Lord Swire Portrait

Lord Swire

Conservative - East Devon

Became Member: 1st November 2022


Lord Swire is not a member of any APPGs
Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (South East Asia/Far East, India and Nepal, Latin America, Falklands, Australasia and Pacific, Commonwealth)
6th Sep 2012 - 17th Jul 2016
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
13th May 2010 - 6th Sep 2012
Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
10th May 2005 - 3rd Jul 2007
Northern Ireland Affairs Committee
2nd Dec 2002 - 12th Jul 2005
Shadow Minister (Culture, Media and Sport)
1st Jan 2004 - 10th May 2005
Opposition Whip (Commons)
1st Jun 2003 - 1st Jun 2004


There are no upcoming events identified
Division Votes
Tuesday 6th February 2024
Automated Vehicles Bill [HL]
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 184 Conservative No votes vs 0 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 200 Noes - 204
Speeches
Thursday 29th February 2024
Overhead Electrical Transmission Lines
My Lords, I am very pleased to open this debate and I am most grateful to noble Lords who have …
Written Answers
Tuesday 20th February 2024
Lighting: City of Westminster
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay on 29 January (HL1664), …
Early Day Motions
Wednesday 1st November 2017
LOCAL GOVERNMENT
That the draft East Devon (Electoral Changes) Order 2017, which was laid before this House on 19 July, be not …
Bills
None available
MP Financial Interests
None available

Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Lord Swire has voted in 154 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Lord Swire Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

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

Sparring Partners
Baroness Penn (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
(13 debate interactions)
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Conservative)
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
(6 debate interactions)
Baroness Vere of Norbiton (Conservative)
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
(5 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
View all Lord Swire's debates

Lords initiatives

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


Lord Swire has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

Lord Swire has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


46 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
7th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with heritage bodies about the backlog of works to buildings of national importance both in the public and private sectors.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport regularly engages with heritage public bodies, including Historic England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund, regarding buildings of national importance. The Government, along with national agencies, local authorities, and the wider heritage sector, works to champion England’s heritage, including by providing financial support for heritage assets. This includes:

  • the £82 million Museum Estate and Development Fund (MEND), providing funding to undertake vital infrastructure and urgent maintenance backlogs for non-national accredited museums in England (a round of projects awarded funding through this was announced on Monday 20 March);

  • various grants delivered through Historic England for the repair and conservation of listed buildings, scheduled monuments, and registered parks and gardens, including approximately £11 million per annum in repair grants for heritage at risk;

  • the £360 million Public Bodies Infrastructure Fund 2021–22, which addressed maintenance and infrastructure upgrades at DCMS-sponsored cultural bodies including the fifteen sponsored museums, the British Library, and the British Film.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
23rd Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by Lord Callanan on 22 November that "it is up to 10 times more expensive" to bury power lines (HL Deb col 740), what evidence they have to support that conclusion.

The evidence to support the claim that underground lines can be up to 10 times more expensive than overhead lines comes from an independent 2012 report endorsed by the Institution of Engineering & Technology called “Electricity Transmission Costing Study”, which can be found at https://www.theiet.org/impact-society/factfiles/energy-factfiles/energy-generation-and-policy/electricity-transmission-costing/ (also attached).

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
6th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay on 29 January (HL1664), when they expect to receive applications for the listing of gas lamps within Westminster, and what steps they will take to make public the outcome of those applications.

The Department for Culture Media and Sport has recently received the advice of Historic England on a number of these applications and protected four historic lamps by listing them at Grade II. These cases were assessed as part of a pilot group and Historic England, the Government's statutory advisor on heritage matters, is currently undertaking a series of wider listing assessments relating to gas lamps in Westminster. When this additional advice is received by the Department, each case will be carefully considered. Historic England is then responsible for notifying interested parties of the Minister's decision.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
16th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with Westminster Council over providing listed status for any gas lamps that are currently not listed.

Historic England, the Government’s statutory advisor on heritage, is in discussions with Westminster City Council about this matter and is currently undertaking a project assessing Westminster’s unlisted gas-lit lamp-posts. These listing applications will be carefully considered by the Secretary of State, or me on her behalf.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
11th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to prevent the spread of Asian hornets in England.

Defra and the Welsh Government developed the Asian hornet contingency plan (copy attached) in response to the spread of Asian hornet across Europe and the associated impacts reported on honey bees and pollinators. The Contingency Plan details what actions will be taken when incursions of Asian hornet occur with the aim of preventing this species establishing and spreading in the UK.

We have taken contingency action against all credible sightings of Asian hornet that have been reported in the UK since the first occurrence in 2016. Contingency action is delivered on the ground by the National Bee Unit (NBU) – part of the Animal and Plant Health Agency. As of 12th September 2023, the NBU have located 43 Asian hornet nests this year.

Genetic analyses of hornet and nest samples are done to determine relatedness and assess whether Asian hornets are established in England. Evidence from previous years suggested that all 13 Asian hornet nests found in the UK between 2016 and 2022 were separate incursions and there is nothing to suggest that Asian hornets are established in the UK.  We have not seen any evidence which demonstrates that Asian hornets discovered in England this year were produced by queens that overwintered. More detailed analysis will be done over winter to assess this.

Raising awareness is a key aspect of the response. We ask anyone who thinks they may have spotted an Asian hornet to report it through the Asian hornet app or online. By ensuring we are alerted to possible sightings as early as possible, we can take swift and effective action to stamp out the threat posed by Asian hornets.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
7th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the work of the current members of the Dartmoor National Park Authority.

We greatly appreciate the time, energy, and commitment that board members bring, and the important work they do in caring for our National Parks. Other than new national appointments to fill upcoming vacancies, we have no immediate plans to change the membership or operation of Dartmoor National Park Authority. Our 2022 consultation on implementing the Landscapes Review sought views on potential changes to National Park Authority boards. We are carefully considering the consultation results and are working to publish a response shortly.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
7th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to change the (1) membership, or (2) operation, of the Dartmoor National Park Authority.

