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Newsdesk live: Monday 6 February

Each day on the Newsdesk live blog, the Guardian’s national news team will bring you the news as we break it, explain how we choose what we report and why – and ask you to get involved. Send us your ideas, evidence and experiences to help shape our coverage. Get in touch below the line, tweet @RobertsDan or @PollyCurtis, or email us at

Today we’re leading on:

The bonuses row; fathers’ and grandparents’ rights strengthened in custody battles; the cold weather

Read more about this blog here.

12.52pm: Below the line @ArthurTheCat and @DonkeyHotee both question the government’s line on Network Rail’s bonuses. The transport secretary Justine Greening says that while she can vote against the bonuses, she can’t veto them, blaming the system set up by Labour. Labour is desputing this and our whitehall correspondent Rajeev Syal is going to investigate to get some firm clarification of what the government can and can’t do to prevent excessive bonuses at Network rail. Thanks for the suggestion.

12.35pm: The return of the Health and Social Care bill to the House of Lords has generated a fresh flurry of interest in the controversial NHS reforms. There was a spirited debate in Guardian morning editorial conference about whether the compromises negotiated by the Lib Dems now mean that the bill has no fans left on either side of the debate. The BBC found one of the few doctors still in favour of the bill on the Today programme this morning, but it was pointed out that the decision of the Royal College of GPs to come out against last week was potentially far more significant.

We’ve asked Denis Campbell and Tom Clark to track how the reforms have themselves been reformed during this long process and plan a piece later looking at the impact of this confusion on NHS managers. We also hope to relaunch our NHS live blog tomorrow to follow the progress of the bill in more detail and give our expert readers a place to discuss the detail. Please do get in touch with Denis or below the line if there are areas you want us to focus on.

8.09am: The main moving stories today are:

The bonus row rumbles on ahead of a Commons vote tomorrow on the issue; there’s a board meeting of Network Rail on Friday when the transport secretary, Justine Greening, has said she will vote against large bonuses, and there’s the publication of bonus plans by Barclays at the end of the week. Our lobby team will be covering that row today along with our city desk. Andrew Sparrow will cover any moving elements on his liveblog.

The government will publish its plans to overhaul shared custody of children following divorce. The plans have been extensively trailed and so far we know that the rights of fathers and grandparents are to be strengthened. Our political reporter Helene Mulholland will be covering this, potentially with some input from our social affairs editor Randeep Ramesh. You can contact Helene on Twitter here @lnmulholland and Randeep here @tianran with any thoughts on the subject.

Does it amount to a watering down of the rights of mothers? Should grandparents get more rights to see their grandchild after a divorce? Let us know what you think.

There’s a bail hearing for radical cleric Abu Qatada which, if he is released, will be a big story. Our home affairs editor Alan Travis will be covering it. The Daily Mail editor, Paul Dacre, is in front of Leveson inquiry and our media team will be liveblogging and reporting the highlights. As the snow turns to ice in some parts of the country, we’ll also keep an eye out on travel disruption and school closures around the country.

I was interested in the comments made by Maria Miller, a Department of Work and Pensions minister with responsibility for disabled people, who claimed in a radio interview last night that there “isn’t a shortage of jobs” [audio, 28 minutes in]. James Ball, one of our expert data journalists, has fact checked that claim in this Reality check blog.

Any thoughts on how to cover the above stories, or other subjects will should be looking at, get in touch below the line, via Twitter @pollycurtis or email © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds