Baroness Eaton Portrait

Baroness Eaton

Conservative - Life peer

Draft Health Service Safety Investigation Bill (Joint Committee)
15th May 2018 - 27th Jul 2018
Citizenship and Civic Engagement Committee
6th Nov 2017 - 28th Mar 2018
Licensing Act 2003 Committee
13th Sep 2016 - 4th Apr 2017
Refreshment Committee (Lords)
8th Jul 2015 - 31st Aug 2016
Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee
16th May 2012 - 15th May 2013
Draft Care and Support Bill
22nd Nov 2012 - 6th Mar 2013
Adoption Legislation Committee
29th May 2012 - 26th Feb 2013
Merits of Statutory Instruments Committee
8th Dec 2011 - 15th May 2012


There are no upcoming events identified
Division Votes
Thursday 21st October 2021
Skills and Post-16 Education Bill [HL]
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 125 Conservative No votes vs 3 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 180 Noes - 130
Speeches
Wednesday 20th October 2021
Prime Minister: Meeting with First Ministers

Will my noble friend the Minister inform the House of what progress the intergovernmental relations review has made since the …

Written Answers
Tuesday 19th October 2021
Hamas: Flags
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they will take to ban the flying of the Hamas flag in the …
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 Eaton has voted in 180 divisions, and 6 times against the majority of their Party.

7 Dec 2020 - Conduct Committee Report - View Vote Context
Baroness Eaton voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 12 Conservative No votes vs 147 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 408 Noes - 24
15 Jun 2020 - Abortion (Northern Ireland) (No. 2) Regulations 2020 - View Vote Context
Baroness Eaton voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 43 Conservative Aye votes vs 125 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 112 Noes - 388
15 Jun 2020 - Abortion (Northern Ireland) (No. 2) Regulations 2020 - View Vote Context
Baroness Eaton voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 24 Conservative No votes vs 127 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 355 Noes - 77
28 Apr 2021 - Abortion (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2021 - View Vote Context
Baroness Eaton voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 36 Conservative Aye votes vs 156 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 93 Noes - 418
28 Apr 2021 - Abortion (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2021 - View Vote Context
Baroness Eaton voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 26 Conservative Aye votes vs 151 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 63 Noes - 401
28 Apr 2021 - Abortion (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2021 - View Vote Context
Baroness Eaton voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 34 Conservative Aye votes vs 144 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 70 Noes - 409
View All Baroness Eaton 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
Lord Greenhalgh (Conservative)
Minister of State (Home Office)
(20 debate interactions)
Baroness Stedman-Scott (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
(18 debate interactions)
Baroness Berridge (Conservative)
(8 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Home Office
(19 debate contributions)
Department for Work and Pensions
(11 debate contributions)
Ministry of Justice
(6 debate contributions)
Department for Education
(6 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Baroness Eaton's debates

Commons initiatives

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

Baroness Eaton has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Baroness Eaton has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

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


101 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
14th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to ensure that members of the public who have been instructed to self-isolate due to the COVID-19 pandemic on polling day will still be able to vote in the 2021 local elections.

The Government is working with the electoral community and Public Health England to identify and resolve challenges involved in delivering the May 2021 elections, including supporting Returning Officers to ensure that polling stations are safe and Covid-secure places to vote. People will be able participate in the polls safely, and in a way of their choice, whether by post, proxy or in-person. We are considering options to support voters who are instructed to self-isolate shortly before and on the day of the poll, and will update Parliament in the usual way.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
17th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they made of the efforts by local authorities and local economic partnerships to develop local industrial strategies; and what plans they have, if any, to replace the local industrial strategies with an alternative place-based model.

The Government has worked with all places, through the Cities and Local Growth Unit (MHCLG/BEIS) to develop Local Industrial Strategies  across England. However, we know that in the four years since the Industrial Strategy was produced, the UK's economic and business environment has changed.

Creating and supporting jobs remains the Government's central economic focus, and helping to drive growth in existing, emerging and new industries is also a priority. This is why we have transitioned the Industrial Strategy into our Plan for Growth and its related strategies. As part of this, we are encouraging places to consider key sectors, assets and clusters they want to support to foster their long-term growth ambitions, building on the brilliant work done by places on Local Industrial Strategies.

Later this year we will go further by publishing a Levelling Up White Paper setting out how bold new policy interventions will improve livelihoods across the country as we recover from the pandemic.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
17th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the report by the Local Government Association, Local green jobs—accelerating a sustainable economy recovery, published on 11 June, showing that at least 1.18 million low-carbon jobs need to be created in England by 2050 to meet the Government’s net zero commitment.

As we recover from COVID-19, the Government intends to deliver a UK economy which is stronger, cleaner, more sustainable, and more resilient.

In delivering the UK’s net zero target, we are looking to position the UK as a world leader in low carbon technologies, services, and systems. The UK has a strong base to grow from: there are over 460,000 jobs in low carbon businesses and their supply chains across the country and low carbon exports are already worth billions of pounds each year.

We are determined to seize the once-in-a-generation economic opportunities of the net zero transition – creating new business opportunities and up to 2 million green jobs by 2030 across all regions of the UK, and achieving this transition in a way that works for households, businesses and public finances. In doing so, we will build on the strengths we have already developed in low-carbon sectors from offshore wind to green finance.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
12th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of local councils’ ability to fund local and regional theatres following the COVID-19 pandemic.

14% of theatres in the UK are directly operated by local authorities and many more are owned by and subsidised by local authorities.

The Theatres Trust has provided details of six theatre buildings where the operator has either withdrawn from their operating contract or gone into liquidation, leaving them without an operator since the start of the pandemic. These theatres are not necessarily closed permanently as efforts are progressing to identify new operators. DCMS does not collect any further data in this area.

In January, the Chancellor announced £4.6 billion in one-off top up grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses worth up to £9,000 per property to help businesses through to the Spring. This is in addition to £1.1 billion further discretionary grant funding for Local Authorities, and Local Restriction Support Grants worth up to £3,000 a month. So far, more than £1 billion has been allocated to thousands of organisations including theatres.

Theatres have also benefited from the Cultural Recovery Fund. To date, over £1.2 billion has been allocated from this fund, reaching over 5000 individual organisations and sites. Of this funding, awards with a value of over £183m were made to applicants whose main artform is ‘theatre’ in Round 1 recovery grant funding, and in Round 2 almost £60 million was awarded to help theatres survive and plan for reopening.

The Chancellor also announced in the 2021 Budget an additional £300 million to support theatres, museums and other cultural organisations in England through the Culture Recovery Fund. This extra funding, together with other cultural support such as funding for our national museums, means that our total support package for culture during the pandemic is now approaching £2bn.

The Government has also extended the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, and the continued reduction in VAT, among other measures.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
12th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of (1) the number of (a) regional, and (b) local, theatres that have permanently closed, and (2) the number of local authority areas that have lost their only performance venue, since March 2020.

14% of theatres in the UK are directly operated by local authorities and many more are owned by and subsidised by local authorities.

The Theatres Trust has provided details of six theatre buildings where the operator has either withdrawn from their operating contract or gone into liquidation, leaving them without an operator since the start of the pandemic. These theatres are not necessarily closed permanently as efforts are progressing to identify new operators. DCMS does not collect any further data in this area.

In January, the Chancellor announced £4.6 billion in one-off top up grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses worth up to £9,000 per property to help businesses through to the Spring. This is in addition to £1.1 billion further discretionary grant funding for Local Authorities, and Local Restriction Support Grants worth up to £3,000 a month. So far, more than £1 billion has been allocated to thousands of organisations including theatres.

Theatres have also benefited from the Cultural Recovery Fund. To date, over £1.2 billion has been allocated from this fund, reaching over 5000 individual organisations and sites. Of this funding, awards with a value of over £183m were made to applicants whose main artform is ‘theatre’ in Round 1 recovery grant funding, and in Round 2 almost £60 million was awarded to help theatres survive and plan for reopening.

The Chancellor also announced in the 2021 Budget an additional £300 million to support theatres, museums and other cultural organisations in England through the Culture Recovery Fund. This extra funding, together with other cultural support such as funding for our national museums, means that our total support package for culture during the pandemic is now approaching £2bn.

The Government has also extended the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, and the continued reduction in VAT, among other measures.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
16th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the number of regional and local theatres that have permanently closed since March 2020; and the number of areas that have lost their only performance venue since March 2020.

Government recognises the significant financial impact of Covid 19 on the performing arts sector and venues, and the important role theatres play in their local communities. 14% of theatres in the UK are directly operated by local authorities and many more are owned by and subsidised by local authorities. The Theatres Trust has provided details of six theatre buildings where the operator has either withdrawn from their operating contract or gone into liquidation, leaving them without an operator since the start of the pandemic. These theatres are not necessarily closed permanently as efforts are progressing to identify new operators.The Theatres Trust is aware of a small number of further closures, with more details to be published in due course.

The Government is investing an unprecedented £1.57 billion, the biggest ever one-off cash injection into UK culture, to tackle the crisis facing our most loved arts organisations and heritage sites through the Culture Recovery Fund. In the first round of funding, 462 awards were made to applicants whose main artform is ‘theatre’, with a value of over £183m. The number of awards to commercial theatres was 79, with a value of over £26m. This funding benefited a range of theatre organisations, from world-renowned institutions to those crucial to their local community.

The second round is in progress, and a further £300 million of support was announced by HM Treasury at Spring budget to continue to support key cultural organisations, bridge the sector as audiences begin to return, and ensure a vibrant future for the culture sector, including theatres, as the nation recovers from the pandemic.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
16th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the ability of councils to fund local and regional theatres as a result of COVID-19.

The funding of local theatres consists of a complex ecosystem of funding streams, and government funds remain active, so assessing the success of these interventions is challenging at this stage.

