Lord Bishop of Leeds Portrait

Lord Bishop of Leeds

Bishops - Bishops

2 APPG memberships (as of 15 Jun 2022)
Northern Culture, Sudan and South Sudan
Lord Bishop of Leeds has no previous appointments


There are no upcoming events identified
Division Votes
Thursday 24th March 2022
Skills and Post-16 Education Bill [HL]
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 1 Bishops Aye votes vs 0 Bishops No votes
Tally: Ayes - 138 Noes - 125
Speeches
Thursday 16th June 2022
Independent Adviser on Ministers’ Interests
My Lords, we know that the Prime Minister deems the Nolan principles vital. Why has he not really responded to …
Written Answers
Monday 24th January 2022
Kazakhstan: Politics and Government
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the (1) (a) civil, and (b) political, unrest in …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
None available
Tweets
Thursday 3rd March 2022
10:42
MP Financial Interests
None available

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Lord Bishop of Leeds has voted in 71 divisions, and 1 time against the majority of their Party.

30 Dec 2020 - Business of the House - View Vote Context
Lord Bishop of Leeds voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 1 Bishops Aye votes vs 2 Bishops No votes
Tally: Ayes - 125 Noes - 323
View All Lord Bishop of Leeds Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

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

Sparring Partners
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Conservative)
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
(18 debate interactions)
Baroness Williams of Trafford (Conservative)
Minister of State (Home Office)
(8 debate interactions)
Lord True (Conservative)
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
(8 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
View all Lord Bishop of Leeds's debates

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Lord Bishop of Leeds, 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 Leeds has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Lord Bishop of Leeds has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Lord Bishop of Leeds has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

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


35 Written Questions in the current parliament

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
14th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what extra financial provision they plan to make available to schools who do not have the budget to meet the requirements of operating safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Getting all children and young people back into school for the new academic year has been a national priority. As of 10 September, over 99% of schools were open to some or all of their pupils. Schools have been able to claim additional funding for exceptional costs incurred due to COVID-19 between March and July, such as additional cleaning required due to confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases and increased premises costs to keep schools open for priority groups during the Easter and summer half term holidays.

Schools have also continued to receive their core funding allocations throughout the COVID-19 outbreak. Following last year’s Spending Round, school budgets are rising by £2.6 billion in 2020-21, £4.8 billion in 2021-22 and £7.1 billion in 2022-23, compared to 2019-20.

As stated in our guidance, schools should use their existing resources when welcoming all children back this autumn.

28th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the letter published in the Financial Times on 14 April, and signed by 18 African and European leaders, which called for an immediate moratorium on all bilateral and multilateral debt payments, both public and private, until the COVID-19 pandemic has passed; and what plans they have, if any, to support that request.

The UK Government is deeply concerned about the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the public finances of low-income developing countries. During 2020, developing countries were projected to spend around $36 billion on servicing external debts to bilateral, multilateral and private sector creditors. In this time of crisis, it is vital that creditors work together to ensure that servicing debts does not prevent countries protecting their citizens and economies.

The UK, alongside the G20 and the Paris Club of official creditors, has committed to a temporary suspension of debt service repayments from the poorest countries. This official sector effort could provide up to $12 billion of additional fiscal space for eligible countries until the end of the year, allowing their governments to redirect finances towards mitigating the health and economic impacts of COVID-19. This initiative provides time to assess what further assistance these countries may need.

The G20 has called for the private sector creditors to participate on comparable terms and has asked the Multilateral Development Banks to explore whether there are options for them to participate, while maintaining their current credit ratings and low cost of funding which are important for supporting their client countries.

28th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with other G20 leaders to extend the agreement reached on 15 April, to suspend debt payments owed by 77 of the world’s poorest countries, to include the (1) the World Bank, and (2) the African Development Bank.

The UK Government is deeply concerned about the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the public finances of low-income developing countries. The UK, alongside the G20 and the Paris Club of official creditors, has committed to a temporary suspension of debt service repayments from the poorest countries.

The UK, together with other G20 Finance Ministers, has asked the Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) to explore options for them to participate in the G20 initiative, while maintaining their current credit ratings and low cost of funding which are important for supporting their client countries. The MDBs are currently conducting analysis and will report back to the G20.

During 2020, developing countries were projected to spend around $13 billion on servicing external debts to multilateral creditors. In response to COVID-19, the international financial institutions (including the World Bank and African Development Bank) have made over $300 billion of finance available for developing countries over the coming 15 months.

