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Summary

  1. MPs and peers met for the first day following the half-term recess. MPs began the day with questions to ministers from the defence team.
  2. Chancellor George Osborne hinted that a new rule aiding and abetting tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance will be included in the budget next month during a response to an urgent question.
  3. Prime Minster David Cameron announced a Europe-wide initiative to push airlines and internet companies to do more to prevent people becoming radicalised.
  4. The Serious Crime Bill completed its final stages in the House of Commons.
  5. Peers also met at 14.30 GMT and after oral questions considered the Modern Slavery Bill at report stage.

Live Reporting

By Sam Francis and Aiden James

All times stated are UK

  1. Goodnight

    And that brings an end to today's business in the Houses of Parliament.

    Parliament will be back at 11.30 GMT tomorrow as MPs return to question Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt and his ministerial colleagues.

  2. 'Improving outcomes'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Ms Ellison admits that "we just haven't seen the movement in [oesophageal and stomach cancers] as with other cancers".

    She agrees to consider Mike Weatherly's proposals, but argues that the many of the government's initiatives, including the Cancer Task Force, are working to "improve outcomes."

  3. Goodnight from the Lords

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    The end of the first day of report stage debate on the Modern Slavery Bill brings tonight's proceedings in the Lords to a close.

    Peers return tomorrow from 14.30 GMT for questions to ministers.

    The main business includes consideration of Commons amendments to the Consumer Rights Bill.

    The House will also consider regulations on mitochondrial donation, which MPs agreed earlier this month.

  4. Government response

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Health Minister Jane Ellison is now responding to the debate for the government.

    Jane Ellison
  5. Six changes

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Mr Weatherly calls on the government to implement six changes:

    1. speeding up the process of seeing a GP to stop patients putting off receiving health care
    2. improve testing at the point of access with GP
    3. educating patients in symptoms of oesophageal cancer
    4. streamlining the referral system to allow quick testing and diagnosis
    5. allocating extra resources for endoscopies - a nonsurgical procedure used to examine a person's digestive tract
    6. greater hospice care for end of life
  6. Oesophageal cancer survivor

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Mike Weatherly

    Mr Weatherly tells MPs that after he had his oesophagus and a third of his stomach removed, due to an ongoing digestive problem, he was diagnosed with cancer.

    Over half oesophageal cancer patients die within six months, he tells MPs, and 85% will die within five years.

    While he has recovered since his diagnosis in 2012, he lists this mortality rate as one of the reasons he is leaving parliament after only one term.

  7. Adjournment debate

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Conservative MP Mike Weatherly stands to open today's final business, an adjournment debate on oesophageal cancer.

  8. Bill passed

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Conservative Bill Cash's amendment to allow girls "at risk of" female genital mutilation to be referred to the police is defeated by 282 votes to 227, a government majority of 55.

    The bill has now completed all stages in the House of Commons and will now enter parliamentary ping pong, which sees the bill return to the house of Lords for further scrutiny.

  9. Amendment accepted

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    MPs accept their first amendment of the night, on their fifth division, by a landslide.

    Labour MP Ann Coffey's amendment to require an assessment of the evidence of the extent of sex-selective abortions is accepted by 491 votes to two.

  10. Child abduction warning notice amendment

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    MPs reject Rotherham Labour MP Sarah Champion's amendment, to ensure that no police officer below the rank of superintendent can issue a child abduction warning notice, by 305 votes to 212 - a government majority of 93 again.

  11. National Referral Mechanism

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Peers are considering an amendment, proposed by Labour's Lord Warner, which would create a National Referral Mechanism (NRM) to identify trafficked, enslaved or exploited people, provide assistance and support, and ensure their rights are protected.

  12. Labour amendment rejected

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    MPs reject Labour's amendment by 305 votes to 212, a government majority of 93.

  13. Anti-slavery commissioner

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Over in the Lords, debate continues on the Modern Slavery Bill, focusing on the role of the proposed anti-slavery commissioner.

