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Summary

  1. The Commons began at 11.30 GMT with questions to the Foreign Office team
  2. Questions were followed by a ten minute rule bill from Stroud MP Neil Carmichael about the appointment of school governors
  3. MPs defeated an opposition motion of no confidence in Welfare Minister Lord Freud after his comments on pay for disabled workers
  4. The afternoon's business also included a debate on coalfield communities
  5. The adjournment debate was introduced by Marcus Jones, on the A5 trunk road between the M42 and the M69
  6. In the Lords, the day began with two new introductions: Baroness Evans of Bowes Park and Lord Cashman
  7. After questions, peers will completed report stage scrutiny of the Serious Crime Bill
  8. Peers concluded proceedings with a short debate on the National Plan for Music Education

Live Reporting

By Sam Francis and Pippa Simm

All times stated are UK

Lords concludes

The House of Lords has concluded its business for the day. Peers return slightly later tomorrow - at 15.00 GMT - when the days main business will be a debate on devolution following the Scotland referendum.

Closing speeches

Baroness Jones of Whitchurch, Labour's education spokesperson in the Lords, is leading the closing speech on behalf of Labour.

The government has been inconsistent in its approach to music education, she tells peers, which has meant the "reality of the delivery of the National Plan [for Music Education] remains a source of frustration and disappointment to many."

Creative vision

Opening the debate crossbench peer Lord Aberdare said he is worried the National Plan for Music Education may not be "on track" due to serious questions over financing, access to instruments and the sharing of best practice.

Lord Aberdare urged the government to "be even more energetic" in supporting the plan which he said needs to be "driven forward" to help "cement and enthrone the UK's leading world position in music and creativity."

"It would be sad indeed if the plan were allowed to fall short of its vision because of a lack of energy and commitment " he added.

crossbench peer Lord Aberdare
BBC

Musical education

Music education hubs were set up in 2012 as part of a national plan for music education.

They are made up of music trust staff, voluntary groups and private firms working in a local area, to create joined up music education provision for children and young people, both in and out of school.

The aim is that every child in England has the opportunity to sing and learn a musical instrument, and to perform as part of an ensemble or choir. a Network of Music Education hubs are planned to be set up across England.

In the first year, the Department for Education (DfE) says, the hubs gave nearly half a million children the opportunity to learn an instrument for the first time and worked with almost 15,000 school choirs, orchestras and bands.

Final debate

And with that peers conclude the report stage of the Serious Crime Bill.

Now they turn their attention, a little later than scheduled, to a short debate on what steps the government are taking to ensure the long-term financial sustainability of music education hubs and the National Plan for Music Education, led by Crossbench peer Lord Aberdare.

Amendment withdrawn

Responding for the government Baroness Williams of Trafford tells peers that there is "no difference" between Lord Strasburger's position and the government's. But, she says, the amendments are unnecessary given the "strict regulations contained in Ripa" and the "safeguards we are already putting in place".

She assures peers that "the government does not want to do anything that would undermine the operation of a vibrant and independent press."

Lord Strasburger says he is disappointed by the government's comments but withdraws his amendment, with the view to returning to the issue when the bill reaches third reading.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
BBC

Pace and Ripa

Under existing legislation, the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (Pace), police can apply for warrants to search journalists' private information at a hearing in front of a judge, which journalists and their employers are also allowed to attend. Journalists may also make representations to the court to protect their sources. Under Ripa, originally designed to track terrorists, the police need no such judicial authority.

David Anderson Q.C. the UK's Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, is currently investigating RIPA, and aims to report by the general election.

Fewer whistles blown

Tabling his amendment Lord Strasburger criticises the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (Ripa) as "not fit for purpose", and claims that allowing the police to gain access to journalists' sources will have a "damaging" effect on the country.

"There is a well established tradition throughout the world that journalists do not reveal their sources" Lord Strasburger says.

But "if potential whistleblowers in this country cannot guarantee their anonymity anymore because the police can secretly identify them, then a lot fewer whistles are going to be blown" he adds.

Protecting sources

Peers now turn their attention to an amendment from Liberal Democrat peer Lord Strasburger, that would prevent police officers from being able to access journalists' private sources, including phone records, to identify their sources without permission from a judge.

The amendment, which has the support of the deputy prime minister Nick Clegg, follows increasing concerns among civil liberties campaigners and the newspaper industry that the police are exploiting a loophole in the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (Ripa) to access private information without judicial authorisation.

