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  1. The day began for MPs at 09.30 GMT with questions to the Business, Innovation and Skills ministerial team.
  2. The question session was followed by the weekly business statement, when the leader of the House set out future business in the Commons.
  3. MPs took part in two backbench business debates: on money creation and society; followed by a debate on devolution and the union.
  4. The adjournment debate was on health services in Halifax, led by MP Linda Riordan.
  5. Prime Minister David Cameron was questioned by the Liaison Committee on plans for devolution in wake of the Scottish independence referendum.
  6. The Lords began at 11.00 GMT with a half-hour question session with government ministers.
  7. Debates of the day began with a discussion of the Azure Card, a card given to refused asylum seekers who are destitute, to purchase essentials.
  8. That debate was followed by one on the impact of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child on children’s and young people’s online and digital interactions.

Live Reporting

By Pippa Simm and Sam Francis

All times stated are UK

Good evening

House of Commons


George Freeman draws his comments to a close telling the few remaining MPs that NHS services need to adapt to properly serve a community and "preserving a service in aspic" is not the best way to maintain health services.

Which brings the business in the House of Commons to an end.

MPs return at 09.30 GMT tomorrow for a sitting Friday, where they will consider a selection of

private members' bill, tabled by backbench MPs.

NHS reform 'necessary'

House of Commons


Responding to the debate for the government, Health Minister George Freeman accuses Ms Riordan of "partisan politics" in raising this debate.

He tells MPs that department closures can be problematic but that reform of NHS services are necessary.

Decision on closures of health services are made by local health bodies who know the needs of the area best, he says.

A&E fears

House of Commons


Linda Riordan says proposals to close an accident and emergency department at Calderdale Royal Hospital, in her constituency, is the most important issue that has faced Halifax since the financial crisis.

She says she hopes today's debate can shed some light on exactly what is happening as so far discussions have been carried out "in the most underhand way".

Linda Riordan

Final item

House of Commons


MPs now move onto today's final business, the adjournment debate. Today's debate is on health services in Halifax, led by Labour MP of Halifax, Linda Riordan.

Decentralisation 'the way forward'

House of Commons


Leader of the House William Hague is now responding to the debate for the government. He says the time has come for a general recognition that decentralisation is the way forward, towards local government - something he says hasn't been pursued by the Scottish government in Scotland.

Responding to some comments during the debate that devolution promised by the leaders of the main parties was being delayed he reassures the House that the Smith Commission is on schedule.

Leader of the House William Hague

Urge to vote against

House of Commons


Angela Eagle urges MPs to vote against the motion because of its call for period of public consultation on the Barnett formula, which she says goes against the promises given to the Scottish people before the referendum.

While she expresses some sympathy with the issue Ms Eagle says "English votes for English laws" is another way for the Conservative government to try and divide people. The issue is much wider than any government proposals, she says.

She accuses David Cameron of not acting like a prime minister and instead focussing on narrow party issues and "running scared of UKIP".

Bringing her remarks to an end Ms Eagle says there is an exciting period of constitutional change ahead, which can bring people further into the democracy.

Devolution delivered

House of Commons


Shadow Leader of the House, Angela Eagle, is now replying to the debate for the Labour party. Labour support delivering the devolution promised, within the allotted timetable, she says.

Shadow Leader of the House, Angela Eagle

Focus on practical issues

House of Commons


Labour MP Sheila Gilmore says that MPs should be debating how to use the powers devolved in the

Scotland Act 2012, and how they can be used to make people's lives better.

New tax raising powers contained in the act could be used to improve care provisions in Scotland. Focussing on practical issues like this, rather than constitutional wrangles, is what the Scottish people really want, she argues.

English nationalism waking?

House of Commons


Labour MP Paul Flynn says that the debate so far has been unambitious in suggesting there will be "only four assemblies" at the end of the devolution process. He says he can see the UK becoming a "federal system" within the next 20 years.

He warns the one "certain way to break up the United Kingdom" is the "sleeping giant" of English nationalism that he says has reared its head during today's debate.

Peers rise

House of Lords


After some final remarks from Baroness Kidron the debate comes to an end and the House of Lords finishes for the day.

Peers will be back at 10.00 GMT on Friday to consider a selection of bills tabled by backbench members.

Do stay with us though, as we continue to bring you coverage of the Commons backbench debate on devolution and the union.

Taking the initiative

Commenting on the debate, Lord Bourne, a Conservative peer and government whip, commends the House of Lords for taking the initiative, "perhaps counter-intuitively based on the age profile" of members and some peers' self-confessed lack of knowledge.

He offers Baroness Kidron - who called the debate - to meet officials to discuss matters further, and extends an invitation to i-Rights campaigners - a new civil society initiative designed to make children's use of the internet safer - to attend a meeting of the UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) in the new year.

