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Summary

  1. Brexit Committee questions David Davis
  2. MPs in Commons chamber question Northern Ireland ministers
  3. PMQs is at noon
  4. MPs consider amendments to Health Service Medical Supplies (Costs) Bill
  5. Peers meet at 3pm for questions
  6. Main business in Lords is Higher Education and Research Bill

Live Reporting

By Kate Whannel, Esther Webber and Ben Butcher

All times stated are UK

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Peers adjourn

House of Lords

Parliament

Clock
HoL

Peers have voted to reject the amendment 142 votes to 101.

That concludes report stage of the bill. Peers will next consider the bill at third reading.

And so the day in the House of Lords comes to an end.

Peers are back tomorrow at 11am for oral questions followed by a debate on the Commonwealth.

What are peers voting on?

Higher Education and Research Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Peers are voting on amendment 194A, which states that the Office for Students should make joint decisions with UK Research and Innovation on the power to award research degrees and over research students. 

Peers vote on final amendment

Higher Education and Research Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

House of Lords
HoL

Lord Smith disagrees with the minister, arguing that there is "a world of difference" between giving advice and taking a joint decision.

It is, he says, a question of who has ultimate responsibility and ultimate accountability.

He therefore pushes the amendment to a vote. 

Prior: Peers are dancing on pinheads

Higher Education Research Bills

House of Lords

Parliament

Responding for the government, Lord Prior suggests that peers are "dancing on the head of a pin" over this amendment.

There is, he argues, not "a huge distinction" between what the amendment calls for and what is already in the bill.

He says the bill currently says that the Office for Students will "take advice" from the UKRI.

Requiring the two bodies to make every decision jointly will not make sense, he says. 

UKRI decision-making powers

Higher Education and Research Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Smith
HoL

Peers now come to the final amendment of the evening - amendment 194A which may be pushed to a vote.

It has been tabled by Conservative backbencher Lord McKay of Clashfern but has Labour's support.

The amendment stipulates that the Office for Students and the UKRI must make joint decision where there are matters that relate either to awarding research degrees or research students.

Speaking in favour of the amendment Crossbencher Lord Smith of Finsbury argues that such decisions should not be taken without the "full expertise" of both bodies. 

The Haldane Principle

Higher Education and Research Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Test tubes
Science Photo Library

Lord Prior of Brampton now speaks to a group of government amendments which make explicit that the government must have regard to the Haldane Principle when making decisions concerning UKRI (UK Research and Innovation).

The Haldane Principle states that researchers, rather than politicians should make decisions on research spending.

The amendment has been tabled in response to concerns raised by peers during earlier debates.

Lord Prior says he is "delighted" to be tabling the amendment and he expresses the hope that peers will be equally delighted to accept it.

Peers debate the membership of Innovate UK

Higher Education and Research Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Baroness Brown
HoL

Baroness Brown of Cambridge now speaks to her amendment, which would ensure that the majority of Innovate UK members must be from a science-related business background.

Innovate UK is a government agency tasked with supporting innovation.

In the light of assurances by the government, she withdraws her amendment.

Prior: Amendment would hinder recruitment

Higher Education and Research Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Prior
HoL

Business Minister Lord Prior of Brampton argues that the bill already places a duty on the government to consider appointing someone with experience of a devolved nation. 

He also worries that Labour's amendment could hinder the recruitment process.

Lord Stevenson describes the minister as "an honest and good man". He says he is therefore willing to accept his assurances and withdraws his amendment. 

Commons rises

House of Commons

Parliament

clock
HoC

That wraps up our coverage of the House of Commons for today. MPs will be back for questions to the Culture Secretary Karen Bradley and her team tomorrow morning at 9.30am.

Peers seek greater representation for devolved nations

Higher Education and Research Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Wallace of Tankerness
HoL

Labour's Lord Stevenson of Balmacara introduces his amendment, which would ensure that the membership of the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) includes representatives from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. 

The UKRI is an umbrella body that will oversee the distribution of £6bn of research funding annually.  

Lib Dem Lord Wallace has also tabled an amendment. His would require the government to consult the devolved governments before approving a UKRI strategy. 

Adjournment debate begins

House of Commons

Parliament

Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk is introducing an adjournment debate on parental alienation.

The adjournment debate is the last item of business in the Commons day and is frequently on a subject of importance to an individual MP.

Debate on Higher Education Bill begins

House of Lords

Parliament

Birmingham graduates
BBC

And that ends debate of the Neighbourhood Planning Bill at third reading. 

The bill will now return to the House of Commons for MPs to consider the added amendments.

Peers, meanwhile, move on to the last business of the day - finishing off the report stage of the Higher Education and Research Bill.

