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Summary

  1. The day in the Commons began with questions to the health team at 11.30 GMT.
  2. Then there were three statements in the Commons: on the report investigating the murder of soldier Lee Rigby, on Iran nuclear talks, and on Universal Credit.
  3. MP Andrew Rosindell's ten minute rule bill on parliamentary and constitutional reform received an unopposed first reading.
  4. MPs then turned their attention to the Pension Schemes Bill, which cleared the Commons after completing its report stage and third reading.
  5. MPs later approved several money resolutions relating to private members' bills.
  6. The adjournment debate was on secondary breast cancer and data collection, led by Lib Dem MP Annette Brooke.
  7. The House of Lords sat at 14.30 GMT and began with the questions as usual.
  8. Government ministers then repeated the statements on the ISC report into Lee Rigby's murder and the Iranian Nuclear talks in the House of Lords.
  9. Peers gave the National Insurance Contributions Bill its second reading without the need for a vote.
  10. Following that, there were two debates: one on the UK's position in the European Union from Lord Liddle; the other on working conditions in the care sector from Baroness Kingsmill.

Live Reporting

By Pippa Simm and Sam Francis

All times stated are UK

Business finishes

House of Lords

Parliament

Earl Howe says that a number of the recommendations in Baroness Kingsmill's report are already being tackled by the government.

He argues that the government's work programme are "the key pillars" on which an attractive and fulfilling career for care workers can be built.

And with that, the business in the House of Lords comes to an end. Peers will return at 14.30 GMT tomorrow where the main business will be report stage of the Consumer Rights Bill..

The House of Commons returns tomorrow at 11.30 GMT where the main business will be the weekly joust between the Prime Minister and MPs at Prime Minister's questions.

Conditions 'important for wellbeing'

House of Lords

Parliament

Responding for the government, Health Minister Earl Howe says that working conditions in the care sector are "very important for the wellbeing of our nation".

The department of health is committed to ensure the right number of people with the right skills and training are available in the care sector, he says. The type of care sector the government wants is set out in the

Caring for our Future white paper and the Health and Social Care Act, he adds.

Labour response

House of Lords

Parliament

Shadow health minister Lord Hunt of Kings Heath responds to the debate for Labour.

The recommendations made by Baroness Kingsmill are "eminently sensible and practical", he says, and calls on the government to accept the changes.

To tackle problems in the care sector, Labour will legislate to allow the Care Quality Commission, the health watchdog, inspect care workers, he adds.

While under Labour care sector workers would be given more rights, he tells peers, as employees will be given the legal right to a regular contract if they are working regular hours and to compensation for shifts cancelled at short notice, in an effort to combat zero hours contracts.

Lord Hunt
BBC
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath tells peers problems in the care sector will get wore in the future.

'New model' needed

House of Lords

Parliament

Crossbench peer Lord Curry of Kirkharle says a new care sector model is needed, adding that the UK is testing some care sector workers, who he calls "the most amazing people in our society", to the limit.

Future governments will have no alternative than to "bear down on public expenditure" but every year longevity increases and costs increase along with it, he warns.

'Improved guidance'

House of Lords

Parliament

Conservative peer Baroness Chisholm of Owlpen says she is "proud" to be part of a government that has initiated the better care fund, which aims to integrate health and social care across health sectors, and is improving statutory guidance for the care sector.

Care workers 'exploited'

House of Lords

Parliament

Labour peer Baroness Howells of St Davids says that despite laudable aims, the government has done very little to improve conditions of care sector workers.

Care workers are being exploited, she tells peers. Employment rights are not being observed and employers are acting with relative impunity in an unregulated market, she says.

As lawmakers, Parliament is guilty of failing the most "vulnerable and those most in need" she says, and calls on the government to implement all the recommendations in Baroness Kingsmill's report. "This country can do better", she adds.

Calls for improvement

House of Lords

Parliament

Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Brinton says education in the care sector needs to be improved. She tells peers that 37% of care sector workforce that have no qualifications at all, the majority of which end up being front line carers.

Projections estimate that the care sector workforce will need to grow by 800,000 in the next 11 years, Baroness Brinton says, and urges the government to encourage small businesses to help train their staff.

"If we do not have training and recruitment plans in hand, we will not be able to fulfil the skilled workforce we need as our ageing society needs more and more assistance", she adds.

