Lord Black of Brentwood Portrait

Lord Black of Brentwood

Conservative - Life peer

Became Member: 9th July 2010


Democracy and Digital Technologies Committee
13th Jun 2019 - 16th Jun 2020
Sexual Violence in Conflict Committee
11th Jun 2015 - 22nd Mar 2016
Information Committee (Lords)
22nd Jun 2010 - 30th Mar 2015
Privacy and Injunctions (Joint Committee)
18th Jul 2011 - 12th Mar 2012


Scheduled Event
Monday 18th March 2024
Oral questions - Main Chamber
The contribution of independent schools to the education sector
View calendar
Division Votes
Tuesday 6th February 2024
Automated Vehicles Bill [HL]
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 184 Conservative No votes vs 0 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 200 Noes - 204
Speeches
Wednesday 7th February 2024
Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers Bill
My Lords, I will speak to the stand part notices in my name on Clauses 262, 263 and 264. I …
Written Answers
Monday 22nd January 2024
Electronic Training Aids
To ask His Majesty's Government whether the Animal Welfare (Electronic Collars) (England) Regulations 2023 to ban the use of electronic …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
Wednesday 29th January 2020
Police Conduct (Operation Conifer) Bill [HL] 2019-21
A bill make provision for an inquiry into police conduct of Operation Conifer to be established
MP Financial Interests
None available

Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Lord Black of Brentwood has voted in 276 divisions, and 2 times against the majority of their Party.

7 Mar 2022 - Health and Care Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Black of Brentwood voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 4 Conservative Aye votes vs 97 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 59 Noes - 99
5 Jul 2022 - Sitting Times - View Vote Context
Lord Black of Brentwood voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 11 Conservative No votes vs 99 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 158 Noes - 124
View All Lord Black of Brentwood Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

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

Sparring Partners
Baroness Barran (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
(14 debate interactions)
Lord Markham (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
(10 debate interactions)
Lord Bethell (Conservative)
(6 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Legislation Debates
Online Safety Act 2023
(3,141 words contributed)
National Security Act 2023
(2,771 words contributed)
View All Legislation Debates
View all Lord Black of Brentwood's debates

Lords initiatives

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


3 Bills introduced by Lord Black of Brentwood


A bill make provision for an inquiry into police conduct of Operation Conifer to be established

Lords - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Wednesday 29th January 2020
(Read Debate)

A bill to make provision about the commercial breeding of cats; and for connected purposes.

Lords - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Lords
Monday 8th June 2015

First reading took place on 24 July. This stage is a formality that signals the start of the Bill's journey through the Lords.Second reading - the general debate on all aspects of the Bill - is yet to be scheduled.The 2014-15 session of Parliament has prorogued and this Bill will make no further progress. A bill to make provision about the commercial breeding of cats; and for connected purposes.

Lords - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Lords
Thursday 24th July 2014

Lord Black of Brentwood has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


146 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
6 Other Department Questions
8th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they are considering any proposals to protect individuals living with HIV from discrimination in various sectors, including healthcare, education, employment and housing; and, if so, what are their plans.

The Equality Act’s definition of disability automatically covers people with HIV when they are in or seeking employment or seeking to access services, whether in the public or private sectors.

As well as providing protection from discrimination, the Act requires employers and service providers to make reasonable adjustments for people living with HIV. For example, an employer would be expected to allow such an employee reasonable time off work to visit hospital in connection with their condition. Employers and service providers who fail to meet their legal obligations can face legal action, should the disabled person opt for this.

In addition, the public sector equality duty (section 149 of the Act - 'PSED') requires public authorities, in the exercise of their functions, to have due regard to the need to:

  • eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other unlawful conduct prohibited by the Act;

  • advance equality of opportunity between people who share and people who do not share a relevant protected characteristic; and

  • foster good relations between people who share and people who do not share a relevant protected characteristic.

A raft of guidance and codes of practice are available to help employers and service providers comply with their legal obligations under the Act. People with HIV who think they have experienced discrimination may contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS), the government helpline established to provide free bespoke advice and in-depth support to individuals with discrimination concerns. The EASS can be contacted via their website - http://www.equalityadvisoryservice.com/, by telephone on 0808 8000082 or text phone on 0808 8000084. The EASS has the ability to intervene on an individual’s behalf with a service provider to help resolve an issue. The EASS can also advise people who wish to take their complaint further on their options.

Baroness Swinburne
Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
25th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether their research on conversion therapy practices in the UK has included consultation with (1) religious organisations opposed to a ban, and (2) survivor groups and victims.

The Government will ban conversion therapy. The ban will cover both sexual orientation and gender identity. How we ban these practices is a complex issue that we must get right. Officials continue to consult a range of organisations with diverse views. As well as this consultation, officials continue to assess the most up-to-date evidence, including that of the UN’s Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association. We have also undertaken research to understand practices, experiences and impacts associated with conversion therapy and will publish this in due course. The Government is working at pace on this issue and will outline its plans shortly.

25th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to include bans on attempts to change someone's gender identity with any ban on conversion therapy practices.

