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. Peers questioning government ministers
  2. Two motions relating to select committees to be approved
  3. Question on Gibraltar from Lib Dem peer Baroness Northover
  4. Main business of the day is Criminal Finances Bill at committee stage
  5. Debate on neglected tropical diseases

Live Reporting

By Esther Webber

All times stated are UK

Get involved

End of business in the Lords

House of Lords

Parliament

That's it for today in the Lords - peers return at 2.30pm tomorrow for questions on: 

  • clarity of dialogue in UK TV programmes 
  • increasing spending on healthcare to G7 average 
  • reducing waiting times for patients using hospital patient transport 

UK 'meeting commitments' on tropical disease

Tropical diseases debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Bates
HoL

International Development Minister Lord Bates explains that tropical diseases have a "tremendous" impact even when they are not fatal, inflicting disability, stigma and hardship. 

He says we are "meeting our commitments" in the effort to tackle them and British universities play an important role in relevant research. 

EU 'vital' to tropical disease research

Tropical diseases debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Collins
HoL

Labour's international development spokesman Lord Collins of Highbury agrees it is important to tackle diseases which are "common infections in the world's poorest communities".

He asks what the government is doing to measure the impact of disease on women and girls.

He praises the EU as one of the "vital" funders of tropical disease research, and asks how this will be affected by Brexit. 

Peer stresses importance of disease prevention

Tropical diseases debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Lib Dem spokesperson Baroness Sheehan tells the House "prevention has to be the first line of defence". 

Mass administration of drugs must be followed up with education and work to mitigate gender and age inequality, she emphasises. 

Bishop highlights local faith issues in fighting disease

Tropical diseases debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Bp St Albans
HoL

The Bishop of St Albans calls attention to the recent Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone, highlighting the way religious groups could "act as a bridge" to help prevent the stigmatisation of survivors, which was a "profound problem".

He stresses the need for government agencies and charities to be aware of local faith issues as they try to tackle diseases. 

Disease eradication a 'major challenge'

Tropical diseases debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Hayman
HoL

Peers complete committee stage of the Criminal Finances Bill and crossbencher Baroness Hayman opens a debate on the progress made in combating neglected tropical diseases since the London Declaration made in January 2012. 

The World Health Organization set out implementation targets for the control, elimination, or eradication of 17 Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) by 2020. 

Drawing inspiration from this, leaders of several prominent global health and development organizations, together with industry partners, met in London in 2012 where they pledged to unite in their efforts to support the achievement of the WHO 2020 targets.

Lady Hayman says these diseases affect one billion people worldwide and there are still "major challenges" to achieving eradication targets. 

Public register of beneficial ownership would be 'complex'

Criminal Finances Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Williams
HoL

Responding for the government, Home Office Minister Baroness Williams tells peers they are agreed that corruption is a "cancer at the heart of so many of the world's problems" and the UK is a "global leader" in the fight to confront it. 

She says the government is working to draw up official notes on access by UK law enforcement agencies to beneficial ownership data in overseas territories and crown dependencies. 

She argues EU and international standards focus on transparent data rather than public registers, and while the UK recognises their importance, "putting a timescale on this does not recognise the scale and complexity" of the issue. 

Peer warns against beneficial ownership register

Criminal Finances Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Peers are debating an amendment to the Criminal Finances Bill which would require the UK to help overseas territories and crown dependencies to set up public registers of the beneficial ownership of companies.

Conservative Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts argues against the proposal, saying it would mean these people "drift away to murkier regimes" and the UK would not get "collaboration to tackle this important problem". 

Labour: Plans for beneficial ownership register 'vague'

Criminal Finances Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Rosser
HoL

Labour spokesman Lord Rosser asks for more detail on when the government will act to make beneficial ownership in overseas territories and crown dependencies. 

He criticises the assurance of action in "due course" as "a trifle vague". 

Pressure for greater transparency in UK overseas territories

Criminal Finances Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Stern
BBC

Crossbencher Baroness Stern is introducing an amendment to help UK overseas territories set up a publicly accessible register of the beneficial ownership of companies registered in those countries.

She says this will go some way to tackling grand corruption and tax evasion.

Government resists reporting on excluded companies

Criminal Finances Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Peers are discussing a Labour amendment requiring the secretary of state to publish an annual report on the number of companies which have been excluded from tendering for public contracts as a result of being charged with an offence under the bill. 

Home Office Minister Baroness Williams warns this would be a "burden" on contracting authorities. 

Peers call for tougher anti-tax avoidance measures

Criminal Finances Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Lib Dem Baroness Hamwee introduces an amendment which would strengthen the bill's requirements on companies not to allow tax avoidance. 

Labour backs the amendment, with Lord Kennedy of Southwark saying the bill as currently drafted is "not sufficient". 

'Wrong to rush' new economic crime offences

Criminal Finances Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Williams
HoL

Home Office Minister Baroness Williams of Trafford tells peers the government has just conlcuded a consultation on wider "failure to prevent" offences in relation to money-laundering and corruption. 

She says the government may yet decide to act in this area but "it would be wrong to rush" into legislating now. 

Call to extend 'failure to prevent' offences

Criminal Finances Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Bowles
HoL

Peers move on to committee-stage debate on the Criminal Finances Bill .

The bill seeks to give law enforcement agencies, and partners, capabilities and powers to recover the proceeds of crime, tackle money laundering and corruption, and counter terrorist financing.

