Baroness Anelay of St Johns Portrait

Baroness Anelay of St Johns

Conservative - Life peer

Sub-Committee on Lords' Conduct
18th Jul 2018 - 18th Jul 2018
Minister of State (Department for Exiting the European Union)
12th Jun 2017 - 27th Oct 2017
Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office)
6th Aug 2014 - 13th Jun 2017
Minister of State (Department for International Development)
17th Jul 2016 - 14th Oct 2016
Minister of State (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills) (Trade and Investment)
11th Mar 2016 - 4th Apr 2016
Deputy Speaker (Lords)
29th Nov 2010 - 14th Oct 2014
Deputy Chairman of Committees (Lords)
2nd Jun 2010 - 14th Oct 2014
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
13th May 2010 - 6th Aug 2014
Committee for Privileges and Conduct (Lords)
20th Nov 2007 - 6th Aug 2014
Administration and Works Committee (Lords)
8th Oct 2007 - 6th Aug 2014
Procedure and Privileges Committee
8th Oct 2007 - 6th Aug 2014
Committee of Selection (Lords)
8th Oct 2007 - 6th Aug 2014
Joint Committee on Security
26th Nov 2008 - 8th Apr 2010
Procedure and Privileges Committee
9th Jun 1997 - 30th Nov 2000


Select Committee Meeting
Thursday 2nd December 2021
14:20
Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 7th December 2021
10:00
Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 8th December 2021
10:00
Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 8th December 2021
14:30
Scheduled Event
Wednesday 15th December 2021
Oral questions - Main Chamber
Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on armed conflict worldwide and the forced displacement of people
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Division Votes
Monday 29th November 2021
Public Service Pensions and Judicial Offices Bill [HL]
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 176 Conservative No votes vs 0 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 147 Noes - 211
Speeches
Tuesday 16th November 2021
COP 26

My Lords, the oceans play a unique role in regulating our climate. Unless we take unprecedented action to restore and …

Written Answers
Tuesday 28th September 2021
Afghanistan: Asylum
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have taken to ensure that the Afghan Relocation and Assistance Policy scheme …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
None available
Tweets
None available
MP Financial Interests
None available

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Baroness Anelay of St Johns has voted in 194 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
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Debates during the 2019 Parliament

Speeches made during Parliamentary debates are recorded in Hansard. For ease of browsing we have grouped debates into individual, departmental and legislative categories.

Sparring Partners
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Conservative)
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
(23 debate interactions)
Baroness Sugg (Conservative)
(15 debate interactions)
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Department Debates
Ministry of Defence
(6 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(5 debate contributions)
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View all Baroness Anelay of St Johns's debates

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Baroness Anelay of St Johns, and are more likely to reflect personal policy preferences.

MPs who are act as Ministers or Shadow Ministers are generally restricted from performing Commons initiatives other than Urgent Questions.


Baroness Anelay of St Johns has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Baroness Anelay of St Johns has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Baroness Anelay of St Johns has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

Baroness Anelay of St Johns has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


55 Written Questions in the current parliament

(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
10th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that ageing continues to be identified as a ministerial responsibility within an inclusive societies portfolio when the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office is established.

The new FCDO’s guiding purpose will be to promote the UK’s national interest around the world. The new organization will take a broad view of national interest, which will be based on values, as well as our core interests of security and prosperity. The UK stands for open societies and democratic values, alongside poverty reduction and supporting the vulnerable, because they are right in themselves and also the best route to lasting stability and growth.

As the current minister for Inclusive Societies, I recognize that empowering older people is key to achieving poverty reduction. COVID-19 has thrown into sharp relief the vulnerability of older people to shocks and brought to the forefront the important roles they play in society.

The UK is committed to ensuring that, through all channels of support, our assistance reaches the most marginalized, which will include older people. The new department will continue to prioritise those furthest left behind and champion inclusion of vulnerable groups in our responses.

24th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the risk of starvation to the people of the Afar region of Eritrea due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and (2) whether that risk has been exacerbated by the actions of the government of Eritrea.

We are concerned that the population of Eritrea, including the Red Sea Afar people, are facing food insecurity as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 and the desert locust outbreak are compounding existing humanitarian need caused by residual effects of war and climate change. Humanitarian and development programmes in Eritrea are being adapted to address current food security challenges. DFID funds life-saving activity in Eritrea, including providing £4 million to UNICEF in 2019-20 to help treat malnutrition in under-fives and provide access to safe hygiene and sanitation services. This programme continues to deliver basic nutrition supplies in the Afar region during the pandemic.

Like most countries affected by COVID-19, the authorities have imposed an internal travel ban and lockdown across Eritrea. We will continue to urge for these measures to be necessary, proportionate, time-bound, transparent and regularly reviewed. We raise our concerns about human rights in Eritrea with the Government at every opportunity, and we will continue to monitor the situation and risks in country.

24th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what measures are in place to ensure that Government-funded international development and aid programmes do not involve forced labour in Eritrea, with particular regard to indefinite military conscription.

