Baroness Northover Portrait

Baroness Northover

Liberal Democrat - Life peer

Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
28th Oct 2016 - 6th Oct 2021
Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (International Development)
1st Jun 2015 - 28th Oct 2016
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Development)
4th Nov 2014 - 7th May 2015
Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
11th May 2010 - 4th Mar 2015
Lords Spokesperson (Women & Equalities)
7th Oct 2013 - 5th Nov 2014
Lords Spokesperson (Department for International Development)
5th Sep 2011 - 4th Nov 2014
Trusts (Capital and Income) Bill [HL] Special Public Bill Committee
19th Jun 2012 - 24th Jul 2012
Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (International Development)
9th Dec 2002 - 6th May 2010
Procedure and Privileges Committee
15th Jun 2005 - 12th Nov 2009
Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Health)
18th Dec 2000 - 10th Oct 2002


There are no upcoming events identified
Division Votes
Tuesday 23rd November 2021
Armed Forces Bill
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 58 Liberal Democrat Aye votes vs 0 Liberal Democrat No votes
Tally: Ayes - 210 Noes - 190
Speeches
Wednesday 24th November 2021
Smoke-free Pavements

My Lords, does the Minister recognise that these areas are an extension of inside that is outside and that surveys …

Written Answers
Wednesday 24th November 2021
Driving Licences
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of delays to driving licence renewals; and …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
None available
MP Financial Interests
None available

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Baroness Northover has voted in 176 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
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Debates during the 2019 Parliament

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

Sparring Partners
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Conservative)
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
(144 debate interactions)
Lord Collins of Highbury (Labour)
Opposition Whip (Lords)
(24 debate interactions)
Baroness Sugg (Conservative)
(21 debate interactions)
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View all Baroness Northover's debates

Commons initiatives

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

Baroness Northover has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Baroness Northover has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

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


41 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
1 Other Department Questions
26th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had, if any, about amending the Business and Planning Act 2020 (Pavement Licences) (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2021 to make it a requirement that all pavement licences are 100 per cent smokefree; and if so, what was the outcome those discussions.

The temporary pavement licence provisions that were introduced in the Business and Planning Act 2020 and subsequently extended have a national smoke-free condition requiring businesses to provide seating where smoking is not permitted. In addition, Local Authorities can attach their own conditions, including those that prohibit smoking.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
18th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what support they intend to provide to the Global Drug Facility to avoid shortages of key medical supplies and personal protective equipment for (1) tuberculosis, and (2) COVID-19, caused by current global supply and transport network disruptions.

Along with other donors the UK is supporting UN agencies, the Red Cross and NGOs to respond to coronavirus in other countries. This includes helping the world’s poorest countries to access critical medical supplies including PPE. UK aid is also helping to increase global production of medical supplies, including PPE. This includes significant support to the World Health Organisation (WHO) to help it work with global manufacturers.

The UK Government does not directly fund the Global Drug Facility, but it does provide significant funding to global bodies to tackle TB. This includes our funding to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria, which we have committed £1.4 billion to for the next three years. We are also supporting developing countries through our multilateral partnerships with organisations like the WHO, and our regional and national programmes, to make their domestic health systems, including their TB programmes, stronger and more resilient.

18th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the Stop TB Partnership's recent report on the impact of the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic on tuberculosis services; and what support they intend to provide to the Global Fund's COVID-19 Response Mechanism to help countries respond to COVID-19 and mitigate the impacts on HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria programmes.

The UK Government is concerned about the indirect impacts of COVID-19 on other health priorities, including increased rates of HIV, TB and malaria. The Stop TB Partnership’s rapid assessment of COVID-19 and the TB response gives helpful insights into short-term impacts. The modelling report co-commissioned by the Stop TB Partnership outlines longer-term impacts, suggesting that disruptions caused by COVID-19 could lead to an additional 6.3 million TB cases and 1.4 million TB deaths between 2020 and 2025. The findings of both reports are concerning.

The UK Government is taking action, including through support to the Global Fund’s COVID-19 Response Mechanism, which we are funding through our £1.2 billion contribution to the Fifth Replenishment of the Global Fund. Through our multilateral partnerships with organisations like the WHO, and our regional and national programmes, the UK Government also supports developing countries to make their domestic health systems, including their TB programmes, stronger and more resilient.

