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Summary

  1. MPs asking David Davis questions
  2. The Commons may consider any further legislation
  3. Parliament due to prorogue later
  4. Peers meet at 11am for questions
  5. Lords will then examine private members' bills
  6. Motion on student fees to be debated

Live Reporting

By Aiden James, Kate Whannel and Esther Webber

All times stated are UK

That's all, folks...

Today's bit of traditional pomp and ceremony brings the Parliament elected in 2015 to a close.

Westminster Live will be back after the general election when a new Parliament takes shape.

You can follow the developments in the election campaign as they happen with BBC Politics online.

Thank you for joining us - goodbye.

Cuddles for Pickles

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs leave the Commons
BBC

The Speaker says that Parliament will be prorogued "until Tuesday, the second day of May".

Parliament will not sit next Tuesday but instead will be formally dissolved at midnight.

MPs now leave the chamber, shaking hands and exchanging words with the Speaker as they go.

Former minister Sir Eric Pickles, who is standing down as an MP, gets a hug.

John Bercow hugs Eric Pickles
BBC

And they do it all again

House of Commons

Parliament

John Bercow
BBC

Well, after a fashion.

Commons Speaker John Bercow now reads the titles of the bills that have just been granted royal assent.

Back to the Commons

MPs leave the House of Lords and cross the central lobby
BBC

MPs leave the House of Lords and cross the central lobby back to the Commons chamber.

'La Reine le veult'

House of Lords

Parliament

Clerk of the Parliaments Ed Ollard
BBC

The new Clerk of the Parliaments, Ed Ollard, takes part in the ceremony announcing royal assent for Acts of Parliament.

"La Reine le veult," he says - Norman French for "the Queen desires it".

After that, Leader of the Lords Baroness Evans gives a speech on behalf of Her Majesty on the government's programme during the current session of Parliament.

Doffing time

House of Lords

Parliament

MPs in the Lords
BBC

MPs arrive in the Lords and the male members of the Royal Commission doff their hats in greeting, while the female members bow their heads.

Royal commission
BBC

Black Rod summons MPs

House of Commons

Parliament

Black Rod
BBC

Black Rod delivers the Royal Commission's message to the Commons.

"I wish I looked this good in tights!" a male voice is heard to say.

Royal commission sends Black Rod to the Commons

House of Lords

Parliament

House of Lords
BBC

The Royal Commission takes its place, made up of the main party leaders in the Lords, plus the convener of the crossbench peers and the Lord Speaker.

Black Rod is despatched to the Commons to summon MPs.

House of Lords
BBC
House of Lords
BBC

Lords resumes

House of Lords

Parliament

House of Lords
BBC

Peers are back in the chamber for prorogation.

The ceremony gets under way and the Lord Speaker appears.

Leader of the Lords Baroness Evans announces that is has not been "convenient" for the Queen to attend so a Royal Commission will be formed.

What is prorogation?

La Reine le veult: What is prorogation?

House adjourns until prorogation ceremony

House of Lords

Parliament

The House adjourns until 5:15pm, when the prorogation ceremony will take place.

Regret motion falls

House of Lords

Parliament

The government wins by 38 votes, defeating the regret motion by 159 to 121.

Peers vote on nurses' and midwives' bursaries

Student fees regulations

House of Lords

Parliament

Labour peer Lord Clark tells the House that going ahead with the changes is "unfair" and forces a vote on his motion to regret the removal of nurses' and midwives' bursaries.

Minister: Loans move means more money for the NHS

Student fees regulations

House of Lords

Parliament

"These reforms will enable more money to go into frontline services, around £1bn a year to be reinvested in the NHS," says Health Minister Lord O'Shaughnessy.

Loans have had "a positive effect" he insists and tells the House that Labour, Liberal Democrats and Conservatives have supported them when in government.

