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Summary

  1. Work and Pensions Committee looks into modern slavery
  2. Lords committee looks at UK-EU movement of people
  3. Commons day starts with International Development questions
  4. PMQs at noon
  5. Urgent question on Green Investment Bank
  6. Opposition day debate on NHS and social care funding
  7. Peers kick off at 3pm with questions to ministers
  8. Main business in Lords is Higher Education and Research Bill

Live Reporting

By Kate Whannel, Aiden James and Claire Gould

All times stated are UK

Get involved

House of Lords adjourns for the day

House of Lords

Parliament

House of Lords clock
BBC

No further amendments are moved and debate ends for the evening.

Peers will return on Thursday from 11am, starting with questions to the government.

They will also take part in a series of debates on topics including the "future capability of the UK's armed forces in the current international situation".

'Providers should continue to collaborate and innovate'

Higher Education and Research Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Replying for the government, Viscount Younger of Leckie claims the aims of the Office for Students are "absolutely consistent with the idea that providers should continue to collaborate and innovate".

However, requiring the regulator to produce evidence in this area is an unnecessary burden, he argues.

Scientist questions requirement to promote collaboration

Higher Education and Research Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Winston
BBC

Labour peer and scientist Lord Winston, while sympathising with the principle of requiring collaboration, asks "how you can enforce this collaboration in any meaningful way".

Science, he says, is competitive and takes place in a very "testosterone-driven environment - it's not desirable but it actually happens".

He says this is an argument for more women in science, who could "humanise our laboratories" and are more likely to collaborate.

In the meantime, he doubts whether it is "useful" to have a requirement to promote collaboration in the bill.

Promoting collaboration between universities

Higher Education and Research Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Baroness Brown of Cambridge
BBC

Peers now consider a Labour amendment requiring the Office for Students to promote collaboration between higher education institutions in England and also to promote innovation.

The amendment is supported by crossbencher Baroness Brown of Cambridge, the former vice chancellor of Aston University, who has also put forward her own similar amendment.

She says that universities are by their nature competitive but collaboration is "hugely important" and can benefit students and the economy.

Labour peer defends diversity - and the Church's role

Higher Education and Research Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Labour peer Lord Adonis speaks in favour of maintaining diverse institutions and says the Church of England's higher education establishments can help counter a bias towards the south east of England.

There are denominational institutions based in "communities that are disadvantaged and are distant from London", he says.

Higher Education and Research Bill debate resumes

House of Lords

Parliament

Bishop of Birmingham
BBC

The short debate ends and the committee stage of the Higher Education and Research Bill resumes.

The Bishop of Birmingham introduces an amendment on behalf of his colleague the Bishop of Portsmouth, on "the need to maintain diversity of provision".

This includes "providers of a denominational character".

He tells the House "there are over 100,000 students enrolled across the 16 Cathedrals Group institutions" - universities and university colleges with Church foundations.

Minister: Government to introduce database and consult on microchipping

Equine welfare debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Gardiner of Kimble
BBC

Environment Minister Lord Gardiner of Kimble says the government is making "good progress with an equine database" which will identify all horses with a UK-issued passport.

He adds that ministers will be consulting on compulsory microchipping of horses.

This can help trace horses "but only when owners are complying with the law", the minister says.

Labour spokesman on the problem of 'fly-grazing'

Equine welfare debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Labour environment spokesman Lord Grantchester claims that "local authorities don't quite recognise the severity of the problem" of so-called "fly-grazing".

Fly-grazing is the illegal grazing or abandonment of horses on public or private land.

He calls on the government to address the "inadequacies of the horse passport system" and also backs making retrospective microchipping mandatory.

Lib Dems: Make retrospecitve microchipping mandatory

Equine welfare debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Baroness Parminter
BBC

Liberal Democrat environment spokeswoman Baroness Parminter pays tribute to the RSPCA and other chairties involved in the rescue and rehabilitation of horses.

She rejects the Earl of Shrewsbury's suggestion that the RSPCA is "politically motivated". The Tory peer suggested the RSPCA should "concentrate less on politics".

Turning to the microchipping of animals, Baroness Parminter asks: "If it's good enough for dogs, why isn't it good enough for horses?"

She calls on the government to "make retrospecitve microchipping mandatory".

Commons adjourns

House of Commons

Parliament

House of Commons clock
BBC

The adjournment debate concludes, as does the day in the House of Commons.

