Northern Ireland Office

We ensure the smooth working of the devolution settlement in Northern Ireland.



Secretary of State

 Portrait

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

Shadow Ministers / Spokeperson
Liberal Democrat
Baroness Suttie (LDEM - Life peer)
Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Northern Ireland)

Labour
Peter Kyle (LAB - Hove)
Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

Liberal Democrat
Alistair Carmichael (LDEM - Orkney and Shetland)
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Northern Ireland)

Labour
Baroness Smith of Basildon (LAB - Life peer)
Shadow Spokesperson (Northern Ireland)

Scottish National Party
Richard Thomson (SNP - Gordon)
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Northern Ireland)
Junior Shadow Ministers / Deputy Spokesperson
Labour
Alex Davies-Jones (LAB - Pontypridd)
Shadow Minister (Northern Ireland)
Ministers of State
Conor Burns (CON - Bournemouth West)
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
Parliamentary Under-Secretaries of State
Lord Caine (CON - Life peer)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Northern Ireland Office)
Scheduled Event
Wednesday 8th December 2021
09:00
Northern Ireland Affairs Committee - Private Meeting - Select & Joint Committees
8 Dec 2021, 9 a.m.

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Scheduled Event
Wednesday 8th December 2021
11:30
Northern Ireland Office
Oral questions - Main Chamber
8 Dec 2021, 11:30 a.m.
Northern Ireland
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Scheduled Event
Monday 13th December 2021
15:45
Northern Ireland Office
Legislation - Grand Committee
13 Dec 2021, 3:45 p.m.
Northern Ireland (Ministers, Elections and Petitions of Concern) Bill – committee stage (day 1)
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Scheduled Event
Wednesday 15th December 2021
16:15
Northern Ireland Office
Legislation - Grand Committee
15 Dec 2021, 4:15 p.m.
Northern Ireland (Ministers, Elections and Petitions of Concern) Bill – committee stage (day 2)
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Debates
Monday 29th November 2021
Select Committee Docs
Tuesday 14th December 2021
00:00
Call for Evidence
Call For Evidence
Select Committee Inquiry
Tuesday 9th November 2021
Investment in Northern Ireland

The Committee are assessing the economic effectiveness of UK Government policy to deliver investment in Northern Ireland. 

The inquiry looks …

Written Answers
Wednesday 1st December 2021
IRA
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to discuss with the government of the Republic of Ireland the …
Secondary Legislation
Tuesday 23rd November 2021
Flags (Northern Ireland) (Amendment) Regulations 2021
The Flags Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2000 (S.R. 2000/347) (“the Flags Regulations”) make provision as to the flying of flags at …
Bills
Wednesday 12th May 2021
Northern Ireland (Ministers, Elections and Petitions of Concern) Bill 2021-22
A Bill to make provision about Ministerial appointments, extraordinary Assembly elections, the Ministerial Code of Conduct and petitions of concern …
Dept. Publications
Tuesday 30th November 2021
12:12
Treaty
None available

Northern Ireland Office Commons Appearances

Oral Answers to Questions is a regularly scheduled appearance where the Secretary of State and junior minister will answer at the Dispatch Box questions from backbench MPs

Other Commons Chamber appearances can be:
  • Urgent Questions where the Speaker has selected a question to which a Minister must reply that day
  • Adjornment Debates a 30 minute debate attended by a Minister that concludes the day in Parliament.
  • Oral Statements informing the Commons of a significant development, where backbench MP's can then question the Minister making the statement.

Westminster Hall debates are performed in response to backbench MPs or e-petitions asking for a Minister to address a detailed issue

Written Statements are made when a current event is not sufficiently significant to require an Oral Statement, but the House is required to be informed.

Most Recent Commons Appearances by Category
Dec. 02
Oral Questions
Mar. 10
Urgent Questions
Sep. 07
Written Statements
May. 20
Westminster Hall
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Bills currently before Parliament

Northern Ireland Office does not have Bills currently before Parliament


Acts of Parliament created in the 2019 Parliament

Northern Ireland Office has not passed any Acts during the 2019 Parliament

Northern Ireland Office - Secondary Legislation

The Flags Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2000 (S.R. 2000/347) (“the Flags Regulations”) make provision as to the flying of flags at government buildings in Northern Ireland, in particular by specifying the buildings on which flags must be flown on certain days. Section 67(2) of the Justice (Northern Ireland) Act 2002 (c. 26) provides for the Flags Regulations to apply to court houses as they apply to the government buildings specified in Part 1 of the Schedule.
This Order amends provisions in the Electoral Law Act (Northern Ireland) 1962 (c. 14 (N.I.)) (the “1962 Act”) relating to election publications for Northern Ireland local elections.
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Petitions

e-Petitions are administered by Parliament and allow members of the public to express support for a particular issue.

