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. Home Office questions start Commons day
  2. MPs then debate Children and Social Work Bill
  3. Peers hold debate on size of the House of Lords

Live Reporting

By Patrick Cowling and Kate Whannel

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Peers adjourn

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    The debate wraps up and the House of Lords has adjourned for the day.

    Peers will return tomorrow at 2:30pm for oral questions on community pharmacies, pension tax relief, self harm and alcohol abuse.

    House of Lords clock
  2. Debate demonstrates lack of consensus says Lords leader

    Size of the Lords debate

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Leader of the House Baroness Evans of Bowes Parks tells peers that she has "heard the strength of feeling on this issue" however she will not, tonight, be "setting out her stall".

    She suggests that the debate has demonstrated the lack of "clear agreement" regarding a solution.

    However she says it has also demonstrated a "strength of feeling" on the need to make progress - "This debate has set us on our way in a welcome spirit of partnership."

    Baroness Evans of Bowes Park
  3. Baroness Smith calls for an end to 'absurd' hereditary peers elections

    Size of the Lords debate

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Baroness Smith of Basildon

    Leader of the Opposition in the Lords Baroness Smith of Basildon looks at some of the solutions raised by peers. 

    She expresses opposition to the idea of linking the political composition of the House of Lords to general election results. Instead she suggests it should be linked to a trend over three general elections to avoid the membership "bouncing about".

    On capping the numbers, she is uneasy at the idea of an exact number preferring a more flexible band.

    Finally she calls for an end to the "absurdity" of the election of hereditary peers. This refers to the process by which peers elect a replacement when one of the remaining 92 hereditary peers dies.

  4. Lord Newby: A solution still a long way off

    Size of the Lords debate

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Lord Newby, leader of the Lib Dems in the Lords, argues that an elected or predominantly elected house would be "superior" to an unelected house.

    He suggests that the House of Lords is the only unelected second chamber in the world apart from the Council of Elders in Papa New Guinea.

    He tells peers that he favours an elected House of Lords but is "under no illusions" as to the likelihood of such a system being implemented.

    The debate has, he notes, seen some consensus but he believes an agreed solution is still some way off. 

  5. 'This is not a navel-gazing exercise' says Lord Norton

    Size of the Lords debate

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Lord Norton of Louth

    Conservative Lord Norton of Louth tells peers that today's debate "is not an exercise in naval gazing". It matters, he argues, "because this house matters". 

    He says the Lords adds value to Parliament "without challenging that core accountability" of MPs.

    However, he warns peers that, unlike MPs, they have to "earn" their legitimacy by ensuring the quality of their work is high.

    He adds that any good work is overshadowed by a public perception that the Lords is too big. 

  6. Government concerned with increasing numbers says former Cabinet Secretary

    Size of the Lords debate

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Lord Butler

    Former Cabinet Secretary and Crossbench peer Lord Butler recalls when he use to attend meetings where the Prime Minister and the Leader of the House of Lords discussed who to appoint as new peers. 

    He says the Prime Minister would ask what areas of expertise needed to be reinforced and act accordingly.

    This is not, he suggests, the case anymore. He believes that the main concern now is how to get the government's voting numbers up.

  7. Size 'most vulnerable point' of House of Lords

    Size of the Lords debate

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Lord MacGregor of Pulham Market

    Does it matter that the House of Lords is so big asks Conservative peer Lord MacGregor of Pulham Market.

    He believes it does, arguing that its size is the House of Lord's "most vulnerable point" making the institution easy for the media to attack.

  8. Commons adjourns

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    The business in the House of Commons comes to an end and MPs adjourn for the day.

    They will return bright-eyed and bushy-tailed tomorrow at 11.30am for justice questions.

  9. Carers' strategy will be published - Minister

    Adjournment debate

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    David Mowat

    Health Minister David Mowat responds to the debate for the government.

    He thanks Ms McKinnell for reminding the House of how much of the burden of social and palliative care is taken up by volunteers; and says we should all reflect on the fact that there are 6 million informal carers in the country. 

    Mr Mowat says that the government is bringing out a carers' strategy "in the coming months".

    The minister says the "facts of the matter" are that the NHS and adult social care services are under cost pressures - "and that will always be the case".  

  10. Adjournment debate underway

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Catherine McKinnell

    Labour's Catherine McKinnell is now moving the day's adjournment debate on support for people with terminal illness.

    She says that "worrying inequalities" exist in terms of the quality of end of life support available that depend on your illness, your age, and "as ever" where you happen to live.

    The MP for Newcastle Upon Tyne North says that palliative care services need to grow to meet increasing demand and also because social care services "are at breaking point".