MPs return tomorrow at 9:30am for questions to the transport secretary.

Peer criticises RSPCA's record on the welfare of horses

Equine welfare debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Conservative peer the Earl of Shrewsbury, a former amateur jockey, argues for the "re-homing and retraining of racehorses" once they are no longer able to race.

He also says he is concerned that the RSPCA does not live up to "its own high standards on equine welfare".

He says he and his family rescued a neglected mare but claims an RSPCA inspector said he had seen horses in a worse condition, which the peer calls "disgraceful".

Minister proposes way out of 'impasse'

A&E provision debate

House of Commons

Parliament

David Mowat
BBC

Health Minister David Mowat notes that the CCGs (clinical commissioning groups) in Telford and Shropshire have "reached an impasse".

He therefore sets out the proposed way forward. He tells MPs that there will be a review of Future Fit's appraisal in order to address Telford's concerns.

He says an independent chair will be appointed to make a casting vote on the final decision. The previous vote was a tie.

Conservative MP Owen Paterson welcomes "the tremendous news" that a mechanism is in place to settle the issue.

'There should always be respect for the animals'

Equine welfare debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Baroness Masham of Ilton
BBC

Looking after horses is hard work and costly, says crossbencher Baroness Masham of Ilton.

"There should always be respect for the animals, even if they are difficult," she tells peers.

'Equine welfare is largely compromised by ignorance' - Labour peer

Equine welfare debate

House of Lords

Parliament

"I'm a horse owner of some 60 years," says Labour's Baroness Mallalieu.

"Equine welfare is largely compromised by ignorance and not just by those who are irresponsible."

She says the government should update "the code of good practice for the horse", as well as allowing "retrospective microchipping".

Debate on the welfare of horses

House of Lords

Parliament

Baroness Chisholm of Owlpen
BBC

Debate on the bill takes a break while some peers have their dinner and others take part in a short debate on the welfare of horses.

Conservative peer Lord Higgins tabled the question for debate, asking what the government is doing "to improve equine welfare standards".

Fellow Conservative peer Baroness Chisholm of Owlpen opens the debate, saying Lord Higgins is absent due to a family illness.

"With nearly one million horses in the UK, we are reaching something of a crisis," she says, telling the House a recent report has uncovered many cases of horses being poorly looked after or neglected.

This is not the fault of "responsible owners" but dealers and owners who are irresponsible and "in some cases naive", she adds.

"We need a joined up, concerted approach to this distressing problem."

Labour peer recalls 'terrific partying time' in the 1960s

Higher Education and Research Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Stevenson of Balmacara
BBC

Making an argument for a student representative on the Office for Students, Labour spokesman Lord Stevenson of Balmacara recalls student activism in the 1960s.

"The battles of the day were to get representation," he says. "We marched, we stood, we stamped, we occupied. It was terrible. It was great."

It was also, he adds, "terrific partying time".

However, when he and his colleagues achieved meetings with "scientifically aggressive" senior academics, they asked that the library should be open when students were up.

"And they said: don't be ridiculous. Banks don't open in the evening. Why should libraries be open in the evening? And that was the end of the meeting."

"Why did I get into that?" he asks, to laughter. The point is that it is better that students are represented, he adds.

'Bickering between Shropshire and Telford'

A&E provision debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Daniel Kawczynski
BBC

Owen Paterson tells MPs that "bickering between Shropshire and Telford" has "dominated" his time in Parliament.

Fellow Conservative Daniel Kawczynski agrees and urges residents to lobby the government for more resources "rather than fighting each other".

He notes that the area is due to receive £300m to assist with the changes to A&E services. 

However, he fears that "if we don't sort ourselves out" other areas going through the process "in a more cordial way" will be able to "jump the queue".

Adjournment debate begins

House of Commons

Parliament

A&E department
Reuters

Conservative MP Daniel Kawczynski now begins his adjournment debate on A&E provision in Shropshire and Mid Wales.

The NHS Future Fit programme said that having hospitals across multiple sites in Shropshire resulted in extra duplication costs.

The programme proposed downgrading the A&E unit at the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford and maintaining the A&E at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital. 

Telford and Wrekin Council argued that flawed data had been used in Future Fit’s analysis.

The local clinical commissioning groups have chosen not to make a decision until the process is independently reviewed.