Liberal Democrat peer Lord Strasburger
BBC

Lords live

Do stay with us this evening though, as we continue to bring you live coverage of the House of Lords, including a debate on the long-term financial sustainability of music education hubs.

Commons concluded

The House of Commons has concluded its business for the day. MPs return at the same time - 11.30 GMT - tomorrow, when the highlight of the day's events will be prime minister's question time.

Government amendment

Lord Harris withdraws his amendment and peers turn their attention to a government proposal for a new offence of possessing knives and offensive weapons in prisons. The new offence would carry similar sentences as for carrying a weapon outside of prison.

Tabling the amendment, Baroness Williams of Trafford says it will "act as a more effective deterrent". The message to criminals is clear, she adds, that "we do not tolerate it in the community, we will not tolerate it in prisons".

Adjournment debate

John Hayes, a minister in the Department for Transport, is tasked with responding to the debate for the government.

What are adjournment debates?

Adjournment debates are introduced by a backbench MP at the end of each day's business in the House of Commons, bringing the day to a close.

They usually last for half an hour but can go on for longer if the main business concludes early.

Marcus Jones leads debate

Marcus Jones MP
BBC
Marcus Jones is asking the government for a longer-term plan for the A5 trunk road

Adjournment debate

That brings an end to the day's main business in the House of Commons. It's time for the adjournment debate now, which is being led by Marcus Jones, the Conservative MP for Nuneaton. The focus is on the A5 trunk road between the M42 and M69.

Motion passed

Speaker John Bercow puts the question to MPs that the Labour motion - which calls for continued regeneration of coalfield communities - is passed, and, after no shouts of objection from the government benches, it is approved.

Online digital storage amendment

Peers are debating Lord Harris of Haringey's second amendment of the night. It proposes a requirement on companies who provide online digital storage to test their products to see if they are "open to abuse by the storage of indecent images of children" and to take steps to "mitigate, reduce, eliminate and disrupt" problems where they find them.

Government response

Penny Mordaunt stresses that the government is focused on helping coalfield communities to "regenerate themselves and achieve their ambitions".

She says Labour did nothing during its 13 years in office to tackle the issues the party has raised in the debate.

Dinner-break debate

Though timings have yet to be announced, peers will be expecting a dinner break soon.

During a normal day, a break in the business is announced at a convenient point, normally around 19.00 GMT, to allow peers involved in the day's main business to eat.

A short debate is usually scheduled during the dinner-break, and today it's on the long-term financial sustainability of music education hubs and the National Plan for Music Education, led by crossbencher peer Lord Aberdare.

Government response

Communities and Local Government Minister Penny Mordaunt is responding for the government, with a little under ten minutes to go in the debate.

Amendment withdrawn

Unconvinced by government claims that the practice of eliciting "sexual communications" from a child is already outlawed, Lord Harris says he is "disappointed " that ministers are not willing to accept his amendment.

However, on the promise of further discussion with Home Office Minister Lord Bates, he agrees to withdraw it.

Closing remarks

Jon Trickett, a shadow minister without portfolio, is leading the closing speech on behalf of the Labour opposition.

He says there has not been "a word of contrition" from the Conservative benches for "what was done in the mining strike" in 1984-5, and accuses the party of "turning their backs" on mining communities "once again".

Mr Trickett impresses upon the House the "moral duty" to look after the people who worked in the coal industry - and calls for a release of all the government papers pertaining to the miners' strike.

'Sexting' clause

Peers are debating an amendment that would make eliciting a "sexual communication" - such as texting a sexual photograph, or "sexting" - from a child a specific offence, which is already the case in Scotland.

Tabling the amendment Labour peer Lord Harris of Harringey said the current law on the issue is "fragmented and confused", often predates the invention of the internet and social media websites and fails to recognise the nature of online grooming.

Commons schedule

A reminder that the current debate on coalfield communities will be wrapping up at 19.00 GMT, at which point a vote will be held on Labour's motion.

There are a number of backbench MPs still wishing to speak in the debate before the government and opposition closing speeches begin at approximately 18.40 GMT.

The time limit has been cut to four minutes.

FGM prosecutions

While there have been 100 convictions for FGM in France, there has not been a successful UK prosecution since criminalisation of the practice 28 years ago.

The practice of female genital mutilation has been illegal in the UK since 1985 but the first prosecutions, which are currently ongoing, were not until this year, despite an estimated 170,000 women in the UK living with the life-long consequences of FGM.

Police forces have revealed there have been

dozens of investigations into female genital mutilation (FGM) in the UK over the past three years.

