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Summary

  1. Work and Pensions questions in Commons
  2. Urgent question on Magnox estate
  3. Report stage of Bus Services Bill
  4. Peers meet at 3pm for questions
  5. Technical and Further Education Bill next
  6. Peers debating and voting on PIP regulations
  7. Joint Committee on National Security Strategy looking into cyber security

Live Reporting

By Esther Webber, Claire Gould and Paul Seddon

All times stated are UK

Get involved

What does tonight's vote mean?

House of Lords

Parliament

The House of Lords has voted to "regret" the government's latest changes to disability benefits, and has called for a review of the impact.

The government intends to prevent any increase in the kind of people who can claim Personal Independence Payments or PIPs. The move follows a court ruling that widened the criteria, and would allow people with mental illnesses to be able to claim help with travel.

A Lib Dem attempt to kill off the government changes failed. But the Labour motion, which simply criticises the government, was carried by 162 votes to 154. However, the motion has no material effect on the benefit.

Good night

House of Lords

Parliament

Peers briefly return to the Technical and Further Education Bill before adjourning. They will return tomorrow at 2.30pm for questions to ministers. 

BreakingPeers back PIPs regret motion

Social Security (Personal Independence Payment) (Amendment) Regulations 2017

House of Lords

Parliament

Peers vote 162 to 154 for Labour's motion to regret the government's PIPs changes.    

The Labour motion also calls for a review of the changes that the regulations make and their specific impact on those with mental health conditions, within two years of their coming into force.

Lib Dem bid to stop PIPs changes rejected

Social Security (Personal Independence Payment) (Amendment) Regulations 2017

House of Lords

Parliament

Peers vote 164 to 75 against Lib Dem fatal motion on government's new PIPs rules.

Peers vote on fatal motion to PIPs changes

Social Security (Personal Independence Payment) (Amendment) Regulations 2017

House of Lords

Parliament

Lib Dem Baroness Bakewell says she is "disappointed" by the government's stance and it "does not engender trust". 

She forces her party's annulment motion to a vote.

Aims behind disability benefits 'have not changed'

Social Security (Personal Independence Payment) (Amendment) Regulations 2017

House of Lords

Parliament

Henley
HoL

Responding to the debate, Work and Pensions Minister Lord Henley insists that Personal Independence Payments are made "according to need and not according to whether a condition is physical or non-physical".

He underlines that the government is not making "any changes whatsoever to the original policy intent" of PIPs. 

Disabled peer defends government's PIP changes

Social Security (Personal Independence Payment) (Amendment) Regulations 2017

House of Lords

Parliament

Shinkwin
BBC

Conservative Lord Shinkwin says he cannot support the motions to regret or annul.

He argues we must "join the dots on disability" before we can "justify expecting taxpayers to be even more generous".

He claims he has been denied a designated parking space in a Labour-controlled borough. 

Ministers 'too eager to legislate' on benefit changes

Social Security (Personal Independence Payment) (Amendment) Regulations 2017

House of Lords

Parliament

Lib Dem Baroness Thomas of Winchester says the government is in danger of "undermining the welcome support" extended to those with mental health conditions. 

She accuses them of "indecent haste" in trying to change the law on PIPs, suggesting they are "too eager to reach for the statute book" in response to tribunal rulings. 

Commons adjourns

House of Commons

Parliament

House of Commons clock
HoC

That concludes the debate which means it's an early finish in the House of Commons.

MPs are back tomorrow at 11:30am for questions to the foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, and his ministerial team.

Transport Minister defends office closure

Closure of Tyne Marine Office debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Transport Minister Andrew Jones argues the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) will be providing the same services but delivering those services "in a way that is more responsive."

He seeks to assure MPs that they will "just be working differently from a different base".

Conservative peer attacks PIP changes

Social Security (Personal Independence Payment) (Amendment) Regulations 2017

House of Lords

Parliament

Conservative peer Baroness Browning attacks the government's PIP changes, saying she supports Labour's motion to regret. 