    The bill would create an anti-slavery commissioner who would have responsibility for ensuring a more coordinated response from the police and other agencies.

    The bill says that the commissioner "must encourage good practice in the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of slavery and human trafficking offences [and] the identification of victims of those offences".

  14. Amendment rejected

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Labour MP John Mann's amendment falls as well. This time by 296 votes to 233 - a government majority of 63.

    Next up, a vote on Labour's proposals to make it an offence not to report suspected child abuse to the police.

  15. Amendment rejected

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    MPs reject the sex selective abortion amendment by 292 votes to 201, a government majority of 91.

    But before they're allowed to sit down for too long another division is called, this time on Labour MP John Mann's proposal to waive the Official Secrets Act when releasing information to a historic child abuse investigation.

    MPs file out of the chamber and into the voting lobbies. The result is expected at around 21.30 GMT.

    House of Commons
  16. Unintended consequence

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Sarah Wollaston

    Health Committee chair and GP Dr Sarah Wollaston says she cannot support the amendment.

    If enacted it may have the unintended consequences of preventing women confiding in their doctor that they "feel under pressure" to abort their child because of its gender, as they may fear they will be criminalised.

    "We may see the complete reverse of the intention of this amendment," she warns.

  17. Sex selective abortions legal

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Conservative MP David Burrowes stands to speak in support of the amendment. He tells MPs that the law "does not expressly prohibit gender-selective abortions".

    The law instead prohibits abortions carried out without "two medical practitioners forming a view in good faith where the health risk of continuing pregnancy outweigh termination", making sex selective abortions a matter of "professional misconduct".

  18. Modern Slavery Bill debate resumes

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Debate on the Modern Slavery Bill resumes with consideration of an amendment to require the anti-slavery commissioner to encourage "good practice" internationally, as well as in the UK.

    Crossbench peer Lord Alton of Liverpool is opening debate on the amendment.

    He calls for countries to "move beyond the parochial" and recognise common interests.

  19. Picture: Baroness Grey-Thompson

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Baroness Grey-Thompson
    Image caption: Baroness Grey-Thompson speaks during a debate on access to hotels for disabled people
  20. Amendment text

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    The amendment would insert the phrase: "Nothing in section 1 of the Abortion Act 1967 is to be interpreted as allowing a pregnancy to be terminated on the grounds of the sex of the unborn child" into the Serious Crime Bill, putting it on statutory footing.

  21. Hotel difficulties described

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Disabled peers have been describing some of their less-than-enjoyable hotel stays during the debate on access to hotels for disabled people.

    Crossbench peer and former Paralympic athlete Baroness Grey-Thompson says that mirrors in hotel rooms are a constant annoyance for her.

    She jokes that they seem to be "always set at the height of the six foot six workmen who put them up".

  22. 'Dangerous precedent'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    In a letter to The Times - whose signatories include David Richmond, the president of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, and Louise Silverton, the director for midwifery at the Royal College of Midwives - experts said the amendment "sets a dangerous precedent for altering the law surrounding access to abortion".

  23. Labour opposition

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Shadow home secretary, Yvette Cooper, has told Labour MPs to vote against the amendment as sex-selective abortions are already illegal under the Abortion Act, so new legislation is not needed and the move could inadvertently outlaw abortion in cases where there are "gender-specific abnormalities".

    In a letter to her party she warned that it the proposed amendment would have "troubling consequences."

    The Telegraph has the story here.

  24. Sex selective abortions

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Fiona Bruce

    MPs now turn to an amendment signed by more than a hundred backbenchers, led by the Conservative Fiona Bruce, aimed at banning sex-selective abortions - when a foetus is terminated simply because of its gender.

    Ms Bruce says the amendment will not "change the law" but instead "confirms and clarifies" that sex selective abortions are already illegal under UK law and provides the government with an opportunity to address this problem."

