Baroness Goudie Portrait

Baroness Goudie

Labour - Life peer

Became Member: 21st July 1998


Windsor Framework Sub-Committee
14th Apr 2021 - 11th Jan 2023
Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland Sub-Committee
14th Apr 2021 - 11th Jan 2023
Adult Social Care Committee
19th Jan 2022 - 21st Nov 2022
Charities Bill [HL] Special Public Bill Committee
22nd Jul 2021 - 18th Nov 2021
Procedure and Privileges Committee
4th Feb 2021 - 29th Apr 2021
EU Security and Justice Sub-Committee
23rd Apr 2020 - 31st Mar 2021
Finance Committee (Lords)
1st Sep 2016 - 28th Jan 2021
EU Justice Sub-Committee
2nd Jul 2019 - 23rd Apr 2020
Licensing Act 2003 Committee
25th May 2016 - 4th Apr 2017
Sexual Violence in Conflict Committee
11th Jun 2015 - 22nd Mar 2016
Insurance Bill [HL] Special Public Bill Committee
19th Nov 2014 - 24th Dec 2014
Soft Power Committee
16th May 2013 - 11th Mar 2014
Committee of Selection (Lords)
4th Dec 2008 - 25th Apr 2013
Tax Law Rewrite Bills (Joint Committee)
15th Dec 2008 - 6th May 2010
Statutory Instruments (Joint Committee)
15th Jun 2005 - 15th Feb 2006
Information Committee (Lords)
25th Nov 2002 - 7th May 2005
Procedure and Privileges Committee
26th Jun 2001 - 18th Nov 2004


Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Baroness Goudie has voted in 236 divisions, and 2 times against the majority of their Party.

15 Jun 2020 - Abortion (Northern Ireland) (No. 2) Regulations 2020 - View Vote Context
Baroness Goudie voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 9 Labour No votes vs 105 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 355 Noes - 77
5 Jul 2022 - Sitting Times - View Vote Context
Baroness Goudie voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 22 Labour Aye votes vs 44 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 158 Noes - 124
View All Baroness Goudie 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 Ahmad of Wimbledon (Conservative)
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
(24 debate interactions)
Baroness Sugg (Conservative)
(17 debate interactions)
Baroness Williams of Trafford (Conservative)
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
(12 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Home Office
(14 debate contributions)
Northern Ireland Office
(11 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(10 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Baroness Goudie's debates

Lords initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Baroness Goudie, and are more likely to reflect personal policy preferences.


Baroness Goudie has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

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


Latest 50 Written Questions

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
3 Other Department Questions
23rd Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking (1) to close the gender the pay gap, and (2) to end unequal pay for, and discrimination against, women.

This Government is committed to the empowerment of women in the workplace. Over the last decade our work has seen the gender pay gap fall considerably, with mandatory gender pay gap reporting regulations helping to motivate employers to improve equality in the workplace, and strong growth in the number of women in full-time work.

To drive forward this progress we have recently announced a ground-breaking pay transparency pilot, a new STEM returners programme and a Taskforce on Women-Led High-Growth Enterprises. In combination, this work will ensure that all women are able to reach their full career potential, improving gender equality in the workplace, and helping to further narrow the gender pay gap.

We also remain committed to the Equality Act 2010, which contains strong protections from discrimination on the basis of sex, and reaffirms fundamental equal pay protections.

8th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what support they have provided to businesses to facilitate an improved gender balance in the workplace since February.

In recognition of the unprecedented uncertainty and pressure facing employers due to the Coronavirus pandemic, and to ease the burdens on business, the Government and the Equality and Human Rights Commission suspended enforcement of the gender pay gap reporting deadlines for 2019/20. However, employers can still choose to report their data and we have carried on providing support to those who need it. Over 5,500 employers have reported to date and more continue to do so.

8th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what actions they have taken to reduce the gender pay gap since February.

In recognition of the unprecedented uncertainty and pressure facing employers due to the Coronavirus pandemic, and to ease the burdens on business, the Government and the Equality and Human Rights Commission suspended enforcement of the gender pay gap reporting deadlines for 2019/20. However, employers can still choose to report their data and we have carried on providing support to those who need it. Over 5,500 employers have reported to date and more continue to do so.

16th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord True on 13 November (HL9533), whether (1) the Public Sector Procurement Guidelines, or (2) their Management Consultancy Framework, contain a requirement for contracts not to be awarded to management consultancy firms which regularly advise the fossil fuel industry.

There is no such requirement.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
26th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to stop working with (1) Boston Consulting Group, and (2) other management consultancy firms which regularly advise the fossil fuel industry.

Any organisations working with the UK Government are contracted in line with Public Sector Procurement Guidelines. Further details of the Government’s Management Consultancy Framework are available on gov.uk.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
4th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much of the funding allocated to local authorities under the Additional Restrictions Grant Scheme had been spent by 31 July.

All data on Government allocations and Local Authority payments of the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) is available at GOV.UK. As at the last date of publishing, 29 August 2021, Local Authorities had received £2,023,461,804 in ARG funding, and overall had reported to us as having spent £1,710,673,774.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
4th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to reallocate unspent money from the Additional Restrictions Grant Scheme to support travel agents, tour operators and other travel businesses.