The Government will ban conversion therapy. The ban will cover both sexual orientation and gender identity. How we ban these practices is a complex issue that we must get right. Officials continue to consult a range of organisations with diverse views. As well as this consultation, officials continue to assess the most up-to-date evidence, including that of the UN’s Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association. We have also undertaken research to understand practices, experiences and impacts associated with conversion therapy and will publish this in due course. The Government is working at pace on this issue and will outline its plans shortly.

25th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the report by The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association Curbing deception: a world survey of legal restriction of so-called "conversion therapies", published in 2020, what assessment they have made of its findings, especially its strategies to restrict conversion therapy practices.

The Government will ban conversion therapy. The ban will cover both sexual orientation and gender identity. How we ban these practices is a complex issue that we must get right. Officials continue to consult a range of organisations with diverse views. As well as this consultation, officials continue to assess the most up-to-date evidence, including that of the UN’s Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association. We have also undertaken research to understand practices, experiences and impacts associated with conversion therapy and will publish this in due course. The Government is working at pace on this issue and will outline its plans shortly.

25th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the report by the United Nations Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity Report on Conversion Therapy, published in February 2020, what assessment they have made of its findings; and what plans they have this year to take forward the recommendation to ban conversion therapy.

The Government will ban conversion therapy. The ban will cover both sexual orientation and gender identity. How we ban these practices is a complex issue that we must get right. Officials continue to consult a range of organisations with diverse views. As well as this consultation, officials continue to assess the most up-to-date evidence, including that of the UN’s Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association. We have also undertaken research to understand practices, experiences and impacts associated with conversion therapy and will publish this in due course. The Government is working at pace on this issue and will outline its plans shortly.

13th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many people died in England from an AIDS-related illness in each of the last 10 years for which figures are available.

A response to the noble Lord’s Parliamentary Question of 13 July is below and attached.

Professor Sir Ian Diamond | National Statistician

Lord Black of Brentwood
House of Lords
London
SW1A 0PW

19 July 2022

Dear Lord Black,

As National Statistician and Chief Executive of the UK Statistics Authority, I am responding to your Parliamentary Question asking how many people died in England from an AIDS-related illness in each of the last 10 years for which figures are available (HL1722).

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) publishes statistics on deaths registered in England and Wales. Mortality statistics are compiled from information supplied when deaths are certified and registered as part of civil registration. Causes mentioned on the death certificate are converted to International Classification of Diseases (ICD) codes, with the underlying cause of death defined as the disease or injury that initiated the events that directly lead to the death. At the ONS, we use the term “due to” to refer to the underlying cause of a death. Table 1 of the attached dataset shows the number of number of deaths due to HIV disease ICD-10 codes, from 2011 to 2021, registered in England.

Yours sincerely,

Professor Sir Ian Diamond

Table 1: Number of deaths [1] due to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) disease ICD-10 codes [2], by year, 2011 to 2021 [3], England [4]

Year

B20

B21

B22

B23

B24

Total Per Year

2011

101

18

30

29

7

185

2012

109

27

31

22

11

200

2013

96

30

38

29

8

201

2014

83

36

10

8

15

152

2015

96

39

6

4

16

161

2016

74

43

6

10

19

152

2017

90

34

7

6

20

157

2018

78

28

7

5

15

133

2019

64

28

11

7

10

120

2020

68

20

20

12

13

133

2021

76

15

21

3

20

135

Total per code

935

318

187

135

154

1729

Source: Office for National Statistics

Footnotes:

[1] Number of deaths by ICD-10 code are available through our explorable dataset NOMIS from 2013 onwards, this can be accessed here: https://www.nomisweb.co.uk/query/construct/summary.asp?reset=yes&mode=construct&dataset=161&version=0&anal=1&initsel=

[2] International Classification of Diseases 10th edition (ICD-10) codes are as follows: B20, HIV disease resulting in infectious and parasitic diseases; B21, HIV disease resulting in malignant neoplasms; B22, HIV disease resulting in other specified diseases; B23, HIV disease resulting in other conditions; B24, Unspecified HIV disease.

[3] Figures are for deaths registered in a calendar year, rather than death occurrences.

[4] Figures are based on area of usual residence and exclude non-residents.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
7th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government which government departments are participating in Stonewall's Diversity Champions Programme; how much they are spending on the Programme; whether any government departments are making payments to Stonewall for other initiatives; and if so, how much is each department spending.

The information requested is not held centrally. The Government supports inclusive workplaces and, as has been the case for many years, departments work with a variety of external schemes.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
12th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many people have died from AIDS-related illnesses in the UK in each of the last ten years for which figures are available.

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

Professor Sir Ian Diamond | National Statistician

The Lord Black of Brentwood

House of Lords

London

SW1A 0PW

18 May 2021

Dear Lord Black,

As National Statistician and Chief Executive of the UK Statistics Authority, I am replying to your Parliamentary Question asking how many people have died from AIDS-related illnesses in the UK in each of the last ten years for which figures are available (HL138).

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is responsible for publishing statistics on deaths registered in England and Wales. National Records Scotland (NRS) and Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) are responsible for publishing the number of deaths registered in Scotland and Northern Ireland respectively. Mortality statistics are compiled from information supplied when deaths are certified and registered as part of civil registration.

Cause of death is defined using the International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 10th edition (ICD-10). Deaths where the underlying cause was Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) are defined by the ICD-10 codes B20 to B24.