10th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the (1) (a) civil, and (b) political, unrest in Kazakhstan, and (2) the involvement of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation as peacekeepers.

The UK Government is deeply concerned by, and condemns, the violence and destruction of property in Kazakhstan in early January, particularly in the city of Almaty. The Government greatly regrets the loss of life and sends its condolences to families of the deceased. We have noted President Tokayev's speeches at the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) Summit on 10 January and to the Kazakh parliament on 11 January, where he described the events in Almaty and other cities across Kazakhstan as an attempted coup. We continue to engage directly with the Kazakh authorities to gain further insights into the chain of events.

We have been clear that any international forces should have a clear mission, be time limited and proportionate in any use of force. It is also important that Kazakhstan's sovereignty is respected. President Tokayev informed the Kazakh parliament on 11 January that a phased withdrawal of the CSTO peacekeeping contingent would begin shortly. All of the Russian peacekeeping contingent are now reported to have left Kazakhstan and other CSTO forces are returning to their home countries.

I spoke with the Kazakh Ambassador to the UK on 6 January, with Deputy Foreign Minister Alimbayev on 7 January and with President Tokayev's Special Representative, Erzhan Kazykhan, on 14 January. During these meetings, I underlined the importance of law enforcement responses being proportionate, that due process is followed in the judicial system, and that freedom of speech and expression are respected in line with Kazakhstan's international commitments.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of freedom of religion or belief in Pakistan; and what consideration they will give to this assessment when negotiating a trade deal with that country.

We regularly raise our concerns about Freedom of Religion or Belief at a senior level with the Government of Pakistan. During his visit to Pakistan on 23 and 24 June, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister of State for South Asia and the Minister responsible for human rights, met Prime Minister Khan, as well as other senior government ministers including Foreign Minister Qureshi, and Human Rights Minister Mazari. During these meetings, Lord Ahmad highlighted the need to address persecution, promote respect for all religions and increase tolerance for religious minorities. Pakistan's receipt of Enhanced Framework trade preferences is subject to conditions, including ratification and effective implementation of 27 Conventions on human and labour rights, sustainability and good governance. This includes complying with those conventions' reporting and monitoring requirements.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) forced conversion, and (2) forced marriage, of girls from minority communities in Pakistan.

The UK strongly condemns the forced marriage and forced conversion of women and girls in Pakistan. We regularly raise our concerns about Freedom of Religion or Belief, women and girls' rights and gender equality at a senior level with the Government of Pakistan. During his visit to Pakistan on 23 and 24 June, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister of State for South Asia and the Minister responsible for human rights, met Prime Minister Khan, as well as other senior government ministers including Foreign Minister Qureshi, and Human Rights Minister Mazari. During these meetings, Lord Ahmad highlighted the need to address persecution, promote respect for all religions and increase tolerance for religious minorities. He met interfaith leaders to understand the situation of minorities in Pakistan, particularly the issue of forced conversion and marriage of young girls. In addition to our diplomatic engagement, the FCDO funds programmes in Pakistan that directly address early and forced marriages, gender-based violence and modern slavery.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of Pakistan regarding an independent, impartial and prompt investigation of allegations of (1) forced conversion, and (2) forced marriage, of girls belonging to minority communities.

The UK strongly condemns the forced marriage and forced conversion of women and girls in Pakistan. We regularly raise our concerns about Freedom of Religion or Belief, women and girls' rights and gender equality at a senior level with the Government of Pakistan. During his visit to Pakistan on 23 and 24 June, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister of State for South Asia and the Minister responsible for human rights, met Prime Minister Khan, as well as other senior government ministers including Foreign Minister Qureshi, and Human Rights Minister Mazari. During these meetings, Lord Ahmad highlighted the need to address persecution, promote respect for all religions and increase tolerance for religious minorities. He met interfaith leaders to understand the situation of minorities in Pakistan, particularly the issue of forced conversion and marriage of young girls. In addition to our diplomatic engagement, the FCDO funds programmes in Pakistan that directly address early and forced marriages, gender-based violence and modern slavery.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what (1) funding, and (2) other support, they are providing to protect girls from minority communities in Pakistan from the practice of forced conversion and forced marriage.