The Government has introduced an unprecedented package of support for businesses affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, including grants, business interruption loans and the Coronavirus Job Support Scheme.

Allocation of Additional Restrictions Grant funds is solely within the remit of Local Authorities, as they are best placed to provide support that suits the needs of their local area. We continue to work closely with Local Authorities, encouraging them to distribute funding to those businesses most impacted by the restrictions. Reconciliation of the scheme will be undertaken after the closure of the fund on 31 March 2022.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
8th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how they have worked with businesses to increase female representation in senior leadership positions, including executive roles on boards, since February.

We are working with businesses and business representative bodies to achieve diverse boardrooms and senior leadership teams for FTSE 350 companies by supporting the independent, business-led diversity reviews that have set targets for these companies: the Hampton-Alexander Review on FTSE Women Leaders and the Parker Review on ethnic diversity in business leadership.

Women hold a higher percentage of senior leadership positions in FTSE 350 companies than ever before. The FTSE100 as a whole has met the Hampton-Alexander Review 33% target for female representation on boards well ahead of the end of the Review period – end of 2020, and the FTSE 250 is currently also on course to reach the target by the end of the year.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
6th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of any disproportionate adverse effect on women in the labour market resulting from COVID-19.

Government is actively monitoring the impact of Covid-19 on the labour market, including the impact on women and on other groups.

However, it is too early to draw any firm conclusions. The next ONS labour market statistics will be released on 19th May, covering the 3 month period up to the end of March. Analysis of this and other data will provide an indication of early impacts of covid-19 on the labour market.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
5th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how they will ensure that, irrespective of the outcome of the consultation on the future of Channel 4, the broadcaster will be able to continue to support growth and jobs outside of London.

Channel 4 makes an important economic and social contribution across the whole of the UK through its investment in regional production, its national HQ in Leeds, and its creative hubs in Glasgow and Bristol.

Any options we decide to pursue following the public consultation would need to consider how to ensure Channel 4 continues its role in supporting levelling up across the UK.

The Government is seeking views from a broad range of stakeholders to inform our policy making. That is why we published a public consultation on 6 July 2021, which will run for 10 weeks, closing on 14 September 2021.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
5th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what evidence they have commissioned to inform their consultation on the future of Channel 4.

On 6 July, the Government launched its public consultation on the future of Channel 4, including what ownership model and remit will best support the broadcaster to thrive for decades to come.

Views and evidence gathered from a broad range of stakeholders in response to the consultation will inform our policy making and final decision.

Details about the Government’s assessment of the challenges facing Channel 4 are provided in its recent publication, “Consultation on a potential change in ownership of Channel 4 Television Corporation”, copies of which have been placed in the House of Commons Library, and are available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/consultation-on-a-change-of-ownership-of-channel-4-television-corporation.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
21st Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they will restore the meal voucher scheme for eligible school children during future school holidays.

The department will continue to keep eligibility conditions for free school meals (FSM) under review to ensure that FSM are supporting those who most need them. In setting a threshold, the department believes that the current level, which enables children to benefit from FSM while remaining affordable and deliverable for schools, is the right one.

The latest published statistics show that around 1.9 million pupils are in receipt of benefits-related free school meals. This equates to 22.5% of all pupils, up from 20.8% in 2021. Together with a further 1.25 million infants supported through the Universal Infant Free School Meal policy, 37.5% of pupils are now provided with FSM.

Over £200 million a year is being invested in the holiday activities and food programme. This programme provides healthy meals, enriching activities and free childcare places to children from low-income families, benefiting their heath, wellbeing and learning through the provision of healthy free meals, nutritional education, and physical activities on a daily basis.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
21st Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to extend the provision of healthy free school meals to all primary school children.

The department will continue to keep eligibility conditions for free school meals (FSM) under review to ensure that FSM are supporting those who most need them. In setting a threshold, the department believes that the current level, which enables children to benefit from FSM while remaining affordable and deliverable for schools, is the right one.

The latest published statistics show that around 1.9 million pupils are in receipt of benefits-related free school meals. This equates to 22.5% of all pupils, up from 20.8% in 2021. Together with a further 1.25 million infants supported through the Universal Infant Free School Meal policy, 37.5% of pupils are now provided with FSM.

Over £200 million a year is being invested in the holiday activities and food programme. This programme provides healthy meals, enriching activities and free childcare places to children from low-income families, benefiting their heath, wellbeing and learning through the provision of healthy free meals, nutritional education, and physical activities on a daily basis.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
5th Sep 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they will take to ensure that vulnerable school children receive a healthy, nutritious, and free hot meal every day, without affecting the sustainability of school budgets.

The department recognises the cost pressures that some schools and suppliers may be facing, and are holding regular meetings with other government departments and food industry representatives, covering a variety of issues including public sector food supplies.

Under the benefits-related criteria, the department provides a free, healthy meal to around 1.9 million children. This ensures they are well-nourished and can concentrate, learn and achieve in the classroom. Schools fund benefit-related free school meals (FSM) from their core funding, which they receive through the schools block of the dedicated schools grant (DSG). This is derived from the national funding formula (NFF). For the 2022/23 financial year, the funding schools attract through the FSM factor in the NFF is increasing to £470 per eligible pupil.