Table 1 provides the number of deaths, in England and Wales, where HIV was either mentioned on the death certificate as a factor that contributed to the death or was the underlying cause of death. Figures are provided for deaths registered in 2010 to 2019, the latest available 10-year period of finalised mortality data.

Please note that ONS mortality statistics are based on the cause of death that was reported by the doctor or coroner when they certified the death. More information on the process of death certification and cause of death coding is available in the User guide to mortality statistics[1]. Public Health England publish an alternative source of data on HIV deaths[2], which is based on a specialised database of HIV diagnosis, AIDS, and deaths data.

Yours sincerely,

Professor Sir Ian Diamond

Table 1: Number of deaths with ICD-10 codes related to Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) mentioned on the death certificate, England and Wales, deaths registered in 2010 to 2019[3][4][5][6]

Year

Deaths “involving” HIV

of which, deaths “due to” HIV

2010

320

248

2011

258

192

2012

278

209

2013

275

208

2014

308

159

2015

308

171

2016

299

156

2017

297

162

2018

292

139

2019

276

124

Source: ONS

[1]https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/methodologies/userguidetomortalitystatisticsjuly2017

[2]https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/hiv-annual-data-tables

[3]Figures are for deaths registered, rather than deaths occurring in each calendar year.

[4]Deaths include non-residents.

[5]The International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Edition (ICD-10) definitions are as follows: Human Immunodeficiency Virus (B20-B24).

[6]Deaths "involving" a cause refer to deaths that had this cause mentioned anywhere on the death certificate, whether as an underlying cause or not. Deaths "due to" a cause refer only to deaths that had this as the underlying cause of death.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
15th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what role the Cabinet Secretary plays in relation to supervising Special Advisors; and what guidance they have issued on the application of the Nolan Principles to Special Advisors.

The Seven Principles of Public Life apply to anyone who works as a public office-holder.

The Code of Conduct for Special Advisers, at paragraph 9, sets out that “The responsibility for the management and conduct of special advisers, including discipline, rests with the Minister who made the appointment. It is also the appointing Minister’s responsibility to ensure that their special adviser(s) adhere to this Code of Conduct.” It does not specify any such role for the Cabinet Secretary.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
7th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they have any plans to ban the sale of domestic fireworks in England; and if not, whether they will undertake a consultation on that subject.

The majority of individuals who use fireworks do so in a responsible and safe manner. There are enforcement mechanisms in place to tackle situations when fireworks are misused.

The Government has no plans to ban the sale of domestic fireworks or consult on this matter at this current time.

Earl of Minto
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
15th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they plan to ask Ofcom to conduct a review in accordance with section 34(1) or section 44(1) of the Postal Services Act 2011, before moving to amend the statutory minimum requirements of the universal postal service.

The Government has no current plans to change the statutory minimum requirements of the universal postal service, set out in the Postal Services Act 2011, which requires letter deliveries to every UK address, six days a week at standard price.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
15th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact on the magazine industry of amending the Postal Services Act 2011 to move to a five-day letter delivery.

The Government has no current plans to change the statutory minimum requirements of the universal postal service, set out in the Postal Services Act 2011, which requires letter deliveries to every UK address, six days a week at standard price.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
13th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the financial impact on the UK news media sector of the decision to expand the text and data mining copyright exception.

The Government asked specific questions about impact in the consultation on AI and IP, but received very limited quantitative evidence. An impact assessment will be published alongside the legislation when laid. The proposed exception will be targeted to limit negative impacts, and the government welcomes further evidence from rights holders on how to best achieve this.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
13th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the financial impact on the UK professional photography sector of the decision to expand the text and data mining copyright exception.

The Government asked specific questions about impact in the consultation on AI and IP, but received very limited quantitative evidence. An impact assessment will be published alongside the legislation when laid. The proposed exception will be targeted to limit negative impacts, and the government welcomes further evidence from rights holders on how to best achieve this.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
13th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the financial impact on the UK professional publishing industry of the decision to expand the text and data mining copyright exception.

The Government asked specific questions about impact in the consultation on AI and IP, but received very limited quantitative evidence. An impact assessment will be published alongside the legislation when laid. The proposed exception will be targeted to limit negative impacts, and the government welcomes further evidence from rights holders on how to best achieve this.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
8th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they have monitored the implementation of the "My Charity Commission Account" service by the Charity Commission; what representations they have received about it; and whether they are satisfied with the speed with which the Charity Commission is dealing with complaints about it.

The ‘My Charity Commission Account’ service is designed to facilitate a more direct relationship between the Charity Commission and trustees, helping to ensure that they are supported in their role and well equipped to oversee their charities. The Charity Commission has confirmed that most charities have set up accounts and the Commission is working hard to support any that are having difficulty. Any trustees wishing to send the Commission feedback on the service can do so by emailing myaccount@charitycommission.gov.uk or calling the contact centre on 0300 066 9197.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
20th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay on 6 September (HL9930), what powers they have to intervene in the work of the Charity Commission where a case is made that it is not acting in the public interest; and if they have no such powers, where accountability for the Commission sits.

The Charity Commission is an independent registrar and regulator. Section 13(4) of the Charities Act 2011 makes clear that, in the exercise of its functions, the Charity Commission is not subject to the direction or control of any Minister of the Crown or of another government department.

