Lord Bishop of Durham Portrait

Lord Bishop of Durham

Bishops - Bishops

4 APPG memberships (as of 6 Oct 2021)
Compassionate Politics, Migration, No Recourse to Public Funds, Refugees
Lord Bishop of Durham has no previous appointments


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Division Votes
Thursday 21st October 2021
Skills and Post-16 Education Bill [HL]
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 1 Bishops No votes vs 0 Bishops Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 180 Noes - 130
Speeches
Friday 22nd October 2021
Assisted Dying Bill [HL]

My Lords, I begin by noting the simple courtesy that has been expressed so far during the debate today. We …

Written Answers
Tuesday 26th October 2021
Developing Countries: Climate Change
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to support countries that are vulnerable to disruption caused by …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
None available
MP Financial Interests
None available

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Lord Bishop of Durham has voted in 24 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
Baroness Stedman-Scott (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
(16 debate interactions)
Baroness Williams of Trafford (Conservative)
Minister of State (Home Office)
(12 debate interactions)
Baroness Berridge (Conservative)
(12 debate interactions)
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Department Debates
Home Office
(22 debate contributions)
Department for Education
(17 debate contributions)
Department for Work and Pensions
(11 debate contributions)
Leader of the House
(6 debate contributions)
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View all Lord Bishop of Durham's debates

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Lord Bishop of Durham, 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.


Lord Bishop of Durham has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Lord Bishop of Durham has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Lord Bishop of Durham has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

Lord Bishop of Durham has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


90 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
19th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, following the changes to the Immigration Rules in 2012, how many British citizens they estimate emigrated to take care of dependents due to a family member being refused an Adult Dependent Relative visa.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have therefore asked the Authority to respond.

Dear Lord Durham,

As National Statistician and Chief Executive of the UK Statistics Authority, I am responding to your Parliamentary Question asking how many British citizens are estimated to have emigrated to take care of dependents due to a family member being refused an Adult Dependent Relative visa, following the changes to the Immigration Rules in 2012 (HL12280).

The Home Office would be best placed to provide information about Adult Dependent Relative visa refusals since 2012.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) does publish estimates of the numbers of British citizens emigrating from the UK[1]. Table 1 shows the numbers of British citizens the ONS estimates to have emigrated from 2012 onwards. 2019 is the latest year for which data is available.

The ONS publishes statistics on reasons for migration. However, data are not collected on the numbers of citizens who have emigrated to take care of dependents due to a family member being refused an Adult Dependent Relative (ADR) visa. Therefore, the ONS are unable to estimate how many citizens emigrate for that purpose nor how many are due to the refusal of an ADR visa.

Yours sincerely,

Professor Sir Ian Diamond

Table 1, British citizens emigrating[2]

British (Including Overseas Territories)

Year

Estimate

+/-CI

2012

143

14

2013

134

12

2014

137

13

2015

124

13

2016

134

13

2017

129

13

2018

125

15

2019

138

17

Source: ONS

[1]https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationandmigration/internationalmigration/datasets/longterminternationalmigrationcitizenshiptable201a

[2] Numbers in thousands

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
18th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to how the education system might be used to broaden public awareness about actions that individual members of the general public are able to make in line with the target to reduce the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions.

The department recognises the contribution it can make to help create a sustainable future through education, developing the skills needed for a green economy, and supporting sectors to reach net zero targets.

Topics relating to climate change are included throughout both the science and geography curricula and in GCSEs. Through the citizenship programmes of study, pupils are taught how to explore political and social issues critically through evidence, debate, and reasoned argument. Pupils are taught that resources can be allocated in different ways and that these economic choices affect individuals, communities, and the sustainability of the environment. A new environmental science A Level was introduced in 2017, which will enable pupils to study topics that will support their understanding of climate change and how it will be tackled.

In further and technical education, the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education has convened a Green Apprenticeships Advisory Panel to encourage trailblazers to align apprenticeships to net zero and wider sustainability objectives.

The Department for Education and Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy launched the Green Jobs Taskforce in November 2020 to help the UK deliver the skilled workforce needed to reach net zero emissions by 2050. The taskforce, working in partnership with business, skills providers, and unions will develop an action plan to support 2 million good quality, green jobs and the skills needed by 2030, and so support the UK to transition to a net zero economy.

18th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the report commissioned by the Treasury The Economics of Biodiversity: The Dasgupta Review, published on 2 February, what steps they are taking to ensure that all children understand how nature contributes to the UK economy.

The department is currently working with Her Majesty’s Treasury to contribute to a full response to the Dasgupta Review.

The National Curriculum is a framework which sets out the content that the department expects schools to cover in each subject, but teachers have the flexibility and freedom to determine how they deliver the content in the way that best meets the needs of their pupils. This includes choosing to cover particular topics in greater depth if they wish. Although academies and free schools are not required to teach the National Curriculum, they are expected to teach a curriculum that is similar in breadth and ambition, and this is reflected in the Ofsted school inspection handbook. This can be viewed at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-inspection-handbook-eif.

Subject content related to the environment is included within the science and geography National Curriculum. At primary level (key stages 1 and 2), pupils are taught how environments can change, including positive and negative impacts of human action, weather, and climate zones. In secondary science (key stages 3 and 4), pupils are taught about the production of carbon dioxide by human activity and the effect that this has on the climate. At GCSE, pupils consider the evidence for anthropogenic causes of climate change. They also study the impact of increased levels of carbon dioxide and methane and how this can be mitigated.

Under the key stage 2 non-statutory guidance for citizenship, pupils are taught about the wider world and the interdependence of communities within it. Pupils are taught that resources can be allocated in different ways and that these economic choices affect individuals, communities and the sustainability of the environment.

In geography, at key stage 2 and 3 pupils should be taught human geography. In key stage 2, pupils are taught about types of settlement and land use, economic activity including trade links, and the distribution of natural resources including energy, food, minerals and water. In key stage 3 pupils are taught about population and urbanisation, international development, economic activity in the primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary sectors, and the use of natural resources. These topics can be built upon in more depth at GCSE.

In 2017, the department introduced a new environmental science A level. This enables pupils to study topics that will support their understanding of climate change and how it can be tackled.

22nd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to review how a pupil's progress in education is assessed; and what consideration they have given to including social, emotional and spiritual development alongside academic attainment.

We want to support all young people to be happy, healthy and safe, to equip them for adult life and to make a positive contribution to society. As a result, all schools must offer a curriculum which is balanced and broadly based, and which promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school and of society, and prepares pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.

The statutory relationships and health education curriculum includes teaching about mental wellbeing. The topic covers how to talk about emotions accurately and sensitively, the benefits and importance of physical exercise and community activities on mental wellbeing and happiness, and where and how to seek support if they are worried about their own or someone else’s mental wellbeing. A significant contribution towards developing primary school children’s social, emotional and spiritual development is also made by school ethos, effective relationships throughout the school.

The department has committed £1.7 billion additional funding to date to help pupils recover from the recent disruption they have experienced: £1 billion in June 2020, including a £650 million premium for schools, and a further £700 million in February 2021 to provide additional funding through a Recovery Premium, summer schools, expansion of tutoring programmes and early language support.

This new one-off Recovery Premium for state primary and secondary schools, building on the Pupil Premium, will be provided to schools to use as they see best to support disadvantaged pupils. To help schools use this funding, the Education Endowment Foundation has published a support guide for schools with evidence-based approaches to catch up and a further school planning guide, which are available at: https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/covid-19-resources/national-tutoring-programme/covid-19-support-guide-for-schools/#nav-covid-19-support-guide-for-schools1 and https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/covid-19-resources/guide-to-supporting-schools-planning/.

The guidance is clear that interventions, including those focused on aspects of education such as behaviour or pupils’ social and emotional needs, are likely to be important to support those who have fallen furthest behind. Summer schools can also be effective in improving wellbeing, including through providing a mix of enrichment activities alongside academic content.

We have commissioned a mixed-methods research study that will examine schools’ recovery approaches to lost time in education as a result of COVID-19. This research will deliver an understanding of how schools are assessing the scale of any attainment loss, how the catch-up funding is being used, and the approaches schools are taking to catch pupils up – alongside any barriers/success factors to these approaches. The study will also assess how schools are helping pupils recover from any wellbeing or behavioural loss that may have occurred as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

To provide further support during the autumn and spring terms, the department has worked with our partners, the Department of Health and Social Care, Health Education England, Public Health England and key voluntary sector organisations, to launch Wellbeing for Education Return. This project, backed by £8 million, will train local experts to provide additional training, advice and resources to schools and colleges to help support pupil and student wellbeing, resilience and recovery.

22nd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to include (1) social, (2) emotional, and (3) spiritual development, in the help being offered to primary school children to catch up on missed education as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We want to support all young people to be happy, healthy and safe, to equip them for adult life and to make a positive contribution to society. As a result, all schools must offer a curriculum which is balanced and broadly based, and which promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school and of society, and prepares pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.

The statutory relationships and health education curriculum includes teaching about mental wellbeing. The topic covers how to talk about emotions accurately and sensitively, the benefits and importance of physical exercise and community activities on mental wellbeing and happiness, and where and how to seek support if they are worried about their own or someone else’s mental wellbeing. A significant contribution towards developing primary school children’s social, emotional and spiritual development is also made by school ethos, effective relationships throughout the school.

