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Summary

  1. The Commons started at 11.30 GMT with questions to the Treasury ministerial team, including topical questions.
  2. MP Emma Lewell-Buck introduced a ten minute rule bill on funeral services.
  3. The main legislation of the day was consideration of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill in a committee of the whole House.
  4. The adjournment debate on patient safety and medical innovation was led by Sarah Wollaston.
  5. Former head of MI5 Lord Evans of Weardale was introduction into the House of Lords
  6. Peer rejected a series of amendments made by the House of Commons to the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill - inflicting the 100th government defeat of the parliament.
  7. Lord Lipsey accused the government of falling short of its promises on the funding of care for older people, but peers reject his regret motion
  8. Peers agree to all stages of the Childcare Payments Bill - a money bill that the Lords have no power to amend

Live Reporting

By Aiden James and Sam Francis

All times stated are UK

  1. Goodnight

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    And that brings business in the House of Lords to a close. Peers will be back tomorrow at 15.00 GMT to return the detailed scrutiny of the Modern Slavery Bill during the final day of committee stage.

    MPs will begin the day at 11.30 GMT to debate the new Stamp Duty Land Tax Bill - announced in the Autumn Statement - at second reading.

  2. Bill passed

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Drawing his remarks to a close Lord Newby describes the Childcare Payments Bill as a "sensible measure" that will benefit "many, many families" and use resources "much more fairly than is the case at the moment."

    Responding to Lord Davies comments he adds that he is pleased "that the parties are competing to see who can be the most generous" towards families with young children.

    Peers agree to the Childcare Payment Bill without a vote. The bill will now go on to receive Royal Assent and become law in the coming months.

  3. Division results

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    According to news agency Press Association there were 27 Lib Dem rebels and five Tory rebels - including former foreign secretaries Lord Howe of Aberavon and Lord Hurd of Westwell - during the government defeat over placing young boys and girls in secure colleges.

    While there were 24 Lib Dem rebels and nine Tory rebels - including Lord Deben and Lord Howe and fellow former Cabinet ministers Lord Patten of Barnes and Lord Forsyth of Drumlean - during the votes to maintain discretion for judges in the judicial review process.

  4. Government response

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Lord Newby
    Image caption: Treasury Minister Lord Newby is responding to the debate for the government.
  5. Sort of support

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Shadow Treasury minister Lord Davies of Oldham says Labour welcomes this bill as it gives additional help to parents with childcare costs - saying that the costs of childcare "have been soaring" in recent years while families receive very little help - but calls the bill "too little, too late".

    He also tells peers that he is worried that the majority of financial support from the bill will go to those with "above average incomes", while support for those "in very real need" will form only a small fraction of the allocation. "Those who can afford to pay more will get more" from this bill he says.

    Labour is also concerned about the complexity the scheme will add to child care benefits, as it is "not at all clear whether parents will get a better return under this scheme or universal credit", he says.

    While supporting the motion he says the Labour party would put a "different perspective" on support for parents and children.

  6. Child Payment's Bill

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Peers now turn to the final debate of the evening - a chance to debate all stages of the Childcare Payments Bill. This bill sets up a new tax-free childcare scheme to support eligible parents with childcare costs.

    The government would provide 20% support on costs up to £10,000 per year for each child via an online account to a maximum of £2,000 a year per child.

    Business is expected to be brief as peers are not allowed to amend so called 'Money Bills' like this, which authorise government expenditure or taxation. If peers do not agree to a 'Money Bill' the House of Commons can ignore their concerns, and send it for Royal Assent to become law after one month.

  7. Motion rejected

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Peers reject Lord Newby's regret motion by 147 votes to 54 - a government majority of 93.

  8. Government response

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Responding to the debate for the government Baroness Jolly says the £23,250 threshold means that 80% of people who "develop a residential care need" will qualify for either help from local authorities or for deferred payment agreement.

    Those who have savings above the threshold are the "wealthiest 20%", who she argues can afford their own residential care.

    The threshold has been the subject of two consultations and was "discussed frequently" during the passage of the Care Bill, she says - a claim Lord Lispey disputed.