In particular she focuses on people with autism, saying they often "fall through the gap" and "while when they walk into a room it isn't obvious they have disabilities, they certainly have needs". 

Background: Personal Independence Payments row

Social Security (Personal Independence Payment) (Amendment) Regulations 2017

House of Lords

Parliament

Wheelchair
Science Photo Library

Last year, the government lost two cases in what is known as the Upper Tribunal - part of the courts system - about who should receive the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and how much they should receive.

The first found that some claimants who require assistance to take medication or monitor a health condition should receive more points than the assessments currently give.

The second found that claimants who suffer overwhelming psychological distress when taking journeys should receive more points.

The effect of the rulings would be to increase the number of eligible applicants and increase the number of people who qualify for the higher rates.

Disabilities minister Penny Mordaunt  released a written statement  on Thursday 23 February explaining that the government would seek to overturn the tribunal's decisions, using today's statutory instrument  that amends the Welfare Reform Act 2012.

Labour and the Lib Dems oppose the reform and will seek to block the statutory instrument in the House of Lords and the House of Commons.

If the government succeeds in getting the reform through, it will mean fewer people will receive PIPs in the future and fewer people will qualify for the higher rates. But it will not cut the awards of current claimants.

Disability rights campaigner backs fatal motion on benefit changes

Social Security (Personal Independence Payment) (Amendment) Regulations 2017

House of Lords

Parliament

Campbell
BBC

Crossbencher Baroness Campbell of Surbiton says she supports the Lib Dem motion to annul, describing the current situation as "exceptional". 

She tells peers that often people with visible disabilities find it "a lot easier to demonstrate the need for and receive help" than people with mental health conditions. 

Government accused of compromising mental health promises

Social Security (Personal Independence Payment) (Amendment) Regulations 2017

House of Lords

Parliament

Sherlock
BBC

Labour spokesperson Baroness Sherlock is introducing her party's motion to regret the government's PIPs changes.    

She says the changes will affect people with schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder, asking how that tallies with the government's pledge to tackle the stigma around mental health conditions.

The Labour motion further states: "The regulations discriminate against people with mental health problems, and could put vulnerable claimants at risk; and calls on the government to allow proper scrutiny of these proposals, including a review of the changes that the regulations make and their specific impact on those with mental health conditions, within two years of their coming into force."

MPs debate closure of the Tyne Marine Office

House of Commons

Parliament

Port of Tyne
BBC

The bill passes its third reading and MPs move on to the adjournment debate which tonight concerns the closure of Tyne Marine Office.

In July 2016, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency announced it will close four marine offices including the Tyne Dock.

Local Labour MP Emma Lewell-Buck points out that closing the office will "only save £100,000 per year" and suggests that this is outweighed by the value of the office to the maritime industry.

Ian Mearns agrees, warning that "we must not forget we are a maritime nation." 

PIP changes 'amount to discrimination'

Social Security (Personal Independence Payment) (Amendment) Regulations 2017

House of Lords

Parliament

Bakewell
BBC

Lib Dem Baroness Bakewell of Hardington Mandeville is moving her party's request that the PIPs changes be annulled.  

The government wants to overturn rulings by a tribunal which found claimants who require an assessment to manage their care or who experience serious psychological distress when travelling should be eligible for disability benefits. 

Baroness Bakewell says this amounts to "discrimination". 

McDonald: We won the arguments but lost the votes

Bus Services Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Transport Minister Andrew Jones praises the bill, arguing that it will produce significant benefits for the environment, congestion and the local economy. 

He adds that it will reverse the decline in bus passengers. 

Shadow transport secretary Andy McDonald says his party "won the arguments but lost the votes".

"That is the tragedy of opposition," he adds.

Lib Dem attempt to protect intellectual property of awarding bodies defeated

Technical and Further Education Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Peers vote against a Lib Dem amendment which would limit the scope of the Institute for Apprenticeships to acquire wholesale intellectual material developed by qualification-awarding bodies.  