The department has committed £1.7 billion additional funding to date to help pupils recover from the recent disruption they have experienced: £1 billion in June 2020, including a £650 million premium for schools, and a further £700 million in February 2021 to provide additional funding through a Recovery Premium, summer schools, expansion of tutoring programmes and early language support.

This new one-off Recovery Premium for state primary and secondary schools, building on the Pupil Premium, will be provided to schools to use as they see best to support disadvantaged pupils. To help schools use this funding, the Education Endowment Foundation has published a support guide for schools with evidence-based approaches to catch up and a further school planning guide, which are available at: https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/covid-19-resources/national-tutoring-programme/covid-19-support-guide-for-schools/#nav-covid-19-support-guide-for-schools1 and https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/covid-19-resources/guide-to-supporting-schools-planning/.

The guidance is clear that interventions, including those focused on aspects of education such as behaviour or pupils’ social and emotional needs, are likely to be important to support those who have fallen furthest behind. Summer schools can also be effective in improving wellbeing, including through providing a mix of enrichment activities alongside academic content.

We have commissioned a mixed-methods research study that will examine schools’ recovery approaches to lost time in education as a result of COVID-19. This research will deliver an understanding of how schools are assessing the scale of any attainment loss, how the catch-up funding is being used, and the approaches schools are taking to catch pupils up – alongside any barriers/success factors to these approaches. The study will also assess how schools are helping pupils recover from any wellbeing or behavioural loss that may have occurred as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

To provide further support during the autumn and spring terms, the department has worked with our partners, the Department of Health and Social Care, Health Education England, Public Health England and key voluntary sector organisations, to launch Wellbeing for Education Return. This project, backed by £8 million, will train local experts to provide additional training, advice and resources to schools and colleges to help support pupil and student wellbeing, resilience and recovery.

21st Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the (1) short-, and (2) long-term, financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on early years childcare providers in receipt of local authority funding who have restricted access to the Job Retention Scheme. [T]

Our immediate objective is to ensure that critical workers have the childcare that they need to do their jobs during this crisis and that vulnerable children have access to early years provision.

Maintaining a healthy childcare market in the longer term is also crucially important, which is why the government will continue to pay for free early years entitlement places from the Dedicated Schools Grant, as well as ensuring early years providers have access to other government support schemes for businesses whose operations have been severely affected by COVID-19.

Further information on the support available is included in the guidance ‘Actions for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus outbreak’ which is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-early-years-and-childcare-closures/coronavirus-covid-19-early-years-and-childcare-closures.

18th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that all children, not only those at a crisis point, have access to nature.

Defra recognises the crucial importance of having good access to green spaces for health and well-being. The 25 Year Environment Plan sets out our comprehensive and long-term approach to protecting and enhancing our natural landscapes in England for the next generation, and to helping people improve their health and wellbeing by connecting with nature.

There are a wide range of initiatives within Defra which will help to increase access to green spaces across the whole of England. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Trees for Climate programme
  • Green Recovery Challenge Fund
  • Green Social Prescribing Project
  • Engagement with Protected Landscapes to improve access
  • Nature for Climate Fund
  • National Framework of Green Infrastructure Standards
  • Development of the England Coast Path and a new coast to coast National Trail in the north of England

On access to nature for children specifically:

  • The Children and Nature Programme, managed jointly by Defra, Natural England, and Department for Education, aims to support children from disadvantaged backgrounds to have better access to natural environments.
  • Generation Green, a project funded through the first round of the Green Recovery Challenge Fund. It is a 16-month project, in partnership with the 10 English National Parks, that aims to provide more than 100,000 progressive opportunities to connect young people to nature, prioritising young people from BAME groups, disadvantaged backgrounds and coastal communities. It also aims to create and save jobs and build an aspirant workforce for a green recovery.
Lord Benyon
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the report by Tearfund Ageing in Rwanda, published on 25 January.

Tearfund’s research report on ageing in Rwanda is an important contribution to a growing evidence base on changing demographics in Rwanda. It complements UK Aid funded research looking at the implications of ageing and demographic change in Rwanda. Tearfund’s report highlights the unique nature and speed of the demographic transition in Rwanda, a result of rapid improvements in life expectancy and a reduction in the fertility rate. While this is likely to provide opportunities in the future, the large growth in the number of older people will also create challenges; many of which, as the report clearly outlines, are being experienced by older people in Rwanda today. These include unmet mental health needs arising from loss, trauma and bereavement as well as vulnerability exacerbated by gaps in social protection, health and care services. DFID engaged in the dissemination event for this report in Kigali and will draw on findings from the research to further strengthen its work on social protection, agriculture and livelihoods to respond to the needs of older people in Rwanda.

3rd Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the report by Tearfund Ageing in Rwanda, published on 25 January, what plans they have, if any, to ‘age-proof’ UK international development policies.

As the Tearfund report recognises, there is more work to do to ensure older people are actively included in international development policies and resources. DFID’s vision is a world where all people, in all stages of their lives, are engaged, empowered and able to exercise their rights. Age is an important factor in our efforts to tackle extreme poverty, ensure inclusion and in our approach to ‘leave no-one behind’. DFID ensures that issues of age, gender and disability are included in all UK international development policies. For example, DFID’s Disability Inclusion Strategy and Strategic Vision for Gender Equality take a life-course approach, ensuring the delivery of transformative change for people all ages.

3rd Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the report by Tearfund Ageing in Rwanda, published on 25 January, what plans they have, if any, to distribute foreign aid cross-generationally in Rwanda.

UK Aid in Rwanda responds directly to the Global Goals for Sustainable Development, which aim to eradicate extreme poverty and ensure that no one is left behind. In Rwanda, DFID is tackling vulnerabilities and exclusion at all stages of life; from early childhood, through school and adolescence into adulthood and older age. DFID Rwanda’s new £64.5 million programme to support the social protection sector includes explicit objectives to address old-age vulnerabilities, as highlighted in the Tearfund ‘Ageing in Rwanda’ report. Furthermore, given that many older people continue working past the official retirement age of 65, our support to older people is also integrated into broader interventions such as improving agricultural productivity and livelihoods in Rwanda.

3rd Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they assess the effectiveness of UK aid in Rwanda for Rwandans over the age of 60.

Assessing the effectiveness of our work is a key priority for DFID, in order to ensure that our programmes achieve their intended results and that they contribute to the Global Sustainable Development Goals across our programming. One of the key means of supporting older Rwandans is through the social protection sector which DFID Rwanda has supported for over a decade. We have made strides in addressing the vulnerabilities of older people. As part of our most recent social protection programme in Rwanda (2013 - 2018), DFID’s support enabled the expansion of support to households living in poverty with no capacity to work – the vast majority of which are older people - to cover all 416 sectors in Rwanda and more than tripling the number of beneficiary households reached. DFID Rwanda’s new £64.5 million programme to support social protection provision in Rwanda also aims to better address specific vulnerabilities and support Rwanda’s longer-term policy objectives to implement an old-age pension.

18th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the latest Households Below Average Income release, published on 25 March, how they plan to address the rise in child poverty in the North East of England.

This Government has long championed the principle of work as the most effective way of reducing poverty. This approach is based on clear evidence about the importance of parental employment, particularly where it is full-time, in significantly reducing the risk of poverty and in improving long-term outcomes for all families and children, including families with three or more children. Such families are two and a half times less likely to be in absolute poverty (after housing costs) if all of the adults in their household are working compared to if none of the adults are working.

Our Plan for Jobs is already delivering for people of all ages right across the country and includes investing over £7 billion on new schemes such as the £2 billion Kickstart Scheme, the Restart Scheme and our Job Entry Targeted Support Scheme. We want everyone to be able to get into decent jobs and progress in work.

We are also putting more money into the pockets of the low-paid, including by increasing the national living wage and by spending an estimated £112 billion on welfare support for people of working age in 2020/2, including around £7.4 billion of Covid-related welfare policy measures.

As a Government, we have always believed that absolute poverty is a better measure of living standards than relative poverty. Relative poverty tends to fall when median income shrinks, something that is particularly relevant in the current economic circumstances.

The latest statistics for 2019/20 show that, before the pandemic, household incomes had seen the strongest annual growth for almost 20 years across the entire income distribution, with 1.3 million fewer people, including 300,000 children, in absolute poverty (after housing costs) compared with 2010. And, in the three years to 2019/20, the proportion of children in absolute poverty (after housing costs) in the North East region fell by 2 percentage points compared with the three years to 2009/10

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
18th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the latest Households Below Average Income release, published on 25 March, what steps they are taking to support larger families living in poverty.

This Government has long championed the principle of work as the most effective way of reducing poverty. This approach is based on clear evidence about the importance of parental employment, particularly where it is full-time, in significantly reducing the risk of poverty and in improving long-term outcomes for all families and children, including families with three or more children. Such families are two and a half times less likely to be in absolute poverty (after housing costs) if all of the adults in their household are working compared to if none of the adults are working.

Our Plan for Jobs is already delivering for people of all ages right across the country and includes investing over £7 billion on new schemes such as the £2 billion Kickstart Scheme, the Restart Scheme and our Job Entry Targeted Support Scheme. We want everyone to be able to get into decent jobs and progress in work.

We are also putting more money into the pockets of the low-paid, including by increasing the national living wage and by spending an estimated £112 billion on welfare support for people of working age in 2020/2, including around £7.4 billion of Covid-related welfare policy measures.