Cost pressures should be seen in the wider context of funding for schools. In recognition of cost pressures, after the NFF rates were set, the department received additional funding from HM Treasury for core schools funding in the 2022/23 financial year, which we distributed through a schools supplementary grant. As a result of this additional funding, core schools funding for mainstream schools is increasing by £2.5 billion in the 2022/23 financial year, compared to last year.

The department also spends around £600 million on Universal Infant Free School Meals each year. The per meal rate has been increased to £2.41, and backdated to 1 April 2022, in recognition of increased costs.

Schools have the autonomy to agree individual contracts with school food suppliers and caterers. Schools and trusts can also utilise the department’s Get Help Buying for Schools Service, which provides specialist support, advice and guidance for schools around their procurement activity, including support for complex procurements such as catering and signposting to DfE recommended frameworks for schools and trusts.

The standards for school food are set out in the requirements for school food regulations 2014 and are to ensure that schools provide children with healthy food and drink options, and to make sure that children get the energy and nutrition they need across the school day.

Schools also have flexibility under the School Food Standards to substitute food and regularly update and change menus. They may make changes if ingredients or meals are not readily available.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
5th Sep 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they will take to mitigate the impact of increased costs on the quality of the menus provided by education providers.

The department recognises the cost pressures that some schools and suppliers may be facing, and are holding regular meetings with other government departments and food industry representatives, covering a variety of issues including public sector food supplies.

Under the benefits-related criteria, the department provides a free, healthy meal to around 1.9 million children. This ensures they are well-nourished and can concentrate, learn and achieve in the classroom. Schools fund benefit-related free school meals (FSM) from their core funding, which they receive through the schools block of the dedicated schools grant (DSG). This is derived from the national funding formula (NFF). For the 2022/23 financial year, the funding schools attract through the FSM factor in the NFF is increasing to £470 per eligible pupil.

Cost pressures should be seen in the wider context of funding for schools. In recognition of cost pressures, after the NFF rates were set, the department received additional funding from HM Treasury for core schools funding in the 2022/23 financial year, which we distributed through a schools supplementary grant. As a result of this additional funding, core schools funding for mainstream schools is increasing by £2.5 billion in the 2022/23 financial year, compared to last year.

The department also spends around £600 million on Universal Infant Free School Meals each year. The per meal rate has been increased to £2.41, and backdated to 1 April 2022, in recognition of increased costs.

Schools have the autonomy to agree individual contracts with school food suppliers and caterers. Schools and trusts can also utilise the department’s Get Help Buying for Schools Service, which provides specialist support, advice and guidance for schools around their procurement activity, including support for complex procurements such as catering and signposting to DfE recommended frameworks for schools and trusts.

The standards for school food are set out in the requirements for school food regulations 2014 and are to ensure that schools provide children with healthy food and drink options, and to make sure that children get the energy and nutrition they need across the school day.

Schools also have flexibility under the School Food Standards to substitute food and regularly update and change menus. They may make changes if ingredients or meals are not readily available.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
4th Apr 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how may students from universities in Afghanistan have been offered places to study within the UK.

The department does not hold information on the number of students from overseas coming to study in the UK. However, data from the 2020/21 academic year shows that the number of Afghan domiciled students studying at a UK higher education (HE) provider was 215.

As part of Operation Warm Welcome, it was announced on 1 September 2021 that funding for a single cohort of students for entry into the next academic year (2022/23) will be provided for up to 300 undergraduate and postgraduate scholarships for Afghan students at UK universities. Further details will be launched shortly.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
4th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to support educational travel businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The government has worked at pace to provide an unprecedented and comprehensive package of support to help as many individuals and businesses as possible during this challenging period.

The measures introduced include the small business grants, the coronavirus loan guarantee schemes, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), the deferral of VAT and income tax payments. These measures have been designed to be accessible to businesses in most sectors and across the UK.

Further measures have been announced by my Right Hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, that build on the significant support already available as well as set out how current support will evolve and adapt. This includes the extension of the CJRS until the end of September 2021, extending and amending the coronavirus loan guarantee schemes to allow businesses more time and greater flexibility to repay their loans, and the extension of the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme grant.

The ‘Pay as you Grow’ measures will give UK businesses that borrowed under the Bounce Back Loan Scheme the option to repay their loan over a period of up to ten years, and benefit from repayment holidays where required.

The Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS), which launched on 6 April 2021, will ensure UK businesses of any size can continue to access loans and other kinds of finance up to £10 million per business as they grow and recover from the disruption of the COVID-19 outbreak. For RLS, the government guarantees 80% of the finance to the lender to ensure they continue to have the confidence to lend to businesses. The scheme is open until 31 December 2021, subject to review.

In line with the autumn and winter plan the Government continues to keep arrangements for international travel and the relaxation of travel restrictions under review.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
25th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to make children and their rights a priority of the UK’s recovery plan from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Every child and young person in the country has experienced unprecedented disruption to their education as a result of COVID-19, and those from the most vulnerable and disadvantaged backgrounds will be amongst those hardest hit.

