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. We joined the House of Commons as Lib Dem John Pugh introduced a ten minute rule bill on Public Sector Efficiency (Employee Participation).
  2. There were two Opposition day debates: on apprenticeships and on electoral registration.
  3. The final item of today's business was an adjournment debate on Scottish representation in the Union, from former prime minister Gordon Brown.
  4. Peers met at 15.00 GMT for oral questions.
  5. After that, they turned their attention to the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill for the second day of report stage consideration.

Live Reporting

By Sam Francis and Aiden James

All times stated are UK

Goodnight from the Lords

House of Lords

Parliament

That's the end of our live coverage from Westminster for today.

The House of Commons will be the first to sit tomorrow from 09:30 GMT, beginning with questions to energy and climate change ministers.

Peers will sit from 11:00 GMT. The main business will be further debate on the Deregulation Bill.

Independent reviewer

House of Lords

Parliament

Government spokesman Lord Ashton of Hyde introduces the final group of amendments for debate, including a new clause to the bill extending the remit of the independent reviewer of terrorism legislation.

The

current independent reviewer is David Anderson QC.

Lib Dem Baroness Hamwee has tabled an amendment to this clause to cover "any provision of immigration and nationality law to the extent it is used for counter-terrorism purposes".

Lord Ashton of Hyde
BBC
Lord Ashton of Hyde, speaking for the government

Local panels

House of Lords

Parliament

Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Hamwee introduces amendments on the bill's requirement for local authorities to set up panels "assessing the extent to which identified individuals are vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism".

Identifying and referring individuals would be the work of the police under the proposed legislation.

She voices concerns over co-operation across local authority boundaries, suggesting that the bill does "not reflect the current reality of how local government works".

Baroness Hamwee is a former member of the Greater London Assembly and a former councillor in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames.

'Test received wisdom'

House of Lords

Parliament

Baroness Lister of Burtersett introduces an amendment which aims to ensure that "academic staff have freedom to question and test received wisdom" and put forward controversial ideas.

The Labour peer is emeritus professor of social policy at Loughborough University.

Baroness Lister of Burtersett
BBC

'Huge cost'

House of Lords

Parliament

Home Office Minister Lord Bates tells Lord Phillips that "the scale" of the requirements in his amendment would entail "a huge cost", including to universities.

He says he will give Lord Phillips written clarification, and the Lib Dem peer withdraws his amendment.

Report on impact

House of Lords

Parliament

Liberal Democrat Lord Phillips of Sudbury is opening debate on an amendment concerning the power under the bill for ministers to issue guidance to universities to "have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism".

The amendment would prevent the home secretary from issuing guidance to universities until one month after reporting to Parliament on the likely impact.

The amendment has support from fellow Lib Dem Baroness Williams of Crosby, Conservative Lord Norton of Louth and Labour peer Viscount Hanworth.

Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Debate resumes on the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill.

Short break

House of Lords

Parliament

The short debate is over and the House is taking a short break until 20:40 GMT, when peers will return to the report stage of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill.

Advisory committee

House of Lords

Parliament

The government's Social Security Advisory Committee

exchanged correspondence with Welfare Reform Minister Lord Freud on benefit conditionality.

In his correspondence, committee chairman Paul Gray wrote that the government had "presented draft regulations which set out a number of additional easements from work-search conditionality for cases where a child has been exposed to circumstances that have caused distress and where there is a clear need for the responsible carer to provide sustained support and attention".

End of Commons business

House of Commons

Parliament

And with that, Alistair Carmichael brings an end to the day in the House of Commons.

MPs will be back tomorrow at 09:30 GMT for a series of backbench debates on NHS services.

But stay with us tonight as the House of Lords continues its scrutiny of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill, following a short debate on the review into the setting of Universal Credit conditionality when children are in distress.

Universal Credit

House of Lords

Parliament

Universal Credit is planned to replace six means-tested benefits and tax credits, and is currently being piloted.

Two of the benefits that Universal Credit replaces are the child tax credit and income support.

Initially, Universal Credit was available to single people and couples only but is now being made available to families with children.

'Necessary' debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Striking a conciliatory note, Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael thanks Gordon Brown for "doing [the House of Commons] a service" by tabling this debate.

This sort of debate is necessary in order to build a consensus on the subject of devolution "so that this is a Parliament fit for the whole of the United Kingdom", he says.

