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Summary

  1. MPs asked the Treasury ministerial team questions at the start of the day.
  2. The Investigatory Powers Bill passed its final stages in the House of Commons and will now move to the Lords.
  3. There was urgent question on NHS commissioning of pre-exposure prophylaxis for adults at risk of contracting HIV.
  4. After oral questions, peers conducted a debate on a Science and Technology Committee report on genetically modified insects.
  5. There was also a debate on a European Union Committee report on moves towards a more effective EU foreign and security strategy.

Live Reporting

By Sam Francis and Esther Webber

All times stated are UK

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End of Lords business

House of Lords

Parliament

That's it from the Lords for today. 

They return tomorrow to examine the Bus Services Bill, which provides Local Transport Authorities (LTAs) with new tools to use to address inefficiencies in their local bus markets and to work with commercial bus operators to provide better local bus services for passengers. 

Government welcomes EU foreign policy report

Debate on a report by the EU Committee

House of Lords

Parliament

Baroness Anelay
BBC

In winding up the debate on the European Union Committee's report "Europe in the world", Labour spokesman Lord Collins of Highbury says: "the worst thing this country could possibly do is turn its back on Europe and vote to leave". 

Like other peers, he highlights the role of the EU in diplomacy with Russia, saying that it's important to remember how much we have in common with the Russian people. 

Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister Baroness Anelay of St. John welcomes the report, emphasising that the EU is central to "improving our prosperity and security".

End of Commons Business

House of Commons

Parliament

Health Minster George Freeman replies that while he "welcomes the chance for debate" he does not think "a royal commission is not the right solution".

And with that the House of Commons draws to close. 

MPs will be back tomorrow at 11.30 am ahead of the weekly debate between David Cameron and Jeremy Corbyn at Prime Minister's question.

Commission called for to close health 'funding gap'

Adjournment debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Conservative MP Andrew Murrisson calls for a new tax ring-fenced specifically for spending in the NHS - known as a Hypothecated tax - to help raise health spending to comparable levels with European neighbours.

But he concedes this may be politically difficult and suggests establishing a commission on how to "properly and sustainably fund healthcare and close the widening gap with our European neighbours". 

Murrison: NHS comparatively poor

Adjournment debate

House of Commons

Parliament

We now move to today's final business: the adjournment debate, today on the comparative healthcare economics and future funding of the NHS, led by Conservative MP Dr Andrew Murrison.

Quoting a 2010 white paper, Dr Murrison argues that the UK "delivers poorer health outcomes in terms of morbidity and mortality" than comparable northern European countries.

"The most recent OECD stats published last year confirm UK relatively poor performance across the spectrum of diseases".

"Simply asserting that the NHS is more efficient does not make it true", he adds. 

Conservative MP Dr Andrew Murrison.
BBC

EU 'unclear' over Turkey's position

Debate on a report by the European Union Committee

House of Lords

Parliament

Baroness Ludford
BBC

We're reaching the concluding speeches of the debate on the European Union Committee's report "Europe in the world". 

Lib Dem EU affairs spokesperson Baroness Ludford tells the House: "We cannot solve our problems by running away." 

She adds she agrees with comments from former heads of NATO that "the EU is an essential partner in ensuring security". 

However, she cautions that the EU needs to be clearer about the aims of its foreign policy and expansion strategy, saying lack of clarity over Turkey's position has strengthened the position of the Leave campaign. 

You can read more about Turkey and the EU referendum campaign here

'Unacceptable' filming nearly prevents vote

Point of Order

House of Commons

Parliament

Liberal Democrat Greg Mulholland
BBC

Liberal Democrat Greg Mulholland raises a point of order complaining that he was nearly prevented from voting after his path was blocked by a filming crew on the parliamentary estate.

"That is completely unacceptable when the primary purpose of this place is to serve our democracy" he argues.

Deputy Speaker Natascha Engel agrees that "this should under no circumstances ever happen". She says she will ask the Sergeant at Arms to investigate.

MPs approve Investigatory Powers Bill

Investigatory Powers Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

And that's it. The Investigatory Powers Bill has cleared its final stage in the House of Commons, as the Third Reading of the bill is agreed by 444 votes to 69.

It will now be sent to the House of Lords to be scrutinised by peers. 

Division on Third Reading

Investigatory Powers Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs divide to vote on the Third Reading of the Investigatory Powers Bill. 

Normally the third reading is merely a formality - but the SNP and some formidable backbench guerrillas have said they will oppose the bill, and this is their last chance. 