The Charity Commission is accountable in several ways. Decisions made by the Charity Commission in exercising its functions are subject to appeal or review either by the First-tier Tribunal, the Upper Tribunal, or by way of judicial review in the High Court. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport Ministers answer for the Charity Commission in Parliament, and the regulator can be called to give evidence to Committees in both Houses of Parliament. The Charity Commission is also required to present its annual report and audited accounts to Parliament, providing key information about its activities and performance.

Further details on the Charity Commission’s governance and accountability is available in the Charity Commission Framework Document 2023, published on GOV.UK.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
20th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay on 6 September (HL9929), whether (1) DCMS, or (2) the office of the Attorney General, have received any representations or complaints about the the appointment of trustees to the Actors' Benevolent Fund and the application of section 80 of the Charities Act 2011 by the Charity Commission; and if so, what the result of those representations were.

Both the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Attorney General’s Office have received correspondence about the Charity Commission’s engagement with the Actors’ Benevolent Fund. Responses to this correspondence confirmed that the Charity Commission is an independent regulator and that it would be inappropriate for HM Government to intervene in the conduct of an independent regulator in the exercise of its functions.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
6th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how long is the term of office of the chair of the Charity Commission.

The Chairman of the Charity Commission for England & Wales, Orlando Fraser KC, was appointed for a three-year term commencing on 25 April 2022 and ending on 24 April 2025. Ministers have the authority to reappoint the Chairman for a second term in accordance with the Charities Act 2011 and the Governance Code for Public Appointments.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
6th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the chair and trustees of the Charity Commission about the appointment of trustees to the Actors' Benevolent Fund, and the application of section 80 of the Charities Act 2011.

As an independent regulator, the Charity Commission for England & Wales carries out its functions independently of ministerial direction or Government control. His Majesty’s Government has, therefore, not discussed this case with the Charity Commission.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
17th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they will list the specific benefits that have accrued to (1) the UK music industry, and (2) musicians, as a result of the UK's withdrawal from the EU.

HM Government is working with every sector to seize the economic and political opportunities arising from our departure from the European Union – ensuring that our laws, regulations, and policies are helping to boost growth, drive innovation, and increase the competitiveness of the United Kingdom. We are developing trade deals with priority markets – something we could not do while a member of the European Union – focusing on alleviating trade barriers to enhance the movement of goods, global sales of services, and a forward-thinking intellectual property framework.

We are already delivering on some of the key opportunities for the UK music industry and musicians. Recent analysis shows that the fastest-growing recorded music markets are outside the EU, in Latin America and Asia – driven by the rapid growth of streaming. The Department for International Trade delivers an export programme for music, focusing on these priority markets, with upcoming trade missions to the USA, Australia, India, China and Japan, and the British Music Embassy at ‘South by Southwest’ in Austin, Texas.

The Government recognises that the way musicians work in and with the European Union has changed that now we are no longer a member of it. The Government is committed to supporting the sector to adapt to these new arrangements, and has worked with sector representatives and directly with Member States to clarify what this entails.

In addition, the Government continues to provide export support for the UK’s creative industries through a range of export support programmes, including the successful Music Export Growth Scheme and the International Showcase Fund, designed to introduce successful UK music projects across the globe, in Europe and beyond.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
5th Sep 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much money they have invested in Unboxed: The Festival of Brexit; how many people have attended the festival to date; and what analysis they have made of value for money for the taxpayer.

UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK is a £120 million UK-wide celebration of creativity and innovation delivered through 10 major commissions. It is not called the ‘Festival of Brexit’.

Latest figures show that to date over three million people have engaged with UNBOXED, physically and digitally, and this number will only increase during the last two months of live programming, with two major commissions still to launch.

A departmental Accounting Officer Assessment for the programme was published on 12 August. It stated that our pre-delivery assessment of the costs and benefits for UNBOXED showed the programme would be value for money, even where some expected benefits are not monetisable. DCMS has kept the programme under review to ensure that it remains value for money.

There is also an independent evaluation of the programme underway. This will consider areas such as job creation; training, development and volunteering opportunities offered; the number of people who experience UNBOXED in person and online; and the number of participants in the learning and engagement programmes delivered by the creative teams across the country. It will be published in early 2023.

8th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of whether the BBC’s use of licence fee revenue to produce online news services, which compete with commercial publishers, is compatible with (1) the BBC Charter, and (2) legal constraints on the use of public funds.

Under the Royal Charter, the BBC has an obligation to provide impartial news and information to help people understand and engage with the world around them. The Charter requires the BBC public services to promote its Mission and Public Purposes, including the provision of news in the UK through “online services”; it therefore allows for the use of licence fee revenue for online news services. In doing so, the BBC is required to have particular regard to the effects of its activities on competition in the UK and to seek to avoid adverse impacts on competition which are not necessary for the effective fulfilment of the Mission and the promotion of the Public Purposes.

Her Majesty’s Government carefully considered the BBC's market impact as part of Charter Review in 2015/16, and designated Ofcom as the BBC regulator to ensure the BBC is robustly held to account on its competitive impact.