If an e-petition reaches 10,000 signatures the Government will issue a written response.

If an e-petition reaches 100,000 signatures the petition becomes eligible for a Parliamentary debate (usually Monday 4.30pm in Westminster Hall).

Trending Petitions
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(8 in the last 7 days)
Petitions with most signatures
Petition Open
18 Signatures
(8 in the last 7 days)
Northern Ireland Office has not participated in any petition debates
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Departmental Select Committee

Northern Ireland Affairs Committee

Commons Select Committees are a formally established cross-party group of backbench MPs tasked with holding a Government department to account.

At any time there will be number of ongoing investigations into the work of the Department, or issues which fall within the oversight of the Department. Witnesses can be summoned from within the Government and outside to assist in these inquiries.

Select Committee findings are reported to the Commons, printed, and published on the Parliament website. The government then usually has 60 days to reply to the committee's recommendations.


11 Members of the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee
Simon Hoare Portrait
Simon Hoare (Conservative - North Dorset)
Northern Ireland Affairs Committee Chair since 29th January 2020
Bob Stewart Portrait
Bob Stewart (Conservative - Beckenham)
Northern Ireland Affairs Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Ian Paisley Portrait
Ian Paisley (Democratic Unionist Party - North Antrim)
Northern Ireland Affairs Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Claire Hanna Portrait
Claire Hanna (Social Democratic & Labour Party - Belfast South)
Northern Ireland Affairs Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Robert Goodwill Portrait
Robert Goodwill (Conservative - Scarborough and Whitby)
Northern Ireland Affairs Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Stephen Farry Portrait
Stephen Farry (Alliance - North Down)
Northern Ireland Affairs Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Gregory Campbell Portrait
Gregory Campbell (Democratic Unionist Party - East Londonderry)
Northern Ireland Affairs Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Scott Benton Portrait
Scott Benton (Conservative - Blackpool South)
Northern Ireland Affairs Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Mary Kelly Foy Portrait
Mary Kelly Foy (Labour - City of Durham)
Northern Ireland Affairs Committee Member since 8th June 2020
Stephanie Peacock Portrait
Stephanie Peacock (Labour - Barnsley East)
Northern Ireland Affairs Committee Member since 6th July 2020
Fay Jones Portrait
Fay Jones (Conservative - Brecon and Radnorshire)
Northern Ireland Affairs Committee Member since 11th January 2021
Northern Ireland Affairs Committee: Upcoming Events
Northern Ireland Affairs Committee - Private Meeting
8 Dec 2021, 9 a.m.
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50 most recent Written Questions

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department

17th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to discuss with the government of the Republic of Ireland the reported remarks made by Senator Michael McDowell about the decision not to investigate crimes by the Provisional Irish Republican Army that occurred before April 1998.

The UK Government engages regularly with the Irish Government, on a range of matters that require or benefit from the partnership between our two countries, including legacy matters. Legacy issues are due to discussed during the British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference (BIIGC) on 2 December.

The UK and Irish Governments have also been undertaking a period of engagement regarding legacy issues, as announced following the BIIGC in June. During this engagement, the recent public intervention by former Attorney General and Justice Minister in Ireland, Michael McDowell, who stated that a de facto moratorium on the investigation and prosecution of IRA members exists in Ireland, has been discussed.

Lord Caine
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Northern Ireland Office)
22nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, how many meetings he has held with political party leaders as part of the Multiparty Talks on Legacy.

As part of the joint engagement process announced by the UK and Irish Governments following the British and Irish Intergovernmental Conference in June, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, together with the Irish Government’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence, held a roundtable with the leaders of the Northern Ireland parties on 16 July.

Since then, the UK Government has facilitated numerous engagements with a range of stakeholders to discuss legacy issues with the two governments and representatives from the Northern Ireland parties, while the UK Government has conducted its own bilateral engagements, including with the Northern Ireland parties.

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, when he plans to respond to Question 59717 on UK Shared Prosperity Fund tabled by the hon. Member for East Londonderry on 20 October 2021.

This question was answered on 26 October 2021.

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
23rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, how many senior civil servants employed by his Department were based in each of the 12 NUTS1 regions of the UK on (a) 1 March 2019, (b) 1 March 2020, (c) 1 March 2021 and (d) 1 September 2021.

The number of Senior Civil Servants working in the Northern Ireland Office based in each of the NUTS1 UK regions on (a) 1 March 2019, (b) 1 March 2020, (c) 1 March 2021 and (d) 1 September 2021 are shown below:

1 March 2019

1 March 2020

1 March 2021

1 September 2021

Northern Ireland

6

4

5

5

England (London UK1)

8

13

12

12

Scotland

0

0

0

0

Wales

0

0

0

0

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
22nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, whether he has attended a working group as part of the MultiParty Talks on Legacy.