We greatly appreciate the time, energy, and commitment that board members bring, and the important work they do in caring for our National Parks. Other than new national appointments to fill upcoming vacancies, we have no immediate plans to change the membership or operation of Dartmoor National Park Authority. Our 2022 consultation on implementing the Landscapes Review sought views on potential changes to National Park Authority boards. We are carefully considering the consultation results and are working to publish a response shortly.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what tests government agencies conduct on imported honey.

Local Authorities (LAs) are responsible for enforcement of the honey regulations, including in relation to honey imported into the UK. Honey is considered a product of animal origin and is also subject to additional checks and testing by Port Health Authorities on entry into the UK.

Honey is a complex natural product, meaning analysis can often be challenging. No single test can definitively determine a honey’s authenticity, but there are a range of different analytical methods and techniques available to help ensure compliance with the Honey (England) Regulations 2015. By law public analysts are responsible for deciding which tests to use but honey importers and packers will also use a range of testing methods themselves to ensure what they are buying is authentic and complies with UK rules. Tests range from simple chemical testing to isotope ratio analysis and pollen analysis to more complex techniques using nuclear magnetic resonance and mass spectroscopy. Wherever possible any method used to determine honey authenticity should be internationally recognised and validated.

In some instances, LAs will use a weight of evidence approach when assessing if honey is compliant with UK rules ensuring a robust opinion that is not simply based on the result of one test but on a toolbox of multiple analytical tools, input data, product traceability and record reviews.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps, if any, they are taking to stop (1) the importation, and (2) the sale, of adulterated honey.

This Government takes any type of food fraud very seriously, including honey adulteration. Defra works closely with enforcement authorities who are responsible for enforcing our honey laws, the Food Standards Agency’s (FSA) National Food Crime Unit, Food Standards Scotland’s (FSS) Food Crime and Incidents Unit, local and port health authorities, industry and others on investigating any potential fraud issues raised, to ensure honey sold in the UK is not subject to adulteration, meets our high standards and maintains a level playing field between honey producers. Imported honey is subject to additional checks as a product of animal origin and routine testing is carried out to ensure that honey entering the UK meets the required rules.

The Government has a programme of research dedicated to honey authenticity where it is actively working to provide information and guidance to those carrying out monitoring and enforcement checks on honey, to protect consumers and legitimate businesses. This programme focuses on disseminating information on honey authenticity, supporting work on analytical testing methods, ensuring their fitness for purpose and standardising approaches.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government which honey producers have been prosecuted in each of the past five years for misrepresenting the honey they have sold.

Local Authorities (LAs) are requested to submit details of prosecutions they have made to the Food Standards Agency. In the last five years the Government has not been made aware of any prosecutions of honey producers misrepresenting honey they have sold.

Responsibility for assessing business compliance with the majority of food legislation rests with LAs. They will consider any areas of non-compliance with food law and take appropriate enforcement action in line with a hierarchy, risk-based approach to ensure the business takes the necessary steps to achieve compliance. Each situation will be judged on its own merits by the relevant LA to determine the proportionate course of action.


The Honey (England) Regulations 2015 lay down strict rules that honey must comply with in terms of quality and compositional criteria. Regulation 19 applies, with modifications, section 10 of the Food Safety Act 1990 to enable Improvement Notices to be served on a Food Business Operator where a LA has reasonable grounds for believing that they have not complied with the requirements of the legislation. Improvement notices should provide a roadmap to compliance and would be issued as part of the escalation of enforcement in line with the LA’s hierarchy of enforcement.


Honey fraud is taken very seriously and will always be fully investigated. For example, allegations in the media that a small number of specific blended honeys sold in the UK were fraudulent have been fully investigated by the relevant LAs and concluded that there was insufficient evidence to indicate fraud or non-compliance. The Government is confident the honey regulations and enforcement of those regulations are fit for purpose.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
9th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they intend to make the provision of reliable Wi-Fi on trains a condition of awarding franchises.

His Majesty’s Government supports improving digital connectivity on the railways and are working closely with the rail industry to consider ways to deliver better connectivity.

Train operators are currently required, through franchise agreements, to provide free Wi-Fi on trains and, where required through Committed Obligations, further interventions on trains.

Lord Davies of Gower
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
7th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of whether existing legislation relating to cycling in urban areas is fit for purpose.

The rules of the road for people who cycle, in both the urban and rural environment, are set out in The Highway Code. The elements of the Code that relate to walking and cycling were updated in 2022 following a public consultation. The Government is satisfied that the rules are fit for purpose, and enforcement of any breaches of them is a matter for the police.

The Government is considering bringing forward legislation to introduce new offences in relation to dangerous cycling, to tackle cases where victims have been killed or seriously injured by irresponsible cycling behaviour. This follows an earlier review exploring the case for specific dangerous cycling offences, to which the Department will publish a response as soon as it can.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
16th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what rights of appeal (1) house owners, and (2) landowners, will have on the designation of drone corridors.

Drone corridors do not currently exist as a defined term or policy.

Current work to further the potential of drone operations is focused on enabling Beyond Visual Line of Sight operations and the integration of new airspace users - including drones - into the UK’s airspace.

Current airspace change policy (the CAP 1616 process) requires that any permanent change is done following consultation with affected stakeholders, including those on the ground. This CAP 1616 process is required for any change to airspace design, including in the event of the proposed establishment of corridors to support drone operations. Any permanent proposed change would also need to be consistent with the overall developing Airspace Modernisation Strategy - widely consulted upon and due to be published in the coming weeks.

Project Skyway is a project that is part of a UKRI Challenge Fund, the Future Flight Challenge (FFC). Project Skyway has received public funding and has been developed and progressed by private companies. Any drone demonstration project under the FFC must comply with current regulation, and the outputs of all FFC projects will then be used to inform detailed policy and further regulation. The guiding input principles have been to develop the industry by bringing together diverse groups of stakeholders such as local authorities, technology innovators and end users such as the NHS. The projects have been designed to push regulatory boundaries to enable the industry to provide the resultant connectivity, economic and environmental benefits to the UK.

Government is engaging with local authorities to discuss these new flight technologies. Many FFC projects include local authorities, and Project Skyway includes Oxfordshire County Council, Coventry Country Council and Reading Borough Council.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
16th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with aviation bodies about drone corridors.

