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Summary

  1. The Commons began at 11.30 GMT with questions to the Foreign Office team
  2. Questions were followed by a ten minute rule bill from Stroud MP Neil Carmichael about the appointment of school governors
  3. MPs defeated an opposition motion of no confidence in Welfare Minister Lord Freud after his comments on pay for disabled workers
  4. The afternoon's business also included a debate on coalfield communities
  5. The adjournment debate was introduced by Marcus Jones, on the A5 trunk road between the M42 and the M69
  6. In the Lords, the day began with two new introductions: Baroness Evans of Bowes Park and Lord Cashman
  7. After questions, peers will completed report stage scrutiny of the Serious Crime Bill
  8. Peers concluded proceedings with a short debate on the National Plan for Music Education

Live Reporting

By Sam Francis and Pippa Simm

All times stated are UK

  1. Lords concludes

    The House of Lords has concluded its business for the day. Peers return slightly later tomorrow - at 15.00 GMT - when the days main business will be a debate on devolution following the Scotland referendum.

  2. Closing speeches

    Baroness Jones of Whitchurch, Labour's education spokesperson in the Lords, is leading the closing speech on behalf of Labour.

    The government has been inconsistent in its approach to music education, she tells peers, which has meant the "reality of the delivery of the National Plan [for Music Education] remains a source of frustration and disappointment to many."

  3. Creative vision

    Opening the debate crossbench peer Lord Aberdare said he is worried the National Plan for Music Education may not be "on track" due to serious questions over financing, access to instruments and the sharing of best practice.

    Lord Aberdare urged the government to "be even more energetic" in supporting the plan which he said needs to be "driven forward" to help "cement and enthrone the UK's leading world position in music and creativity."

    "It would be sad indeed if the plan were allowed to fall short of its vision because of a lack of energy and commitment " he added.

    crossbench peer Lord Aberdare
  4. Musical education

    Music education hubs were set up in 2012 as part of a national plan for music education.

    They are made up of music trust staff, voluntary groups and private firms working in a local area, to create joined up music education provision for children and young people, both in and out of school.

    The aim is that every child in England has the opportunity to sing and learn a musical instrument, and to perform as part of an ensemble or choir. a Network of Music Education hubs are planned to be set up across England.

    In the first year, the Department for Education (DfE) says, the hubs gave nearly half a million children the opportunity to learn an instrument for the first time and worked with almost 15,000 school choirs, orchestras and bands.

  5. Final debate

    And with that peers conclude the report stage of the Serious Crime Bill.

    Now they turn their attention, a little later than scheduled, to a short debate on what steps the government are taking to ensure the long-term financial sustainability of music education hubs and the National Plan for Music Education, led by Crossbench peer Lord Aberdare.

  6. Amendment withdrawn

    Responding for the government Baroness Williams of Trafford tells peers that there is "no difference" between Lord Strasburger's position and the government's. But, she says, the amendments are unnecessary given the "strict regulations contained in Ripa" and the "safeguards we are already putting in place".

    She assures peers that "the government does not want to do anything that would undermine the operation of a vibrant and independent press."

    Lord Strasburger says he is disappointed by the government's comments but withdraws his amendment, with the view to returning to the issue when the bill reaches third reading.

    Baroness Williams of Trafford
  7. Pace and Ripa

    Under existing legislation, the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (Pace), police can apply for warrants to search journalists' private information at a hearing in front of a judge, which journalists and their employers are also allowed to attend. Journalists may also make representations to the court to protect their sources. Under Ripa, originally designed to track terrorists, the police need no such judicial authority.

    David Anderson Q.C. the UK's Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, is currently investigating RIPA, and aims to report by the general election.

  8. Fewer whistles blown

    Tabling his amendment Lord Strasburger criticises the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (Ripa) as "not fit for purpose", and claims that allowing the police to gain access to journalists' sources will have a "damaging" effect on the country.

    "There is a well established tradition throughout the world that journalists do not reveal their sources" Lord Strasburger says.

    But "if potential whistleblowers in this country cannot guarantee their anonymity anymore because the police can secretly identify them, then a lot fewer whistles are going to be blown" he adds.

  9. Protecting sources

    Peers now turn their attention to an amendment from Liberal Democrat peer Lord Strasburger, that would prevent police officers from being able to access journalists' private sources, including phone records, to identify their sources without permission from a judge.

    The amendment, which has the support of the deputy prime minister Nick Clegg, follows increasing concerns among civil liberties campaigners and the newspaper industry that the police are exploiting a loophole in the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (Ripa) to access private information without judicial authorisation.

    Liberal Democrat peer Lord Strasburger
  10. Lords live

    Do stay with us this evening though, as we continue to bring you live coverage of the House of Lords, including a debate on the long-term financial sustainability of music education hubs.

  11. Commons concluded

    The House of Commons has concluded its business for the day. MPs return at the same time - 11.30 GMT - tomorrow, when the highlight of the day's events will be prime minister's question time.