In January, the Chancellor announced £4.6 billion in one-off top up grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses worth up to £9,000 per property to help businesses through to the Spring. This is in addition to £1.1 billion further discretionary grant funding for Local Authorities, and Local Restriction Support Grants worth up to £3,000 a month.

So far, more than £1 billion has been allocated to thousands of organisations including museums, music venues, independent cinemas, circuses, heritage sites and theatres. For reference, info on the local grants eligibility here (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-youre-eligible-for-the-coronavirus-additional-restrictions-grant) - a copy of the webpage is attached. In addition, over £10 billion of support has also been provided through unprecedented business rate holidays.

The Government is committed to supporting our world-leading cultural and entertainment sectors, demonstrated through £300m additional funding made available in the budget to support the Culture Recovery Fund, on top of the £1.57bn provided in July.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
8th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to bring forward their deadline for removing Huawei from UK 5G networks by 2027.

The 2027 Huawei removal date has been set taking into account our specific national circumstances and how the risks from US sanctions to telecoms networks are manifested in the UK.

To go further and faster beyond a 2027 target would add considerable - and unnecessary - costs and delays to 5G rollout. And the shorter we make the timetable for removal, the greater the risk of actual disruption to mobile telecoms networks.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
3rd Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the importance of leisure centres in addressing obesity; and what plans they have to provide additional support prior to the Comprehensive Spending Review.

Sports and physical activity facilities play a crucial role in supporting adults and children to be active. It is important that leisure centres remain accessible for people from all backgrounds as we make efforts to return to normality after the Covid lockdown period.

Outdoor swimming pools have been able to open from 11 July, and from 25 July indoor gyms, leisure centres (including sports halls) and swimming pools in England have been able to reopen. These facilities are able to offer on-site services to customers, provided they are COVID-secure and follow Government guidance.

Sport England have announced a £210 million package of support to help community clubs through this crisis.

Specific support for local authorities was announced through the income guarantee scheme on Thursday 2 July by the Secretary of State for Local Government, aimed to support local authorities who have incurred irrecoverable loss of income from sales, fees and charge which they had reasonably budgeted for.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
16th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the proposals set out in their initial response to the consultation on the Online Harms White Paper, published on 12 February, what are the “reasonable steps” that pornography websites must take to protect children.

Our Online Harms proposals will deliver a higher level of protection for children than for the typical adult user. As we set out in the initial response to the Online Harms White Paper consultation on 12 February, we expect companies to use a proportionate range of tools, including age assurance and age verification technologies, to prevent children accessing age-inappropriate content such as online pornography, and to protect them from other harms.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
17th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government why there is no representation from local government on the COVID-19 taskforce on Recreation and Leisure.

The Cultural Renewal Taskforce has been established to support the renewal of DCMS sectors and to help the development of new COVID-19 secure guidelines for the reopening of places and businesses in these sectors, where and when it is safe to do so.

The Taskforce is made up of individuals and organisations from across DCMS sectors, presenting a broad range of views and backgrounds. The organisations vary not only by size and scale, but are also representative of organisations with sector interests across the country.

To support the Cultural Renewal Taskforce and the development of guidelines, DCMS has also set up eight sectoral Working Groups, which are ministerially led. While there are a limited number of members of the Cultural Renewal Taskforce, each Working Group has broad membership covering a range of relevant organisations and representative bodies for relevant sectors.

The Local Government Association directly represents local government as a member of the Working Groups for Museums and Galleries, Library Services, Sport and Youth.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
20th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with (1) the Local Government Association, and (2) local authorities, about the forthcoming Tourism Zones.

The Tourism Zones policy is still under development and further information will be available shortly. We will then be in a position to further discuss Tourism Zones with the Local Government Association as well as local authorities.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
20th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of allowing local authorities to introduce a discretionary Tourism Levy to raise funds for local services.

We are aware of the broad range of views held on the notion of a discretionary tourism levy.

The UK Government has a number of concerns about the introduction of any kind of Tourism Tax. Tax is a matter for the Treasury who routinely review the tax regime of the country. We would therefore recommend any interested stakeholders engage with Her Majesty’s Treasury.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
5th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to close the learning gap between boys and girls; and in particular, what steps they are taking to address boys’ early years underachievement in language and vocabulary development.

Girls continue to do better than boys in the early years, but boys are improving at a faster rate. In 2013, the gap between girls and boys achieving at least the expected level in all early learning goals at aged 5 was 17.1%; in 2019, (the most recent year for which data is available), the gap was 13.6%. Similarly, the gap between girls and boys achieving a Good Level of Development at aged 5 is persistent but narrowing: from 16% in 2013 to 12.9% by 2019.

Since 2018 we have committed more than £85 million on programmes to improve early language and literacy, with a further £153 million recently announced for training early years staff to support the very youngest children as part of the education recovery strategy. This is in addition to £27 million announced to support children’s early language development in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. £10 million will support language development for pre-reception children in the next academic year and £17 million is to deliver the Nuffield Early Language Intervention (NELI) in schools that would particularly benefit.

NELI is a robustly evidenced programme aimed at the reception aged children needing extra support with their speech and language development and is proven to help children make around three months of additional progress. 40% of primaries have signed up so far, helping 60,000 children this academic year. The NELI screening tool identifies those in most need of help.

Furthermore, over 3,000 early adopter schools are implementing the reforms to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) from this September, ahead of statutory roll out in September. One of the main aims of the revised framework is to improve early years outcomes for all children, particularly disadvantaged children in the critical areas that build the foundation for later success, such as language development.

As part of the reforms, we have revised the educational programmes to strengthen teaching practice in communication and language, providing a deeper focus on building vocabulary to address the word gap between disadvantaged children and their peers. The new EYFS framework that will be statutory for all early years providers from September 2021 can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/974907/EYFS_framework_-_March_2021.pdf.

7th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress has been made on the Department for Education’s work to tackle child sexual abuse following the publication of the Government’s Tackling Child Sexual Abuse Strategy.

The department is working closely with the Home Office and other government departments on delivering the Tackling Child Sexual Abuse Strategy. Work is well underway with the rollout of statutory Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE) in schools, the appointment of national facilitators to support safeguarding partners to embed effective local practice and the launch of the online resource Together We Can Stop Sexual Abuse to build public awareness and signpost access to support.

On 10 June, the department went further in its commitment to tackling child sexual abuse, announcing a range of measures in response to Ofsted’s recommendations following their review of sexual abuse in schools. Measures include better supporting teachers and school leaders to recognise sexual harassment and abuse and teach confidently about issues of consent, online pornography and healthy relationships, encouraging schools to dedicate inset day time to help train staff on how to deal with sexual abuse and harassment among pupils and how to deliver the government’s new RSHE curriculum, strengthening safeguarding guidance to boost teacher confidence in identifying and responding to these issues and providing supervision to dedicated members of school and college staff in up to 10 more local authorities, whose role it is to identify safeguarding concerns among pupils.

2nd Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what action they are taking to support the use of relationship and sex education to address the increase in self-generated indecent images of children online and, in particular, to develop targeted approaches for 11 to13 year-old girls.

The department is committed to supporting schools to deliver high quality teaching of Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE), which includes teaching about online safety.

Health Education includes specific content about online safety and appropriate behaviour that is relevant to pupils’ lives. It also includes content on how information and data is shared and used in all contexts. For online safety, this includes sharing pictures, understanding that many websites are businesses, and how sites may use information provided by users in ways they might not expect. As with all curriculum teaching, schools have the flexibility to tailor their teaching to specific cohorts and to the needs of their pupils.

The RSHE statutory guidance sets out that pupils should know that sharing and viewing indecent images of children (including those created by children) is a criminal offence which carries severe penalties, including jail. More detail of the content which should be taught in RSHE is available in the statutory guidance here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/relationships-education-relationships-and-sex-education-rse-and-health-education.

To support teachers to deliver the content effectively, the department has developed teacher training modules that are available to download here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/teaching-about-relationships-sex-and-health. The department worked with a wide range of stakeholders to develop the training content, including the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), Brook, the Sex Education Forum and the PSHE Association. We also contracted with subject matter experts such as Parentzone, Childnet, and Durham University.

The new RSHE subjects complement the embedded computing curriculum, which covers the principles of online safety at all key stages. This includes teaching on how to use technology safely, responsibly, respectfully, and securely, how to keep personal information private, and where children and young people can go for help and support when they have concerns about content or contact on the internet or other online technologies.


2nd Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how those universities which receive public funding are accountable to the taxpayer for decisions about their curricula, including decisions on whether or not to decolonise the history curriculum.

As autonomous institutions, it is for universities to determine the content of their curricula, but they are also required by law to uphold freedom of speech and academic freedom.

These are fundamental principles in the English higher education sector, as recognised in the Higher Education and Research Act (2017), which allow academic staff and students freely to question and test received wisdom and put forward new ideas and opinions, even if they are controversial or unpopular. These principles are also enshrined in other legislation including the Education (No. 2) Act (1986), which applies in both England and Wales and in similar provisions specific to Scotland and Wales.

Higher education providers registered with the Office for Students (OfS) must comply with the ongoing registration condition to meet Public Interest Governance Principles. Principles I and VII relate to academic freedom and freedom of speech. Ongoing Registration Condition B1 also requires that all registered higher education providers must provide a high quality academic experience for all students. The OfS has the power to investigate, sanction, and ultimately deregister providers.

The government committed to strengthening academic freedom and free speech in universities in its 2019 manifesto, and we are considering a range of legislative and non-legislative options to achieve this.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
8th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of steps taken by some universities to decolonise the history curriculum; and what plans they have to issue guidance to universities on making the history curriculum as previously taught available to students.

Universities are autonomous institutions and it is for them to determine the scope and content of their curricula. The government has therefore made no such assessment and has no current plans to issue any guidance on this issue.