Drone corridors do not currently exist as a defined term or policy.

Current work to further the potential of drone operations is focused on enabling Beyond Visual Line of Sight operations and the integration of new airspace users - including drones - into the UK’s airspace.

Current airspace change policy (the CAP 1616 process) requires that any permanent change is done following consultation with affected stakeholders, including those on the ground. This CAP 1616 process is required for any change to airspace design, including in the event of the proposed establishment of corridors to support drone operations. Any permanent proposed change would also need to be consistent with the overall developing Airspace Modernisation Strategy - widely consulted upon and due to be published in the coming weeks.

Project Skyway is a project that is part of a UKRI Challenge Fund, the Future Flight Challenge (FFC). Project Skyway has received public funding and has been developed and progressed by private companies. Any drone demonstration project under the FFC must comply with current regulation, and the outputs of all FFC projects will then be used to inform detailed policy and further regulation. The guiding input principles have been to develop the industry by bringing together diverse groups of stakeholders such as local authorities, technology innovators and end users such as the NHS. The projects have been designed to push regulatory boundaries to enable the industry to provide the resultant connectivity, economic and environmental benefits to the UK.

Government is engaging with local authorities to discuss these new flight technologies. Many FFC projects include local authorities, and Project Skyway includes Oxfordshire County Council, Coventry Country Council and Reading Borough Council.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
16th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they will provide an update on Project Skyway.

Drone corridors do not currently exist as a defined term or policy.

Current work to further the potential of drone operations is focused on enabling Beyond Visual Line of Sight operations and the integration of new airspace users - including drones - into the UK’s airspace.

Current airspace change policy (the CAP 1616 process) requires that any permanent change is done following consultation with affected stakeholders, including those on the ground. This CAP 1616 process is required for any change to airspace design, including in the event of the proposed establishment of corridors to support drone operations. Any permanent proposed change would also need to be consistent with the overall developing Airspace Modernisation Strategy - widely consulted upon and due to be published in the coming weeks.

Project Skyway is a project that is part of a UKRI Challenge Fund, the Future Flight Challenge (FFC). Project Skyway has received public funding and has been developed and progressed by private companies. Any drone demonstration project under the FFC must comply with current regulation, and the outputs of all FFC projects will then be used to inform detailed policy and further regulation. The guiding input principles have been to develop the industry by bringing together diverse groups of stakeholders such as local authorities, technology innovators and end users such as the NHS. The projects have been designed to push regulatory boundaries to enable the industry to provide the resultant connectivity, economic and environmental benefits to the UK.

Government is engaging with local authorities to discuss these new flight technologies. Many FFC projects include local authorities, and Project Skyway includes Oxfordshire County Council, Coventry Country Council and Reading Borough Council.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
16th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with local authorities about drone corridors.

Drone corridors do not currently exist as a defined term or policy.

Current work to further the potential of drone operations is focused on enabling Beyond Visual Line of Sight operations and the integration of new airspace users - including drones - into the UK’s airspace.

Current airspace change policy (the CAP 1616 process) requires that any permanent change is done following consultation with affected stakeholders, including those on the ground. This CAP 1616 process is required for any change to airspace design, including in the event of the proposed establishment of corridors to support drone operations. Any permanent proposed change would also need to be consistent with the overall developing Airspace Modernisation Strategy - widely consulted upon and due to be published in the coming weeks.

Project Skyway is a project that is part of a UKRI Challenge Fund, the Future Flight Challenge (FFC). Project Skyway has received public funding and has been developed and progressed by private companies. Any drone demonstration project under the FFC must comply with current regulation, and the outputs of all FFC projects will then be used to inform detailed policy and further regulation. The guiding input principles have been to develop the industry by bringing together diverse groups of stakeholders such as local authorities, technology innovators and end users such as the NHS. The projects have been designed to push regulatory boundaries to enable the industry to provide the resultant connectivity, economic and environmental benefits to the UK.

Government is engaging with local authorities to discuss these new flight technologies. Many FFC projects include local authorities, and Project Skyway includes Oxfordshire County Council, Coventry Country Council and Reading Borough Council.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
13th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government which NHS trusts in England have reported patients suffering from addiction to Captagon.

The information requested is not held centrally.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what further assistance and support they intend to provide to Mr Keith Darby and his family in China.

The FCDO continues to provide consular assistance to Mr Darby. Ministers have previously raised Mr Darby's case with the Chinese authorities. The FCDO's Permanent Under Secretary raised his case during his visit to China last year and HMA Beijing raised the case in January this year. The Foreign Secretary and FCDO Ministers will raise his case in engagements with China, and have asked that FCDO officials raise Mr Darby's case again with the Chinese Embassy in London and the Chinese MFA in Beijing.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the ongoing case involving Mr Keith Darby and the Hainan Provincial Government in China.

The FCDO continues to provide consular assistance to Mr Darby. Ministers have previously raised Mr Darby's case with the Chinese authorities. The FCDO's Permanent Under Secretary raised his case during his visit to China last year and HMA Beijing raised the case in January this year. The Foreign Secretary and FCDO Ministers will raise his case in engagements with China, and have asked that FCDO officials raise Mr Darby's case again with the Chinese Embassy in London and the Chinese MFA in Beijing.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government whether the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs intends to raise the case of Mr Keith Darby with his opposite number, Wang Yi of China.

The FCDO continues to provide consular assistance to Mr Darby. Ministers have previously raised Mr Darby's case with the Chinese authorities. The FCDO's Permanent Under Secretary raised his case during his visit to China last year and HMA Beijing raised the case in January this year. The Foreign Secretary and FCDO Ministers will raise his case in engagements with China, and have asked that FCDO officials raise Mr Darby's case again with the Chinese Embassy in London and the Chinese MFA in Beijing.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports of the involvement of President Bashar al-Assad, family and friends in the manufacture and export of Captagon.

The UK continues to engage extensively with international partners on Syrian captagon, including those across the Middle East and the Gulf who are most directly impacted by this illicit trade. The UK also continues to raise captagon at the UN Security Council.