The UK and Irish Governments announced a joint engagement process to make progress on legacy issues following the British and Irish Intergovernmental Conference in June. As part of this process, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, together with the Irish Government’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence, held a roundtable with the leaders of the Northern Ireland parties on 16 July.

Since then, the UK Government has facilitated numerous engagements with a range of stakeholders to discuss legacy issues with the two governments and representatives from the Northern Ireland parties. This process has been led by senior officials, who ensure that the Secretary of State is kept apprised of the issues raised and views expressed in these meetings, which were not attended by UK or Irish ministers. There has been no ministerial attendance by the UK or Irish Governments during these engagements. The Government has of course also been conducting its own bilateral engagement regarding legacy issues, and we have spoken to an extensive range of stakeholders.

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
22nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, whether he plans to invite leaders from the Northern Ireland Executive to the Multiparty Talks on Legacy.

The UK Government, as set out with the Irish Government at the British and Irish Intergovernmental Conference in June, has been engaging with the Northern Ireland parties regularly since the formal engagement process started.

This has included a roundtable with the Irish Government and the leaders of the Northern Ireland parties on 16 July, and numerous engagements with a range of stakeholders to discuss legacy issues with the two governments and representatives from the Northern Ireland parties.

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
22nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, when he last met representatives of the haulage industry in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement.

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and I meet regularly with the haulage industry, and a wide range of businesses, in Northern Ireland to enable a comprehensive understanding of the challenges and opportunities faced and to ensure that the appropriate support and practical solutions are available. I am looking forward to further discussions in the weeks ahead.

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
23rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, how many quarterly updates on progress have been published under the New Decade, New Approach Agreement, Annex F.

We continue to work with the Northern Ireland parties and the Irish Government to arrange the second Implementation Review Meeting, as set out under New Decade, New Approach. We hope that a progress update can be agreed by consensus and published at that stage.

Progress to date includes the release of over £700 million of the £2 billion of funding agreed in the deal, a series of events marking the centenary of Northern Ireland, and the implementation of institutional reforms via the Northern Ireland (Ministers, Elections and Petitions of Concern) Bill.

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
23rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, whether the legal text of the UK's proposed changes to the Northern Ireland Protocol has been shared with the Northern Ireland Executive.

As part of the ongoing discussions with the EU on the Northern Ireland Protocol (the Protocol) we have shared a draft legal text with the EU which reflects the proposals in our Command Paper and provides the foundation for a new forward-looking Protocol that will govern the trading relationship between the UK and EU as far as it affects Northern Ireland. It is a negotiating document at the moment and therefore not public.

Ministers meet regularly with the Northern Ireland Executive First Minister and deputy First Minister to share information on the progress of our discussions with the EU on the Protocol.

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
18th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of On The Run letters of assurance; and what plans they have, if any, (1) to withdraw such letters, and (2) to declare them ineffective.

In July 2014, Lady Justice Hallett published a report following her review of the “on the run” administrative scheme. The review found that while the scheme contained a number of flaws, it was not unlawful.

In September 2014, the Government set out fully its position in relation to the scheme in statements to the House of Commons. In doing so, the then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland made clear that the scheme was at an end and that there was no basis, legal or otherwise, for any reliance on letters received by so-called “on the runs” under the scheme.

Lord Caine
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Northern Ireland Office)
19th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, how many civil servants employed by his Department were based in each of the 12 NUTS1 UK regions on (a) 1 March 2021, (b) 1 June 2021 and (c) 1 September 2021.

The number of Civil Servants employed by the Northern Ireland Office based in each of the NUTS1 UK regions on (a) 1 March 2021 can be found in the published National Statistics, Civil Service Statistics, as at 31 March 2021.

The numbers for (b) 1 June 2021 and (c) 1 September 2021 are shown below.

1 June 2021

1 September 2021

Northern Ireland

88

89

England (London UK1)

80

81

Scotland

0

0

Wales

0

0


Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
17th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what his Department’s process is for (a) recording and (b) keeping minutes of all meetings relating to Government business.

Formal, structured meetings are usually minuted, however, not all meetings need to be minuted. It is expected that the general guidance that departments give to their staff will help officials make judgements as to what meetings need to be minuted, noting their Civil Service Code obligation to ‘keep accurate official records.’

Specific procedures are in place for external meetings involving ministers. These are publicly available and can be found in the Guidance on the management of Private Office Papers.

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
8th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many Royal Pardons have been issued to people in Northern Ireland in the last 25 years.