The bill:

  • Makes it easier for new providers to award degrees and secure university status
  • Implements a Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) to judge teaching in universities
  • Allows universities to charge higher tuition fees if they achieve high TEF scores
  • Establishes the Office for Students to regulate higher education institutions
  • Establishes United Kingdom Research and Innovate to fund research

New members

Motion on Standards Committee

House of Commons

Parliament

The Neighbourhood Planning Bill receives third reading without opposition.

Now Lib Dem Tom Brake is proposing lay appointments to the Committee on Standards. These people are from outside the House of Commons.

New perspective

PA's chief political photographer tweets

Government will help relieve office-to-residential conversion pressures

Neighbourhood Planning Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Communities and Local Government Minister Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth says that the amendment allows "flexibility" where housing targets are met. 

Under Article 4 Direction, some conversions do not planning permission - most notably office to residential conversions. However, the amendment will mean in areas where housing targets are met, local planning authorities can bring back planning permission. 

Despite this, he says that other policy will be submitted in the future on the topic and Lord True withdraws his amendment.

Change of heart

BBC tweets

Office-to-home conversions 'detrimental' to some economies

Neighbourhood Planning Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord True
HoL

Lord True introduces his amendment which would allow local authorities who meet housing targets to prevent office-to-residential conversions. 

He says that the new powers would help ensure that there is sufficient office spaces for new businesses, particularly in bigger cities where demand for housing high. 

He says the move would go some way to "balance" office conversion which have been detrimental to the economy in some areas.  

What's EVEL?

Parliamentary reporters tweet

MPs deal with final stage of National Citizen Service Bill

National Citizen Service Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

The sitting briefly suspends while the Commons resolves itself into a Grand Committee for parts of the bill only affecting England. 

Then Culture Minister Rob Wilson opens third reading by expressing the government's hope that NCS will become a "national institution" and facilitate social integration. 

He says a youth representative will attend all board meetings which will help it be held to the "highest possible standards".

Amendment will reduce 'bland' housing estates

Neighbourhood Planning Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Housing estate
BBC

Communities and Local Government Minister Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth supports the bill's localising factor.

He says that the power will be giving to local authorities rather than combined authorities, but that - where applicable - authorities will be able to share the power. 

Lord Taylor of Goss Morr, who introduced the amendment, says that if they get it right, it will see rejuvination of communities rather than "bland" housing estates. 

The amendment passes.

What's happening?

PA's parliamentary editor tweets

Minister says young people can volunteer on railways

National Citizen Service Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Culture Minister Rob Wilson responds to Nicky Morgan: "I don't want there to be any barriers to young people volunteering on heritage railways."

He says as long as health and safety rules are followed and existing laws followed sensibly, there's nothing preventing them from doing so. 

Amendment would have 'localising' impact

Neighbourhood Planning Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Taylor of Goss Moor
HoL

Lord Taylor of Goss Moor introduces his amendment, which would give local planning authorities the power to appoint planning boards and approve any expenditures and subsequent developments of a new town. 

The power would have a "localising" impact, allowing for "local accountability being made to work".

It would allow for local authorities to decide the development of new areas according to needs. 

MP seeks to allow children on railway premises

National Citizen Service Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Nicky Morgan
BBC

MPs are now debating the National Citizen Service Bill at report stage. 

The bill will create a statutory framework for the National Citizen Service (NCS), with the aim of ensuring proper oversight of the management of public funding for the service. 

At the same time, a Royal Charter will incorporate the body that will deliver the NCS, to be known as the NCS Trust. 

Conservative MP Nicky Morgan is introducing an amendment which would allow children to be able to take part in voluntary work within a railway setting. 

MPs reject duty to have regard to life sciences

Health Service Medical Supplies (Costs) Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs vote 288 to 241 to back a motion to disagree with a Lords amendment which would add a duty to have regard to the life sciences sector and rapid access to new medicines and treatments.    

MPs vote on life sciences duty in medicines cost bill

Health Service Medical Supplies (Costs) Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs are voting on a motion to disagree with a Lords amendment which would add a duty to have regard to the life sciences sector and rapid access to new medicines and treatments. 

Labour argues for life sciences to be protected after Brexit

Health Service Medical Supplies (Costs) Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Justin Madders
BBC

Shadow health minister Justin Madders explains Labour supports the broad thrust of the bill, which he thinks will help prevent a minority of "unscrupulous" companies to exploit loopholes on pricing. 

He speaks in favour of the Lords amendment introducing a duty to have regard to the life sciences, arguing it would be a safeguard as the UK leaves the EU and potentially the European Medicines Agency. 

He also says it's necessary at a time of "fallinig investment in research and development". 

Government introduces amendments

Neighbourhood Planning Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

The bill is now at third reading - this gives peers a last chance to debate the legislation and changes made.