UK Aid funds life-saving activity in Eritrea, including providing £4 million to UNICEF in 2019-20 to help treat malnutrition in under-fives and provide access to safe hygiene and sanitation services. UNICEF work with the Ministry of Health and at all levels of the local community to build the capacity of the health service in Eritrea and encourage a long-term, sustainable response to undernutrition. No military personnel are employed in the delivery of the programme and enhanced safeguards are in place to prevent the use of forced labour.

The UK continues to call for reform of Eritrea's use of a system of universal and compulsory national service directly with the Government of Eritrea. At the 41st session of the Human Rights Council in July 2019, the UK renewed calls for Eritrea to reform the national service system, recognising that sustainable reform of national service needs to happen in tandem with an improved economic situation and job creation.

13th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to support refugees and marginalised religious and belief communities which have been negatively impacted by COVID-19.

The UK Government works to ensure that all aid reaches the most vulnerable, including refugees and those from marginalised religious and belief communities. Vulnerable populations will experience COVID-19 outbreaks differently. COVID-19 is likely to reinforce their marginalised position in society, their experience of discrimination, violence and stigma, and further limit their access to essential support and services. For this reason, guidance has been circulated across DFID highlighting that inclusion must be central to our response and that the specific needs of refugees and all marginalised religious communities should be taken into account when developing practical programmes to tackle COVID-19.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
30th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the World Health Organisation about the impact of the suspension of funding by the United States on its ability to lead partners in the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

We are in regular contact with the World Health Organization (WHO) about its response to the COVID-19 pandemic and how it is working with multiple agencies and partners. The impact of the United States pause on funding, subject to review, is something we are closely monitoring. WHO continues to play a key leadership role in the overall response which we support, including on global coordination and planning for country level preparedness and response.

28th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what work the Department for International Development is funding to ensure that safe spaces are designated for women and girls where they can report abuse without alerting perpetrators during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The UK is deeply concerned about the surge in violence against women and girls (VAWG) during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is more important than ever to support safe spaces and services for survivors of violence. These are essential and life-saving.

The UK is already the largest donor to the UN Population Fund and we have committed an additional £10 million to their COVID-19 response, which will provide services to women and girls through safe spaces. We have provided £20 million to support the UN Children’s Fund COVID-19 response, strengthening and establishing response and referral mechanisms for survivors. We are urgently reorienting existing bilateral programmes to ensure women and girls can continue to access support during the lockdown, including safe spaces. For example, in Nepal, DFID is financing safe spaces for women in nine shelters and 42 COVID-19 quarantine sites. In Uganda, DFID is supporting the Government's response to the spikes in VAWG by funding 13 shelters across the country and supporting revisions of standard operating procedures to ensure safety of frontline staff and survivors.

21st Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that their international response to COVID-19 explicitly supports the health needs of older people in low- and middle-income countries.

We recognise that that older people are disproportionately impacted and at more risk of severe complications and death due to COVID-19.

As well as the primary impacts of COVID-19, marginalised groups also experience secondary impacts of virus. This includes reduced access to healthcare, food and medications, due to increased pressure on healthcare systems, markets and supply chains, made worse by pre-existing accessibility challenges and barriers. We also understand that older people live in a variety of settings where social distancing advice may be challenging to enact, such as humanitarian settings or where older people are living in residential care. We are working hard to ensure that our help reaches those most in need, including older people, through close collaboration with our partners.

Our funding is supporting a range of initiatives and partners to ensure that it can reach those in need and strengthen fragile health services in the world’s poorest countries where there is a high risk of the disease spreading rapidly. This includes supporting the United Nation’s Global Humanitarian Response Plan to tackle COVID-19 and help to the most vulnerable across the globe. The plan explicitly identifies older people given their susceptibility to the virus and their broader vulnerability. Our latest UK aid announcement on 12 April of £200 million, is supporting humanitarian organisations to help reduce mass infections in developing countries that often lack the healthcare systems to track and halt the virus. This includes £130 million to UN agencies in response to their COVID-19 humanitarian appeals.

In addition, we are redirecting existing support and programmes ensure responses to COVID-19 are fully inclusive, including supporting the needs of older people.

21st Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they took to mark the International Day for Street Children on 12 April and its campaign for Safe Spaces for Children in order to raise awareness about the problems faced by street-connected children.

DFID is committed to protecting the most vulnerable children around the world including children who live and work on the streets. We provide significant support to protect children from violence in conflict and humanitarian crises and to reduce their risks of violence, exploitation, abuse, and neglect.

DFID’s Education support focuses on the needs of the most marginalised children. In August 2019 at the G7 Summit, the UK Prime Minister announced £90 million of new UK support for education in emergencies and crises across the world, this will support 600,000 children living in conflict areas and areas of protracted crises. This investment is key to the PM’s plan to ensure more girls benefit from 12 years of education. This funding will provide safe spaces and psycho-social support to some of the most vulnerable children in the world.

21st Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have taken to ensure that Department for International Development funded non-government organisations and international non-governmental organisation include street-connected children and homeless youth in emergency funding during the COVID-19 pandemic.