  25. Journalists' sources

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Liberal Democrat Julian Huppert is moving two amendments on the protection of journalist sources and privileged information.

    The first would require a judge to give permission before the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) could be used to investigate journalists' sources.

    The interception of communications commissioner, Sir Anthony May, found that in the last three years 19 police forces put in more than 600 applications to view journalists' phone records to identify their sources.

    The second amendment would protect the public interest in the confidentiality of journalists' sources and other confidential conversations with healthcare professionals, ministers of religion and MPs.

  26. Facilities for disabled people debate

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Debate on the Modern Slavery Bill adjourns for a dinner break.

    Peers remaining behind are taking part in a debate led by Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Thomas of Winchester.

    She is asking the government whether it will take steps to ensure that more hotels in the UK have better facilities for disabled people.

    Baroness Thomas of Winchester
  27. Government amendment

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Peers now turn their attention to a government amendment which would require ministers to specify the sum that the anti-slavery commissioner can spend in a financial year.

    It would also permit the commissioner to appoint staff.

    Conservative peer Lord McColl of Dulwich, introducing the amendment, argues that it would "protect the independence of the commissioner".

  28. Amendment defeated

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Lord Warner's amendment is defeated by 24 votes, with 154 peers backing it versus 178 opposed.

  29. Division in the Lords

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    The House divides on Lord Warner's amendment to allow the anti-slavery commissioner to "bring any matter to the attention of either House of Parliament irrespective of other provisions" in the Modern Slavery Bill.

  30. 'Independent'

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Home Office Minister Lord Bates tells peers that the House of Lords has already enhanced the role of the anti-slavery commissioner, by adding the requirement that the commissioner be "independent".

  31. 'My will, but not in my hands'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    John Bercow

    Speaker John Bercow updates the House that he has decided not to bring forward the cross-party amendment on sex selective abortions, as suggested earlier.

    Instead he proposes to leave it to the will of the House, but he encourages MPs to leave time so that the amendments can be properly debated.

    "It is my will [that the sex selective abortion amendments are debated] but not in my hands," he says.

  32. Anti-slavery commissioner

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Labour peer Lord Warner is speaking in support of an amendment regarding the role of the independent anti-slavery commissioner, a position which the Modern Slavery Bill would create.

    The amendment would enable the commissioner "to bring any matter to the attention of either House of Parliament", Lord Warner says.

    He adds that, if the commissioner feels "he or she is being thwarted, or nudged away" by government or anyone else, they will have access to Parliament to raise the matter.

  33. Government amendments passed

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    MPs pass the government amendments to the Serious Crime Bill unanimously.

  34. Commitment on 'child prostitution'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Rotherham MP Sarah Champion welcomes the government's proposal to remove the term "child prostitution" from the legislation applies to only three bills, not the full 16 pieces of legislation the term turns up in.

    She asks for a "long term commitment" from the government to remove the term - which she says make victims feel "incredibly dirty and like they've in some way colluded" - completely from existing legislation.

  35. Modern Slavery Bill debate resumes

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Following the repeated statements, debate resumes on the Modern Slavery Bill.

    Peers are considering a group of government amendments making minor changes to the bill.

  36. Official Secrets Act defence

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Labour MP John Mann is moving an amendment to waive the application of the Official Secrets Act to evidence that could help expose historical child abuse.

    Creating a defence in law to allow people to speak to the police will have a "huge and significant impact in actually sorting out who did what, who alive should be prosecuted" and clearing the names of those who are "completely innocent", he says.

  37. Picture: Baroness Stowell

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Baroness Stowell of Beeston
    Image caption: Leader of the House of Lords Baroness Stowell of Beeston repeats the prime minister's statement
  38. New FGM offence

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Diana Johnson

    Shadow home office minister Diana Johnson is setting out an amendment that would create new offence of the Encouragement of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

    The new offence would give parents and girls the opportunity in law to challenge the public encouragement of FGM.

