Got a TV Licence?

You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law.

Find out more
I don’t have a TV Licence.

Summary

  1. Brexit Secretary David Davis answers MPs' questions
  2. Peers examine science and research post-Brexit
  3. MPs question Business ministers
  4. Digital Economy Bill to be discussed
  5. Government ministers questioned in Lords
  6. Finance Bill to be passed

Live Reporting

By Sam Francis, Esther Webber and Ros Ball

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Jeremy Corbyn and George Osborne

Jeremy Corbyn and George Osborne are among the MPs facing reselection battles as draft Parliamentary boundaries for England and Wales are published.

Read more

End of business in the Commons

House of Commons

Parliament

That brings today's business in the Commons to a close. MPs return at 11.30am tomorrow for international development questions ahead of prime minister's questions at midday.

End of Lords business

House of Lords

Parliament

And with that, business in the House of Lords is brought to a close.

Peers will return at 3pm tomorrow, when the main business will be the committee stage of the Policing and Crime Bill. 

Minister dismisses HMRC underfunding claims

Tax evasion debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Government Minister Lord Young of Cookham r
BBC

Government Minister Lord Young of Cookham rebuffs Labour's claims that HMRC is underfunded.

He says that since 2010 HMRC has been provided with £1.8bn to "make sure it is well equipped for the battle" on tax evasion and avoidance. 

This has led to the capturing of "£130bn in additional tax revenues", he argues.

HMRC has an "excellent record of success" on litigating tax avoidance, winning 80% of the cases and "many more being settled before judgement". 

Minister says she's been 'reassured' by tumble dryer manufacturer

Adjournment debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Responding to concerns about faulty tumble dryers, Business Minister Margot James acknowledges the "issue of safety is paramount". 

She adds that while other MPs have reported tumble dryer manufacturers ignoring their attempts at contact, she has received a letter from the company Whirlpool and found it "reassuring". 

While the number of tumble dryers in use is rising, the number of fires associated with them has remained constant, she specifies. 

Objections led to 'massive tax avoidance industry'

Tax evasion debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Labour treasury spokesman Lord Tunnicliffe
BBC

Objections to paying tax amongst big companies has created "a massive tax avoidance industry", Labour Treasury spokesman Lord Tunnicliffe argues.

While most private companies "pay their fair share, if sometimes grudgingly", a small number "object to either their companies paying tax or themselves", he says.

He says the OECD have calculated the tax gap - the difference between the amount of tax that should, in theory, be collected by HMRC, against what is actually collected- is £34bn.

To tackle this HMRC needs to be "more dynamic, better-funded and better managed", he adds.

Bosses could face jail for failure to prevent fraud

Tax evasion debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Suited man behing bars
Thinkstock

Yesterday it was revealed that a new bill to allow company bosses to be prosecuted for failing to stop their staff committing fraud is being considered by ministers.  

The plans, which have yet to be officially unveiled, follow similar plans to make company boards liable if staff facilitate tax evasion.  

A new criminal finance bill will extend legislation and make employers responsible for preventing money-laundering, false accounting and fraud, The Times newspaper reports.

It comes after a recent speech by the attorney general Jeremy Wright QC who suggested the government would consult on extending the planned law on tax evasion, announced earlier this year.

Tax is 'an issue of fairness'

Tax evasion debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Lib Dem financial spokeswoman Baroness Kramer
BBC

Lib Dem financial affairs spokesperson Baroness Kramer says paying tax is "an issue of fairness".

"If individual pay their taxes because they wish to pay for living in a fair society then business should as well," she says.

She notes that "small business pay taxes to support public services knowing a business in the same rival activity could be a using a whole variety of mechanisms to eliminate most of its tax bill".

She revisits an idea she put forward " a few years ago" of creating a kite mark, to signal companies that are not "paying their fair share".

Businesses must not think "they can enjoy all the benefits of being in the UK and not pay their fair share", she reiterates.

Plea to scrap faulty tumble dryers

Adjournment debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Shepherds Bush fire
@jasq11

Labour's Andy Slaughter is opening his adjournment debate on the fire risk from faulty tumble dryers.

He is asking the government and manufacturers to stop the use of faulty tumble dryers after it emerged that a huge tower block blaze in Shepherd's Bush, in his constituency, was caused by a faulty tumble dryer.