  12. Government amendment

    Lord Harris withdraws his amendment and peers turn their attention to a government proposal for a new offence of possessing knives and offensive weapons in prisons. The new offence would carry similar sentences as for carrying a weapon outside of prison.

    Tabling the amendment, Baroness Williams of Trafford says it will "act as a more effective deterrent". The message to criminals is clear, she adds, that "we do not tolerate it in the community, we will not tolerate it in prisons".

  13. Adjournment debate

    John Hayes, a minister in the Department for Transport, is tasked with responding to the debate for the government.

  14. What are adjournment debates?

    Adjournment debates are introduced by a backbench MP at the end of each day's business in the House of Commons, bringing the day to a close.

    They usually last for half an hour but can go on for longer if the main business concludes early.

  15. Marcus Jones leads debate

    Marcus Jones MP
    Image caption: Marcus Jones is asking the government for a longer-term plan for the A5 trunk road
  16. Adjournment debate

    That brings an end to the day's main business in the House of Commons. It's time for the adjournment debate now, which is being led by Marcus Jones, the Conservative MP for Nuneaton. The focus is on the A5 trunk road between the M42 and M69.

  17. Motion passed

    Speaker John Bercow puts the question to MPs that the Labour motion - which calls for continued regeneration of coalfield communities - is passed, and, after no shouts of objection from the government benches, it is approved.

  18. Online digital storage amendment

    Peers are debating Lord Harris of Haringey's second amendment of the night. It proposes a requirement on companies who provide online digital storage to test their products to see if they are "open to abuse by the storage of indecent images of children" and to take steps to "mitigate, reduce, eliminate and disrupt" problems where they find them.

  19. Government response

    Penny Mordaunt stresses that the government is focused on helping coalfield communities to "regenerate themselves and achieve their ambitions".

    She says Labour did nothing during its 13 years in office to tackle the issues the party has raised in the debate.

  20. Dinner-break debate

    Though timings have yet to be announced, peers will be expecting a dinner break soon.

    During a normal day, a break in the business is announced at a convenient point, normally around 19.00 GMT, to allow peers involved in the day's main business to eat.

    A short debate is usually scheduled during the dinner-break, and today it's on the long-term financial sustainability of music education hubs and the National Plan for Music Education, led by crossbencher peer Lord Aberdare.

  21. Government response

    Communities and Local Government Minister Penny Mordaunt is responding for the government, with a little under ten minutes to go in the debate.

  22. Amendment withdrawn

    Unconvinced by government claims that the practice of eliciting "sexual communications" from a child is already outlawed, Lord Harris says he is "disappointed " that ministers are not willing to accept his amendment.

    However, on the promise of further discussion with Home Office Minister Lord Bates, he agrees to withdraw it.

  23. Closing remarks

    Jon Trickett, a shadow minister without portfolio, is leading the closing speech on behalf of the Labour opposition.

    He says there has not been "a word of contrition" from the Conservative benches for "what was done in the mining strike" in 1984-5, and accuses the party of "turning their backs" on mining communities "once again".

    Mr Trickett impresses upon the House the "moral duty" to look after the people who worked in the coal industry - and calls for a release of all the government papers pertaining to the miners' strike.

  24. 'Sexting' clause

    Peers are debating an amendment that would make eliciting a "sexual communication" - such as texting a sexual photograph, or "sexting" - from a child a specific offence, which is already the case in Scotland.

    Tabling the amendment Labour peer Lord Harris of Harringey said the current law on the issue is "fragmented and confused", often predates the invention of the internet and social media websites and fails to recognise the nature of online grooming.

  25. Commons schedule

    A reminder that the current debate on coalfield communities will be wrapping up at 19.00 GMT, at which point a vote will be held on Labour's motion.

    There are a number of backbench MPs still wishing to speak in the debate before the government and opposition closing speeches begin at approximately 18.40 GMT.

    The time limit has been cut to four minutes.

  26. FGM prosecutions

    While there have been 100 convictions for FGM in France, there has not been a successful UK prosecution since criminalisation of the practice 28 years ago.

    The practice of female genital mutilation has been illegal in the UK since 1985 but the first prosecutions, which are currently ongoing, were not until this year, despite an estimated 170,000 women in the UK living with the life-long consequences of FGM.

    Police forces have revealed there have been dozens of investigations into female genital mutilation (FGM) in the UK over the past three years.

  27. Information block

    Conservative Marcus Jones says there is much he can agree with in the motion about the legacy of the coal industry.

    But the MP for Nuneaton is "disappointed" that the debate has been "predicated on the events of 30 years", and tells the Labour front bench to reflect on the "three occasions" between 2007 and 2009 that it blocked freedom of information requests for release information on the miners' strikes.

  28. Blame Scargill

    Welsh Conservative David TC Davies reveals that he was the first in generations of his family not to be raised in a pit village.

    The Monmouth MP says many miners, including his own relatives, wanted to work during the strike and argues that it was former miners' union boss Arthur Scargill who let the miners down, by calling on members to strike without a ballot.

    "He was absolutely hated by the miners and many in the Labour Party," he claims.

    David TC Davies
  29. Amendment withdrawn

    Baroness Meacher withdraws her amendment, telling peers she is satisfied that the need for a "deterrent" to FGM is "shared across the House".

  30. 'Not the answer'

    Conservative peer Lord Dobbs says he believes Baroness Meacher's amendment is too vaguely worded. It would be "counter productive and could make it more difficult for the prosecuting authorities" in female genital mutilation (FGM) cases, he argues.

    Encouraging or promoting the practice of FGM, as it is worded in the amendment, could include a "tribal elder talking about culture references" or a "parent discussing a families heritage", Lord Dobbs argued.

    No matter how well intentioned the amendment is it isn't the "answer to what I think she seeks to achieve", he concludes.

    Conservative peer Lord Dobbs
  31. Miners strike

    Ian Lavery, the Labour MP for Wansbeck, declares an interest, recalling his participation in the 1984 miners strike.

    "We want to see justice, and we want to see fairness for what happened all those years ago," he tells the Commons.

    Mr Lavery says the cabinet papers reveal that the government at the time wanted to use the Army against striking miners, which he brands an "absolute disgrace".

  32. New amendment

    Peers now turn their attention to an amendment to create an offence of encouraging or promoting the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM).

    Tabling the amendment former social worker and crossbench peer Baroness Meacher tell peers that the amendment will "tackle FGM at its heart".

    While other amendments concerned individual cases of FGM, Baroness Meacher said "the core of the problem is in the culture of certain communities" and her amendment would allow this to be tackled.

    Baroness Meacher
  33. Debate in the Lords

    On the agreement that there will be further discussion on FGM legislation before the bill reaches third reading Labour agree to withdraw their amendments.

    Unlike the House of Commons, amendments can be made at third reading in the House of Lords, but this is only if the issue has not been fully considered and voted on during either committee or report stage

  34. Angry exchanges

    It's been a particularly tetchy start to the debate, with some heated interventions and exchanges by MPs.

    The floor is now open to backbench contributions - the first coming from Labour MP for Lanark and Hamilton East Jim Hood.

  35. New chair

    Deputy Speaker Lindsay Hoyle has replaced Dame Dawn Primarolo in the chair to oversee the debate.

  36. Past battles

    Reflecting on Labour's motion, Matt Hancock says it is a pity it focuses solely on "reliving the battles of the past", and claims the party is uninterested on how to help coalfield communities in the future: which he suggests is through a "strong and healthy economy".

    Mat Hancock
  37. House united against FGM

    Responding for the government, Baroness Williams of Trafford says that while there are "nuances" in how it wants the legislation to be worded, the House of Lords was agreed "on the principle that female genital mutilation must end".

    "The whole House has shown an abhorrence of FGM and we can all agree that more needs to be done to stop such violence against women and girls," she says.

    Baroness Williams of Trafford
  38. Government view on coalfields

    Over to the government now, to set out its stall.

    Energy and Climate Change Minister Matt Hancock praises the "long and proud history of Britain's coal-mining communities.

    He tells MPs he has worked hard to secure the future of the last three deep mines in Britain, two of which - Kellingley in Yorkshire, and Thoresby in Nottinghamshire - had been threatened with immediate closure.

  39. FGM prosecutions 'must be in family courts'

    Former president of the family division of the High Court Baroness Butler-Sloss tells peers that ensuring FGM prosecutions are heard in the family courts by High Court judges is the "most important part" of the new legislation.

    The subject matter is "not for the ordinary civil court judges" she warns.

    The legislation on FGM as it stands doesn't go "far enough" Baroness Butler-Sloss complains, and urges the government to "put together" all of the best amendments being debated today and introduce them into the bill by third reading.

    Baroness Butler Sloss
  40. Dugher's appeal

    Michael Dugher appeals to the Commons to support his motion, which he says provides an opportunity to ensure a "brighter future" and "justice" for the coalfields.

  41. Independent review called for

    Opening the debate, Michael Dugher - vice chair of the Labour Party - says the cabinet papers reveal Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's real aim was to "defeat the miners and destroy the industry".

    The Barnsley East MP also calls for an independent review into the clash between striking miners and police at Orgreave colliery in South Yorkshire 30 years ago.

    About 10,000 miners and 5,000 police officers were involved in what became known as the Battle of Orgreave, on 18 June 1984.

    Michael Dugher
  42. What is FGM?

    A definition of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) can be found on the World health Organisation website here.

  43. Coalfield Communities debate

    Orgreave Colliery
    Image caption: Police and miners at a demonstration at Orgreave Colliery, South Yorkshire, during the miners' strike in June 1984
  44. Government papers

    The year-long miners' strike, which started in March 1984, was characterised by often violent confrontations between police and massed picketing miners.

    One of the documents in the archives suggests that there was an agreement in government to shut 75 pits over three years, and cut 64,000 jobs - but that no list of which should be closed should be issued.

  45. Plans from 1984

    Previously-confidential cabinet papers from 1984, released in January this year, revealed that mineworkers' union leader Arthur Scargill may have been right to claim there was a "secret hit-list" of more than 70 pits marked for closure.

