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. MPs and peers met for the first day following the half-term recess. MPs began the day with questions to ministers from the defence team.
  2. Chancellor George Osborne hinted that a new rule aiding and abetting tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance will be included in the budget next month during a response to an urgent question.
  3. Prime Minster David Cameron announced a Europe-wide initiative to push airlines and internet companies to do more to prevent people becoming radicalised.
  4. The Serious Crime Bill completed its final stages in the House of Commons.
  5. Peers also met at 14.30 GMT and after oral questions considered the Modern Slavery Bill at report stage.

Live Reporting

By Sam Francis and Aiden James

All times stated are UK

Goodnight

And that brings an end to today's business in the Houses of Parliament.

Parliament will be back at 11.30 GMT tomorrow as MPs return to question Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt and his ministerial colleagues.

'Improving outcomes'

House of Commons

Parliament

Ms Ellison admits that "we just haven't seen the movement in [oesophageal and stomach cancers] as with other cancers".

She agrees to consider Mike Weatherly's proposals, but argues that the many of the government's initiatives, including the

Cancer Task Force, are working to "improve outcomes."

Goodnight from the Lords

House of Lords

Parliament

The end of the first day of report stage debate on the Modern Slavery Bill brings tonight's proceedings in the Lords to a close.

Peers return tomorrow from 14.30 GMT for questions to ministers.

The main business includes consideration of Commons amendments to the Consumer Rights Bill.

The House will also consider regulations on mitochondrial donation, which

MPs agreed earlier this month.

Government response

House of Commons

Parliament

Health Minister Jane Ellison is now responding to the debate for the government.

Jane Ellison
BBC

Six changes

House of Commons

Parliament

Mr Weatherly calls on the government to implement six changes:

  1. speeding up the process of seeing a GP to stop patients putting off receiving health care
  2. improve testing at the point of access with GP
  3. educating patients in symptoms of oesophageal cancer
  4. streamlining the referral system to allow quick testing and diagnosis
  5. allocating extra resources for endoscopies - a nonsurgical procedure used to examine a person's digestive tract
  6. greater hospice care for end of life

Oesophageal cancer survivor

House of Commons

Parliament

Mike Weatherly
BBC

Mr Weatherly tells MPs that after he had his oesophagus and a third of his stomach removed, due to an ongoing digestive problem, he was diagnosed with cancer.

Over half oesophageal cancer patients die within six months, he tells MPs, and 85% will die within five years.

While he has recovered since his diagnosis in 2012, he lists this mortality rate as one of the reasons he is leaving parliament after only one term.

Adjournment debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Conservative MP Mike Weatherly stands to open today's final business, an adjournment debate on oesophageal cancer.

Bill passed

House of Commons

Parliament

Conservative Bill Cash's amendment to allow girls "at risk of" female genital mutilation to be referred to the police is defeated by 282 votes to 227, a government majority of 55.

The bill has now completed all stages in the House of Commons and will now enter

parliamentary ping pong, which sees the bill return to the house of Lords for further scrutiny.

Amendment accepted

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs accept their first amendment of the night, on their fifth division, by a landslide.

Labour MP Ann Coffey's amendment to require an assessment of the evidence of the extent of sex-selective abortions is accepted by 491 votes to two.

Child abduction warning notice amendment

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs reject Rotherham Labour MP Sarah Champion's amendment, to ensure that no police officer below the rank of superintendent can issue a child abduction warning notice, by 305 votes to 212 - a government majority of 93 again.

National Referral Mechanism

House of Lords

Parliament

Peers are considering an amendment, proposed by Labour's Lord Warner, which would create a National Referral Mechanism (NRM) to identify trafficked, enslaved or exploited people, provide assistance and support, and ensure their rights are protected.

Labour amendment rejected

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs reject Labour's amendment by 305 votes to 212, a government majority of 93.

Anti-slavery commissioner

House of Lords

Parliament

Over in the Lords, debate continues on the Modern Slavery Bill, focusing on the role of the proposed anti-slavery commissioner.

The bill would create an anti-slavery commissioner who would have responsibility for ensuring a more coordinated response from the police and other agencies.

The bill says that the commissioner "must encourage good practice in the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of slavery and human trafficking offences [and] the identification of victims of those offences".

Amendment rejected

House of Commons

Parliament

Labour MP John Mann's amendment falls as well. This time by 296 votes to 233 - a government majority of 63.

Next up, a vote on Labour's proposals to make it an offence not to report suspected child abuse to the police.

Amendment rejected

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs reject the sex selective abortion amendment by 292 votes to 201, a government majority of 91.

But before they're allowed to sit down for too long another division is called, this time on Labour MP John Mann's proposal to waive the Official Secrets Act when releasing information to a historic child abuse investigation.

MPs file out of the chamber and into the voting lobbies. The result is expected at around 21.30 GMT.

House of Commons
BBC

Unintended consequence

House of Commons

Parliament

Sarah Wollaston
BBC

Health Committee chair and GP Dr Sarah Wollaston says she cannot support the amendment.

If enacted it may have the unintended consequences of preventing women confiding in their doctor that they "feel under pressure" to abort their child because of its gender, as they may fear they will be criminalised.

"We may see the complete reverse of the intention of this amendment," she warns.

Sex selective abortions legal

House of Commons

Parliament

Conservative MP David Burrowes stands to speak in support of the amendment. He tells MPs that the law "does not expressly prohibit gender-selective abortions".

The law instead prohibits abortions carried out without "two medical practitioners forming a view in good faith where the health risk of continuing pregnancy outweigh termination", making sex selective abortions a matter of "professional misconduct".

Modern Slavery Bill debate resumes

House of Lords

Parliament

Debate on the Modern Slavery Bill resumes with consideration of an amendment to require the anti-slavery commissioner to encourage "good practice" internationally, as well as in the UK.

Crossbench peer Lord Alton of Liverpool is opening debate on the amendment.

He calls for countries to "move beyond the parochial" and recognise common interests.

Picture: Baroness Grey-Thompson

House of Lords

Parliament

Baroness Grey-Thompson
BBC
Baroness Grey-Thompson speaks during a debate on access to hotels for disabled people

Amendment text

House of Commons

Parliament

The amendment would insert the phrase: "Nothing in section 1 of the Abortion Act 1967 is to be interpreted as allowing a pregnancy to be terminated on the grounds of the sex of the unborn child" into the Serious Crime Bill, putting it on statutory footing.

Hotel difficulties described

House of Lords

Parliament

Disabled peers have been describing some of their less-than-enjoyable hotel stays during the debate on access to hotels for disabled people.

Crossbench peer and former Paralympic athlete Baroness Grey-Thompson says that mirrors in hotel rooms are a constant annoyance for her.

She jokes that they seem to be "always set at the height of the six foot six workmen who put them up".

'Dangerous precedent'

House of Commons

Parliament

In a letter to The Times - whose signatories include David Richmond, the president of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, and Louise Silverton, the director for midwifery at the Royal College of Midwives - experts said the amendment "sets a dangerous precedent for altering the law surrounding access to abortion".

Labour opposition

House of Commons

Parliament

Shadow home secretary, Yvette Cooper, has told Labour MPs to vote against the amendment as sex-selective abortions are already illegal under the Abortion Act, so new legislation is not needed and the move could inadvertently outlaw abortion in cases where there are "gender-specific abnormalities".

In a letter to her party she warned that it the proposed amendment would have "troubling consequences."

The Telegraph has the story

here.

Sex selective abortions

House of Commons

Parliament

Fiona Bruce
BBC

MPs now turn to an amendment signed by more than a hundred backbenchers, led by the Conservative Fiona Bruce, aimed at banning sex-selective abortions - when a foetus is terminated simply because of its gender.

Ms Bruce says the amendment will not "change the law" but instead "confirms and clarifies" that sex selective abortions are already illegal under UK law and provides the government with an opportunity to address this problem."

Journalists' sources

House of Commons

Parliament

Liberal Democrat Julian Huppert is moving two amendments on the protection of journalist sources and privileged information.

The first would require a judge to give permission before the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) could be used to investigate journalists' sources.

The interception of communications commissioner, Sir Anthony May, found that in the last three years 19 police forces put in more than 600 applications to view journalists' phone records to identify their sources.

The second amendment would protect the public interest in the confidentiality of journalists' sources and other confidential conversations with healthcare professionals, ministers of religion and MPs.

Facilities for disabled people debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Debate on the Modern Slavery Bill adjourns for a dinner break.