DFID is committed to protecting the most vulnerable children in the world. We are working with international partners to ensure that child protection is integrated into a comprehensive response to COVID-19 that supports those groups who will be hit the hardest and are often with limited or no state protection. We are also working to ensure that existing UK programming is responsive to the challenge of supporting those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

19th Dec 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government what are their priorities for the UK–Africa Investment Summit being hosted by the UK in January 2020.

The UK-Africa Investment Summit will create new lasting partnerships that will deliver more investment, jobs and growth. This will benefit people and businesses across Africa and in the UK. The IMF estimates that Africa is home to eight of the world’s 15 fastest growing economies. By 2050, over 2 billion people will live in Africa and 1 in 4 global consumers will be African. But African countries receive less than 4% of foreign direct investment and around 20 million jobs a year must be created to keep pace with population growth. Hosted by the Prime Minister, the Summit will bring together UK and African business representatives, African leaders and delegations from 21 countries, international institutions and young entrepreneurs. As we strengthen our place in the world, we want the UK to be the investment partner of choice for African nations. We have world-leading expertise on tech and innovation, the City of London is the number one global exchange for African businesses, and we are committed to green growth.

19th Dec 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government which (1) governments, (2) international organisations, and (3) businesses, have been invited to attend the UK–Africa Investment Summit being hosted by the UK in January 2020.

The Summit will bring together African leaders and delegations from 21 countries who have been invited: Algeria, Angola, Côte d’Ivoire, DRC, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tunisia, Uganda.

6 multilateral organisations and international financial institutions have also been invited: African Development Bank, African Union, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, International Monetary Fund, United Nations, World Bank.

We have invited hundreds of UK and African business representatives and representatives from Civil Society Organisations.

2nd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the progress achieved by the Latin America and Caribbean Investor Club since its establishment by the Department of International Trade in April 2019.

Since the launch of the Latin American and Caribbean (LatAC) Investors Club, established to foster business connections between the United Kingdom and the region, the club has brought together over 180 participants, from overseas investors, HM Government, and British companies for two annual events (in 2019 and 2020).

These events provided opportunities for HM Government to strengthen its relationship with investors from the LatAC region, helping us to better support and maintain Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), and map potential expansions. Since its launching, club members have supported British growth through at least six new expansion projects, contributing to 73 jobs across the United Kingdom.

In 2021, we are expanding the programme to strengthen contact with investors to address requests for assistance and provide a forum to on how to improve Britain’s competitiveness. It will support account management of around 200 existing LatAC investors in the United Kingdom, in coordination with the Department for International Trade’s FDI officers, Ministers, Trade Envoys, Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner, and Ambassadors, to build and maintain strong relationships at senior levels.

Lord Grimstone of Boscobel
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
21st Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the outcome of the Africa Investment Conference held on 20 January; and what plans they have to follow up on any commitments made at that Conference.

Based on our initial assessment, the Africa Investment Conference was a success, with more than 2,800 visitors including over 1,000 individual delegates from the African and UK business communities respectively, and a positive uptake of businesses interested in further engagement after the conference.

We are carrying out an evaluation of the conference to obtain more information about its impact, and plan to follow up the event with further activity both in Africa nations and the UK.

Lord Grimstone of Boscobel
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
21st Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government which (1) countries, (2) businesses, and (3) organisations, were represented at the Africa Investment Conference held on 20 January; and whether a recording of that event will be available publicly online.

The Africa Investment Conference (AIC) held on 20 January was a virtual business engagement event open to delegates from any country. On the day visitors from 74 countries (including 43 African countries), 1,747 businesses (over 2,800 delegates) and 156 different organisations accessed the AIC online. A recording of all conference sessions was made publicly available via the conference website shortly after the event. This can be accessed through the following link: https://www.events.great.gov.uk/website/3529/on-demand/.

Lord Grimstone of Boscobel
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
21st Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what method they intend to use measure the planned increase in UK investment in Africa; and what are the principal means by which they are supporting UK firms to make such investments.

The Department for International Trade (DIT) uses published national statistics produced by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to track investment involving UK companies in other countries, including African countries. We also have an internal monitoring system that tracks business investment activity supported by DIT.

DIT provides market access entry advice for UK firms looking to invest in African countries. We have established an online deal platform that matches UK investors with high-growth African businesses, and an Africa Investors Group which comprises some of the largest UK investors in Africa.

Lord Grimstone of Boscobel
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
21st Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress they have made in aligning the use of export credits with the UK’s commitments on climate change, including those related to (1) sustainable infrastructure, and (2) renewable energy.

At the Climate Ambition Summit on 12 December 2020, the Prime Minister announced that the UK will no longer provide any new direct financial or promotional support for the fossil fuel energy sector overseas, other than in exceptional circumstances, and will align its support to enable clean energy exports.

A public consultation was announced at the same time to seek stakeholders’ views on i) how to enable an accelerated growth in UK clean energy exports, and ii) on the impacts of the timing of implementation of the policy shift on international fossil fuel energy sector support.