Information block

Conservative Marcus Jones says there is much he can agree with in the motion about the legacy of the coal industry.

But the MP for Nuneaton is "disappointed" that the debate has been "predicated on the events of 30 years", and tells the Labour front bench to reflect on the "three occasions" between 2007 and 2009 that it blocked freedom of information requests for release information on the miners' strikes.

Blame Scargill

Welsh Conservative David TC Davies reveals that he was the first in generations of his family not to be raised in a pit village.

The Monmouth MP says many miners, including his own relatives, wanted to work during the strike and argues that it was former miners' union boss Arthur Scargill who let the miners down, by calling on members to strike without a ballot.

"He was absolutely hated by the miners and many in the Labour Party," he claims.

David TC Davies
BBC

Amendment withdrawn

Baroness Meacher withdraws her amendment, telling peers she is satisfied that the need for a "deterrent" to FGM is "shared across the House".

'Not the answer'

Conservative peer Lord Dobbs says he believes Baroness Meacher's amendment is too vaguely worded. It would be "counter productive and could make it more difficult for the prosecuting authorities" in female genital mutilation (FGM) cases, he argues.

Encouraging or promoting the practice of FGM, as it is worded in the amendment, could include a "tribal elder talking about culture references" or a "parent discussing a families heritage", Lord Dobbs argued.

No matter how well intentioned the amendment is it isn't the "answer to what I think she seeks to achieve", he concludes.

Conservative peer Lord Dobbs
BBC

Miners strike

Ian Lavery, the Labour MP for Wansbeck, declares an interest, recalling his participation in the 1984 miners strike.

"We want to see justice, and we want to see fairness for what happened all those years ago," he tells the Commons.

Mr Lavery says the cabinet papers reveal that the government at the time wanted to use the Army against striking miners, which he brands an "absolute disgrace".

New amendment

Peers now turn their attention to an amendment to create an offence of encouraging or promoting the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM).

Tabling the amendment former social worker and crossbench peer Baroness Meacher tell peers that the amendment will "tackle FGM at its heart".

While other amendments concerned individual cases of FGM, Baroness Meacher said "the core of the problem is in the culture of certain communities" and her amendment would allow this to be tackled.

Baroness Meacher
BBC

Debate in the Lords

On the agreement that there will be further discussion on FGM legislation before the bill reaches third reading Labour agree to withdraw their amendments.

Unlike the House of Commons, amendments can be made at third reading in the House of Lords, but this is only if the issue has not been fully considered and voted on during either committee or report stage

Angry exchanges

It's been a particularly tetchy start to the debate, with some heated interventions and exchanges by MPs.

The floor is now open to backbench contributions - the first coming from Labour MP for Lanark and Hamilton East Jim Hood.

New chair

Deputy Speaker Lindsay Hoyle has replaced Dame Dawn Primarolo in the chair to oversee the debate.

Past battles

Reflecting on Labour's motion, Matt Hancock says it is a pity it focuses solely on "reliving the battles of the past", and claims the party is uninterested on how to help coalfield communities in the future: which he suggests is through a "strong and healthy economy".

Mat Hancock
BBC

House united against FGM

Responding for the government, Baroness Williams of Trafford says that while there are "nuances" in how it wants the legislation to be worded, the House of Lords was agreed "on the principle that female genital mutilation must end".

"The whole House has shown an abhorrence of FGM and we can all agree that more needs to be done to stop such violence against women and girls," she says.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
BBC

Government view on coalfields

Over to the government now, to set out its stall.

Energy and Climate Change Minister Matt Hancock praises the "long and proud history of Britain's coal-mining communities.

He tells MPs he has worked hard to secure the future of the last three deep mines in Britain, two of which - Kellingley in Yorkshire, and Thoresby in Nottinghamshire - had been threatened with

immediate closure.

FGM prosecutions 'must be in family courts'

Former president of the family division of the High Court Baroness Butler-Sloss tells peers that ensuring FGM prosecutions are heard in the family courts by High Court judges is the "most important part" of the new legislation.

The subject matter is "not for the ordinary civil court judges" she warns.

The legislation on FGM as it stands doesn't go "far enough" Baroness Butler-Sloss complains, and urges the government to "put together" all of the best amendments being debated today and introduce them into the bill by third reading.

Baroness Butler Sloss
BBC

Dugher's appeal

Michael Dugher appeals to the Commons to support his motion, which he says provides an opportunity to ensure a "brighter future" and "justice" for the coalfields.