1st Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what joint work they are undertaking with the EU into the human rights situation in Cambodia; what assessment they have made of the EU’s partial withdrawal of trade privileges under the “Anything But Arms” trade arrangements due to human rights abuses and the undermining of democracy in that country; whether they plan to make any similar amendments to their trade arrangements with Cambodia; and if not, why not.

The United Kingdom has concerns about human rights in Cambodia and continues to raise these with the Cambodian government at every opportunity. For example, when explaining the UK’s approach on trade preferences to Cambodia, Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Cambodia expressed our concerns about the human rights situation to Cambodia’s Deputy Prime Minister in December 2020.

We continue to monitor the situation in Cambodia and consider if it is appropriate to suspend preferences in line with the provisions of our Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP) scheme, taking into account the human rights situation as well as the economic impact of COVID-19 and the impact on vulnerable people, including female garment factory workers.

Lord Grimstone of Boscobel
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
17th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of delays to driving licence renewals; and when they expect these issues will be resolved.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)’s online services are the quickest and easiest way to renew a driving licence. There are no delays in successful online applications and customers should receive their driving licence within a few days. However, many people still choose or have to make a paper application for a driving licence and the DVLA receives 60,000 items of mail each day. The latest information on turnaround times for paper driving licence applications can be found on GOV.UK.

The DVLA has introduced additional online services, recruited more staff and has secured extra office space in Swansea and Birmingham to house more staff to help reduce waiting times while providing future resilience and business continuity.

These measures are having a positive impact. In particular, the focus on vocational driving licence applications to support dealing with the HGV driver shortage has been successful with routine vocational applications now back within normal turnaround times despite a significant increase in applications. The remaining queues are reducing, and customers will see an improving picture in terms of turnaround times over the next few months.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
13th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on 5 March (HC Deb, cols. 1078–1079), what assessment they have made of the success of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) 2030 project in accelerating the implementation of strong tobacco control policies and advancing sustainable development in low-and middle-income countries; whether, in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the countries participating in the FCTC 2030 project will be given more time to implement the project; and whether official development funds will be made available beyond 2021 to support low-and middle-income countries to implement the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

As a world leader in tobacco control, the Government is continuing to deliver its commitments under the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control 2030 project. The countries receiving support continue to make good progress in strengthening their tobacco control measures.

The five-year project is in its final year and scheduled to end in March 2021. Year 5 (2020/21) objectives have been set and the project delivery revised to take account of the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

No decision has been made on whether Official Development Assistance funding will be made available to support the project beyond the original commitment of March 2021.

13th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the number of UK-affiliated academics and researchers in Afghanistan who (1) are in hiding, or (2) have applications to leave; and what steps they are taking to expedite and assist with their departure.

I addressed the UN Human Rights Council on 24 August to underscore the UK's commitment to protecting the human rights of all Afghan people. The UK led work on the recent UN Security Council resolution, demonstrating our commitment to holding the Taliban to account on human rights. The UK is urgently developing a new settlement scheme for 20,000 Afghans most at risk who will be eligible to apply. We are prioritising vulnerable groups in the UK's response.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
10th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact on global landmine casualty rates of reducing funding to humanitarian mine action programmes.

The UK has invested £124million to help clear deadly explosive devices worldwide in the last three years through the Global Mine Action Programme 2. The UK is looking forward to starting phase 3 of the Global Mine Action Programme (GMAP3) in 2022. MAP3 will involve landmine clearance and risk education to help affected communities keep safe, and capacity development for national authorities to help them manage their landmine contamination.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
10th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the United Kingdom plans to use its presidency of the Convention on Cluster Munitions to encourage Angola to ratify the treaty.

The UK will assume the Presidency of the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) in September. We will use this opportunity to encourage states to ratify and implement this treaty, including Angola. We are committed to seeing the CCM become a truly global Convention.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
10th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what role the United Kingdom is playing in responding to the ongoing humanitarian crisis in South Sudan; and to what extent this includes the clearance of landmines and explosive remnants of war.

The UK has a longstanding role supporting the most vulnerable in South Sudan through humanitarian support. Our humanitarian programme provides basic services, critical life-saving assistance and support to help people to better cope with the impacts of conflict, drought and flooding. We also support a number of other initiatives to help end the conflict and bring peace for the people of South Sudan.