The consultation can be found online at: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/aligning-uk-international-support-for-the-clean-energy-transition.

Lord Grimstone of Boscobel
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
14th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Vere of Norbiton on 13 May (HL3586), why no data is kept on non-commercial flight movement to, and from, Farnborough Airport; and what assessment they have made of the impact of the absence of such data on their ability to enforce their plans to apply 14-day quarantine rules to those arriving on flights from overseas from the end of this month.

Official data on commercial flights is collected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and received from UK airports in adherence to statistical regulation (EC) 437/2003 on statistical returns in respect of the carriage of passengers, freight and mail by air. As Farnborough mainly receives non-commercial flight traffic, it is exempt from reporting under this regulation.

The Department can consult monitoring of flight traffic conducted by Eurocontrol to identify the volume of flights at Farnborough. This monitoring shows that Farnborough received an average of 10 flights (arrivals and departures) per day throughout April 2020.

We are asking people travelling to the UK to supply their contact details and details of their accommodation, and to self-isolate in their accommodation for 14 days.

Farnborough Airport is manned by Border Force officers who are based onsite during the opening hours for the airport. It will be their role to ensure adherence to the proposed requirement for international arrivals to complete the proposed online locator app, outside of a small number of exemptions to this requirement.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
28th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many flights of private aircraft (1) landed, and (2) departed, from Farnborough Airport from the start of lockdown on 17 March to 14 April; and what measures they have in place to record the identity and contact details of the passengers and crew of such flights so that they can be traced if any develop COVID-19.

DfT does not hold official statistics on private aircraft flight movements for the time period stated in the question. The Civil Aviation Authority collects some very limited information on non-commercial flight movements at a selection of UK airports which contains the total number of flight movements (arrivals + departures) in monthly block totals however Farnborough is not included in this data.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
28th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what measures are in place to ensure that passengers (1) arriving in, and (2) departing from, the UK by private aircraft follow COVID-19-related social distancing procedures when boarding and being seated on aircraft.

Firstly, following on from the Government’s guidance on social distancing in relation to COVID-19, people should avoid travelling unless it is essential. We would therefore expect private aircraft journeys to be non-essential.

The Government’s guidance regarding social distancing remains the same for private operations as commercial operations. The advice for travellers arriving in the UK is the same as for the rest of the population: they are advised to reduce their social contacts by staying at home and following the same social distancing measures as the rest of the country. If they begin to show symptoms, they should self-isolate. In case a passenger becomes ill in transit, all airports have been required to identify specific isolation areas to be used until the local health response arrives.

However, as you would expect our approach is being kept under review as the pandemic develops. This may mean that measures and procedures change as we control the spread of, and understand more about, the virus. Any changes to our approach will be led by advice from SAGE and the Chief Medical Officer. Protecting the health of the UK public will always come first.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
28th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to require airline passengers and crew to have their temperature tested on arrival and departure from the UK.

Airlines and airports have already implemented additional measures in response to COVID-19 in line with advice from PHE, SAGE and the Chief Medical Officer. Airports are displaying posters and digital signage relaying Government information about COVID-19. Passengers arriving into UK airports are being given a leaflet with information about the measures in place in the UK, and announcements are made on aircraft an hour before landing.

Our approach is being kept under review as the pandemic develops. This may mean that measures and procedures change as we control the spread of, and understand more about, the virus. Any changes to our approach will be led by advice from SAGE and the Chief Medical Officer. Protecting the health of the UK public will always come first.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
13th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have taken to ensure that the Afghan Relocation and Assistance Policy scheme helps those funded by the UK Government to work with UK universities on Overseas Development Assistance programmes focused on gender and women's rights.

The Afghan relocations and assistance policy was set up to facilitate the resettlement of Afghan nationals who worked with the UK Government in Afghanistan. A number of gender and women's rights activists were evacuated as special cases under Operation Pitting, and those still in Afghanistan may be eligible for resettlement under the Afghan citizens' resettlement scheme.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how they will reflect the children and armed conflict agenda within the strategic conflict agenda.

The UK is firmly committed to ending the recruitment and use of child soldiers and to protecting all children affected by armed conflict. In the coming months, we will be reviewing the UK's approach to tackling violent conflict, and will continue to ensure that the children and armed conflict agenda is reflected in this.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the report by the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict Annual Report of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict, published on 21 June; and what steps they are taking to hold to account perpetrators of violations against children.

The Secretary-General's Annual Report on Children and Armed Conflict (CAAC) shows how far we still need to travel to end the suffering of children. The UK is particularly concerned about the increase in violations committed against children in countries already on the Council's agenda, like Somalia. We have called on the Secretary General to ensure that next year's report includes the plight of children in Ethiopia and Mozambique. As a member of the UN Security Council CAAC Working Group, the UK applies diplomatic pressure to perpetrators to enter into UN action plans to verify and release any children associated with armed groups and forces, to prevent re-recruitment and ensure the provision of appropriate reintegration and rehabilitation assistance. Recently, we have negotiated strong calls to action for parties to conflict in Somalia, Nigeria, Sudan, South Sudan, Mali, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Colombia.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what recent discussions they have had, if any, with (1) the government of the United States, and (2) other NATO allies, on how to develop an enduring partnership with Afghanistan in light of the withdrawal of UK troops this year.