    The government and National Coal Board said at the time they wanted to close 20 - but the documents reveal a plan to shut 75 mines over three years.

  46. Labour opening speech

    The House of Commons
    Image caption: Conservative and Lib Dem MPs listen as as Michael Dugher delivers the opening speech
  47. House of Lords debate

    Peers are debating a group of amendments dealing with a the creation of a new offence for female genital mutilation (FGM). Within the group are amendments aimed at protection of victims' identities, creating protection orders and widening the offence to allow religious leaders and communities to be charged for their part in any offence.

    A recent study using 2011 census data estimated that around 170,000 women and girls were living with FGM in the UK, and that 65,000 girls aged 13 and under were at risk of being cut. There is however a lack of data on the geographical spread of girls at risk of FGM.

    The Home Office and the Metropolitan Police are part-funding a new study into the prevalence of FGM in England and Wales using data from the 2011 census.

    Earlier this year, the Department of Health announced that all acute hospitals would begin reporting information about the prevalence of FGM within their patient population each month from September 2014.

  48. Uniting party?

    Conservative MP Conor Burns intervenes to question the motive behind the debate. He surmises it is an effort by the Labour front bench to unite the party behind the "desperate leadership" of Ed Miliband.

  49. More support for communities

    Labour will press for a vote on its motion, which calls for the "continued regeneration and much needed support for coalfield communities as part of a wider programme to boost growth in Britain's regions".

  50. Terms of the motion

    Shadow Cabinet Office minister Michael Dugher is setting out the terms of the opposition motion.

    It acknowledges the "economic legacy of the pit closure programme in coalfield communities across the United Kingdom" and claims that recently released Cabinet papers showed the-then government "misled the public about the extent of its pit closure plans and sought to influence police tactics".

  51. Popular debate

    More than 21 members are wishing to take part in the debate - which finishes at 19.00 GMT - prompting Deputy Speaker Dame Dawn Primarolo to ask opposition and government front benchers to bear that in mind in their opening speeches.

  52. Labour defeated

    The results are in, and Labour has been defeated over its motion of no confidence in Lord Freud.

    MPs decided by 302 to 243 - majority 59 - to reject the opposition's call for the Conservative welfare minister to lose his job, after his comments on pay for disabled workers.

    That brings the debate to an end - and attention turns to the second of Labour's debates this afternoon, on coalfield communities.

  53. Division called

    Labour insists on pushing its motion to a vote - and the chamber empties as MPs make their way to the voting lobbies, situated just outside of the chamber.

    Votes - which are known as divisions - typically tend to take about 15 minutes.

    There must be four "tellers" - two for, two against - who count the votes and announce the result in the chamber.

  54. Government front bench argument

    Batting for the government, Employment Minister Esther McVey urges the House to reject the Labour motion, and insists the government has "every confidence" in Lord Freud.

    Esther McVey address the Commons

    Ms McVey says the House is united in agreement that the words he used were "wrong", but stresses that the peer had acknowledged this and apologised unreservedly.

    She emphasises that the government's overarching aim is to enable disabled people to fulfil their potential and ambition, and points out that there are now nearly three million disabled people in work - up 116,000 in the past year.

  55. Committee wraps up

    And that's it. As the evidence session ends Natacha Bouchart invites the committee to visit Calais so that they can "see for themselves, meet with people and understand what is going on" so that the committee and her team "can build a strategy" together to deal with the issues.

    As a parting gift Ms Bouchart gives the committee Calais' press review of the immigration problem.

    Natacha Bouchart
    Image caption: Natacha Bouchart hands over the Calais' press review of the immigration problem
  56. 'Value disabled people'

    Stephen Timms claims Lord Freud's comments "touched a nerve" around the country, and claims the potential of disabled people is being "wasted" under the government.

    "We need to value disabled people to enable them to make a contribution," he tells the Commons.

  57. Frontbench sums up

    That brings the backbench speeches to an end and shadow work and pensions minister Stephen Timms takes to his feet to sum up the debate on behalf of Labour.

    The opposition will push for a vote on its motion of no confidence in Lord Freud, but not before the government has had a chance to respond to the debate.

  58. Labour backbencher's condemnation

    Labour backbencher John McDonnell adds his condemnation of Lord Freud's remarks to the debate and says he opposed the peer's appointment under both the last and current government.

    "The appointment of a venture capitalist to advise us on welfare benefits I find bizarre to be frank," the Hayes and Harlington MP remarks.

  59. Benefits?

    Liberal Democrat committee member Julian Huppert asks Natacha Bouchart if their is any evidence behind her claim that the UK has an attractive benefits system to immigrants.

    Mr Huppert cites a number of academic studies which "found that entitlement to benefits was not a major factor" when immigrants chose a country of destination.

    "Studies are good, but reality is better," Ms Bouchart responds. Mr Huppert says he'll take her response as a no.