The UK strongly condemns the forced marriage and forced conversion of women and girls in Pakistan. We regularly raise our concerns about Freedom of Religion or Belief, women and girls' rights and gender equality at a senior level with the Government of Pakistan. During his visit to Pakistan on 23 and 24 June, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister of State for South Asia and the Minister responsible for human rights, met Prime Minister Khan, as well as other senior government ministers including Foreign Minister Qureshi, and Human Rights Minister Mazari. During these meetings, Lord Ahmad highlighted the need to address persecution, promote respect for all religions and increase tolerance for religious minorities. He met interfaith leaders to understand the situation of minorities in Pakistan, particularly the issue of forced conversion and marriage of young girls. In addition to our diplomatic engagement, the FCDO funds programmes in Pakistan that directly address early and forced marriages, gender-based violence and modern slavery.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what financial support they are providing the government of Pakistan to promote inclusivity and non-discrimination in its education system; and whether, in light of the Single National Curriculum, they will reconsider this support.

I recognise the concerns raised by minority groups in Pakistan that the introduction of a single curriculum may be used to marginalise some communities. Through our representation, the UK has made clear that there is a need for an inclusive curriculum, one that encompasses the rich diversity of Pakistan's communities and traditions. We are engaging with the Provincial and Federal Governments to ensure that the new curriculum promotes diversity and inclusion. Through our diplomatic network in Pakistan we have also engaged with young people to discuss the promotion of tolerance and inclusiveness. I will continue to scrutinise UK-funded education programmes in Pakistan to ensure they promote inclusive education.

During my recent visit to Pakistan, I discussed the need for inclusive and tolerant education when I met with the Minister for Human Rights, Shireen Mazari on 23 June, and with the Governor of Punjab, Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar, on 22 June. I also met with minority communities during the visit to understand better their concerns, including on education, at an interfaith roundtable and discussions with influential religious leaders.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of Pakistan to ensure that that country's Single National Curriculum does not discriminate against individuals on the grounds of their religion or belief.

I recognise the concerns raised by minority groups in Pakistan that the introduction of a single curriculum may be used to marginalise some communities. Through our representation, the UK has made clear that there is a need for an inclusive curriculum, one that encompasses the rich diversity of Pakistan's communities and traditions. We are engaging with the Provincial and Federal Governments to ensure that the new curriculum promotes diversity and inclusion. Through our diplomatic network in Pakistan we have also engaged with young people to discuss the promotion of tolerance and inclusiveness. I will continue to scrutinise UK-funded education programmes in Pakistan to ensure they promote inclusive education.

During my recent visit to Pakistan, I discussed the need for inclusive and tolerant education when I met with the Minister for Human Rights, Shireen Mazari on 23 June, and with the Governor of Punjab, Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar, on 22 June. I also met with minority communities during the visit to understand better their concerns, including on education, at an interfaith roundtable and discussions with influential religious leaders.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of Pakistan’s Single National Curriculum and the impact that it will have on the education of religious minorities in Pakistan.

I recognise the concerns raised by minority groups in Pakistan that the introduction of a single curriculum may be used to marginalise some communities. Through our representation, the UK has made clear that there is a need for an inclusive curriculum, one that encompasses the rich diversity of Pakistan's communities and traditions. We are engaging with the Provincial and Federal Governments to ensure that the new curriculum promotes diversity and inclusion. Through our diplomatic network in Pakistan we have also engaged with young people to discuss the promotion of tolerance and inclusiveness. I will continue to scrutinise UK-funded education programmes in Pakistan to ensure they promote inclusive education.

During my recent visit to Pakistan, I discussed the need for inclusive and tolerant education when I met with the Minister for Human Rights, Shireen Mazari on 23 June, and with the Governor of Punjab, Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar, on 22 June. I also met with minority communities during the visit to understand better their concerns, including on education, at an interfaith roundtable and discussions with influential religious leaders.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the extent of freedom of (1) religion, and (2) belief, in Pakistan; and what is their strategy for supporting those freedoms in that country.

The UK is committed to defending freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) for all, and promoting respect between different religious and non-religious communities around the globe. Pakistan is one of the FCDO's human rights priority countries and protecting FoRB is an integral part of our engagement on human rights in Pakistan. The UK Government strongly condemns the persecution of all minorities, including the targeting of innocent people based on their beliefs.