The UK, alongside our NATO Allies, is committed to our enduring partnership with Afghanistan. The UK is playing a leading role as we transition to a new phase of international support for Afghanistan. We are coordinating closely with the US and NATO Allies as we continue to collectively support Afghanistan and its people, including efforts to counter terrorism, through our diplomatic and development work and support to the security sector. The Prime Minister discussed Afghanistan with US Secretary of State Blinken on 4 May. The Foreign Secretary discussed Afghanistan with NATO Allies on 14 April, as well as with Secretary Blinken on 3 May. We continue to make clear to all sides that any political settlement must protect the progress made in the country, including the rights of women and minorities.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how they plan to continue to counter (1) the terrorist threat, and (2) the trafficking of narcotics, in Afghanistan, whilst also protecting the vital progress made on human rights in that country since 2001.

Together with our NATO Allies, we will continue to provide assistance to the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces and build the capability of the Afghan state institutions to counter terrorism. The National Crime Agency develops and refines relationships with domestic and international partners, and will continue to do so in Afghanistan, as a critical function of the UK's counter-narcotics activity. We continue to make clear to all sides that any political settlement must protect the progress made in the country, including the rights of women and minorities. The UK is consulting with partner countries, including through the G7, to agree a collective approach to development and humanitarian support to Afghanistan. Support to any future Afghan government depends on progress in the Afghan peace negotiations, and respect for democracy and human rights.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to discuss the policy paper G7 famine prevention and humanitarian crises compact, published on 5 May, at the G7 meeting in June; and what procedures have been put in place to ensure timely and effective delivery of the funding commitments in the paper.

The new G7 Compact of commitments to prevent famine and humanitarian crises was discussed and agreed by Foreign and Development Ministers in May and annexed to their formal Communiqué on gov.uk. Tackling the risk of famine and humanitarian crises is a priority of the UK's G7 Presidency. We aim to use the Leaders' Summit in June to build on the successful agreement of the Compact in May and the second meeting of the Foreign and Development Ministers Meeting plans to assess how far the outcomes have been implemented. The G7 Famine Prevention and Humanitarian Crises Panel will also ensure a continuous monitoring of the Compact commitments throughout 2021.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government which are the “42 countries with populations one step from catastrophe or famine” referred to in the policy paper G7 famine prevention and humanitarian crises compact, published on 5 May; and how decisions will be made about the amount of relief funds to be allocated to each of those 42 countries from the initial $7 billion fund.

The 42 countries are those with populations one step from catastrophe or famine which are in Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) 4 emergency levels, the gold standard for food security data and analysis. The initial $7 billion committed in the Compact is the G7's collective contribution to ensuring humanitarian funding reaches those most acutely food insecure. It is for individual G7 Member States to decide how they will allocate their own contributions throughout the calendar year.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
4th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress has been made in increasing the number of countries giving their support to the Call to Action 'Remittances in Crisis: How to Keep them Flowing', co-launched with Switzerland in May 2020; which countries now support the Call; and what progress has been made to counteract the decrease in remittances due to the impact of COVID-19.

We have worked together with other Call to Action partners (Switzerland, World Bank etc) to reach out to countries and institutions to join. To date, an additional 28 countries, eight International Organisations, four industry bodies, and five donors / charities have joined. Some other countries have been unable to join but have taken actions to reduce the barriers limiting the flow of remittances on the back of the Call to Action.

The 28 countries that have joined the Call to Action are: Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, Yemen, Jordan, Georgia, New Zealand, Niger, Panama, Rwanda, Vanuatu, Cote d'Ivoire, Fiji. Turkey, Honduras, Australia, Guatemala, Eritrea, Tonga, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia and Cambodia.

Positive steps have been taken by over 44 countries to counteract the decrease in remittances due to the impact of COVID - for example, actions targeted at improving access to remittances and financial services, expanding Healthcare and Social Safety Nets, and supporting food security. We also saw several companies respond by waiving their transfer fees.

In the UK, we amended the Health Protection Regulations to include money transfer organisations as essential service providers, ensuring that they were able to continue operating during the COVID-19 lockdown period.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
27th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they made to the government of Zimbabwe about joining the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative; and what has been the outcome of any such representations.

Zimbabwe has in the past expressed an openness to joining the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), which the UK would support if it were to happen. We engage the Government regularly on progress towards signing EITI, most recently during the WTO Trade Policy Review of Zimbabwe, in which the UK questioned Zimbabwe on progress on their stated commitment to make progress towards signing EITI in 2020. As well as in country engagement from British Embassy officials, EITI Board Chair, Helen Clarke, visited Zimbabwe in February of this year.

27th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to their hosting of the Global Conference for Media Freedom in 2019, what project work they have (1) undertaken, or (2) supported, to address issues with media freedom in Zimbabwe.

