case of a free school in his constituency. 

    Education Minister Sam Gyimah says "this government fully supports good free schools expanding" but says "we must make sure that such decisions are based on a rigorous and evidence based process to ensure that the school will remain both educationally and financially viable".

  3. Adjournment debate

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Conservative MP Mike Freer is now leading the day's adjournment debate on free school funding for sixth forms.

  4. Out of time

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Communities and Local Government Minister Marcus Jones rises from the frontbench to say that the government does not support the bill, but does not get too far into explaining his reasons before the 2.30pm guillotine on private members' bills debate.

    Deputy Speaker Natascha Engel brings the debate to a close and the substantial list of remaining private members' bills on the order paper are dealt with.

    Natascha Engel
  5. Labour support for the bill

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Roberta Blackman-Woods

    Shadow Communities and Local Government minister Roberta Blackman-Woods rises to support the bill but is very quickly intervened upon by Conservative Michael Tomlinson who asks "given she is now championing these playing fields, does she regret that between 1997 and 2005, more than 2,500 fields were sold?"

    Ms Blackman-Woods responds by saying "the Labour government brought in new measures in 2004 in order to protect school playing fields by ensuring that in the revised guidance there was a general presumption against the need to sell land".

  6. What does the bill do?

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    The bill makes provision for a scheme for the triggering and holding of a local area referendum to approve a proposed sale of school playing fields by a local education authority or state-funded school.

    Currently such a decision is taken by the relevant local authority but Tom Pursglove says that these spaces are "vital" for promoting an active lifestyle, and are also important community areas.

  7. Next bill: school playing fields

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Tom Pursglove is now centre stage in the Commons where he is moving his Local Area Referendum (Disposal of School Playing Fields) Bill at second reading.

    The Conservative MP for Corby says that between 2001 and 2010 there were 242 sales of school playing field land, and since 2010 there have been 103 sales.

    "I personally have great confidence in communities to make decisions that are right for their area," he says.

    Mr Pursglove says about these school spaces, "when they are gone they are gone for good".

    Tom Pursglove
  8. Peter Pan Bill passes

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Conservative MPs Seema Kennedy and Sheryll Murray also speak to support the bill and congratulate Ms Morton for bringing it forward.

    Minister Jane Ellison thanks all MPs present for the collegiate tone taken in the debate on this bill at all its stages and runs through the provisions in the bill and what they will change.

    The bill passes third reading without opposition.

    So the Peter Pan Bill has passed all stages in the House of Commons - but where next? Never never land? 

    No - it moves on to the House of Lords.

  9. Support at third reading

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Labour's Barbara Keeley speaks briefly once again to say that she is happy to support the bill for Labour at third reading.

    "I hope that reducing the Department of Health's involvement in NHS charities will provide the organisations with more freedom to grow and provide them with more independence."

    Conservative Nigel Huddlestone joins several MPs in speaking to praise the bill, saying "I felt compelled to speak today because I don't think my children would have ever forgiven me if I had failed to speak in a debate for the Peter Pan Bill".

    Mr Huddlestone also invokes the memory of a predecessor of his as MP for Mid Worcestershire, and Friday sitting connoisseur, the late Eric Forth.

    Forth had said for a private members' bill to be successful it should be "uncontroversial and fairly obvious".

    "By my reckoning at least this bill passes that test," says Mr Huddlestone.

    Nigel Huddlestone
  10. Peter Pan Bill

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    The NHS (Charitable Trusts Etc) Bill is sometimes referred to as the "Peter Pan Bill" because it contains provisions to transfer Peter Pan royalties to the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity.

  11. Bill proceeds to third reading

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Jane Ellison brings her remarks to a close and the various MPs who have tabled amendments withdraw them in the light of the assurances given by the minister.

    With that, the bill proceeds to third reading and Wendy Morton rises to thank her colleagues for attending another Friday sitting to support and debate her bill.

    Ms Morton doesn't miss the last opportunity for Peter Pan references as she welcomes the help of "my new Tinkerbell at the despatch box" and also talks about the "unruly lost boys" of the debate - indicating Mr Malthouse and Mr Rees-Mogg.

  12. Government response

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Health Minister Jane Ellison is responding to the debate for the government.

    The minister says that while the government agrees in principle with the concept of consulting the public on important issues involving their communities, she says "on very technical issues it is a different situation" and that consultation by Parliament will be sufficient for the government.