However, the government maintains its commitment to upholding academic freedom – and the freedom of speech, which universities and higher education institutions have a legal duty to uphold – so that people studying at them can engage with a wide range of ideas and arguments.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
14th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the potential for an increase in children and young people requiring support from social care services following the relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions; and what support they will provide to local authorities to ensure that they are resourced appropriately to support such children and young people.

Ensuring that vulnerable children remain protected is our top priority. We are doing everything we can to support local authorities, and their partners, to ensure that the most vulnerable children are protected and that there are sufficient places for children in their care.

School is a protective factor for many children and, as schools reopen fully, there could potentially be a rise in the number of children that need social care intervention. We are working closely with local authorities to ensure workforce capacity is sufficient to cope with any potential spike in referrals. This includes weekly discussions between the Chief Social Worker and practice leaders.

The department has set up dedicated regional teams that are in frequent contact with local authorities. Bringing together expertise from across the department, these teams monitor the challenges local authorities are facing, including any increases in demand. We also collect fortnightly data from local authorities across the country around their contact with vulnerable children, workforce availability and other system pressures in order to offer support and challenge where needed.

The government has also provided £3.7 billion of additional funding to support local authorities in meeting COVID-19 related pressures, including on children’s services. This funding is un-ringfenced, recognising local authorities are best placed to decide how to meet the major COVID-19 service pressures in their local area.

We have also committed over £100 million to support access to social care services and remote education, including by providing laptops, tablets and 4G wireless routers to vulnerable and disadvantaged children. Furthermore, we are in continual discussions with charities on the support they provide and need. We have committed additional funding worth £26.4 million directly to support them and £1.6 million to expand NSPCC’s helpline.

Through the Coronavirus Act, we have been able to work with Social Work England, the Department of Health and Social Care and the Local Government Association to reinstate the professional registration of 8,000 former social workers so that they can re-join the profession, providing additional resource where it is required. We have also developed the Social Work Together online tool, so those social workers who have registered and are available to support their local community if needed.

10th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the role of the duties on local government to support students with education or training after the age of 16 in relation to the Opportunity Guarantee, announced by the Prime Minister on 30 June.

As part of raising the participation age legislation local authorities have duties to track all academic age 16 and 17 year olds, identify those not in education, employment or training (NEET) or at risk of becoming so and supporting them to re-engage in education or training. This includes a September guarantee where local authorities need to ensure that all year 11 students and year 12 students on a one year course have a suitable offer of education or training for the following September. We are working closely with local authorities to support these duties and monitor September guarantee offers.

Additionally, following my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister’s announcement on 30 June, on 8 July my right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced measures across a range of targeted work-based training offers to support people to build the skills they need to get into work in all communities across the country. This amounts to investment of £1.6 billion in employment support schemes, which will substantially expand existing provision. This includes:

  • £111 million to triple the number of traineeships;
  • £17 million to triple the number of sector-based work academy placements;
  • Paying businesses to take on new apprentices – an extra £2000 for each apprentice under 25 and £1,500 for apprentices over 25;
  • £32 million to help 269,000 more people receive advice from the National Careers Service;
  • £101 million for school/college leavers to study high value courses when there are not employment opportunities available to them.
9th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to increase skills investment to help retain those affected by job loss into local jobs.

We have been working across government to build a package of support measures to boost skills among those who will be hardest hit by the labour market impacts of COVID-19. On 8 July, my right hon. Friend, the Chancellor, announced measures across a range of targeted work-based training offers to support people to build the skills they need to get into work in all communities across the country. This amounts to investment of £1.6 billion in employment support schemes, which will substantially expand existing provision. This includes:

  • £111 million to triple the number of traineeships;
  • £17 million to triple the number of sector-based work academy placements;
  • Paying businesses to take on new apprentices – an extra £2000 for each apprentice under 25 and £1500 for apprentices over 25;
  • £32 million to help 269,000 more people receive advice from the National Careers Service;
  • £101 million for school/college leavers to study high value courses when there are not employment opportunities available to them.

Over the course of this Parliament, we are also providing £2.5 billion (£3 billion when including Barnett funding for devolved administrations) for a new National Skills Fund to help people learn new skills and prepare for the economy of the future.

The government appreciates the importance of adult education to improving people’s life chances. We will continue to explore options within adult education and will be making decisions on where we may be able to introduce flexibilities to aid the Post-COVID recovery.

In areas where we have devolved the Adult Education Budget (AEB), it is for Mayoral Combined Authorities (MCAs) or the Greater London Authority (GLA) to determine funding arrangements for adult education for their residents. We do, however, appreciate the importance of sharing, and where appropriate, co-ordinating, responses to attempt to ensure that providers, of all types, do not have their funding disrupted as a result of COVID-19. We are continuing to keep MCAs and the GLA updated on our skills response to COVID-19 through weekly telekits.

Devolving the AEB enables MCAs to directly support adults in developing the skills that local employers need, reducing skills shortages, boosting productivity and economic prosperity and improving wellbeing in communities.

9th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the case for skills funding for adults at risk of unemployment due to COVID-19 to enable them to enrol onto adjustment courses to retrain for jobs for which there is a local demand.

We have been working across government to build a package of support measures to boost skills among those who will be hardest hit by the labour market impacts of COVID-19. On 8 July, my right hon. Friend, the Chancellor, announced measures across a range of targeted work-based training offers to support people to build the skills they need to get into work in all communities across the country. This amounts to investment of £1.6 billion in employment support schemes, which will substantially expand existing provision. This includes:

  • £111 million to triple the number of traineeships;
  • £17 million to triple the number of sector-based work academy placements;
  • Paying businesses to take on new apprentices – an extra £2000 for each apprentice under 25 and £1500 for apprentices over 25;
  • £32 million to help 269,000 more people receive advice from the National Careers Service;
  • £101 million for school/college leavers to study high value courses when there are not employment opportunities available to them.

Over the course of this Parliament, we are also providing £2.5 billion (£3 billion when including Barnett funding for devolved administrations) for a new National Skills Fund to help people learn new skills and prepare for the economy of the future.

The government appreciates the importance of adult education to improving people’s life chances. We will continue to explore options within adult education and will be making decisions on where we may be able to introduce flexibilities to aid the Post-COVID recovery.

In areas where we have devolved the Adult Education Budget (AEB), it is for Mayoral Combined Authorities (MCAs) or the Greater London Authority (GLA) to determine funding arrangements for adult education for their residents. We do, however, appreciate the importance of sharing, and where appropriate, co-ordinating, responses to attempt to ensure that providers, of all types, do not have their funding disrupted as a result of COVID-19. We are continuing to keep MCAs and the GLA updated on our skills response to COVID-19 through weekly telekits.

Devolving the AEB enables MCAs to directly support adults in developing the skills that local employers need, reducing skills shortages, boosting productivity and economic prosperity and improving wellbeing in communities.

9th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of how investment in training and employment support as part of their COVID-19 recovery plan can best reach local communities.

We have been working across government to build a package of support measures to boost skills among those who will be hardest hit by the labour market impacts of COVID-19. On 8 July, my right hon. Friend, the Chancellor, announced measures across a range of targeted work-based training offers to support people to build the skills they need to get into work in all communities across the country. This amounts to investment of £1.6 billion in employment support schemes, which will substantially expand existing provision. This includes:

  • £111 million to triple the number of traineeships;
  • £17 million to triple the number of sector-based work academy placements;
  • Paying businesses to take on new apprentices – an extra £2000 for each apprentice under 25 and £1500 for apprentices over 25;
  • £32 million to help 269,000 more people receive advice from the National Careers Service;
  • £101 million for school/college leavers to study high value courses when there are not employment opportunities available to them.

Over the course of this Parliament, we are also providing £2.5 billion (£3 billion when including Barnett funding for devolved administrations) for a new National Skills Fund to help people learn new skills and prepare for the economy of the future.

The government appreciates the importance of adult education to improving people’s life chances. We will continue to explore options within adult education and will be making decisions on where we may be able to introduce flexibilities to aid the Post-COVID recovery.

In areas where we have devolved the Adult Education Budget (AEB), it is for Mayoral Combined Authorities (MCAs) or the Greater London Authority (GLA) to determine funding arrangements for adult education for their residents. We do, however, appreciate the importance of sharing, and where appropriate, co-ordinating, responses to attempt to ensure that providers, of all types, do not have their funding disrupted as a result of COVID-19. We are continuing to keep MCAs and the GLA updated on our skills response to COVID-19 through weekly telekits.

Devolving the AEB enables MCAs to directly support adults in developing the skills that local employers need, reducing skills shortages, boosting productivity and economic prosperity and improving wellbeing in communities.

22nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that local training is available to enable communities to benefit from the low-carbon jobs the Local Government Association report Local green jobs - accelerating a sustainable economic recovery, published on 11 June, estimates will be supported by England’s net zero transition by 2030 and 2050.

We want to make the skills systems more responsive to employer skill needs both locally and nationally and we have been working with employers in all sectors including those in the green economy sector to jointly design and deliver policies and programmes to do this.

This includes key reforms to apprenticeships, making them longer, better, with more off-the job training and proper assessment at the end. With employers in control of developing standards, they can be assured that apprentices will get the skills employers need. There are range of apprenticeships standards in the Agriculture, Environmental and Animal Care pathway such as Crop Technicians, Forest Operatives, Ecologists and Environmental practitioner, which is used by employers of all types seeking to promote sustainable growth.

We are also making technical education more responsive to the needs of communities and employers, with the introduction of T Levels this September, proposals to reform higher technical education and investment in Institutes of Technology – flagship providers that will help to drive regional growth in key areas like engineering and advanced manufacturing and meeting higher level technical skills needs.

2nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Statement by Lord Agnew of Oulton on 12 February (HLWS103), when they will publish (1) the terms of reference for the review of children's social care, (2) the name of the chair of the review, and (3) the date on which the review will begin.

The urgent local and national response to COVID-19 has delayed launching the Care Review. The government is committed to undertaking the review at the earliest opportunity. The review will be bold, broad and independently led, taking a fundamental look across children’s social care, with the aim of better supporting, protecting and improving the outcomes of vulnerable children and young people.