The Royal Prerogative of Mercy (RPM) was used 16 times in relation to persons convicted and sentenced for terrorist offences in Northern Ireland between 2000 and 2002; seven times in 2000, six times in 2001, and three times in 2002. It was used to shorten (that is not waive or remove) sentences in relation to individuals who, for technical reasons, were not eligible for the early release scheme established under the Northern Ireland (Sentences) Act 1998.

The RPM was used once in 1998 and once in 1999 in non-terrorism related cases in Northern Ireland. In one case, an individual was granted the RPM following assistance that person gave to the authorities (reduction in sentence for such assistance is now provided for on a statutory basis under the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005). In the other, the RPM was used to commute a portion of a sentence for a soldier who spent time under close military arrest for an offence prior to conviction. Had this person been a civilian, such time (equivalent to being on remand) would have been deducted from the sentence, but there was no statutory provision for this at the time in relation to close military arrest.

Whilst the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland is responsible for recommending the exercising of the RPM for terrorism-related cases in Northern Ireland, since the devolution of policing and justice in 2010, responsibility for making recommendations for the RPM in all other cases lies with the Minister of Justice in Northern Ireland.

The Northern Ireland Office does not hold complete records for 1996 or 1997 due to record retention policies.


Lord Caine
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Northern Ireland Office)
8th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to publish a list of names of all those who received a Royal Pardon in Northern Ireland in the last 25 years.

There are no statutory requirements relating to the publication of pardons granted under the Royal Prerogative of Mercy (RPM).

When it is used to shorten, rather than to waive or remove sentences, it is the convention of successive governments not to publish the use of the Royal Prerogative. Its use in Northern Ireland between 2000 and 2002 was in line with the early release scheme established under the Northern Ireland (Sentences) Act 1998: the names of those who benefited from the early release scheme were also not published. The names of those who received the RPM in relation to terrorist convictions in Northern Ireland were made public in the judgement issued in the case of Rodgers [2014] NIQB 79.

Lord Caine
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Northern Ireland Office)
8th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Supreme Court judgment on 13 May 2020 in the case of R vs Adams (Appellant) (Northern Ireland) which related to the validity of an interim custody order made in 1973, (1) whether compensation has been paid to Gerard Adams, and if so how much; (2) how many claims have been made by others to have their convictions overturned; (3) how many claims for compensation have been lodged with the Northern Ireland Office; and (4) how many of these have been settled and paid, and for what total amount.

There has been no compensation paid to Gerard Adams relating to litigation against the Northern Ireland Office.

There have been two other appeals to have convictions overturned that have been allowed. There are a further two who have filed applications for leave to appeal, which have not yet been dealt with.

There are a number of internment-related civil claims against the Northern Ireland Office. The claims are asking for compensation on the basis of the claimants’ view that they were unlawfully detained on a similar basis to Mr Adams.

None of these have been settled and the vast majority have not progressed far beyond the pre-action stage.

Lord Caine
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Northern Ireland Office)
8th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, with reference to the Written Statement of 22 July 2021, HCWS238, what discussions he has had with relevant stakeholders on the (a) workforce and (b) training requirements associated with the commissioning of abortion services in Northern Ireland.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the medical professionals who have ensured that women and girls have had some local access to abortion services in Northern Ireland to date. These medical professionals have, however, not been properly supported by the commissioning of services in Northern Ireland.

The lack of workforce planning and training for abortion services in Northern Ireland reflects the ongoing failure to commission these services since the UK Government set out a framework that they should be delivered under in 2020. This delay is unacceptable and in July, I directed the Department of Health to commission abortion services in Northern Ireland by March 2022.

If it becomes clear at any stage before the March 2022 deadline that the Department of Health or Executive are not making sufficient progress, or are intent on blocking this issue, then I will have no alternative but to take further steps to ensure that women and girls have access to abortion services as decided by Parliament, and to which they have a right.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
8th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, with reference the Written Statement of 22 July 2021, HCWS238, what progress has been made on the commissioning of abortion services in Northern Ireland.

The delay in the implementation of abortion services is entirely unacceptable. Parliament has decided that women should have access to these services and this decision must be respected


I recently requested a timetable for the Health Minister’s bringing of proposals before the Executive Committee to commission abortion services. The direction I issued in July states that abortion services must be commissioned and delivered by March 2022, and this request is part of continued monitoring to ensure that services are delivered in line with that direction.


I am keen to work with the Health Minister to ensure that the rights of women and girls are protected in Northern Ireland. However, if it becomes clear at any stage before the March 2022 deadline that the Department of Health, or indeed the Executive, are not making sufficient progress, or are intent on blocking this issue, then I will have no alternative but to take further steps to ensure that women and girls have access to abortion services as decided by Parliament, and to which they have a right.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
8th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have reached an agreement with the Electoral Commission for Northern Ireland on a funding package for the next three years; and if so, what sums have been allocated.

