Baroness Blackstone Portrait

Baroness Blackstone

Labour Independent - Life peer

Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee
23rd Oct 2017 - 4th Jun 2018
Long-Term Sustainability of the NHS Committee
25th May 2016 - 5th Apr 2017
Economic Affairs Committee
16th May 2013 - 12th May 2016
Finance Bill Sub-Committee
8th Jan 2014 - 11th Mar 2014
Public Service and Demographic Change Committee
29th May 2012 - 5th Mar 2013
Minister of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport) (Arts)
11th Jun 2001 - 13th Jun 2003


There are no upcoming events identified
Division Votes
Wednesday 28th April 2021
Abortion (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2021
voted No
One of 15 Independent No votes vs 5 Independent Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 70 Noes - 409
Speeches
Thursday 16th September 2021
Net-zero Carbon Emissions: Behaviour Change

My Lords, I applaud the Government’s commitment to net-zero carbon by 2050 and appreciate that they are working to try …

Written Answers
Tuesday 25th May 2021
Overseas Aid and UK Export Finance: Carbon Emissions
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many countries that have received UK Export Finance or Overseas Development Assistance since 2016 …
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 Blackstone has voted in 114 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Baroness Blackstone Division Votes

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
Baroness Berridge (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
(21 debate interactions)
Lord Bethell (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
(16 debate interactions)
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Conservative)
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
(15 debate interactions)
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View all Baroness Blackstone's debates

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Baroness Blackstone, 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 Blackstone has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Baroness Blackstone has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Baroness Blackstone has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

Baroness Blackstone has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


15 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
22nd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government when the results of the consultation on Aligning UK international support for the clean energy transition will be published; and what plans they have to publish  policy proposals on the basis of the results of that consultation.

As stated in the consultation document, the Government will publish its response as soon as possible, once it has considered the evidence provided and taken a decision on the optimum implementation date for the policy shift.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
11th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many countries that have received UK Export Finance or Overseas Development Assistance since 2016 have credible long-term decarbonisation strategies, including nationally determined contributions.

The Government is committed to using Official Development Assistance and export finance to support countries on their pathway to decarbonisation. Since 2011/12, UK International Climate Finance has provided 33 million people with improved access to clean energy, avoided 31 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions and installed 2,000 MW in clean energy capacity. Examples of UK Export Finance for decarbonisation include £27 million of support for a solar-powered clean water project in Ghana and over £230 million of support for off-shore wind farms in Taiwan.

The Government's new policy on support for the fossil fuel energy sector overseas is a further demonstration of the UK's commitment to alignment with the Paris Agreement. 76 countries that have received UK ODA or export finance since 2016 have submitted new or updated NDCs to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) as at 14 May 2021. As COP26 President, the UK acknowledges the considerable value of collective efforts to accelerate progress on clean energy. That is why the UK is actively seeking commitments from other countries to adopt more ambitious NDCs and Long-Term Strategies, including adopting an approach to fossil fuel investment as ambitious as the UK's.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 25 February (HL13294), what assessment they have made of the Science Based Targets initiative; and whether any fossil fuel projects permitted under the "very limited exceptions” will be limited to investments and loan guarantees to organisations committed to the targets of that initiative.

The Science Based Targets initiative aims to obtain commitments from corporates to reduce their impact on climate change, based on their proportionate contribution to climate targets. As the exemptions within the Government's new policy on support for the fossil fuel energy sector overseas are not restricted to corporations, the Science Based Targets initiative was not considered during the formulation of the exemptions within the new policy.

The Government published detailed guidance accompanying the change to its policy on support for the fossil fuel energy sector overseas on 31 March which is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-the-government-will-implement-its-policy-on-support-for-the-fossil-fuel-energy-sector-overseas. We will consider any requests for project financing against the published guidance. The policies of CDC, the UK's development finance institution, are well aligned to the delivery of the Government's new policy.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park on 25 February (HL13295), whether they are currently considering any fossil fuel financing projects through (1) UK Export Finance, or (2) Overseas Development Assistance, within the scope of the "very limited exceptions".

The government published detailed guidance accompanying the implementation of the new policy on support for the fossil fuel energy sector overseas on 31 March. This is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-the-government-will-implement-its-policy-on-support-for-the-fossil-fuel-energy-sector-overseas. We will consider any requests for project financing against the published guidance.

It is not possible to publish all planned, potential transactions, investments, export credit guarantees, loans, and loan guarantees, for reasons of commercial sensitivity. Details of confirmed financial support will be available in FCDO's annual Statistics on International Development report on Official Development Assistance spend, and in UK Export Finance's annual report.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 25 February (HL13294), how the "very limited exceptions" by which some fossil fuel projects will be permitted are defined.