  9. 'Demolishing Dilnot'

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Tabling his motion Lord Lispey says he is not calling for free care for all telling peers "it is right that people of means, at the end of their life, should dip into those means to pay for their care."

    However he calls for the threshold to be raised. Those who have savings of over £23,250 and a house are not "rich" he says but people who have "worked hard for what they have, who have played by the rules, and who are now being betrayed by the Conservative government that claims to be their friend."

    Raising the threshold will not cost the public more money either, he says, as the "loans will be made at interest, and the interest rate will usually be that at which the government borrows."

    He alls on peers to "express [their] dissent" at the government's scheme, which he says "effectively demolishing Dilnot's proposed universal scheme."

  10. Regret motion

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Lord Lipsey tables his second motion of the evening, to regret the £23,500 asset limit proposed in the Care and Support (Deferred Payment) Regulations 2014

    Following the report of the Dilnot Commission on care the government proposed a universal scheme to protect old people against having to sell their homes to pay for care.

    This scheme was set out to allow people to borrow from councils against the value of their homes, with the loan repayable when they died.

    Under the current regulations only those with less than £23,250 in non-housing assets would be eligible for the scheme - which Lord Lispey claims debars more than half those who could otherwise take advantage of it from doing so.

  11. Amendment withdrawn

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Lord Lispey withdraws his amendment because he is concerned about adding "chaos to chaos", but tells peers the government is not doing the right thing about deferred payment schemes.

  12. Care and support regulations

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Tabling his first motion to annul government plans to introduce the deferred payment scheme, suggested by the Dilnot Commission, in April 2015 and the cap measures in April 2016, Lord Lispey says this staggered approach will set the new system on "a course for potential chaos".

    The government's decision not to implement all the Dilnot recommendations at the same time will result in confusion for pensioners., financial advisors and local councils, he tells peers.

    The Scheme has been brought in in this way because of the imminence of the General Election" he argues.

    "The Tories wanting to say, truthfully or otherwise that they have actually done something to stop people having to sell their homes to pay for care" he adds..

  13. Annul Motion

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Peers now turn to Labour peer Lord Lispey's motion to annul the Care and Support (Deferred Payment) Regulations 2014, which Labour say currently fall well short of the government's promise on the funding of care for older people.

  14. Government victory

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    The government has won a vote for the first time tonight. Peers back the government's proposal to require interveners in judicial review cases to meet all the costs that arise out of their intervention by 190 votes to 169, a government majority of 30.

    This concludes the consideration of MPs amendments to the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill, which will now return to the Commons as the game of parliamentary ping-pong continues.

  15. Unnecessary change

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Tabling his amendment to reject the government proposals Lord Pannick tells peers that judges already have "ample powers" to award excessive costs that arise from interventions, making this reform unnecessary.

    The government has "at no stage identified any cases where the courts currently lack adequate power to deal with the abuse and misuse of court interventions" he argues, and tells peers he "simply cannot understand" what the Lord Chancellor Chris Grayling is hoping to achieve with this reform.

    The only result of the government's reforms would be to "deter interventions that courts regard as valuable in determining the review decisions" he adds.

    Lord Pannick
    Image caption: Lord Pannick going for three from three having already defeated the government with two of his amendments.
  16. Interveners costs

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Peers now turn their attention to an amendment to require "interveners" in judicial review to meet the costs that arise out of their intervention.

    Organisations can currently be invited by the court to "intervene" in cases to function as expert witnesses, outside of the adversarial process.

    Such interveners are asked to cover their own costs but can be required by a judge to pay any costs that arise out of their intervention - for example, the defendant's lawyers costs for any further work they are required to do to rebut the intervener's points. The government's changes would make this practice mandatory in all judicial review cases.

  17. Third defeat

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Peers are unrelenting as they give the government its third defeat of the evening - and 101st of this parliament - rejecting proposals to require individuals to provide financial information about themselves and those who support them, to ensure that they can be liable for costs from either side if required.

    Peers voted to re-instert a clause that would return discretion in these matters to judges by 210 votes to 192, a majority of 18.

  18. 'Chilling effect'

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Lord Pannick says the government's changes as set out will have a "chilling effect" on judicial review due to a fear by potential contributors that they will be ordered to pay the defendants cost.