As one of the founding signatories to the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty, the UK is one of the leading supporters of de-mining action worldwide. In South Sudan, our Global Mine Action Programme 2 is working with partners to remove landmines and ordnances. As of March 2021, UK support has helped make safe 1.8 million square metres of land and provided education on mine risks to nearly 25,000 people.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the reported targeting of 292 Palestinian structures in the West Bank and subsequent displacement of 450 people by the Israeli authorities in the first quarter of 2021, and (2) the implications of this for UK policy in relation to the Occupied Palestinian Territories; and what representations they have made to the government of Israel on this matter.

It has not proved possible to respond to this question in the time available before Prorogation. The Minister will write directly to the Member with a response shortly.
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 10 March (HL13681), to provide a list of the individuals, companies and countries that were not sanctioned because the UK statutory tests were not met.

The UK Sanctions List provides details of all individuals and entities designated in UK law under each of the UK's 35 sanctions regimes established under the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018. This is available online here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-uk-sanctions-list. The EU publishes a similar list of all individuals and entities designated under EU sanctions law. This is available here: https://www.sanctionsmap.eu/#/main. The UK does not publish a comparison of the two lists.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what sanctions against (1) individuals, (2) companies, and (3) countries, the UK implemented while a member of the EU; and which sanctions have stopped being applied following the UK's departure from the EU.

As a member of the EU, and until the end of the Transition Period, we implemented all EU sanctions. To designate former EU designations under UK law, the UK statutory tests had to be met. This includes demonstrating that there are reasonable grounds to suspect that the proposed designation meets the designation criteria set out in the relevant Regulations and that designating that person would be appropriate with regards to the regime's purposes as set out in those Regulations. In a small number of cases - less than 10% - those legal tests were not met. Those EU designations were not transitioned.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to support democracy and human rights in Cambodia in view of the treason charges brought against 121 members of the Cambodia National Rescue Party for treason.

The UK is concerned about the trajectory of democracy in Cambodia. The UK plays a vocal role in the promotion of democracy. We raise concerns about democratic space and other human rights issues with the Cambodian authorities. The British Embassy in Phnom Penh has and will continue to meet with members of the Cambodian opposition and representatives from the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) to hear their concerns. Embassy staff have attended court hearings, including of some of the 121 CNRP members, and will continue to do so in partnership with like-minded foreign missions.

The UK also uses multinational fora to raise concerns. At sessions of the UN Human Rights Council in June 2020, the UK publically urged the Cambodian authorities to lift restrictions on political debate and to create the conditions for a proper functioning democracy. We also voiced concern regarding the repeated arrests and intimidation of those seeking to be part of a public discourse about the future of Cambodia.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have (1) to promote human rights and democracy in Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member countries, and (2) to provide support for the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights and the further application of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration.

The UK is a leading voice in upholding and defending human rights and democracy. We value our relationship with all ASEAN's Member States, who are committed to rule of law, good governance, and the principles of democracy and constitutional government, through the ASEAN Charter. Where we have concerns we raise these bilaterally, through our regular ministerial and official engagement with host governments, and multilaterally, including through UN Human Rights Council statements and the Universal Periodic Review process. The UK does not currently provide support for the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking in response to the humanitarian and security situation in Cabo Delgado province in Mozambique; what assessment they have made of reported atrocities by (1) non-state armed groups, and (2) the Mozambique army and police; and what assessment they have made of the number of people displaced by fighters linked to Islamic State.

The UK is deeply concerned by the deteriorating security and humanitarian situation in northern Mozambique, and the increasing attacks by groups with links to Islamic extremism. To date, the insurgency has claimed over 2,000 lives and created over 515,000 internally-displaced people. On 10 November, the Foreign Secretary and the Minister for Africa publicly condemned the recent attacks in which over 50 people were reportedly beheaded. We were also deeply concerned at videos, released in September, of alleged human rights abuses by the Mozambique security forces. Acts committed in the video were horrific and unacceptable, and we have urged the Mozambiquan authorities to ensure there is a full investigation to identify the perpetrators and bring them to justice.