As a Government, we have always believed that absolute poverty is a better measure of living standards than relative poverty. Relative poverty tends to fall when median income shrinks, something that is particularly relevant in the current economic circumstances.

The latest statistics for 2019/20 show that, before the pandemic, household incomes had seen the strongest annual growth for almost 20 years across the entire income distribution, with 1.3 million fewer people, including 300,000 children, in absolute poverty (after housing costs) compared with 2010. And, in the three years to 2019/20, the proportion of children in absolute poverty (after housing costs) in the North East region fell by 2 percentage points compared with the three years to 2009/10

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
18th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the latest Households Below Average Income release, published on 25 March, what steps they are taking to address the rising number of children in relative poverty.

This Government has long championed the principle of work as the most effective way of reducing poverty. This approach is based on clear evidence about the importance of parental employment, particularly where it is full-time, in significantly reducing the risk of poverty and in improving long-term outcomes for all families and children, including families with three or more children. Such families are two and a half times less likely to be in absolute poverty (after housing costs) if all of the adults in their household are working compared to if none of the adults are working.

Our Plan for Jobs is already delivering for people of all ages right across the country and includes investing over £7 billion on new schemes such as the £2 billion Kickstart Scheme, the Restart Scheme and our Job Entry Targeted Support Scheme. We want everyone to be able to get into decent jobs and progress in work.

We are also putting more money into the pockets of the low-paid, including by increasing the national living wage and by spending an estimated £112 billion on welfare support for people of working age in 2020/2, including around £7.4 billion of Covid-related welfare policy measures.

As a Government, we have always believed that absolute poverty is a better measure of living standards than relative poverty. Relative poverty tends to fall when median income shrinks, something that is particularly relevant in the current economic circumstances.

The latest statistics for 2019/20 show that, before the pandemic, household incomes had seen the strongest annual growth for almost 20 years across the entire income distribution, with 1.3 million fewer people, including 300,000 children, in absolute poverty (after housing costs) compared with 2010. And, in the three years to 2019/20, the proportion of children in absolute poverty (after housing costs) in the North East region fell by 2 percentage points compared with the three years to 2009/10

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what key (1) economic, and (2) health, indicators they plan to use to inform their planned assessment of how best to support low-income families; and whether such any such assessment will include determining whether to make the £20 uplift to Universal Credit permanent.

The £20 per week uplift to Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit was announced by the Chancellor as a temporary measure in March 2020 to support those facing the most financial disruption as a result of the public health emergency. This measure remains in place until April 2021. As the Government has done throughout this pandemic, it will continue to assess how best to support low-income families, which is why we will look at the economic and health context before making any decisions.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the timeline for their assessment of (1) how best to support low-income families, and (2) whether to make the £20 uplift to Universal Credit permanent.

The £20 per week uplift to Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit was announced by the Chancellor as a temporary measure in March 2020 to support those facing the most financial disruption as a result of the public health emergency. This measure remains in place until April 2021. As the Government has done throughout this pandemic, it will continue to assess how best to support low-income families, which is why we will look at the economic and health context before making any decisions.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
8th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what factors they will consider in their review of whether to make permanent the temporary Universal Credit uplift; and when they plan to announce the outcome of that review.

The £20 per week uplift to Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit was announced by the Chancellor as a temporary measure in March 2020 to support those facing the most financial disruption as a result of the public health emergency. This measure remains in place until March 2021. As the Government has done throughout this crisis, it will continue to assess how best to support low-income families, which is why we will look at the economic and health context in the new year.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
8th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the statement by more than 60 organisations and bishops on 29 November on the Universal Credit uplift and legacy benefits; and what plans they have to extend the uplift to legacy benefits.

The £20 per week uplift to Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit was announced by the Chancellor as a temporary measure in March 2020 to support those facing the most financial disruption as a result of the public health emergency. This measure remains in place until March 2021. As the Government has done throughout this crisis, it will continue to assess how best to support low-income families, which is why we will look at the economic and health context in the new year.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
17th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the call by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Save the Children to increase the child component of Universal Credit and Child Tax Credits by £20 a week, following their research showing that 7 in 10 families with children in receipt of Universal Credit are cutting back on essentials as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This Government has introduced an unprecedented package of welfare support of over £6.5 billion to help families cope with the financial impact of COVID-19. This has included increases to
Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit worth up to £1,040 this financial year. In addition, we have increased Local Housing Allowance, lifting rates to the 30th percentile in the Private Rented Sector, putting an average of £600 into people’s pockets.

Local Authorities in England will now be able to use the £500 million Hardship Fund announced at the Spring Budget, to help working people on Local Council Tax Support to provide additional help to vulnerable people locally through arrangements such as Local Welfare Schemes. On 10 June, it was announced that we are now providing £63 million in additional funding to local authorities in England to help people who find themselves in severe financial difficulties, through local welfare assistance programmes.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to publish the statistics detailing the number of families and children affected by the two-child limit benefit policy up to April.

The Government has committed to annual statistics releases related to the operation of the policy to provide support for a maximum of two children. Statistics related to the period up to April 2019 are available on GOV.UK. Statistics related to the period up to April 2020 will be published in the summer.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to publish the statistics detailing the number of families affected by the two-child limit benefit policy broken down by (1) parliamentary constituency, and (2) local authority.

The Government has committed to annual statistics releases related to the operation of the policy to provide support for a maximum of two children. Statistics related to the period up to April 2019 are available on GOV.UK. Statistics related to the period up to April 2020 will be published in the summer.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
5th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they are planning to adopt the Social Metrics Commission's measurement of poverty across all departments following the Department for Work and Pensions' commitment in May 2019 to develop experimental statistics using that Commission's measurement; and whether they have any further information on this issue.

In May 2019 the Government announced that it would develop a new experimental poverty statistic.

The Department aims to publish these statistics in the second half of 2020 and this work is ongoing.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
5th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to reduce child poverty levels.

This Government is committed to delivering a sustainable, long-term solution to poverty in all its forms. Tackling child poverty requires an approach that goes beyond one that focuses on income alone to one that addresses the root causes of poverty and disadvantage and improves long-term outcomes for families and children.

Through Improving Lives: Helping Workless Families, a copy of which is attached, we set out detailed evidence on the root causes of poverty and disadvantage and their impact on the outcomes of children in families where none of the parents are working. We also set out nine indicators to track progress in the areas that matter, including two statutory measures of parental worklessness and educational attainment – the two areas that we know can make the biggest difference to children’s outcomes.

There is clear evidence that children in working households are not only less likely to grow up in poverty – their life chances are also significantly better. We will therefore continue to reform the welfare system so that it works with the tax system and the labour market to support employment and higher pay. At the heart of our reforms is Universal Credit, which is designed to help people move into work faster, stay in work longer and spend more time looking to increase their earnings. Once fully implemented, Universal Credit will inject in excess of £2bn more into the working age welfare system, helping families in the greatest need.

Promoting full-time work through work incentives is a key feature of this approach, reinforced by the National Living Wage and the rising Personal Tax Allowance, which work together to promote independence from benefits.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
29th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether EU nationals living in the UK before 31 December 2020 and who go on to be granted settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme will be liable for chargeable healthcare as set out in NHS Charging Regulations guidance or whether they are entitled to free healthcare.

Citizens of a European Union country, Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland and their family members who were lawfully residing in the United Kingdom by 31 December 2020 will keep their right to healthcare on the same basis as UK residents, as long as they meet the ordinary residence test. From 1 July 2021, they must have been granted settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS). These rights will be subject to any future domestic policy changes which apply to UK nationals.

An individual that has made an application to the EUSS will be considered non-chargeable from the date of their application until an outcome is determined by the Home Office. An individual who is eligible to apply to the EUSS but who has not submitted an application by 30 June 2021 will be chargeable. If they receive and pay for relevant services and then later make a late application which is granted, they will not be refunded for the earlier treatment.

10th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether NHS staff organising COVID-19 vaccination appointments are required to ask patients for proof of residence in the UK.

Vaccination against COVID-19 is a primary care service and is free to everyone living in England, including all overseas visitors, regardless of their immigration status or nationality. This includes anyone living in the United Kingdom without permission. This service is not within scope of the National Health Service (Charges to Overseas Visitors) Regulations 2015 and as no charges apply, immigration status checks are not required in order to assess eligibility.

10th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether COVID-19 vaccinations will be made available to EU nationals who have not confirmed their status under the EU Settlement Scheme after the 30 June deadline for applications has passed.

Vaccination against COVID-19 is a primary care service and is free to everyone living in England, including all overseas visitors, regardless of their immigration status or nationality. This includes anyone living in the United Kingdom without permission. This service is not within scope of the National Health Service (Charges to Overseas Visitors) Regulations 2015 and as no charges apply, immigration status checks are not required in order to assess eligibility.

10th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether migrants who have not paid the International Health Surcharge will be charged for a COVID-19 vaccination; and whether there will be any checks on a person's immigration status before such vaccinations are carried out.

Vaccination against COVID-19 is a primary care service and is free to everyone living in England, including all overseas visitors, regardless of their immigration status or nationality. This includes anyone living in the United Kingdom without permission. This service is not within scope of the National Health Service (Charges to Overseas Visitors) Regulations 2015 and as no charges apply, immigration status checks are not required in order to assess eligibility.