    He calls on peers to reject the proposals and re-instate his motion to return discretion to judge in these matters.

  19. Mandatory revelation

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Peers now turn their attention to the government proposal to require individuals to provide financial information about themselves and those who support them, to ensure that they can be liable.

    Under the plans, courts will face new rules on assigning costs based on the financial situation of applicants and their supporters.

    At the moment judges can request these financial details but the government are seeking to make this mandatory.

  20. BreakingBreaking News

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Peers have handed the government it's 100th defeat of this Parliament as they vote to remove a requirement on judges to review all judicial review appeals at the preliminary stage and throw out all cases where it appears "highly likely" that the outcome for the applicant would not have been substantially different if the conduct complained of had not occurred.

    Peers back Lord Pannick's motion to return judicial discretion in these matter by 274 votes to 205, a majority of 69.

  21. Post update

    ‏@JackofKent

    Legal blogger Jack of Kent tweets: So: Lords debate on judicial review - Pannick on one side, and now panic on the other. Government may lose this one.

  22. Lord Faulks responds

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Responding for the government Justice Minister Lord Faulks tells peers the government has proposed "minor" changes; there is "nothing revolutionary" about judges looking at what the outcome of a case and deciding that it is not an appropriate use of public resources to proceed.

    He also rejects claims that the changes give public authorities "carte blanche to act unlawfully" and that the government are "abandoning judicial review".

    The government are "just saying judicial review can be reviewed and judges can be relied upon to prevent abuse", he adds.

  23. Support for government

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Conservative peer Lord Horam becomes the first peer to support government proposals.

    Through multiple interjections from angered peers he says there is evidence of "considerable abuse" of the judicial review system from pressure groups unhappy with government decision masquerading as poor citizens. Infrastructure projects and house building are being slowed down by vexatious judicial review complaints and has caused the government to spend hundreds of thousands in legal fees, he says.

    "Questions of merit are being subject to judicial review as lobbies are using judicial review as an route to challenge decision they do not like," he tells peers.

    Government changes are an attempt to remedy abuse in the system, which he argues would help judicial review by improving its performance and diminishing the view that it can be "used and abused" for frivolous cases.

  24. Criticism of government amendment

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Lord Deben, formerly known as Conservative Cabinet Minster John Gummer, says the government's amendment would force courts to make "inappropriate" decisions.

    Courts should make decisions on facts of law, but judges are instead being asked to "decide that the fact the someone has acted unlawfully was highly unlikely to have affected the people who would otherwise have been affected", he tells peers.

    The bar for access to judicial review is not being "slightly raised higher" as the government is claiming, but is being changed in its nature, he adds.

    John gummer
    Image caption: Lord Deben calls on peers to reject the government's proposals.
  25. 'Rule of law'

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Former High Court judge Lord Woolf says that the government's clause will be "bad for justice, bad for citizens" and bad for Britain's reputation "as a leading adherent of the rule of law" and calls on peers to reject it, and support Lord Pannick's amendment.

    Any application that has a prospect of proceeding in judicial review must initially prove that something has happened that the Lord Chancellor and judges would consider unlawful, and so is "all about the rule of law" he tells peers.

    The government's blanket approach is unworkable, he says, telling peers it is important that the facts of individual cases are always heard.

  26. Post update

    @JoshuaRozenberg

    Legal commentator Joshua Rozenberg tweets: Lord Deben (Conservative) says he has never heard such a damaging admission from a minister as Grayling's error.

  27. Top hat

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    According to the Centre for Advancement of Women in Politics, there have been four Labour Vice Chamberlains of Her Majesty's Household since 1997: Janet Anderson, Liz Blackman, Claire Ward and Helen Jones.

    And here's one last look at the current incumbent - Conservative Anne Milton - in her splendid hat...

    Anne Milton
  28. What's judicial review?

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Judicial review is a type of court proceeding in which a judge reviews the lawfulness of a decision or action made by a public body.

    It is often seen as the mechanism by which ordinary people can challenge the lawfulness of decisions made by public bodies.

    During the report stage debate of the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill, former Conservative Cabinet minister John Gummer, now Lord Deben, called judicial review the "British defence of freedom".