Education recovery lies at the heart of our national mission. This is why the government has announced a package of support worth £1 billion to ensure that schools have the support they need to help all pupils make up for lost teaching time, with extra support in the form of a tutoring programme for those who need it most.

We have also supported charities that provide vital services that are helping vulnerable children and young people, including:

  • £1.6 million for the NSPCC to expand its helpline so that adults can report their concerns about any child’s wellbeing;
  • More than £7 million to Barnardo’s for the See, Hear, Respond service that offers targeted help to vulnerable children, young people and their families affected by COVID-19;
  • £7.6 million for the Vulnerable Children National Charities Strategic Relief Fund, which opened in June and is for national children’s charities that offer services to safeguard vulnerable children that have financially suffered due to the impact of COVID-19; and
  • More than £12 million for 14 innovation projects in social services, each taking a holistic, family-based approach to addressing the increased risk some children and young people are facing.

As we continue on the road to recovery, returning to normal educational routines as quickly as possible will be critical for our children’s and young people’s education and for their wellbeing. That is why the government has announced its plans for schools, colleges, specialist settings and local authority adult education services to fully reopen to all children, young people, apprentices and adult learners from the beginning of the autumn term for full time education.

24th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to their announcement that they have identified a £2.9 billion package of reductions in their planned Official Development Assistance spend, what plans they have to publish a breakdown of those reductions, including (1) underspends, (2) activity delays, and (3) spending cancellations.

Revised ODA allocations for 2020/21 will be published by HM Treasury at Autumn Budget, and the Statistics for International Development published in 2021 will provide a full breakdown of the UK’s ODA spend for 2020. Currently we are discussing specific savings with suppliers and partners and we will publish the revised ODA allocations in due course after this process has been completed.

24th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to their announcement that they have identified a £2.9 billion package of reductions in their planned Official Development Assistance (ODA) spend, what plans they have to publish the arrangements in place to reduce ODA spending in 2020.

Revised ODA allocations for 2020/21 will be published by HM Treasury at Autumn Budget, and the Statistics for International Development published in 2021 will provide a full breakdown of the UK’s ODA spend for 2020. Currently we are discussing specific savings with suppliers and partners and we will publish the revised ODA allocations in due course after this process has been completed.

24th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to their announcement that they have identified a £2.9 billion package of reductions in their planned Official Development Assistance (ODA) spend, by what process they came to their decision to reduce their planned ODA spend.

The First Secretary of State, supported by the International Development Secretary and ministers from ODA spending departments, led a cross government review to identify reductions in this year’s ODA budget needed to meet the 0.7% commitment. The careful review process looked at every strand of the ODA budget and assess the impacts of spend. Several review sessions were held in which Ministers prioritised programmes based on strategic objectives such as poverty reduction for the ‘bottom billion’, tackling climate change and reversing biodiversity loss, championing girls’ education, and the global response to Covid-19.

24th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to their announcement that they have identified a £2.9 billion package of reductions in their planned Official Development Assistance spend, what steps they are taking to ensure that reductions in such spend are made to programmes that have been found to be less effective at poverty alleviation.

The First Secretary led a careful review process to look at every strand of the ODA budget and assess the impacts of spend. ODA spend for 2020 was prioritised to focus on key strategic objectives including poverty reduction for the ‘bottom billion’, tackling climate change and reversing biodiversity loss, championing girls’ education, UK leadership in the global response to Covid-19, and protecting the UK’s science base. These priorities will help the government to deliver our manifesto commitments and ensure that the UK is a global force for good.

The work of UK Aid to reduce poverty will remain central to the new department’s mission and we will continue to be guided by our responsibilities under the International Development Act.

21st Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they plan to take (1) to maintain standards of independent scrutiny of the UK aid budget, and (2) to ensure accountability for that expenditure.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office will be accountable to parliament for how it spends UK aid. We remain committed to full transparency in our aid spending and there will continue to be parliamentary and independent scrutiny of the aid budget – the form this takes following the merger will be set out in due course.

21st Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they plan to take to ensure that (1) development and humanitarian concerns are heard at the highest levels of the Government, and (2) there is policy coherence in those areas across Departments.

From the 1st September, the Foreign Secretary will lead the new Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. His seat at Cabinet will ensure that development and humanitarian concerns are at the heart of Cabinet decision-making. The Integrated Review will refresh systems to ensure policy coherence across HMG.

21st Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the merger of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Development on the world's poorest people.

Spending 0.7 per cent of our national income on aid is enshrined in law and we will continue to be guided by our responsibilities under the International Development Act, including a commitment to poverty reduction.

23rd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the case for merging the Department for International Development into the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

The Government remains fully focused on stopping the spread of COVID-19 and saving lives. We are using UK aid to its full effect to counter the health, humanitarian, and economic risks and impact of this pandemic in the developing world. Through aligning our efforts, we will maximise our influence and expertise and ensure we are in the best position to continue to drive the international response to the pandemic – funding the development of a vaccine and supporting the global recovery.

23rd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the Department for International Development's (1) effectiveness, and (2) transparency, in spending overseas development aid.