18th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they will take to ensure that the provisions of the Family Test are used as a guide in the appointment of a new Children's Commissioner for England.

The primary function of the Children’s Commissioner for England is promoting and protecting the rights of children in England and by extension of that, the Commissioner has a part to play in issues that affect families. This is a key role for protecting children’s rights, particularly the most vulnerable, and the recruitment of a new Commissioner is a priority for the government.

Whilst the Family Test is primarily a tool to prompt policymakers to consider potential impacts on family functioning and relationships in a more holistic way, various considerations will be taken into account as part of the appointment process of identifying the most appropriate person to take on the role of the new Children’s Commissioner, which is a Significant Public Appointment.

3rd Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether, as part of the review of the children’s care system, they will work jointly with the Local Government Association, councils, and care providers, to increase the transparency of children’s social care costs.

In a Written Ministerial Statement on 12 February, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education announced that the care review would be independently led, with a broad and bold scope to support a fundamental look across children’s social care. We continue to develop the review and are committed to undertaking it at the earliest opportunity. This includes considering the review’s scope, which will be developed alongside the independent leadership of the review. We will confirm this in due course. The Written Ministerial Statement is attached and is also available at the following link: https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-statement/Commons/2020-02-12/HCWS110/.

We anticipate that the review will engage with a wide range of stakeholders including those involved with delivering local services and those with experience of using them.

3rd Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the report commissioned by the Local Government Association Profit making and risk in independent children's social care placement providers, published in January.

The government is clear that the needs of the child are paramount when making decisions about care placements. The child’s safety, suitability and the quality of a child’s placement in care is our priority. As at 31 March and 31 August 2019, 92% of Independent Fostering Agencies and 82% of the active and inspected private children’s homes were judged good or outstanding by Ofsted. We believe that a mix of provision can provide quality and increase placement options for local authorities.

The government is taking action to support local authorities in the provision of high quality social care. This includes investing part of our £200 million Children’s Social Care Innovation programme in three projects to improve the supply of placements, and investing an extra £1 billion of new funding for adult and children’s social care to support local authorities meet the rising demand and protect the most vulnerable in society. We have also committed to reviewing the system, so children receive the best possible care.

14th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have taken to ensure British dual-use exports to Iran will not be deployed for non-civilian purposes following the expiration of the UN conventional arms embargo in October.

Although the UN conventional arms embargo is due to expire in October 2020, the EU arms embargo will remain in place until October 2023 and is binding on the United Kingdom until the end of the transition period, at which point our sanctions on exports to Iran will come into force.

Dual-use exports not prohibited under the Iran sanctions are subject to the normal export licensing process and currently assessed against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria.

Lord Grimstone of Boscobel
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what long-term plans they have to support the viability of the bus industry.

Buses will continue to have a significant role to play in connecting people, supporting the economy and decarbonising the transport network. The Government will account for all of this in the long-term National Bus Strategy. We are currently considering our approach to this.

The Government will also be working closely with stakeholders in 2020 to produce the Transport Decarbonisation Plan, which will set out how we intend to tackle transport emissions, and get all road vehicles, including buses to transition to zero-emission.

In terms of financial support, the Prime Minister announced in February £5 billion of funding for buses and cycling and committed to getting 4,000 new zero-emission buses on the roads. The details of the programmes, including how funding will be distributed, will be announced in due course. The Government recognises the importance of this funding, not just for decarbonisation, but for supporting the UK bus industry.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
18th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to (1) review the success, and (2) extend the duration, of the Traffic Orders Procedure (Coronavirus) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2020.

The Government is planning to evaluate the impact of the Traffic Orders Procedure (Coronavirus) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2020. The evaluation is due to be completed this year and will be used to inform future policy development and any further legislative changes.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
22nd Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to publish a national bus strategy; and if so, when any such strategy will be published.

On 30 September 2019, the Government announced that it will be committing to the UK’s first-ever long-term bus strategy and funding settlement. The strategy will focus on the needs of passengers and set out how Government, both local and national, and the private sector will come together to meet the needs of local communities. This long-term vision for buses will be accompanied by a long-term funding commitment.

The Government expects to consult on the strategy later in the year.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
21st Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the Local Government Association’s analysis showing that local buses are travelling almost 150 million fewer miles than they were 10 years ago; and whether following that analysis they will use the 2020 Budget to fully fund the England national concessionary travel scheme.

Local bus journeys remain central to transport choices, accounting for around half of all public transport journeys. In 2018/19, 1.18 billion bus service miles were run in England, a decrease of 1.3% when compared with 2017/18.

Funding for the English National Concessionary Travel Scheme is within the funding made available to local government at the Local Government Finance Settlement. This funding is not ringfenced, which enables local authorities to make spending decisions that more closely match local needs and circumstances.

The Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government is currently working on a Review of the Relative Needs and Resources for local government. This Review is being developed in close collaboration with local government representatives and others. It will consider the drivers of local authorities’ costs, the resources available locally to fund services, and how to account for these in a way that draws a more transparent and understandable link between local circumstances and resource allocations. The Government’s current aim is to implement the outcome of this review as part of the 2021-22 Local Government finance settlement.

The bus market outside London is deregulated and decisions regarding service provision is primarily a commercial matter for bus operators. Decisions on subsidised bus services are a matter for individual English local authorities, in the light of their other spending priorities.

The Bus Services Act 2017 provides the tools local authorities in England need such as Enhanced Partnerships and Franchising to improve local bus services. From 2020, a number of measures such as Bus Open Data powers, and the commitments in the Better Deal for Bus Users, will help increase passenger numbers.

This Government has committed to implementing the UK’s first-ever long-term bus strategy, accompanied by a long-term funding settlement. The strategy will focus on the needs of passengers so that more people want to use the bus and set out how national and local government and the private sector will come together to achieve this.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
9th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the case for a more localised system for delivering support to (1) young people, and (2) the long-term unemployed.

The Government is committed to addressing imbalances as economic recovery progresses in every part of the UK and the department already has robust mechanisms in place which provide local support through our Jobcentre Plus network, including provision for young people and the long term unemployed.

As announced by the Chancellor this provision is being further strengthened through a range of measures including:

o doubling the number of work coaches to 27,000 by March 2021;

o an increase in the Flexible Support Fund in Great Britain by £150 million including to increase the capacity of the Rapid Response Service. It will also provide local support to claimants by removing barriers to work such as travel expenses for attending interviews;

o the introduction of the Kickstart Scheme for young people on Universal Credit that will provide high quality, six-month work placements from Autumn this year. Funding available for each job will cover 100 per cent of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week;

o expanding our youth offer to young jobseekers to include all those aged 18-24 in the Intensive Work Search group in Universal Credit to include:

  • a structured 13-week intervention, during which (as capacity allows) they will be referred to the most appropriate support, such as careers advice, a sector-based work academy, a traineeship, work experience, mentoring circles or an apprenticeship. Once they have completed this programme, participants will be encouraged to take up work-related training or an apprenticeship;

  • youth hubs co-located and co-delivered with our network of external partners where young people can access wider support;

  • additional targeted support from Youth Employability Coaches for young people with more complex needs;

o expansion of our sector-based work academy programmes, which will establish bespoke opportunities, working with employers and training providers to support claimants to fill job vacancies and pivot into new careers;

o expansion of the scope of the Work and Health Programme in England and Wales to provide personalised support for up to six months, to help jobseekers who have been unemployed for three months plus to effectively reengage with the labour market. Equivalent provision will also be made in Scotland; and

o a new job finding support service in Great Britain to help recently unemployed people more quickly back in to the labour market, focussing on their transferrable skills and how they might transition to a new employment sector, where there are vacancies.

In addition, we are also working with local partners across England to invest £250 million from European Social Fund’s reserve to help people find new jobs and learn new skills. This is addition to the £440 million that is being invested in locally-tailored programme this year.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the case for increased investment in local employment support.

The Government is committed to addressing imbalances as economic recovery progresses in every part of the UK and the department already has robust mechanisms in place which provide local support through our Jobcentre Plus network, including provision for young people and the long term unemployed.

As announced by the Chancellor this provision is being further strengthened through a range of measures including:

o doubling the number of work coaches to 27,000 by March 2021;

o an increase in the Flexible Support Fund in Great Britain by £150 million including to increase the capacity of the Rapid Response Service. It will also provide local support to claimants by removing barriers to work such as travel expenses for attending interviews;

o the introduction of the Kickstart Scheme for young people on Universal Credit that will provide high quality, six-month work placements from Autumn this year. Funding available for each job will cover 100 per cent of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week;

o expanding our youth offer to young jobseekers to include all those aged 18-24 in the Intensive Work Search group in Universal Credit to include:

  • a structured 13-week intervention, during which (as capacity allows) they will be referred to the most appropriate support, such as careers advice, a sector-based work academy, a traineeship, work experience, mentoring circles or an apprenticeship. Once they have completed this programme, participants will be encouraged to take up work-related training or an apprenticeship;

  • youth hubs co-located and co-delivered with our network of external partners where young people can access wider support;

  • additional targeted support from Youth Employability Coaches for young people with more complex needs;

o expansion of our sector-based work academy programmes, which will establish bespoke opportunities, working with employers and training providers to support claimants to fill job vacancies and pivot into new careers;

o expansion of the scope of the Work and Health Programme in England and Wales to provide personalised support for up to six months, to help jobseekers who have been unemployed for three months plus to effectively reengage with the labour market. Equivalent provision will also be made in Scotland; and

o a new job finding support service in Great Britain to help recently unemployed people more quickly back in to the labour market, focussing on their transferrable skills and how they might transition to a new employment sector, where there are vacancies.