Peers vote on intellectual property measures

Technical and Further Education Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Peers are voting on a Lib Dem amendment which would limit the scope of the Institute for Apprenticeships to acquire wholesale intellectual material developed by qualification-awarding bodies.  

Labour amendment rejected

Bus Services Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

House of Commons
HoC

The amendment is rejected 276 votes to 188.

The bill passes the legislative grand committee stage and MPs move on to the third reading - the final stage. 

MPs vote on municipal bus services

Bus Services Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Transport Minister Andrew Jones argues that the bill is about co-operation between private companies and local authorities to improve benefits for bus passengers. 

Shadow minister Daniel Zeichner is unconvinced and the amendment is pushed to a vote.

Peers debate intellectual property

Technical and Further Education Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Peers are discussing an amendment which would limit the scope of the Institute for Apprenticeships to acquire wholesale intellectual material developed by qualification-awarding bodies.

Government spokesperson Baroness Vere assures peers they see awarding bodies as "hugely important" and are working on a strategy to ensure the market for qualification awards is well-managed. 

Ban on municipal bus companies 'ideological dogma'

Bus Services Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Daniel Zeichner
HoC

MPs now move on to the final amendment which would seek to overturn the government's ban on municipal bus companies.

Shadow transport minister Daniel Zeichner argues that the government's ban is "ideological dogma" which has no place in "an otherwise agreeable piece of legislation".

He argues that the government's stance "flies in the face" of the evidence and the spirit of devolution.

He accuses the government of seeking to placate private bus companies.

Conservative peer urges qualification standards

Technical and Further Education Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Lucas
BBC

Conservative peer Lord Lucas moves an amendment concerning qualifications. 

It requires any persons establishing a qualification which form the basis of apprenticeships or technical education courses to embed qualifications which are widely recognised by employers for a particular occupation or for an aspect of it.

Lord Lucas says this will produce a young person who is able to "move from job to job".

Amendment withdrawn

Technical and Further Education Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Education Minister Lord Nash urges Lord Lucas to withdraw his amendment, and says the amendment could encourage employer groups to include qualifications in their requirements.

The current reforms are "employer-led" and further measures are not required, he says.

Lord Lucas withdraws his amendment. 

Peers vote to defeat Govt over Ofsted inspections

Technical and Further Education Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Speaker
BBC

Peers have voted 223-185 in favour of the Lib Dem amendment to ensure Ofsted takes into account careers advice when inspecting further education colleges. 

Division called

Technical and Further Education Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Peers have divided to vote on amendment 17, a Lib Dem amendment to ensure that Ofsted must take into account careers advice when carrying out inspections on further education colleges.

The division result is expected at around 18.35. 

Labour peer makes the case for varied careers advice

Technical and Further Education Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Young of Norwood Green
BBC

Labour peer Lord Young of Norwood Green says that when inspecting schools and colleges, Ofsted should take into account the way in which schools engage with businesses and work towards "changing attitudes" around careers.

Schools should place emphasis on "well-rewarded" career paths as well as giving formal careers advice, he adds. 

Government urged to expand careers advice

Technical and Further Education Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Lucas
BBC

Peers are debating an amendment from Conservative Lord Lucas which would expand the range of people who can give careers advice to those taking part in further or technical education. 

Witness: Deterring cyber attacks 'difficult'

National Security Strategy

Select Committee

Parliament

Dr Julian Lewis
BBC

Dr Julian Lewis asks about deterrents for cyber attacks.

The chair of the Commons Defence Committee says organisations need to have in place deterrents which are both "unacceptable and unavoidable" for attackers.

Dr Valeriano says deterring cyber attacks is "difficult" as the main problem with cyber is there is a "lack of utility" for organisations in displaying their weapons, because those same weapons can then be "used back against you". 