1) DFID is responsible for three quarters of Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) expenditure and has strong systems in place to ensure effective spend. DFID has invested significantly in ensuring that programmes are scrutinised for value for money and effective delivery. The department has a track record of spending and monitoring ODA well, including through ICAI.

(2) DFID is committed to transparency and continues to be a global leader, remaining in the ‘very good’ category of the 2020 Aid Transparency Index which assesses the performance of the world’s major aid donors. DFID is in 9th place overall out of 47 international donors, and the 2nd most transparent bilateral donor globally.

23rd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the public health implications of merging the Department for International Development with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office during the COVID-19 pandemic (1) globally and (2) for the UK.

The current pandemic makes ever clearer the need for international collaboration on health and the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) will continue to work with DHSC to support the public health needs of the UK where this requires international activity, for example facilitating learning from other countries and work on health issues in multilateral forums.

The UK is the second largest Government donor on global health. This Government is committed to SDG3, ensuring healthy lives and promoting health and wellbeing for all at all ages, and supporting countries to achieve Universal Health Coverage. The pandemic is showing us the vital importance of strong and resilient health systems, with effective public health functions for both preventing and protecting people from health threats and ensuring continued access to quality essential health services, respecting rights and leaving no one behind.

The Government remains fully focused on stopping the spread of COVID-19, mitigating both the direct and indirect impacts, and saving lives. We are using UK aid to its full effect to counter the health, humanitarian, and economic risks and impact of this pandemic in the developing world. By creating the new FCDO the Government is aligning our development and diplomatic efforts to maximise our influence and expertise and ensure we are in the best position to continue to drive the international response to the pandemic – funding the development of a vaccine and supporting the global recovery.

23rd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what consultation, if any, took place with humanitarian and development experts before the decision was made to merge the Department for International Development with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

On 16 June the Prime Minister announced that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Department for International Development will merge to form a new international department – the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. The Government will continue to engage closely with interested stakeholders, including UK and international NGOs, in the weeks and months to come as we work to create the new department, which will unite our development expertise and first class diplomatic service to make the UK a force for good in the world.

23rd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government why the decision to merge the Department for International Development with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office was taken before the conclusion of the Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy.

The Prime Minister is determined that the Integrated Review later this year will set an ambitious vision for the future of the UK as an active, internationalist, problem-solving and burden-sharing nation. The new Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office will be central to the delivery of that vision, so it needs to prepare now to be ready by the Autumn.

This reform will create a department that for the first time for many years has the combination of size, reach and expertise to project us effectively internationally and make sure that we spend our development money in the best possible way.

3rd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps the Department for International Development is taking to ensure that women and women's organisations are (1) included, and (2) supported, to participate at all levels in the (a) design, (b) implementation, and (c) evaluation, of responses to COVID-19 and its secondary impacts.

The significant gender impacts of COVID-19 are deeply concerning. DFID has been regularly consulting various women’s funds and women’s rights organisations (WROs), to understand first-hand what’s happening and to inform our response. Over the last month, DFID has hosted numerous roundtables where WROs took part.

DFID’s decision to pledge £10 million to the United Nations Population Fund and £20 million to UNICEF was informed by the conclusions of a rapid assessment of 122 WROs, which the United Nations Trust Fund to End Violence undertook. DFID also launched a call for proposals under our Rapid Response Facility requiring all projects to mainstream gender, protection and safeguarding.

Through engagement with the UN, the World Bank and G7, DFID has promoted the importance of recognising women as frontline actors and leaders, and placing WROs front and centre in the international response.

DFID is being more flexible in its funding to support WROs. Amplify Change, a multi-donor fund is supporting local organisations for improved sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) adapt to address immediate and heightened SRHR risks.

This month DFID hosts its first Gender Equality Challenge Board. Experts, including women’s funds, will be invited to hold us to account on our plans for economic response and recovery.

3rd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps the Department for International Development is taking to mitigate (1) any secondary impact of COVID-19, and (2) any related restrictions put in place to address the COVID-19 pandemic, in any fragile or conflict-affected states; and what proportion of Overseas Development Assistance the Department has committed to such states.

The UK is pursuing a strong and co-ordinated global response to COVID-19, particularly for the most vulnerable countries. We recognise the risk that responses to the pandemic in some contexts may include politicisation, exploitation and securitisation, which may risk fuelling grievances, triggering violent instability, dividing societies and emboldening conflict actors.

Our approach to promoting stability in fragile and conflict-affected states is underpinned by the DFID Building Stability Framework, which recognises that conflict and fragility do not have single causes and constitute a complex system, and that helping fragile countries become more stable is a long-term endeavour.

DFID is taking steps to ensure that both our immediate responses to COVID-19 and long-term recovery efforts do not exacerbate conflict and instead help to build peace and improve governance. We monitor how the pandemic and responses to it, including any necessary restrictions, interact with conflict and governance on an ongoing basis in fragile states. We are encouraging our implementing partners to demonstrate accountability, strengthen local owner- and leadership and adopt inclusive, conflict sensitive approaches. We are also working with International Financial Institutions and the UN to ensure their humanitarian, development and peace efforts are galvanised into an effective and coordinated response.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Department for International Development is providing support to (1) local markets, (2) small and medium-sized enterprises, and (3) the informal economy, in fragile and conflict-affected states during the COVID-19 pandemic; and what steps UK Aid is taking to protect livelihoods in such states.