We continue to urge the Government of Pakistan at senior levels to guarantee the fundamental rights of all its citizens, regardless of their religion or belief. Most recently on 23 and 24 June during a visit to Pakistan, I raised these important issues with Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan and other senior government ministers, including Pakistan's Foreign Minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, and Pakistan's Human Rights Minister, Shireen Mazari. During these meetings, I highlighted the need to address persecution, promote respect for all religions and increase tolerance for religious minorities, including Ahmadiyya Muslims and Christians. Alongside my engagement with the Government of Pakistan, I met with minority communities to understand better their concerns, including a meeting with representatives of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, an interfaith roundtable and discussions with influential religious leaders.

In addition, the UK works within the UN, OSCE, Council of Europe, and the International Religious Freedom or Belief Alliance to promote and protect FoRB around the globe. I underlined the UK's commitment to FoRB for all at a number of international meetings in November 2020, speaking at the intergovernmental Ministerial to Advance FoRB and the Ministers' Forum of the International Religious Freedom or Belief Alliance. On 20 December 2020, the Prime Minister reaffirmed his personal commitment to the issue by appointing Fiona Bruce MP as his Special Envoy for FoRB. I set out the UK's commitment to defending FoRB and addressing FoRB violations in my response to a question in this house from Lord Singh of Wimbledon on 8 July.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the government of Pakistan concerning the state of freedom of (1) religion, and (2) belief, in that country; and what support they have offered that government to protect those freedoms.

The UK is committed to defending freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) for all, and promoting respect between different religious and non-religious communities around the globe. Pakistan is one of the FCDO's human rights priority countries and protecting FoRB is an integral part of our engagement on human rights in Pakistan. The UK Government strongly condemns the persecution of all minorities, including the targeting of innocent people based on their beliefs.

We continue to urge the Government of Pakistan at senior levels to guarantee the fundamental rights of all its citizens, regardless of their religion or belief. Most recently on 23 and 24 June during a visit to Pakistan, I raised the need to promote respect for all religions with Pakistan's Prime Minister, Imran Khan, as well as other senior government ministers including Pakistan's Foreign Minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, and Pakistan's Human Rights Minister, Shireen Mazari. I also met with minority communities during the visit to understand better their concerns, including a meeting with representatives of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, an interfaith roundtable and discussions with influential religious leaders.

In addition, the UK works within the UN, OSCE, Council of Europe, and the International Religious Freedom or Belief Alliance to promote and protect FoRB around the globe. I underlined the UK's commitment to FoRB for all at a number of international meetings in November 2020, speaking at the intergovernmental Ministerial to Advance FoRB and the Ministers' Forum of the International Religious Freedom or Belief Alliance. On 20 December 2020, the Prime Minister reaffirmed his personal commitment to the issue by appointing Fiona Bruce MP as his Special Envoy for FoRB

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to engage with (1) religious, and (2) belief, leaders in Pakistan about the state of freedom of (a) religion, and (b) belief, in that country; and what support they are providing to help those leaders address any matters of concern.

The UK is committed to defending freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) for all, and promoting respect between different religious and non-religious communities around the globe. Pakistan is one of the FCDO's human rights priority countries and protecting FoRB is an integral part of our engagement on human rights in Pakistan. The UK Government strongly condemns the persecution of all minorities, including the targeting of innocent people based on their beliefs.

We continue to urge the Government of Pakistan at senior levels to guarantee the fundamental rights of all its citizens, regardless of their religion or belief. Most recently on 23 and 24 June during a visit to Pakistan, I raised the need to promote respect for all religions with Pakistan's Prime Minister, Imran Khan, as well as other senior government ministers including Pakistan's Foreign Minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, and Pakistan's Human Rights Minister, Shireen Mazari. I also met with minority communities during the visit to understand better their concerns, including a meeting with representatives of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, an interfaith roundtable and discussions with influential religious leaders.

In addition, the UK works within the UN, OSCE, Council of Europe, and the International Religious Freedom or Belief Alliance to promote and protect FoRB around the globe. I underlined the UK's commitment to FoRB for all at a number of international meetings in November 2020, speaking at the intergovernmental Ministerial to Advance FoRB and the Ministers' Forum of the International Religious Freedom or Belief Alliance. On 20 December 2020, the Prime Minister reaffirmed his personal commitment to the issue by appointing Fiona Bruce MP as his Special Envoy for FoRB.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
7th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the need for a border commission to determine the demarcation between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

The UK Government is closely monitoring the situation on the Armenia-Azerbaijan border following an increase in tensions. Through the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and bilateral engagement in Baku and Yerevan, UK officials continue to urge the Armenian and Azerbaijani authorities to settle all outstanding matters including the peaceful negotiation of their borders.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
7th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of Azerbaijan about the movement of Azerbaijani troops at the Armenian border.