This illicit industry allows Asad to fund his war machine whilst spreading instability across the region. The Syrian regime are at the heart of producing and manufacturing captagon, this includes Asad's immediate family members and other malign groups. The UK, working with partners, sanctioned individuals directly involved in the captagon industry in March 2023, including two of Asad's cousins.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with international partners about stopping the illegal export of Captagon from Syrian criminals.

The UK continues to engage extensively with international partners on Syrian captagon, including those across the Middle East and the Gulf who are most directly impacted by this illicit trade. The UK also continues to raise captagon at the UN Security Council.

This illicit industry allows Asad to fund his war machine whilst spreading instability across the region. The Syrian regime are at the heart of producing and manufacturing captagon, this includes Asad's immediate family members and other malign groups. The UK, working with partners, sanctioned individuals directly involved in the captagon industry in March 2023, including two of Asad's cousins.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
7th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the total value of the assets in the UK belonging to sanctioned Russian citizens.

Between February and October 2022, £18.39 billion in frozen funds were reported to the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI) as being held or controlled on behalf of an individual or entity designated under the Russia sanctions regime. This is in addition to frozen funds reported to OFSI as part of the 2021 Frozen Asset Review, which totalled £44.5 million under the Russia regime. These figures are provided in aggregate so as not to disclose the value of any funds held by particular individuals. HM Treasury does not break down reported assets in the manner requested.

Each year, OFSI undertakes a review of frozen assets as a result of UK financial sanctions legislation. The value of assets reported to OFSI as part of the 2022 Frozen Asset Review will be published in OFSI’s 2022-2023 Annual Review, in Autumn 2023.

Baroness Penn
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
13th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to stop the availability of Captagon in England.

In December 2021, the Government launched its ten-year drugs strategy, From Harm to Hope, to cut crime and save lives. As part of this, £300 million has been allocated to fund activity to break drug supply chains from end-to-end, this includes restricting upstream flow, securing the UK border, and ensuring we remain agile in the face of changing threats. Further, an additional £780 million will fund the first three years of an ambitious, decade-long transformation of drug treatment and wider recovery support in England.

Specifically, in relation to captagon, the UK remains engaged with likeminded partners and regional states to combat this and is drawing international attention to the issue (for example at the UN Security Council including the most recent meeting on Syria on 30 October).

The UK recognises that the production and smuggling of captagon is a lucrative trade, which provides illicit revenue streams to multiple actors, notably the Asad regime and its supporters . We have not assessed the value of the global captagon market and independent estimates vary significantly.

The National Crime Agency regularly assess the threat posed to the UK by the trafficking of illicit drugs, and currently assess that there is no direct UK facing threat. To date, no instances of captagon being seized at a UK border have been recorded.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
13th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the availability of Captagon in England.

In December 2021, the Government launched its ten-year drugs strategy, From Harm to Hope, to cut crime and save lives. As part of this, £300 million has been allocated to fund activity to break drug supply chains from end-to-end, this includes restricting upstream flow, securing the UK border, and ensuring we remain agile in the face of changing threats. Further, an additional £780 million will fund the first three years of an ambitious, decade-long transformation of drug treatment and wider recovery support in England.

Specifically, in relation to captagon, the UK remains engaged with likeminded partners and regional states to combat this and is drawing international attention to the issue (for example at the UN Security Council including the most recent meeting on Syria on 30 October).

The UK recognises that the production and smuggling of captagon is a lucrative trade, which provides illicit revenue streams to multiple actors, notably the Asad regime and its supporters . We have not assessed the value of the global captagon market and independent estimates vary significantly.

The National Crime Agency regularly assess the threat posed to the UK by the trafficking of illicit drugs, and currently assess that there is no direct UK facing threat. To date, no instances of captagon being seized at a UK border have been recorded.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
13th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the value of the illegal trade in Captagon.

In December 2021, the Government launched its ten-year drugs strategy, From Harm to Hope, to cut crime and save lives. As part of this, £300 million has been allocated to fund activity to break drug supply chains from end-to-end, this includes restricting upstream flow, securing the UK border, and ensuring we remain agile in the face of changing threats. Further, an additional £780 million will fund the first three years of an ambitious, decade-long transformation of drug treatment and wider recovery support in England.

Specifically, in relation to captagon, the UK remains engaged with likeminded partners and regional states to combat this and is drawing international attention to the issue (for example at the UN Security Council including the most recent meeting on Syria on 30 October).

The UK recognises that the production and smuggling of captagon is a lucrative trade, which provides illicit revenue streams to multiple actors, notably the Asad regime and its supporters . We have not assessed the value of the global captagon market and independent estimates vary significantly.

The National Crime Agency regularly assess the threat posed to the UK by the trafficking of illicit drugs, and currently assess that there is no direct UK facing threat. To date, no instances of captagon being seized at a UK border have been recorded.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
21st Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to (1) revisit, or (2) replace, police regulations to enable the easier dismissal of police officers who have committed misconduct.

The Home Secretary has been clear that standards in policing must improve and, in January, launched a review into the process of police officer dismissals, ensuring that the system is fair and effective at removing those officers who are not fit to serve. The Terms of Reference for the review can be found here: Police officer dismissals review: terms of reference - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)


The Government is considering the findings of the review carefully before determining next steps and announcements on any changes to the system will be made in due course.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
17th May 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether foreign nationals entering the UK from Schengen countries are subject to the same rules on the validity of passports as UK nationals travelling to Schengen countries.

Visitors to the UK can enter using a passport which is valid for the whole of the intended visit. UK border measures are set in the interests of the UK.

The border measures and passport eligibility requirements of other countries vary globally and are a matter for their governments.

19th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the cost of policing issues related to pursuing hunt saboteurs in each of the last five years.

The Home Office does not collect data on the impact of police resourcing in pursuit of hunt saboteurs.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
19th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of how many working hours have been spent on policing issues raised by hunt saboteurs in each of the last five years; and how this is broken down by each police force in England and Wales.

The Home Office does not collect data on the impact of police resourcing in pursuit of hunt saboteurs.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
11th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to reintroduce local recruiting offices for the Armed Forces.