The Government also committed the independent Cairncross Review into the future of journalism. This was published in 2019, and urged the BBC to think more carefully about how its news provision can act as a complement to, rather than a substitute for, commercial news.

The Charter Mid-Term Review will look at the BBC’s market impact, evaluating how the BBC and Ofcom assess the market impact and public value of the BBC in an evolving marketplace and how that relates to the wider UK media ecology, including with regard to commercial radio and local news sectors and other content makers and distributors.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
18th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government which EU Member States they have spoken to since 1 January about touring arrangements for musicians; and whether any of the solutions relating (1) to visas, and (2) to work permits advocated by music organisations sitting on the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport's Cultural Renewal Taskforce Working Groups were discussed at those meetings.

This Government understands that the cultural and creative sectors rely on the ability to move people across borders quickly, simply, and with minimal cost and administration. Touring is a vital part of musicians’ and performers’ careers, providing not only a vital income stream, but also enriching opportunities for cultural exchange across the world.

The UK’s rules for touring creative professionals are more generous than many EU Member States. Our proposals remain on the table and our door is open if the EU is willing to reconsider its position.

We are now working urgently across government and in collaboration with the music and wider creative industries, including through the DCMS-led working group, to look at the issues and options, to help the sectors resume touring with ease as soon as it is safe to do so.

We will engage with bilateral partners to find ways to make life easier for those working in the creative industries in countries across the EU. We will prioritise seeking to ensure all Member States’ public guidance around existing rules is simple and accessible.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the UK–EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement and the changes to the level of mobility and bureaucracy for touring performers, what plans they have to provide additional funding for the performing arts sector to mitigate against any potential (1) additional costs, and (2) loss of work, for such performers.

We know that while leaving the EU will bring changes and new processes to touring and working in the EU, it will also bring new opportunities. Leaving the EU has always meant that there would be changes to how practitioners operate in the EU.

Going forward we will continue to work closely with the sector, including with representative organisations, to assess the impact and to ensure businesses and individuals have the advice and guidance they need to meet new requirements. This includes the creation of a DCMS-led working group to bring together sector leads and other government departments to look at the issues facing these sectors when touring in the EU and explore what further steps could be taken to support them.

This Government recognises the importance of our world leading creative and cultural industries. That is why it provided an unprecedented £1.57bn package of support to help these sectors through the COVID-19 pandemic. To date over £1 billion has been awarded to over 3000 organisations, with 75,000 jobs saved so far, and many more freelancers also benefiting from new work that can now be created. This demonstrates our firm commitment to ensuring that UK culture continues to thrive.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
29th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Cats Cats as Companions, published 15 June; and what assessment they have made of the benefits to people's health and wellbeing of owning or interacting with pets, including cats.

I welcomed this report at the time of publication, and you can see my quote here: http://www.apgocats.co.uk/reports/. The report ‘Cats as Companions: Can Cats Help Tackle Loneliness?’ from the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Cats rightly outlines the complex nature of loneliness and the importance of tailoring interventions to an individual’s needs. The government welcomes the interest in the important issue of loneliness. It will continue to work to tackle loneliness and improve the evidence base on the causes and the best ways to reduce it.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
10th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government why any reference to the creative industries was omitted from the proposals contained in The Future Relationship with the EU: The UK’s Approach to Negotiations (CP211), published in February.

The creative industries are diverse in nature, and therefore a number of cross-cutting areas within the proposals will be relevant to them. We want a relationship with the EU which is based on friendly cooperation between sovereign equals, and centred on free trade. As part of this, the UK is committed to supporting its thriving cultural and creative economy. In 2018, the Creative Industries contributed over £111bn to the UK economy, exporting over £35bn in services. As such, we will continue to support and celebrate cultural cooperation with EU Member States - with whom we share our history and values - as well as with partners around the world to ensure the UK’s vibrant cultural and creative industries continue to thrive.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
8th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they are planning to introduce any measures to include HIV education as a part of the school curriculum in order to promote understanding about HIV and tackle stigma among children; and, if so, what are their plans.

In September 2020 the government made Relationships Education compulsory for primary school pupils, Relationships and Sex Education compulsory for secondary school pupils and Health Education compulsory for all pupils in state-funded schools.

In secondary schools, the Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE) statutory guidance states that pupils should be taught factual knowledge around sex, sexual health, and sexuality, set firmly within the context of relationships. Pupils should learn about contraception, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), developing intimate relationships and resisting pressure to have sex. Further information and a link to the guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/relationships-education-relationships-and-sex-education-rse-and-health-education.

To support teachers to deliver these topics safely and with confidence, the department has produced RSHE Teacher Training Modules. The ‘intimate and sexual relationships, including sexual health’ topic specifies that by the end of secondary school, pupils should know how the different STIs, including HIV/AIDS, are transmitted, how risk can be reduced through safer sex and the importance of and facts about testing. Pupils are also taught about HIV/AIDS at Key Stages 3 and 4 of the science curriculum. Further information and a link to the training modules can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/teaching-about-relationships-sex-and-health.

From primary education onwards, age appropriate Relationships Education supports pupils to treat each other with kindness, consideration and respect, including understanding the importance of respectful relationships and the different types of loving and healthy relationships that exist.