10th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that asylum seekers living in temporary accommodation receive COVID-19 vaccinations.

Vaccination against COVID-19 is offered to every adult living in the United Kingdom free of charge, regardless of immigration status. No immigration checks are needed to receive these services and the National Health Service is not required to report undocumented migrants to the Home Office.

An NHS number is not needed to make a booking for a COVID-19 vaccine or when attending a vaccination appointment. If individuals are registered with a general practitioner (GP), their GP will contact them in due course.

For those not registered with a GP, NHS regional teams working with various appropriate local systems will contact unregistered people to ensure they are offered the vaccine, when eligible.

30th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the report by the Child Poverty Action Group and the Church of England Poverty in the pandemic: An update on the impact of coronavirus on low-income families and children, published on 14 December, what assessment they have made of the mental health issues of (1) parents, and (2) children, of low-income families.

We recognise how important it is that everyone, including those in low-income families, get the support they need with their mental health and we are working to ensure that mental health services are there for everyone who needs them during the pandemic. We have released guidance through the ‘Every Mind Matters’ website where people can get advice to support their mental health and wellbeing, which includes dealing with money worries and job uncertainty during the pandemic.

18th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what evidence was used to inform the increase in the immigration health surcharge, announced in the 2020 Budget.

The Department looked at actual data on surcharge-payers’ use of the National Health Service between April 2015 and September 2019 and their length of stay in the United Kingdom. This estimated the total costs to the NHS of treating the average surcharge-payer to be around £624 per person per annum.

11th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the extent to which the proposed new Rwandan High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Busingye Johnston, upholds international law; whether they intend to accept his diplomatic credentials; and what discussions they will have with the government of Rwanda about upholding international law.

We do not comment on the appointment process for individual Ambassadors or High Commissioners. All applications for agrément for the appointment of Ambassadors and High Commissioners to the UK are considered on a case-by-case basis and a range of factors are taken into account before a decision is made.

The UK has a strong relationship with Rwanda. Our close cooperation and engagement means we can discuss priority issues and shared concerns, including for example human rights, the Commonwealth, climate and building back from COVID-19. We continue to urge Rwanda, as a member of the Commonwealth, and future Chair-in-Office, to uphold international law and to respect and champion Commonwealth values of democracy, rule of law, and human rights.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to support countries that are vulnerable to disruption caused by climate change; what discussions they have had with the government of Burundi about the impact of rising water levels of Lake Tanganyika on the displacement of people; and what support, if any, they intend to provide to that country to mitigate the effects of climate change.

We recognise that it is often the most vulnerable countries who are being hit hardest by the impact of climate change. We are clear that COP26 needs to deliver ambitious outcomes on adaptation as well as mitigation. That is why the UK has committed to doubling our climate finance for mitigation and adaptation to £11.6 billion from 2021-2025. This will help developing countries take action to tackle climate change. During discussions in June, the former Minister for Africa encouraged Burundi to engage on climate adaptation, including through COP26.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the report by the Legatum Institute The Legatum Prosperity Index 2020, published on 16 November; and in particular that report’s findings that Burundi is (1) 157th out of 167 countries ranked in terms of overall prosperity, and (2) among the top 10 worst countries in the world in the categories of (a) economic quality, (b) living conditions, and (c) health.

The UK remains concerned by the development indicators for Burundi and the findings of this report. The UK has been providing support to Burundi to tackle health crises including helping to tackle acute malnutrition, responding to a malaria outbreak and supporting on Ebola and COVID-19 response.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the findings of the report by the Legatum Institute The Legatum Prosperity Index 2020, published on 16 November, that Lesotho is among the top 10 worst countries in the world in the natural environment category.

We are concerned by the ongoing impact of climate variability upon the prosperity of Lesotho, as well as the Legatum Prosperity Index's findings for natural environment ranking Lesotho as 166 out of 167 countries. Climate and Natural Resources have been a pillar of the UK Government's strategic approach to Africa since 2018, with an increased focus on these issues across the continent. We recognise how important natural resources are for Lesotho's long-term prosperity, and that is why climate change and environmental issues are key priorities for the recently re-opened British High Commission in Maseru.

The UK is supporting Lesotho to improve the management of their shared water resources, helping people to cope with the impacts of existing climate variability through the FCDO's regional Transboundary Water Management Programme. This is supporting efforts to respond to the urgent issue of wetland degradation across Southern Africa, and the declining capacity at the source of the Orange-Senqu river to retain, regulate and sustain base water flows, which are crucial for local livelihoods and for water supply within Lesotho and South Africa. The UK also recently announced a £7 million Southern Africa COVID-19 Humanitarian and Remittance Relief Fund, which will support countries across the region hit by the combined effects of climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the findings of the report by the Legatum Institute The Legatum Prosperity Index 2020, published on 16 November, that Rwanda is among the top 10 most improved countries in the world in the categories of (1) governance, (2) investment environment, and (3) market access and infrastructure.

Good governance, a sound investment environment and strong market access and infrastructure are all important for economic growth. As indicated by the findings of the report, Rwanda has made good progress in many of these areas over the past ten years. UK support has helped strengthen the Rwanda Revenue Authority to dramatically improve tax collection, create a national land title system to support investment, support Government to deliver an electronic system reducing the time and cost of clearing goods across borders, and increase the involvement of citizens in some areas of policymaking. These investments also create opportunities for UK trade and support Rwanda to exit from aid. We continue to regularly raise with the Government of Rwanda the need to match its impressive developmental progress with increased political and civic rights for citizens.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the return of Burundian refugees from Rwanda; and what steps they have taken to support any such resettlement.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is working with the Governments of Rwanda and Burundi to facilitate the voluntary return of refugees to Burundi. Since 26 July 2020, a large number of refugees have been repatriated from Rwanda. The UK continues to support the work of UNHCR including reintegration support for repatriated refugees, in addition to wider food security, malnutrition and emergency management interventions. The UK has provided a total of £15 million in humanitarian support to Burundi between July 2017 and December 2020.

20th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what action they are taking in response to the report by the UN Human Rights Council Report of the Commission of Inquiry on Burundi, published on 16 September.

The UK remains extremely concerned by the ongoing human rights situation in Burundi, and its humanitarian consequences. The findings of the report of the Commission of Inquiry that Burundi remains at risk of atrocities, is deeply troubling. We welcome the Government of Burundi's commitment to deliver real change and break from the past. The UK will be ready to engage in more substantive dialogue with Burundi once it has taken demonstrable steps to improve human rights, and made progress towards peace and stability. However, we believe an inclusive dialogue, led by the region, remains one of the only viable options to resolve the ongoing political crisis in Burundi. In this context, we continue to urge Burundi to engage both with the region and with the wider international community on human rights, sustainable peace and development issues in the country.

5th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of Rwanda following the publication of the report by Human Rights Watch "As long as we live on the streets, they will beat us": Rwanda's abusive detention of children, published on 27 January, which claims that Rwandan authorities are formalising their abusive arrests and detention of vulnerable children under the pretence of rehabilitation.

We are aware of the Human Rights Watch report "As Long as We Live on the Streets, They Will Beat Us", published on 27 January, which we are currently reviewing. We urge the Government of Rwanda to abide by its international human rights obligations, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Rwanda ratified in 1991. The UK regularly raises human rights issues in our discussions with the Government of Rwanda. The Prime Minister most recently met President Kagame in the margins of the Africa Investment Summit in January.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many (1) departmental officials, and (2) Ministers, have undertaken the 'Face behind the case' training.

(1) The ‘Face Behind the Case’ e-learning is for UKVI staff, to highlight the impact decisions have on our customers. As of 28 June 2021, the training has been completed by 9,633 officials across the Home Office. (2) This data is not held by UKVI.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
14th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the Windrush Cross-Government Working Group on implementing the Migrants' Commissioner role; and what progress they have made on this issue.

The Home Office has tasked a sub-group of the Windrush Cross-Government Working Group (WWG) to independently advise the Home Secretary on what the Migrants’ Commissioner role should look like, including who and what it should cover, and the best model for delivering it.

The Sub-group will make their recommendations for the Home Secretary’s consideration prior to Wendy Williams’ return to inspect the Department’s progress in September.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
7th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to their New Plan for Immigration, published on 24 March, when they plan to consult on the proposal to remove support from families who have become Appeals Rights Exhausted (ARE), but have a child that was born prior to becoming ARE.

The Home Office plans to consult on the implementation of the support provisions of the Immigration Act 2016 later this year.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
7th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to their New Plan for Immigration, published on 24 March, whether they intend for the proposal that judges be told to give “minimal weight” to evidence raised by an asylum seeker late in the legal process to apply to unaccompanied children seeking asylum.

The policy intention is that judges must have regard to the principle that minimal weight should be attached to late evidence unless there are good reasons why the evidence was provided late. It will be a matter for judges to make decisions having regard to that principle on a case-by-case basis.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
7th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the number of people likely to be resettled this year under the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme; and how that figure compares to (1) 2018, and (2) 2019.

In December 2020, the UK resumed resettlement following a pause due to the pandemic. On 25 February 2021 the Government met its target of resettling 20,000 refugees who have fled the conflict in Syria through the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme. Since then, the Government has continued to welcome refugees through the global UK Resettlement Scheme (UKRS).