The UK Electoral Commission was established by the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 and is independent of Government. It is accountable to Parliament via the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission (save for where its finances and Five Year Plan relate to the Commission's devolved Scottish and Welsh functions). Each financial year, the Commission is required to submit to the Speaker’s Committee an Estimate of its income and expenditure in relation to non-devolved elections. After its examination, the Speaker’s Committee lay the Estimate before the House of Commons. The Commission reports on outturn against the Estimate in the Annual Report and Accounts, which is certified by the Comptroller and Auditor General. Where the Commission's Annual Report and Accounts relate to Welsh and Scottish devolved functions, the Comptroller and Auditor General certifies those for the devolved Parliaments, not the UK Parliament.

The internal allocation of funding between the four national offices of the Electoral Commission is an internal matter for them.

Lord Caine
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Northern Ireland Office)
9th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, if he will take steps to ensure a choice for schools who do not wish to teach the Irish Language in any legislative proposals on the Irish Language.

The Government is taking forward the carefully negotiated legislative commitments on identity, language and culture in the New Decade, New Approach agreement as the Northern Ireland Executive has not done so.

The New Decade, New Approach agreement did not include provision for the teaching of the Irish language in schools and as such, the legislation the Government will introduce makes no change to the current arrangements

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what assessment he has made of the security situation in Northern Ireland following the recent burning of a bus in Belfast.

We are aware of the incident involving the burning of a bus in Newtownards, County Down. The security situation in Northern Ireland is kept under regular review and we are in close contact with security partners and the devolved administration.

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
4th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what estimate he has made of the number of ivory items owned by or collated by his Department.

We have not made any estimates of the number of such items owned by or collated in this Department.

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
26th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what recent steps they have taken to support the economy of Northern Ireland.

Northern Ireland benefits hugely from being part of the fifth largest economy in the world. The UK Government is committed to levelling up across Northern Ireland, by promoting enterprise, creating jobs and attracting investment.

Northern Ireland will benefit from the UK Government's policies to level up the UK economy as a whole, such as the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, commitments to invest in Research and Development across the UK and support for local businesses.

During the Spending Review and Autumn Budget 2021, the Chancellor announced that the UK Government will provide the Northern Ireland Executive with an additional £1.6 billion per year on average through the Barnett formula on top of its annual baseline funding of £13.4 billion, along with an extra £235 million for 2021/22.

The Chancellor also announced that a total of £49 million has been allocated across 11 projects in Northern Ireland from the Levelling Up Fund, including; upgrading the electric vehicle charging network across Northern Ireland, the creation of a new bioscience research centre at Ulster University and the redevelopment of a derelict Ministry of Defence site in Derry/ Londonderry into an urban community farm.

The £400 million New Deal for Northern Ireland funding and £617 million provided through the City and Growth Deal programme will boost local growth and ensure Northern Ireland is ready to seize economic opportunities. These investments are on top of the £2 billion financial package through the New Decade, New Approach agreement and £730 million into the new PEACE PLUS programme.

Northern Ireland is also set to benefit from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, which will help people access opportunity in places in need, such as deprived towns and rural and coastal communities. The UKSPF will increase to £1.5 billion / year in 2024-25 and total funding will at a minimum match the size of EU Funds in all nations, each year.

Lord Caine
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Northern Ireland Office)
26th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the support available to victims of Northern Ireland-related acts of terrorism in mainland Great Britain.

The Troubles Permanent Disablement Scheme opened in August 2021 and is being delivered by the Northern Ireland Executive. The scheme provides acknowledgement and support to people who were injured in a Troubles-related incident throughout the UK between 1966 and 2010 and living with permanent disablement as a result.

UK citizens, people from Northern Ireland or Crown Servants injured in a relevant incident in Europe will be eligible to apply.

In addition, the Home Office’s Victims of Terrorism Unit ensures that victims of terrorism in Great Britain receive effective, comprehensive and coordinated support. Further details on the range of support available can be found at victimsofterrorism.campaign.gov.uk.

The Home Secretary has committed to an internal review, which will assess the wider support package available to victims of terrorism and will provide recommendations.

Lord Caine
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Northern Ireland Office)
26th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Northern Ireland (Ministers, Elections and Petitions of Concern) Bill provides for (1) salaries, (2) secretarial expenses, and (3) travelling expenses, to be credited to Members of the Legislative Assembly during the proposed 24 week extension period for filling Ministerial offices.