    Julian Huppert
  60. DUP support for Labour motion

    Democratic Unionist MP Jim Shannon restates his party's opposition to the welfare reforms implemented by the government, as he addresses the Commons.

    The Strangford MP says he will support Labour's motion.

    Jim Shannon MP

    Labour will seek a vote on its motion of no confidence in Lord Freud.

  61. People traffickers

    Mayor of Calais Natacha Bouchart agrees with committee member Paul Flynn, a Labour MP, who says that there needs to be a greater focus on criminal gangs of people traffickers in order to tackle Calais' immigration problems.

    But, Ms Bouchart says, this needs to go alongside measures to "address the issue of the aspiration of people wanting to come to the UK" which she blames on Britain's attractive welfare system.

  62. Schengen Area

    The Schengen agreement, signed by 22 of the 28 EU member states, abolished internal borders amongst the signatories.

    The Schengen Area, as it is known, mostly functions as a single country for international travel purposes, with a common visa policy and free travel between signatories without the need of a passport.

  63. PIPs attacked by Labour

    The government is pushing disabled people to the point where "their lives are unbearable", Labour's East Lothian MP Fiona O'Donnell claims, as she attacks welfare reforms, such as personal independence payments (PIPs).

    PIPs replaced the disability living allowance in April last year. Most people applying for the benefit have a face-to-face assessment to determine eligibility, which is carried out by the private contractors Atos Healthcare and Capita Business Service.

    Ms O'Donnell tells MPs that, as a mother of a daughter with cerebral palsy and epilepsy, she takes real issue with Lord Freud's use of the word "worth", and says that if she was in his position she would have resigned

  64. In dispute

    Committee member Ian Austin, a Labour MP, questions why some of the migrants in Calais are not deported by the French authorities if they have been processed and found to be people who are in the country illegally.

    Natacha Bouchart says she is in dispute with the French government about this.

  65. Who's problem?

    Conservative committee member Michael Ellis castigates Natacha Bouchart for blaming the UK for her town's immigration problem, telling her that Calais hasn't been Britain's responsibility since 1558.

    Ms Bouchart responds by saying that if the UK didn't have "such an attractive regime for migrants" she wouldn't have such a problem. "That's your responsibility," she tells the committee.

    Immigration is a European wide problem and the Schengen agreement "doesn't work" she adds.

    Michael Ellis
    Image caption: Conservative MP Michael Ellis
  66. 'Witch hunt'

    Margot James accuses Labour of pursuing a "witch hunt" against Welfare Minister Lord Freud. While the Stourbridge MP says she did not agree with the comments made by the peer she notes that he has apologised.

    Margot James MP

    Ms James says there are "many people" with severe disabilities who desperately want to work but that there is sometimes "an issue of whether their value can be recognised economically, and that might call for more government intervention".

    She does not believe believe Labour has addressed this issue.

  67. Post update

    Susan Hulme

    BBC parliamentary correspondent

    Watching the Health Committee, BBC's Susan Hulme tweets: NHS England chief says other efficiencies will have to be found once jobs market is "fizzing" again and #NHS pay restraint harder

  68. Subterfuge?

    Conservative Jacob Rees-Mogg is making a characteristically humorous start to his speech. He attacks Labour's "political opportunism" in keeping the recording, which he surmises was probably made by "some socialist no doubt wearing a dirty mackintosh", secret until it could be used at a point of most inconvenience for the prime minister.

    The North East Somerset MP goes on to defend Lord Freud as a "courteous and compassionate man" who is contributing to the "development and discussion" of public policy.

    He poses the question: "How is public policy to be developed if every time somebody says something... that is beyond the consensus, they are hauled by name in front of this chamber to be required to resign?"

  69. Calais mayor

    Responding to a question from Committee member David Winnick, a Labour MP, Mayor of Calais Natacha Bouchart tells the committee that "people are ready and prepared to die" to reach the UK, even if there's no place for them when they get there.

  70. 'Huge amount'

    The weekly benefit of £36 given to migrants in the UK "is a huge amount" to people coming from war torn countries and attracts illegal immigrants, Mayor of Calais Natacha Bouchart tells the committee.

  71. Calais mayor

    Speaking through an interpreter the Mayor of Calais Natacha Bouchart tells the Homes Affairs Committee that "international conflicts around the world" are the primary cause "an immigration crisis" in her town, but that a lack of a European wide mechanism for dealing with immigration is the "secondary cause".

    The third cause of mass immigration in Calais are the "aspirational measures" put in place by the British government that are "attracting immigrants" she says.

    Mayor of Calais Natacha Bouchart
    Image caption: Mayor of Calais Natacha Bouchart
  72. A welcome in French

    Bonjour! Home Affairs Committee chair Keith Vaz begins the evidence session by greeting the Mayor of Calais, Natacha Bouchart and her team - deputy mayor Philippe Mignonet and first deputy to the mayor Emmanuel Aguis - in their native French.

    Home Affairs Committee chair Keith Vaz
  73. Situation in Calais

    The Home Affairs Committee has visited Calais on a number of occasions to look at the immigration challenges the town has faced for some years.