The department will be launching a public consultation by the end of this year on a draft revised RSHE guidance, so that interested parties can contribute their comments and ideas, including on sexual health and STIs, including HIV/AIDS education. The department will carefully consider responses received and intends to publish the final guidance in 2024.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
11th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how many entries there were for (1) GCSE, and (2) A level, in music for each of the past five years for which figures are available; and of these, how many entries were from (a) fee-paying schools, and (b) the maintained sector.

In 2022, the government published the national plan for music education to allow all children and young people in England the opportunity to progress their musical interests and talents, including professionally.

The plan addresses how the department will achieve this vision by 2030. This includes schools and academy trusts having clear approaches to supporting their pupils to progress with music beyond the age of 14, including opportunities to study music qualifications, such as graded exams, GCSEs, A levels and vocational and technical qualifications.

The number of pupils entering GCSE music in all state funded and independent institutions between the 2017/18 and 2021/22 academic years is available in the links below.

Data relating to GCSE entries in 2022/23 will be available in October 2023.

The number of pupils entering GCSE relates to those at the end of Key Stage 4.

The number of A level entries by pupils aged 16 to 18 in England in music since 2017/18 academic year can be found in the link below. The published data available includes a breakdown for state-funded pupils (those in state-funded schools and further education colleges) and all pupils (which additionally includes pupils in independent schools, hospital schools, Pupil Referral Units, and Alternative Provision). However, for A levels in music the difference in entries is almost entirely from independent schools.

Data relating to A level entries in 2022/23 will be available in November 2023.

The number of pupils entering GCSE music are available in the following links for each academic year:

The number of pupils entering A level music for academic years 2017/18 to 2021/22 is available here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/data-tables/permalink/debe1398-86a0-4b07-5a7f-08dbb9ac4483.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
17th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government how many pupils in England took A Levels in (1) Latin, and (2) Ancient Greek, for each of the last 10 years for which figures are available; and how many of these were from (a) state schools, and (b) independent schools.

The number of A level entries by students in England aged 16 to 18 in Latin or classical Greek since the 2012/13 academic year can be found in the attached table. A breakdown by state funded students only exists from the 2017/18 academic year.

Number of A level exam entries for Classical Greek in England

Academic Year

All students

All state-funded students

Independent schools

2021/22

187

19

168

2020/21

162

15

147

2019/20

185

9

176

2018/19

202

18

184

2017/18

234

24

210

2016/17

211

2015/16

213

2014/15

224

2013/14

250

2012/13

241

Number of A level exam entries for Classical Greek in England

Academic Year

All students

All state-funded students

Independent schools

2021/22

1,023

266

757

2020/21

1,018

274

744

2019/20

982

230

752

2018/19

1,078

282

796

2017/18

1,150

296

854

2016/17

1,173

2015/16

1,108

2014/15

1,224

2013/14

1,271

2012/13

1,249

[1] Exam entries are for the academic year for 16-18 students, after discounting. Includes pending awards.

[2] Figures are based on provision data (from 2017/18 to 2021/22) and revised/final data from (2012/13 to 2016/17).

[3] Subject breakdown on institution types (All state-funded students) not published prior to 2017/18.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
12th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Barran on 21 September (HL2205), what similar steps they are taking, if any, to encourage the study of ancient Greek in state schools in England.

The recently launched Latin Excellence Programme will provide pupils in participating state schools in England with a broad Classics education in addition to Latin provision. However, the department has no plans to introduce new initiatives specifically for the study of ancient Greek.

All schools are free to teach ancient Greek as a language option if they so choose. Ancient Greek can also be taught in primary schools as a key stage 2 language option. It is included under the languages pillar of the GCSE EBacc performance measure.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
6th Sep 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to encourage the studying of Classics in state schools in England and Wales.

Education is a devolved matter, and the response outlines the information for England only.

To encourage the study of classics in state schools in England, the department has launched the new £3.9 million Latin Excellence Programme (LEP), beginning in September 2022. The LEP will be delivered by the National Centre of Excellence and run by Future Academies, a multi-academy trust based in London.

The aim of the LEP is to improve pupils’ attainment through increased access to, and uptake of, GCSE in Latin, whilst also contributing to pupils’ broader classics education. The National Centre of Excellence will work with up to 40 schools across the country to support high-quality key stage 3 and 4 teaching, using a common curriculum which teachers will be trained to deliver by the Centre.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
22nd Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they expect to publish the second National Plan for Music Education.

The government is committed to ensuring that all children and young people have access to a good quality music education.

On 6 August 2021, the department announced plans to work with a panel of experts from across the music education sector to develop a refreshed national plan for music education. This will shape the future of music education and follows the publication of the non-statutory Model Music Curriculum on 26 March 2021. Further information on this curriculum can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/teaching-music-in-schools.

The advisory panel includes teachers, representatives from the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and UK Music. It will also feature Darren Henley, Chief Executive of Arts Council England, whose independent review of music education in England informed the original national plan. Further information on his review can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/music-education-in-england-a-review-by-darren-henley-for-the-department-for-education-and-the-department-for-culture-media-and-sport.

The plan will be published early next year.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
22nd Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many school pupils in England have taken (1) GCSE, and (2) A Level, music in each year since 2011.