Guidance on how the government will implement its policy on support for the fossil fuel energy sector overseas was published in March and is available on the gov.uk website (see link below). The guidance covers: what is exempt from the policy, guidance on how the policy will apply to specific areas and areas not covered by the policy. Publication of the guidance follows a consultation process that ran from 12 December 2020 to 8 February 2021.

How the government will implement its policy on support for the fossil fuel energy sector

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the total value of overseas aid invested in fossil fuels via (1) the CDC Group, and (2) the Private Infrastructure Development Group, including investments made through financial intermediaries, for the (a) 2015/16, (b) 2016/17, (c) 2017/18, (d) 2018/19, and (e) 2019/20, tax years.

CDC has published its complete portfolio of energy investments as held at 31 December 2019 on its website, which includes the start date of each investment and the total amount committed.

The value of Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) commitments to energy projects (disaggregated by renewables and non-renewables) is published in the 2019 PIDG Annual Review available on the PIDG website. Project level data on all PIDG investment commitments are also available online via its Results Monitoring Database and its annual reports.

Due to the disproportionate cost of compiling the requested data, it is not possible to provide an estimate of the total value of support provided to overseas fossil fuels projects or companies via the CDC Group and PIDG.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to extend any policy on banning overseas fossil fuel investment to investments made by the CDC Group, including those by third party financial institutions.

The Prime Minister announced at the Climate Ambition Summit on 12 December 2020 that the Government will no longer provide any new direct financial or promotional support for the fossil fuel energy sector overseas, with very limited exemptions. The policies of CDC are well aligned to the delivery of the Government's policy to end fossil fuel investment overseas.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the total value of planned (1) investments, (2) export credit guarantees, (3) loans, and (4) loan guarantees, in overseas fossil fuel projects by way of (a) Overseas Development Assistance, and (2) UK Export Finance, which have been committed but have not yet been finalised.

The Prime Minister announced at the Climate Ambition Summit on 12 December that the Government will no longer provide any new direct financial or promotional support for the fossil fuel energy sector overseas, with very limited exemptions.

The Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs has set out seven core priorities for the UK's official development assistance (ODA) budget in the overarching pursuit of poverty reduction, with climate and biodiversity forming one of these core priorities. No decisions have yet been made by FCDO Ministers on individual country or sectoral budget allocations for 2021/22. In addition, it is not possible to publish all planned, potential transactions, investments, export credit guarantees, loans, and loan guarantees, for reasons of commercial sensitivity.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the statement by Amnesty International on 5 January that Issa Amro is "facing politically motivated charges for his peaceful activism against Israel’s military occupation and illegal settlements"; and what representations they have made to the government of Israel about the conviction of Issa Amro.

We are aware of the 5 January statement by Amnesty International about Issa Amro's case. Officials from our Consulate-General in Jerusalem attended Mr Amro's court hearing on 6 January. We continue to urge the Israeli Government to fully respect the fundamental rights and freedoms of human rights defenders and organisations. We have also raised concerns with the Palestinian Authority about the narrowing of space for civil society to operate in the West Bank.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many religious denominations which had no registered places of worship for the purpose of solemnising opposite-sex marriages prior to 2013 have registered such places of worship since 2013; and to list those denominations and places by the date of their first registration.

Five denominations, which had no places of worship registered for the purpose of solemnizing marriages prior to 2013, have since registered. They are:

Denomination

Place

Date of Registration

Hillsong Church

Newcastle Upon Tyne

30/09/2013

Scientologist

London

18/12/2013

Universal Truth

Surrey

01/06/2014

Glorious Church

Milton Keynes

25/06/2014

Indian Orthodox

Bristol

31/05/2016

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
20th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress they have made on plans to (1) move to an electronic system of marriage registration, (2) add mothers' names to marriage certificates, (3) allow conversions between opposite-sex marriages and civil partnerships, and (4) bring into force reforms to divorce, dissolution, and separation.

The Home Office is currently working on implementation plans to introduce the provisions in the Civil Partnership, Marriages and Deaths (Registration Etc) Act 2019. This will facilitate the move to an electronic system of marriage registration and the update of the marriage entry to include the names of both sets of parents of a couple.

The Government Equalities Office ran a six-week consultation on the future of conversion rights in summer 2019. We are analysing the responses and will publish the government response and bring forward any necessary legislation in 2020.