Scope of technical education qualifications defended

Technical and Further Education Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Responding for the government, Baroness Vere tells peers "all relevant and appropriate occupations" are covered by their definition of technical education qualifications.

Technical education qualifications are recognised as those where skilled technical training is a requirement and which develop practical skills valued by industry, she specifies. 

Lib Dems seek to broaden definition of technical qualifications

Technical and Further Education Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Garden
BBC

Lib Dem Baroness Garden speaks to an amendment which would ensure "technical education qualifications” refers to the full range of work-based qualifications, whether technical, craft, creative, personal services, or professional. 

She's concerned that arts and creative skills are not being given the same status as scientific or technical qualifications. 

Who are the perpetrators of cyber attacks?

National Security Strategy

Select Committee

Parliament

Conservative MP Theresa Villiers asks who is most often responsible for cyber attacks and about the risks of young people undertaking activities at the behest of others. 

Dr Valeriano says the "enduring" desire to commit a cyber attack is not the same for young people "in their bedrooms" as it is for terrorists. 

Mr Whitehouse tells the committee he believes the perpetrator of the most severe cyber attack will be someone "completely left-field" and an individual who will be "willing to go there". 

Theresa Villiers MP
BBC

MPs reject concessionary bus fares amendment

Bus Services Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Division result announcement
HoC

MPs reject the Lib Dem amendment on concessionary bus fares for young people by 277 votes to 193.

MPs now move on to a group of amendments which deal with franchising schemes and safety.

The first amendment in this group comes from Labour's Ian Mearns. It requires bus operators to make bus casualty data available to local authorities.  

Minister promises details on new technical qualifications

Technical and Further Education Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Factory
PA

Peers are debating an amendment in the name of Labour's Lord Young, requiring the secretary of state to publish detailed proposals for the transition from existing technical and further education qualifications, to the awarding of new qualifications.

The government recently announced a new further education qualification, T-levels, which will allow 16 to 19-year-olds to study in 15 sectors in vocational subjects.

Education Minister Lord Nash assures them that details of the transition process will be published in due course but declines to give a date.

MPs vote on reduced fares for young people

House of Commons

Parliament

Natascha Engel
HoC

MPs have voted 278 to 193 to reject Labour's amendment.

Next up is John Pugh's amendment on which requires the government to set out steps to support local transport authorities to provide concessionary bus travel to apprentices aged 16 to 18.

Apprentices already adequately supported, says government

Technical and Further Education Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Vere
BBC

Government spokesperson Baroness Vere of Norbiton says Lord Young's amendment to introduce a helpline is "unnecessary because it already exists".

She tells peers there's one run by the National Apprenticeships Service, advising apprenticeships on all aspects of their placements. 

MPs vote on national strategy for buses

Bus Services Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Shadow transport minister Daniel Zeichner concludes that the minister and he are not going to agree and therefore pushes his amendment to a vote.

Labour's amendment requires the government to publish a national strategy for buses which would include targets and funding provisions for bus services.

The strategy would also have to include consideration of a reduced fare scheme for 16 to 19-year-olds.

A national plan 'is not the answer'

Bus Services Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Andrew Jones
HoC

Responding to the debate, Transport Minister Andrew Jones acknowledges that the cost of transport can be an issue for apprentices.

However, he argues that a national top down plan "is not the answer".

Part of the answer, he says, is to give more powers to local authorities.

"That is what this bill does."

Firms 'very anxious' about new data protection rules

National Security Strategy

Select Committee

Parliament

Ollie Whitehouse
BBC

Conservative MP Andrew Murrison asks witnesses for their views on the new General Data Regulation Protection (GDPR).

Ollie Whitehouse of the NCC Group says certain firms are getting "very anxious" about GDPR.

GDPR is a regulation by which the European Parliament intends to strengthen and unify data protection for individuals within the EU. It applies from 25 May 2018 after a two-year transition period.

Technology companies could face fines of up to 4% of their global annual turnover under the new European rules on data protection.  

Read more about GDPR here.