The UK Government is closely monitoring the situation on the Armenia-Azerbaijan border following an increase in tensions. Through the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and bilateral engagement in Baku and Yerevan, UK officials continue to urge the Armenian and Azerbaijani authorities to settle all outstanding matters including the peaceful negotiation of their borders.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
7th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of any evidence that Azerbaijani troops have been deployed in the Syunik and Gegharkunk provinces in Armenia.

The UK Government is closely monitoring the situation on the Armenia-Azerbaijan border following an increase in tensions. Through the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and bilateral engagement in Baku and Yerevan, UK officials continue to urge the Armenian and Azerbaijani authorities to settle all outstanding matters including the peaceful negotiation of their borders.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of comments made by the Human Rights Defender of the Republic of Armenia on 12 May about encroachments by the Azerbaijani army into the territory of Armenia.

The UK Government is closely monitoring the situation on the Armenia-Azerbaijan border following an increase in tensions. We welcome the ongoing communication between the parties and urge them to use this opportunity to de-escalate the situation peacefully.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the number of Armenian prisoners of war that have yet to be returned by the government of Azerbaijan.

The Minister for the European Neighbourhood and the Americas urged both parties to work with the ICRC to expedite the return of all prisoners of war. Our Embassies in Baku and Yerevan continue to raise this with the Governments of Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, what assessment they have made of the efficacy as a deterrent of the sanctions imposed on the government of Russia since 2014.

The UK continues to support a robust approach in response to Russia's malign activity. Sanctions are an important tool in delivering targeted economic and political pressure in order to change Russian behaviour. The UK has transitioned existing EU Russia sanctions regimes into UK law through regulations made under the Sanctions Act. The sanctions set out clear conditions for Russia to meet including the full implementation of the Minsk Agreement and the withdrawal of troops from Ukrainian soil. Until this happens sanctions will remain in place. As long as Russia persists in its efforts to undermine our interests and values, we will work with our international partners to continue to deter and counter them.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the use, if any, of cluster munitions during the recent conflict in the Nagorno-Karabakh region.

We are aware of allegations that cluster munitions were deployed in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The Minister for the European Neighbourhood and the Americas has raised the alleged use of cluster munitions with both the Armenian and Azerbaijani Foreign Ministers.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assurances they have sought for the safety and rights of Armenian populations in territories ceded to Azeri control under the ceasefire agreement brokered by the government of Russia.

The UK Government welcomes the ceasefire agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The Minister for the European Neighbourhood and the Americas spoke to Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Bayramov on the 13 November and welcomed Azerbaijan's commitment to keep the Lachin Corridor open to allow the free movement of people between Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia. The governments of both Azerbaijan and Armenia should continue to work closely with the Minsk Group Co-Chairs to ensure the safety and protection of all civilians.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the opportunities to secure a peace treaty over the disputed territories between Armenia and Azerbaijan following the recent ceasefire agreement.

The UK Government welcomes the ceasefire agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The Minister for the European Neighbourhood and the Americas has been in regular contact with the Armenian and Azerbaijani Foreign Ministers since the outbreak of hostilities in September, where she has urged engagement with the OSCE Minsk Group to ensure a sustainable, long-term, peaceful settlement.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representation they have made to the government of Azerbaijan to desist from targeting civilian infrastructure and cultural and religious sites in its military offensive in the Nagorno-Karabakh region.

The Minister for the European Neighbourhood spoke to the Azerbaijani and Armenian Foreign Ministers on 28 October and urged both parties to abide by the humanitarian ceasefire. She strongly condemned all targeting of civilian infrastructure and the increasing number of civilian casualties.

28th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the threat of mass atrocities in the Nagorno-Karabakh region.

The UK Government has not made an assessment of a threat of mass atrocities in and around Nagorno-Karabakh. We continue to urge both parties to abide by the humanitarian ceasefires. The Minister for the European Neighbourhood spoke to the Armenian and Azerbaijani Foreign Ministers on 28 October and condemned shelling of civilian settlements.

28th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the humanitarian situation in the Nagorno-Karabakh region; and what financial assistance they have provided in response.