The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act received Royal Assent in June. The Government has been clear implementing its reforms will be a significant and complex task. Given the scale of the work needed, we are working to an indicative timetable of Autumn 2021.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
14th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answers by Baroness Williams of Trafford on 3 August (HL7029) and by Lord Keen of Elie on 4 August (HL7031), what is the timetable for (1) their proposed interim reform of the law governing approved premises for marriages and civil partnerships, (2) the proposed limited reform and non-legislative options relating to religious weddings, and (3) the implementation of the provisions in the Civil Partnership, Marriages and Deaths (Registration Etc) Act 2019 for the introduction of an electronic system of marriage registration and the update of the marriage entry to include the names of both sets of parents of a couple.

The Government announced in June 2019 that the Law Commission will conduct a fundamental review of the law on how and where people can legally marry in England and Wales. This is an important and complex social policy reform and requires careful thought and consideration. As part of the review, the Government invited the Law Commission to make recommendations about how marriage by humanist and other non-religious belief organisations could be incorporated into a revised or new scheme for all marriages that is simple, fair and consistent.

The Law Commission has published its consultation paper and the Government, following the final report, will decide on provision on the basis of the Law Commission’s recommendations.

In parallel, the Government made clear when it announced the Law Commission project that it would also, as an interim measure, undertake work to allow more civil weddings and civil partnerships to take place outdoors through secondary legislation.

Alongside the Law Commission project, the independent Sharia review recommended an offence apply to religious celebrants marrying in a ceremony that is outside the ambit of the Marriage Acts. Any legislative proposal, including such an offence, must be thoroughly assessed for its fairness to all religious groups and for how far it could achieve the change of practice intended. That is why it is with the greatest care that the Government is continuing the exploration of both limited reform and non-legislative options that it began in detail last year.

On the question of timing the Government will make its intentions clear in due course.

And in regard to the implementation of the provisions in the Civil Partnership, Marriages and Deaths (Registration Etc) Act 2019, the Home Office is currently working on the secondary legislation, which will need to be debated in Parliament, to enable these changes to be introduced and an implementation date will be announced in due course.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
14th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answers by Baroness Williams of Trafford on 3 August (HL7029) and by Lord Keen of Elie on 4 August (HL7031), why they are pursuing reforms of marriage law separately to the ongoing Law Commission review; whether they plan to bring forward legal recognition of humanist marriages before the conclusion of that review; and if not, (1) why not, and (2) what consideration they have given to doing so on an interim basis.

The Government announced in June 2019 that the Law Commission will conduct a fundamental review of the law on how and where people can legally marry in England and Wales. This is an important and complex social policy reform and requires careful thought and consideration. As part of the review, the Government invited the Law Commission to make recommendations about how marriage by humanist and other non-religious belief organisations could be incorporated into a revised or new scheme for all marriages that is simple, fair and consistent.

The Law Commission has published its consultation paper and the Government, following the final report, will decide on provision on the basis of the Law Commission’s recommendations.

In parallel, the Government made clear when it announced the Law Commission project that it would also, as an interim measure, undertake work to allow more civil weddings and civil partnerships to take place outdoors through secondary legislation.

Alongside the Law Commission project, the independent Sharia review recommended an offence apply to religious celebrants marrying in a ceremony that is outside the ambit of the Marriage Acts. Any legislative proposal, including such an offence, must be thoroughly assessed for its fairness to all religious groups and for how far it could achieve the change of practice intended. That is why it is with the greatest care that the Government is continuing the exploration of both limited reform and non-legislative options that it began in detail last year.

On the question of timing the Government will make its intentions clear in due course.

And in regard to the implementation of the provisions in the Civil Partnership, Marriages and Deaths (Registration Etc) Act 2019, the Home Office is currently working on the secondary legislation, which will need to be debated in Parliament, to enable these changes to be introduced and an implementation date will be announced in due course.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
20th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what reforms to marriage law they are currently working on; whether they plan to bring forward proposals for legal recognition of humanist marriages; and if not, why not.

The Government announced in June 2019 that the Law Commission will conduct a fundamental review of the law on how and where people can legally marry in England and Wales. As part of that review, the Government invited the Law Commission to make recommendations about how marriage by humanist and other non-religious belief organisations could be incorporated into a revised or new scheme for all marriages that is simple, fair and consistent. The Government looks forward to publication of the Law Commission’s consultation paper in September and, following the final report, will decide on provision on the basis of the Law Commission's recommendations.

Separately, the Government continues to explore both limited reform and non-legislative options relating to religious weddings, as well as to explore interim reform of the law governing approved premises for marriages and civil partnerships.