    "As a mechanism, every now and then it is annoying to ministers," he said. "That's what it's there for: to make ministers annoyed enough to do the right thing…it made me a better and fairer minister."

  29. Goodbye from the Commons

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    And that's an earlier than expected end to today's business in the Commons. Join us tomorrow from 11.30 GMT for coverage including prime minister's questions at noon.

    The final word from the Commons today goes to Conservative MP Anne Milton, who contacted us after we asked for the story behind the impressive hat that she wore when delivering a message from the Queen at the start of the day.

    "The post of vice chamberlain has been in existence since 1501," she writes.

    "I gather there have been four female Labour vice chamberlains but I am the first Conservative woman to hold the post.

    "The men wear morning dress for official duties. I would wear a hat when having a private audience with the Queen so when delivering a message on her behalf it feels the appropriate thing to do."

  30. Judicial discretion

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Leading judicial review lawyer Lord Pannick tables an amendment to reinstate judicial discretion in these matters.

    The government clause would oblige a judge to dismiss a judicial review application at the outset "however important the issue" and however strong the argument a public body had broken the law, he says.

    Peers voted against the government last time "because they had won the argument" he says, and calls on the government to concede defeat.

  31. Debating amendment on judicial review

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Peers now turn to the amendment to reinstate the judges' discretion in judicial review, about whether to award a remedy if they find that, although a decision was taken incorrectly, the outcome would inevitably have been the same.

    Stay with me here. At present, the court has discretion to refuse to grant permission or a remedy if it is "inevitable" that the failure complained of would not have made a difference to the outcome; or they can decide not to, but to make a "declaration" that essentially censures the public body, and sets a precedent for future decisions.

    The government want to require judges to refuse to order public bodies to re-take the decision in such cases or make a declaration - and to lower the threshold from "inevitable" to "highly likely".

    (And just to recap: judicial review is a type of court proceeding in which a judge reviews the lawfulness of a decision or action made by a public body.)

  32. 'Evidence-based medicine'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Health Minister George Freeman, responding for the government, says: "We do not want this measure to be divisive."

    He tells the House that the Medical Innovation Bill has been amended in the House of Lords.

    He adds that he is "a strong believer in evidence-based medicine".

    He insists the government's support for the principles behind the bill is "benign" and denies any intention to "open the door to quackery".

  33. 'Quacks'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Dr Wollaston has support from Liberal Democrat MP Julian Huppert, who claims that the Medical Innovation Bill "opens the door to quacks of all persuasions".

  34. Government backing

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Last year, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt signalled support for the legislation, subject to the results of a consultation carried out earlier this year.

    However Sarah Wollaston argues that the bill is opposed by a large number of medical professionals.

    "Please do not give this bill government backing," she urges.

  35. Government defeat

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Peers have voted against the government - and to reinstate a clause to prevent girls and boys under 15-years-old from being placed in a secure college by 304 votes to 240, a majority of 64.

    The amendment was added to the bill by a single vote, back in October, but rejected by MPs on 1 December.

  36. More on the bill

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    The Medical Innovation Bill is a private member's bill introduced by Conservative peer Lord Saatchi.

    He began a campaign after the death of his wife, Josephine Hart, from ovarian cancer in February 2011, and has argued that current practice stifles innovation in cancer treatment.

    The bill states: "It is not negligent for a doctor to depart from the existing range of accepted medical treatments for a condition if the decision to do so is taken responsibly."

    The bill would require a doctor to "obtain the views of one or more appropriately qualified doctors" before deciding to "depart from the existing range of accepted medical treatments for a condition".

  37. Medical Innovation Bill

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Sarah Wollaston has tabled this debate to oppose the Medical Innovation Bill, which is currently going through the House of Lords.

    Dr Wollaston argues that the bill would "undermine patient safety and undermine innovation" and make "desperate" patients prey to unscrupulous medical practitioners.

    Sarah Wollaston
  38. Adjournment debate

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Following the presentation of petitions, the House moves on to its final business of today.

    Conservative MP Sarah Wollaston is leading an adjournment debate on patient safety and medical innovation.

  39. Early finish

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    The Commons are wrapping up their debate on the Counter-Terrorism Bill. The next day of consideration is scheduled for next Monday.