The UK is committed to the promotion of media freedom and the protection of journalists in Zimbabwe, both through direct engagement with the Zimbabwean Government, civil society and opposition, and through programmatic work. We have supported the work of the High Level Legal Panel of Experts following the London Global Conference for Media Freedom in 2019. This included the production of independent advice on meeting international norms in media legislation, which we have shared with the Zimbabwean Government and civil society organisations. The UK provides extensive financial and technical assistance to civil society organisations working to promote media freedoms and support journalists. We do not publicly name our civil society partners to protect them.

27th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the statement by their Ambassador to the WTO and UN in Geneva at the WTO Trade Policy Review of Zimbabwe on 30 September  that "the UK has rapidly reprogrammed £21.24 million to respond to the outbreak of COVID-19" in Zimbabwe, which Departmental budget has been used to fund the reprogrammed £21.24 million; and which organisations will be the recipients of that funding.

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, in April of this year, before the creation of the FCDO, the UK's Department for International Development (DFID) rapidly reprogrammed £21.24 million from our bilateral aid budget to provide critical support to primary health care in Zimbabwe during COVID-19. Through UK aid funding provided to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the World Food Programme (WFP) we ensured vital services continued such as immunisations, pre and post-natal care and treatment for malnutrition. This COVID-19 support has also provided community messaging, support for frontline workers, water sanitation and hygiene improvement in schools and health facilities, and humanitarian food and cash aid to help mitigate the impact of the crisis on the most vulnerable. We will continue to work closely with partners to track resource mobilisation and advocate for appropriate prioritisation.

26th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to appoint a UK Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion of Belief, following the resignation Rehman Chishti MP on 14 September.

All FCDO Ministers raise concerns about human rights violations and abuses, including on Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB), where appropriate. This work is longstanding. As the UK Minister of State for Human Rights, I also champion and lead on FoRB as part of my wider responsibilities and through multilateral fora including the United Nations.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
26th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how they plan to mark International Freedom of Religion or Belief Day on 27 October.

Promoting the right to Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB) for all is one of the UK's longstanding human rights priorities and we welcome the focus that this International Day brings on FoRB. Noting the COVID-19 pandemic, we have used our social media channels to mark this year's International FoRB day, underlining our commitment to FoRB for all. As Minister responsible for Human Rights, I also participated in an event on 27 October which focused on the linkage between the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative and Freedom of Religion or Belief. We will continue to raise awareness of religious persecution and stand up for the rights of members of minority communities around the world.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
29th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the answer by the then Minister for Asia and the Pacific on 26 February 2019 (HC Deb, col 145), what progress they have made in developing the cross-Government soft power strategy.

The role of soft power is being considered as part of the Integrated Review of foreign policy, defence, security and international development. This will be informed by the conclusions of the cross-government work already undertaken on our strategic approach to this area.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the statement by the Foreign Secretary on 20 July (HC Deb, col 1832) that he will not consider reactivating extradition arrangements with Hong Kong “unless and until there are clear and robust safeguards that can prevent extradition from the UK being misused under the new national security legislation”, whether (1) revision, or (2) revocation, of Article 38 of the new national security law would be sufficient to reactivate those extradition arrangements; and if not, whether further measures will be required.

The imposition of the National Security Law has significantly changed key assumptions underpinning the UK extradition treaty arrangements with Hong Kong.

The Foreign Secretary expressed concern about Article 38 of the legislation during a statement to Parliament on 1 July, noting that it is not entirely clear how the provision will be applied. He further noted that this is something that tourists and visitors from all around the world would be concerned about.

We are also particularly concerned about Articles 55 to 59 of the law, which gives mainland Chinese authorities the ability to assume jurisdiction over certain cases and try those cases in mainland Chinese courts. The National Security Law does not provide legal or judicial safeguards in such cases.

2nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 19 May (HL4378), when they intend to raise with the government of Pakistan the release of prisoners of conscience in relation to the threat of COVID-19 to detainees in prisons in Pakistan.

We have not raised the issue of release of prisoners in light of COVID-19. We have discussed the impact of COVID-19 in Pakistan regularly with senior officials of the Government of Pakistan. We continue to raise human rights and to urge the Government of Pakistan to guarantee the fundamental rights of its citizens, regardless of their belief. Most recently, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon raised our concerns about Human Rights in Pakistan by letter with Dr Mazari on 5 June. We remain concerned about the situation for prisoners in detention under trial in Pakistan, particularly for blasphemy cases.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the answer by the Foreign Secretary on 11 May (HC Deb, col 13), what is the “outstanding issue” referred to which is preventing the repatriation of UK citizens who are crew members stranded around the world on cruise ships.

The "outstanding issue" mentioned was not intended to refer to any particular obstacle preventing the repatriation of British crew members, but was a reference to the fact that although no British national passengers remain on any cruise ships, we continue to work on the outstanding issue of supporting the return of British crew members. We are in direct contact with all of the main cruise ship operators, as well as with many crew members and their families. We will continue to support operators to ensure the welfare and safety of British crew. Our overseas missions are liaising closely with local authorities in an effort to facilitate disembarkation and ensure British crew can access flights home.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assistance they are giving to UK citizens who are being repatriated to the UK as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic who do not have access to accommodation where they can self-isolate if necessary.