We are working with the Government of Mozambique to address the root drivers of conflict and instability in northern Mozambique, including through engagement with the Government of Mozambique's regional development authority in Cabo Delgado, and by providing targeted technical assistance under the framework of a Defence Memorandum of Understanding. To date, the UK has provided £19m of humanitarian and development support to internally displaced people in northeast Mozambique through UN agencies, ensuring displaced people have access to food, shelter and basic healthcare.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to (1) the government of Mozambique, (2) the African Union, (3) the Southern African Development Community, and (4) other regional groups, about the humanitarian and security situation in Cabo Delgado province; and what advice they have offered the government of Mozambique with the aim of (a) preventing further loss of life and livelihoods, and (b) preventing further gains by Islamic State and its local affiliates.

The Foreign Secretary discussed the situation in northern Mozambique with President Nyusi on 11 June, urging him to address the underlying causes of the insurgency as well as its effects. The Minister for Africa spoke to Foreign Minister Macamo on 23 July, noting Mozambique's efforts to address the causes of instability through the creation of the Integrated Department for the Development of Northern Mozambique (ADIN), and to encourage a holistic approach to tackling the insurgency. The Minister of State responsible for Human Rights also discussed these issues with President Nyusi on 24 August and offered UK support to tackle the growing humanitarian crisis.

We regularly engage with our international partners on Mozambique, including the US, France, Portugal, South Africa and the UN. The Minister for Africa spoke to the Deputy Minister for International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa on 16 July. They agreed on the importance of maintaining peace and stability in the Southern African region, and on central role of the Southern African Development Community in achieving this. To date, the UK has provided £19m of humanitarian and development support to internally displaced people in northeast Mozambique through UN agencies, ensuring displaced people have access to food, shelter and basic healthcare.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to (1) the United Nations, and (2) humanitarian organisations, about the provision of assistance to people in Mozambique who have fled their homes due to the security situation in Cabo Delgado province.

The Foreign Secretary discussed the situation in northern Mozambique with President Nyusi on 11 June, urging him to address the underlying causes of the insurgency as well as its effects. The Minister for Africa spoke to Foreign Minister Macamo on 23 July, noting Mozambique's efforts to address the causes of instability through the creation of the Integrated Department for the Development of Northern Mozambique (ADIN), and to encourage a holistic approach to tackling the insurgency. The Minister of State responsible for Human Rights also discussed these issues with President Nyusi on 24 August and offered UK support to tackle the growing humanitarian crisis.

We regularly engage with our international partners on Mozambique, including the US, France, Portugal, South Africa and the UN. The Minister for Africa spoke to the Deputy Minister for International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa on 16 July. They agreed on the importance of maintaining peace and stability in the Southern African region, and on central role of the Southern African Development Community in achieving this. To date, the UK has provided £19m of humanitarian and development support to internally displaced people in northeast Mozambique through UN agencies, ensuring displaced people have access to food, shelter and basic healthcare.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to seek to include Taiwan as an observer at the forthcoming World Health Assembly, particularly at technical meetings relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The UK continues to support Taiwan's meaningful participation in international organisations where statehood is not a prerequisite and where Taiwan can make a valuable contribution. The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office supports the Department for Health in lobbying for Taiwan's participation in World Health Organisation (WHO) meetings. The UK is working with likeminded countries to lobby the WHO at official level to issue an invitation to Taiwan to observe the World Health Assembly in November and allow Taiwan to participate in relevant WHO technical meetings. Lessons learnt from Taiwan's effective tackling of the Covid-19 pandemic adds significant value to the international fight against the virus.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of Israel about reports that 160 structures were demolished in the West Bank in July and August.

The UK is concerned by the continued demolition of Palestinian property and structures by Israeli authorities. In all but the most exceptional of circumstances demolitions are contrary to International Humanitarian Law. The practice causes unnecessary suffering to ordinary Palestinians and is harmful to the peace process. Officials from our Embassy in Tel Aviv have repeatedly raised our concerns about demolitions with Israeli Ministers and senior officials, and urged them to cease the counter-productive policy of demolitions. We call on Israel to provide a clear, transparent route to construction for Palestinians in Area C.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made ofreports that the government of Israel is demolishing water, sanitation and hygiene structures used by Palestinians in the West Bank.