The number of refugees we resettle every year will depend on a variety of factors including local authorities’ capacity for supporting those we resettle and the extent to which Community Sponsorship continues to thrive. This year, the recovery from the pandemic will be a significant factor affecting capacity. We are working closely with our partners to assess the capacity for resettlement in the months ahead and will continue to welcome those in need in the years to come.

The numbers of refugees resettled are published through official statistics at quarterly intervals. The next set of statistics will be published in July and will include the number of people resettled since March. These are available from:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/immigration-statistics-quarterly-release

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
29th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether European Economic Area nationals who apply late to the EU Settlement Scheme will be permitted to have the right to work and rent while their applications are pending.

From 1 July, right to work and right to rent checks will change and EEA citizens will be required to demonstrate eligibility through evidence of their immigration status, rather than their nationality.

EEA citizens who have an outstanding, late application to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) and do not have any other form of immigration leave will not be permitted to take up new employment or enter into a new tenancy agreement until they have been granted status under the EUSS.

We have designed a process to ensure employers do not have to cease the employment of an individual who has been working for them since before the end of the grace period, who makes a late application.

Likewise, a landlord is not required to evict an existing tenant who no longer has lawful status in the UK, but they must make a report via GOV.UK to the Home Office, to maintain their statutory excuse.

A person granted status under the EU Settlement Scheme on the basis of a late application will have the same rights from the date they are granted status, as a person who applied by the deadline. This includes their right to work and right to rent.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
29th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the update to the EU Settlement Scheme caseworker guidance on late applications and its discussion of children in care and care leavers, whether care leavers who are over 18 at the deadline are included as having reasonable grounds to make out of time applications.

The Home Office has continued to engage with local authorities as they undertake their responsibilities to ensure eligible looked after children and care leavers were supported to make an application to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) by the 30 June 2021 deadline for those resident in the UK by the end of the transition period.

This included running webinars for local authority staff making or supporting EUSS applications, providing support seven days a week via the EU Settlement Resolution Centre and making available £22 million in grant funding through to 30 September 2021 for a network of 72 organisations across the UK, including several local authorities and local government associations, to help vulnerable groups apply to the EUSS. We have also provided additional funding, following a new burdens assessment, for local authority work in helping looked after children and care leavers to obtain EUSS status. This work and their relevant statutory responsibilities are reflected in the guidance on the EUSS for local authorities which is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/eu-settlement-scheme-looked-after-children-and-care-leavers-guidance.

To monitor progress with this important work, the Home Office carried out a further survey of local authorities earlier this year. As of 23 April 2021, applications had been submitted by or for 2,440 (67 per cent) of the 3,660 looked after children and care leavers identified by the survey as eligible to apply. Using the data from the survey, further workshops have been delivered and targeted engagement carried out with local authorities to support further progress.

We are considering options for further progress monitoring in relation to this cohort following the 30 June 2021 deadline. Further information on the survey is available at:

EU Settlement Scheme: looked-after children and care leavers survey 2020 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

We will continue to work closely with local authorities following the 30 June 2021 deadline. Consistent with the published non-exhaustive guidance on reasonable grounds for making a late application, we will take a pragmatic and flexible approach to dealing with late applications, including from care leavers who were aged over 18 before the deadline.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
29th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to publish updated figures of the number of children in care and care leavers identified as eligible to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.

The Home Office has continued to engage with local authorities as they undertake their responsibilities to ensure eligible looked after children and care leavers were supported to make an application to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) by the 30 June 2021 deadline for those resident in the UK by the end of the transition period.

This included running webinars for local authority staff making or supporting EUSS applications, providing support seven days a week via the EU Settlement Resolution Centre and making available £22 million in grant funding through to 30 September 2021 for a network of 72 organisations across the UK, including several local authorities and local government associations, to help vulnerable groups apply to the EUSS. We have also provided additional funding, following a new burdens assessment, for local authority work in helping looked after children and care leavers to obtain EUSS status. This work and their relevant statutory responsibilities are reflected in the guidance on the EUSS for local authorities which is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/eu-settlement-scheme-looked-after-children-and-care-leavers-guidance.

To monitor progress with this important work, the Home Office carried out a further survey of local authorities earlier this year. As of 23 April 2021, applications had been submitted by or for 2,440 (67 per cent) of the 3,660 looked after children and care leavers identified by the survey as eligible to apply. Using the data from the survey, further workshops have been delivered and targeted engagement carried out with local authorities to support further progress.

We are considering options for further progress monitoring in relation to this cohort following the 30 June 2021 deadline. Further information on the survey is available at:

EU Settlement Scheme: looked-after children and care leavers survey 2020 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

We will continue to work closely with local authorities following the 30 June 2021 deadline. Consistent with the published non-exhaustive guidance on reasonable grounds for making a late application, we will take a pragmatic and flexible approach to dealing with late applications, including from care leavers who were aged over 18 before the deadline.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
29th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to work with local authorities to ensure all eligible children in care and care leavers are identified before the EU Settlement Scheme deadline.

The Home Office has continued to engage with local authorities as they undertake their responsibilities to ensure eligible looked after children and care leavers were supported to make an application to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) by the 30 June 2021 deadline for those resident in the UK by the end of the transition period.

This included running webinars for local authority staff making or supporting EUSS applications, providing support seven days a week via the EU Settlement Resolution Centre and making available £22 million in grant funding through to 30 September 2021 for a network of 72 organisations across the UK, including several local authorities and local government associations, to help vulnerable groups apply to the EUSS. We have also provided additional funding, following a new burdens assessment, for local authority work in helping looked after children and care leavers to obtain EUSS status. This work and their relevant statutory responsibilities are reflected in the guidance on the EUSS for local authorities which is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/eu-settlement-scheme-looked-after-children-and-care-leavers-guidance.

To monitor progress with this important work, the Home Office carried out a further survey of local authorities earlier this year. As of 23 April 2021, applications had been submitted by or for 2,440 (67 per cent) of the 3,660 looked after children and care leavers identified by the survey as eligible to apply. Using the data from the survey, further workshops have been delivered and targeted engagement carried out with local authorities to support further progress.

We are considering options for further progress monitoring in relation to this cohort following the 30 June 2021 deadline. Further information on the survey is available at:

EU Settlement Scheme: looked-after children and care leavers survey 2020 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

We will continue to work closely with local authorities following the 30 June 2021 deadline. Consistent with the published non-exhaustive guidance on reasonable grounds for making a late application, we will take a pragmatic and flexible approach to dealing with late applications, including from care leavers who were aged over 18 before the deadline.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
29th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what measures are in place to ensure that the number of young people in the care of local authorities who still need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme do so before the deadline.

The Home Office has continued to engage with local authorities as they undertake their responsibilities to ensure eligible looked after children and care leavers were supported to make an application to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) by the 30 June 2021 deadline for those resident in the UK by the end of the transition period.

This included running webinars for local authority staff making or supporting EUSS applications, providing support seven days a week via the EU Settlement Resolution Centre and making available £22 million in grant funding through to 30 September 2021 for a network of 72 organisations across the UK, including several local authorities and local government associations, to help vulnerable groups apply to the EUSS. We have also provided additional funding, following a new burdens assessment, for local authority work in helping looked after children and care leavers to obtain EUSS status. This work and their relevant statutory responsibilities are reflected in the guidance on the EUSS for local authorities which is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/eu-settlement-scheme-looked-after-children-and-care-leavers-guidance.

To monitor progress with this important work, the Home Office carried out a further survey of local authorities earlier this year. As of 23 April 2021, applications had been submitted by or for 2,440 (67 per cent) of the 3,660 looked after children and care leavers identified by the survey as eligible to apply. Using the data from the survey, further workshops have been delivered and targeted engagement carried out with local authorities to support further progress.

We are considering options for further progress monitoring in relation to this cohort following the 30 June 2021 deadline. Further information on the survey is available at:

EU Settlement Scheme: looked-after children and care leavers survey 2020 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

We will continue to work closely with local authorities following the 30 June 2021 deadline. Consistent with the published non-exhaustive guidance on reasonable grounds for making a late application, we will take a pragmatic and flexible approach to dealing with late applications, including from care leavers who were aged over 18 before the deadline.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
19th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether, as part of their Comprehensive Improvement Plan in response to the Windrush Lessons Learned Review, they have a stated aim to increase case escalation where there are ethical considerations.

The ethical decision making model, developed in response to Recommendation 17 of the Windrush Lessons Learned Review, is designed to support staff to flag possible unintended consequences to ensure that services and policies are delivered in the way that Ministers intended.

The focus is on ensuring that operational staff are making the right decision first time. The model takes decision-makers through a four step process from evidence through to impact, and prompts staff to consider whether their decisions are in line with the ethical standards within the Home Office Values(Respectful, Compassionate, Collaborative and Courageous) and Civil Service Code (Integrity, Honesty, Objectivity and Impartiality). If a member of staff identifies an ethical issue, that signals a possible unintended consequence of policy, they may resolve it themselves, discuss it with a colleague, or escalate the concern as appropriate. The model will not replace the immigration rules.

As part of the Comprehensive Improvement Plan, we state that we expect to see an increase in the number of cases escalated for ethical consideration. This increase will take place as the ethical decision-making model, that is currently being tested in different immigration business areas, is rolled out fully and prompts that consideration. Over the longer term, we would expect to see a decrease in the number of cases that are overturned at tribunal as the ethical decision-making model will assist decision-makers to get the decision right first time.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
28th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what (1) are the Terms of Reference, and (2) is the intended completion date, for Wendy Williams' review of progress on recommendations made in the report Windrush Lessons Learned Review: independent review by Wendy Williams, published on 31 March 2020.