Lib Dem Baroness Bowles of Berkhamsted introduces an amendment which would bring in an extended family of "failure to prevent" offences, which she argues would help restore public trust in business. 

Peers asked to approve code of conduct changes

Privileges and Conduct Committee report motion

House of Lords

Parliament

Peers are being asked to approve a report by the Privileges and Conduct Committee, which recommends amending the Code of Conduct to include a requirement for members to register interests if they are on the central Register of People with Significant Control of a company and to list the companies or organisations in question. 

Such information should appear on the Lords register within one month of it appearing on the Companies House register.  

Peer argues for reexamination of ID cards

Liaison Committee report motion

House of Lords

Parliament

Labour's Lord Campbell-Savours rises to object to the decision not to dedicate a new committee to the question of introducing national identity cards. 

He says national identity has taken on a new significance since the vote to leave the EU. 

New committees to be set up

Liaison Committee report motion

House of Lords

Parliament

McFall
HoL

Senior Deputy Speaker Lord McFall of Alcluith is asking peers to approve a report by the Liaison Committee which recommends setting up four new ad hoc select committees to look at: 

  • the economic, ethical and social implications of advances in artificial intelligence
  • citizenship and civic engagement
  • the effects of political polling and digital media on politics
  • the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006.

Labour attacks 'gunboat diplomacy' on Gibraltar

Oral questions

House of Lords

Parliament

Labour spokesman Lord Collins says there have been "unhelpful remarks" about Gibraltar and "gunboat diplomacy", which diminishes the trust of Gibraltarians in the UK's ability to strike a good Brexit deal. 

The minister tells him: "We are taking negotiations very seriously." 

Minister defends Lord Howard's right to comment on Gibraltar

Private notice question

House of Lords

Parliament

EU/Gibraltar/UK flags
AFP

Lib Dem foreign affairs spokesperson Baroness Northover is asking a private notice question on developments surrounding the future of Gibraltar, asking why it wasn't mentioned in Theresa May's Article 50 letter.   

Foreign Office Minister Baroness Anelay says we are "steadfast" in our commitment to Gibraltar and Lord Howard was exercising his right to free speech.

A row has erupted after draft Brexit negotiating were guidelines published by the EU last Friday saying any decisions affecting Gibraltar would be run past Spain. 

On Sunday ex-Conservative leader Lord Howard said the UK would be willing to defend Gibraltar in the same way it defended the Falklands 35 years ago.

Spanish foreign minister Alfonso Dastis has said his government had been "surprised by the tone of comments coming out of Britain" about Gibraltar.

Government accused of 'leaving it to the mayor' on air pollution

Oral questions

House of Lords

Parliament

Labour's Lord Dubs points to the danger posed to children's health by air pollution, suggesting the government's approach is to "leave it to the mayor of London".

Transport Minister Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon rejects this, paying tribute to the mayor's efforts and saying partnership across government and local authorities is needed to tackle the problem.

Research on children and alcohol marketing urged

Oral questions

House of Lords

Parliament

Brooke
HoL

Labour's Lord Brooke of Alverthorpe asks about the way supermarkets and convenience stores display and promote alcohol and risks to the wellbeing and health of children.

He urges the government to commission new research in this area.  

Health Minister Lord O'Shaughnessy tells peers they are "committed to working with industry to address concerns". 

Minister: We will mark Balfour centenary with pride

Oral questions

House of Lords

Parliament

Non-affiliated peer Lord Warner, on behalf of Baroness Tonge, asks about plans to mark 100 years since the Balfour Declaration of 1917, the first significant declaration by a world power in favour of a Jewish "national home" in what was known as Palestine.

He says the UK and its allies have "failed" to uphold the civil and religious rights of non-Jewish communities there. 

Foreign Office Minister Baroness Anelay of St Johns replies that the UK will mark the occasion "with pride" and remains committed to a two-state solution. 

Government quizzed on naval readiness

Oral questions

House of Lords

Parliament

Frigate
BAE

The first question is from Labour peer and former head of the Navy Lord West of Spithead on replacing Type 23 frigates. 

The government announced last year that work on building eight Type 26 frigates at shipyards in Glasgow will start this summer.

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said the date for cutting the first steel would safeguard hundreds of skilled jobs until 2035.

He also announced that a contract for two new offshore patrol vessels would be signed shortly, securing jobs before the Type 26 frigate work is under way.

What's coming up today in the Lords?

Coming up...

House of Lords

Parliament

Big Ben
AFP

Good afternoon, and while the Commons is in recess, Lords will be continuing parliamentary business from 2.30pm.

Peers will be starting with questions on: 

  • the Type 31 frigate that will replace the last Type 23 
  • plans to commemorate the centenary of the Balfour Declaration
  • alcohol promotions which endanger the wellbeing and health of children
  • reducing the number of diesel cars and other diesel vehicles. 

Then Lib Dem foreign affairs spokesperson Baroness Northover will ask a private notice question on developments surrounding the future of Gibraltar. 

Peers will then be asked to approve a report from the Liaison Committee and a report from the Privileges and Conduct Committee.

The main business is committee stage debate on the Criminal Finances Bill, which aims to toughen up measures against money-laundering. 

The dinner-break debate tonight is on combating neglected tropical diseases.