Labour spokesman condemns 'sudden shock' of loans move

Student fees regulations

House of Lords

Parliament

Labour education spokesman Lord Watson of Invergowrie says that "those studying for nursing, midwifery and allied health professions were specifically excluded" when the then Labour government replaced most maintenance grants with loans in 1998.

Such students "are quite unlike the wider student population", he says, pointing out they are often older and the hours of study required make it difficult for them to also work to support themselves.

"This is a sudden shock brought about by the government and it will have a detrimental effect on those wanting to study," he tells the House, giving the Labour front bench's backing to the motion.

Lib Dem spokeswoman backs regret motion

Student fees regulations

House of Lords

Parliament

Baroness Walmsley
BBC

Liberal Democrat health spokeswoman Baroness Walmsley says that loans have not put off students on most university courses but says it is "not a given" that replacing bursaries with loans will have the same effect for students of nursing.

"Without a solid evidence base, this policy should not go ahead," she adds, giving her backing to Lord Clark's regret motion.

Opposing loans 'could set us backwards' says Tory peer

Student fees regulations

House of Lords

Parliament

Concervative peer Lord Forsyth agrees that "we are going to need to train more nurses" after Brexit.

However, he argues that removing a cap on student numbers and introducing loans will help to achieve that.

It could also offer "better value to the taxpayer", he claims, adding that a vote for the regret motion "could actually set us backwards".

Finally, he questions whether people need university degrees in order to become nurses.

Motion to 'regret' student fees regulations

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Clark of Windermere
BBC

Finally, the House comes to regulations covering student fees, awards and support.

Labour's Lord Clark of Windermere has tabled a motion that "this House regrets" that the regulations "pave the way for students of nursing, midwifery and allied health professionals to receive loans rather than bursaries".

The motion also says that the move is discouraging degree applications "at the same time as Brexit has already reduced European Union migrant nursing and midwifery registrations by over 90%".

Arguing that the move threatens safe levels of staffing, Lord Clark says: "We are getting towards breaking point. The strain is intense. The morale is low."

He claims the NHS is "around 24,000 nurses short" at present.

If passed, a regret motion would not overturn the regulations but the tabling of it expresses opposition and enables debate.

Amendment on ticket sales

Digital Economy Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett of Metallica
BBC
Lord Moynihan is sure that peers are familiar with the works of Metallica

The final amendment concerns a requirement that ticket sellers provide information about tickets to those buying them.

MPs did not accept the amendment but the government has put forward its own, which would require a seller to inform the buyer of "any unique ticket number that may help the buyer to identify the seat or standing area or its location".

Conservative peer Lord Moynihan, a former minister for sport, welcomes the government's move, aimed at protecting users of the secondary ticketing market. He says that "enforcement is weak" at present and looks forward to the government improving it.

He also points to the security characteristics of the tickets for the forthcoming tour by Metallica, a band that he is sure is "well known to many members of your lordships' House".

Stevenson: BBC charter renewal will clash with elections

Digital Economy Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Labour spokesman Lord Stevenson of Balmacara notes that the last settlement with the BBC ensured that future settlements would not clash with future elections.

He points out that this has now changed due to the current election being called.

The next election will be held in 2022 - the year in which the licence fee is settled, he says. He continues: the election after that will be in 2027, the year of the next charter renewal.

Do we have the best system of protection in place to ensure the BBC's independence? he asks.

Lord Ashton of Hyde replies that the Fixed-term Parliaments Act is "not an absolute guarantee of a five year parliament".

Government must have 'free hand' over BBC funding

Digital Economy Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Camera
BBC

Peers now turn to amendments which seek to set up a BBC Licence Fee Commission, an independent body which would make a recommendation as to the level of the licence fee.

The amendments state that when setting the licence fee the government must consider both the views of the commission and the results of a public consultation

MPs rejected these amendments. Culture Minister Lord Ashton of Hyde argues that the government must have a "free hand" when it come to determining the BBC's overall funding.

Crossbencher Lord Best regrets the government's decision to reject the amendment arguing that there has been "extensive condemnation of the current process".