It has not proved possible to respond to this question in the time available before Dissolution. Ministers will correspond directly with the Member.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
28th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to update the progress they have made in evaluating the environment for immigrants following the Windrush Lessons Learned Review.

It has not proved possible to respond to this question in the time available before Dissolution. Ministers will correspond directly with the Member.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
14th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what requirements they have established with Migrant Help (1) to log and record every call made to the service by asylum seekers in contingency accommodation, and (2) to set a target time for responding to issues raised in these calls, as part of its contracts with that charity; and what assessment they have made of whether Migrant Help is fulfilling any such requirements in carrying out such contracts.

Migrant Help provide a helpline available to asylum seekers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, service levels for the services they provide can be found in their contract at https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Notice/028be8bb-3c69-494d-bfdd-59c2e1b34379?p=@UFQxUlRRPT0=NjJNT08=. Migrant Help performance is monitored during monthly Contract Management Groups and quarterly Strategic Relationship Management Boards.

Details of the accommodation requirements can be found online at www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk. A link to the contract for the North East, Yorkshire & Humber region is at https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Notice/24c6a868-8e1a-4775-8d4f-ab750854d367

We do not publish data on the number of asylum seekers living in contingency accommodation. However, when a family is accommodated at a hotel, they are prioritised for dispersal to ensure the children can settle in more permanent accommodation and attend school.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
14th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether there is a list of requirements that dispersal accommodation must meet.

Migrant Help provide a helpline available to asylum seekers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, service levels for the services they provide can be found in their contract at https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Notice/028be8bb-3c69-494d-bfdd-59c2e1b34379?p=@UFQxUlRRPT0=NjJNT08=. Migrant Help performance is monitored during monthly Contract Management Groups and quarterly Strategic Relationship Management Boards.

Details of the accommodation requirements can be found online at www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk. A link to the contract for the North East, Yorkshire & Humber region is at https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Notice/24c6a868-8e1a-4775-8d4f-ab750854d367

We do not publish data on the number of asylum seekers living in contingency accommodation. However, when a family is accommodated at a hotel, they are prioritised for dispersal to ensure the children can settle in more permanent accommodation and attend school.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
14th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many asylum seekers with school-age children are currently housed in contingency accommodation; and how long they expect it will be before such asylum seekers are allocated dispersal accommodation.

Migrant Help provide a helpline available to asylum seekers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, service levels for the services they provide can be found in their contract at https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Notice/028be8bb-3c69-494d-bfdd-59c2e1b34379?p=@UFQxUlRRPT0=NjJNT08=. Migrant Help performance is monitored during monthly Contract Management Groups and quarterly Strategic Relationship Management Boards.

Details of the accommodation requirements can be found online at www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk. A link to the contract for the North East, Yorkshire & Humber region is at https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Notice/24c6a868-8e1a-4775-8d4f-ab750854d367

We do not publish data on the number of asylum seekers living in contingency accommodation. However, when a family is accommodated at a hotel, they are prioritised for dispersal to ensure the children can settle in more permanent accommodation and attend school.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many asylum seekers they have asked (1) Mears, (2) Serco, and (3) Clearsprings Ready Homes, to provide accommodation for as part of Operation Oak.

We currently have c8100 people in hotels, with our providers working to procure sufficient accommodation across the UK to exit contingency accommodation and maintain a business as usual operation thereafter.

We require providers to work at pace but have directed them to only procure accommodation which is safe and secure for asylum seekers and the communities in which they live.

We remain committed to working in partnership with local authorities, through the use the Strategic Migration Partnerships to ensure the views of local authorities are included when forward planning.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether there is a maximum recommended length of stay for asylum seekers in contingency accommodation before they are offered more suitable long-term accommodation.

There is no maximum recommended length of stay for asylum seekers in contingency accommodation.

The global pandemic and the pause on the cessation of support has meant that the supported population has grown and in order to ensure the health of both asylum seekers and the community in which they live the Home Office has had to use contingency accommodation to avoid destitution.

We would encourage Local Authorities who do not currently house supported asylum seekers, such as Durham, to participate in the asylum dispersal scheme so that we can minimise the length of stay in contingency accommodation

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
24th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what procedures they have established to (1) monitor, and (2) evaluate, contracts with asylum accommodation providers.

We expect the highest standards from our providers, who are expected to conduct regular checks across the accommodation estate. The Home Office have access to providers’ systems to monitor compliance.

The Asylum Accommodation and Support Services contracts (AASC) have a robust performance management system, against which providers are expected to deliver. Where performance falls short of the required standard, failures are recorded and can result in the award of points and, ultimately, service credits being applied. Providers’ performance is monitored closely by dedicated staff in each contract area, who are in daily contact with them.

This is supplemented by a formal governance process which includes quarterly Strategic Review Management Boards and monthly Contract Management Groups. Service credits and subsequent improvement plans are discussed and monitored as part of this process.

Contract management is operated in line with Covid-19 guidance. Service Delivery Managers speak daily with providers about service delivery and performance. ​In response to the global pandemic, officials also have formal meetings on a weekly basis to ensure individuals are housed safely, services are delivered in line with their contractual obligations and adherence to guidance from Public Health England (PHE) is followed. ​

Asylum seekers can also raise specific issues or concerns about their accommodation through the 24/7 Advice, Issue Reporting and Eligibility (AIRE) service operated by Migrant Help. The Home Office and our providers receive feedback on complaints raised through our regular dialogue with Migrant Help, which enables attention to be focussed on particular areas of concern.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
24th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many members of staff working for asylum accommodation providers have received the training specified in the Asylum Accommodation and Support Statement of Requirements; and whether training for staff who have face-to-face contact with service users is stipulated in Home Office contracts with providers.

The Asylum Accommodation and Support Services contracts (AASC) are published and the requirements of the contract are set out in the Statement of Requirements, this includes provisions around training and the training programme for those with face-to-face contact with our customers.

The Provider must fully equip and train staff (including volunteers) to ensure they are able to fulfil their roles and ensure appropriate and sufficient security provisions are made for all staff undertaking face-to-face activities. Those with face to face contact must cover the following:

  • Ethnic diversity and cultural awareness
  • Suicide and self-harm awareness and prevention
  • Basic First Aid
  • Gender based violence
  • Fire Safety
  • Health and Safety
  • Vicarious Trauma
  • Unconscious Bias
  • Counter Terrorism
  • Modern Slavery
  • Training relating to housing standards and regulatory requirements

As a minimum, provider staff should receive refresher training on the requirements listed above annually (i.e. refresher training completed every twelve (12) months), or more regularly if required.

The Home Office does not intend to publish data on the number of staff employed by accommodation providers, who will be expected to undertake training. However, provider performance and service delivery is discussed on a weekly basis. There are formal performance meetings each month, plus strategic boards with senior provider management, once a quarter.

The Home Office discusses performance of the contracts and service improvements with Local Authorities who participate in asylum dispersal. Durham is the only Local Authority in the North East of England who do not accommodate supported asylum seekers. We would encourage all Local Authorities to play their part and hope Durham will join their neighbours in doing so.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
24th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by the Minister for Immigration Compliance and Justice on 11 February 2021 (150977), what are the timescales for ending the use of (1) Napier, and (2) Penally, barracks to accommodate asylum seekers.

Napier Barracks will remain in operation in accordance with current needs.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
9th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by the Minister for Immigration Compliance and Justice on 8 February (148930), when they plan to hold roundtables with stakeholders to discuss (1) the recommendations, (2) actions taken, and (3) proposed next steps, arising from the independent rapid review by Human Applications.

The Home Office contracted with an independent organisation, Human Applications, to conduct a rapid review of initial accommodation for single adult asylum seekers, including hotels and the former military barracks. This was to provide assurance of compliance with public health guidelines to prevent the transmission of Covid 19

Human Applications completed their visits, which included both the Napier and Penally sites, and they have now submitted a report with their findings and recommendations. Once we have responded to the report, we intend to share a summary of the findings and actions taken with key stakeholders.

We have already shared the report with accommodation providers to allow them to action specific findings.

The roundtables were held between 16-26 February, with stakeholders from Local Authorities, Statutory Bodies, Strategic Migration Partnerships and Non-Governmental Organisations; recommendations were shared to inform discussions on the day.

An action plan to move these recommendations forward is being developed, and stakeholders will be consulted, and progress reported through our usual engagement routes; Asylum Strategic Engagement Group, Asylum Support Subgroups, SMP weekly meetings and HO, Local Government Chief Executives meeting.

The recommendations from this review were shared on the 9 March with the Home Affairs Select Committee together with actions taken to address these recommendations.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
9th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by the Minister for Immigration Compliance and Justice on 8 February (148930), when the recommendations of the independent rapid review by Human Applications will be published.

The Home Office contracted with an independent organisation, Human Applications, to conduct a rapid review of initial accommodation for single adult asylum seekers, including hotels and the former military barracks. This was to provide assurance of compliance with public health guidelines to prevent the transmission of Covid 19

Human Applications completed their visits, which included both the Napier and Penally sites, and they have now submitted a report with their findings and recommendations. Once we have responded to the report, we intend to share a summary of the findings and actions taken with key stakeholders.