Digital Economy Bill passes second reading

Digital Economy Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

The Digital Economy Bill passes at second reading and will now move to committee stage for more detailed scrutiny.

MPs approve ways and means and money motions to make funds available for the plans in the bill. 

Age verification on pornography a 'step forward'

Digital Economy Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Matt Hancock
BBC

Concluding the debate for the government, Culture Minister Matt Hancock admits that preventing children from accessing online pornography is "challenging".

But he insists age verification on pornographic sites is an "important step forward" and that it will "impact on overseas-hosted sites and on free sites". 

The Digital Economy Bill also covers electronic communications infrastructure and services; protection of intellectual property; data-sharing; Ofcom regulation of the BBC and age-related TV licence fee concessions.  

Accountants could face tougher penalties under new plans

Tax evasion debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Photo of Money
Getty Images

Since coming to power Chancellor Philip Hammond has announced a series of policies designed to make tax evasion less appealing.

In August it was announced that accountants or advisers who help people bend the rules to gain a tax advantage could face a fine of up to 100% of the tax that was avoided.

Currently those who advise on tax face little risk, while their clients face penalties only if they lose in court.

The rules, which form part of an ongoing consultation, would "root out" tax avoidance at source, the Treasury said.

Read more here.

Labour urges stronger protection for women from online abuse

Digital Economy Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Kelvin Hopkins
BBC

Winding up for Labour, Kelvin Hopkins welcomes the bill in general, saying: "New rights and protections are vital."

But he says there is more work to do on data protection, and laments the "late appearance" of the Universal Service Obligation on broadband. 

He adds measures aimed at protecting of women from online abuse needs to be "much strengthened". 

Peers debate eliminating tax evasion

Tax evasion debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Peers now move to a debate on mitigating tax avoidance and eliminating tax evasion in the UK, led by Conservative peer Lord Leigh of Hurley.

Peers asked to approve Northern Ireland Fresh Start changes

Orders and regulations

House of Lords

Parliament

Peers are now being asked to approve the Welfare Reform and Work (Northern Ireland) Order 2016, which makes some of the welfare changes needed to implement the Fresh Start agreement.

The motion allows for top up payments to be made to Universal Credit and Housing Benefit claimants affected by the implementation of the Social Sector Size Criteria and allows for additional ‘Cost of Work Allowance’ payments to be made to those in receipt of Universal Credit or Working Tax Credit.

Peers agree to 2016 Budget

Finance Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Following the end of the speeches peers agree to all stages of the Finance Bill on the nod.

The bill will now go for Royal Assent, where it will become law in the coming weeks.

Conservative splits - over Bake Off

Esther Webber

BBC News

Mel and Sue
Getty Images

Earlier in the debate, shadow culture minister Chi Onwurah told MPs Labour has "significant concerns" about the funding of the BBC, claiming the money lost through changes to the management of the licence fee "could pay for 30 Great British Bake Offs”. 

Culture Minister Matt Hancock then got to his feet to intervene on the "crucial" question of the future of the show, welcoming the fact it will remain on free-to-air TV. 

Following the news that hosts Mel and Sue are to leave the programme, one Conservative MP was less optimistic, tweeting: 

View more on twitter

Labour: Economic failure is allied with Brexit

Finance Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Shadow treasury minister Lord Davies of Oldham
BBC

Shadow Treasury minister Lord Davies of Oldham says that while peers are not able to amend the Finance Bill "we do have an opportunity to comment upon the state of the economy".

Which he duly does.

He argues that today "we have economic failure over previous years now allied to a position for the British people to throw a great deal of our trading position into the hazard".

Conservatives too enthusiastic to speak

Finance Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Labour peer Lord Davies of Oldham notes that there has "not been a single speaker" from the Conservatives in today's debate, despite the chamber being "reasonably full".

Conservative peer Lords Forsyth intervenes to defend his party.

There have been "no Conservative speakers because the Conservatives are really enthusiastic about our leader", he says.

Brexit position 'simply unacceptable'

Finance Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesperson Baroness Kramer says the "ongoing uncertainty" over Brexit is "simply unacceptable".

She says she speaks regularly with business "and it's gone from being asked questions on what the government might be thinking to questions about whether this government has any competency".  