Armed Forces Careers Offices (AFCO) continue to provide core support to the Armed Forces' national recruiting activities. The geographic footprint of AFCO across the UK is complemented by dedicated call centres and online recruiting operations, ensuring that members of rural or isolated communities have the same opportunity to apply to the Armed Forces as anyone else. In addition, the Services conduct outreach engagement programmes across the whole of the UK, delivering events such as career fairs and roadshows, supported by web-based information services and social media campaigns. These recruitment activities are further supported through strategic partnerships such as with JobCentrePlus, who provide additional face-to-face touchpoints with potential applicants. The Armed Forces regularly review their recruiting activities and associated resource in accordance with the requirement.

Earl of Minto
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
11th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to re-examine Capita’s involvement in recruitment in the Armed Forces.

There are no plans to re-examine Capita’s involvement in recruitment in the Armed Forces. The Army will continue its Recruiting Partnering Project contract with Capita, which has been extended to March 2026.

Earl of Minto
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
11th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government how many men and women were recruited into the armed forces reserves in each of the past five years; and how many vacancies are there currently.

Data on recruitment into the three Services is presented in the tables below.

The Integrated Review and Spending Review (IR/SR) introduced greater flexibility in how Defence could employ its workforce types (Armed Forces Regular, Reserve, Defence Civilian and Contractors). This has made the continued use of a fixed workforce requirement for individual components of the Whole Force less appropriate. We are in the process of agreeing a new Indicative Planned Strength (IPS) which reflects both the Whole Force Strategic Workforce plans that are being finalised and changes in organisational structure introduced following the IR/SR. Comparison of the IPS and published statistics on Armed Forces strength will make any shortfalls evident.

Table 1: UK Regular1 Personnel Intake2 by Gender4 in the past five years5 in each Service

1 Oct 2018 to 30 Sep 2019

1 Oct 2019 to 30 Sep 2020

1 Oct 2020 to 30 Sep 2021

1 Oct 2021 to 30 Sep 2022

1 Oct 2022 to 30 Sep 2023

Total

14,880

14,590

17,070

11,980

10,470

Female

1,600

1,630

1,940

1,420

1,220

Male

13,280

12,960

15,130

10,570

9,250

RN/RM

3,290

3,780

3,950

3,160

2,400

Female

350

390

420

310

280

Male

2,940

3,400

3,520

2,850

2,120

Army

9,080

8,470

10,600

6,760

6,310

Female

820

880

1,030

730

660

Male

8,260

7,590

9,570

6,030

5,650

RAF

2,510

2,330

2,520

2,060

1,760

Female

440

360

490

380

280

Male

2,080

1,970

2,040

1,680

1,480

Source: Analysis (Tri-Service)

Table 2: FR203 Personnel Intake by Gender4 in the Past five Financial Years5 in each Service

1 Oct 2018 to 30 Sep 2019

1 Oct 2019 to 30 Sep 2020

1 Oct 2020 to 30 Sep 2021

1 Oct 2021 to 30 Sep 2022

1 Oct 2022 to 30 Sep 2023

Total

5,710

5,020

5,700

3,720

3,780

Female

900

760

950

600

540

Male

4,820

4,270

4,750

3,120

3,240

RM/RN

970

800

770

350

470

Female

150

150

150

70

50

Male

820

640

610

280

420

Army

4,080

3,680

4,440

2,890

2,880

Female

540

470

690

400

390

Male

3,540

3,210

3,750

2,490

2,490

RAF

660

550

500

480

430

Female

200

130

110

130

100

Male

460

420

390

350

330

Source: Analysis (Tri-Service)

Notes/Caveats:

1. UK Regulars comprise Full time Service personnel, including Nursing Services, but excluding Full Time Reserve Service personnel, Gurkhas, mobilised Reservists, Military Provost Guard Service, Locally Engaged Personnel, Non Regular Permanent Staff, High Readiness Reserve and Expeditionary Forces Institute personnel. Unless otherwise stated, includes Trained and Untrained personnel.

2. Intake comprises all personnel joining the Armed Forces either as new entrants or re-entrants.

3. Future Reserves 2020 (FR20) includes Volunteer Reserves who are mobilised, High Readiness Reserve (HRR) and Volunteer Reserve personnel serving on Additional Duties Commitment or Full Time Reserve Service contracts. Sponsored Reserves who provide a more cost effective solution than volunteer reserve are also included in the Army Reserve FR20. Non Regular Permanent Staff, Expeditionary Forces Institute, University Officer Cadets and Regular Reservists are excluded.

4. Gender is a self-reported field on the Joint Personnel Administration System.

5. The yearly Intake-Periods are defined as the 12 months ending 30 September for each respective year.

6. Figures have been rounded to the nearest 10 in line with disclosure control policy. Figures ending in 5 are rounded to the nearest 20 to avoid systematic bias. Please note that due to rounding, the total figures in the above tables may not equal the corresponding sum of figures for each Service.

7. These figures can be found in Tables 7 and 23 in the last five October Editions of the "UK Armed Forces Biannual Diversity Statistics" published on the gov.uk website: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/uk-armed-forces-biannual-diversity-statistics-index

Earl of Minto
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
11th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government how many men and women were recruited into (1) the Army, (2) the Navy, and (3) the Air Force, in each of the past five years; and how many vacancies there are currently in each service.

Data on recruitment into the three Services is presented in the tables below.

The Integrated Review and Spending Review (IR/SR) introduced greater flexibility in how Defence could employ its workforce types (Armed Forces Regular, Reserve, Defence Civilian and Contractors). This has made the continued use of a fixed workforce requirement for individual components of the Whole Force less appropriate. We are in the process of agreeing a new Indicative Planned Strength (IPS) which reflects both the Whole Force Strategic Workforce plans that are being finalised and changes in organisational structure introduced following the IR/SR. Comparison of the IPS and published statistics on Armed Forces strength will make any shortfalls evident.