In addition, we are also working with local partners across England to invest £250 million from European Social Fund’s reserve to help people find new jobs and learn new skills. This is addition to the £440 million that is being invested in locally-tailored programme this year.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
18th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what evaluation has taken place of projects funded by the Department for Work and Pensions Reducing Parental Conflict Programme; and when a final evaluation of the programme will be published.

The evaluation of the Reducing Parental Conflict Programme is ongoing and a final research report will be published in 2022.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
18th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to extend the Department for Work and Pensions Reducing Parental Conflict Programme beyond 2021.

The Reducing Parental Conflict Programme is providing crucial support to families, particularly those who may be under increased pressure due to COVID-19. We are working with our local delivery partners to ensure that programme delivery continues during the period of social distancing restrictions, being flexible and innovative in ways that we can reach families that require support. Partners are continuing to make progress in embedding a focus on parental conflict in local services across all local authority areas in England. Decisions on taking forward the Reducing Parental Conflict Programme will be taken by the Department in due course.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
7th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how COVID-19 vaccines will be distributed to communal living facilities, including almshouses; and whether such vaccines will be delivered on site at these facilities.

The National Health Service has a tried and tested track record for delivering vaccination programmes. The NHS will work with existing health and social care partners across the system to ensure that COVID-19 vaccines can be deployed safely and effectively. Following the advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation’s, vaccines are currently being given to care home residents and staff, those over 80 years old, and health and social care workers, then amongst the rest of the population in order of age and risk.

The NHS has developed three different models of delivery to allow the vaccine to be available to a wider population through hospital hubs, vaccination centres, and local vaccination services. As the vaccination programme builds, it will gradually be able to extend to more practices/community settings, as well as mass vaccination centres in the coming months. More than 730 vaccination sites have already been established across the United Kingdom and hundreds more are opening to take the current total to over 1,000.

2nd Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, what plans they have to review the public health allocation formulae for local authorities.

The public health grant to local authorities is £3.279 billion in 2020-21, delivering real-terms funding growth to every local authority. Funding beyond 2020-21 will be set out following the Spending Review.

24th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the need to provide ongoing support for the mental health and resilience of young people; and what plans they have to increase councils’ public health budgets to facilitate this.

Supporting children and young people's mental health and resilience is a priority for the Government. On 8 September, we launched a mental wellbeing campaign for children and young people. This involves an extension of Public Health England’s ‘Every Mind Matters’ with content specifically for children and young people and their parents and carers.

Our £8 million Wellbeing for Education Return programme will provide schools and colleges all over England with the knowledge and access to resources they need to support children and young people, teachers and parents.

The overall public health grant to local authorities in 2020/21 is £3.279 billion and this continues to be ring-fenced for health improvement. Funding beyond 2020/21 will be agreed in the Spending Review later this year. Local authorities make their own funding decisions based on their assessment of local population need.

16th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports that the government of Iran has (1) destroyed evidence of human rights violations, including mass graves of political prisoners from 1988, and (2) intimidated survivors and families of victims of human rights violations.

The UK has designated Iran as a Human Rights Priority Country, and we continue to take action with the international community to press Iran to improve its poor human rights record. This includes using all opportunities during the upcoming United Nations General Assembly session. We also urge Iran to allow the Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Iran access to the country, so that he can conduct research and investigations into human rights concerns reported there, including the events of 1988, and the reports of intimidation and destroyed evidence.

We have always been clear that Iran must uphold its international legal obligations, including conducting thorough and independent investigations into suspected human rights violations, both past and present. We call on President Raisi to set Iran on a different course, which includes committing to improving human rights in Iran.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with other governments about establishing a United Nations led commission of inquiry into human rights violations in Iran, including the deaths of political prisoners in 1988.

The UK has designated Iran as a Human Rights Priority Country, and we continue to take action with the international community to press Iran to improve its poor human rights record. This includes using all opportunities during the upcoming United Nations General Assembly session. We also urge Iran to allow the Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Iran access to the country, so that he can conduct research and investigations into human rights concerns reported there, including the events of 1988, and the reports of intimidation and destroyed evidence.

We have always been clear that Iran must uphold its international legal obligations, including conducting thorough and independent investigations into suspected human rights violations, both past and present. We call on President Raisi to set Iran on a different course, which includes committing to improving human rights in Iran.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the resolution of the United Nations General Assembly on 17 December 2020 calling on the government of Iran to investigate past and current human rights violations in the country.

The UK has designated Iran as a Human Rights Priority Country, and we continue to take action with the international community to press Iran to improve its poor human rights record. This includes using all opportunities during the upcoming United Nations General Assembly session. We urge Iran to allow the Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Iran access to the country, to conduct research and investigations into reported human rights concerns.

We have always been clear that Iran must uphold its international legal obligations, including conducting thorough and independent investigations into suspected human rights violations, both past and present. We call on President Raisi to set Iran on a different course, which includes committing to improving human rights in Iran.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
9th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have taken to ensure issues affecting the wider middle east region, including the involvement of Iran in regional conflicts, are included in discussions on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action

Our immediate priority is to bring an end to Iran's continued systematic non-compliance with its JCPoA nuclear commitments. To that end, we are currently engaged in talks in Vienna with other JCPoA participants and the US aimed at returning the US to the deal, bringing Iran back into full compliance with its commitments and restoring the benefits of the deal for all.

A restored and fully implemented JCPoA could provide the confidence to further address regional and security concerns. As such, we welcome and support President Biden's commitment to not just return to the deal, but to strengthen and extend it. A substantive effort is required to improve regional security and Iran's role in destabilising the region needs to be addressed.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the human rights record of the Iranian presidential candidate Ebrahim Raisi.

Iran is a Human Rights Priority Country for the FCDO. We consistently monitor the human rights situation there, and call on President-elect Raisi to set Iran on a different course. He must commit to improving human rights and to release British nationals arbitrarily detained there. Our assessment is that the Iranian authorities have suppressed protests through lethal violence, while arbitrary detention and mistreatment in prison prevails, and access to justice remains constrained. We regularly raise human rights with the Iranians at all levels and take action with the international community to press Iran to improve its poor record. For example, in September 2020, the United Kingdom, France and Germany summoned Iranian ambassadors and delivered a joint letter that expressed our deep concern at the grave human rights violations occurring inside Iran.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to support the government of Iraq in (1) establishing its authority in that country, and (2) reducing the influence of other governments.

The UK is committed to preserving the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq and is supporting the Government of Iraq to achieve this. We continue to provide technical and military assistance to Iraq, equipping the government to counter threats from Daesh and other destabilising influences from within the country and the wider region.

We regularly engage with the Government of Iraq and the international community on Iraq's security challenges and regional tensions. The Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary met Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi in London on 22 October and pledged the UK's continuing support for the Iraqi government. Minister Cleverly reiterated the UK Government's commitment to Iraq's sovereignty, security and economic stability when he visited Iraq in November.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
25th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the implications for stability in the Middle East of the government of Iran's intention (1) to enrich uranium up to 20 per cent purity, and (2) to produce uranium metal.

Iran's commencement of uranium enrichment up to 20% at the Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant has no credible civil justification and carries very significant proliferation-related risks. Iran also has no credible civilian use for uranium metal, which could provide knowledge gains applicable to a weapons programme. As recently published in a joint statement, the E3 has expressed its deep concern at these steps which are further Iranian violations of its JCPoA commitments. We strongly urge Iran to halt these activities and return to compliance with its nuclear commitments without delay. Regional stability and security would be deeply undermined if Iran was ever to achieve a nuclear weapons capability.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
25th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with (1) the government of Israel, (2) the government of the United Arab Emirates, and (3) the government of Bahrain, about their inclusion in any discussions regarding the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

We welcome and support President-elect Biden's commitment to return to the JCPoA, and to strengthen and extend it. We have always been clear that any sustainable solution will need to address a range of issues, in particular Iran's nuclear programme but also regional security concerns. We have continued a regular dialogue with the Governments of Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain (amongst others) regarding the JCPoA, and are committed to engaging all regional partners in any future negotiations on regional security.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to designate the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist group.

We have been clear about our concerns over Iran and the IRGC's continued destabilising activity throughout the region, which includes political, financial and military support to a number of militant and proscribed groups, including Hizballah in Lebanon and Syria, militias in Iraq and the Houthis in Yemen. The IRGC is sanctioned in its entirety by the UK. The list of proscribed organisations is kept under constant review. We do not routinely comment on whether an organisation is or is not under consideration for proscription.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of whether the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action between the governments of China, the European Union, France, Germany, Iran, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States should be renegotiated in the light of (1) mission development, (2) sunset clauses, and (3) breaches by Iran of limits on enriched uranium stocks.

The JCPoA is currently the only framework for constraining and verifying Iran's nuclear programme. In the absence of something better, we will continue to support it. I welcome President Biden's commitment that if Iran returns to compliance with the deal the US would re-enter the agreement, seeking to both strengthen and extend it. This is an important opportunity to restart engagement between Iran and the US, and to realise the objectives of the JCPoA.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of whether the practice of British judges sitting on Hong Kong's Court of Final Appeal confers legitimacy on processes otherwise undermined by the actions of the government of China.

British judges have played an important role in supporting the independence of Hong Kong's judiciary for many years. We want and hope that this can continue. The UK judiciary is independent of the Government and it is for them to make an assessment on this. It is therefore right that the Supreme Court continues to assess the situation in Hong Kong, in discussion with the Government.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to remove any special legal status differentiating Hong Kong from China following the resignation of Hong Kong’s opposition lawmakers.

The imposition of new rules to disqualify elected legislators in Hong Kong constitutes a clear breach of the legally binding Sino-British Joint Declaration. We have raised our concerns directly with the Beijing authorities, including by summoning the Chinese Ambassador on 13 November.