The Northern Ireland (Ministers, Elections and Petitions of Concern) Bill does not make any provision in respect of the salaries, secretarial expenses and travelling expenses of Members of the Legislative Assembly during the proposed 24-week extension period for filling Ministerial offices


Lord Caine
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Northern Ireland Office)
27th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what recent discussions he has had with the Irish Government on the arrangements of events to mark the centenary year of the creation of Northern Ireland.

As part of the New Decade, New Approach deal, the UK Government committed to mark the Centenary of Northern Ireland in 2021 in a spirit of mutual respect, inclusiveness and reconciliation, in line with the Principles for Remembering. The Centenary programme presents a unique opportunity to celebrate Northern Ireland’s contribution to the UK and highlight its people, places and products.

The Government’s approach has been to provide an opportunity to reflect on the past while building for the future, facilitating national recognition and international awareness of this significant anniversary, which represents not just the Centenary of Northern Ireland, but also of the United Kingdom as we know it today.

The Centenary Programme was devised to mark historical anniversaries, reflect on the historical aspects of the Centenary through an expert Historical Advisory Panel, and, through consultation with a cross community Centenary Forum, along with a number of other UK and international stakeholders, deliver a forward looking programme of events and support Northern Ireland on its path towards economic recovery following the Covid pandemic.

Representatives from the Irish Government’s Department for Foreign Affairs have been involved throughout, and the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland has had regular discussions with the Irish Government on a range of matters, including on marking the Centenary as an important milestone within the Decade of Centenaries.


Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
26th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what steps he is taking to introduce an Irish language Bill.

It is disappointing that the Northern Ireland Executive has not progressed the package of identity, language and culture legislation that was carefully negotiated as part of the New Decade, New Approach agreement.

This balanced package of legislation is not an 'Irish language bill’ as it will benefit everyone in Northern Ireland, including the Irish language and Ulster Scots communities, and culture and identity more widely.

In the absence of progress from the Northern Ireland Executive, the Government is now taking the necessary steps to introduce the legislation.

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
26th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what recent discussions they have had with the Northern Ireland Executive on the implementation of vaccination programmes in Northern Ireland.

Thanks to the UK-wide vaccine rollout, over 85% of Northern Ireland’s adult population have received two doses of the vaccine. It will be important that we maintain this collective approach as we seek to recover from the pandemic.

Ministers across the UK Government speak to those in the Northern Ireland Executive and other devolved administrations on how they can support nationwide rollout.

Although each devolved administration controls its own public health policy, we have been coordinating our responses to Covid, seeking alignment in policy and approach where appropriate, to ensure we tackle the pandemic effectively.

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
22nd Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what funding his Department has allocated to Stonewall in each of the last five years; and for what projects.

The following payments have been made to Stonewall Equality Limited:

2019/20: £0.00

2020/21: £3,000.00

2021/22: £3,000.00

These payments are for the Northern Ireland Office's participation in the Diversity Champions programme run by Stonewall. Participation in the scheme gives the NIO access to training, resources and advice on good practice on inclusivity. The programme also gives us access to the annual Workplace Equality Index run by Stonewall.

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
27th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, how many quarterly updates on progress have been published under the New Decade, New Approach Agreement, Annexe F.

Since the New Decade, New Approach agreement restored the Northern Ireland Assembly and Executive in January 2020, there has been one implementation review meeting.

We continue to work with the Irish Government and the parties in the Northern Ireland Executive on the timing of the next meeting, which we expect to take place in the coming weeks.

We will use that engagement to agree the terms of an implementation report.


Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
27th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, how many implementation review meetings have been held since the New Decade, New Approach agreement was signed.

Since the New Decade, New Approach agreement restored the Northern Ireland Assembly and Executive in January 2020, there has been one implementation review meeting.

We continue to work with the Irish Government and the parties in the Northern Ireland Executive on the timing of the next meeting, which we expect to take place in the coming weeks.

We will use that engagement to agree the terms of an implementation report.


Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
22nd Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, how many of his Department's ministers have been exempted from quarantine in a hotel after returning to the UK from a covid-19 red list country to which they have travelled for the purposes of conducting official business.

No Northern Ireland Office ministers have been exempted from quarantine in a hotel after returning to the UK from a covid-19 red list country to which they have travelled for the purposes of conducting official business.

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
18th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what steps his Department is taking to support the development of Northern Ireland’s FinTech and cyber security sectors.

The Fintech and Cyber Security sectors are two of Northern Ireland’s leading innovative industries. Through the New Decade, New Approach agreement, the UK Government committed to achieving 5000 Cyber Security jobs in Northern Ireland by 2030.

I continue to work closely with the Northern Ireland Fintech envoy, and recently met to discuss an ambitious strategy to ensure Northern Ireland can become a world leader in the sector.

