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Summary

  1. MPs met at 11.30 GMT for questions to the health team.
  2. The main business of the day started with consideration of Lords' amendments to the Pension Schemes Bill; then all stages of the House of Commons Commission Bill.
  3. MPs then debated various business motions; before moving on to a debate on mental health and unemployment.
  4. Peers sat from 14.30 GMT and, after oral questions, considered Commons amendments to the Consumer Rights Bill.
  5. Peers then debated a motion on Mitochondrial Donation.

Live Reporting

By Sam Francis and Aiden James

All times stated are UK

Goodnight from the Lords

House of Lords

Parliament

That ends our live coverage of today's business in Parliament.

The House of Lords meets again tomorrow from 15.00 GMT, when the main business will be the second day of report stage debate on the Modern Slavery Bill.

MPs will sit from 11.30 GMT, with the weekly theatre of Prime Minister's Questions at noon.

About fixed odds betting terminals

House of Lords

Parliament

Fixed odds betting terminals include touch screen roulette machines used in betting shops across the UK.

Fixed odds betting terminals allow stakes of up to £100 to be laid every 20 seconds.

There are currently around 33,000 fixed odds betting terminal machines in the UK.

'Loss of revenues'

House of Lords

Parliament

Labour peer Lord Lipsey says that getting rid of betting machines would affect jobs in betting shops and "there would be a loss of tax and a loss of betting levy revenues".

This has to be balanced with the arguments heard against the machines, he argues.

Peer condemns betting machines

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Clement-Jones claims that high stakes fixed odds betting machines, which are found in many high street betting shops, are "a catalyst for problem gambling, social breakdown and serious crime in communities".

Lord Clement-Jones
BBC

Final debate

House of Lords

Parliament

The final debate this evening is on a motion asking "what actions are being taken to address the concerns expressed by a number of local authorities in England and Wales about the growth in the number of high stakes fixed odds betting machines available on the high street".

Lib Dem peer Lord Clement-Jones, leading the debate, observes many peers leaving after the previous debate.

"My Lords, I feel the tide going out!" he jokes.

Regulations approved

House of Lords

Parliament

Peers reject Lord Deben's amendment by 280 votes to 48 - a majority of 232.

Peers then approve the regulations on mitochondrial donation without a vote.

Division on amendment

House of Lords

Parliament

The House divides on Lord Deben's amendment: "this House declines to approve the draft Human Fertilisation and Embryology (Mitochondrial Donation) Regulations 2015 laid before the House on 17 December 2014 and calls on Her Majesty's Government not to lay new draft regulations until a joint committee of both Houses has been established and has reported on (1) the safety of the procedures permitted by the draft regulations, (2) the compliance of the draft regulations with European Union and domestic law, and (3) the key definitions used in the draft regulations".

'Legal disagreement'

House of Lords

Parliament

Conservative peer Lord Deben says he does not wish to cast the regulations "into the long grass".

However, he insists that "there is clearly a legal disagreement".

He asks why the regulations are "being pressed at this moment when we could have all the answers to the questions we raised" if further scrutiny took place first.

Regulations 'already scrutinised'

House of Lords

Parliament

Earl Howe says he disagrees with Lord Deben's proposal that the regulations should be scrutinised by a joint committee of both Houses of Parliament.

The health minister says the

Commons Science and Technology Committee and the
Lords Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee have already examined the regulations.

He urges peers to back the regulations to allow mitochondrial donation.

Earl Howe
BBC

Government response

House of Lords

Parliament

Earl Howe is replying for the government in the debate on mitochondrial donation.

He says Lord Deben, who has tabled a motion opposing approval of the regulations, has raised concerns about compliance with the

EU Clinical Trials Directive.

"The EU Clinical Trials Directive does not apply here because it is concerned with clinical products," Earl Howe argues.

The health minister says that the government has not checked with the EU but it is up to member states to ensure that legislation complies with European directives.

'Not persuaded'

House of Lords

Parliament

Labour peer Baroness Scotland of Asthal -a former Attorney General - says medical experts in the House of Lords have taken part in an "extraordinary" debate today.

It had revealed "real agreement and empathy about the need to make a difference" for people who risk passing on mitochondrial disease.

However, she says other legal experts in Parliament, including Conservative former Attorney General Dominic Grieve, were "not persuaded it is the right thing to do now".

She raises concerns that the regulations may be being rushed through ahead of the general election and asks why the government is so certain that they comply with European law.

Not a 'large number of people'

House of Lords

Parliament

Labour peer and fertility specialist Lord Winston tells peers that the regulations on mitochondrial donation will only apply to small number of people of child-bearing age who are at risk of passing on mitochondrial disease.

"We're not talking about a large number of people," he insists.

He backs the procedure to prevent people experiencing the pain of "losing your child after watching a deterioration and devastating death".

Lord Winston
BBC

End of Commons business

House of Commons

Parliament

And that brings today's business in the House of Commons to an end.

MPs will be back at 11.30 GMT tomorrow for questions to Scotland office ministers, before the weekly battle between David Cameron and Ed Miliband at Prime Minister's Questions.

Stay with us as business in the House of Lords continues this evening, with peers scrutinising the Mitochondrial Donation Regulations.

Adjournment debate

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs now move to today's final business, the adjournment debate. Today's is led by Labour MP Mary Glindon on the economic effects of the decrease in exploration and appraisal drilling.

Government response

House of Commons

Parliament

Work and Pensions Minister Mark Harper is responding to the debate.

He argues that the government is already "doing a lot" to help mental health support for the unemployed, through schemes such as the IPS Supported Employment which is being piloted around the country. But he admits "there's clearly a lot more to do".

Mark Harper
BBC

Committee finishes

House of Commons

Parliament

The final session of the Liaison Committee before the general election draws to a close.

As he wraps up the question session, Sir Alan Beith tells the PM that he won't be sitting in his current chair after the election - and that he doesn't know who will be sitting in the prime minister's chair either.

David Cameron laughs and says that he hopes to be back.

Proper employment support

House of Commons

Parliament

Kate Green warns that although moving people into employment is good for their mental health, "poorly paid, poor welfare jobs are not going to be consistent with good mental health" and she calls on the government to ensure employment support systems are designed to incorporate mental health needs.

She tells MPs that there has been a massive upsurge in the number of people being sanctioned under this government and "that must mean a number of those being caught must include people with mental health problems".

While she agrees that there must be sanctions in the benefit system "inappropriate sanctioning not only causes financial hardship but can also be a source of huge anxiety and stress", she says.

'Balance' risk

House of Lords

Parliament

Crossbench peer Lord Patel, an obstetrician and a member of the Medical Research Council, argues that no medical procedure is 100% safe.

"That applies to the whole of medicine," he tells the House.

Any risk in the procedure must be balanced against the risk of babies being born with mitochondrial disease, he adds.

It is "up to the families to balance" the likely risk.

Labour response

House of Commons

Parliament

Shadow work and pension minister Kate Green is responding to the debate for Labour. She uses her speech to call for "more effective joining up of employment support and mental health services".

People not working because of a mental health problem are often kept out of jobs due to a lack of access to therapies or suitable jobs, she warns.

This is despite the fact that this same group "represent the largest number of people who want to be employed", she tells MPs.

Kate Green
BBC

About mitochondria

House of Lords

Parliament

Mitochondria are tiny structures found in human cells that convert food into useable energy.

Defective mitochondria, which are passed down only from the mother, lead to brain damage, heart failure and blindness.

Mitochondrial donation combines the DNA of the two parents with the healthy mitochondria of a donor woman.

It results in babies with 0.1% of their DNA from the second woman.

Picture: Lord Deben

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Deben
BBC
Lord Deben - the former Conservative minister John Gummer - addresses peers

‏@IsabelHardman

The Spectator's Isabel Hardman tweets: Bernard Jenkin now grilling the PM on civil service reform. Last time this happened, the exchanges were quite funny.

Laughing about it

House of Commons

Parliament

Conservative MP Adam Afriyie says people should be able to laugh about mental health concerns, the same way people laugh when a colleague gets injured.

Laughing about misfortune is part of the human condition, he argues, pointing to the tradition of signing or drawing pictures on casts over broken bones.

'Not opposed in principle'

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Deben says he supports mitochondrial donation and is "not opposed to it in principle".

He says that he tabled the amendment to enable the regulations to be debated on the floor of the House.

He argues it is "right to discuss this matter very carefully".

He adds that he is also unsure as to whether the regulations are compatible with EU laws.

'Fatal' amendment

House of Lords

Parliament

Conservative peer Lord Deben rises to speak to his amendment which would reject the regulations.

It further calls on the government "not to lay new draft regulations until a joint committee of both Houses has been established and has reported on (1) the safety of the procedures permitted by the draft regulations, (2) the compliance of the draft regulations with European Union and domestic law, and (3) the key definitions used in the draft regulations".

Iraq work

House of Commons

Parliament

The prime minister is answering questions on Syria and on the UK's strategy on Iraq.

David Cameron tells the committee the strategy consists of supporting the Iraqi government, training their security forces and launching air strikes above the skies of Iraq "on a daily basis".