Table 1: UK Regular1 Personnel Intake2 by Gender4 in the past five years5 in each Service

1 Oct 2018 to 30 Sep 2019

1 Oct 2019 to 30 Sep 2020

1 Oct 2020 to 30 Sep 2021

1 Oct 2021 to 30 Sep 2022

1 Oct 2022 to 30 Sep 2023

Total

14,880

14,590

17,070

11,980

10,470

Female

1,600

1,630

1,940

1,420

1,220

Male

13,280

12,960

15,130

10,570

9,250

RN/RM

3,290

3,780

3,950

3,160

2,400

Female

350

390

420

310

280

Male

2,940

3,400

3,520

2,850

2,120

Army

9,080

8,470

10,600

6,760

6,310

Female

820

880

1,030

730

660

Male

8,260

7,590

9,570

6,030

5,650

RAF

2,510

2,330

2,520

2,060

1,760

Female

440

360

490

380

280

Male

2,080

1,970

2,040

1,680

1,480

Source: Analysis (Tri-Service)

Table 2: FR203 Personnel Intake by Gender4 in the Past five Financial Years5 in each Service

1 Oct 2018 to 30 Sep 2019

1 Oct 2019 to 30 Sep 2020

1 Oct 2020 to 30 Sep 2021

1 Oct 2021 to 30 Sep 2022

1 Oct 2022 to 30 Sep 2023

Total

5,710

5,020

5,700

3,720

3,780

Female

900

760

950

600

540

Male

4,820

4,270

4,750

3,120

3,240

RM/RN

970

800

770

350

470

Female

150

150

150

70

50

Male

820

640

610

280

420

Army

4,080

3,680

4,440

2,890

2,880

Female

540

470

690

400

390

Male

3,540

3,210

3,750

2,490

2,490

RAF

660

550

500

480

430

Female

200

130

110

130

100

Male

460

420

390

350

330

Source: Analysis (Tri-Service)

Notes/Caveats:

1. UK Regulars comprise Full time Service personnel, including Nursing Services, but excluding Full Time Reserve Service personnel, Gurkhas, mobilised Reservists, Military Provost Guard Service, Locally Engaged Personnel, Non Regular Permanent Staff, High Readiness Reserve and Expeditionary Forces Institute personnel. Unless otherwise stated, includes Trained and Untrained personnel.

2. Intake comprises all personnel joining the Armed Forces either as new entrants or re-entrants.

3. Future Reserves 2020 (FR20) includes Volunteer Reserves who are mobilised, High Readiness Reserve (HRR) and Volunteer Reserve personnel serving on Additional Duties Commitment or Full Time Reserve Service contracts. Sponsored Reserves who provide a more cost effective solution than volunteer reserve are also included in the Army Reserve FR20. Non Regular Permanent Staff, Expeditionary Forces Institute, University Officer Cadets and Regular Reservists are excluded.

4. Gender is a self-reported field on the Joint Personnel Administration System.

5. The yearly Intake-Periods are defined as the 12 months ending 30 September for each respective year.

6. Figures have been rounded to the nearest 10 in line with disclosure control policy. Figures ending in 5 are rounded to the nearest 20 to avoid systematic bias. Please note that due to rounding, the total figures in the above tables may not equal the corresponding sum of figures for each Service.

7. These figures can be found in Tables 7 and 23 in the last five October Editions of the "UK Armed Forces Biannual Diversity Statistics" published on the gov.uk website: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/uk-armed-forces-biannual-diversity-statistics-index

Earl of Minto
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
11th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to changing the policies determining retirement dates for members of the Armed Forces.

The single Services have responsibility for setting their own retirement ages.

Royal Navy

With the exception of Medical, Dental and Nursing Officers who can serve up to age 60 in some cases, retirement age in the Royal Navy is typically age 55. Service beyond age 55 to age 60 or beyond is offered on a case-by-case basis in order to meets the needs of the Service. The Royal Navy is considering implementing a retirement age of 60 for all personnel but has not yet undertaken the work needed to determine the implications and cost of doing so.

Army

There is no single retirement age for Army personnel; retirement age varies depending on the commitment made with each Service Person. Engagements of differing lengths are offered to accommodate the operational needs and outputs of the Army together with the requirement to maintain the structure of a hierarchical organisation. Individuals may apply to serve beyond 60 where there is a Service need including senior staff officer appointments, deep specialists, and full-time reserve service contracts. Retirement age is frequently reviewed in light of changing Defence tasks, the needs of the Army and the benefit of Service Personnel, whilst aligning them with changes to Armed Forces Pension Schemes.

Royal Air Force (RAF)

The RAF carries out an annual review of its Terms and Conditions of Service legislation to ensure that it remains fit for purpose and provides the right personnel support required to achieve its operational commitment. This includes the engagements, commissions, and consequential retirement dates of its personnel. Although no changes are currently planned, we continually assess this policy to ensure it provides the appropriate platform from which the RAF can deliver its operational output. Individuals can have their service extended beyond their mandatory end-of-service date based on an exceptional Service need.

Earl of Minto
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
14th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what was the cost to the public purse for providing translators for foreign national prisoners in each of the last five years.

It is not possible to provide the information in the form requested. The costs of translators and interpreters cannot be disaggregated based on the nationality of the individuals that require these services. In addition, the level of aggregation at which cost data are collected combines all areas of the Ministry of Justice, including prisons, probation and the courts. It is not possible, therefore to obtain the costs associated with providing translation services solely for foreign national offenders.

Lord Bellamy
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
14th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to reduce the amount of foreign national prisoners in England and Wales.

The removal of Foreign National Offenders is a Government priority. The Ministry of Justice continues to work closely with the Home Office to maximise the number of deportations.

Our new Prisoner Transfer Agreement with Albania entered into force in May 2022, and we are looking to negotiate new Prisoner Transfer Agreements with key EU Member States and wider-world countries. We also signed a new protocol to the Council of Europe Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons in October 2021 to widen the scope of transferring prisoners without their consent.

The Bill of Rights will strengthen the wider framework around appeals made on Article 8 grounds (the right to private and family life) by foreign criminals subject to deportation. Clause 8 of the Bill sets out how the courts should consider the compatibility of new deportation laws.

Clause 20 of the Bill of Rights establishes a threshold for successful appeals on Article 6 grounds. This provision is intended to strengthen the approach in this area.