Data on the number of pupils in England who have taken GCSE music in each academic year since 2010/11 is available here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/data-tables/permalink/7251178a-2269-43d4-8ae0-77cf21cf4409.

Data on the number of pupils in England who have taken A level music in each academic year since 2010/11 is available in the below table:

A level entries into music of all students aged 16-18[1] since academic year 2010/11

Year 2010/11 to 2020/21[2]. Coverage: England.

Year

Number of pupils entering music exam

2010/11

8,709

2011/12

8,203

2012/13

7,655

2013/14

7,184

2014/15

6,709

2015/16

6,155

2016/17

5,585

2017/18

5,440

2018/19

5,120

2019/20

5,000

2020/21

5,000

[1] Exam entries are for the current exam year for 16-18 students, after discounting. Includes pending awards.

[2] Data for 2010/11 to 2018/19 are revised and data for 2019/20 and 2020/21 are provisional.

[3] Entries since academic year 2010/11 to 2018/19 can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/statistics-attainment-at-19-years#a-levels-and-other-16-to-18-results.

[4] Entries for acadmic years 2019/20 and 2020/21 can be found here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/data-tables/permalink/f74d6b70-5a7e-43c7-9610-5b6aea6d0d7c.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
14th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they intend to take in response to the judgment on Tameside MBC v L (Unavailability of Regulated Therapeutic Placement), made in the High Court on 5 July; and whether they will publish any action plan for dealing with the matters arising from this judgment.

Every child growing up in care should have a stable, secure environment where they feel supported and can thrive. The judgment in the case of Tameside MBC v L raises many concerns about the lack of available children’s home provision for some of the most vulnerable children in care.

Local authorities have a statutory duty to make sure there is sufficient provision in their area to meet the needs of all children in their care. We understand that local authorities sometimes find themselves in positions where the most appropriate placement is difficult to access. This is why the government announced £24 million of investment at the Spending Review in November to start a programme of work to support local authorities maintain and expand provision in secure children’s homes. We are also currently developing a new capital funding programme for open residential children’s homes to aid local authorities to develop innovative approaches to reduce the number of children needing care over time, and to develop provision for children with more complex needs or children on remand.

The government launched a bold, broad and independently-led review, to take a comprehensive look at what is needed to make a real difference to the needs, experiences and outcomes of the children supported by children’s social care. The Care Review, led by Josh MacAlister, has now reached its first major milestone with the publication of its Case for Change, published on 17 June. The Case for Change recognises many of the issues raised in the judgment in this case. We eagerly await the review’s final report and recommendations, which will follow further consultation, analysis and public engagement. At that stage we will consider the review’s recommendations and any cost implications.

28th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many students took (1) GCSE, and (2) A Level, music in each year from 2010 to 2020.

This information is not yet available for the academic year 2019/20. It will become available once we release our provisional publications between November and December 2020. For GCSEs this will be available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/announcements/entries-for-gcse-november-2020-exam-series.

For A Levels this will be available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/announcements/a-level-and-other-16-18-results-2019-to-2020-provisional.

Information on the number of entries in music GCSEs[1][2][3][4][5] and A Levels in England for the academic years 2009/10 to 2018/19[6] inclusive is provided in the tables below.

Number of GCSE entries in music by pupils at the end of key stage 4

2009/10

2010/11

2011/12

2012/13

2013/14

2014/15

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

45,433

43,157

40,761

41,256

42,446

43,698

41,650

38,897

34,709

34,580

Source: Key stage 4 attainment data

Information on the number of entries in music A Levels in England for the academic years 2009/10 to 2018/19[7][8] inclusive is provided in the tables below.

Number of A level entries in music by pupils at the end of key stage 5[9]

2009/10

2010/11

2011/12

2012/13

2013/14

2014/15

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

8,841

8,709

8,203

7,655

7,184

6,709

6,155

5,585

5,440

5,120

Source: Key stage 5 attainment data

[1] Pupils are identified as being at the end of key stage 4 if they were on roll at the school and in year 11 at the time of the January school census for that year. Age is calculated as at 31 August for that year, and the majority of pupils at the end of key stage 4 were age 15 at the start of the academic year. Some pupils may complete this key stage in an earlier or later year group.

[2] Discounting has been applied where pupils have taken the same subject more than once and only one entry is counted in these circumstances. Prior to 2014, best entry discounting, where the pupil’s best result is used was in place in performance tables. From 2014 onwards, first entry rules were introduced, where a pupil’s first entry in that subject is used in performance tables. For more information on discounting and early entry, see: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/key-stage-4-qualifications-discount-codes-and-point-scores.

[3] All schools includes state-funded schools, independent schools, independent special schools, non-maintained special schools, hospital schools, pupil referral units and alternative provision. Alternative provision includes academy and free school alternative provision. Since September 2013, general further education colleges and sixth-form colleges have been able to directly enrol 14 to 16 year-olds. The academic year 2014/15 was the first year in which colleges have pupils at the end of key stage 4. From 2016 onwards, entries and achievements for these pupils are included in figures as state-funded schools.

[4] Total number of entries include pupils who were absent, whose results are pending and results which are ungraded or unclassified.

[5] Includes GCSE full courses, level 2 equivalents, GCSE double awards and AS levels.

[6] 2009/10 to 2017/18 results taken from final data; 2018/19 results taken from revised data.