  40. Deal?

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Former Conservative prisons minister Lord Glenarthur urges the government "buy off" the opposition to secure colleges, by offering a concession to require Parliamentary approval before any boys under 15 or girls are sent to secure college - a measure which has been raised before.

  41. 'Intimidating and unsafe'

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Liberal Democrat peer Lord Marks of Henley-on-Thames says the "virtually unanimous" professional evidence is that it would be "unsatisfactory to put a small number of girls and younger boys with a much larger population of older males".

    Lord Mark's estimates that around 15 young boys or 15 young girls will be placed in the secure college when it is up and running. It would "intimidating and unsafe" for either group to make up such a tiny minority, he says.

  42. Post update

    @Marthalanefox

    Martha Lane Fox tweets: Lord ramsbotham gave ace exposition of why #securecollege proposed by govt is so flawed @UKHouseofLords + i suppt him @Justforkidslaw show

  43. Vote likely

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    It looks like the measure will be pushed to a vote as shadow justice minister Lord Beecham says Labour will support Lord Ramsbotham's amendment.

  44. Fears about girls in secure colleges

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Lord Ramsbotham
    Image caption: Lord Ramsbotham argues that plans for secure colleges are inadequate, and that there are so few girls in custody they could easily be accommodated in smaller, more appropriate secure children's homes.
  45. What are secure colleges?

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Under proposals, a new secure college is set to open in Leicestershire in 2017, and would house hundreds of young offenders and double the time they spent in education.

    The college would have a head teacher, or principal, who would be in the core management team alongside an offender manager. It will eventually house up to 320 young offenders aged between 12 and 17-years-old.

    It will be built on land already owned by the government alongside Glen Parva Young Offenders Institution and it will predominantly house people from the East Midlands or east of England.

    Currently young offenders are sent to either a secure training centre or a young offenders institution, depending on their age and offences. They spend an average of 12 hours a week in education while in detention - but the new college would double that.

  46. Moving speech

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Former Chief Inspector of Prisons Lord Ramsbotham says he "totally rejects" the argument made by Lord Faulks. The whole secure college proposal makes him "ashamed to be British" for the first time in his life, he says.

    He admits that young boys and girls are already remanded on shared site, but tells peers this is on a much smaller case than is being proposed in the the government's secure college plans. Vulnerable young boys and girls will be "swamped" by a "vast majority" of older offenders at a secure college, he says.

    The whole principal of secure colleges is flawed, he tells peers. The proposed secure colleges he calls "the biggest children's prison in the western world" because he feels the institutions are far more likely to "further damage some of the most vulnerable and damaged children in our society with their multiplicity of problems and needs".

    He asks peers if they could "live with themselves if an errant child in your family were to be detained" in such a secure college, and calls on peers to "follow their conscience" when it comes to a vote.

  47. Internet data

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Home Office Minister James Brokenshire is speaking on clause 17 of the Counter-Terrorism Bill, which concerns the retention of internet data, including the IP address "of the sender or recipient of a communication".

    He argues that information could be used to protect cyber-bullying victims and vulnerable children, as well as for counter-terrorism measures.

    The data targeted is about "who communicated with whom, not about the content of the communication", he claims.

    He argues that concerns raised by some MPs will be addressed by a review of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act by the independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, David Anderson QC.

    James Brokenshire
  48. 'Pioneering approach'

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Setting out MPs' reasons for rejecting the Lords amendment - preventing boys under the age of 15 and girls from being placed in a secure college - Justice Minster Lord Faulks said it is not right to prevent children from "benefitting" from this "pioneering approach to educating and rehabilitating young offenders".

    He points out that girls and younger boys already "securely" share sites and tells peers that admittance to a secure college will not be mandatory, but will be decided on in a "case by case" basis by the Youth Justice Board.

    MPs rejected the Lords amendment by 316 votes to 194.

  49. Post update

    ‏@LabourLordsUK

    LabourLordsUK tweets: #CriminalJustice Bill ping-pong underway. First debate on ensuring no under 15s held in secure colleges - motion A1, led by Ld Ramsbotham

  50. Secure college amendment

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Peers are now on to today's main event - consideration of Commons' amendments to Criminal Justice and Courts Bill.