On 20 July we extended the arms embargo on China to include Hong Kong and suspended our extradition treaty with Hong Kong indefinitely. This was a necessary and proportionate response to the imposition of the National Security Law. As a co-signatory to the Joint Declaration, we have a responsibility to uphold the contents, and a duty to speak out when we have concerns. We will continue to respect Hong Kong's separate customs territory as set out in Paragraph 3 of the Joint Declaration, which declares that the 'Hong Kong Special Administrative Region will retain the status of a free port and a separate customs territory'.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
9th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the government of Turkey following reports that that government is granting Turkish citizenship to senior members of Hamas.

We are aware of reports about the granting of Turkish citizenship to Hamas figures. Hamas continues to pose a threat to Israel and Israeli civilians. The UK is clear that Hamas' failure to renounce violence and recognise Israel remains a significant barrier to peace. We continue to call upon Hamas to end permanently their incitement and indiscriminate attacks against Israel. The UK retains a policy of no contact with Hamas, in its entirety. Hamas' military wing has been proscribed as a terrorist organisation by the UK since 2001.

9th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the security threat (1) to the UK, and (2) other European countries, following reports that senior members of Hamas have been awarded Turkish citizenship with the right to travel.

We continue to monitor the activities of Hamas and maintain regular assessments of the overall threat posed by the group.

2nd Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what framework they have put in place to assess the success of UK sanctions.

As required by sections 30 and 32 of the Sanctions Act, Her Majesty's Government will review annually whether the UK's sanctions regimes remain appropriate to achieve their stated purposes, and will report to Parliament. If the Government determines that it is no longer appropriate to maintain an autonomous sanctions regime, that regime will be removed or amended accordingly. Periodic reviews of autonomous sanctions designations will take place every three years under the Act.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
27th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 21 October (HL8918), what assessment they have made of any difficulties in reconciling the objective for a full investigation into the origins of COVID-19, with the statement that the overnment of China "has to be part of the solution".

It remains important that there is a full and robust international investigation into the origins of Covid-19, to understand why the outbreak happened, why it was not stopped earlier and what can be done to manage any outbreak in the future. Work is underway on the review and investigation into the origins of the virus as agreed by the World Health Assembly in May. We will continue to work closely with the WHO and international partners, including China, to ensure that it is independent, evidence-based, transparent and rigorous so that the right lessons are learned. This is consistent with recognition that China is an important member of the international community. Its size, rising economic power and influence make it an important partner in tackling the biggest global challenges, including global health issues.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
9th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the use of Novichok by, and (2) the efficacy of sanctions on, Russia; what plans they have to review those sanctions; and what plans they have to call for the suspension of Russia from international organisations.

We have made clear that it is absolutely unacceptable that a banned chemical weapon has been used. The UK and its partners have agreed that there is no plausible explanation for Mr Navalny's poisoning, other than Russian involvement and responsibility. Russia must hold a full and transparent investigation into the poisoning of one of its citizens on its soil with a banned chemical weapon.

The UK continues to support a robust approach to sanctions in response to Russia's malign actions. Sanctions are an important tool in delivering targeted economic and political pressure in order to change Russian behaviour. The UK will carry over the EU's Russia sanctions regimes as an autonomous UK sanctions regime at the end of the Transition Period and it will be regularly reviewed. The sanctions set out clear conditions for Russia to meet including the full implementation of the Minsk Agreements and the withdrawal of troops from Ukrainian soil. Until this happens sanctions will remain in place. As a fellow Permanent Member of the UN Security Council, we will continue to engage with Russia on matters of international peace and security. But as long as Russia persists in its efforts to undermine our interests and values, we will work with our international partners to continue to deter and counter them.

8th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to prevent the arms embargo on Iran from expiring.

The UN conventional arms embargo on Iran expired on 18 October. The UK, alongside our E3 partners (France and Germany), remain concerned about the impact of the expiry on the region. Despite E3 efforts to find a compromise in the UN Security Council, there was no consensus to extend the embargo. We abstained on the US draft resolution because it was clear that it would not attract the support of the Council. Ultimately, unless a resolution could pass, it would have no impact on Iran. We remain committed to countering Iranian proliferation to non-state actors in the region. The EU arms embargo and UN ballistic missile restrictions on Iran will remain in place, as will other prohibitions on the proliferation of weapons, including to Lebanese Hezbollah, Iraqi militia groups and the Houthis.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government why the UK abstained on the US-sponsored UN Security Council resolution to extend the arms embargo on Iran.

The UN conventional arms embargo on Iran expired on 18 October. The UK, alongside our E3 partners (France and Germany), remain concerned about the impact of the expiry on the region. Despite E3 efforts to find a compromise in the UN Security Council, there was no consensus to extend the embargo. We abstained on the US draft resolution because it was clear that it would not attract the support of the Council. Ultimately, unless a resolution could pass, it would have no impact on Iran. We remain committed to countering Iranian proliferation to non-state actors in the region. The EU arms embargo and UN ballistic missile restrictions on Iran will remain in place, as will other prohibitions on the proliferation of weapons, including to Lebanese Hezbollah, Iraqi militia groups and the Houthis.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to seek compensation from the government of China for British victims of COVID-19.

Clearly there are questions that need to be answered about the origin and spread of the virus, not least so we can ensure we are better prepared for future pandemics. The Foreign Secretary has been clear that we want to see a full and robust international investigation to understand why the outbreak happened, why it was not stopped earlier and what can be done to manage any outbreak in the future. It must be open, transparent and rigorous to ensure the right lessons are learned.

China is a leading member of the international community and it has to be part of the solution to any major global problem we face, including ensuring we do not face another devastating global health crisis.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to ask the Palestinian Authority to drop their preconditions for peace talks with Israel.

The UK is committed to making progress towards a two-state solution. We firmly believe a just and lasting resolution that ends the occupation and delivers peace for both Israelis and Palestinians is long overdue. Only the leaders of Israel and the Palestinians Authority can determine the needs and aspirations of their people. However, we have encouraged them to resume cooperation and work towards further dialogue. Ultimately, there is no substitute for direct talks, which is the only way to a reach a two-state solution and a lasting peace. Meanwhile, the parties should do all they can to reverse the negative trends - including systematic settlement expansion and demolitions in the West Bank, violence and incitement, and the dire situation in Gaza.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports by Alma Research and Education Centre indicating that Hezbollah has located at least 28 missile launch sites in residential areas in Beirut, including next to schools, hospitals and places of worship.

The UK remains concerned by reports that Hizballah continues to amass an arsenal of weapons, in breach of UN Security Council Resolutions 1559 and 1701. We condemn the threat this poses to regional stability.

23rd Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have taken to address at the United Nations Security Council reports that Hezbollah has located missile launch sites in residential areas of Beirut.

The UK remains concerned by reports that Hizballah continues to amass an arsenal of weapons, in breach of UN Security Council Resolutions 1559 and 1701. We condemn the threat this poses to regional stability.

14th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the expiration of the UN conventional arms embargo on Iran in October on human rights advocates in the country.

The UK remains committed to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA), a reciprocal deal that lifts sanctions in exchange for tough nuclear limits. Iran has broken the nuclear limits in the JCPoA and we are working to bring Iran back into compliance through the deal's Dispute Resolution Mechanism.

UNSCR 2231, which underpins the JCPoA, includes a number of clauses designed to allow sanctions to expire on fixed dates: the UN conventional arms embargo is due to expire in October 2020. The EU arms embargo and UN ballistic missile restrictions will remain in place until 2023. We are consulting partners on the broader implications of arms embargo expiry for Iran as well as the region, and encourage all states to implement national export control best practice.

Separate to sanctions in place under the JCPoA, there is an EU Iran human rights sanctions regime. It consists of asset freezes and travel bans on certain individuals and entities involved in human rights violations; and trade restrictions on specified goods and technology which may be used to repress the civilian population of Iran, and on specified goods and technology which may be used for interception and monitoring services in Iran. These EU trade restrictions do not have an expiry date.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the number of people in Idlib who belong to an armed group that has been proscribed (1) by the UK Government, and (2) under the UN Security Council Resolution 1267.

Given the complex and evolving situation on the ground, it is difficult to accurately assess the number of persons belonging to proscribed armed groups in Idlib, Syria. We estimate there may be around 19,000-25,000 persons belonging to proscribed armed groups in total, of which the majority (approximately 12,000-15,000) belong to Hayat Tahrir al-Sham. We estimate Huras Al Din and the Turkistan Islamic Party each have around 3,500-5,000 members. There are also likely to be small numbers of individuals aligned to Daesh. The estimated total number of persons belonging to proscribed armed groups represents less than one percent of the approximately three million people living in Idlib.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the safety of British nationals and diplomatic representatives in Iran.

​The safety and security of British nationals and our staff is of paramount importance and we keep our security posture under regular review. We have strengthened the travel advice to Iran and will keep it under constant review.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the activities of members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, in particular the Quds Force; and what plans they have to proscribe members of its leadership as terrorist entities.

​We have long expressed our deep concerns about the destabilising activities of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and IRGC Qods Force, including illicit economic activity, and support to militant and proscribed groups around the region. The IRGC as a whole remains subject to EU and UN sanctions; a large number of associated individuals and entities are also designated. We continue to review the list of proscribed groups, but do not routinely comment on consideration of specific organisations.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have taken to categorise possible state sponsors of terrorism.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has not been involved in any steps to categorise state sponsors of terrorism.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Restriction of Public Sector Exit Payments Regulations 2020 require the amount of employer’s national insurance contributions in relation to an exit payment to be included when calculating the value of an individual’s total exit payment.

For the purpose of the Restriction of Public Sector Exit Payment Regulations, employer’s national insurance contributions in relation to an exit payment should not be included when calculating the value of an individual’s total exit payment.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
3rd Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to provide domestic replacements for each of the funding streams that the UK receives from the EU.

Having left the EU, from 2021 the UK will no longer contribute to the EU budget as a Member State, leaving only payments due as part of Financial Settlement obligations. As set out at Spring Budget 2020, the government has accounted for this when setting its spending plans, allowing it to determine how an additional £14.6 billion of spending by 2024-25 can be allocated to its domestic priorities, rather than be sent in contributions to the EU. This will be allocated as part of the overall spending envelope at the Comprehensive Spending Review, and will include meeting our commitments to replace the Common Agricultural Policy and EU structural funds.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
4th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they will take to ban the flying of the Hamas flag in the UK following its widespread use in demonstrations in 2021.