The UK is concerned by the continued demolition of Palestinian property and structures by Israeli authorities. In all but the most exceptional of circumstances demolitions are contrary to International Humanitarian Law. The practice causes unnecessary suffering to ordinary Palestinians and is harmful to the peace process. Officials from our Embassy in Tel Aviv have repeatedly raised our concerns about demolitions with Israeli Ministers and senior officials, and urged them to cease the counter-productive policy of demolitions. We call on Israel to provide a clear, transparent route to construction for Palestinians in Area C.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the recent conflict on the border of India and China; what discussions they have had with other governments about that conflict; and whether they intend to take any action in response.

We are monitoring closely the recent border tensions between China and India, which resulted in the confirmed deaths of 20 Indian soldiers in the Galwan Valley on 15 June. The status of the India-China border is a bilateral issue and we encourage the two sides to engage in dialogue on this. We welcome the call between Foreign Ministers Wang Yi and Jaishankar on 17 June and the agreement that both sides would take steps to de-escalate.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 19 February (HL1289), what assessment they have made of the government of Israel's planned annexation of parts of the occupied West Bank.

As we made clear at the UN Security Council remote meeting on the Middle East Peace Process on 20 May, we are deeply concerned by reports that the new Israeli Government coalition has reached an agreement which may pave the way for annexation of parts of the West Bank. The Foreign Secretary reiterated this message in his introductory calls with Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Gantz on 20 May and Israeli Foreign Minister Ashkenazi on 2 June. The UK position is clear: any unilateral moves towards annexation of parts of the West Bank by Israel would be damaging to efforts to restart peace negotiations and contrary to international law. We continue to urge Israel not to take these steps.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with international partners about action on alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity in Sri Lanka.

The British Government regularly engages with international partners on the importance of truth, accountability and justice for all victims of the civil war in Sri Lanka. At the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva, the UK works closely with the Core Group on Sri Lanka, and made clear our continued support for justice for victims of conflict in a joint statement delivered at the UNHRC in February. The British High Commission in Colombo also regularly engages with international partners on this important issue.

The UK has long supported Sri Lanka's accountability commitments made to the UNHRC through resolutions 30/1, 34/1 and 40/1 as the best way to establish truth regarding alleged crimes committed by all sides during the Sri Lankan civil war, as well as to achieve accountability and reconciliation. We continue to underline the importance of accountability, justice and reconciliation in our engagement with the Government of Sri Lanka.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the government of Iran about the release of (1) prisoners of conscience and (2) dual nationality prisoners.

We have regularly expressed our concerns to the Government of Iran at the ongoing incarceration of prisoners of conscience, including the sentencing of Christians for practicing their faith. The reality is that many non-Muslims in Iran face discrimination. We will continue to take action, both bilaterally and with the international community, to press Iran to improve its poor human rights record.