Care work 'in crisis'

House of Lords

Parliament

Shadow communities and local Government spokesman Lord McKenzie of Luton tells peers that care work is "in crisis" as care workers are "undervalued, underpaid, under trained and under regulated", leading to high rates of staff turnover and erratic care.

Labour will come down harder on those who fail to pay the minimum wage and ban the use of zero-hour contracts, he says, and has committed to a £2.5bn "transformation fund" covering both the NHS and social care, including money for 5,000 home care workers.

'Poor reputation'

House of Lords

Parliament

Opening the debate, Baroness Kingsmill says that the care sector has earned a poor reputation. Many small service providers are "hanging on by the skin of their teeth" financially, while the sector is "haunted by the spectre of abuse", but little is being said about how to improve things, she says.

The care sector needs a brighter light shone on it, especially since it is likely that most people will spend the last two years of their life in the receipt of some form of care, she adds.

Baroness Kingsmill
BBC
Baroness Kingsmill

Report recommendations

House of Lords

Parliament

Baroness Kingmill's report recommends:

  • introducing a licence to practice care work - by extending the role of the Health and Care Professions Council - giving credibility to the workforce, and address public concerns over unfit workers
  • a ban on zero-hours contracts, to be be replaced by "paid standby contracts", where workers would be paid for the time spent on standby or be entitled to work elsewhere
  • improving enforcement of the minimum wage in the care sector until efficiencies can be identified to encourage employers to pay the higher living wage
  • introducing a Care Charter, to address issues like inappropriate 15-minute care slots and poor quality care
  • strengthening training and career progression to enable experienced care workers to fast-track into specialist roles or degree study, such as nursing

Care sector debate begins

House of Lords

Parliament

Peers now turn their attention to the final debate of the day, led by Labour peer Baroness Kingsmill on her

report on working conditions in the care sector.

Government position

House of Lords

Parliament

Drawing her comments to a close, Foreign Office Minister Baroness Anelay of St Johns says the government's position is that membership of a reformed EU is in the best interest of the UK.

Reforms to "consolidate the common market", respect the democratic mandate of national governments and improve migration controls would be to the benefit of the UK and all "28 member states" of the EU, she says.

Government response

House of Lords

Parliament

Responding to the debate for the government, Baroness Anelay of St Johns says the world is changing, and the EU "must respond and reform".

The government has made it clear that there is much more can be done to ensure the EU becomes more competitive in international markets and more democratically accountable without requiring the UK to exit, she says.

'Constant agonising'

House of Lords

Parliament

Baroness Morgan of Ely says that the "constant agonising" over the UK's membership of the European Union is damaging to the UK's economy, which she describes as "extremely brittle" - quoting the government's economic reports.

Concluding her remarks, she calls on the government to commit to the UK's long-term membership of the EU. It's time for the government to "behave in the best interest of the nation", she adds.

Labour response

House of Lords

Parliament

Baroness Morgan of Ely is now responding to the debate for Labour.

Opening her comments, she tells peers that the EU is a "bedrock" of the preservation of human rights, respect for law and social justice. It is "undoubtedly true that the European Union has helped keep the peace in what was once the bloodiest continent on the planet" she says.

Calls to 'return governance'

House of Lords

Parliament

One of the key reasons that UKIP wants to leave the European Union is to return governance of the UK back to the Houses of Parliament, UKIP peer Lord Willoughby de Broke tells peers.

He continues that the majority of UN countries survive and trade with each other outside of the European Union.

"The ice is cracking under the EU, the ship is sinking, we should get off it before it sinks completely", he adds.

EU 'pointless and damaging'

House of Lords

Parliament

UKIP Peer Lord Pearson of Rannoch Asks says the "planet" does not need the EU as it's "pointless and damaging for peace, it's diplomacy is expensive and irrelevant, its euro is a disaster and its economy is stagnating and will get worse".

Peace in Europe is largely due to Nato, he adds - where as the EU is responsible for much of the bloodshed in the Ukraine - and the UK's trade partners, who rely on British industry, will ensure that it gets fair access to the European Market without the need for EU membership, he concludes.

Consequences for Scotland

House of Lords

Parliament

Labour peer Lord Lea of Crondall says that leaving the EU would "strengthen the likelihood" that Scotland leaves the UK in order to rejoin the EU.