We are assessing secondary impacts on local agriculture and food markets in fragile and conflict affected states, and helping to mitigate these through multilateral initiatives such as the Global Agriculture and Food Security Programme (GAFSP).

As a shareholder and leading donor to the Multilateral Development Banks, we have been working with them to ensure that they are rapidly providing much-needed working capital to SMEs and supply chains that workers and farmers in developing countries depend on. This includes $8 billion of fast-tracked support from the International Finance Cooperation.

We are also exploring how DFID’s private sector development finance programmes can respond and complement this support. For example, CDC is supporting its existing portfolio of investee companies, and their workforces, to weather the crisis, and is looking to make new investments that provide systemic liquidity to companies, including SMEs.

DFID currently supports social protection and/or humanitarian cash transfer programmes in 35 countries, including Fragile and Conflict Affected States, which support people who are vulnerable to the economic impact of COVID-19.

3rd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how they are supporting responses to the COVID-19 pandemic which seek to address (1) the immediate, and (2) the underlying, causes of conflict and violence; and what steps they are taking to make sure Official Development Assistance supports communities to manage any increase in social tensions as a result of the pandemic.

The UK is pursuing a strong and co-ordinated global response to COVID-19, particularly for the most vulnerable countries. We recognise the risk that responses to the pandemic in some contexts may include politicisation, exploitation and securitisation, which may risk fuelling grievances, triggering violent instability, dividing societies and emboldening conflict actors.

The UK is taking steps to ensure that both our immediate responses to COVID-19 and long-term recovery efforts do not exacerbate conflict and instead help to build peace, improve governance and strengthen social cohesion. We are encouraging our implementing partners to demonstrate accountability, strengthen local owner- and leadership and adopt inclusive, conflict sensitive approaches. We are also working with partners, governments, media providers, civil society and local leaders to counter misinformation. DFID and the FCO are working together to encourage state and security responses that are transparent, proportionate, fair and promote human rights as a core part of the UK response.

We particularly recognise the importance of working with local women’s rights and women-led organisations to deliver more effective and safer responses. We also believe that greater engagement of local partners ensures continuity and builds resilience and social cohesion as efforts shift to the medium and longer term recovery.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Department for International Development's Building Stability Framework is being used to inform the international response to the COVID-19 pandemic; and what actions they will take (1) to monitor, and (2) to address, any inequitable measures in response to the pandemic taken by (a) national governments, and (b) security services.

The UK is pursuing a strong and co-ordinated global response to COVID-19, particularly for the most vulnerable countries. We recognise the risk that responses to the pandemic in some contexts may include politicisation, exploitation and securitisation, which may risk fuelling grievances, triggering violent instability, dividing societies and emboldening conflict actors.

DFID’s 2016 Building Stability Framework continues to underpin our approach to promoting stability in fragile and conflict-affected states. The Framework recognises that conflict and fragility do not have single causes and constitute a complex system, and that helping fragile countries become more stable is a long-term endeavour.

DFID is taking steps to ensure that both our immediate responses to COVID-19 and long-term recovery efforts do not exacerbate conflict and instead help to build peace and improve governance. We monitor how the pandemic and responses to it interact with conflict and governance on an ongoing basis in fragile states. We are encouraging our implementing partners to demonstrate accountability, strengthen local owner and leadership and adopt inclusive, conflict sensitive approaches. We are also working with International Financial Institutions and the UN to ensure their humanitarian, development and peace efforts are galvanised into an effective and coordinated response.

3rd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to address (1) the medium-term, and (2) the longer-term, threats to food security and hunger from (a) COVID-19, (b) locusts, and (c) climate change, in fragile and conflict affected places; and, in particular, what steps they are taking to address the locust outbreak in East Africa.

The UK is one of the biggest humanitarian donors globally and, through our programmes, are working with partners such as the World Food Programme, UNICEF and OCHA to provide food to millions of people. As well as emergency assistance, we are working to tackle longer-term food insecurity and malnutrition.

The COVID-19 pandemic is negatively impacting food security, particularly in countries with high hunger figures, climate vulnerability and fragility or conflict. The UK is working with international partners to better track, monitor and respond to the impact of COVID-19 on food security. We have adapted our social protection, agriculture and food security programmes in highly climate-vulnerable and fragile countries to respond to COVID-19-related challenges. Responses will strengthen resilience of food and agriculture systems in the current crisis but also against longer-term climate shocks and stresses. UK support includes provision of expert advice to governments and partners.

The UK is a key contributor to the UN Global Humanitarian Response Plan, which is supporting the most vulnerable, including refugees, displaced people, and migrants during this pandemic. Through this support, UK partners, such as the World Food Programme, continue to ensure essential commodities and services, and pre-position food supplies for those most in need.

We are deeply concerned about the locust outbreak in Africa and South Asia. We are supporting the UN Food and Agriculture Office on locust control as well as providing livelihoods support to those already impacted by the outbreak.

2nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what engagement they have had with the UN and other international actors to ensure that tackling gender-based violence is recognised as a specific objective in the COVID-19 Global Humanitarian Response Plan.