The permanent release of all arbitrarily detained dual nationals in Iran and their return to their families in the UK remains our top priority We continue to raise this at all appropriate levels with Iran - the Foreign Secretary raised it with Foreign Minister Zarif on 16 March and our Ambassador to Iran has consistently raised it with the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what action they are taking internationally to ensure human rights are safeguarded, including in relation to the use of surveillance, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We are concerned by reports that some governments are using the current crisis to fail to comply with their human rights obligations, including in relation to the use of surveillance during the COVID-19 pandemic. On 9 April, the UK participated in the UN Human Rights Council's first ever virtual conversation with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Discussion focused on the human rights implications of the COVID-19 crisis; both the immediate impact of the response on human rights around the world, and the social and economic consequences, including the prospect of greater inequality. In his statement to the Council, our Ambassador to the UN in Geneva stressed the importance of ensuring that parliaments, media and civil society all play their role to scrutinise the actions of governments and international agencies, and that we make use of the international human rights frameworks. We support the call made by the UN Secretary-General in his message of 22 April that human rights must be at the front and centre of the COVID-19 response and recovery. The UK Government remains committed to standing up for human rights and supports all efforts by the UN to minimise long-term damage to global economies, societies, politics and freedoms.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have taken, if any, to coordinate an international response to any misuse of government power in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We are concerned by reports that some governments are using the current crisis to fail to comply with their human rights obligations, including in relation to the use of surveillance during the COVID-19 pandemic. On 9 April, the UK participated in the UN Human Rights Council's first ever virtual conversation with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Discussion focused on the human rights implications of the COVID-19 crisis; both the immediate impact of the response on human rights around the world, and the social and economic consequences, including the prospect of greater inequality. In his statement to the Council, our Ambassador to the UN in Geneva stressed the importance of ensuring that parliaments, media and civil society all play their role to scrutinise the actions of governments and international agencies, and that we make use of the international human rights frameworks. We support the call made by the UN Secretary-General in his message of 22 April that human rights must be at the front and centre of the COVID-19 response and recovery. The UK Government remains committed to standing up for human rights and supports all efforts by the UN to minimise long-term damage to global economies, societies, politics and freedoms.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what support they are providing to (1) human rights defenders, and (2) journalists, in relation to work to document international responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The UK is committed to protecting and promoting human rights throughout the world through both bilateral and multilateral engagement. We work with and support human rights defenders, who play an essential role in upholding and promoting respect for human rights, democratic freedoms and civil society. The UK published the document 'UK Support for Human Rights Defenders' in July 2019, making it available in all six UN languages to ensure its widest reach. It sets out our ongoing dedication to supporting and protecting human rights defenders worldwide. Our diplomatic network will always take into account the local context and regularly engages with NGO representatives and human rights defenders to address the challenges which human rights defenders face and how the UK can help overcome them. The UK will continue to give strong support to human rights defenders worldwide during the COVID-19 pandemic to enable them to carry out their work safely and without fear, and we regularly assess how we can enhance our ability to make a positive difference.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the announcement by the government of Israel of its intention to commence discussions from 1 July on applying Israeli sovereignty to Jewish settlements and other territory in the occupied West Bank. [T]

As we made clear at the UN Security Council remote meeting on the Middle East Peace Process on 23 April, we are deeply concerned by reports that the new Israeli Government coalition has reached an agreement which paves the way for annexation of parts of the West Bank. The UK position is clear: any unilateral moves towards annexation of parts of the West Bank by Israel would be damaging to efforts to restart peace negotiations and contrary to international law.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of Iran to seek the permanent release of (1) Nazanin Zaghari Ratcliffe, and (2) other dual nationals, who have been imprisoned that country.

We are relieved that Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe was temporarily released on March 17. While her further extension is a welcome step, we continue to urge the Iranian Government to immediately release her - and all UK dual nationals arbitrarily detained in Iran - to enable them to return to their families in the UK. The Foreign Secretary raised this with Foreign Minister Zarif on 16 March and Minister of State for the Middle East with the Iranian Ambassador on 26 March. Our Ambassador in Tehran consistently raises all of our dual national detainees with the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the fairness of the trial of Mohammed Ramadhan and Hussain Moosa in Bahrain, following the statement by the Minister for the Middle East and North Africa that he is “deeply concerned” by the reimposition of death sentences against them.

We are deeply concerned that the death penalty has been issued. The Government of Bahrain are fully aware that the UK is firmly opposed to the death penalty, in all circumstances. The UK has and will continue to monitor the cases closely and raise concerns with senior members of the Bahraini Government when we have them.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what the application process and fees, including a possible NHS health surcharge, will be for British National (Overseas) status holders from Hong Kong and their dependants if they wish to apply for an extension of their leave for a further 12 months.

The UK will continue to defend the rights & freedoms of the people of Hong Kong. Should China push ahead and impose national security legislation on Hong Kong then we will provide a generous offer to BN(O)s of a bespoke immigration route providing unrestricted access to work and study with a pathway to apply for citizenship.The Home Office is working closely with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and domestic departments on the offer to British Nationals (Overseas) and will set out more detail in due course.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
15th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether British National (Overseas) status holders and their dependants are required to make any additional applications after their arrival before they will be allowed to apply to work or study in the UK; and whether such people will be subject to restrictions including (1) shortage of occupation professions, (2) minimum salary requirements, or (3) any other restrictions on the work for which they can apply.

The UK will continue to defend the rights & freedoms of the people of Hong Kong. Should China push ahead and impose national security legislation on Hong Kong then we will provide a generous offer to BN(O)s of a bespoke immigration route providing unrestricted access to work and study with a pathway to apply for citizenship.