The UKCCIS comprises more than 200 organisations drawn from across government, industry, law, academia and charity sectors that work in partnership to help keep children safe online.

Lord Bourne

Call for regional empowerment

Plaid Cymru's Westminster leader Hywel Williams says he has every confidence that the powers that will eventually be devolved to Scotland will "fall short" of those promised by the three main party leaders.

The government resisted implementing all the findings of the

Silk Commission into the current Wales Bill, to their own determent, he says.

The only solution to the arguments around the West Lothian question, English votes for English laws and the Barnett formula is to "fully empower" the Welsh Assembly, Scottish Parliament and Northern Irish Assembly, he says.

Opportunities and dangers

Summating for the government, Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth acknowledges the opportunities the internet provides for children, but also the dangers and challenges it exposes them to.

Children's safety online is everybody's responsibility, he tells the chamber.

What's the lesson?

Baroness King says the lesson of today's debate is the need to build "a rights-based approach" to children in the digital world.

Closing speeches in Lords

We're on to the closing speeches of the debate now, beginning with Baroness King of Bow, representing the opposition.

Lady King remarks that too many politicians, herself included, are "digitally housebound agoraphobes".

She provides a detailed definition and history of the word agoraphobia, which she informs peers comes from the Greek word 'agora', meaning market place; "similar to what a first century Roman might call a forum, an open space, or what a 21st Century teenager might call cyber space".

Speak for England

Labour MP Frank Field, who also put his name to the motion, says the debate is really on England. Mr Field says the country is inevitable moving towards a system with four parliaments - one for each country in the United Kingdom. This is the only way to deal with the West Lothian question, he argues.

Labour risks becoming a "party of ghosts" unless it shows it is unafraid to speak for England now, he says.

Frank Field

Local devolution

Chair of the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee Graham Allen says that devolution needs to be taken more seriously, and not just reduced to "English Votes for English Laws" and the Barnett formula, if the United Kingdom is to survive for "another hundred years".

Mr Allen, says the government needs to come to terms with giving "genuine independence" to local government, to match the local government structures elsewhere in the western world.

The government needs to "entrench" these powers and give local councils an assignment of funds from tax in order to let them carried out increased functions, he says.

Graham Allen
Graham Allen tabled an unsuccessful amendment to the motion on creating devolution in England through constitutionally independent local government

SNP opposing

SNP's Westminster leader Angus Robertson says that his party will be opposing today's motion.

The motion, he claims, puts conditions on what was promised "

in the vow" on devolving Scotland by the leaders of the main parties. The promise, "should be delivered in full" it should not "be tied to English votes for English laws or the Barnett issue" he says.

Angus Robertson

Bullying reports

The charity Childline reported that they had received around 4,500 reports of a child being bullied online in 2012-13.

The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre says 50,000 individuals downloaded indecent images in 2012.

Online risks for children

The UK government and Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee have identified three key online risks relating to children's online activity: sexual exploitation, cyberbullying and social networking.

The Bishop of Worcester, the Rt Rev John Inge, tells peers he has learnt the "hard way", with his own children, about the "insidious" nature of cyberbullying through social network sites, "some of it very subtle".

He argues in favour of clear guidelines about the use of the internet and social media being taught and "rigorously applied" in all schools.


Linda Riordan MP for Halifax tweets: Just finalising my speech for @UKParliament adjournment debate on Health Services in Halifax; it will be around 5pm in the main chamber.

'Harm' by technology abuse

Lady Shields tells peers that during her work as a digital adviser to the prime minister she has seen first hand the "terrible harm" that can be caused to children by people "who abuse technology for criminal means".

Eradicating the crimes that threaten children online "remains a significant challenge", she adds, and stresses the need to be faster, more nimble and innovative than the perpetrators to win the battle.

Baroness shields
Baroness Shields is chairwoman of Tech City UK, the government's investment group for technology start-ups, and a former Facebook executive

Developing technology

Baroness Shields, a Conservative peer, is making her maiden speech during the Lords debate on young people's online digital interactions.

She says the subject means "a great deal" to her, explaining that her life's work has been dedicated to developing technology and innovation "for good".

Lords debate on online dangers

Lib Dem peer and former children's TV presenter Baroness Benjamin highlights the impact that online abuse, content and cyber bullying can have on children, causing some young people to take their own lives.

"These tragic incidences are becoming more and more commonplace in today's society, bringing pain and suffering and sadness to families across the country," she tells the chamber.

Lady Benjamin stresses the need to find a way to teach young people to navigate their way safely in the online world, as she warns how easy access to online porn is resulting in the "highly sexualised" behaviour of young children.

Motion debated in the Commons

A cross-party group of 77 MPs have put their name to the motion being debated.