    Natacha Bouchart, the Mayor of Calais, recently threatened to blockade the French port unless Britain did more to help deal with the migrant issue in.

    Committee chair Keith Vaz has said it was "clear that the situation in Calais is becoming increasingly difficult, not only for the authorities in Calais, but also for the ferry companies".

  74. Coming up: Home Affairs Committee

    The Commons Home Affairs Committee is about to begin its evidence session with the Mayor of Calais on migration.

  75. Second peer

    Michael Cashman has joined the Labour benches in the House of Lords as Lord Cashman. He was a member of the European Parliament between 1999 and 2014, a founder of Stonewall, and previously played Colin Russell in the BBC soap Eastenders.

    Lord Cashman
  76. Commons debate

    The six minute time limit on backbench speeches has been imposed by the Speaker of the Commons due to the number of MPs wishing to take part in this debate.

    There is still a a second opposition debate to fit in - on coalfield communities - before the main business concludes at 19.00 GMT.

  77. Baroness Evans

    Natalie Evans the director of the New Schools Network, is being introduced to the House of Lords where she will sit as a Conservative peer, Baroness Evans of Bowes Park.

    Baroness Evans of Bowes Park
  78. Post update

    @annebegg

    Chair of Work and Pensions Committee Dame Anne Begg MP ‏tweets: Have called again for a cumulative impact assessment in debate on govt's policies towards disabled people.

  79. New peers

    Before that another two peers are introduced into the House of Lords: Baroness Evans of Bowes Park - the director of the New Schools Network - who will sit as a Conservative and Lord Cashman, the former Eastenders actor and MEP, who will serve as Labour's LGBT rights envoy.

    Once they've found their seats in the Lords, peers will begin their daily question session. The future of the East Coast rail franchise, the provision of mental health treatment, recent youth unemployment figures and the level of police resources used to police the current Occupy protest in Parliament Square will all be topics for discussion.

  80. Coming up: House of Lords

    Our live coverage of the House of Lords is about to begin.

    Today's main business is the second day of report stage consideration of the Serious Crime Bill.

    Criticised by some as the sweepings of the Home Office floor, today's debate on this wide-ranging bill will focus on: protecting victims' identities, Female Genital Mutilation, domestic violence, online child protection, and training abroad for terrorism and protecting journalists' sources.

    During the Lords dinner break there will be a short debate on the long-term financial sustainability of music education hubs and the National Plan for Music Education, led by the Crossbencher, Lord Aberdare.

  81. 'Opportunistic and misguided'

    Sir George Young, former leader of the Commons, follows Liz McInnes, and warmly congratulates the new MP on her maiden speech.

    Turning his focus to the debate, he criticises Labour's motion as "opportunistic and misguided" and says it does nothing to further the interest of people with disabilities, or the organisations that care for them.

  82. Wrong debate?

    Liz McInnes welcomes the opportunity the debate provides to discuss the "adverse effects" of some of the government's policies.

    She notes that maiden speeches tend not to be overtly political and jokes that "I may have picked the wrong debate here to do it".

    Liz McInnes
  83. Praise for new MP

    Maiden speeches are the first occasion on which a new member of the Commons or Lords rises to speak.

    It is normally uncontroversial and fairly short, containing a tribute to the MP's predecessor and complimentary remarks about the new member's constituency.

    It is also the custom for other members to listen to the speech without interruption and for those speaking subsequently, from whichever part of the House, to praise the new member on their first contribution.

  84. Post update

    @RebeccaKeating

    Rebecca Keating

    BBC News

    BBC's Rebecca Keating ‏tweets: New Heywood & Middleton MP Liz McInnes sounds nervous as she starts her maiden speech with a tribute to her late predecessor Jim Dobbin

  85. Maiden speech

    Liz McInnes, the newly elected MP for Heywood and Middleton, is making her maiden speech in the Commons, and pays tribute to her predecessor, the late Jim Dobbins MP, whose death prompted the recent by-election.

  86. Backbench speeches

    The opposition and government front bench speeches are over, meaning the floor is now open to backbench speeches, which will be time-limited to six minutes.

  87. 'No positive point'

    Work and Pensions Minister Mark Harper attacks the Labour-tabled motion for not including "a single positive point" on how to improve the lives of disabled people - and sets out some suggestions on behalf of the government.

    Mark Harper
  88. Debate days

    Opposition days are days on which the subject for debate is chosen by one of the opposition parties.

    Twenty days are allocated per parliamentary session - 17 to the largest opposition party and three among the other parties.

    Subjects chosen are invariably ones of topical interest and on which the opposition thinks it might be able to embarrass the government.

  89. Disabled wage

    Lord Freud's comments came in response to a councillor who said some "mentally damaged individuals" who wanted to work were unable to do so because employers would not pay them the £6.50-an-hour minimum wage.

  90. Defending Lord Freud

    In a defence of Lord Freud, Mark Harper says Labour's characterisation of the peer's words were "inaccurate", and says the party should be "ashamed" of itself.