We are increasingly concerned about the humanitarian impact of the fighting in and around Nagorno-Karabakh. The Minister for the European Neighbourhood spoke to both the Armenian and Azerbaijani Foreign Ministers on 28 October and condemned shelling of civilian settlements. On 31 October we announced an additional £1 million in funding for the International Committee for the Red Cross to provide further support for those worst affected by the conflict.

28th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the governments of Armenia and Azerbaijan to cooperate with the International Committee of the Red Cross to facilitate the return of prisoners of war and bodies from the conflict in the Nagorno-Karabakh region.

The Minister for the European Neighbourhood and the Americas spoke to the Armenian and Azerbaijani Foreign Ministers on 28 October. She highlighted the importance of ensuring the International Committee of the Red Cross were able to access the conflict zone to provide emergency humanitarian assistance. She also urged both Foreign Ministers to abide by the recent ceasefire agreements to allow for the facilitation of return of prisoners of war and the remains of the deceased.

14th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking (1) independently, and (2) with the governments of other European nations, to provide political and financial support to opposition parties and individuals in Belarus.

The UK has stated it does not accept the results of the fraudulent Presidential election and has condemned the excessive violence used to suppress the subsequent peaceful protests. We have urged the Belarusian authorities to engage in a constructive dialogue with political opposition and civil society. We intend to double our support for independent media, human rights organisations and community groups in Belarus - with an extra £1.5 million for projects over the next two years.

We will keep working with our international partners to support and strengthen democracy and human rights in Belarus. We are calling for an independent investigation through the OSCE into the electoral process and the repression which has followed. The UK is also working with international partners to sanction those responsible, and to hold the Belarusian authorities to account.

23rd Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have been invited to attend the United States National Prayer Breakfast at the White House on 6 Feb.

Both I and the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief plan to attend the US National Prayer Breakfast on 6 February in, Washington DC.​

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the government of the United States about joining its International Religious Freedom Alliance; what assessment they have made of that Alliance; and what consultation they have undertaken with civil society and other interested parties about the effects of joining that Alliance.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has held discussions with the US and other countries about joining the Alliance. We will be announcing our decision on our membership shortly.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to hosting a ministerial conference on Freedom of Religion or Belief in 2020 or 2021.

Promoting Freedom of Religion or Belief is a longstanding human rights priority for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). The FCO has already agreed to host in 2020 conferences on Preventing Sexual Violence and COP26 then co-host a conference on the Equal Rights Coalition on LGBT rights. We will announce a decision on whether the UK will host a ministerial level conference on Freedom of Religion or Belief shortly.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what (1) human, and (2) financial, resources have been made available to support the Office of the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy on Freedom of Religion or Belief.

?Promoting Freedom of Religion and Belief (FoRB) globally is a key priority of this Government. The office of the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy on Freedom of Religion or Belief is supported by a Chief of Staff, and we are recruiting an Assistant Private Secretary. In addition, we also have a FoRB team whose work includes providing policy advice and support to the Special Envoy and other Ministers. For this financial year, we have agreed the Special Envoy’s office will receive £73,453 to cover travel and administration costs. Future funding will be decided at a later stage.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to negotiate a United Nations Security Council Resolution calling on all governments in the Middle East and North Africa region to (1) ensure the protection and security of Christians, and other faith minorities, (2) facilitate the establishment of security and protection arrangements for Christians, and other faith minorities, within the legal and governance structures, and (3) permit UN observers to monitor the protection and security arrangements for Christians and other faith minorities, in each of those countries.

​We are liaising with the UK mission to the UN in New York on how best to implement this recommendation. We are keen to work with all governments in the Middle East and North Africa region and support them to protect Christians and all religious minorities from persecution. The Government remains committed to implementing all the recommendations of the Bishop of Truro's Review in full and in a way that will bring real improvements to the lives of those persecuted because of their faith or belief.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure private creditors comply with the agreement reached by G20 leaders on 15 April to suspend debt payments owed by 77 of the world’s poorest countries, in particular those debts that fall under UK jurisdiction.

Her Majesty’s Government is deeply concerned about the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on low-income developing countries. It is vital that all creditors work together to ensure that countries especially vulnerable to the pandemic are able to protect their citizens and economies.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer and his counterparts called on commercial creditors to participate in the G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative on comparable terms to the official sector.

Her Majesty’s Government is working closely with the Paris Club of official creditors and Institute of International Finance (IIF) to explore options for its membership to implement equivalent debt service suspensions. HM Treasury attended a joint meeting of the Paris Club and IIF on 28 April where both parties agreed to collaborate in support of the initiative.