    She speaks of the "terrible human impact" of people at the end of their lives not being able to die in a place of their choosing.

  11. Minister: Government will not privatise children's protection services

    Children and Social Work Bill

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Edward Timpson

    Responding to the direct remarks of the shadow minister and of several MPs in the debate, the minister Edward Timpson says "we don't want to privatise protection services for children and we won't privatise child protection services".

    He also tells MPs that the bill's aim is to "strengthen not weaken" protections for children.

  12. Minister: Bill includes 'fundamental reforms'

    Children and Social Work Bill

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Edward Timpson

    Education Minister Edward Timpson responds to the debate for the government.

    He speaks in glowing terms of the professionals who work with vulnerable children, saying "these people epitomise the compassion and deep desire in our society to hep others". 

    The bill, he says, is a "critical" part in creating a children's social care system to enable these professionals to do the "very best job possible" for children.  

    The minister says that the bill builds on other legislation, and takes forward "important measures" from the government strategy to put children first - which he says are the "most fundamental reforms to the system in a generation".  

    Mr Timpson also says the bill places the interests of vulnerable children "at the very heart" of the social care system.   

  13. Shadow minister gives government 'home truths'

    Children and Social Work Bill

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Emma Lewell-Buck

    Shadow minister Emma Lewell-Buck says she is going to deliver some "home truths" to the government in her concluding remarks to the debate. 

    The bill she says, "from its very inception", has been "ill thought out and hastily put together" and says the government's social work reform agenda has been a "total failure". 

    Ms Lewell-Buck calls it "legislation formed in the worst possible way", going on to say it was formed "without demand, and without any evidential basis of fixing the problems it purports to fix". 

    She criticises the bill as having "nice sounding elements" that don't appear to be fully resourced and for containing a "continual threat" to open up children's social care to the markets. 

    It is a "completely ridiculous approach to legislation" she says. 

  14. Former Commons clerk warns of 'enforced, unwelcome change'

    Size of the Lords debate

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Lord Lisvane

    Former Clerk of the House of Commons Lord Lisvane sets out the "perfectly respectable argument" against reducing the size of the House of Lords  - "it would be difficult, contentious and may produce unforeseen consequences."

    However he warns peers that the longer the Lords goes unchanged, the greater the likelihood that "unwelcome change" will be forced upon it.   

    He celebrates the role of the House of Lords in providing "exacting scrutiny" and debating subjects that the Commons "don't have time for" but says their work is "seen through the prism of size".

    He recalls a quote attributed to Walter Bagehot "The cure for admiring the House of Lords is to go and see it." Lord Lisvane suggests this should now be adapted to "The cure for criticising the House of Lords is to go and see it."

  15. Tory MP: Government must keep parental responsibility

    Children and Social Work Bill

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Flick Drummond
    Image caption: Conservative MP Flick Drummond

    The Conservative MP for Portsmouth South Flick Drummond says she is "really pleased" with the bill and especially supports the raising of the age of care leavers to 25 in local authority services. 

    "I know that young people in their 20s still need looking after - having four of my own in their 20s", she says. 

    Ms Drummond says the state needs to keep parental responsibility until young people are "firmly launched", and also calls on the government to look after the housing needs of care leavers.

  16. Maria Miller defends 'innovation clause'

    Children and Social Work Bill

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Maria Miller

    Conservative Maria Miller speaks about the clause introducing what she calls "controversial powers" allowing local authorities, in some cases, to test new ways to improve "children's outcomes". 

    The House of Lords removed "the innovation clause" but the government has said it will reintroduce the measures to the bill during its passage through the Commons. 

    Maria Miller supports the proposals arguing that it would give local authorities "an insight into better ways of working" which they can then share with other bodies.

  17. 'We cannot let it be the internet that educates children'

    Children and Social Work Bill

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Stella Creasy

    Labour's Stella Creasy warns the minister that when the bill moves to its next stages she intends to table amendments to bring in "crucial parts" of safeguarding, namely giving children access to good sex and relationship education.

    We cannot say that we safeguard children when we teach them about the role of compost in their lives but not of sex, she argues.

    "We cannot," she says "let it be the internet that educates them."

  18. The thinking person's legislative chamber?

    Size of the Lords debate

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Lord Rooker

    Labour's Lord Rooker offers a robust defence of the House of Lords describing it as "the thinking chamber that thinks for itself".

    He says peers need to check the material coming from the Commons "because they don't check it themselves".

    Despite all this he agrees that the Lords is too big, that it could do "better with less" and "we should get on with it".