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Summary

  1. International Development Committee looking at food crises in central and east Africa
  2. Commons starts at 11.30am with justice questions
  3. MPs will look at remaining stages of Finance Bill, which enacts the Budget
  4. Lords amendments to Health Service Medical Supplies (Costs) Bill
  5. Peers sit at 2.30pm for questions
  6. Peers to work through Commons amendments to a number of bills
  7. Also debating Criminal Finances Bill at report stage and third reading

Live Reporting

By Aiden James, Kate Whannel and Esther Webber

All times stated are UK

  1. Parliamentary ping pong continues

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    MPs and peers continued the race to get bills through both Houses as the current session of Parliament nears its end.

    MPs passed the Finance (No.2) Bill which will go before the Lords tomorrow. They also accepted government amendments to the Health Service Medical Supplies (Costs) Bill.

    Over in the Lords, there was lengthy debate on the Criminal Finances Bill and a bid to introduce greater transparency of company ownership in the UK's overseas territories.

    The government resisted attempts to require territories to keep registers of "beneficial ownership" and claimed its policy of working with the territories was producing results.

    So, we'll see you tomorrow when we'll be covering every twist and turn as the 2015 Parliament nears its end...

  2. Goodnight from the Lords

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    The House of Lords adjourns until tomorrow at 3pm.

    After questions, peers will debate a number of private members' bills at committee stage, before all stages of the Northern Ireland (Ministerial Appointments and Regional Rates) Bill.

    After that, peers will consider the Finance (No.2) Bill, which completed its Commons stages earlier today.

  3. 'Anyone who thinks that steel is a low priority has misread the runes' - minister

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Business Minister Lord Prior of Brampton recalls the 1970s and 1980s when, he says, the steel industry had a problem of "over-capacity" and competition in the form of high quality steel from Japan.

    "To our shame," he adds, most steel used in the North Sea oil industry came from Japan, as did much that was used in the car industry. Now China has huge steel production capacity.

    "The steel industry desperately needs strong, sustained economic growth," Lord Prior says.

    He says the government is compensating energy-intensive industries for costs incurred by measures to combat clime change and there are now measures against dumping.

    "We are open to a sector deal for steel," he insists. "Anyone who thinks that steel is a low priority has misread the runes."

  4. Lib Dem spokesman's concerns about Brexit and the steel industry

    Support for the steel industry

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    "What we want in this debate... is a commitment to a modern, innovative manufacturing sector in which steel will play a full part," says Liberal Democrat spokesman Lord Stoneham of Droxford.

    He tells the House that "52% of steel imports go to Europe" and other EU countries "will defend their interests" in Brexit negotiations.

    Meanwhile, China's "total exports exceed the total production of the top five European countries".

    He asks whether the steel industry will be "cast aside in the desperate interests of trying to improve exports to China in other sectors".

  5. Government should offer more than 'tea and sympathy' - Labour peer

    Support for the steel industry

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Lord Bhattacharyya

    Lord Bhattacharyya, professor of manufacturing at Warwick University and a former engineer, calls for more government support and also for "urgent, quick action to bring in anti-dumping measures".

    "Anti-dumping" refers to tariffs imposed on imports believed to be priced below market value. China has been accused of "dumping" steel imports on world markets.

    The Labour peer says Tata Steel considered closing its plants because "they were losing £1m a day" but claims that "all they were offered from the Treasury was tea and sympathy".

    He warns: "Our steel industry has declined to the point that Canada, Poland and Belgium all produced more than us last year."

  6. Peers welcome security for local plants

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    In December 2016, Tata Steel announced a commitment to secure jobs and production at Port Talbot and other steelworks across the UK.

    "Port Talbot's mighty and most productive steel plant was at risk," says Labour peer and former Welsh Office minister Lord Jones.

    The plant "deserves to remain a respected steel producer worldwide", he adds.

    Baroness Redfern, a Conservative peer and a North Lincolnshire councillor, says people there "look forward to steelmaking continuing in Scunthorpe for many generations to come".

    She says that the Scunthorpe plant employs over 4,000 but "it is estimated more than 16,000 people are employed in the supply chain".

  7. Debate on support for the steel industry

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Steelworker
    Image caption: Workers accepted a pay cut and a reduction in pensions for the Greybull deal to be sealed

    Finally tonight, Labour's Lord Mendelsohn opens a debate on support for the steel industry.

    The question for debate also asks what role the industry will have in the government’s industrial strategy.

    Last year, Greybull Capital became the new owner of Tata Steel's Long products business safeguarding 4,000 jobs at the huge plant in Scunthorpe.

    The move also saw the revival of the British Steel brand.

    While welcoming the revival of the UK's steel plants, Lord Mendelsohn claims that "other countries better value their steel industry".

  8. Final amendment withdrawn

    Criminal Finances Bill

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Home Office Minister Baroness Williams says the government is concerned that the provisions in the amendment could undermine a firm's internal whistleblowing procedures.

    Workers who have been unfairly dismissed "or have otherwise suffered detriment" have the option of seeking redress through an employment tribunal, she says.