MPs reject Labour's NHS motion

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs have voted to reject Labour's motion by 295 votes to 209.

MPs now agree to the government amendment of the motion without a division:

Leave out from 'House' in line 1 to end and add 'commends NHS staff for their hard work in ensuring record numbers of patients are being seen in A&E; supports and endorses the target for 95% of patients using A&E to be seen and discharged or admitted within four hours; welcomes the government's support for the Five Year Forward View, the NHS's own plan to reduce pressure on hospitals by expanding community provision; notes that improvements to 111 and ensuring evening and weekend access to GPs, already covering 17m people, will further help to relieve that pressure; and believes that funding for the NHS and social care is underpinned by the maintenance of a strong economy, which under this administration is now the fastest growing in the G7'."

Government 'has no plan to introduce cap on overseas students'

Higher Education and Research Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Higher education spokesman Viscount Younger tells Labour's Lord Puttnam that "there is no cap on the number of international students" nor any plan to introduce one.

The UK is the second most popular destination for overseas students after the United States, he adds.

MPs vote on the NHS and social care

House of Commons

Parliament

House of Commons
BBC

The debate concludes and MPs now vote on the Labour motion:

That this House supports NHS England’s four-hour standard, which sets out that a minimum of 95% of all patients to A&E will be treated within four hours; notes the widespread public and medical professional support for this standard; further notes that £4.6bn has been cut from the social care budget since 2010 and that NHS funding will fall per head of population in 2018-19 and 2019-20; and calls on the government to bring forward extra funding now for social care to help hospitals cope this winter, and to pledge a new improved funding settlement for the NHS and social care in the March 2017 Budget."

Minister: More funding is Labour's only answer

NHS and social care debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Philip Dunne
BBC

Health Minister Philip Dunne accuses the opposition of failing to provide solutions during the course of the five and a half hour debate.

He says Labour MPs "once again touted more funding as their only answer to public sector challenges". 

He also accuses MPs of "misrepresenting" what the health secretary said on four hour targets.

'We got less than we asked for'

NHS and social care debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Barbara Keeley
BBC

Shadow health minister Barbara Keeley now responds to the debate.

She notes that, in the course of the debate, Conservative MPs have quoted Simon Stevens in support of their claims on NHS funding.

"I would like to update them" she says.

She quotes Simon Stevens from the committee hearing this afternoon - "We got less than we asked for. The government is stretching it to claim the NHS got more."

UK universities are a 'soft power' asset

Higher Education and Research Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Peers are now debating amendments relating to the position of international students in the UK.

Conservative peer Lord Lucas calls for the university sector to gather data on the financial contribution of overseas students.

Lib Dem peer Baroness Garden of Frognal says foreign students should be removed from the immigration statistics.

Crossbench peer Lord Bilimoria says British universities are the country's "greatest soft power" internationally.

He says government statements on international students have damaged the UK's reputation abroad.

Labour peer Lord Puttnam says he is "ashamed" of having to explain the UK's attitude to overseas students when on trade missions in parts of Asia.

'Ingrowing toe nails'

NHS and social care debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Conservative Jo Churchill tells MPs that some A&Es have had people coming in with "ingrowing toe nails and dry skin complaints".

She says NHS leaders need to make sure resources are used effectively.

It is not just about money, she says, but the "allocation of money" and "good leadership".

Self diagnosis could lead to 'disastrous consequences'

NHS and social care debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Rosena Allin-Khan
BBC

Labour's Dr Rosena Allin-Khan attacks the Health Secretary for suggesting that people with non-urgent conditions should consider not going to A&E.

She says she has treated patients whose seemingly minor injuries developed into life-threatening issues.

She warns that telling people to self-diagnose could have "disastrous consequences - for which he would be responsible".

Call to report on quality, not just finances

Higher Education and Research Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Sutherland
BBC

Crossbencher Lord Sutherland is speaking on his amendment seeking to require the Office for Students to produce an annual report detailing their decisions on the registration and de-registration of institutions and on the operation of the Quality Assessment Committee.

Lord Sutherland says he wants the annual report of the OfS to be about quality, "not just balancing the books".

Proposal for regulators to work together

Higher Education and Research Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

As well as creating a new regulator, the Office for Students (OfS), the bill creates a new research body: UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

The new body brings together seven research councils, Innovate UK, which offers innovation grants for businesses, and a new body called Research England.