    Mr Harper stresses that Lord Freud is "passionate" about helping to get disabled people in to work, and accepts he should not have accepted the premise of the question put to him.

  91. 'Cynical' motion

    The government has the opportunity to reply to the opening speech now, and Work and Pensions Minister Mark Harper beings by criticising Kate Green's tone and the "cynical" nature of the motion.

    Following Iain Duncan Smith's lead, Mr Harper says Labour should have exposed the transcript "immediately" rather than use it as a "cynical device" to detract attention from the "excellent performance" of the economy during prime minister's questions.

  92. 'Sending signal'

    The minister may have apologised but the damage has already been done, Kate Green argues.

    Urging support for the motion, she says its passing would send a "clear signal" that "we know the offence and hurt" Lord Freud's remarks have caused and that people with disabilities are equally valued and respected.

    Kate Green
  93. Opposition motion

    The Labour motion criticises the impact of government policies on disabled people and says Lord Freud's comments have "further undermined trust among disabled people" in the government.

    The opposition motion of no confidence in Lord Freud calls for him to be sacked.

  94. Lord Freud's career

    Lord Freud was a welfare adviser to the previous Labour government, and has been a minister in the Department for Work and Pensions since 2010.

    The Conservative peer has been closely involved in the coalition's implementation of major benefits changes, such as the replacement of the disability living allowance with personal independence payments, and the rollout of Universal Credit, a consolidated single payment designed to encourage work.

  95. PMQs

    When Labour leader Ed Miliband raised the comments during prime minister's questions, David Cameron said they were not the views of the government.

    Lord Freud issued an "unreserved" apology for his comments and insisted all disabled people "should be paid at least the minimum wage, without exception".

  96. Secretary of state intervenes

    Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith questions why Labour sat on the recording for weeks, choosing to raise it at prime minister's questions.

    "Surely if they were so concerned about this instead of this faux concern they are showing now they would have raised it immediately and demanded the apology?" he notes.

    Shadow welfare minister Kate Green responds by claiming that prime minister's questions was their first opportunity to raise it.

  97. Labour led debate

    The debate is being led by Labour shadow minister Kate Green, who says the minister's comments sparked a "outpouring of anger and outrage".

    Conservative MP and Education Committee chair Graham Stuart intervenes to point out there are "116,000 more disabled people in work now than a year ago", and calls on Labour to stop using disabled people to "smear opponents".

  98. Lord Freud's comments

    We're on to the first of the afternoon's two opposition debates now.

    The subject is on the future of Welfare Minister Lord Freud over his recorded comments about disabled workers at a Conservative Party conference fringe event.

  99. School governors

    Mr Carmichael has argued that changes to schools means that the way governors are appointed has to change.

    He tells MPs schools need the "right people" with the appropriate skills, enthusiasm and motives to ensure that schools are places where learning is the "top priority but that other characteristics...are also encouraged to develop".

    His bill receives an unopposed first reading and is scheduled for its second reading - the next stage in the legislative process - on 23 January 2015. However, it is unlikely to become law without government support.

  100. Private member's bill

    Ten minute rule bills are a type of private member's bill introduced by backbench MPs. The MP who is proposing the bill has ten minutes to make a speech setting out the case for legislation.

  101. Post update

    @DanJarvisMP

    Labour MP Dan Jarvis tweets: Am planning to speak in today's #JusticeForCoalfields debate in @UKParliament. You can read @UKLabour's motion here

  102. Ten minute rule bill

    Neil Carmichael, the Conservative MP for Stroud, has the floor now - and is proposing a bill to require that schools governors are appointed on the basis of experience relevant to the role.

    Neil Carmichael MP
  103. Point of order

    A point of order is raised by Tory Dr Julian Lewis, who wants to whether there will be a government statement on the ending of British combat operations in Afghanistan.

    He says this would provide an opportunity for MPs pay tribute to the fallen and wounded, and debate the way in which the campaign was fought.

    Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond volunteers to respond, and undertakes to discuss with the leader of the House whether time can be made available.

  104. Post update

    Rebecca Keating

    BBC News

    @RebeccaKeating tweets: Hugo Swire: FCO would "actively welcome" & "do everything to facilitate" a request from Swedish prosecutor to question Julian Assange in UK

  105. Final question

    Labour MP Sir Gerald Kaufman has the final question to the government on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and a reply from Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond draws the session to a close.

  106. Running out of time...

    There's just a minutes or so left in this Foreign Office questions session.

    MPs are bobbing up and down on the green benches to catch the Speaker's eye, with a hope of securing a chance to put a question to the government front bench before the Speaker calls time.

  107. Ebola outbreak

    Douglas Alexander, the shadow foreign secretary, pays tribute to British aid workers and officials in West Africa who are "putting themselves at considerable personal risk" to assist in the fight against Ebola. He wants to know what the government is doing to support diplomatic, consular and military staff based in the region.

    Douglas Alexander

    Responding, Philip Hammond informs him that the government has "slimmed down" its diplomatic staff, removing "medically vulnerable" people from Free Town, Sierra Leone, as well as dependents who "don't need to be there".