The UK is deeply concerned about the surge in gender-based violence (GBV) during the COVID-19 pandemic. We have consistently encouraged the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) to prioritise GBV within the Global Humanitarian Response Plan (GHRP) through bilateral channels and joint advocacy with other donors. We believe revising the GHRP to explicitly include a specific objective on GBV will prove lifesaving for women and girls.

Whilst we are pleased to see improvements in how GBV is being addressed overall in the GHRP, the UK is still championing a specific objective on GBV in future versions. All UN agencies and international actors must demonstrate that the shadow pandemic of GBV is taken seriously in the global response to COVID-19 and be held accountable for addressing GBV.

5th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to increase coordination between humanitarian aid and development and peace building programmes.

DFID is promoting collaboration between humanitarian, development, conflict and diplomatic teams through shared Country Development Diagnostics and joint country planning. DFID also promotes greater collaboration to link up humanitarian cash transfer initiatives with social protection systems. DFID is investing in financing instruments that can be accessed before or at the outset of a shock to reduce its impact. In 2017 the UK established the Centre for Disaster Protection, which offers impartial advice to help countries understand and manage risks such as droughts or hurricanes.

Internationally, the UK doubled last years contribution to the Peacebuilding Fund from £8 million to £16 million per year. The Fund brings together humanitarian, development and peacebuilding actors to take forward vital conflict prevention efforts and build the capacity of UN country teams to address conflict drivers. Since 2018, 30% of UK core funding to UN agencies is performance based, dependent on the collective delivery of key reforms agreed at the World Humanitarian Summit. Targets include measures to improve collaboration, notably through joint and impartial needs assessments, scale up and coordinated cash transfers and enhanced engagement between humanitarian and development actors.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to address food insecurity around the world exacerbated by COVID-19.

The UK is repurposing programmes in agriculture, social protection and humanitarian assistance to tackle the factors driving COVID-19 induced food insecurity in developing countries. We are a major funder of existing multilateral programmes in these areas, including the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program. We have committed £15m to the World Food Programme’s recent urgent appeals. The recent £7.5m contribution to the Food and Agriculture Organisation will help fight the locust plague in East Africa. We are assessing potential trends in the COVID-19 exacerbated impacts on agriculture and food security, for example, through our bilateral Commercial Agriculture for Smallholders and Agribusiness programme. We are learning the lessons from previous crises and are sharing the evidence for improved action. In all of this, we continue to put the poorest and most marginalised at the heart of our programmes to address the underlying causes of chronic hunger.

5th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to provide support to help address losses of livelihood in Africa and the Middle East caused by COVID-19.

The UK is working in Africa and the Middle East to minimise the immediate risk to life from COVID-19, whilst protecting recent development gains.

We are directly supporting the most vulnerable, including women and girls, through adapting our existing programmes to address the primary impacts of COVID-19 (health and humanitarian programmes) and the secondary impacts (social protection, economic support and livelihoods). Our support is helping to keep goods and supply chains flowing to help minimise negative long-term economic impacts. As a last resort, and where necessary, we are also providing support to our own supply partners to ensure we maintain critical programmes delivering for vulnerable people.

We have so far pledged up to £744 million of UK aid in the COVID-19 response, including up to £150 million to the International Monetary Fund to support vulnerable economies. The UK is leading the way in responding to the economic impact of coronavirus by mitigating loss of livelihoods, higher prices and wider social impacts, and helping to build resilience.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable populations around the world, including (1) women, (2) refugees and, (3) migrants.

To date, the UK has committed £744 million in the international fight against COVID-19. We are a key contributor to the UN’s Global Humanitarian Response Plan, which is supporting the most vulnerable, including women and girls, refugees and migrants.

New UK funding to the UN’s refugee agency (UNHCR) and other partners will help install hand-washing stations and isolation and treatment centres in refugee camps, provide protection and education services for forcibly displaced children, and increase access to clean water for displaced people living in areas of armed conflict.

The UK is also providing significant support to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to help make sure life-saving family planning, HIV drugs and equipment needed to care for the survivors of sexual assault can get to the most vulnerable in developing countries. Further support to UNICEF and the Education Cannot Wait initiative will ensure disadvantaged children do not get left behind and deliver protection services for children and women affected by violence.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what increases they intend to make in funding to support international development responses to the potential secondary impacts of COVID-19.

We are taking decisive and co-ordinated action based on the science and evidence, mitigating COVID-19’s primary and secondary impacts, in support of the poorest and most vulnerable.

We are using UK aid and British expertise to provide leadership internationally. DFID has pledged up to £744 million of UK aid to support the global effort to combat COVID-19. This includes providing up to £150 million to the International Monetary Fund’s Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust to support vulnerable economies. In addition, DFID is also adapting its programmes across its country network. This will support both the immediate response including secondary impacts, and in due course the longer-term recovery. The UK has also pledged £1.65 billion to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance to stop the spread of deadly infectious diseases by vaccinating up to 75 million children and strengthening health systems to help them deal with the rising numbers of COVID-19 cases.