There are also a few amendments to debate including three government amendments which deal with concerns raised during the bill's passage through the Lords.

Specifically the government is introducing changes that will set out the expectations of how local authorities engage with those drawing up neighbourhood planning groups.

Neighbourhood planning groups allow local communities to draw up documents setting out how they would like their local area to develop - including what new buildings should like.

Debate of Neighbourhood Planning Bill begins

House of Lords

Parliament

Village
BBC

With all those urgent questions and statements done and dusted peers can now settle down for debate of the Neighbourhood Planning Bill .

The bill has two aims:

  • To help identify and free up more land to build homes
  • To speed up the delivery of new homes

The bill includes measures that will:

  • Give neighbourhood development plans full legal effect at an early stage in the planning process
  • Require local authorities to support neighbourhood planning groups
  • Speed up the compulsory purchase order process

Will government backtrack on single market?

National insurance contributions statement

House of Lords

Parliament

House of Lords
HoL

Corssbencher Lord Bilimoria hopes that the government has broken its "biggest" manifesto commitment to keep the UK in the single market and asks the government to backtrack on that as well.

Labour's Lord Rooker suggests the government looks at "the greatest unfairness" that is National Insurance contributions ending at the state pension age.

Corbyn attacks NI U-turn 'chaos'

Jeremy Corbyn: NI U-turn shows government in 'chaos'.
Jeremy Corbyn has said the national insurance U-turn shows a government "in chaos".

The Labour leader was speaking at Prime Minister's Questions after the government said it will not proceed with the increases in NI for the self-employed, which were criticised for breaking a 2015 manifesto pledge.

Minister asks MPs to reject life sciences duty in medicine cost bill

Health Service Medical Supplies (Costs) Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Philip Dunne
BBC

Health Minister Philip Dunne says the bill aims to improve value for money for the NHS.

He is asking MPs to disagree with a Lords amendment which would add a duty to have regard to the life sciences sector and rapid access to new medicines and treatments.

He says every drug company could argue it is a life science body, and therefore the amendment would "significantly hinder" the government's effort to get the best price.

Encouraging session on international aid fraud

Public Accounts Committee

Select Committee

Parliament

International development witnesses
HoC

Acting chair Richard Bacon congratulates and thanks the witnesses for an encouraging session, bringing it to a close. 

He says the anti-fraud measures will help reassure the public who in general have great support for their department. 

He says it will be interesting to see how they cope with increased funding, as international aid is now fixed at 0.7% of the budget. 

Young: Budget spending commitments will be met

National insurance contributions statement

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Young tells the House that the government is "not minded to borrow more" to make up for the revenue loss of scrapping the tax rise.

He gives a firm assurance that all spending commitments made in the Budget will be honoured.

He says Matthew Taylor's review into modern employment practices will go ahead because there is "a threat to the tax base that we need to address".

However he says "certain proposals" have now been ruled out.

MPs debate changes to branded medicines pricing system

Health Service Medical Supplies (Costs) Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Medicine
Science Photo Library

MPs move on to consideration of Lords amendments to the Health Service Medical Supplies (Costs) Bill.

Currently, the cost of branded medicines is regulated primarily through a voluntary scheme and manufacturers/suppliers who do not join the voluntary scheme automatically join a statutory scheme. 

The bill brings the current statutory medicines pricing scheme, which applies to branded medicines, into line with the voluntary scheme: the Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme (PPRS). 

The bill would allows the secretary of state to make regulations to limit prices of, or profits relating to, unbranded medicines. 

Kramer: Government is tin eared

National insurance contributions

House of Lords

Parliament

Baroness Kramer
HoL

Lib Dem spokeswoman Baroness Kramer seeks a guarantee that the hole left by the u-turn will not be filled by "severe public spending cuts".

She suggests that the government needs to review "Victorian structure of business and employment taxes".

She expresses concern that the government's "tin ear" on this issue will be worse during negotiations with the EU.

National Insurance statement begins

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Young of Cookham
HoL

Next Lord Young of Cookham repeats the Chancellor’s statement on Class 4 National insurance Contributions.

Earlier today, Philip Hammond dropped his plans to increase National Insurance levels for self-employed people.

Budgets and U-turns seem to go hand in hand these days, says Labour's Lord Davies of Oldham.

He notes that the change has left an "obvious gaping hole in public finances" and seeks confirmation that the extra money for social care will be safeguarded.

Call for Network Rail assets to be devolved

Ten Minute Rule Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Hendry
BBC

The SNP's Drew Hendry is introducing a bill which would require the transfer of land and assets in Scotland currently in the ownership of Network Rail to a body nominated by the Scottish government.

He argues "bringing power as close to home as possible" would improve efficiency and effectiveness.