We have already shared the report with accommodation providers to allow them to action specific findings.

The roundtables were held between 16-26 February, with stakeholders from Local Authorities, Statutory Bodies, Strategic Migration Partnerships and Non-Governmental Organisations; recommendations were shared to inform discussions on the day.

An action plan to move these recommendations forward is being developed, and stakeholders will be consulted, and progress reported through our usual engagement routes; Asylum Strategic Engagement Group, Asylum Support Subgroups, SMP weekly meetings and HO, Local Government Chief Executives meeting.

The recommendations from this review were shared on the 9 March with the Home Affairs Select Committee together with actions taken to address these recommendations.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
9th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans, if any, they have for an immigration centre for women on the former site of Hassockfield Secure Training Centre.

The Home Office has acquired the former Hassockfield Secure Training Centre in County Durham and will open it as an immigration removal centre (IRC) for around 80 women by the autumn.

The immigration removal estate is kept under ongoing review, to ensure that the Home Office has sufficient capacity for men and women it proves necessary to detain for the purposes of removal, and to protect the public; and to provide value for money.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
20th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government on what date they plan to commence hosting "reconciliation events" with individuals from the Windrush generation.

We are hosting a series of events to allow members of the Windrush generation and their wider community to share their experiences. By engaging with their stories, the Home Office can acknowledge, continue to learn from the past and take the necessary measures to improve the culture in the department.

We also want to celebrate the contribution of members of the Windrush generation to the UK, as a form of cultural commemoration, rebalance the Home Office’s relationship with communities and look to the future. As this kind of forum works best in person, we have had to delay their commencement, in light of Covid restrictions.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
19th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many individuals have been granted an Adult Dependent Relative visa since 2016; and how many of those Adult Dependent Relative visas were granted through appeal.

The entry clearance data which is published and available can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/managed-migration-datasets

(Select Entry Clearance visas granted outside the UK)

Providing the complete information requested would exceed the word limit for responses to written parliamentary questions and for further info see below

Her Majesty’s Courts & Tribunals Service data relating to appeal outcomes is published here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/tribunal-statistics-quarterly-july-to-september-2020

The data required for this question in terms of how many were granted through appeal cannot be produced through normal data cycles and would involve manual reconciliation.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
19th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many applications for Adult Dependent Relative visas have been refused since 2016.

The data required for this question cannot be produced through normal data cycles and would involve the need for a manual trawl which would incur cost.

The entry clearance data which is published and available can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/managed-migration-datasets

(Select Entry Clearance visas granted outside the UK)

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
19th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Williams of Trafford on 16 June 2020 (HL4993), how many visas have been granted to extended family members of refugees outside the Immigration Rules.

The Home Office are unable to state how many visas have been granted to extended family members of refugees outside the immigration rules as this information is not published.

However, the Home Office do publish data on the number of Family Reunion visa grants, by age and can be found in the published Immigration Statistics at, Fam_01.

An extract is contained in the table below;

Date of visa grant

Year ending Sept 2019

Year ending Sept 2020

Total grants

6,474

6,066

Under 18 (Age group for total family reunion grants)

3,236

3,197

18+ (Age group for total family reunion grants)

3,238

2,869

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
17th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have appointed an independent reviewer to carry out a review of the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration; and if not, when such an appointment will be made.

As outlined in the Comprehensive Improvement Plan, we are progressing with the appointment of an independent reviewer to lead a full review of the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration. We will announce further details early next year.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
8th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Williams of Trafford on 3 November (HL9361), what plans they have to provide an update on when the review into the right to work of asylum seekers will be laid before the House.

The findings of the review will be announced once the work has been completed.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
11th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Williams of Trafford on 28 October (HL9221), wthat plans they have to ensure that once the refugee resettlement schemes are resumed, the commitment to resettle 20,000 vulnerable refugees through the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme will be fulfilled, in addition to the new Global Resettlement Scheme commitment of 5,000 per year.

We have been working closely with key domestic and international stakeholders on plans to safely resume UK resettlement arrivals against the backdrop of unprecedented restrictions and pressures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a result of this work, and as announced by Baroness Williams of Trafford in the House of Lords on 9 November, the UK will shortly restart UK resettlement arrivals to fulfil our commitment of resettling 20,000 refugees affected by the conflict in Syria under the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (VPRS) and we are working closely with partners to deliver this commitment.

Due to the lead times for refugee arrivals, it is likely that we will see most refugees start to arrive early in the new year.

Decisions regarding resettlement beyond the completion of this scheme are yet to be made and will need to take account of the impact of COVID-19 and the ongoing pressures on the asylum system. We have committed to a review of safe and legal routes to the UK. We are aware that the pause in resettlement has had an impact on our resettlement partners and will continue to work with them as future plans are developed.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
11th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Williams of Trafford on 28 October (HL9221), what assessment they have made of the impact that the suspension of the refugee resettlement schemes has had on (1) local authorities, and (2) the (a) financial sustainability, and (b) long-term capacity, of other refugee resettlement service providers.

We have been working closely with key domestic and international stakeholders on plans to safely resume UK resettlement arrivals against the backdrop of unprecedented restrictions and pressures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a result of this work, and as announced by Baroness Williams of Trafford in the House of Lords on 9 November, the UK will shortly restart UK resettlement arrivals to fulfil our commitment of resettling 20,000 refugees affected by the conflict in Syria under the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (VPRS) and we are working closely with partners to deliver this commitment.

Due to the lead times for refugee arrivals, it is likely that we will see most refugees start to arrive early in the new year.

Decisions regarding resettlement beyond the completion of this scheme are yet to be made and will need to take account of the impact of COVID-19 and the ongoing pressures on the asylum system. We have committed to a review of safe and legal routes to the UK. We are aware that the pause in resettlement has had an impact on our resettlement partners and will continue to work with them as future plans are developed.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
27th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how they will evaluate the success of the proof of concept pilot for the outsourcing of asylum interviews.

Asylum Operations are exploring many options to reduce the number of outstanding asylum claims. Alongside seeking temporary resource from within the Home Office and other government departments, we are also exploring with third-party suppliers, through a proof of concept, to test the viability of whether they can deliver the support required as a temporary, short term measure. An eight-week controlled mobilisation of testing has been confirmed. Once we have completed the proof of concept exercise, an evaluation will be completed, and this will inform any further recommendations or actions.

Asylum interviews have not been outsourced, and at this stage we are only exploring the potential feasibility. The increased interview throughput will help rebalance the system, but also speed up decision making, reduce the number of outstanding cases and support costs.

Asylum Operations will be looking to source resource with the right competency and recent experience in conducting sensitive interviews. To ensure external suppliers are suitably equipped to carry out the role, third-party interviewing officers will complete a bespoke training package, delivered by the qualified asylum operations training team, that has been designed specifically to meet their needs. Anyone who conducts asylum interviews receives thorough training to ensure they are fully equipped for the role.

To guarantee governance and accountability, mechanisms are in place for the oversight of third-party interviews, the department has a quality assurance process which assesses the quality of decisions, interviews and the application of Home Office policy.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
27th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they made of the benefits of consulting with civil society groups, and those who are engaged in supporting asylum seekers through interview processes, before establishing the system for the proof of concept pilot for the outsourcing of asylum interviews without such a consultation.

Asylum Operations regularly engage with civil society groups via stakeholder forums and often consult with civil society groups on asylum processes.

Asylum Operations first communicated with civil society groups on the proof of concept for asylum interviews on 22 September 2020. We further engaged on the 6 October 2020 and continue to gather feedback to support the development of the proof of concept. We are in the process of responding in writing to further questions already submitted from civil society groups.

The proof of concept will help establish if there is a longer-term viability. Once the proof of concept phase is complete, we will evaluate as part of ongoing engagement with civil society groups to support further development

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
27th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the proof of concept pilot for the outsourcing of asylum interviews, whether the claimants will be informed that they are being interviewed by a third party rather than a Home Office employee; and if not, whether this information will be available upon request.

The Home Office is not planning to disclose to a claimant if they have been interviewed by a third party rather than a Home Office employee. We do not ask staff to disclosure their employee status prior to interview.

Third party interviewing officers will complete a bespoke training package, delivered by the qualified asylum operations training team, that has been designed specifically to meet their needs. The course will include training specifically about modern slavery and safeguarding awareness. Anyone who conducts asylum interviews receives thorough training to ensure they are fully equipped for the role. We expect the experience to equal the existing high standards already in place.

To guarantee governance and accountability, mechanisms are in place for the oversight of third-party interviews and the department has a quality assurance process which assesses the quality of decisions, interviews and the application of Home Office policy.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
27th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the answer by Baroness Williams of Trafford on 21 October (HL Deb, col 1598), when the review into "safe and legal routes to the UK for asylum seekers, refugees and their families" will be completed; and whether that review will be published.

Safe and legal routes are a core part of our proposed reforms to the asylum system to ensure it is both firm and fair. As made clear in the answer on 21 October (HL Deb, col 1598), as an integral part of that work the Government will conduct a review of safe and legal routes to the UK for asylum seekers, refugees and their families, which will include reviewing routes for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children to reunite with their family members in the UK.