Lord Bellamy
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
13th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what was the cost of housing foreign national prisoners for each of the last five years.

As of 31 December 2022, there were 9,797 Foreign National Offenders (FNOs) held in prisons in England and Wales, with the top ten origin countries being Albania, Poland, Romania, Ireland (Republic of), Lithuania, Jamaica, Pakistan, Somalia, Portugal, and Iraq.

We do not disaggregate prison run costs by nationality and the cost to hold individuals depends on category. Our unit costs for holding prisoners are published on Gov.uk alongside the HM Prison and Probation Service Annual Reports and Accounts.

Under the Early Removal Scheme (ERS) and Tariff Expired Removal Scheme (TERS) FNOs are removed from the UK, they are not released from their sentence and are liable to continue their sentence should they return to the UK. ERS applies to those serving determinate sentences, and TERS to those serving indeterminate sentences (Life or Imprisonment for Public Protection, which stopped being used in 2012).

Between January 2010 and June 2022, the Home Office removed 22,707 FNOs through ERS with 1,322 of those in the year ending June 2022. Since its implementation in May 2012, 571 FNOs have been removed through TERS. The disparity in numbers under the two schemes is due to there being significantly fewer FNOs with indeterminate sentences than determinate, and the need for the tariff to be expired before they can be removed.

The below table shows the number of FNOs who escaped from custody over the last 5 years. A prisoner escapes when they pass beyond the perimeter of a secure prison or the control of escorting staff. All three from 2017-18 were recaptured within 30 days.

Year

2017-18

2018-19

2019-20

2020-21

2021-22

Number of Foreign National Offenders escaped from custody

3

..*

..

..

..

* Figures of 1 and 2 are supressed

A Foreign National Offender may access legal aid if they satisfy the relevant eligibility criteria: their legal issue is in scope, as set out in the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012, and they pass relevant means and merits tests. For immigration matters, all immigration detainees held in prison can access 30 minutes of legally aided legal advice. This provides a functional equivalent to the advice available to detainees held in immigration removal centres. Broader access to public funds would be based on the immigration status of an individual.

The Bill of Rights will strengthen the wider framework around appeals made on Article 8 grounds (the right to private and family life) by foreign criminals subject to deportation. Clause 8 of the Bill sets out how the courts should consider the compatibility of new deportation laws.

Clause 20 of the Bill of Rights establishes a threshold for successful appeals on Article 6 grounds. This new provision is intended to strengthen the existing approach in this area.

Lord Bellamy
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
13th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what are the top 10 countries from which foreign national prisoners originate.

As of 31 December 2022, there were 9,797 Foreign National Offenders (FNOs) held in prisons in England and Wales, with the top ten origin countries being Albania, Poland, Romania, Ireland (Republic of), Lithuania, Jamaica, Pakistan, Somalia, Portugal, and Iraq.

We do not disaggregate prison run costs by nationality and the cost to hold individuals depends on category. Our unit costs for holding prisoners are published on Gov.uk alongside the HM Prison and Probation Service Annual Reports and Accounts.

Under the Early Removal Scheme (ERS) and Tariff Expired Removal Scheme (TERS) FNOs are removed from the UK, they are not released from their sentence and are liable to continue their sentence should they return to the UK. ERS applies to those serving determinate sentences, and TERS to those serving indeterminate sentences (Life or Imprisonment for Public Protection, which stopped being used in 2012).

Between January 2010 and June 2022, the Home Office removed 22,707 FNOs through ERS with 1,322 of those in the year ending June 2022. Since its implementation in May 2012, 571 FNOs have been removed through TERS. The disparity in numbers under the two schemes is due to there being significantly fewer FNOs with indeterminate sentences than determinate, and the need for the tariff to be expired before they can be removed.

The below table shows the number of FNOs who escaped from custody over the last 5 years. A prisoner escapes when they pass beyond the perimeter of a secure prison or the control of escorting staff. All three from 2017-18 were recaptured within 30 days.

Year

2017-18

2018-19

2019-20

2020-21

2021-22

Number of Foreign National Offenders escaped from custody

3

..*

..

..

..

* Figures of 1 and 2 are supressed

A Foreign National Offender may access legal aid if they satisfy the relevant eligibility criteria: their legal issue is in scope, as set out in the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012, and they pass relevant means and merits tests. For immigration matters, all immigration detainees held in prison can access 30 minutes of legally aided legal advice. This provides a functional equivalent to the advice available to detainees held in immigration removal centres. Broader access to public funds would be based on the immigration status of an individual.

The Bill of Rights will strengthen the wider framework around appeals made on Article 8 grounds (the right to private and family life) by foreign criminals subject to deportation. Clause 8 of the Bill sets out how the courts should consider the compatibility of new deportation laws.

Clause 20 of the Bill of Rights establishes a threshold for successful appeals on Article 6 grounds. This new provision is intended to strengthen the existing approach in this area.

Lord Bellamy
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
13th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how many foreign nationals are currently held in prisons in England and Wales.

As of 31 December 2022, there were 9,797 Foreign National Offenders (FNOs) held in prisons in England and Wales, with the top ten origin countries being Albania, Poland, Romania, Ireland (Republic of), Lithuania, Jamaica, Pakistan, Somalia, Portugal, and Iraq.

We do not disaggregate prison run costs by nationality and the cost to hold individuals depends on category. Our unit costs for holding prisoners are published on Gov.uk alongside the HM Prison and Probation Service Annual Reports and Accounts.

Under the Early Removal Scheme (ERS) and Tariff Expired Removal Scheme (TERS) FNOs are removed from the UK, they are not released from their sentence and are liable to continue their sentence should they return to the UK. ERS applies to those serving determinate sentences, and TERS to those serving indeterminate sentences (Life or Imprisonment for Public Protection, which stopped being used in 2012).

Between January 2010 and June 2022, the Home Office removed 22,707 FNOs through ERS with 1,322 of those in the year ending June 2022. Since its implementation in May 2012, 571 FNOs have been removed through TERS. The disparity in numbers under the two schemes is due to there being significantly fewer FNOs with indeterminate sentences than determinate, and the need for the tariff to be expired before they can be removed.