    Speaking about Kit Malthouse's amendments Ms Ellison says "independence is the next stage in the evolution of NHS charities" and so argues that "the secretary of state's powers to appoint trustees have served their purpose and are no longer necessary".

    Jane Ellison
  13. Labour supports bill

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Barbara Keeley

    Barbara Keeley responds to the debate from the Labour frontbench.

    The shadow health minister says that she understands that committee stage of the bill "lasted 10 minutes" and is therefore surprised by the "sudden appetite for amendments".

    Ms Keeley says Labour supports the bill and refuses to take interventions as she says she will keep her comments short as Wendy Morton has dealt with the amendments in her speech.

    Being a woman of her word, Barbara Keeley is back in her seat within a three minutes.

  14. Bill 'in good shape' unamended

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Conservative Jeremy Quin also rises to oppose some of the amendments tabled today, saying that he had "looked askance" when he saw them tabled.

    Mr Quin says: "I thought the bill emerged in good shape from committee" and so urges his colleagues to withdraw their amendments.

    Speaking about one of Mr Malthouse's amendment, Jeremy Quin calls it a "magic circle" amendment - "now you see it in the bill, now you don't!"

    With one stroke, he says, the amendment would "remove a power that is core to the bill" - namely removing trustee appointing powers from the secretary of state.

    Jeremy Quin
  15. Speaking against the amendments

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Kevin Foster

    Conservative MP for Torbay Kevin Foster is speaking against several of the amendments that have been tabled to the bill today.

    Mr Foster speaks against the amendment relating to a public consultation by saying that from his experience in local government, such a consultation would be sparsely attended.

    "I can't see many people saying that's where i want to be on a Tuesday night in mid-February."

    Speaking about Kit Malthouse's speech he says he was "surprised at the level of doom and disaster" predicted for NHS charitable trusts.

    Mr Foster speaks against Mr Malthouse's amendments that would give the power to appoint trustees back to the Department for Health, saying that the "whole point" of the bill as that these charities are "not being seen as the government by the back door".

  16. The bill sponsor speaks

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    The bill's sponsor, Conservative Wendy Morton, is now speaking in the debate on her bill's report stage.

    "As of March 2015, there are 206 NHS charities with a combined income of £327 million," Ms Morton says. "They do a terrific job and provide a huge contribution to many patients, hospitals and NHS staff."

    Ms Morton says she will not be supporting Mr Tomlinson's amendment calling for more public consultation, as she says this is a "very unusual step" for a situation like this and argues that scrutiny will be provided by Parliament.

    The MP for Aldridge-Brownhills also says she "really struggles to see" how Mr Malthouse's amendments would work.

    Wendy Morton
  17. The 'special status' of NHS charities

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Conservative MPs

    Kit Malthouse has been intervened on several times by MPs, asking why the health secretary should be able to decide who should be a trustee of a charity.

    He responds again that the "special status of these charities is due to their association with the NHS and NHS institutions - they raise their money due to this association".

    Mr Malthouse says that most members of the public will make the assumption that such an associated charity is, in fact, part of the wider NHS and under the responsibility of the government.

    Therefore, he says, "to set them off completely free is only asking for political disaster at some point in the future".

  18. Trustees for hospitals

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Mr Malthouse is now speaking to his amendment 3 which would allow for one trustee to be appointed by an NHS institution, service or function for whose benefit a charitable trust exists.

    The MP for North West Hampshire says this amendment would allow, for instance, a hospital for the blind with an attached charity to have a trustee on the board of the charity to ensure that a charity "pet project" is not "foisted" on the hospital without any negotiation.

  19. Flock or herd?

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Kit Malthouse is warning against the damages that can be wrought by social media in giving "charismatic leaders" of charities feelings of "invulnerability" - citing the example of Kids Company.

    "We've all seen how small untrue half-thoughts and theories can whip themselves up on Facebook and Twitter and become reality," Mr Malthouse says, and points to "the millions of followers that otherwise unmeritorious individuals have on Instagram".

    "People are willing to go along like sheep in the herd these days," he says, prompting an intervention from Jacob Rees-Mogg.

    "Flock not herd," Mr Malthouse corrects himself before giving way.

    A half-risen Jacob Rees-Mogg descends back to his seat saying "that was exactly my point".

    "I thought so - I thank the honourable member for pedantry," Mr Malthouse replies.