Picture: Crowded House

House of Commons

Parliament

House of Commons
BBC
An unusually large number of MPs have turned out for tonight's adjournment debate, which are usually sparely populated affairs

Short debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Hope of Craighead says he is "reassured" by Home Office Minister Lord Bates' "open mind" on the matters raised in the debate, and withdraws the amendments.

Peers now take a dinner break, but some remain behind for a short debate led by the Lib Dem peer Lord German on the results of a review into the setting of Universal Credit conditionality when children are in distress.

Conditionality is a term used to describe the criteria by which claimants qualify or not for state benefits, and the review examined possible easing of the requirements for carers of children in distress.

'Over -bullient puppy dog'

House of Commons

Parliament

SNP MP Angus MacNeil intervenes on a point of order to ask "what the difference is between a debate and a lecture", pointing out that Gordon Brown has promised to allow interventions on his speech, but has yet to fulfil his promise.

Speaker John Bercow describes Mr MacNeil as an "over-ebullient puppy dog" and denies this is a point of order, allowing Gordon Brown to continue uninterrupted.

'Two classes' of representative

House of Commons

Parliament

Gordon Brown claims that, in announcing Scottish representatives will be excluded from voting on certain matters, Leader of the House William Hague is "breaking with the well established practice of other countries, breaking with our own constitutional history and breaking with all sensible advice".

The move will make the House of Commons "the first parliament in the world where two classes of representatives exist and where some representatives are more equal than others", he argues.

Picture: Gordon Brown

House of Commons

Parliament

Gordon Brown
BBC

Third reading compromise?

House of Lords

Parliament

Crossbench peer Lord Hannay of Chiswick suggests that the minister should add elements from the amendments - which would add a duty to consider freedom of speech and academic freedom - to the bill before it returns to the House for third reading.

Third reading is the final debate on the bill as a whole. In the Lords it is possible to table amendments at this stage.

Driven a wedge

House of Commons

Parliament

Gordon Brown argues the government have deliberately "driven a new wedge between" Scotland and England through its plans for English votes for English laws (EVEL) which, he says, "mean nothing other than restricting the rights of Scottish representatives in this House".

"At the very time they should be attempting to unify and reconcile the different nations of the UK... they have summarily rejected one of the recommendations of the Smith Commission," he argues.

Adjournment debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown is now leading the day's final business: the adjournment debate on Scottish representation in the Union.

No pass for Huhne

House of Commons

Parliament

Conservative MP Matthew Offord asks if there is any way MPs can rescind a

parliamentary pass that has been granted to the former MP for Eastleigh, Chris Huhne, who was jailed for perverting the course of justice in 2013.

Speaker John Bercow says that security measures are not discussed on the floor of the House of Commons, but reminds Mr Offord that the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act was passed by MPs and sits on the statue book.

Motion rejected

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs vote to reject the Labour motion by 289 votes to 216, a government majority of 73.

The motion read:

"That this House recognises the importance of a complete and accurate electoral register to the health of our democracy; welcomes the fact that 1.8 million voters have registered using online registration, but notes that, according to the Electoral Commission, 7.5 million eligible voters are missing from the register; notes with concern that an estimated one million voters have left the register in the past year and that the shift to individual electoral registration could see millions more fall off the register; calls on the government and the Electoral Commission to do more to tackle under-registration, including block-registering students in university or college accommodation and people living in adult sheltered accommodation and care homes, introducing a schools registration scheme, on the model of the Northern Ireland Schools Initiative, to boost registration in time for the general election on 7 May 2015, and maximising the use of national and local data sets in securing a complete register; and further calls on the government to set a clear goal to reduce the numbers of missing voters and to delay fully implementing individual electoral registration until this goal is met."

Minister replies

House of Lords

Parliament

Home Office Minister Lord Bates is summing up for the government on the duty on authorities to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism, contained in the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill.

He tells the House that the government reassessed the Prevent strategy and found it "very patchy" although some good work was being done.

The recommendation to put Prevent "on a statutory footing" is an attempt to achieve more consistency, he argues.

'Didn't happen overnight'

House of Commons

Parliament

Deputy Leader of the House Tom Brake says the problem of under-registration "did not happen overnight and will not be fixed overnight".

The reasons for voter registration "are complex and links to increased population mobility and disengagement from party politics" and it is a "nonsense to suggest, as Labour have done, that the government don't take the issue of voter resignation seriously", he argues.

The government is committed to the accuracy and completeness of the electoral register, he says.