    First up is the rejected Lords amendment to prevent boys under 15-years-old and girls from being placed in a secure college for young offenders - which was accepted by peers by a single vote, back in October.

    However, former Chief Inspector of Prisons Lord Ramsbotham has tabled an amendment to re-insert the clause.

  51. Communications interception

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Labour MP John McDonnell, speaking in the committee stage debate on the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill, favours a review of investigatory powers and the interception of communications.

    "There is some momentum building up in favour of the involvement of the courts," he argues.

    He adds that MPs have had their phone calls intercepted when talking to "constituents who are prisoners".

    Both journalists and MPs can be vulnerable if their sources are revealed, he adds.

  52. Down the line

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Liberal Democrat peer Lord Greaves asks for greater detail on the Chancellors' announcement in the Autumn Statement that "pacer" trains in the north of England will be replaced.

    Will these trains be new or will they be 40 year old "cast offs" from the district line, as rumoured, he asks.

    Transport Minister Baroness Kramer says the details are still being worked out, but promises details about the replacement will be released "in early 2015".

  53. Lung cancer

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Mesothelioma is a rare type of lung cancer normally caused by asbestos, which for many years was used as a building material due to its resistance to fire, heat, electrical and chemical damage.

    Most people who develop mesothelioma have worked in jobs where they inhaled or ingested asbestos fibres.

  54. Insurance levy

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Crossbench peer Lord Alton of Liverpool asks why the government have quietly reduced the levy on the insurance industry for mesothelioma schemes from 3% to 2.2%, representing a "shortfall of more than £11m that could have been generated and used to sustain research into a killer disease that will take the lives of another 60,000 British people".

    Justice Minister Lord Faulks says that the government support research into mesothelioma and the problem is not funding but conceivably successful remedies for the disease.

  55. Question on Sudan

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust founder Baroness Cox tells peers that she has seen the government of North Sudan deliberately bombing hospitals, markets and civilians farming crops.

    Such "systematic attacks" lay the foundation for a crimes against humanity charge but the government is acting with impunity, she says. What is the government going to do to challenge such impunity, she asks.

    Foreign Office Minister Baroness Anelay of St Johns says the government presses the government of Sudan to hold all violators of human rights to account and comply with arrest warrants for human rights abusers.

  56. Online trading

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    David Cameron's former digital tsar Baroness Lane-Fox tells peers that only 30% of UK small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are selling their products and services online. The government need to "expand" on their work to incorporate SMEs, she says.

    Baroness Neville-Rolfe tells peers that the government's small business capability programme will help 1.6m small business transact online by 2018.

  57. First questions

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Lord Holmes of Richmond begins the day's debate in the House of Lords, calling on the government to "relentlessly focus" on new technology in order to support the ongoing digital revolution, which he says has the power to make the industrial and agricultural revolutions look like "relatively small beer".

    Business Minister Baroness Neville-Rolfe tells peers that the government has "already made good start" on supporting the digital revolution, forming a ministerial digital task force.

    Meanwhile the Prime Minster launched the National College for digital skills yesterday, she adds.

  58. Supporters

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Lord Evans of Weardale
    Image caption: Lord Evans of Weardale is flanked by Crossbench peer Lord Hennessy (left) and former Director General of MI5 Baroness Manningham-Buller (right) as he is introduced in the House of Lords
  59. Licence to Bill

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Lord Evans of Weardale
    Image caption: Sir Jonathan Evans, the former Director-General of MI5, becomes Lord Evans of Weardale. He will sit as a crossbench peer.
  60. New peer

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    But before all that peers welcome another member to the House of Lords

    Sir Jonathan Evans, the former Director-General of MI5, will join the crossbenches under the title Lord Evans of Weardale.

  61. Question session

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Peers will hold their daily oral question session with government ministers at 14.30 GMT. Topics being debated today will include:

    • new technology and the digital revolution
    • recent developments in the Republic of Sudan
    • combatting Mesothelioma and supporting victims, and
    • replacement of Pacer trains in the north of England.
  62. Childcare scheme

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Peers will also consider the Childcare Payments Bill - which sets up a new tax-free childcare scheme to support eligible parents with childcare costs.