Where a person is unable to self-isolate, the Government will assist them in finding a facility in which to do so. If you cannot safely self-isolate in your own accommodation, you should tell a border force official as you arrive at the UK border who can direct you to the booking system.

The Government has made in excess of £3.2bn of funding available to local authorities in England to assist them in managing the pressures arising out of the pandemic.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of Pakistan about releasing from prison Saeed Waraich, Professor Mohammad Ismail, Junaid Hafeez and Waqar Ahmad, in the light of the threat of COVID-19 to detainees in prisons in Pakistan.

In February, I raised concerns about the situation for prisoners in detention under trial in Pakistan, particularly for blasphemy cases including that of Junaid Hafeez, as well as the UK's opposition to the death penalty with Dr Shireen Mazari, Pakistan's Minister for Human Rights. The British High Commissioner to Pakistan, Christian Turner CMG, raised the UK Government's concerns about the death penalty and misuse of blasphemy legislation with Dr Mazari in January.

Since then we have discussed the impact of COVID-19 in Pakistan regularly with senior stakeholders. We have not raised the issue of release of prisoners in light of COVID-19.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made recently to the government of Nigeria on behalf of Leah Sharibu and other Christian and Muslim girls who have been kidnapped by Boko Haram.

We condemn the appalling abduction and continued captivity of Leah Sharibu and other Christian and Muslim girls by Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa (ISWA). The UK has repeatedly called for their release and remains committed to supporting the Nigerian Government in their efforts to achieve this. The Prime Minister discussed UK support to fighting terrorism in Nigeria with President Buhari at the UK Africa Investment Summit in January. The Prime Minister's Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief met Leah's mother in February to express the UK's continued commitment to help Nigeria secure the release of all abductees.

We will continue to engage with the Government of Nigeria in support of urgent action to secure the return of all abductees.

13th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they plan to make the position of UK Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief a permanent position; and, if so, whether the role will always be filled by a member of the House of Commons or House of Lords.

The Bishop of Truro's independent Review of Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) Support for Persecuted Christians recommended that the FCO "establish[es] permanently, and in perpetuity, the role of Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief". The choice of Special Envoy is a decision for the Prime Minister. I was honoured to be appointed in 2018 as the UK's first ever envoy, an appointment reconfirmed by the current Prime Minister in July 2019. Rehman Chishti MP succeeded me as Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB) in September 2019, but I continue to champion FoRB as Minister of State with responsibility for Human Rights.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how they intend to mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia on 17 May.

To mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) government buildings across the UK and, where locally appropriate, our overseas missions will fly the Rainbow flag. The theme of IDAHOBIT 2020 is "breaking the silence". One of the core objectives of our human rights work is increased respect and equality for all members of society. The British Government is proud to promote LGBT rights worldwide through our global network and our global leadership position. We work through existing international mechanisms and institutions to promote tolerance and non-discrimination against LGBT people and to address discriminatory laws.

As with each year we plan to mark the day on social media, celebrating how far we've come and noting the challenges we still have to face.

21st Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the government of Cameroon about the importance of sending representatives to participate in the talks to be hosted by the Swiss Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue to facilitate an end to the security crisis in Cameroon.

We welcome the ongoing work by the Swiss Government and the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue on mediation efforts between parties in Cameroon. We urge the Government of Cameroon to remain engaged in this process and help to bring peace and stability to the North-West and South-West (Anglophone) regions. The British High Commissioner to Cameroon regularly engages in high-level discussions with the Government of Cameroon on the Anglophone crisis, including the mediation process led by the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue. The UK stands ready to support all credible peacebuilding initiatives.

4th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the end of the transition period for the UK's departure from the EU, what steps have they taken to review the terms and conditions of the EU Payment Services Directive; and what assessment they have made of how they can support greater competition and transparency in the market for money transfer companies in Sub-Saharan Africa.

HM Treasury is leading a Payments Landscape Review. The review aims to ensure the UK maintains its status as a country at the cutting edge of payments technology. The review is looking at what can be done across government, regulators and industry to ensure that the UK’s regulatory framework and infrastructure for payments remains world leading.

HM Treasury issued the Payments Landscape Review Call for Evidence in July 2020 and it closed in October 2020. The Call for Evidence sought views on a range of opportunities and risks in UK payments, including for cross-border payments. The government is considering the responses and will set out next steps in due course.

Increasing competition and transparency is important to driving remittances innovation leading to consumers having better services and reduced costs. FCDO through the Harnessing Innovation for Financial Inclusion programme is focused on enhancing competition, transparency, and efficiency of the remittances market working across 18 African countries and is conducting research on key UK remittance corridors in Africa to understand what actions could lower the cost of remittances from the UK.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what procedures, if any, have been put in place to ensure that the Government Equalities Office has regular input into policy proposals to be put forward by (1) the Home Office, (2) the Ministry of Defence, (3) the Department for International Development, and (4) the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, to the Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy, with particular regard to policies on gender equality.

