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. The House of Lords sat from 10.00 GMT.
  2. Peers debated the Medical Innovation Bill, Lord Saatchi's private member's bill, at report stage.
  3. They then moved onto the Cohabitation Rights Bill at second reading.
  4. The final piece of legislation scheduled for the day was the House of Lords (Expulsion and Suspension) Bill at report stage.

Live Reporting

By Patrick Cowling

All times stated are UK

Goodbye

House of Lords

Parliament

And that's your lot!

The House of Lords has adjourned for the day, and so our live coverage of Parliament ends for the week.

We hope you have enjoyed our coverage of the House of Lords today - join us next week for the last few days of Parliament's proceedings for 2014.

Opposition praise

House of Lords

Parliament

A number of peers have spoken in favour of the bill, with both the Opposition and government giving their support for the legislation.

Opposition spokesperson Lord Hunt of Kings Heath says that the bill is timely - if not overdue, and says "how good it is to know that something survives the 2012 House of Lords Reform Bill".

The bill passes report stage without opposition, and all three amendments are agreed to.

Bill into law?

House of Lords

Parliament

Conservative peer Lord Cormack says that the House is indebted to Baroness Hayman for bringing in this bill, and also to Lord Steel - author of the House of Lords Reform Act 2014.

Lord Mackay of Clashfern also speaks in support of the bill, saying that he hopes the bill will speedily pass into law.

Lords expenses scandals

House of Lords

Parliament

In the wake of the 2009 Parliamentary expenses scandal two members of the House of Lords were jailed.

Lord Taylor of Warwick was found to have claimed over £11,000 in expenses for a second home owned by his brother.

Lord Hanningfield was sentenced to nine months imprisonment for six counts of false accounting relating to his expenses.

Both Lords have since re-taken their seats, although Lord Hanningfield is currently suspended.

What does the bill do?

House of Lords

Parliament

The bill is a private member's bill, introduced by Crossbench peer and former Lord Speaker, Baroness Hayman.

The bill makes provision for Members of the House of Lords to be suspended or be permanently expelled.

Peers can be suspended, but currently the House has no power to require that the Writ of Summons be withheld. (The Writ of Summons is the "entry ticket" for peers and calls each peer to the House at the start of a Parliament.)

The House cannot suspend a member for longer than the remainder of the current Parliament. A member of the Lords suspended today would be able to re-take their seat when the new Parliament sits in May.

A similar measure to the one in this bill was included in the abandoned House of Lords Reform Bill in 2012.

Introducing the bill

House of Lords

Parliament

House of Lords
BBC
Baroness Hayman is introducing the debate on report stage of the House of Lords (Expulsion and Suspension) Bill.

Moving on...

House of Lords

Parliament

The Lords are being very efficient today; the Cohabitation Rights Bill passes second reading in the House of Lords without opposition.

We now move on to the report stage of the House of Lords (Expulsion and Suspension) Bill.

Debate concluding

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Marks of Henley-on-Thames is concluding the debate on the second reading of the Cohabitation Rights Bill.

Lord Marks says that "it is entirely wrong" to perpetuate a system that has as its default position the notion that the unwilling partner in a relationship may take advantage of the other.

Lord Marks also says that his bill does not force anyone into the bill's system of redress, but rather changes the default laws for couples who have not made their own legal arrangements, so as to protect people in cohabiting relationships.

Government reservations

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Ashton of Hyde outlines the government's position on the bill.

Lord Ashton says that the government does not consider that proper consideration has taken place in regards to this bill.

The government will not oppose the bill at second reading, but does have reservations about the changes to the law proposed in the bill.

Reform needed

House of Lords

Parliament

Shadow women and equalities minister Baroness Thornton speaks passionately in favour of the bill, saying that the law is "clearly in need of reform".

Opposition in favour

House of Lords

Parliament

House of Lords
BBC
Shadow women and equalities minister Baroness Thornton speaks in favour of the bill.

Coalition split on bill?

House of Lords

Parliament

Liberal Democrat Peer, Lord Lester of Herne Hill, also speaks in favour of the bill.

Lord Lester says that he too rejects the accusation that this bill attacks marriage, and says that the Conservative part of the coalition government is opposed to the bill.

Lord Lester says that he feels that only a Labour, or a Labour coalition government would be able to pass this measure - much to the chagrin of some of his Conservative colleagues.

@a_palminteri

TheFamilyLawPractice tweets: Butler-Sloss is fantastic and expresses her support of Cohabitation Rights Bill & suggests a longer of period of cohabitation @ResFamilyLaw

'No attack' on marriage

House of Lords

Parliament

Baroness Butler-Sloss speaks forcefully in favour of the bill, drawing on the experience of her long career as a family court judge.

Baroness Butler-Sloss says that she has been married for 56 years and is a strong supporter of marriage, and she does not see that this bill is an attack on marriage.

Support for bill

House of Lords

Parliament

House of Lords
BBC
Former family court judge Baroness Butler-Sloss speaks in support of the bill.

Marriage in church

House of Lords

Parliament

The Bishop of Sheffield, the Rt Rev Steven Croft, outlines the meaning of marriage and explains what happens during the marriage service, as he responds to the bill.

'A vote-loser'

House of Lords

Parliament

Baroness Deech rises from the crossbenches to speak against the bill - calling it "a real vote-loser" as it assaults the right of people to cohabit without the state getting involved in their personal affairs.

Baroness Deech says that the bill would reduce people's willingness to commit long term and it would increase the stress of couple breakdown - to the significant detriment of children.

She says that if enacted this bill would be "the real bedroom tax - share your bedroom and be taxed for ever more".

Event of a breakdown

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Marks of Henley-on-Thames says that just as it is a choice to get married or join a civil partnership, it is a choice to cohabit - and so the obligations of marriage should be thrust upon a cohabiting couple by the state.