    The government would provide 20% support on costs up to £10,000 per year for each child via an online account to a maximum of £2,000 a year per child.

    Business is expected to be brief as peers are not allowed to amend so called 'Money Bills' like this, which authorise government expenditure or taxation. If peers do not agree to a 'Money Bill' within a month it may be sent directly for Royal Assent - and so become law.

  63. Elderly care

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Labour peer Lord Lipsey has tabled a regret motion and a motion to annul the Care & Support (Direct Payments) Regulations.

    Labour say these regulations currently fall well short of the government's promise on the funding of care for older people.

  64. Peers sitting

    House of Lords

    Parliament

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

    And it's an important day in the House of Lords, as peers will consider Commons' amendments to the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill.

    This is rather a big moment, as the Lords themselves defeated the government four times (three times on judicial review and once on secure colleges), only for MPs to overturn these changes.

    Peers will now have to decide whether they accept the Commons amendments in lieu of their own.

  65. 'Threat level'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Conservative MP and former Justice Secretary Ken Clarke asks why the "fairly useless" relocation limits are in the bill.

    Home Office Minister James Brokenshire says it is down to "the change in the threat level that occurred earlier this year".

    In August, the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre raised the UK national terrorist threat level to "severe", meaning a terrorist attack is "highly likely".

    The Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre is based at the headquarters of the Security Service, MI5.

  66. 'Terrible amendments'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    SNP MP Pete Wishart attacks Labour's suggested changes to the bill, including a proposal to remove the 200-mile limit on the home secretary's ability to relocate people.

    "These are terrible amendments and absolutely, typically New Labour," he declares.

    He says he is disappointed that the coalition seems to have stopped "rolling back" restrictions on civil liberties introduced by the previous Labour government.

    Labour's Diana Johnson counters that her party's amendments are "probing" amendments, aimed at obtaining more information from ministers about the measures.

    Pete Wishart
  67. 'Internal exile'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Green Party MP Caroline Lucas says she has "long-standing concerns" about TPIMs and the control orders they replaced and remains opposed to them.

    She likens them to "internal exile" and claims they contravene the European Convention on Human Rights.

    She adds that the "brutal" measures could aid radicalisation of individuals and be "counter-productive".

    Caroline Lucas
  68. TPIM changes

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    The bill amends the Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Act 2011 to allow the home secretary to require a subject to reside in a particular location in the UK.

    The home secretary could also restrict a subject's travel outside their area of residence and prohibit a subject from obtaining or possessing firearms.

    Shadow home office minister Diana Johnson, opening the debate for Labour, asks how police officers will know if someone applying for a firearms certificate is subject to a TPIM.

  69. TPIMs explained

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    More information on Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures - as they were introduced in 2011 - is available here.

  70. Post update

    @DianaJohnsonMP

    Labour MP Diana Johnson ‏tweets: Speaking in House for Labour Front Bench on Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill and TPIMs orders.

  71. Counter-terrorism bill

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    MPs move on to the main business of the day: debate on the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill in a committee of the whole House.

    The bill was introduced to the House of Commons on 26 November, and makes provision about the retention of communications information, exclusion powers and security.

    MPs begin by considering part two of the bill, relating to Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures (TPIMs).

  72. Ten minute rule bills

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Ten minute rule bills are introduced by backbench MPs and are a type of private members' bill, in which the MP can give a ten minute speech when proposing it to the House.

    Emma Lewell-Buck's bill would require a government review of funeral affordability and require the providers of funeral services to offer an affordable, simple funeral service.

    Another MP may give a ten minute speech opposing the bill and MPs can vote on whether to give the bill a second reading.

  73. Funeral costs

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Labour MP Emma Lewell-Buck is introducing a ten minute rule bill on the costs of funeral services.

    A recent report by Royal London has shown that over 100,000 people in Britain are living with funeral debts, with total debts across the UK totalling £142m.

    The report showed one fifth of people are "struggling to pay the cost of a funeral", Ms Lewell-Buck says.

    Some are resorting to burying loved ones in back gardens, she claims.

    Emma Lewell-Buck
  74. Coalition splits?

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Labour MP Dennis Skinner asks if "the Lib Dems are preparing to leave the government" following reports of splits within the coalition.