    While supporting "vital" measures to protect women against FGM already contained in the bill, including FGM Protection Orders, a new offence of "failing to protect a girl from FGM", and anonymity of survivors for life, Ms Johnson argues they do not go far enough in helping to prevent FGM in the first place.

  39. European Council statement

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Leader of the House Baroness Stowell is now repeating David Cameron's statement on the latest European Council summit.

    The statement also covered the radicalisation of young people and the situation in Ukraine.

  40. 'Sexual exploitation of children'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    MPs are debating a government amendment to remove all references to "child prostitution" or "child pornography" from UK legislation and replace it with the term "sexual exploitation of a child".

    Opening the debate, Solicitor General Robert Buckland argues the continued use of the "outdated" phrase was a barrier to overhauling attitudes that leave thousands of children vulnerable to abuse.

    The change follows campaigning by Labour MP Ann Coffey, who said the terms "protect abusers".

  41. Tax avoidance and HSBC

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Treasury spokesman Lord Newby is repeating a statement on tax avoidance and HSBC.

    Chancellor George Osborne made the statement earlier, amid angry scenes in the Commons, in response to an urgent question from shadow chancellor Ed Balls.

  42. Amendment withdrawn

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Baroness Doocey says she believes ministers have listened and responded to her concerns and withdraws her amendment proposing a new offence of child exploitation.

  43. Serious Crime Bill: timings

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    MPs now turn to the report stage of the Serious Crime Bill, which is time limited until 21.00 GMT. This will immediately be followed by the bill's third reading, which should take us to 22.00 GMT.

  44. 'Shunting' the amendment

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Several MPs are using points of order to complain that the gender selection abortion has been "shunted" to the end of the debate.

    Conservative MP David Burrowes, a co-signatory of the amendment, says that if the amendment is not debated the House of Commons will be "held in disrepute".

    Speaker John Bercow suggests that if it doesn't look like the amendment will not be reached in time he will consider bringing it forward, though he "makes no promises".

  45. Post update

    @carolinenokes

    Conservative MP Caroline Nokes tweets: In Westminster Hall this afternoon for debate on non-stun slaughter, with thanks to @BritishVets for information provided

  46. Delay to gender abortion debate

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Speaker John Bercow announces that due to a procedural change, the amendment on gender selective abortion has now been moved to the end of proceedings, potentially limiting the time for its debate.

  47. Libya problems

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    David Cameron tells MPs that stabilising Libya is so difficult because there are "more weapons than people" and "so many different armed militias".

    The government is focussed on creating a "unity government" through training the armed forces in Libya "to give them a central force and a central state".

    Creating a "national government of unity" will encourage the militias to either "disband or become part of the security service".

  48. 'A very regrettable chapter'

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Home Office Minister Lord Bates calls the transportation of children "a very regrettable chapter" in the UK's history.

    He echoes an apology on behalf of the government that was made by then-Prime Minister Gordon Brown five years ago.

    In 2010 the government launched the Family Restoration Fund to help to reunite former child migrants with their families.

  49. Transportation of children

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Conservative peer Lord James of Blackheath, speaking during the debate on the Modern Slavery Bill, recalls the transportation of orphans and unaccompanied children to Australia.

    Between 1947 and 1967 up to 10,000 children were shipped from the UK to Australia.

    Lord James calls for a ban on such a policy happening again to be included in the bill.

    "We can't trust on the moral hazard of leaving this as an incident which could occur again in the future," he argues.

    Lord James
  50. IS or Daesh?

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Conservative MP Rehman Chishti argues that the group Islamic State, or ISIL, should instead be referred to by the derogatory name "daesh", as happens in Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

    The name Islamic State "gives legitimacy to this evil organisation by linking it to Islam", he says.

    David Cameron says there is a case for this, but changing the name now could cause confusion. "So-called, or self-styled Islamic State" is a better term, he argues.