Call to leave EU

House of Lords

Parliament

Independent Labour peer and chairman of the Campaign for an Independent Britain, Lord Stoddart of Swindon is the first peer of the evening to advocate leaving the European Union.

The Houses of Parliament should govern the UK rather than a "centralised empire governed by an unelected bureaucracy and 27 other countries whose policy is often inimitable to our own", he says.

Lord Stoddart says it is "difficult to make an economic case" for the EU as the UK is not getting a good enough return on the financial support it gives.

While all the positive aspects of the UK's membership of the EU could have been achieved by negotiating with other countries individually, he adds.

'Unrealistic' demands

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Rodgers of Quarry Bank, former Labour cabinet member and founder of the Social Democrat Party (which became the Liberal Democrat Party), says that it is "inconceivable" that Britain's international and domestic security would be enhanced by severing its ties with the European Union.

He warns that the EU will only tolerate "unrealistic" demands for a short period of time and calls on David Cameron to "swallow hard" and tell the public that his government really wants to stay in the European Union.

End of business in the Commons

House of Commons

Parliament

As the minister draws her speech to a close, Jane Ellison stresses the government's commitment is to reducing instances of secondary breast cancer, and improving the outcomes of those who are diagnosed with the disease.

And with that the House of Commons concludes it business for the day.

MPs return tomorrow at the usual time of 11.30 GMT, when the highlight of the day's agenda will be prime minister's question time.

Early diagnosis

House of Commons

Parliament

Jane Ellison
BBC
Jane Ellison stresses the importance of early diagnosis of cancer, and tells MPs the government has committed £450m to achieving early diagnosis

Asylum pressure

House of Lords

Parliament

Former Conservative cabinet member Lord King of Bridgewater says asylum seekers from "failed states" coming to Europe before moving through the "porous borders" created by the Schengen Agreement are putting pressure on the national attitude to the European Union.

He says pro-union politicians, like himself, need to wake up to the reality that there needs to be a fundamental renegotiation of the migration policy in the EU, otherwise popular attitudes "will demand far greater change" than is in the interest of the UK.

'Borderless' issues

House of Lords

Parliament

The UK needs to be part of the European Union to tackle continent-wide problems such as environmental issues and problems in financial markets, former Labour Cabinet Minister Lord Smith tells peers.

The environment "knows no national boundaries, pollution of the air and water doesn't stop at the frontier" he says, adding that "these are continent wide problems and need continent wide solutions....thank God we have our membership of the European Union to enable that to happen."

'Not there yet'

House of Commons

Parliament

Jane Ellison says the government wants to "lead the world" on tackling cancer, but "we know that we are not there yet".

However, she adds that the NHS is treating more people for cancer than ever before, and that survival rates are improving.

Government response

House of Commons

Parliament

Health Minister Jane Ellison is tasked with responding to the MP's adjournment debate on behalf of the government.

Adjournment debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Annette Brooke congratulates the government for the progress it has made on cancer treatment in England over the past four years, highlighting particular initiatives such as the Cancer Drugs Fund.

However, she says that to achieve its ambition to be the best place in Europe to survive cancer, more needs to be done.

Annette Brooke
BBC

Need for 'effective relationships'

House of Lords

Parliament

Liberal Democrat peer and European politics academic Baroness Smith of Newham makes her maiden speech in the House of Lords.

She tells peers that the UK's membership of the EU is important, and calls on peers to make a strong case for the UK's continued membership both at home and abroad. For the UK to have influence in Europe, it is "essential to engage and build up effective relationships" with EU partners, she says.

Baroness Smith of Newnham
BBC

Call for more data

House of Commons

Parliament

Annette Brooke emphasises the need for improved collection of data on secondary breast cancer.

She says the lack of information makes it "virtually impossible" for commissioners to commission services to meet local needs, which makes it harder for clinical nurse specialists with the right knowledge and skills to be recruited.

Ultimately patients miss out on the vital support and care they need, the Mid Dorset and North Poole MP adds.

'Reconciliation is a precious gift'

House of Lords

Parliament

The Bishop of Coventry, the Rt Rev Christopher Cocksworth, says the European Union is a project which has "peace as its fundamental purpose" and calls on peers not to forget the impact of the Second World War and the EU's impact on unity in Europe. "Reconciliation is a precious gift," he says.