The Integrated Review will not be limited to specific departments, objectives or time frames but will take a holistic approach to our place in the world and how Government is best structured to achieve our objectives.

The Government will utilise expertise from both inside and outside government for the review, including to ensure diversity of thinking and challenge are part of the process. As with all work by government departments, any decision-making arising from the review will need to take account of the statutory public sector equality duty.

8th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to issue visas to those Afghan nationals who worked as translators with the British Armed Forces; and whether such visas will be issued on the same basis as the process already launched in the United States for Afghan nationals who worked as translators with the United States military.

The Government recognises the vital role of interpreters and local staff in operations in Afghanistan. That is why there are two dedicated schemes designed to help them relocate to the UK: the ex-gratia scheme and the intimidation policy. Over 1,300 former Afghan interpreters, and their family members, have been relocated to the UK under these schemes since 2014.

Those who apply and are approved for relocation are brought to the UK as soon as suitable accommodation has been sourced and support arrangements are in place.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
17th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the report of the Select Committee on International Relations The UK’s relationship with the Pacific Alliance, published on 26 June 2019, and the recommendation that "Government should seriously consider removing its short-term visa requirements for citizens of Peru and Colombia", what discussions Home Office ministers or officials have had with (1) the Trade Envoy to Peru and (2) the Trade Commissioner for Latin America, about such requirements.

Decisions on changes to the visa regime are taken following thorough consultation across government and reflect key facets of the bilateral relationship with the country concerned. These often include security, compliance, returns, and prosperity.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
17th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the answer by Baroness Williams of Trafford on 16 November (HL Deb, col 1272) that the Home Office keeps the UK visa regime under review, what mechanism they have in place to ensure the Home Office regularly hears the views of other departments on the visa regime applied to Peru.

Decisions on changes to the visa regime are taken following thorough consultation across government and reflect key facets of the bilateral relationship with the country concerned. These often include security, compliance, returns, and prosperity.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
28th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many flights of private aircraft (1) landed, and (2) departed, from UK airfields from the start of lockdown on 17 March to 14 April; and what measures they have in place to record the identity and contact details of the passengers and crew of such flights so that they can be traced if any develop COVID-19.

For the period 17 March to 14 April 2020, 1,812 International and Common Travel Area flights landed at UK Airports. This figure includes planes of all type, whether privately owned, business jets, cargo aircraft and military flights. Border Force does not have data for internal (domestic) or outbound flights. There is no Public Health England requirement to record contact details for arriving or departing passengers for Covid-19 purposes.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
11th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what measures, if any, have been put in place to ensure that the Government Equalities Office has regular input into policy proposals to be put forward by (1) the Home Office, (2) the Ministry of Defence, (3) the Department for International Development, and (4) the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, with particular regard to policies on gender equality.

All public bodies in Great Britain, including Whitehall departments, have a legal obligation under the Public Sector Equality Duty to consider the potential effects of key decisions on groups with protected characteristics including gender.

They are also required to set and publish specific and measurable equality objectives which Whitehall departments have for the last two years included in their Single Departmental Plans. The Government Equalities Office (GEO) encourages departments to publish equality objectives that cover strategic policy work and not only workforce and Human Relations issues. In addition to this, the International Development Act (Gender Equality) 2014 puts the Department for International Development’s commitment to gender equality on a statutory footing and ensures that gender equality remains at the heart of its work.

GEO has engaged with the specific departments listed on a number of policies including those related to gender equality. For example, as part of the Government’s Violence Against Women and Girls’ Strategy, GEO are working alongside Home Office on work to tackle harmful gender norms.

13th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether those who apply to the Afghan Relocation and Assistance Policy scheme receive a receipt or acknowledgment of their application; and what is the timeframe for processing applications following the completion of security checks.

All applicants to the Afghan Relocation and Assistance Policy (ARAP) are directed to a confirmation screen on completion of the application form, with the option to print or save this as record of their submission.

In the latter stages of Op PITTING and subsequently we have received a very large number of applications, including 12,000 since the end of the operation. The time taken to process applications varies enormously, in particular based on the amount of information the applicant provides. Security checks are principally a Home Office requirement and are conducted once eligibility in principle has been established.

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
19th Dec 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of Humanity International's call for the development of an international political declaration to end the use of explosive weapons with wide area effects in populated areas and to ensure support for the victims of these weapons.

The UK is at the forefront of international discussions on the use of explosive weapons with wide area effects in populated areas. Officials contributed extensively to the Vienna Conference on Protection of Civilians in Urban Warfare in October 2019, in which steps towards a political declaration were taken. The next round of negotiations will take place in Geneva in February 2020 and we will take an active role in those discussions in order to ensure humanitarian concerns are balanced against operational realities. In the UK's experience, support and assistance to victims of conflict is best provided through integrated social and economic development programmes in affected countries.

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)