    He adds that within the next 10 days a dedicated, 12 bed unit run by British military medics will be in operation to treat international health care workers and British nationals.

  108. Foreign Office questions continues

    The view in the Commons as the Foreign Office team respond to MPs' questions
    Image caption: The view in the Commons as the Foreign Office team respond to MPs' questions
  109. Topical questions

    Most departmental question sessions in the House of Commons last for an hour. Ministers respond a list of tabled questions by MPs, and supplementary questions.

    The final fifteen minutes of each session are dedicated to topical questions, of which ministers have no advance notice.

    Conservative Isle of Wight MP Andrew Turner has the first topical question to the Foreign Office team, and asks about the UK's response to the Ebola epidemic in West Africa.

  110. Fight against IS

    Labour's Sandra Osborne asks the government for its assessment of the effectiveness of UK military strikes against Islamic State (IS) militants - also known as Isis or Isil - in Iraq.

    Parliament approved British involvement in air strikes last month, by 524 votes to 43.

    Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond says the coalition airstrikes have "halted" IS's "rapid advance" but cautions that this cannot roll back IS gains alone. He stresses that the fight needs to be led by the Iraqis themselves, with an "inclusive and unified response" by the new government.

  111. Pressure on Russia

    EU sanctions are having a "clear impact" on the Russian economy, the foreign secretary tells MPs.

    Philip Hammond says they are estimated to have slowed GDP growth by 1%, while the fall in the prices is "piling further pressure" on the Russian economy.

    He says the Kremlin needs to understand the "determination" of the European Union to "stand firm".

    Since Russia's annexation of Crimea in March, the EU and US have ratcheted up sanctions several times, tightening restrictions on major Russian state banks and corporations.

  112. Speaker's remonstrance

    "We do need to speed up, progress is very slow," Speaker John Bercow tells the House, noting that there are still "a lot of questions to get through".

  113. Middle East conflict

    Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond emphasises the "urgent" need for Israel and Hamas to allow reconstruction in Gaza so that the economy can get back on its feet. "But progress to a political settlement must follow swiftly on its heels," he adds.

    At least 100,000 Gazans lost their homes in the 50-day conflict between Israel and Hamas earlier this year. Much of the territory's infrastructure was damaged.

    International donors pledged £3.4bn ($5.4bn) for the Palestinians at a conference in Cairo earlier this month. Mr Hammond says the UK pledged £20m.

    Philip Hammond
  114. Turkey's challenges

    Turkey faces "major" security "challenges" because of the conflicts in Syria and Iraq, Foreign Office Minister David Lidington tells MPs, in response to a question from Conservative MP Jesse Norman on the security situation in the country.

    Mr Lidington adds that Turkey is providing refuge to 1.5 million people who have fled fighting in Syria and Iraq.

  115. Post update

    @NatachaBouchart

    Mayor of Calais Natacha Bouchart tweets: À #Londres où je serai cet après-midi auditionnée par la commission des affaires intérieures au @CommonsHomeAffs

    We will be covering the mayor's appearance before the Home Affairs Committee from 14.30 GMT.

  116. First question

    Business is underway in the House of Commons. Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour MP for Islington North, has the first question, on whether the UK will attend the December conference in Vienna on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons.

    Foreign Office Minister Tobias Ellwood tells him the government has received an invitation and is considering whether to attend.

    Mr Corbyn - a long-time campaigner for nuclear disarmament - insists that "Britain should be there, not boycott it".

    Jeremy Corbyn,
  117. Coming up: House of Lords

    And that's not all that's happening at the Palace of Westminster today. We'll be bringing you live coverage of the House of Lords, which sits at 14.30 GMT. The main item on the agenda is report stage scrutiny of the Serious Crime Bill.

  118. Adjournment debate

    The day's business will end with an adjournment debate on the A5 trunk road between the M42 and the M69, led by the Conservative MP for Nuneaton, Marcus Jones.

  119. Second debate

    The second of the afternoon's debates covers coalfield communities. Labour will call for "continued regeneration and much needed support for coalfield communities as part of a wider programme to boost growth in Britain's regions". Expect votes on both opposition motions.

  120. Opposition debates

    The main business of the day is dedicated to two opposition debates tabled by the Labour Party.

    The first - due to begin at 12.45 GMT - will focus on the government minister for welfare reform and disabled people, Lord Freud. Labour is calling for him to resign after he suggested that people with disabilities were "not worth" the full minimum wage.

    The peer has apologised for his remarks.

    Lord Freud
  121. Ten minute rule bill

    That'll be followed by a motion on the appointment of school governors, led by Conservative MP Neil Carmichael.

    He'll be making a ten minute speech to propose legislation to require that governors are appointed on the basis of experience relevant to the role.

  122. Good morning

    Hello and welcome to our live text coverage of Tuesday at Westminster. MPs will shortly begin their day, with questions to Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond and his team of ministers at 11.30 GMT.

    The session comes after the the last UK combat troops left Afghanistan, ending 13 years of British combat operations in the country.