The military wing of Hamas remains a proscribed organisation under the Terrorism Act 2000 enabling firm action against those who openly support it, including in displaying logos and flags.

We are committed to ensuring the police have robust powers to respond to activities that spread hate and maintain order. We are strengthening powers to manage disruptive protest through the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
5th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the effect of fatherlessness on young men who are members of gangs.

We recognise the impact that family structure can have on children and young people, with research showing that a lack of support from parents can be a risk factor related to involvement in serious violence. This is why we are committed to investing in programmes of work focussed on early intervention and targeted towards young people at risk.

In March of this year, the Home Office announced its £130.5 million investment in tackling serious violent crime, with £23 million being invested in new early intervention programmes to help stop young people being drawn into violence. This includes programmes which use significant moments in a young person’s life, such as when they enter police custody or Accident and Emergency, as opportunities for trained professionals to engage and divert young people away from crime and violence.

Over the three years from 2018-2021, we have also invested a total of £105.5 million, in multi-agency Violence Reduction Units (VRUs) in the 18 areas most affected by serious violence, bringing together local partners to deliver an effective, joined up approach to tackling violent crime and its drivers.

We have also made clear that the Government is determined to crack down on the county line gangs, by funding specialist support for those affected by county lines exploitation, providing one-to-one support to under 25s and their families in the three largest county lines exporting force areas (London, West Midlands and Merseyside) to help them safely reduce and end their involvement.

In addition, we are funding Missing People’s SafeCall service which provides confidential, specialist advice and support to young people and their families/carers who are affected by county lines exploitation.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
9th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to maintain public order during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The police are tasked with the critical responsibility for maintaining public order and are operationally independent of Government. They will continue to engage, explain and encourage people to follow the rules during the pandemic, but will enforce where necessary.

The Home Office continues to work closely with the police and operational partners to ensure they have the powers, resources and guidance they need.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
9th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to extend the visas of health and care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Government recognises the vital contribution overseas NHS, health and social care workers have and continue to make in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier in the year we offered free visa extensions for key, frontline health professionals whose visas were due to expire between 31 March 2020 and 1 October 2020.

On 20 November, we announced we will renew this offer for those eligible health professionals and their family dependants whose visas expire between 1 October 2020 until 31 March 2021.

More details of this announcement can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/thousands-more-health-workers-to-benefit-from-visa-extensions

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
9th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to reform the UK’s asylum system.

The Home Office is working to transform the broken asylum system and processes: the work will simplify, streamline and digitise processes, ensuring that asylum claimants are treated quickly, fairly and are supported, and that claims which do not qualify are rapidly identified and prepared for return.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
2nd Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the effectiveness of Outcome 21 in preventing children from being criminalised as a result of self-generated indecent images.

We are working across Government and engaging industry to prevent all forms of online child sexual exploitation and abuse. We welcome the All-Party Parliamentary Group of Social Media inquiry into the rise of self-generated indecent imagery. As part of our response to the pandemic, https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-keeping-children-safe-online/coronavirus-covid-19-support-for-parents-and-carers-to-keep-children-safe-online has been published for parents and children outlining resources to help keep children safe from different risks online, including apps to help children stay safe online, and how to access support and advice.

The Government is continuing to engage with technology companies around the Voluntary Principles to Counter Online Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, a framework of principles launched by the Five Country Ministerial partners in March. However, while some companies are working proactively to tackle illegal and harmful content and activity that occurs on their platforms, more needs to be done.

The Full Government Response to the Online Harms White paper consultation has been recently published and sets out our plans to introduce world-leading legislation to tackle harmful content online and make the UK the safest place in the world to be online. This legislation will include a legal duty of care on online platforms, backed up by an independent regulator to hold them to account.

The Government recognises the risks of criminalising children as a result of self-generated images. Outcome 21 is assigned by the police where a crime has been reported but further investigation is not in the public interest.

When the police use Outcome 21, it allows them to properly record and capture crimes, whilst demonstrating they are satisfied that there is very low risk of harm. Outcome 21 cases will not normally be subject to any subsequent disclosure.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
2nd Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the manufacturers of internet-enabled devices about the increase in self-generated indecent images of children online.

We are working across Government and engaging industry to prevent all forms of online child sexual exploitation and abuse. We welcome the All-Party Parliamentary Group of Social Media inquiry into the rise of self-generated indecent imagery. As part of our response to the pandemic, https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-keeping-children-safe-online/coronavirus-covid-19-support-for-parents-and-carers-to-keep-children-safe-online has been published for parents and children outlining resources to help keep children safe from different risks online, including apps to help children stay safe online, and how to access support and advice.

The Government is continuing to engage with technology companies around the Voluntary Principles to Counter Online Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, a framework of principles launched by the Five Country Ministerial partners in March. However, while some companies are working proactively to tackle illegal and harmful content and activity that occurs on their platforms, more needs to be done.

The Full Government Response to the Online Harms White paper consultation has been recently published and sets out our plans to introduce world-leading legislation to tackle harmful content online and make the UK the safest place in the world to be online. This legislation will include a legal duty of care on online platforms, backed up by an independent regulator to hold them to account.

The Government recognises the risks of criminalising children as a result of self-generated images. Outcome 21 is assigned by the police where a crime has been reported but further investigation is not in the public interest.

When the police use Outcome 21, it allows them to properly record and capture crimes, whilst demonstrating they are satisfied that there is very low risk of harm. Outcome 21 cases will not normally be subject to any subsequent disclosure.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
9th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, following reports that senior members of Hamas have been awarded Turkish citizenship, what plans they have to ensure UK Border Control and Home Office officials are appraised of the identity of any Hamas members recently awarded Turkish citizenship with the right to travel, with a view to preventing their entry into the United Kingdom.

Those who obtain Turkish citizenship do not have the right to travel freely to the UK, they are subject to the requirement to obtain a visa for travel. We can, and do, refuse visas on grounds on national security and exclude terrorists from obtaining clearance to travel to the UK. This is achieved through a suite of security checks.

100 percent of scheduled passengers arriving at the border are checked against our security systems. The majority of these are checked against our systems before they even travel, through the collection of advanced passenger information (API).

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
16th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the proposals set out in their initial response to the consultation on the Online Harms White Paper, published on 12 February, when they will publish the “interim codes of practice”.

The Government will be publishing interim codes of practice on terrorist use of the internet and child sexual exploitation and abuse (CSEA) as part of the full government response to the Online Harms White Paper consultation. This will ensure that companies are provided with the necessary context to understand the expectations around what companies should do to address CSEA and terrorist content and activity online.

We are currently working swiftly to prepare the interim codes of practice and the full government response to the Online Harms White Paper, which we will publish in the autumn.

We will follow this publication with legislation, when Parliamentary time allows.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
27th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of whether regulations designed for large housing associations restrict small charitable housing groups from expanding; and what plans they have to amend the regulations to remove any such restrictions.

The Regulator of Social Housing is responsible for the regulation of registered providers of social housing in England.

The regulator’s primary focus is on promoting a viable, efficient and well-governed social housing sector able to deliver the homes that we need. The regulator’s economic and consumer standards apply to both large (1,000 homes or more) and small (fewer than 1,000 homes) registered providers. It is for individual providers to ensure compliance with the standards and the regulator does not specify how they should do that. The regulator’s publication (attached), Regulating the Standards, outlines its operational approach to assessing compliance with the economic and consumer standards for both large and small providers.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
27th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government when the Community Housing Fund will be available.

Departmental budgets for 2021/22 have been confirmed at the recent Comprehensive Spending Review and £4 million in revenue grant funding has been made available to reopen the Community Housing Fund. We are currently considering how these funds should be most effectively deployed. In addition, organisations that are registered as providers of social housing may seek capital funding from the Shared Ownership and Affordable Homes Programme operated outside London by Homes England.

The Government recognises that the community-led housing sector offers significant potential for helping to meet housing need across England. In addition to helping increase the rate of delivery of new housing, it will help deliver a range of benefits including diversifying the housebuilding sector, improving design and construction quality, developing modern methods of construction, and sustaining local communities and local economies. The support and close involvement of the local community enables the community-led approach to secure planning permission and deliver housing that could not be brought forward through mainstream development.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
18th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made (1) of the requirement for councillors to publish their home addresses on council websites, and (2) of the effect of this requirement on the safety and welfare of councillors, and female councillors in particular; and what plans they have to remove this requirement so that councillors have parity with Members of Parliament.

At present, councillors are required to register their home address as part of their council’s register of interests given that planning decisions, for example, can have a substantial impact on an area in which a councillor lives. Registers of interests are typically published on council websites, but there are already provisions in section 32 of the Localism Act 2011 to allow councils to withhold sensitive interests from the public register where their disclosure could lead to violence or intimidation.

The Committee on Standards in Public Life’s review of Local Government Ethical Standards noted that the sensitive interest provisions are often only used when a member has already experience intimidation or harassment, and so recommended that councillors should not be required to register their home addresses as a disclosable pecuniary interest. The Government is considering the recommendations from the CSPL’s report and we intend to publish a response in due course.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
30th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Greenhalgh on 28 October (HL9181), what plans they have to ensure that councils in England can meet remotely after the expiry of the relevant powers under the Coronavirus Act 2020.

There is no option under current legislation to extend the current regulations under the Coronavirus Act 2020 as section 78 (3) contains the sunset date of 7 May 2021.

The Government has received representations from the Local Government Association and others from the local government sector making the case for extending and making permanent the provision for local authorities to meet remotely or in hybrid form. The Government is considering this carefully. To extend the facility for councils to continue to meet remotely, or in hybrid form, would require primary legislation.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
30th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government which EU funding streams were taken into account to inform their allocation of £1.5 billion a year to the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) will help to level up and create opportunity across the UK?for people and?places.??