Tom Brake
BBC

'Guidance' from government

House of Lords

Parliament

The Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill gives the home secretary the power to publish guidance on which bodies are responsible for prevention.

The effect of the guidance would be to put the existing Prevent programme on a statutory footing.

As well placing new requirements on universities, the bill requires local authorities to provide support for those vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism.

'No improper debates'

House of Lords

Parliament

Conservative peer Lord Deben says it is 55 years since he and fellow Conservative Kenneth Clarke invited Oswald Mosley to debate at Cambridge University.

"There were many who wanted him banned," he tells peers, but insists that students needed to hear the arguments to be aware of "the dangers of fascism".

Lord Deben - the former cabinet minister John Gumer - urges peers to regard "freedom of speech as a mechanism against extremism".

He opposes asking universities to "inform upon and to investigate, and to assess what is a proper and an improper debate" when he believes "there are no improper debates".

Sign up for public services

House of Commons

Parliament

Labour's Siobhain McDonagh makes a suggestion which she predicts will unite all MPs against her.

She suggests that if an individual wants to access a public service they should be required to register to vote.

"If you want the benefits of an advanced welfare democracy then you should sign up," she says.

People would not be allowed a drivers licence, access to tax credits or to use a library under this system, she adds.

No 'absolute' freedom of speech

House of Lords

Parliament

Crossbencher Baroness Deech, a former principal of St Anne's College, Oxford, says there is no "absolute" freedom of speech in universities.

The Equality Act and previous anti-terror laws place requirements on universities, she argues.

"I'm sorry to shatter the illusions but it isn't there any more."

Baroness Deech
BBC

'Completely unworkable'

House of Lords

Parliament

Labour peer Lord Morgan, a research professor at King's College London, opposes the inclusion of universities in the provisions of the bill, calling it "completely unworkable".

He adds: "It would destroy the element of trust which is essential to the way a university operates."

'Complacent' Parliament

House of Commons

Parliament

Chair of the Political and Constitutional Committee, Graham Allen, says his committee has published seven reports on problems with the electoral register with little reaction from Parliament.

"We have let these problems grow in our complacency, and now we face immense difficulties in our constituencies," he says.

Many of his committee's predictions have now come to pass with only 92 days before a general election, he adds.

'Centres for debate'

House of Lords

Parliament

Labour peer Baroness Lister of Burtersett speaks in support of the amendments.

"Our universities and colleges are centres for debate and open discussion, where received wisdom can be challenged and controversial ideas put forward in the spirit of academic endeavour," she tells the House.

She calls on peers to back amendments to the Prevent duty so it does not "have a chilling effect on academic freedom".

@SadiqKhan

Shadow justice secretary Sadiq Khan tweets: Things getting lively - not helped by Minister talking about anything but the worsening state of the electoral register #InDenial

Funding pledge

House of Commons

Parliament

Sam Gyimah announces that £2.5m of funding will be used to bring under represented groups, such as students and ethnic minorities, back onto the electoral register.

The money will come from £14.2m the coalition have set aside for a voter registration campaign.

'Freedom of speech' amendments

House of Lords

Parliament

Crossbencher Lord Hope of Craighead is introducing amendments which would add requirements to uphold freedom of speech and academic freedom in the bill.

Universities and other further and higher education institutions are among the "authorities" which must "have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism".

One of the amendments would also require the institutions to have "due regard to the maintenance of academic freedom and freedom of expression within the law".

'Nothing cynical'

House of Commons

Parliament

Cabinet Office Minister Sam Gyimah says there is "nothing cynical or sinister" about the transition to individual electoral registration.

The new system was implemented under Labour, but now they are "seeking to disown it" either to help Sadiq Khan's bid to become Mayor of London or because the "Labour party are rightly scared of the next election has retreated to the comfort zone of opposition politics", Mr Gyimah argues.

'Vested interest'

House of Commons

Parliament

Former Labour cabinet minister Frank Dobson intervenes to suggest that the Coalition have a "vested interest" in keeping the number of student voters down "because they're the people who put the fees up to £9,000".

Picture: Lord Bates

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Bates
BBC

'Non-violent extremism'

House of Lords

Parliament

Conservative Lord Lamont raises the subject of "non-violent extremism" and asks what kind "the government is worried about".

He jokes that some modern art could be "considered non-violent extremism".

Home Office Minister Lord Bates tells him that non-violent extremism can include "opposition to fundamental British values" and "calling for the death" of servicemen and women.