"'Brexit means Brexit' three months after the referendum is not a satisfactory set of answers," she says.

She also becomes one of only a handful of peers to address the Finance Bill in today's debate, congratulating the government on: raising the personal tax allowance, cuts in business rates for small business and improvements to ISAs.

Call for stricter regulation of online pornography

Digital Economy Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

The DUP's Jim Shannon says the government needs to "tighten up" its proposals on preventing children from accessing online pornography. 

It should be possible to "cut them [pornography sites] off from the UK market completely" if they don't comply with regulations, he adds.

No 'fraying' around here...

Parliamentary reporter tweets

What about Article 50?

Implications of leaving the EU

Select Committee

Parliament

The committee begin to close their session but David Davis protests: "You haven't asked me about Article 50 at all."

Labour MP Mike Gapes says: "I have, you wouldn't answer it."

Mr Davis goes on to tell Mr Gapes on a vote in Parliament: "The government in its manifesto said it would respect the view of the British people... It is not for Parliament to gainsay the view of British people. Full stop." 

The session is then closed.

Select committee room
BBC

Who is Satan?

Implications of leaving the EU

Select Committee

Parliament

Crispin Blunt questions the Brexit secretary on a quote from Guy Verhofstadt -  the man appointed by the European Parliament to negotiate Brexit talks - on migrant control.

He says if the UK wants to remain part of the single market it will have to accept the free movement of EU citizens. Mr Blunt says there is a lot of confusion about the single market due to the use of language about it.

Mr Davis jokes: "Get thee behind me Satan". Mr Blunt asks: "Is that me or Mr Verhofstadt?" 

Mr Davis says he won't get drawn on the government position on the single market, but says it is right that language used about it gets "very confused". 

He says the government want to see the "best trading capacity" for the UK.

Obscenity lawyer warns bill could kill off 'sexual minorities' sites

Digital Economy Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Neon porn sign
BBC

The bill under discussion proposes to introduce age verification on pornographic sites through collecting the credit card details of those who pay to use them.

Lawyer Myles Jackman, who represented a man acquitted of obscenity charges in a high-profile trial in 2012, has warned that if websites have to foot the bill for allowing age verification smaller outfits serving "sexual minorities" may not survive.

He also predicts it could lead to "Ashley Madison round two", as people’s sexual preferences could be traced to their real-life credit card details.

Ashley Madison is an online dating service for married people; it was hacked and the hackers threatened to release customers' data.

Earlier Culture Secretary Karen Bradley acknowledged age verification is not a "silver bullet" but insisted it could be useful, comparing it to restricting children's access to certain films, TV shows and magazines. 

'Cannot see logic of budget surplus' says former cabinet secretary

Finance Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Former Cabinet Secretary Lord Turnbull
BBC

Former Cabinet Secretary Lord Turnbull says he "does not see the logic" of the objective to reach a budget surplus.

In July, then Chancellor George Osborne abandoned his target to restore government finances to a surplus by 2020 - though Theresa May has since said she remains committed to the idea.

"I don't see the logic when there is such a huge range of infrastructure requirements unmet in this country," the crossbench peer says. 

"I don't see it's necessarily wrong to have a deficit," as long as the "GDP debt ratio continues to decline", he adds. 

Hate crimes are 'unforgivable'

Implications of leaving the EU

Select Committee

Parliament

Conservative MP Daniel Kawczynski tells David Davis that he engages with the Polish community in the UK and says there has been reporting of hate crime around the country.

Mr Davis says every member of the government condemns hate crimes that are committed by "unspeakable people", and that it is "unforgivable" and should be treated as "fiercely" as hate crimes have always been treated.

Daniel Kawczynski
BBC

Passports raised again

Daily Mail deputy political editor tweets

'Public investment needed'

Finance Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Former Labour Cabinet Minister Lord Hain
BBC

Former Labour Cabinet minister Lord Hain argues the economy needs a "public investment boost" from the new government.

Until then, we will be "trapped in a no growth, slow growth equilibrium that could last for years".

"The longer the wait is the harder it will be to break out of the cycle of low productivity," he argues.

"This budget is at worst irrelevant and at worst counter productive," he says, advising the government to "radically change course".

