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Live Reporting

By Kristiina Cooper

All times stated are UK

  1. Goodbye for now...

    House of Commons


    And that's where our live coverage ends today. We'll be back on Monday afternoon at 2.30pm when the Commons and the Lords start work.

  2. Full steam ahead...

    House of Commons


    The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Bill is give a second reading by MPs. There are no dissenting voices at all.

    That means it can proceed to the detailed - committee stage - scrutiny.

  3. Minister: 'an excellent bill'

    Heather Wheeler

    The Housing Minister, Heather Wheeler, restates the government's support for the Bill, saying that everyone deserves a "decent and safe place to live".

    She says the government wants to support good landlord and avoid further regulation but it recognises there are a small number of "criminal, rogue landlords".

    She says the procedure in the bill for seeking redress is designed to be straightforward with most tenants able to represent themselves.

    And for complex cases, she says, legal aid will be available in certain circumstances.

    Calling it "an excellent bill" she has "every confidence" that it will continue as it approaches the committee stage.

  4. MP: 'An accidental landlord'

    House of Commons


    A Conservative Eddie Hughes notes he wasn't an MP when the bill was blocked by Conservatives on previous occasions.

    He declares: "I am a keen, enthusiastic advocate for the bill in its present form."

    He speaks up for landlords, saying it "wasn't always easy being a landlord".

    He calls himself an "accidental landlord" as his wife held on to her property when they got married and it's now let to tenants.

    He says many landlords do not have sufficient expertise.

  5. Fungi growing around beds, clothes and toys

    House of Commons


    Rosie Duffield

    Several MPs relate the stories of families in their constituencies living in squalid conditions.

    Labour MP for Canterbury, Rosie Duffield, tells the Commons about one constitutency case in which the children are "exposed to mould and fungi growing around beds, clothes and toys".

    She says she is disgusted at the way the family has been housed - so much so that she has posted video of their accommodation on her social media sites.

    "Please go and see. You will be horrified," she says.

  6. Back to decent homes debate...

    The statement on the John Worboys cases finishes and MPs returns to the debate on the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Bill.

    Shadow Housing Secretary, John Healey gets things underway by praising the Labour MP Karen Buck for "building a coalition" to get behind her bill.

    There's also praise for the government for backing the bill.

  7. MP: Legal aid for judicial reviews?

    A crowdfunding campaign has been launched by a victim to mount a legal challenge against the Parole Board's decision to release Worboys from jail.

    Referring to the campaign, Labour MP Jo Stevens suggests providing legal aid for judicial review.

    David Gauke replies that as there's a review under way, he didn't intend to say anything on that issue until it had been completed.

  8. Offenders should serve full prison term

    A Conservative Philip Hollobone says the best way to protect the public is for violent offenders to be "kept behind bars".

    "If an offender is sentenced to a term of imprisonment they should serve that term in prison in full."

    And he wonders who is held to account in the parole board if people released early reoffend.

    The Justice Secretary replies that the priority "for all us is that people who are dangerous are not released".

  9. People will be 'disappointed' at decision

    House of Commons


    For Labour, Imran Hussain agrees that many people will be disappointed at the Minister's decision.

    And he recalls how many people were shocked that some of the victims found out about the Parole Board's decision on Worboys through the media

    He says victims had a right, from the outset, to participate in the Parole Board process.

  10. Gauke: legal routes still open to victims

    David Gauke

    The Justice Secretary tells MPs that he has taken a close personal interest in the case, saying that "on a personal level" he shares concern about it.

    "I can reassure the House and public that Worboys will not be released until his licence conditions have been finalised."

    He adds that he fully supports the right of victims to challenge the decision to release him.

    The approach he is taking, he says, "does not mean that others are precluded from taking action".

  11. Gauke will not challenge parole board on Worboys release

    House of Commons


    The Justice Secretary David Gauke tells MPs he will not be challenging the parole board's direction for sex offender John Worboys to be released.

    He says he took advice on whether there were grounds to challenge the decision. In the end, he decided it would "not be appropriate for me as Secretary of State to proceed with such a case".

    He adds: "I know this will disappoint the victims in this case".

  12. Labour MPs getting 'jittery'

    House of Commons


    Labour MP Rupa Huq recalls a previous attempt by Karen Buck to introduce her Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Bill. On that occasion, she says, it was "talked out' by Conservative MPs.

    That's a parliamentary device used by opponents of legislation to ensure there's no time to vote on a bill, thereby preventing it from making any progress.

    In the light of that experience, she admits Labour MPs were "getting a bit jittery' when the Conservative Bob Blackman "got a bit loquacious".

    She adds: I'm glad they have seen the error of their ways."

  13. Statement on Worboys

    John Worboys

    At 11am the Justice Secretary David Gauke will make a statement in the Commons "on the transparency of parole board and victims' support".

    It comes amid controversy over the Parole Board's direction that notorious sex offender John Worboys should be freed after a decade in prison.

  14. Happy Birthday Mr. Speaker!

    House of Commons



    There are birthday wishes all round for the Speaker John Bercow, who is chairing today's debates.

    A Conservative Bob Blackman thanks him for sitting in the chair on his birthday when "you could be off enjoying yourself in another way".

    To laughter, he adds hastily: "I am sure you're going to enjoy our debate this morning, Mr Speaker."

  15. Post update

    House of Commons


    Lucy Allen

    A day of harmony in the Commons with cross-party support for the bill. A Conservative Lucy Allan declares that she wants to see the bill deliver on its objective "to ensure everyone can live in a decent home".

    She describes how in her Telford constituency homes in the private rental sector have "long been neglected".

    She adds: "It's a catalyst for a spiral of decline."

    She does sound one note of caution that tenants worst affected by poor housing standards may be the least able to complain to the authorities.

  16. Longstanding concerns about private rented sector

    The excellent House of Commons Library has produced an in-depth analysis of the bill, including some background on the law surrounding housing.

    Quote Message: There have been longstanding concerns about property standards in the private rented sector (PRS). The PRS houses more households in England than the social rented sector but has some of the poorest property standards." from House of Commons Library
    House of Commons Library
  17. Buck: Old laws are 'obsolete'

    Karen Buck

    Karen Buck explains the old housing laws have become "obsolete". The purpose of her bill, she says, it to revive and update them.

    She points out that there has been a strong breadth of report for her legislation, including the Residential Landords Association.

    "I am genuinely thrilled to have goverment support this time round," she adds.

    She tells MPs that today they have the chance to progress legislation to give tenants more powers to hold landlords to account.

  18. Good morning...

    Welcome to our live coverage of the House of Commons. Friday is a day for private members' bills - legislation introduced by an individual MP. First up today is the Homes Fit for Human Habitation Bill, which would make it easier for tenants to ensure landlords keep their properties in good condition. The bill is being introduced by the Labour MP Karen Buck. It has government support but - due to the arcane parliamentary procedures around private members' bills, it could still be blocked.

  19. Summary: Thursday in the Commons

    The afternoon in the Commons was devoted to marking Holocaust Memorial Day, with some moving speeches from MPs.

    Holocaust Memorial Day is on 27 January, commemorating the day in 1945 that soldiers fighting the Germans took over the largest Nazi concentration camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau, and freed surviving prisoners.

    Conservative Bob Blackman recalled visiting Auschwitz-Birkenau with a group of young people, observing: "It brings home to everyone what can happen if you stand idly by," while Labour's Alex Sobel shared memories of survivors in his family.