The motions text states:

"That this House recognises the outcome of the referendum on Scottish independence; welcomes the freely expressed will of the people of Scotland to remain British; notes the proposals announced by Westminster party leaders for further devolution to Scotland; calls on the Government and Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition to bring forward proposals that are fair and reasonable for the whole of the United Kingdom, following a period of public consultation to enable people in all parts of the Union to express their views; and, in particular, calls on the Government to ensure that such proposals include a review of the Barnett formula and legislative proposals to address the West Lothian question."

Barnett formula queried

Dominic Raab argues that as greater taxing powers are devolved Scotland "cannot expect" to continue to be funded by the Barnett formula - used to calculate the level of block grant provided by the UK government to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Continuing to fund Scotland on "such an arbitrary basis" will lead to resentment building in other parts of the UK, he says.

Maiden speeches

As peers have mentioned we are due a maiden speech in today's debate, from Baroness Shields.

The Conservative peer is the chairwoman of Tech City UK and digital adviser to the prime minister.

Maiden speeches are the first time a new member speaks in the chamber after joining the House of Lords.

Democratic 'opportunities'

Dominic Raab begins the debate by saying the Scottish Independence debate has opened up many opportunities for a "democratic renaissance", but has also caused much division and "undone" some of the union.

Dominic Raab

Calls for government review

Concluding her remarks, Baroness Kidron calls on the government to commit to a review of how to implement the relevant articles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child on web based and digital technologies.

The convention, which was brought into force in the UK in 1992, sets out rights regarding children and their well-being, and forms the basis for much of the work of UNICEF.

UNICEF has recently published a report on how the rise of the internet could impact on children's rights or safety.

Baroness Kidron also asks the government to consider ways it can support parliamentarians in improving their own knowledge of the digital world, warning that "none of us can afford to be absent from the digital debate".

Devolution debate begins

MPs now turn their attention to a debate on devolution and the union, led by Conservative Dominic Raab and Labour's Frank Field.

The motion calls on the government and opposition to bring forward fair and reasonable proposals for the whole UK and for a review of the Barnett formula and legislative proposals to address the West Lothian question.

Deputy Speaker Eleanor Laing says that despite several amendments, and amendments to amendment, being tabled, none have been selected for debate.

Dangers of uncertainty

Andrea Leadsom says that there are several issues that surround creating a Sovereign Money Committee - which could create a new unregulated industry in shadow banks - and that introducing a new, untested system would create uncertainty at a time when people most need stability.

Instead, she argues changes made by the government to the way the financial sector is regulated is the answer to fixing problems in the financial sector.

Economics lesson

Andrea Leadsom
Andrea Leadsom delivers a government funded economics lesson in the House of Commons

Delivering rights

Baroness Kidron stresses that the debate is not to establish whether web and digital technologies are good or bad, but about how best to deliver children's rights, inform them of their responsibilities and build their resilience.

Crossbench peer Baroness Kidron

Interest rates

Andrea Leadsom tells MPs that while banks create money, money creation is dictated by the Bank of England, which sets bank rates that impact market interest rates, and thus people's ability to apply for loans.

Banks create money when making a loan, but only do so under the expectation that this money will be repaid in the future, meaning banks will only create money if they think "new value will, in due course, be created", she says.

Government response

Economic Secretary Andrea Leadsom is now responding to the debate for the Government.

Rejected proposals

Labour's focus is on ensuring that the banking system is regulated so that it works in the interest of the country and the economy, Catherine MicKinnell tells MPs.

In a parting shot, Ms Mckinnell says the government has rejected many Labour proposals- including putting a duty of care to customers on those working in the banking sector - would have helped achieve this aim.

She ends her comments by noting that, in her view, this debate will continue for a long time.

Final Lords debate begins

We're on to the last item of business in the House of Lords - a three-hour debate on children and young people's online and digital interactions.

The debate - which has been called by crossbench peer Baroness Kidron - will take note of a report on the subject by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Backbench speeches are time-limited to 11 minutes.

Labour 'focussed' on economic reform

Shadow Treasury Minister Catherine McKinnell is now responding to the debate for Labour. She says the Labour party is "acutely focussed" on how to rework the economy, so that it "works for the economy as a whole".

Catherine McKinnell

Do MPs understand?

Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith argues that members of parliament, including himself, don't really understand how money is created.

As such it cannot be assumed that the impulsive reaction of ignorant MPs, which he stresses includes himself, to increase regulation on banking will prevent repeat collapse of the financial sector, he argues.

Mr Goldsmith, the son of Anglo-French billionaire financier Sir James Goldsmith, says he supports the creation of a "meaningful monetary commission of some sort" to be created to explore money creation and the impact of quantitative easing.

New changes

Baroness Williams of Trafford says the government is always looking at ways to improve the operation of the Azure card, and announces that changes will be introduced to allow card users to carry over extra credit from one week to the next.