In September 2021, the Northern Ireland Office hosted a NI Business and Innovation Showcase which brought together industries such as Fintech and Cyber to London to network and promote their products.

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
27th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, with reference to the Written Statement of 21 June 2021 on Northern Ireland update, HCWS105, whether it remains his policy to introduce legislation on language, culture and identity in October 2021.

It is disappointing that the Northern Ireland Executive has not taken forward the balanced package of identity, language and culture legislation that was negotiated as part of the New Decade, New Approach agreement.

In the absence of progress, the Government is taking the necessary steps to introduce the legislation.

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
14th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government on what date officials from the British Embassy in the USA last met Martin Galvin.

The Government continues to speak to a wide range of stakeholders as part of its commitment to engage all parties and groups on issues relating to Northern Ireland.

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland undertakes regular wide engagement with civic society and politicians in the USA. As part of this, he and officials met with the Ancient Order of Hibernians on Sunday 10 October. Martin Galvin was part of their delegation. Officials from the UK Consulate in New York were also in attendance.

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
14th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many ministers have met Martin Galvin in the USA in the past month.

The Government continues to speak to a wide range of stakeholders as part of its commitment to engage all parties and groups on issues relating to Northern Ireland.

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland undertakes regular wide engagement with civic society and politicians in the USA. As part of this, he and officials met with the Ancient Order of Hibernians on Sunday 10 October. Martin Galvin was part of their delegation. Officials from the UK Consulate in New York were also in attendance.

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
27th Oct 2021
What recent discussions he has had with the Irish Government on addressing the legacy of the Troubles.

Following the British and Irish Intergovernmental Conference in June, the Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs and I jointly initiated an intensive period of engagement on legacy, with a view to finding a way forward as soon as possible.

Since then my officials and I have and continue to engage with the Northern Ireland parties and other key stakeholders as part of this process, and in partnership with our colleagues in the Irish Government.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
27th Oct 2021
If he will have discussions with the Northern Ireland Executive on delays in the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland in concluding investigations.

The Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland is an independent and impartial organisation; It would not be appropriate for the Government to enter into discussions on the conduct of their investigations.

The Hon Gentleman is welcome to write to me directly on this topic.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
20th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what discussions he has held with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on citizens of Northern Ireland temporarily residing in England being unable to access the NHS Covid Vaccine Passport as their GP postcode is registered in Northern Ireland.

Ministers regularly speak with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and the Northern Ireland Minister of Health and have raised the issue concerning NHS Covid Vaccine passports recently.

Both Ministers agreed on the need to resolve this matter as a priority and have instructed their officials to work at pace to implement data flow solutions. This is being resolved as a matter of urgency, however we will continue to monitor the situation to ensure all UK citizens are able to access their NHS Covid Vaccine Passport.

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
20th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, when he plans to announce proposals on how the UK Shared Prosperity Fund will be used to strengthen the Union.

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund will help to level up and create opportunity across the United Kingdom.

It will operate UK-wide, using the new financial assistance powers in the UK Internal Market Act 2020. We will ramp up funding so that total domestic UK-wide funding will at least match EU receipts, on average reaching around £1.5bn a year.

The Spending Review 2020 set out the main strategic elements of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund in the Heads of Terms.  The Government will publish further details later this year and confirm its funding profile at the upcoming Spending Review.

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of British Pregnancy Advisory Service provision in meeting the requirement for the funding of a Central Access Service in the direction given on 22 July 2021.

I am extremely grateful to the British Pregnancy Advisory Service for stepping in at a crucial moment to provide women and girls with a temporary interim service. However, I am disappointed it had to get to that stage.

I will continue to monitor the new services provided by BPAS and I am determined that women and girls receive at least the same level of service as under the previous provider while this interim service is in place. I recognise that this is not a permanent solution, and that more needs to be done. It is for this reason that in July, I issued a Direction to the Department of Health and First and deputy First Minister to commission and make abortion services available by no later than 31 March 2022.

The Government recognises the importance of consulting with experts, counselling and other support services to support women and girls in accessing services and making individual decisions on these matters. I would like to put on record my thanks to Informing Choices NI for providing a central access point from April 2020 to September 2021, until they were forced to withdraw some services as a direct result of inaction from the Department of Health.

The Northern Ireland Office will continue to work closely with the Department of Health in taking forward implementation of this important devolved issue.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what steps he is taking to improve his Department's response times to correspondence from members of the public.

The Government recognises the importance of responding to members of the public in an effective and timely manner, and the Cabinet Office published an updated Guide to Handling Correspondence for government departments and agencies in July 2021.