'Continuum' though life

House of Commons

Parliament

Conservative MP Charles Walker, who has obsessive compulsive disorder, reminds MPs that mental health is a "continuum" and "resilience needs to be built throughout life".

"Without good mental health in early years and schools we will not have good mental health in the work place despite the best efforts of employers," he warns.

'Avoidable suffering'

House of Lords

Parliament

Opening the debate, Health Minister Earl Howe tells peers that only mitochondrial DNA would be transplanted.

The technique does not include a cell's nuclear DNA which determine a person's characteristics.

He adds that he understands that "some noble Lords" will be opposed "on principle" but he cannot agree with them.

The measure is about preventing "avoidable suffering and shortened lives".

About the regulations

House of Lords

Parliament

If agreed, the motion would permit the historic move to allow the creation of babies with DNA from two women and one man in order to prevent mitochondrial diseases.

If the House of Lords votes in favour, the UK would be the first country to introduce laws to allow the creation of babies from three people.

The chief medical officer has urged peers to vote in favour, but the plans remain contentious.

Earlier this month, 382 MPs voted in favour, and 128 against the technique that stops these genetic diseases being passed from mother to child.

Baby under blanket
Thinkstock

Amendment agreed

House of Lords

Parliament

Peers give their backing to what Lord Moynihan describes as the "compromise amendment" on secondary ticketing without a vote.

The House now moves on to consider a motion to approve the Human Fertilisation and Embryology (Mitochondrial Donation) Regulations 2015.

'Up to the industry'

House of Lords

Parliament

Baroness Neville-Rolfe concedes that "the government was not willing to jeopardise the passage of the Consumer Rights Bill" by further opposing regulations for the secondary ticketing market.

It is "up to the industry" to make the changes to secondary ticketing rules work, she adds.

Labour backing

House of Lords

Parliament

Shadow business, innovation and skills spokeswoman Baroness Hayter welcomes the amendment on secondary ticketing and gives Labour's backing to the Consumer Rights Bill.

Government input

House of Commons

Parliament

Labour's Kevan Jones accuses the government of exacerbating problems for people with mental health.

The work capability tests have "been a complete disaster" for claimants, sending many vulnerable people back into work before they're ready, as well as being a "financial disaster" for the taxpayer, he argues.

The government's "rhetoric about trying to be tough on welfare claimants, and get people off benefits" is damaging to those who claim employment support, 46% of whom have mental health problems, he says.

‏@carolinenokes

Conservative MP Caroline Nokes tweets: Debate in the House this afternoon one mental health and unemployment - really important issue and very thoughtful contributions

@TimReidBBC

Tim Reid

Political correspondent, BBC News

PM on Russian flights"We should be careful that in our response we are clear, firm, calm. We are more than capable of defending our airspace

'Bad day for fraudsters'

House of Lords

Parliament

Conservative peer Lord Holmes of Richmond - the former Paralympic swimmer Chris Holmes - says the amendment to the Consumer Rights Bill makes for a good day for genuine fans and "a bad day for the sheepskin-clad fraudster".

The amendment requires sellers to supply basic information including a ticket's face value - though not the seller's name or address - with the aim of detecting fraud.

Lord Holmes of Richmond
BBC

'Costing society a huge amount'

House of Commons

Parliament

Paul Burstow tells MPs that, in the past, mental health did not get the "time, or the focus that they deserved" but insists things are improving.

As an example he points to a pilot IPS Supported Employment scheme in Leeds which has reduced the cost of supporting an unemployed person with mental health needs from £13,817 to £5,819.

If mental health isn't properly dealt with and similar provisions to this aren't rolled out across the country then these people are "not just costing our society a huge amount but costing individuals a fortune" he says.

Questions on Ukraine

House of Commons

Parliament

David Cameron
BBC
The prime minister begins the session answering questions on Ukraine and Britain's attitude to Russia

Cameron questioning

House of Commons

Parliament

The prime minister's session in front of the Commons Liaison Committee is just beginning.

The committee is made up of the chairs of Commons select committees who can question the prime minister on matters of public policy.

In this session committee members are asking David Cameron questions on countries affected by Islamist extremism, Ukraine and the capacity of the Civil Service.

'Wholesale harvesting'

House of Lords

Parliament

Conservative peer Lord Moynihan - a former minister for sport and former chairman of the British Olympic Association - says the problem in the market is not with old-fashioned ticket touts but with the "wholesale harvesting of tickets by touts".

People looking for tickets online can lose out to programs which sweep sites for huge amounts of tickets to resell at an inflated price, he argues.

He calls for "a thorough investigation of the secondary market".

Lord Moynihan
BBC