  51. 'Russia needs us'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Conservative MP Cheryl Gillan pushes the prime minster for detail about when sanctions on Russia may be in place. There is "concern the unrest may spread", she says.

    David Cameron says the argument for more sanctions is increasing. "Europe and America need to make the weight of their economic relationship with Russia pay. At the end of the day, Russia needs us more than we need Russia," he adds.

  52. Post update

    @S_Hammond

    Conservative MP Stephen Hammond tweets: Osborne's bravura performance pointed out that UK Govt collected billions more in tax as result of tax law changes. Balls all bluster.

  53. In or out for Greece?

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    UKIP MP Douglas Carswell asks if the Euro must be "held together come what may" or if the prime minister has any "sympathy" with the view that Greece may be better out of the Eurozone.

    David Cameron says it is not his responsibility what the Eurozone does, but it is in Britain's interest to make sure there is growth on the continent.

  54. The German language

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Chair of the European Scrutiny Committee Sir Bill Cash say he is concerned about the "assertiveness of the language of the Germans" towards the Greek government. The UK must stand up for the interest of Europe as whole, he says.

    David Cameron says Britain plays a key role in European discussion, but the German government's language is up to them.

  55. Labour response

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Responding to the statement, Labour leader Ed Miliband says his party supports the proposals for a passenger name directive.

    In addition to this though, the 'Prevent' programme must be looked at again, in the wake of three teenagers leaving the UK to join the group Islamic State, to see how local communities can be better integrated into the scheme, he argues.

    Labour also supports the prime minister's proposals to "extend economic sanctions" on Russia if the Minsk ceasefire agreement is not adhered to.

    It is "vital the international community stand ready to increase pressure on Russia", he adds.

  56. Russia must 'change course'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Turning to the situation in Ukraine, David Cameron says "far from changing course" Russia's "illegal actions in Eastern Ukraine have reached a new level".

    He warns that Russia must "change course now or the economic pain it endures will only increase".

    The government will debate how to enact this at the upcoming G7 summit.

  57. Rejection of 'more legislation'

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Crossbencher Baroness Howarth of Breckland also opposes the new clause to the bill, arguing that she does not believe that "more legislation will make a difference".

    She claims: "History tells us it won't."

  58. Passenger name records

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    The need for police and security services to have access to passenger name records for all routes in and out of Britain, was the subject of the "most substantial discussions at European Council".

    Following the attacks in Paris and Copenhagen the council agreed that EU legislators would "urgently adopt a strong and effective passenger name directive", Mr Cameron says.

  59. Amendment opposed

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Crossbench peer Baroness Butler-Sloss - a former high court judge - opposes the amendment to the Modern Slavery Bill on child exploitation.

    She claims that existing laws, including prevention orders, can be used to protect trafficked and exploited children.

    Baroness Butler-Sloss
  60. Anti radicalisation

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    David Cameron opens his statement by referring to the case of three British schoolgirls, who appear to be attempting to join the group Islamic State.

    This incident has highlighted that "unaccompanied teenagers who are not a known risk [are] being allowed to board a flight to Turkey without being asked any questions", he says.

    The Home Secretary Theresa May and Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin are currently working on new provisions with airlines to "sort this out".

    The case also "underlined" the work the government is doing with social media companies to take down extremist content online across Europe, something agreed at the European Council.

  61. European Council Statement

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Prime Minister David Cameron is now making a statement on the mini-summit of European leaders, the first to be attended by the new Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

  62. Corporate liability

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Former shadow attorney general Emily Thornberry calls for the government to back corporate liability, making banks corporately liable for wrong-doing by their employees, which Labour is proposing.

    Mr Osborne says the government will address this in the Budget, while Labour had 13 years in government to deal with this.