The debate about Europe must appeal to something higher than money if it is to inspire the next generation he says, and calls on peers to widen the debate.

Secondary breast cancer

House of Commons

Parliament

Secondary breast cancer is breast cancer that has spread from the breast to other parts of the body; it may be diagnosed years after primary breast cancer.

If breast cancer spreads, the most common places it can spread to are the bones, lungs or liver.

Secondary breast cancer cannot be cured, but treatments can help to slow its progress.

Ms Brooke tells MPs that 11,600 die a year as a result of secondary breast cancer, the equivalent of 32 people a day.

Motion passed

House of Commons

Parliament

The motion passes after a brief debate and, following the presentation of a petition on localised healthcare in North East Cambridgeshire by Conservative MP Stephen Barclay, it is time for the adjournment debate.

The debate is being led by Lib Dem MP Annette Brooke, and is on secondary breast cancer and data collection.

What is the Control of Horses Bill?

House of Commons

Parliament

The Control of Horses is a private member's bill by Conservative MP Julian Sturdy - which has cross-party and government support.

It seeks to give powers to local authorities in England to detain horses that are on public land without lawful authority.

The CLA, National Farmers' Union and Countryside along with the RSPCA, World Horse Welfare, Redwings, the British Horse Society and Blue Cross, support the bill after similar measures in Wales became law in January.

At least 3,000 horses are estimated to be illegally grazed on public and private land without the landowner's consent.

Labour supports the motion before MPs this evening.

Money, money, money

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs now turn their attention to several money resolutions which the government is requesting approval.

They relate to Self-build and Custom House-building Bill, the Local Government (Review of Decisions) Bill, the Health and Social Care (Safety and Quality) Bill and the Control of Horses Bill.

It's through

House of Commons

Parliament

The Pension Schemes Bill clears the House of Commons after receiving an unopposed third reading.

In, out?

House of Lords

Parliament

David Cameron has promised a referendum on whether Britain should remain in the European Union in 2017, if the Conservatives win the next general election.

The BBC has produced a handy guide on what the issues are and what it would mean to leave the European Union

here.

Wish for reform shared

House of Lords

Parliament

Former Conservative cabinet member Lord Howell of Guildford tells peers that he is happy to see a large part of the current debate is about reforming the UK's position in the European Union. This is not unique to the UK he says, many other European Countries have "an appetite" to reform the EU he says.

The "best brains" in government and business should disregard the "Brexit nonsense" and focus on reforming the EU to bring its 20th Century structure into the 21st Century, he says.

Security for savers

House of Commons

Parliament

Shadow work and pensions minister Stephen Timms says Labour supports the bill, but believes there are areas where it should have been strengthened.

While welcoming the new pensions flexibilities announced in the Budget, the party is concerned that there are not adequate safeguards in place to protect people from the risk of "excessively high" charges by financial firms.

Labour says a charges cap may be required to prevent investors in certain schemes losing more than a quarter of their money in fees.

The Treasury says savers will be given impartial guidance and new rules for financial firms are being introduced.

Stephen Timms
BBC

Pension reform

House of Commons

Parliament

Pensions Minister Steve Webb hails the bill as the latest step in the government's "radical" pension reforms which are designed to give people freedom and security in retirement.

The bill will give people greater flexibility on how and when they access their pension savings, he adds - and commends the bill to the House.

Lib Dem Pensions Minister Steve Webb
BBC

Consequences of leaving EU

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Liddle tells peers the government has let its European foreign policy disintegrate "in the stampede to sound ever tougher on immigration" to counter defections to UKIP.

Leaving Europe would be a disaster, he tells MPs, and "inflict a financial wound on the UK" the consequences of which the UK won't appreciate until it is too late.

The UK "going its own way" would mean that UK products and services would be discriminated against in European markets, he tells peers.

European banks would flee to Europe in order to be in the single financial market, while the UK's car manufacturing industry would see a 10% tariff to enter the European market which could have "untold consequences" for employment, he adds.

While if the UK were to leave the EU but accept all its rules and pay towards its budget, like Norway, it would deny the UK any say over the "key rules" that affects its economic future.