    The Speaker says he is not preoccupied with "a detailed interpretation of ministerial nuance" but with "Arsenal playing Galatasaray tonight".

  75. Select committee behaviour

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Labour MP Barry Sheerman raises the matter of "good behaviour in select committees".

    His point of order follows an apology from Conservative MP Nigel Mills for playing Candy Crush Saga during a Commons committee hearing.

    Mr Sheerman is concerned that Parliament could be brought into disrepute.

    It is a matter for the chair of the committee concerned, Speaker John Bercow responds.

  76. 'Relentless austerity'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Shadow chief secretary to the Treasury Chris Leslie asks if the government can confirm an estimate by the Office of Budget Responsibility that public spending is set to fall to a level "not seen since the 1930s".

    Danny Alexander says that once the "structural deficit" has been dealt with, public spending can start to rise.

    He accuses Labour of planning "relentless austerity in the next Parliament".

    Danny Alexander
  77. VAT rate rise opposed

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Labour's Ian Lucas says "a further rise in VAT would be a hammer blow to businesses".

    Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander says he supports the current VAT rate of 20% and does not favour raising it further.

    The coalition raised the standard rate of VAT from 17.5% to 20% from 2011.

    The previous Labour government had temporarily reduced the rate to 15% in December 2008, in an attempt to stimulate the economy following the financial crash.

  78. Tax receipts 'revised down'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Shadow Treasury minister Cathy Jamieson asks how much tax receipts "were revised down in the Autumn Statement".

    David Gauke says that receipts were indeed revised down but does not say by how much.

    Ms Jamieson claims that the Instititute of Fiscal Studies has said tax receipts have been "revised down by £25bn by 2018-19". She adds that this is due to a decline in wage growth.

    Mr Gauke says wage growth will be delivered under the government's "long-term economic plan".

    Cathy Jamieson
  79. More on the 50p tax rate

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    The previous Labour government increased the top rate from 40p to 50p in 2010, and shadow chancellor Ed Balls has pledged to restore the 50p rate if Labour is elected next year.

  80. Top tax rate

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Labour MP Iain McKenzie asks how much the reduction in the additional rate of income tax to 45% is worth for a person earning £1 million a year.

    "Christmas is a time for giving," Mr McKenzie says, "but the truth is this government has been giving for some time - to millionaires".

    However, Treasury Minister David Gauke insists that a greater proportion of tax take "has come from the top 1%" since the rate was lowered from 50% in the 2012 Budget.

  81. Post update

    @GuyOppermanMP

    Conservative MP Guy Opperman ‏tweets: @AnneMiltonMP presents to the speaker as her majesty's vice chamberlain bearing her wand of office - very impressive

  82. Message from the Queen

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    The day begins with a message from the Queen - and a very impressive hat worn by Anne Milton.

    Ms Milton is a government whip and vice chamberlain of Her Majesty's Household.

    Anne Milton
  83. Treasury questions

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Treasury questions are about to begin.

    Topics today include the proportion of recipients of tax credits that are in employment, what fiscal steps are being taken to encourage investment in infrastructure, and what estimate HM Revenue and Customs have made of the amount of uncollected tax in the UK.

  84. Counter-terrorism measures

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    MPs will begin their committee stage scrutiny of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill by examining the changes it makes to the Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Act 2011.

    The measures, known as TPIMs, allow the home secretary to restrict the movement and activities of terrorism suspects.

    The new provisions would allow the home secretary to require a subject to reside in a particular location in the UK, restrict a subject's travel outside their area of residence, prohibit a subject from obtaining or possessing firearms, offensive weapons or explosives, and require a subject to meet with specified persons or persons of specified descriptions as part of their ongoing management.

  85. Good morning

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Hello and welcome to our live coverage of today's business in Westminster.

    The House of Commons meets at 11.30 GMT for questions to Chancellor George Osborne and his Treasury team.

    Then, Labour MP Emma Lewell-Buck will introduce a bill which aims to make funerals more affordable.

    The main business is the first day of committee stage debate on the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill. This is the first day of close scrutiny by MPs, with two more days scheduled for next week.

    Finally, Conservative MP Sarah Wollaston will lead an adjournment debate on patient safety and medical innovation.