  63. Post update

    @KerryMP

    Labour MP Kerry McCarthy tweets: The Mogg makes a grand defence of tax avoidance, says "the most respectable families" do it. Osborne squirms, says he's "not going there".

  64. 'Fruitful conclusion'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Former Labour minister Frank Dobson asks if obtaining financial advantage by deception is a crime and if so why HSBC has 566 operations in tax havens.

    George Osborne warns Mr Dobson he is making "serious allegations". The information was received from the French authorities subject to confidentiality terms but the government is now in "active discussion" about passing this to the Serious Fraud Office.

    Mr Osborne says he thinks this will come to a "fruitful conclusion".

  65. Child exploitation offence

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Peers are considering an amendment which would add a new clause to the bill to introduce a specific offence of child exploitation.

    It would be an offence "to exploit a person if the accused believed, or had reasonable grounds for believing, that the person exploited was under 18".

    Lib Dem peer Baroness Doocey, moving the amendment, says: "It shall be an offence, even if there is no evidence of force."

    Baroness Doocey
  66. 'Restrictive agreement'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Responding to Mr Balls, George Osborne admits the information was given to the government in May 2010, but points out that Labour was in power in April 2010.

    The information was given under a "restrictive agreement" and the government is now trying to change that, he says.

    Under Labour, rich people were paying less tax than their cleaners, and rich people regularly avoided capital gains tax, he says.

  67. Lord Green's appointment

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    How was Lord Green appointed as a Conservative peer and minister after the government received these files, Mr Balls asks. He says he wants to know what due diligence was carried out.

    He says it was clear either that Mr Osborne and Mr Cameron were negligent, failing to act on the evidence, or deliberately "turned a blind eye" as with the appointment of former adviser Andy Coulson.

    David Cameron could not answer whether Lord Green had any involvement in the Swiss tax deal or if Mr Osborne ever discussed what happened at HSBC with Lord Green. Mr Osborne needs to answer now, Mr Balls says.

  68. Who knew what

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Downing Street said ministers did not know about these allegations until two weeks ago when the prime minister was unable to answer similar questions.

    But now Mr Osborne says he knew in 2009, Ed Balls says.

    Mr Balls accuses the government of receiving detailed information in May 2010 about 1,000 HSBC clients.

  69. 'Cut it out or get out'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    John Bercow intervenes to try and calm down the debate. He tells some MPs who are shouting loudly to "cut it out or get out."

    Many senior MPs are "calculatedly trying to whip it up shouting at the top of their voices" he says.

  70. 'Dragged before the House'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls is now responding to the statement.

    "Finally the chancellor has been dragged to the House today to answer questions on the HSBC scandal, a full two weeks after it broke," he says.

  71. Labour supported Green appointment

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    George Osborne says the government appointed former HSBC chair Lord Stephen Green as trade minister because they "thought he would do a good job. And so did the Labour party."

    He points out this wasn't Lord Green's first "public appointment" and that he was "chair of the prime minister's Business Council" under the previous Labour administration.

    Mr Osborne says that Lord Green was given a peerage under procedures set out by Labour.

  72. Pre-2006 scandal

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Mr Osborne tells MPs that each occasion of tax evasion revealed by the recent leak happened before 2006, when Ed Balls was a member of the cabinet.

  73. HSBC question

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Chancellor George Osborne is responding to an urgent question from Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls on HSBC and its recent tax evasion scandal.

    Urgent questions are a way of getting a minister to come to the House to make a statement at short notice.

  74. Post update

    ‏@nigelfletcher

    Nigel Fletcher tweets: "Top Gun was on TV last night. I've seen the real thing, and it's more impressive." Yes, a Defence Minister just said that in Parliament.

  75. Russians 'properly dealt with'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Defence Secretary Michael Fallon tells MPs that any Russian military excursion into UK waters or airspace "will be properly dealt with".