Theresa May: 'Unprecedented scrutiny' for Bill

Investigatory Powers Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Home Secretary Theresa May tells MPs that the "scrutiny given to this bill may well be unprecedented".

"We have before us a world-leading piece of legislation which has been subject to unparalleled scrutiny which I hope now has cross party support", she concludes. 

Home Secretary Theresa May
BBC

What is Third Reading?

Investigatory Powers Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Third Reading provides MPs with a final opportunity to review the contents of a Bill and in the Commons new amendments cannot be made to a Bill.

Debate is limited to what is actually in the Bill rather than what might be included and is often used by ministers to congratulate each other on the bills passage through the House.

After a successful Third Reading, the Bill then moves on to First Reading in the other House.

Attempt to remove ICRs from bill rejected

Investigatory Powers Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Alistair Carmichael's amendment is defeated by 282 votes to 69.

And with that,the Report stage of the Investigatory Powers Bill is completed. 

MPs now move to a Third Reading, the final stage in the House of Commons before the bill is sent to the Lords for detailed scrutiny. 

Division on internet connection records

Investigatory Powers Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs divide on an Amendment tabled by Lib Dem MP Alistair Carmichael remove the retention of internet connection records for the Bill. 

Earlier he explained he was pushing the amendment because "it is surely unacceptable that we have no proper definition or what an internet connection actually is".

Lib Dem MP Alistair Carmichael r
BBC
Lib Dem MP Alistair Carmichael moves his amendment

SNP amendment rejected

Investigatory Powers Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

The SNP's proposals have been rejected by 285 votes to 68. 

MPs vote on acquisition amendment

Investigatory Powers Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs have divided on a series of SNP amendments to make it harder for security services to access communications data.

These amendments would require that there is reasonable suspicion of serious crime for a warrant authorising communications data acquisition and warrants would need to be approved by a Judicial Commissioner, rather than undertaken through a system of internal authorisation. 

Ex-Army chief: UK's security bound to Europe

Debate on a report by the European Union Committee

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Stirrup
BBC

Crossbencher and former Chief of the Defence Staff has been focusing his remarks on security, saying that of the UK is "bound inextricably to the rest of the continent" whether we remain in the EU or not. 

He stresses the need for economic prosperity, saying "riches cannot by themselves guarantee security" but poverty precludes it.

Internet Connection Records

Investigatory Powers Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Internet service providers will have to store data about their users for 12 months
Thinkstock

All the opposition parties remain concerned about the extent to which the bill would require people's internet connection records (ICRs) to be kept for 12 months.

This would reveal which websites had been visited by who - although not the detail of what had been looked at within a particular site. There is still considerable dispute over the threshold of seriousness which should be crossed before this information could be accessed.

So, the bill proposes the authorities be given the right to retrospectively check people's ICRs without having to obtain a warrant.

There is, however, no definition of what ICR means in the bill - much to the irritation of many MPs.

Joanna Cherry indicated that the SNP objects to ICRs in principle, on the basis that they represent an expansion of the indiscriminate collection of data that no other comparable jurisdiction has found necessary  

Meanwhile shadow home secretary Andy Burnham has tabled an amendment to ensure that ICRs cannot contain content, but rather the metadata, and to raise the threshold for accessing internet connection records so that only serious crimes, rather than any crime, can receive a warrant.

The Wilson Doctrine

Investigatory Powers Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Harold Wilson smoking a pipe
BBC
The convention that MPs' communications were exempt from interference was named after former prime minister Harold Wilson, seen here smoking his pipe

MPs are also debating the so called "Wilson Doctrine" - the convention that MPs’ communications should not be intercepted by police or security services.

The convention is named after the former prime minister Harold Wilson who announced the policy in 1966 in response to questions from MPs who were concerned that their phones were being tapped.

Under the bill, MPs' communications can still be accessed but the home secretary must consult the prime minister before deciding to issue a warrant relating to the communications of a member of either House of Parliament.

Leaving the EU 'would limit UK's influence'

Debate on a report from the European Union Committee

Lord Tugendhat
BBC

Peers move on to debate on a report from the European Union Committee, called Europe in the world: Towards a more effective EU foreign and security strategy.

Conservative Lord Tugendhat, who worked on the report, says the committee concluded that "British withdrawal from the EU would limit the UK's influence in foreign affairs and reduce that of the EU".

He elaborates that the ongoing migrant crisis has underlined the committee's position. 

Journalists sources

Investigatory Powers Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Under the bill, applications to view journalists’ telecoms data, made in order to identify their sources, must have the approval of a judicial commissioner.

The National Union of Journalists complain that this measure weakens existing powers protecting journalists' sources - pointing out that in 2014 the Met Police admitted it secretly accessed the call records of Sun journalists in order to find and punish lawful police sources.

In an effort to allay fears, the government have tabled a series of amendments to ensure judicial commissioners give weight to the "overriding public interest" when considering allowing access to journalists' communications.

These will probably pass as Labour have said they will accept these amendments -  though shadow home secretary Andy Burnham has warned the changes "do not go far enough".

Lib Dem MP Alistair Carmichael has tabled an amendment that all applications to view confidential journalistic material should follow the procedure already set out in the Police and Criminal Evidence Act  - which protects journalists' rights to Freedom of Expression under Article 8 of the Human Rights Act..  

Government signals resistance to genetically modified insects trial

Debate on a report from the Science and Technology Committee

House of Lords

Parliament

Earlier, Earl Selborne called for a research trial to explore the potential of genetically modified insects, following a report from the Science and Technology Committee on the subject.

Labour spokesperson Baroness Jones of Whitchurch advises that her party is "reluctant" to back the move without greater public and political awareness and claims the report "dwells on the benefits rather than the risk".

Similarly, government spokesman Lord Gardiner stresses that he wants to see "the right frameworks in place to encourage research and innovation" but that changes to the current regulatory regime would "risk it becoming harder to authorise GM products that it is now".

He says the government is not minded to back a trial, nor to set up dedicated funding for research in this area.

Lord Gardiner
BBC

Restricting access to security services only

Investigatory Powers Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs now move to debate the final section of the Investigatory Powers Bill.

Among the amendments being debated is one from Conservative MP Stephen McPartland to restrict access to the powers in the bill "to intelligence agencies and law enforcement".

Currently the bill would allow the Food Standards Agency and Gambling Commission could, in theory, intercept and read of communications and collect massive amounts of internet or phone data.

Mr McPartland argues that fears of the new spy powers stem from the behaviour of local authorities in the past using "anti-terror legislation to spy on whether people are recycling properly".

Recycling bins
BBC
There were widespread misgivings about the use of previous laws to combat "environmental crime".

Amendment defeated

Investigatory Powers Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

The SNP's amendment to remove bulk data gathering powers from the bill is defeated by 285 votes to 66, failing to get Labour backing.

Vote on removal of bulk powers

Investigatory Powers Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs file out of the House of Commons to register their votes
BBC
MPs file out of the House of Commons to register their votes

MPs have divided to vote on the SNP's Amendment 390 which would remove the bulk data gathering powers from the bill until "such times as an argument for them has been demonstrated". 

Results are expected shortly. 

Peers call for genetically modified insect trial

House of Lords

Parliament

Mosquitos
Getty Images

The Lords are discussing a report from the Science and Technology Committee on genetically modified insects, which was published at the end of 2015.

Committee chair Earl Selborne says they found that modifying insects in this way "has the potential to contribute to global issues such as the control of infectious diseases and agricultural pests".

He tells the House that the UK is a "world leader" in this field and recommends a research trial to explore the potential. 

One of the main goals would be to find out what role GM insects could play in combating diseases such as dengue fever and Zika virus.

Dogs become masters?

Oral questions

House of Lords

Parliament

Puppies
AP

Earlier, in an exchange on puppy welfare, government spokesman Lord Gardiner told the House that prospective owners "increasingly look to buy their pet online" and revealed 130,000 "inappropriate" adverts had been removed from the web.

It prompted Labour's Lord Lea of Crondall to pose the question: "Is the minister looking forward to the day when dogs can choose their owners online?"

Lord Gardiner said he was.   

Decision not to commission Prep branded 'disgraceful'

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Hunt
BBC

Labour peers are reacting angrily to the news that NHS England will not commission pre-exposure prophylaxis (Prep) for adults at risk of contracting HIV.

Prep is a new way of using anti-retroviral drugs to stop those at very highest risk from contracting the HIV and the National Aids Trust (NAT) said the treatment can reduce the risk of infection by more than 90%.

Campaigners have said they will seek a judicial review of NHS England's decision.

Read more here.

Labour health spokesman Lord Hunt of Kings Heath says Prep could be a "game-changer" and NHS England's decision is "disgraceful".

Health Minister Lord Prior of Brampton replies that "NHS England feel they don't have the power to commission the drug" and the government is "looking closely" at Prep.