The below table shows the number of FNOs who escaped from custody over the last 5 years. A prisoner escapes when they pass beyond the perimeter of a secure prison or the control of escorting staff. All three from 2017-18 were recaptured within 30 days.

Year

2017-18

2018-19

2019-20

2020-21

2021-22

Number of Foreign National Offenders escaped from custody

3

..*

..

..

..

* Figures of 1 and 2 are supressed

A Foreign National Offender may access legal aid if they satisfy the relevant eligibility criteria: their legal issue is in scope, as set out in the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012, and they pass relevant means and merits tests. For immigration matters, all immigration detainees held in prison can access 30 minutes of legally aided legal advice. This provides a functional equivalent to the advice available to detainees held in immigration removal centres. Broader access to public funds would be based on the immigration status of an individual.

The Bill of Rights will strengthen the wider framework around appeals made on Article 8 grounds (the right to private and family life) by foreign criminals subject to deportation. Clause 8 of the Bill sets out how the courts should consider the compatibility of new deportation laws.

Clause 20 of the Bill of Rights establishes a threshold for successful appeals on Article 6 grounds. This new provision is intended to strengthen the existing approach in this area.

Lord Bellamy
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
13th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how many foreign national prisoners have escaped custody in each of the last five years.

As of 31 December 2022, there were 9,797 Foreign National Offenders (FNOs) held in prisons in England and Wales, with the top ten origin countries being Albania, Poland, Romania, Ireland (Republic of), Lithuania, Jamaica, Pakistan, Somalia, Portugal, and Iraq.

We do not disaggregate prison run costs by nationality and the cost to hold individuals depends on category. Our unit costs for holding prisoners are published on Gov.uk alongside the HM Prison and Probation Service Annual Reports and Accounts.

Under the Early Removal Scheme (ERS) and Tariff Expired Removal Scheme (TERS) FNOs are removed from the UK, they are not released from their sentence and are liable to continue their sentence should they return to the UK. ERS applies to those serving determinate sentences, and TERS to those serving indeterminate sentences (Life or Imprisonment for Public Protection, which stopped being used in 2012).

Between January 2010 and June 2022, the Home Office removed 22,707 FNOs through ERS with 1,322 of those in the year ending June 2022. Since its implementation in May 2012, 571 FNOs have been removed through TERS. The disparity in numbers under the two schemes is due to there being significantly fewer FNOs with indeterminate sentences than determinate, and the need for the tariff to be expired before they can be removed.

The below table shows the number of FNOs who escaped from custody over the last 5 years. A prisoner escapes when they pass beyond the perimeter of a secure prison or the control of escorting staff. All three from 2017-18 were recaptured within 30 days.

Year

2017-18

2018-19

2019-20

2020-21

2021-22

Number of Foreign National Offenders escaped from custody

3

..*

..

..

..

* Figures of 1 and 2 are supressed

A Foreign National Offender may access legal aid if they satisfy the relevant eligibility criteria: their legal issue is in scope, as set out in the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012, and they pass relevant means and merits tests. For immigration matters, all immigration detainees held in prison can access 30 minutes of legally aided legal advice. This provides a functional equivalent to the advice available to detainees held in immigration removal centres. Broader access to public funds would be based on the immigration status of an individual.

The Bill of Rights will strengthen the wider framework around appeals made on Article 8 grounds (the right to private and family life) by foreign criminals subject to deportation. Clause 8 of the Bill sets out how the courts should consider the compatibility of new deportation laws.

Clause 20 of the Bill of Rights establishes a threshold for successful appeals on Article 6 grounds. This new provision is intended to strengthen the existing approach in this area.

Lord Bellamy
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
13th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether any category of foreign national prisoners has access to (1) legal aid, or (2) any other public funding.

As of 31 December 2022, there were 9,797 Foreign National Offenders (FNOs) held in prisons in England and Wales, with the top ten origin countries being Albania, Poland, Romania, Ireland (Republic of), Lithuania, Jamaica, Pakistan, Somalia, Portugal, and Iraq.

We do not disaggregate prison run costs by nationality and the cost to hold individuals depends on category. Our unit costs for holding prisoners are published on Gov.uk alongside the HM Prison and Probation Service Annual Reports and Accounts.

Under the Early Removal Scheme (ERS) and Tariff Expired Removal Scheme (TERS) FNOs are removed from the UK, they are not released from their sentence and are liable to continue their sentence should they return to the UK. ERS applies to those serving determinate sentences, and TERS to those serving indeterminate sentences (Life or Imprisonment for Public Protection, which stopped being used in 2012).

Between January 2010 and June 2022, the Home Office removed 22,707 FNOs through ERS with 1,322 of those in the year ending June 2022. Since its implementation in May 2012, 571 FNOs have been removed through TERS. The disparity in numbers under the two schemes is due to there being significantly fewer FNOs with indeterminate sentences than determinate, and the need for the tariff to be expired before they can be removed.

The below table shows the number of FNOs who escaped from custody over the last 5 years. A prisoner escapes when they pass beyond the perimeter of a secure prison or the control of escorting staff. All three from 2017-18 were recaptured within 30 days.

Year

2017-18

2018-19

2019-20

2020-21

2021-22

Number of Foreign National Offenders escaped from custody

3

..*

..

..

..

* Figures of 1 and 2 are supressed

A Foreign National Offender may access legal aid if they satisfy the relevant eligibility criteria: their legal issue is in scope, as set out in the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012, and they pass relevant means and merits tests. For immigration matters, all immigration detainees held in prison can access 30 minutes of legally aided legal advice. This provides a functional equivalent to the advice available to detainees held in immigration removal centres. Broader access to public funds would be based on the immigration status of an individual.

The Bill of Rights will strengthen the wider framework around appeals made on Article 8 grounds (the right to private and family life) by foreign criminals subject to deportation. Clause 8 of the Bill sets out how the courts should consider the compatibility of new deportation laws.

Clause 20 of the Bill of Rights establishes a threshold for successful appeals on Article 6 grounds. This new provision is intended to strengthen the existing approach in this area.

Lord Bellamy
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)