  76. Post update

    @GemmaWDMP

    Labour MP Gemma Doyle ‏tweets: Government under sustained pressure from their own side on Defence spending #defenceQs

  77. New Falklands threat?

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Conservative MP Philip Hollobone suggests that recent reports of increased relations between Russia and Argentina may indicate there is a greater threat to the Falkland Islands.

    Defence Minister Mark Francois says that the reports have been denied by the Argentina government. "Nevertheless we are not complacent and the MoD undertakes regular assessment of military challenges to the Island to ensure we retain appropriate levels of defensive capabilities," he adds.

  78. Post update

    @IsabelHardman

    The Spectator's Isabel Hardman tweets: Bercow tells a heckling @KevanJonesMP he aspires to be a statesman. "No I don't!" Says Jones, giggling.

  79. Modern Slavery Bill

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Questions are over and the first of two report stage days on the Modern Slavery Bill begins.

    The bill, which applies to England and Wales, aims to provide law enforcement agencies with better tools to stamp out modern slavery.

    It would increase the punishment for slavery crimes, including a maximum life sentence.

  80. Syrian training

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Michael Fallon

    Defence Secretary Michael Fallon says the government are "preparing to train moderate Syrian forces outside of Syria" after the House of Commons denied the government "the authority to conduct military intervention".

    Mr Fallon indicates similar schemes are being looked at for Libya where the situation is "equally disturbing".

  81. More on vehicle exports

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Former British military Saxon armoured vehicles have been delivered to Ukraine by a private firm.

    The Ministry of Defence confirmed these were out-of-service unarmed vehicles and not lethal equipment.

    The vehicles were transferred under a 2013 deal that pre-dated the current conflict.

    A Ukrainian news agency has reported that 20 British Saxon armoured cars have been delivered to Ukraine, with another 55 expected to arrive soon.

  82. Saxon vehicles

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Labour peer Lord Foulkes asks about arms exports to Ukraine.

    Foreign Office Minister Baroness Anelay of St Johns says "export licences were agreed in September" for Saxon infantry vehicles.

    However, she insists: "They were not armoured when we sent them. They were not carrying weapons when we sent them."

  83. Post update

    @LibDemLords

    Lib Dem Lords ‏tweets: Baroness @KishwerFalkner asks Minister what Gvt's view of EU Comm report on Russia & can Lords have debate before dissolution of parl?

  84. Sikh regiment

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Nicholas Soames

    Conservative MP Nicholas Soames praises the work of Sikh armed forces personal and calls for a Sikh regiment to be established.

    Mr Soames, who is the grandson of wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill, urges the government to "do away with the political correctness that often infects these subjects".

    Defence Minister Mark Francois says that this suggestion has already been raised and passed on to the Chief of the General Staff. The government are waiting for comments before proceeding.

  85. Ukraine question

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    The fourth and final question in the Lords asks what discussions are taking place with the governments of other European Union member states regarding the handling of conflict in Ukraine.

  86. CPS question

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    The third question in the Lords concerns the performance of the Crown Prosecution Service following recent cuts to its budget.

    Shadow attorney general Lord Bach has tabled the question.

  87. 'Unjust' funding difference

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Labour's Baroness King of Bow argues that it is "unjust" that 16-year-olds in school receive more funding that those "studying exactly the same thing at a sixth form college".

    Government spokeswoman Baroness Garden says the difference in funding is a result of decisions taken by "successive governments", not just the coalition.

  88. 'Recruiting surge'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    In response to a question from Labour MP Frank Roy, Defence Minister Julian Brazier tells the House that while he "can't say" how many recruits the government's £16.4m advertising campaign has brought in, there has been a "recruitment surge" with figures up 147% on the same quarter last year.

  89. No 'no disadvantage'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Gemma Doyle

    Shadow Defence Minister Gemma Doyle accuses the government of planning to drop the principle that a veteran, or their families, should face no disadvantage, from their future policies.

    Ms Soubry says "this is news to [the government]" and affirms that the government are complying with the covenanting.