He says that where a cohabiting relationship breaks down, there should be a mechanism for adjusting the economic impact of the relationship to share the impact more fairly between the parties.

Lords Marks says that the bill aims to address economic unfairness at the end of a relationship that has enriched one party and impoverished the other in a way that demands redress.

Opening debate

House of Lords

Parliament

House of Lords
BBC
Lord Marks of Henley-on-Thames opens the debate on his Cohabitation Rights Bill.

Protection for co-habiting couples

House of Lords

Parliament

We now move on to the second reading of Lord Marks of Henley-on-Thames's Cohabitation Rights Bill.

The bill aims to provide similar protections for co-habiting couples as for married couples.

In 2012 there were 2.9 million unmarried couples living together, up from 1.5 million in 1996.

Government response 'disappointing'

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath concludes the debate on the final amendment to the bill being debated at report stage today.

Lord Hunt says that he is disappointed by the government's response to the issue, and warns Lord Saatchi that is he does not address the concerns of leading medical organisations, then he risks the success of his bill becoming law.

Lord Hunt says that he will withdraw the amendment for now, but is prepared to press the issue at third reading if the issue is not properly addressed.

The bill passes report stage in the House of Lords.

Record essential

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Saatchi also speaks in favour of the proposed register of results for innovative treatments.

Lord Saatchi says that a record of results is essential for science and medicine to progress.

He says that he is satisfied with the government's response to the issue.

Register

House of Lords

Parliament

House of Lords
BBC
Lord Forsyth of Drumlean is one of the many peers from across the chamber who is speaking in favour of the proposed compulsory register of results of innovative treatments.

Recording results

House of Lords

Parliament

Many peers are intervening on Baroness Jolly in support of the amendment, saying that it is an incredibly important aspect of medical procedure.

Peers from across the House say that they cannot understand why the government is opposing a compulsory register of all results of medical innovation.

Bureaucracy worries

House of Lords

Parliament

Baroness Jolly is speaking against amendment 5 from the government frontbench.

Baroness Jolly says that the requirement to record all results of innovation on the face of the bill widens its scope too far.

She does agree that there should be a register of results, but that it should be done with a "light touch" so that it does not become a burdensome piece of bureaucracy.

Support for amendment 5

House of Lords

Parliament

Baroness Finlay of Llandaff and Lord Kakkar both speak in support of amendment 5, which provides a necessity for both positive and negative results of innovative treatments to be recorded and published.

Both peers say that the amendment provides transparency and would also allay many of the concerns that people have with the bill.

'Unease'

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath repeats the Opposition's sympathy and support for the aims of the bill, but says that he still finds himself "uneasy" about the "substantial body of medical opinion" who are concerned about the impact of the bill.

The amendment would create a requirement for all results of innovation - both negative and positive, to be recorded.

'Constructive' amendment

House of Lords

Parliament

House of Lords
BBC
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath moves his "constructive" amendment to the bill.

Another amendment withdrawn

House of Lords

Parliament

Baroness Masham of Ilton withdraws her amendment after the response of the government and Lord Saatchi.

She says that it is important for these issues to be addressed if the bill is to pass all stages in Parliament.

Doctor to explain

House of Lords

Parliament

Baroness Masham of Ilton is moving her amendment 4 to the bill.

The amendment adds a necessity for the innovating doctor to explain the medical opinions sought during the medical process to the patient.

Baroness Masham's amendment

House of Lords

Parliament

House of Lords
BBC
Baroness Masham of Ilton speaks to her amendment which requires explanation of the medical procedure to the patient.

Amendment withdrawn

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Turnberg also withdraws his amendment 3 relating to doctors needing the "support" of another doctor rather than just their "view".

Lord Turnberg says he is not convinced by the government's arguments, but will withdraw his amendment for now.

No division

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Winston raises his concerns with the government, but says that he will not divide the House on his amendments, and so the amendments are withdrawn.

Regulations do not cover

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Winston says that he is "astonished" by the government response.

He says that contrary to what Baroness Jolly had said, the current regulations do not cover the issues on which he is raising his concerns.

Lord Saatchi's response

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Saatchi responds to the debate on this group of amendments, and begins by saying that although he and Lord Winston do not agree on the bill, he hopes that they can reach a "happy synthesis".

Lord Saatchi says that Lord Winston's amendment 2 relating to patient safety is already covered by the bill, and is addressed by his own amendments.

Speaking to Lord Turnberg's amendment 3, Lord Saatchi argues that insisting on a second doctor's "support" rather than just their "view", would mean that formal approval was required, which could hamper the central aim of the bill.

Government position

House of Lords

Parliament

Baroness Jolly rises again to outline the government position on this group of amendments.

Speaking to the concerns for patient safety, Baroness Jolly says that "the bill does not remove any of the current safeguards in place to protect patient safety".

"There is no escape for a negligent doctor under the bill."

Stem-cell amendments

House of Lords

Parliament

House of Lords
BBC
Lord Turnberg speaks to amendments relating to stem-cells.

Doctor support

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Turnberg speaks to his amendment 3, which changes the requirement for a doctor who wishes to use an innovative treatment to need the support of another doctor, rather than just "seek his view", which is how the text of the bill currently stands.

'Take away hope'

House of Lords

Parliament

Baroness Gardner of Parkes opposes Lord Winston's amendment 2 relating to patient safety, saying that the bill only applies for cases in a terminal condition.

Baroness Gardner says that the amendment would "take away hope".

@DArcyTiP

Mark D'Arcy

Parliamentary correspondent

Heartbreaking: @ProfRWinston describes how innovative treatments contributed to the death of his father at just 46... #SaatchiBill