Peers remaining behind are taking part in a debate led by Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Thomas of Winchester.

She is asking the government whether it will take steps to ensure that more hotels in the UK have better facilities for disabled people.

Baroness Thomas of Winchester
BBC

Government amendment

House of Lords

Parliament

Peers now turn their attention to a government amendment which would require ministers to specify the sum that the anti-slavery commissioner can spend in a financial year.

It would also permit the commissioner to appoint staff.

Conservative peer Lord McColl of Dulwich, introducing the amendment, argues that it would "protect the independence of the commissioner".

Amendment defeated

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Warner's amendment is defeated by 24 votes, with 154 peers backing it versus 178 opposed.

Division in the Lords

House of Lords

Parliament

The House divides on Lord Warner's amendment to allow the anti-slavery commissioner to "bring any matter to the attention of either House of Parliament irrespective of other provisions" in the Modern Slavery Bill.

'Independent'

House of Lords

Parliament

Home Office Minister Lord Bates tells peers that the House of Lords has already enhanced the role of the anti-slavery commissioner, by adding the requirement that the commissioner be "independent".

'My will, but not in my hands'

House of Commons

Parliament

John Bercow
BBC

Speaker John Bercow updates the House that he has decided not to bring forward the cross-party amendment on sex selective abortions, as suggested earlier.

Instead he proposes to leave it to the will of the House, but he encourages MPs to leave time so that the amendments can be properly debated.

"It is my will [that the sex selective abortion amendments are debated] but not in my hands," he says.

Anti-slavery commissioner

House of Lords

Parliament

Labour peer Lord Warner is speaking in support of an amendment regarding the role of the independent anti-slavery commissioner, a position which the Modern Slavery Bill would create.

The amendment would enable the commissioner "to bring any matter to the attention of either House of Parliament", Lord Warner says.

He adds that, if the commissioner feels "he or she is being thwarted, or nudged away" by government or anyone else, they will have access to Parliament to raise the matter.

Government amendments passed

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs pass the government amendments to the Serious Crime Bill unanimously.

Commitment on 'child prostitution'

House of Commons

Parliament

Rotherham MP Sarah Champion welcomes the government's proposal to remove the term "child prostitution" from the legislation applies to only three bills, not the full 16 pieces of legislation the term turns up in.

She asks for a "long term commitment" from the government to remove the term - which she says make victims feel "incredibly dirty and like they've in some way colluded" - completely from existing legislation.

Modern Slavery Bill debate resumes

House of Lords

Parliament

Following the repeated statements, debate resumes on the Modern Slavery Bill.

Peers are considering a group of government amendments making minor changes to the bill.

Official Secrets Act defence

House of Commons

Parliament

Labour MP John Mann is moving an amendment to waive the application of the Official Secrets Act to evidence that could help expose historical child abuse.

Creating a defence in law to allow people to speak to the police will have a "huge and significant impact in actually sorting out who did what, who alive should be prosecuted" and clearing the names of those who are "completely innocent", he says.

Picture: Baroness Stowell

House of Lords

Parliament

Baroness Stowell of Beeston
BBC
Leader of the House of Lords Baroness Stowell of Beeston repeats the prime minister's statement

New FGM offence

House of Commons

Parliament

Diana Johnson
BBC

Shadow home office minister Diana Johnson is setting out an amendment that would create new offence of the Encouragement of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

The new offence would give parents and girls the opportunity in law to challenge the public encouragement of FGM.

While supporting "vital" measures to protect women against FGM already contained in the bill, including FGM Protection Orders, a new offence of "failing to protect a girl from FGM", and anonymity of survivors for life, Ms Johnson argues they do not go far enough in helping to prevent FGM in the first place.

European Council statement

House of Lords

Parliament

Leader of the House Baroness Stowell is now repeating David Cameron's statement on the latest European Council summit.

The statement also covered the radicalisation of young people and the situation in Ukraine.

'Sexual exploitation of children'

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs are debating a government amendment to remove all references to "child prostitution" or "child pornography" from UK legislation and replace it with the term "sexual exploitation of a child".

Opening the debate, Solicitor General Robert Buckland argues the continued use of the "outdated" phrase was a barrier to overhauling attitudes that leave thousands of children vulnerable to abuse.

The change follows

campaigning by Labour MP Ann Coffey, who said the terms "protect abusers".