Funding for the UKSPF will ramp up so that total domestic UK-wide funding will?at least match receipts from EU structural funds, on average reaching around £1.5 billion per?year.?Its funding profile will be set out at the next Spending Review.

£1.5 billion is the average annual investment from EU Structural Funds (including ERDF, ESF and ETC) over the previous EU funding round.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
30th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to support the regeneration of town centres.

Government is working to deliver a package of long-term measures that support town centre regeneration. This includes the £3.6 billion Towns Fund, where we brought forward over £80 million funding this year to support immediate improvements in 101 towns selected for deals. The fund will support local areas in England to renew and reshape town centres and high streets in a way that improves experience, drives growth and ensures future sustainability.

Our £1 billion Future High Streets Fund competition will help create jobs and build more resilient local economies and communities. We are in the final stages of assessing the proposals from the 101 shortlisted applicants and expect to announce the outcome of the competition soon.

Further, the Government is launching a new Levelling Up Fund worth £4 billion for England. This will invest in local infrastructure that has a visible impact on people and their communities and will support economic recovery.

Government is also providing support through the High Streets Task Force, helping local leaders in their work revitalising their high streets and town centres by providing proactive support to local areas to develop data-driven innovative strategies and connect local areas to relevant experts.

In addition, Government has recently reformed the use classes order to create a new ‘Commercial, Business and Service’ use class which will give businesses greater flexibility to change to a broad range of uses, such as shops, leisure, and offices as well as nurseries and health centres, without the need for planning permission. More widely we are looking to transform the planning system as set out in the White Paper ‘Planning for the Future’ which will make it simpler, quicker and more accessible, and more certain for developers.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
30th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to support domestic abuse refuge services.

This Government continues to support the provision of safe accommodation with support to ensure those fleeing from abuse have somewhere safe to go.

Since 2014 we have invested £80 million in safe accommodation services, including refuges to support victims of domestic abuse. This includes a £10 million COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund for safe accommodation charities, supporting a significant number of organisations to keep services running. In addition, we have secured free PPE for domestic abuse refuges.

Following the outcome of Spending Review, £125 million funding will be allocated to local authorities for the new duty to provide support within safe accommodation, including refuges, for 2021-22.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
26th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the well-being benefits of small scale community housing, including almshouses.

As part of its contribution to the Loneliness Strategy being led by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has commissioned the London School of Economics to undertake research into the benefits of community-led housing in respect of addressing loneliness. The final report of the research is expected in 2021.

We are currently consulting widely on the proposals for reform set out in the Planning White Paper, and we will be listening carefully to all the representations made, including those from organisations representing almshouses. In relation to s106 planning obligations, we are consulting on proposals to replace the existing system of developer contributions with a new Infrastructure Levy, which will deliver at least as much onsite affordable housing as at present.

The upcoming government guidance on producing local design codes will set out more detailed parameters for key elements of successful design, recognising the need for a variety of housing tenures, including community and co-housing schemes, to create diverse, equitable and resilient communities. Further information on this will be published in due course.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
26th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to protect and promote small-scale community housing models, such as almshouses, as part of their reforms of the planning system.

As part of its contribution to the Loneliness Strategy being led by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has commissioned the London School of Economics to undertake research into the benefits of community-led housing in respect of addressing loneliness. The final report of the research is expected in 2021.

We are currently consulting widely on the proposals for reform set out in the Planning White Paper, and we will be listening carefully to all the representations made, including those from organisations representing almshouses. In relation to s106 planning obligations, we are consulting on proposals to replace the existing system of developer contributions with a new Infrastructure Levy, which will deliver at least as much onsite affordable housing as at present.

The upcoming government guidance on producing local design codes will set out more detailed parameters for key elements of successful design, recognising the need for a variety of housing tenures, including community and co-housing schemes, to create diverse, equitable and resilient communities. Further information on this will be published in due course.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
26th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to enable small-scale housing models, such as almshouses, to benefit from affordable housing levies, including section 106 agreements.

As part of its contribution to the Loneliness Strategy being led by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has commissioned the London School of Economics to undertake research into the benefits of community-led housing in respect of addressing loneliness. The final report of the research is expected in 2021.

We are currently consulting widely on the proposals for reform set out in the Planning White Paper, and we will be listening carefully to all the representations made, including those from organisations representing almshouses. In relation to s106 planning obligations, we are consulting on proposals to replace the existing system of developer contributions with a new Infrastructure Levy, which will deliver at least as much onsite affordable housing as at present.

The upcoming government guidance on producing local design codes will set out more detailed parameters for key elements of successful design, recognising the need for a variety of housing tenures, including community and co-housing schemes, to create diverse, equitable and resilient communities. Further information on this will be published in due course.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
14th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of powers under the Coronavirus Act 2020 to enable councils to hold remote meetings; and whether they plan to change the Local Government Act 1972 to allow councils to retain these powers beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.

Local authorities have responded magnificently to the challenge of ensuring vital council business continues by conducting council meetings remotely during these unprecedented times.

It is widely acknowledged that the remote meetings regulations have helped local authorities?to?make business critical decisions in a democratic way whilst protecting the health and safety of their members, officers and the public.

Government will be considering carefully the case for extending these regulations as necessary in the coming months.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the proportion of Council Tax warrants paid at compliance stage, without enforcement visits taking place; and what assessment they have made of the adjusting of inflation in providing an economic incentive for resolving cases at compliance stage.

The Government does not routinely collect data on the proportion of council tax arrears paid at compliance stage, without enforcement visits taking place. The Government is considering the operation of the compliance stage, including for council tax, as part of its ongoing review of the Taking Control of Goods regulations and is due to publish its findings in due course. The fees that may be charged by enforcement agents are set down in regulations. The question of whether to increase the fees in line with inflation is kept under review.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
21st Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to publish the lessons that they learned from allocating funding under the European Social Fund that have influenced the design of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

The Government understands the importance of local growth funding to places and people and is committed to creating the UK Shared Prosperity Fund to succeed European structural funds, providing vital investment in local economies, cutting out bureaucracy and levelling up those parts of the UK whose economies are furthest behind.

The Government has engaged with key stakeholders on the design and priorities of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund since 2016, including holding a series of engagement events across the UK. As we approach the transition from European Social Fund to the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, we will continue to engage with partners in order to aid policy development.

Final decisions on the design of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund will need to be made through a cross-Government Spending Review, and we will set out further plans for the fund in due course.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
9th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the role of local government in supporting the Government's jobs and skills recovery plan following the COVID-19 pandemic.

On 8th July the Chancellor announced measures across a range of targeted work-based training offers to support people to build the skills they need to get into work. This amounts to investment of £1.6 billion in employment support schemes, which will substantially expand existing provision. This includes £111 million to triple traineeships for 16-24 year olds will help more young people gain the skills to progress to apprenticeships, further education and other employment. We are providing employers with £2,000 for each young person they hire as an apprentice and offering £1,500 for each new apprentice hired aged over 25. We are also providing £101 million for school and college leavers to study high value Level 2 and 3 courses when there are not employment opportunities available to them, providing funding of £17 million to almost triple the number of Sector-Based Work Academy placements, and giving the National Careers Service an extra £32 million funding so it can provide careers advice to 269,000 more customers.

Through our Plan for Jobs we have set out how we will support people to stay in and access good jobs as we drive forward our recovery. This includes investing £2 billion to directly support hundreds of thousands of young people through the Kickstart Scheme which will provide fully subsidised jobs for young people across the country.

As part of raising the participation age legislation local authorities have duties to track all academic age 16 and 17 year olds, identify those not in education, employment or training or at risk of becoming so and supporting them to re-engage in education or training. This includes a September guarantee where local authorities need to ensure that all year 11 students and year 12 students on a one year course have a suitable offer of education or training for the following September. We are working closely with local authorities to support these duties and monitor September guarantee offers.

Across these areas the government recognises the need to work closely with local government to support these various interventions and is proactively taking forward conversations with local government on delivery of these programmes.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
25th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the Local Government Association reports Resident satisfaction with councils' response to COVID-19, published in May, and Polling on resident satisfaction with councils: Round 26, published in June, and in particular, the findings on levels of trust in councils.

We read the LGA reports with interest. They show an increase in both resident satisfaction and trust in local councils since February. This reflects the vital role local authorities are playing to keep their communities safe during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to allow local authorities to borrow against future Community Infrastructure Levy receipts to invest in infrastructure to help unlock housing growth.

The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) Regulations 2010 (as amended) do not permit local authorities who charge CIL to borrow against the value of future receipts to invest in infrastructure, with the exception of the Mayor of London.

Regulations introduced in 2019 permit the Mayor of London to borrow against any future income generated by the Mayoral CIL charge and use the receipts collected to repay the loan value. This is specifically for funding relating to Crossrail.

Whilst local charging authorities are not permitted to borrow against the levy receipts, they may use the Levy to repay any expenditure on infrastructure that has already been incurred, under Regulation 60.

Presently, there are no plans to amend the existing Regulations to allow local authorities to borrow against any future receipts to invest in infrastructure to unlock housing growth.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
18th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to celebrate the centenary of the formation of Northern Ireland in (1) England, (2) Wales, and (3) Scotland.

The Government is committed to marking Northern Ireland’s centenary in a way that ensures that all parts of the UK are able to experience and reflect on this important milestone in the decade of centenaries.

There are a number of important strands to our centenary programme to facilitate national recognition and international awareness, support trade and investment, and promote historical understanding - including through the £1million Shared History Fund which has received an extraordinary amount of interest from a wide range of arts, heritage, voluntary, community and other non-profit organisations right across the UK.

We are continuing to engage with departments across Government, including the other Territorial Offices, the Cabinet Office and DCMS as we continue to drive this work forward.

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)