'I made no such pledge'

Implications of leaving the EU

Select Committee

Parliament

Ann Clwyd
BBC
Ann Clwyd

Labour's Ann Clwyd asks the Brexit secretary about the pledge for £350 million a week for the NHS, which was made during the Leave campaign.

Mr Davis insists: "I made no such pledge."

He tells the committee that "some did and if you want them to argue the case you should invite them here". He tells the committee to check his speeches and they'll find he never made the claim.

No change to passports

Implications of leaving the EU

Select Committee

Parliament

Asked about changing the colour of UK passports from red to blue, David Davis says he in the business of delivering, not of "symbolism". 

On security, Mr Davis says the UK will have a very "public stance". He says home affairs and justice will be "part of the negotiation" with the EU. 

On defence and the possibility of a European army, he says Nato must not be "weakened".

Select committee room
BBC
Select committee room

Darling: People need leadership from government post-Brexit

Finance Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Former Chancellor Alistair Darling
BBC

Former Chancellor Alistair Darling says "we need to see some leadership from the government".

"Until we know where the government will be in the long term it is very hard for people to take long term economic decisions."

Lord Darling of Roulansih, as he is now titled, attacks the Leave campaigners, who he says had "no idea that they were going to win and still less idea what to do once they had won".  

The Labour peer turns on those claiming recent economic data shows Brexit has not "produced Armageddon". 

"No one was claiming" that all financial transaction would "immediately stop" he says, but predicts that "in the next 12 months, when we start to know what is likely to happen," is when the public will become "cautious".

Plea for better mobile coverage

Digital Economy Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Drew Hendry
BBC

The SNP's Drew Hendry recalls a visit from a former MP to his Inverness constituency, saying it brought "the two most beautiful words in the English language for politicians - no signal".

He raises the plight of constituents without adequate mobile coverage or broadband.

UK will be a 'good EU citizen'

Implications of leaving the EU

Select Committee

Parliament

When asked if leaving the EU quickly is a possiblity, David Davis says the strategy of the government is to "depart the European Union at the end of the Article 50 process". He says: "Up until then the government will obey the EU law and will be a good EU citizen."

He says that is the best negotiating approach and adds that the UK will be a good global citizen and not "walk away" from its responsibilities.

Lord Newby is Lib Dem's new leader in the Lords

The Lib Dem Lords tweets

'Sound economic achievements'

Finance Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Commercial Secretary to the Treasury, Lord O'Neill of Gatley
BBC

Commercial Secretary to the Treasury, Lord O'Neill of Gatley, says peers will "consider the bill under the sound record of the government's economic achievements".

He opens the debate by reeling off some economic facts for peers.

The economy is "7.7% larger than at its peak before the financial crisis", employment is "up by 2.7m since 2010", while the "fiscal deficit as a share of GDP has been reduced by almost two thirds", he tells peers.

It is "too early to tell what the economic impact will be" of Brexit, he adds.

'A mandate like no other'

Implications of leaving the EU

Select Committee

Parliament

Asked if a general election would give the prime minister a mandate for triggering Article 50, Mr Davis tells the committee that he's "got a mandate like no other and it's our job to deliver on that mandate".

When Crispin Blunt criticises the previous government for the lack of planning for the outcomes of the referendum, Mr Davis says it would have been very difficult for any government to do the level of analysis that his department is currently doing.

He says the public want it done "properly, not incredibly fast".

David Davis
BBC

Deal or no deal?

Implications of leaving the EU

Select Committee

Parliament

Pressed by Crispin Blunt on what would happen if the UK didn't manage to make a deal with the EU, David Davis says he thinks it is unlikely that a reversion to WTO rules would happen.

World Trade Organisation rules are the principles of its trading system and would be the standard for the UK if no trade deal with the EU was negotiated.

He is then questioned on immigration and tells MPs that he expects substansive changes in immigration law.

MP says porn crackdown does not go far enough

Digital Economy Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Fiona MacTaggart
BBC

Labour's Fiona Mactaggart welcomes the government's commitment to restricting children's access to sexually explicit content, saying that "young boys get a completely distorted view of sexual relationships" through pornography.

But she warns the measures in the bill amount to "merely nudging" pornography sites to comply, suggesting internet service providers should block non-compliant sites.