The guidance reasserts the standards for handling correspondence, including a 20 working day deadline for departments to respond to members of the public, criteria outlining when a response to a member of the public is required, and when a piece of correspondence from a member of the public should be transferred to another department. Following publication of the updated guidance, all departments have been reminded that they must follow the processes outlined in the guidance.

The Northern Ireland Office receives a significant amount of correspondence across the Department’s wide and varied portfolio. The Department has a robust process in place to manage and respond to queries in line with our obligations.

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, when he plans to announce allocations under the Community Renewal Fund for projects in Northern Ireland.

There has been significant interest in the Community Renewal Fund in Northern Ireland, with bids submitted by a wide range of applicants across all of the Fund’s investment strands. Applications have been assessed for strategic fit, deliverability and value for money. Successful projects will be announced in due course by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

The UK Government has an ambitious plan to level up across the UK and the £220m Community Renewal Fund will help achieve this in Northern Ireland. By focusing on investment in skills, employment, net zero initiatives, local business and community and place, we will be making positive changes to communities right across the United Kingdom. The UK Government will ensure this investment makes a significant impact across Northern Ireland.

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, if he will publish the biographies and any declared interests of the members of the Castlereagh Foundation Advisory Panel.

The members of the Castlereagh Foundation Advisory Committee are:

Arlene Foster (Chair),

Simon Routh Jones CBE QFSM,

Julie Andrews,

Frederick Lauritzen,

Mary Madden CBE and,

Professor Peter Shirlow.

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland announced the appointments to the Advisory Committee on 23 July 2021. These are non-statutory appointments for which no remuneration is payable.

The Advisory Committee will provide an independent advisory function to the Secretary of State and will report directly to him within a period of six months. The Government has full confidence that this committee will be fair and balanced in the analysis and advice they provide to the establishment of the Castlereagh Foundation.

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, for what reason his Department did not publish a press release on the appointment of the members of the Castlereagh Foundation Advisory Panel.

The members of the Castlereagh Foundation Advisory Committee are:

Arlene Foster (Chair),

Simon Routh Jones CBE QFSM,

Julie Andrews,

Frederick Lauritzen,

Mary Madden CBE and,

Professor Peter Shirlow.

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland announced the appointments to the Advisory Committee on 23 July 2021. These are non-statutory appointments for which no remuneration is payable.

The Advisory Committee will provide an independent advisory function to the Secretary of State and will report directly to him within a period of six months. The Government has full confidence that this committee will be fair and balanced in the analysis and advice they provide to the establishment of the Castlereagh Foundation.

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, if he will publish the members of the Castlereagh Foundation Advisory Panel.

The members of the Castlereagh Foundation Advisory Committee are:

Arlene Foster (Chair),

Simon Routh Jones CBE QFSM,

Julie Andrews,

Frederick Lauritzen,

Mary Madden CBE and,

Professor Peter Shirlow.

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland announced the appointments to the Advisory Committee on 23 July 2021. These are non-statutory appointments for which no remuneration is payable.

The Advisory Committee will provide an independent advisory function to the Secretary of State and will report directly to him within a period of six months. The Government has full confidence that this committee will be fair and balanced in the analysis and advice they provide to the establishment of the Castlereagh Foundation.

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what discussions the Government has had with political representatives in the United States on the Government’s proposed legacy plans for Northern Ireland; and what assessment he has made of the implications for any legislative proposals of the views of members of the US Congress on on the Government's legacy proposals.

The UK Government welcomes the deep and ongoing interest of US representatives in Northern Ireland issues.

Since the publication of the Command Paper in July, we have listened carefully to many different views on the Government’s legacy proposals, including from US political representatives.

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland has undertaken significant engagement with US stakeholders that form part of our wider engagement, which will inform our next steps.

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
21st Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, if he will publish details of the contract to supply new uniforms to the Police Service of Northern Ireland; and what checks his Department has undertaken to ensure that those uniforms are ethically procured.

Policing and Justice are devolved matters in Northern Ireland. The awarding of any contracts for the supply of uniforms is a matter for the Police Service of Northern Ireland and the Northern Ireland Department of Justice.

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what plans his Department has to celebrate the Queens' Platinum Jubilee in Northern Ireland.

My officials are working closely with officials from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport who are the lead Government department for Jubilee celebrations, in support of Buckingham Palace. You may be aware that a number of UK-wide projects are already in development such as the lighting of Jubilee Beacons. The public are also being encouraged to participate in Big Jubilee Lunches, in order to bring the Jubilee celebrations into the heart of communities.

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
16th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, how many and what proportion of the Union Jack flags purchased by his Department in each of the last two years were manufactured in the UK.

My Department has not purchased any Union Jack Flags in each of the last two years.

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)