The Home Office is working closely with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and domestic departments on the offer to British Nationals (Overseas) and will set out more detail in due course.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
15th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether, under the new scheme proposed for a possible pathway to citizenship for British National (Overseas) (BNO) status holders and their dependants, whether there will be a dedicated route to Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR); and if so, how many years it is proposed that BNO status holders and their dependants will have to be continuously resident in the United Kingdom before being eligible to apply for ILR.

The UK will continue to defend the rights & freedoms of the people of Hong Kong. Should China push ahead and impose national security legislation on Hong Kong then we will provide a generous offer to BN(O)s of a bespoke immigration route providing unrestricted access to work and study with a pathway to apply for citizenship.

The Home Office is working closely with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and domestic departments on the offer to British Nationals (Overseas) and will set out more detail in due course.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
15th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how any changes to British National (Overseas) (BNO) status will affect or be applied to BNO status holders and their dependants who are already present in the UK either lawfully or having overstayed.

The UK will continue to defend the rights & freedoms of the people of Hong Kong. Should China push ahead and impose national security legislation on Hong Kong then we will provide a generous offer to BN(O)s of a bespoke immigration route providing unrestricted access to work and study with a pathway to apply for citizenship.

The Home Office is working closely with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and domestic departments on the offer to British Nationals (Overseas) and will set out more detail in due course.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
5th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Greenhalgh on 30 September (HL8535), what assessment they have made of the consistency of that answer with the letter sent by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government to Manchester City Council in August on planned 'smoke-free' pavement licences; and what plans they have to publish the evidence underpinning the claim set out in that letter that businesses will close if these licences are implemented.

As set out in the Housing Minister’s letter of 6 October, the motivation behind the letter to Manchester City Council was to protect hospitality businesses otherwise severely affected by the pandemic and save jobs. The Act, and associated guidance, is consistent with this aim. The smoke-free seating condition was introduced to strike the balance with the economic needs of businesses and helping towards the financial recovery from the impacts of COVID.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
28th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the guidance from the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to Manchester City Council regarding smoke-free pavement licences, whether they will publish their evidence for the assertion that businesses will close if councils implement these licences.

The Government is committed to protecting hospitality businesses impacted by the pandemic. It was for this reason that we introduced the Pavement Licence provisions in the Business and Planning Act 2020, supporting businesses by removing red tape and making it easier, faster and cheaper to serve customers outdoors. The Pavement Licence Guidance that was published on 22nd July alongside the Act was cleared with the Department of Health and Social Care. This guidance has not changed. It sets out detail on how local authorities can issue pavement licences to support businesses, including those in the hard hit hospitality sector, to return to work safely and continue serving their local communities.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
28th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the guidance from the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to Manchester City Council regarding smoke-free pavement licences, which organisations and individuals they (1) consulted with, or (2) received representations from, on the economic impact of such licences.

The Government is committed to protecting hospitality businesses impacted by the pandemic. It was for this reason that we introduced the Pavement Licence provisions in the Business and Planning Act 2020, supporting businesses by removing red tape and making it easier, faster and cheaper to serve customers outdoors. The Pavement Licence Guidance that was published on 22nd July alongside the Act was cleared with the Department of Health and Social Care. This guidance has not changed. It sets out detail on how local authorities can issue pavement licences to support businesses, including those in the hard hit hospitality sector, to return to work safely and continue serving their local communities.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
16th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the guidance about smoke-free pavement licences to Manchester City Council from the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government was agreed with the Department of Health and Social Care.

The Government is committed to protecting hospitality businesses impacted by the pandemic. It was for this reason that we introduced the Pavement Licence provisions in the Business and Planning Act 2020, supporting businesses by removing red tape and making it easier, faster and cheaper to serve customers outdoors. The Pavement Licence Guidance that was published on 22nd July alongside the Act was cleared with the Department of Health and Social Care. This guidance has not changed. It sets out detail on how local authorities can issue pavement licences to support businesses, including those in the hard hit hospitality sector, to return to work safely and continue serving their local communities.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
16th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they will respond to the letter dated 14 August from Lord Young of Cookham and other peers to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government about advice given to Manchester City Council on smoke-free pavement licenses.

The Government has sent a response to the letter dated 14 August from Lord Young of Cookham and other peers about advice given to Manchester City Council on smoke-free pavement licences.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)