  90. Sixth form colleges question

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    The second question today is from Labour peer Lord Faulkner of Worcester, who asks for an assessment of the effect of VAT on the finances of sixth form colleges and non-maintained special schools.

  91. First question

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Questions in the Lords begin with one from Conservative peer Lord Naseby, who asks what ministers are doing to support high streets, in addition to business rates reform.

    Lord Naseby claims there is "a crisis in our high streets".

    Lord Naseby
  92. Post update

    @MarcusJonesMP

    Conservative MP Marcus Jones tweets: Pleased that the Veterans Minister has just agreed in the Commons to visit the @VeteransCP #Nuneaton in March.

  93. Death of Lord Mackie

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Business in the Lords opens with a formal announcement to peers of the death of Liberal Democrat peer Lord Mackie of Benshie.

    Lord Mackie joined the Lords in May 1974.

  94. Veteran mental health

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Anna Soubry

    Anna Soubry tells MPs that £7.4m has been invested in improving mental health provisions for military veterans, who may develop conditions while in the armed services.

  95. Armed Forces Covenant

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Conservative MP Marcus Jones kicks off business in the House of Commons arguing for a strengthening of the Armed Forces Covenant, which sets out the UK's duty of care to its armed forces.

    Defence Minster Anna Soubry says local authorities are doing "outstanding work" in implementing the Covenant, which has been put into law under this government.

  96. Today's debates

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Report stage gives peers a further opportunity to scrutinise and propose amendments to the Modern Slavery Bill.

    Amendments likely to be debated today include a proposal from Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Doocey to make child exploitation an offence.

    There will also be a short debate during the dinner break, calling on the government to take steps to ensure that hotels improve facilities for disabled people.

  97. What's in the Serious Crime Bill?

    The Serious Crime Bill updates existing law dealing with proceeds of crime, cyber-crime, serious crime prevention orders, gang injunctions, child cruelty, female genital mutilation and the commission of certain terrorism offences abroad.

    You can read an overview of the Serious Crime Bill here.

  98. Today in the Lords

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    The House of Lords will also get under way soon, beginning with questions to ministers.

    The main business is the report stage of the Modern Slavery Bill.

    At around 17:00 GMT, Treasury spokesman Lord Newby will repeat the answer to today's Commons urgent question on HSBC and tax avoidance.

    Then Baroness Stowell of Beeston, the leader of the Lords, will repeat the prime minister's statement on the EU Council.

  99. Defence questions

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    But before all that the day begins at 14.30 GMT with oral questions to Defence Secretary Michael Fallon and his ministerial team.

  100. Adjournment

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    The day finishes with a short adjournment debate on oesophageal cancer, led by Conservative MP Mike Weatherley.

  101. Serious Crime Bill

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    The day's main legislation is on the remaining stages of the Serious Crime Bill, where MPs are expected to vote against attempts to outlaw abortion on the basis of gender.

    More than 100 backbenchers, led by the Conservative Fiona Bruce, have signed an amendment aimed at banning sex-selective abortions.

    Shadow home secretary, Yvette Cooper, has told Labour MPs that sex-selective abortions are already illegal under the Abortion Act so new legislation is not needed and the move could inadvertently outlaw abortion in cases where there are gender specific abnormalities.

    There are also amendments on increasing the protection of journalists' sources and introducing a new duty on healthcare professionals, teachers and social care workers to notify the police if they discover female genital mutilation.

  102. Good Afternoon

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Welcome to our rolling coverage of today's events in Parliament as they happen.

    Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls has been granted an urgent question on tax avoidance and HSBC at around 15.30 GMT.

    Labour have been seeking to put pressure on the Conservatives over Tory peer Lord Green, who served as a trade minister and was chairman of the HSBC group.

    Following this, Prime Minister David Cameron will update the Commons on the recent mini-summit of European leaders, the first to be attended by the new Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.