Labour has proposed that the OfS and UKRI form a joint committee which would report on "the health of the higher education sector" and the state of research funding.

The committee's reports would be made available to the government and both Houses of Parliament.

Higher education spokesman Viscount Younger promises that ministers will "reflect carefully" on proposals for "joint responsibilities".

More work needed to collect delayed discharge data

Public Accounts Committee

Select Committee

Parliament

The final set of questions from the committee are following up on proposals to measure the rates of delayed discharge from hospital.

Mr Stevens says the current system of measurement is overly complex and a simpler model is being worked on.

Ms Hillier says the committee isn't seeking to add to the NHS's burdens but that delayed discharge costs money and hurts individual patients.

Chris Wormald reiterates that some "technical work" is required to find the least burdensome way to gather that data.

Lamb: Mental health access standards are needed

NHS and social care debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Norman Lamb
BBC

Lib Dem MP and former care minister Norman Lamb applauds the Labour government for introducing access standards and regrets that they didn't introduce similar standards for someone with mental health.

He calls on the government to now implement such standards. How can we accept that someone with mental health problems shouldn't have access to timely treatment? he asks.

He also repeats a call he made earlier today at PMQs for the establishment of an NHS and care convention to find a funding solution.

We can trade insults across the chamber, he says, but we all know the system is under "unsustainable pressure".

Debate on 'fair access' for students

Higher Education and Research Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

The bill creates a single entry system for higher education providers and the existing access regulator, the Office for Fair Access (Offa), will be merged into the new regulator, the Office for Students.

A Labour amendment would require that the "director for fair access and participation is responsible for all of the access and participation functions of the OfS". At present, the director's work is supported by Offa.

Responding to an earlier criticism from his Labour opposite number, the government's Viscount Younger insists that he is listening "very closely and carefully" to the points raised by peers.

Labour's Lord Stevenson withdraws his amendment for now.

How will Brexit affect the NHS?

Public Accounts Committee

Select Committee

Parliament

Philip Boswell
BBC

The SNP's Philip Boswell has a couple of questions on the impact of Brexit on the NHS.

He asks what are the panel's main concerns in the event of a "hard Brexit" in 2019.

Chris Wormald, permanent secretary to the Department of Health, says Brexit does not "dominate" business for them, but their main areas of concern are the workforce, drug regulation and mutual schemes such as the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).

Simon Stevens says the UK is in a "good" position as the average age of doctors is lower, giving time to train more British medics should it become harder to recruit overseas doctors.

'Not a new problem'

NHS and social care debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Paula Sherriff
BBC

Labour MP Paula Sherriff wonders when Conservative MPs were last at an NHS hospital.

Conservative MP and nurse Maria Caulfield is next to speak. She says she was last in a hospital on a night shift at the weekend.

She tells Labour MPs that it is "outrageous" to suggest that the current problems are something new.

She recalls her working conditions under a Labour government when she says managers were "so fixated" on targets that patients were not treated according to need.

Maria Caulfield
BBC

'Huge' reductions in agency staff spending

Public Accounts Committee

Select Committee

Parliament

Meg Hillier asks if agency costs will be reduced.

Jim Mackey says "huge results" have been achieved in reducing agency costs, although the pressures of recent weeks will cause a spike in spending on agency staff.

He says NHS Improvement is in discussion with the Royal College of Nursing on transferring agency staff from temporary employment onto NHS staff contracts.

Smith: Labour offered no policies on NHS

NHS and social care debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Henry Smith
BB

Conservative MP Henry Smith urges MPs to remember that when the NHS asked for an additional £8bn the Conservative government provided £10bn.

He says the "significance" of this is "often dismissed" by Labour.

He accuses the shadow health secretary of failing to come up with a single policy suggestion.

Lack of transparency over shared development plans

Public Accounts Committee

Select Committee

Parliament

Committee chair Meg Hillier asks the panel how the chairpersons or conveners of the shared development plans are appointed.

Simon Stevens says its been an "informal" process; he says conveners will be paid but their roles are time-limited.

Ms Hillier says it is "not transparent" as to how plans were drawn up and the activities of conveners.

She says the NHS is, in effect, setting up new bodies piecemeal.  

Mr Stevens denies this, saying different teams will be brought together to address different parts of the plan.

"These are not statutory organisations," he says.