This government intends to bring forward legislation next year that will deliver some of our much-needed reforms.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
20th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Williams of Trafford on 29 September (HL8116), what plans they have to publish the terms of reference for the Home Office review into the right to work of asylum seekers.

Asylum seeker right to work is a complex issue. A review of the policy is ongoing, and we are considering the evidence put forward on the issue. The findings of the review will be announced once the work has been completed.

Officials have been in contact as necessary with Asylum Matters and Refugee Action in respect of asylum seeker right to work policy.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
20th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Williams of Trafford on 29 September (HL8116), what external organisations have been (1) formally, and (2) informally, consulted as part of the Home Office review into the right to work of asylum seekers.

Asylum seeker right to work is a complex issue. A review of the policy is ongoing, and we are considering the evidence put forward on the issue. The findings of the review will be announced once the work has been completed.

Officials have been in contact as necessary with Asylum Matters and Refugee Action in respect of asylum seeker right to work policy.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
20th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the response by Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay on 9 September (HL Deb, col 820), when the review into the right to work of asylum seekers will be laid before the House.

Asylum seeker right to work is a complex issue. A review of the policy is ongoing, and we are considering the evidence put forward on the issue. The findings of the review will be announced once the work has been completed.

Officials have been in contact as necessary with Asylum Matters and Refugee Action in respect of asylum seeker right to work policy.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
15th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they will announce their long term refugee resettlement commitment beyond 2021.

he UK has a proud history of providing protection to those who need it and our refugee resettlement schemes enable us to give the opportunity of a new start to those who have been forced to flee their homes.

In June 2019, the Government reaffirmed the UK’s commitment to refugee resettlement by announcing a new, global UK Resettlement Scheme. While we hoped to have both met our commitment to resettle 20,000 vulnerable refugees through the VPRS, and started the new scheme earlier this year, the unprecedented restrictions and pressures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has meant this has not yet been possible. We continue to evaluate how to respond to these ongoing restrictions and pressures, but we expect to resume refugee resettlement activity when safe to do so.

We maintain regular dialogue with a variety of resettlement stakeholders, including local authorities, Strategic Migration Partnerships and other support providers. To date, our resettlement schemes have been supported by over 300 local authorities across the UK, and we are extremely grateful for this support.

Ultimately the number of refugees we resettle every year depends on a variety of factors including local authorities’ capacity for supporting refugees and the extent to which Community Sponsorship continues to thrive. We look forward to working with local communities to welcome more of those in need in the years to come.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
15th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the final 232 refugees within the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme will be resettled in the UK when it is safe to do so.

he UK has a proud history of providing protection to those who need it and our refugee resettlement schemes enable us to give the opportunity of a new start to those who have been forced to flee their homes.

In June 2019, the Government reaffirmed the UK’s commitment to refugee resettlement by announcing a new, global UK Resettlement Scheme. While we hoped to have both met our commitment to resettle 20,000 vulnerable refugees through the VPRS, and started the new scheme earlier this year, the unprecedented restrictions and pressures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has meant this has not yet been possible. We continue to evaluate how to respond to these ongoing restrictions and pressures, but we expect to resume refugee resettlement activity when safe to do so.

We maintain regular dialogue with a variety of resettlement stakeholders, including local authorities, Strategic Migration Partnerships and other support providers. To date, our resettlement schemes have been supported by over 300 local authorities across the UK, and we are extremely grateful for this support.

Ultimately the number of refugees we resettle every year depends on a variety of factors including local authorities’ capacity for supporting refugees and the extent to which Community Sponsorship continues to thrive. We look forward to working with local communities to welcome more of those in need in the years to come.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
15th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Williams of Trafford on 14 September (HL7752), what discussions they have held with local authorities about their capacity to restart refugee resettlement as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic; and whether any local authorities have confirmed that they are ready to restart resettlement.

he UK has a proud history of providing protection to those who need it and our refugee resettlement schemes enable us to give the opportunity of a new start to those who have been forced to flee their homes.

In June 2019, the Government reaffirmed the UK’s commitment to refugee resettlement by announcing a new, global UK Resettlement Scheme. While we hoped to have both met our commitment to resettle 20,000 vulnerable refugees through the VPRS, and started the new scheme earlier this year, the unprecedented restrictions and pressures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has meant this has not yet been possible. We continue to evaluate how to respond to these ongoing restrictions and pressures, but we expect to resume refugee resettlement activity when safe to do so.

We maintain regular dialogue with a variety of resettlement stakeholders, including local authorities, Strategic Migration Partnerships and other support providers. To date, our resettlement schemes have been supported by over 300 local authorities across the UK, and we are extremely grateful for this support.

Ultimately the number of refugees we resettle every year depends on a variety of factors including local authorities’ capacity for supporting refugees and the extent to which Community Sponsorship continues to thrive. We look forward to working with local communities to welcome more of those in need in the years to come.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
15th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the answer by Baroness Williams of Trafford on 5 October (HL Deb, col 407), whether they have revised their aim of resettling 5,000 refugees in 2020/21 under the UK's new resettlement scheme as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic; and, if so, what is the revised aim for resettlement this year.

he UK has a proud history of providing protection to those who need it and our refugee resettlement schemes enable us to give the opportunity of a new start to those who have been forced to flee their homes.

In June 2019, the Government reaffirmed the UK’s commitment to refugee resettlement by announcing a new, global UK Resettlement Scheme. While we hoped to have both met our commitment to resettle 20,000 vulnerable refugees through the VPRS, and started the new scheme earlier this year, the unprecedented restrictions and pressures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has meant this has not yet been possible. We continue to evaluate how to respond to these ongoing restrictions and pressures, but we expect to resume refugee resettlement activity when safe to do so.

We maintain regular dialogue with a variety of resettlement stakeholders, including local authorities, Strategic Migration Partnerships and other support providers. To date, our resettlement schemes have been supported by over 300 local authorities across the UK, and we are extremely grateful for this support.

Ultimately the number of refugees we resettle every year depends on a variety of factors including local authorities’ capacity for supporting refugees and the extent to which Community Sponsorship continues to thrive. We look forward to working with local communities to welcome more of those in need in the years to come.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
6th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have put in place to ensure that children can continue to be transferred to the UK under section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016 during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016 committed the Government to transfer 480 unaccompanied?children?from Greece, Italy and France?to the UK; 478?have now?successfully?transferred.??We?remain?in contact?with our counterparts?in?Italy?to?complete?the transfer of the final two children?as soon as?it is safe to do so.??We?welcome the pledges made by other?countries?to?support Greece?and?stand ready to offer advice and guidance to?those?developing?their own schemes.

The UK remains fully committed to meeting our obligations under the Dublin Regulation. Despite covid-19 restrictions, the UK is ready to accept transfers under Dublin whenever Member States are in a position to make those arrangements. Following close collaboration with the Greek Government, 50 asylum seekers arrived in the UK from Greece on 11 May in order to unite with family members who were already lawfully present in the UK.

Protecting vulnerable children is a key priority for the Government. In 2019, the UK received more asylum applications from unaccompanied children than any country in the EU and accounted for approximately 20% of all reported UASC claims made in the UK and the 27 EU Member States.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
6th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the implications for the UK of successful transfers of separated children from Greece to other countries in Europe under the European Commission’s relocation scheme for transfers of unaccompanied children.

Section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016 committed the Government to transfer 480 unaccompanied?children?from Greece, Italy and France?to the UK; 478?have now?successfully?transferred.??We?remain?in contact?with our counterparts?in?Italy?to?complete?the transfer of the final two children?as soon as?it is safe to do so.??We?welcome the pledges made by other?countries?to?support Greece?and?stand ready to offer advice and guidance to?those?developing?their own schemes.

The UK remains fully committed to meeting our obligations under the Dublin Regulation. Despite covid-19 restrictions, the UK is ready to accept transfers under Dublin whenever Member States are in a position to make those arrangements. Following close collaboration with the Greek Government, 50 asylum seekers arrived in the UK from Greece on 11 May in order to unite with family members who were already lawfully present in the UK.

Protecting vulnerable children is a key priority for the Government. In 2019, the UK received more asylum applications from unaccompanied children than any country in the EU and accounted for approximately 20% of all reported UASC claims made in the UK and the 27 EU Member States.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
18th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to publish an impact assessment of the proposed increase in the immigration health surcharge; and whether any such assessment will include the impact on children's rights.

The Impact assessment for the Immigration Health Surcharge Order can be found here: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukia/2020/30/pdfs/ukia_20200030_en.pdf

A policy equality statement and family test have also been completed.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
18th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to exempting NHS workers from the immigration health surcharge.

The Government fully recognises the role overseas Doctor’s Nurses and Allied Health Professional play in our NHS, hence we are working to introduce an NHS visa for qualified health professionals who will be offered fast track entry, reduced visa fees and dedicated support to come to the UK with their families.

Yet it is right all who come to work in the UK contribute towards the cost of providing the NHS services they will have access to from their arrival as do providers of other essential public services such as teachers and care-workers. Those who show a long-term commitment to our country become exempt from the immigration health surcharge when they secure Indefinite Leave to Remain.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
17th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether there will be any change to the existing requirements for a Temporary Worker-Religious Worker visa (Tier 5) under the new points-based immigration system.

Under the current Immigration Rules, there are a range of routes for specialist activities, including temporary religious workers. From January 2021, these routes will be opened to EEA and Swiss citizens.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)