We are also working closely with other international partners to support a holistic response. For example, the Secretary of State has been speaking regularly to other Development Ministers including those from G7 countries, the Nordics, Netherlands and Australia. She has established a series of ongoing informal meetings with them, jointly chaired with Canada, to work together on the challenges of COVID-19 to international development.

9th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to tackle COVID-19 globally.

The UK has announced up to £241 million of aid funding to support the global efforts to combat the outbreak of COVID-19.

This includes £150 million to the International Monetary Fund to help developing countries focus their available resources to tackle the virus and a £65 million investment into COVID-19 research, which includes eight vaccine candidates and rapid diagnostics tests.

The £150 million to the International Monetary Fund’s Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust is to help developing countries deal with the short-term economic difficulties caused by coronavirus, allowing them to focus their spending on tackling the outbreak. This funding will help lessen the disease’s future global economic impact and thereby help safeguard the UK economy. A team of infectious disease experts will also travel to developing countries to support global efforts to prevent further spread.

UK aid has a longstanding record of supporting countries across the globe to prepare for large disease outbreaks. We are closely working with our partners, including the World Health Organization, to support vulnerable countries ensuring they are prepared and have adequate supplies and health systems can cope.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
6th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to give high priority to closing the gender pay gap during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We recognise that employers are facing unprecedented uncertainty and pressure due to the Coronavirus pandemic. A number of employers contacted the Government, prior to the announcement on non-enforcement, to highlight their concerns about being unable to meet the gender pay gap reporting deadlines this year.

Due to the COVID 19 outbreak, the Government and the Equality and Human Rights Commission suspended enforcement of the gender pay gap reporting deadlines for the 2019/20 reporting year.

Around 5,500 employers have reported their gender pay gap data to date for the 2019-20 reporting year, which includes more than 2,000 employers who published their data since the suspension of enforcement on 24 March. More employers may choose to report in the coming months and we will continue to provide support to those employers that wish to do so.

The gender pay gap is caused by a range of factors. In order to tackle it, we must ensure that everybody has equal access to opportunities. We will continue to encourage employers to take action to provide equal opportunities for men and women in the workplace.

We are currently considering the impact of the pandemic on the gender pay gap data for the current reporting year. If there are any changes to reporting in future, we will proactively communicate these to all employers.

24th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure social distancing occurs at airports in England.

The Government has provided clear instructions to the public and to businesses on the steps they need to take to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including new guidance on social distancing. Most importantly, we are reiterating that it is paramount for all transport sector employers and staff to follow Public Health England’s advice on health and safety in the workplace in light of COVID-19.

Airports are following PHE advice, as well as their existing internal protocols on preventing the spread of infectious diseases. Additionally, PHE has provided specific guidance to flight crews on the measures they need to take to keep themselves and the public safe, including advice on social distancing and the safe use of personal protective equipment.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
24th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the governments of countries with airports from which planes are flying to the UK about encouraging social distancing at such airports.

The UK is a world leader in preparing for and managing disease outbreaks, and we have a world-renowned team of clinicians, public health experts and scientists working round the clock to keep this country safe. We are working closely with the World Health Organisation, other G7 countries and the wider international community to ensure that we are ready for all eventualities. Additionally, FCO teams are working around the clock to gather and provide on the ground intelligence to understand current the situation in each individual country.

The UK Government has issued clear instructions on what to do to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Extensive guidance is being provided to individuals entering the UK from countries where there are cases of COVID-19 being reported, including instructions regarding self-isolation as the primary means to contain the spread of the disease. UK Airports are following Public Health England advice, as well as their existing internal protocols on preventing the spread of infectious diseases, and PHE has provided specific guidance to flight crew on social distancing and the safe use of personal protective equipment.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
24th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they plan to close airports during the COVID-19 pandemic; and if so, when.

Airports are continuing to provide essential connectivity to get Britons home, deliver vital freight, and connect regions. The Government recognises this important contribution and is considering how best to support airports in continuing to provide this service.

A decision to temporarily close London City Airport from 25 March has been taken by the airport as part of the COVID-19 response and we are grateful for their offer to support emergency flights as we seek to tackle COVID-19.

We are working with the industry to ensure that UK nationals overseas are able to return home and freight continues to flow in and out of the country.

Most importantly, we are reiterating that it is paramount for all transport sector employers to follow Public Health England’s advice on health and safety in the workplace in light of COVID-19.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
23rd Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to improve access to infant formula for families who need it but are finding that rising costs are making it unaffordable.

We are committed to promoting a healthy diet for children and providing support to families who need it the most through our Healthy Start scheme, which can be used towards the cost of infant formula. In April 2021, the value of Healthy Start rose from £3.10 to £4.25 per week, providing additional support to pregnant women and families on lower incomes to make healthy food choices. Children aged under one year old receive £8.50 in total per week, a rise from £6.20 a week.

Infant formula legislation under the Retained Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2016/127 sets robust nutritional and compositional standards to ensure that all infant formulas, including cheaper options, provide all the nutrients a healthy baby needs.

The Government launched the Household Support Fund in 2021 which was distributed by councils in England to directly help vulnerable households meet daily needs such as food, clothing, and utilities. The Government announced an extension of the fund to March 2024, which means since 2021 the fund has made £2.5 billion available to families most in need of support.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)