Election fever

Parliamentary reporters tweet

Labour urges action to protect puppies

Oral questions

House of Lords

Parliament

Labour's Baroness Jones of Whitchurch claims the government is not doing enough with existing powers to close down puppy farms that breach animal welfare standards and to apprehend gangs that sell illegally bred and imported puppies.

She mentions a recent Panorama on the topic, saying the trade in illegally bred dogs is "appalling" and gangs often "abuse" the EU pet travel scheme in order to import the animals. 

Government spokesman Lord Gardiner of Kimble assures her he "takes the matter very seriously" and the Department for Environment and Rural Affairs is reviewing legislation on dog breeding and pet shops.

He predicts the review "will enable us to modernise the law so we can meet new challenges". 

Baroness Jones
BBC

'I have witnessed mass surveillance and this is not it'

Investigatory Powers Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Conservative MP Seema Kennedy tells MPs that she grew up in "1970s Tehran" where the people "live in fear" of the SAVAK - the secret police established by Iran's Shah Mohammad Reza.

"I have witnessed mass surveillance and this is not it," she argues.

Conservative MP Seema Kennedy
BBC

Newest installation

Parliamentary service tweets

Dramatic intervention

PA's political reporter tweets

Nine out of ten apprenticeships lead to work, government says

House of Lords

Parliament

Baroness Evans
BBC

Labour's Lord Lennie puts a question to the government on completion rates of apprenticeships, saying under 25s and women in particular get a "raw deal" . 

Government spokesperson Baroness Evans of Bowes Park tells the House that ministers are working "to increase access to high quality apprenticeships for all young people".

She adds that it's estimated nine out of 10 of recent completers are in full-time employment.

Snowden revelations

Investigatory Powers Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Whistleblower Edward Snowden.
BBC

The Investigatory Powers Bill contains proposals covering how the state can hack devices and run operations to sweep up large amounts of data as it flows through the internet, enshrining in law the previously covert activities of GCHQ, as uncovered by whistleblower Edward Snowden.  

At the time the bulk collection of internet messages flowing through the UK by GCHQ, as revealed by Edward Snowden, was in a legal grey area covered by legislation originally meant for other purposes.  

The security services argue they need access to large amounts of data to help them monitor suspected foreign terrorists or criminals deemed to pose a threat to the UK.

UK's duty?

Refugee organisation tweets

Home Affairs Committee hears evidence on migration and asylum

Select Committee

Parliament

Members of the Home Affairs Committee are taking evidence from the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of Durham on migration and asylum.

The Archbishop of Canterbury has said it is "outrageous" to describe people who are worried about immigration as racist.

He has also said it was "really important" that fears were listened to, and resources put in place to address them.

Earlier during Treasury questions...

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Chancellor George Osborne was ticked off by the Speaker, John Bercow, during the question session.

Screening bulk data

Investigatory Powers Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Former shadow home secretary David Davis
BBC

One of the main complaints against bulk data retention is that its indiscriminate nature will mean the data of ordinary citizens not suspected of criminal activity, legally privileged material, journalistic material and the correspondence of Parliamentarians is all captured and stored by security agencies.

But former shadow home secretary David Davis, a long-standing critic of the government's approach on investigatory powers and an important player on the Tory benches, challenges the idea that is not possible to screen out the correspondence from privileged groups.

He tells MPs that he "went to a number of experts who said it's perfectly possible to screen out information".

"A great deal of screening is already done to screen out dross, such as pornography," he adds. 

Who sits on the Home Affairs Committee?

Select Committee

Parliament

Keith Vaz (Chair) - Labour 

Victoria Atkins - Conservative 

James Berry - Conservative 

Mr David Burrowes - Conservative 

Nusrat Ghani - Conservative 

Mr Ranil Jayawardena - Conservative 

Tim Loughton - Conservative 

Stuart C. McDonald - Scottish National Party 

Naz Shah - Independent 

Mr Chuka Umunna - Labour 

Mr David Winnick - Labour

'No different to tipping out a mailbag'

Investigatory Powers Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Dominic Grieve, Chair of the Intelligence and Security Committee, warns MPs that the idea that "there is bulk harvesting of data to carry out a detailed examination of [all the data] is fanciful".

Instead the "vast majority, probably over 99% of it will never be looked at all", Mr Grieve says. 

"What ultimately the agencies will be interested in is the nugget the intelligence agency are looking for."

He argues the process is no different from "tipping out a whole mailbag to try and find a particular letter by the markings on it".

Dominic Grieve, Chair of the Intelligence and Security Committee,
BBC