    Baroness Kramer agrees to withdraw the amendment on the basis of the minister's undertaking that she "will look at this issue again".

    That concludes debate on the amendments and third reading begins. This is a final chance to debate the bill as a whole.

    Quite often in the Lords, this is an opportunity for peace to break out among the frontbenchers after the fierce arguments during earlier stages.

  9. Peer alleges treatment of whistleblowers is 'an utter disgrace'

    Criminal Finances Bill

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    House of Lords

    The final amendment at report stage of the bill concerns protection for whistleblowers.

    The Liberal Democrat amendment would require the government to make regulations to "provide for the Financial Conduct Authority to undertake the administration of arrangements to facilitate whistleblowing in respect of corrupt or suspected corrupt practices".

    Lib Dem peer Baroness Kramer says: "The way that we have dealt with whistleblowers in the financial industry has quite frankly been an utter disgrace."

    She says she has spoken to whistleblowers "whose lives have been destroyed" and adds: "It is extremely rare in the UK to get a whistleblower."

    The former vice president of Citibank says the culture in the UK needs to change from "a gentleman's club" attitude to the "much more cynical and questioning attitude" seen in the United States.

  10. Amendment on regulator's powers

    Criminal Finances Bill

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Labour spokesman Lord Mendelsohn speaks in support of a Labour and Liberal Democrat amendment about the financial regulator's powers to levy penalties.

    The Financial Conduct Authority would be required to withhold a proportion of any discount to a financial penalty imposed on an organisation, until the firm "has completed any internal disciplinary actions agreed in the settlement".

    Minister Baroness Williams says the regulator is considering its policy on penalties and "subject to the outcome of the election" the government would welcome further discussions with the peers backing the amendment.

    Lord Sharkey, the Lib Dem peer who signed the amendment, agrees to withdraw it.

    Debate moves on to a backbench Conservative amendment to create a new regulator, the Office for Professional Body Anti-Money Laundering Supervision.

  11. Labour: Government expecting territories to 'follow suit'

    Criminal Finances Bill

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Labour spokesman Lord Rosser says the government amendment must have come about "in partial response" to the cross-party amendment, which bears his name.

    The amendment would "help" the authorities in overseas territories to identify where money laundering and corruption is taking place, he argues.

    Instead, he adds, the government amendment just expects the overseas territories to "follow" the UK.

    Home Office Minister Baroness Williams says that, while the UK government has the power to legislate in respect of its overseas territories, doing so could undo what has been achieved so far.

    She urges peers not to push the cross-party amendment. The House agrees to the government amendment without a vote.

  12. Government or cross-party amendment?

    Criminal Finances Bill

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Crossbencher the Earl of Sandwich sees "no reason" why peers could not support the government amendment on working with the overseas territories and the cross-party amendment calling for a public register.

    Liberal Democrat Baroness Kramer praises Baroness Stern for the cross-party amendment but says "with regret" that she does not think it will succeed.

    She argues that, amid the "pressure" of the so-called "wash-up" of bills before Parliament dissolves, the government amendment is the one that is likely to pass.

  13. Amendment would undermine current co-operation, argues peer

    Criminal Finances Bill

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    The Cayman Islands

    Conservative Lord Naseby also expresses concern about the amendment.

    He argues that it will result in businesses moving from the overseas territories to the US - who he adds do not have beneficial ownership registers.

    If business goes elsewhere good co-operation will be undermined and the UK won't get any information, he argues. 

  14. Blencathra: Don't clobber Cayman

    Criminal Finances Bill

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Lord Blencathra

    Conservative Lord Blencathra objects to Baroness Stern's amendment.

    He says he is "appalled" at the "old style colonial arrogance" behind the campaign targeting British overseas territories. 

    Campaigners should target the "real tax havens" such as Luxembourg and Delaware not "the good guys" such as the overseas territories, he argues.

    "Clobbering Cayman is foolish."

  15. Peer calls for publicly accessible register of beneficial ownership

    Criminal Finances Bill

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Baroness Stern

    Crossbencher Baroness Stern now speaks to her amendment which seeks to establish a publicly accessible register of the beneficial ownership of companies based in UK overseas territories.

    She argues that the economies and defence of these territories depend on the UK.

    Therefore, she says, it is only fair that these territories should be expected to follow the UK's rules of business. 

  16. Overseas territories and 'beneficial ownership'

    Criminal Finances Bill

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Baroness Williams of Trafford

    Debate turns to a group of amendments on transparency of ownership of companies in the British overseas territories.

    Home Office Minister Baroness Williams of Trafford introduces a government amendment which will require ministers to report on "beneficial ownership information" arrangements with the UK's overseas territories.

    A beneficial owner is a person who enjoys the benefits of ownership even though the title to some form of property is in another name.   

    She tells peers that overseas territories are working on greater transparency and the government believes it should "work with them" rather than imposing requirements.

    The minister adds that the UK is the only country in the G20 to have established a public register of beneficial ownership. 

  17. End of business in the Commons

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    The Commons adjourns for the day and will return tomorrow at 11:30am for questions to ministers in the Wales Office before prime minister's questions.