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Mark Harper insisted freight and lorries had not been going unchecked for contraband and illegal immigrants at border crossing points. “That’s not true. The information in the Public Accounts Committee report largely comes from the Natio... Continue to article
COMMONS CHAMBER 11.30am: Treasury questions (topicals at 12.15pm) Main business National Insurance Contributions Bill: Remaining stages Draft Terrorism Act 2000 (Proscribed Organisations) (Amendment) (No. 2) Order 2013: Motion to... Continue to article
The immigration minister has refused to provide a rough estimate of how many Bulgarian and Romanian migrants would be expected to enter Britain when transitional controls are lifted at the end of the year. Mark Harper told the House the ... Continue to article
Mark Harper admitted he did not have precise figures for how many EU immigrants claim benefits in the UK. "One of the interesting things from the benefit changes we’re making, under Universal Credit, which we’re rolling out, actuall... Continue to article
Prime minister David Cameron and government ministers continue their trade mission in China Home secretary Theresa May delivers a speech at the Trust Women conference on modern day slavery (15.00) Care minister Norman Lamb speaks at t... Continue to article
Mark Harper confirmed the Government would continue to mount immigration spot-checks at train stations. “Yes, there will be more of them. We base these operations on intelligence, so where we have cause to think we are going to be succes... Continue to article
LORDS CHAMBER 2.30pm: New peers: Baroness Goldie will be introduced Oral questions, to ask the government: - What steps they will take to make it easier to nominate a power of attorney (Baroness Trumpington, Con) - What legislati... Continue to article
Resources for the Independent Police Complaints’ Commission (IPCC) are significantly insufficient, Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary has said. Yvette Cooper hit out at the “powerless” IPCC and its inability to maintain confidence in the pol... Continue to article
Department of Health press release - Government appoints NHS expert to advise on cost recovery - Up to £500 million could be recovered from overseas visitors’ and migrants’ use of the NHS every year – making clear the need for changes to... Continue to article
The Government will consider rolling out its controversial immigration advertising campaign if it is shown to be successful, a minister has said. A Home Office pilot scheme which involved vans branded with the warning to illegal immigra... Continue to article
Mark Harper said he was concerned that the three officers at the centre of the 'plebgate' row were still in their jobs. "I am worried about it... It's very odd that the forces concerned aren't proposing to put those officers through... Continue to article
Home Office press release The Home Office has today introduced new legislation to reform immigration laws, ensuring our immigration system is fair to hard-working people and legal migrants, while cracking down on those here illegally. ... Continue to article
Mark Harper insisted all people entering Britain were subject to border checks, regardless of problems with the E-borders system. "I think it’s worth just reminding people, because I’ve listened to some reports this morning, just to make... Continue to article
Tories threatening to rebel on the Lords Reform Bill are playing "silly games" that threaten the future of the Coalition, the Conservative minister charged with overseeing the bill has said.
In an interview with the Guardian, Mark Harper warned colleagues they would breach the coalition agreement if they defy the three-line whip when the House votes on the bill's programme motion on Tuesday.
But opposition from the backbenches continues to mount: on the Week in Westminster today, Tory MP Bernard Jenkin said Lords reform was nothing more than a manoeuvre to keep the Coalition together, arguing that it would lose its authority if "it presses this to the nth degree".
Labour's Lord Foulkes criticised as "outrageous" the planned timetabling for the bill, which would see it spend just 10 days in committee. He promised it would be subject to "very, very detailed scrutiny" should it pass into the Lords.
The Government will release a consultation paper next week revealing its findings on how to reform Britain's lobbying industry. The Independent says that Mark Harper, the minister with responsibility for political reform, is to unveil the proposals, although there are already criticisms that such plans have already been diluted in face of pressure from lobbyists.
Members of parliament are questioning if murderers and paedophiles will have the vote as a result of the government overturning the blanket ban on prisoners voting.
The Government has unveiled a consultation on a new statutory register for lobbyists.
Among other areas, ministers will look at how lobbyists are defined and what sanctions should be in place.
The Cabinet Office says it will not require organisations to give detailed financial information as this would "provide too great an administrative burden".
However, there could be a move to make lobbyists reveal how much their clients pay for their services.
The move comes after a string of lobbying scandals provoked concern about charities and single-issue groups acting as front organisations.
Cabinet Office Minister Mark Harper said: "Lobbying has an important role in the policy making process, ensuring that Ministers and senior officials hear a full range of views from those who will be affected by Government decisions. But it must be conducted in a transparent and open way.
"We already publish an unprecedented amount of information about who Ministers and senior officials meet.
"However, it's not always possible to understand the significance of these meetings, because it's not always obvious who the people ministers and officials meet represent.
"That's why the Government wants a register that will bring more transparency to the lobbying process and we would welcome the views of the public and the lobbying industry on this consultation document."
Government plans to introduce compulsory individual registration has been brought forward by a year to 2014. Mark Harper, minister for political and constitutional reform, hopes the proposals will reduce fraud and increase people's confidence in the electoral system.
10/12/2013 on The World At One, BBC Radio 4
02/12/2013 on Breakfast, BBC News
19/11/2013 on The World At One, BBC Radio 4
28/10/2013 on House of Commons
Summaries and transcripts from TV and radio
3 hours ago on Today, BBC Radio 4
12/12/2013 on Newsnight. BBC Two
12/12/2013 on Sky News
45 minutes ago