[7] 2009/1010 to 2017/18 results taken from final data; 2018/19 results taken from revised data and includes all schools and colleges in England.

[8] Covers students aged 16 to 18 at the beginning of the academic year, i.e. 31 August.

[9] This is the number of entries, rather than the number of students, so may include resits.

15th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government whether the Animal Welfare (Electronic Collars) (England) Regulations 2023 to ban the use of electronic shock collars on cats and dogs in England are still due to come into force from 1 February.

The Animal Welfare (Electronic Collars) (England) Regulations 2023 were considered in Grand Committee on 19 June and must be considered in the Other Place before they can come into force. The Government remains committed to banning the use of electronic shock collars in England. Parliamentary business will be announced in the usual way.

Lord Douglas-Miller
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
7th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they have made any studies about the impact of domestic firework use on domestic animals, including cats and dogs; and, if not, whether they will commission one.

It is an offence under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 to cause unnecessary suffering to an animal, and this includes through the misuse of fireworks. Users of fireworks need to use them responsibly and be aware of animals close by, and those found guilty of causing animals unnecessary suffering can face up to five years’ imprisonment. We have no current plans to commission any studies on the impact of domestic firework use on domestic animals.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Oct 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government when they intend to introduce legislation to ban the use of electric shock collars on cats and dogs in England.

The Animal Welfare (Electronic Collars) (England) Regulations will make it an offence to attach an electronic shock collar to a cat or dog, or to be in possession of a remote-control device capable of activating such a collar when attached to a cat or dog. The regulations have been considered in this House and will be considered in the Other Place in due course. Parliamentary business will be announced in the usual way.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Oct 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they intend to regulate the breeding of cats to protect cats and their kittens.

Under the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 (the Regulations), anyone in the business of breeding and selling cats as pets needs to have a valid licence issued by their local authority. Licensees must meet strict statutory minimum welfare standards which are enforced by local authorities who have powers to issue, refuse, vary or revoke licences.

Defra has been working on a post-implementation review of the Regulations in line with the requirements of the Regulations’ review clause. This review considers whether the Regulations have met their objectives, and where there could be scope to further improve the protections they provide to breeding cats and their offspring. The review will be published soon.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by Lord Benyon on 13 July (HL Deb col 1885), whether they intend to include cats at the outset of any proposed pet abduction offence.

We have listened carefully to views expressed on pet abduction during the passage of the Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill and we will take this feedback into consideration when delivering this measure.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Benyon on 13 July (HL9238), what is the makeup of the Veterinary Medicines Directorate’s internal scientific review committee; what process and criteria the scientific review committee follows to develop its assessment report; and what documents are provided to the scientific review committee by Veterinary Medicines Directorate assessors.

The scientific review committee for pharmaceutical products is chaired by the Head of Pharmaceuticals. Membership includes all pharmaceutical assessors (quality, safety and efficacy), representatives from Regulatory Affairs, Pharmacovigilance, and other government bodies including the UK Health Security Agency, Health and Safety Executive, Food Standards Agency, Environment Agency, and the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs of Northern Ireland. Other agencies may also be invited on an ad hoc basis.

The documents for the formal review meeting include the assessment report, list of questions to be addressed by the applicant and an executive summary which highlights the main issues and the benefit-risk conclusion.

The scientific review committee provides a formal peer -review forum, where each application is summarised, and key issues raised and discussed. The operation of the committee is described in internal operating procedures. Formal minutes are produced. The committee output is to endorse the list of questions for the applicant, decide whether these are likely to be resolvable, agree the benefit-risk conclusion and decide whether or not further scientific advice from the Veterinary Products Committee should be sought.

Similar scientific committee and processes are in place for non-pharmaceutical products (immunological and biological products).

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what process the Veterinary Medicines Directorate uses to determine whether to grant an application to vary the marketing authorisation of a prescription-only veterinary medicine to allow over-the-counter sale.

Veterinary medicine approvals are assessed against statutory criteria for safety, quality and efficacy, as set down in the Veterinary Medicines Regulation. We assess the risks of providing products over-the-counter against the benefits and this is taken to the VPC for independent consideration.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what documents are provided by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate to the Veterinary Products Committee to enable them to assess whether an application to vary the marketing authorisation of a prescription-only veterinary medicine to allow over-the-counter sale can be granted.

The VMD provides the VPC with the assessment report (as peer-reviewed and agreed by the internal scientific review committee). The assessment report includes a benefit-risk assessment and conclusion as to whether the VMD consider that the variation to lower the distribution category should be granted.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what criteria the Veterinary Products Committee uses to recommend whether an application to vary the marketing authorisation of a prescription-only veterinary medicine to allow over-the-counter sale be granted.

The VPC review VMD’s assessment and conclusion (they may question the assessors if necessary) and provide an opinion as to whether they agree (or not) with the VMD’s conclusion to grant (or not) the lower distribution category.

The VMD consider the VPC’s advice and make a final decision as to whether an application to vary the marketing authorisation of a prescription-only veterinary medicine to allow over-the-counter sale is granted.

The criteria for the VMD’s decision are that:

  • the non-prescription category must be legally permitted, and
  • the benefit-risk balance must remain favourable, i.e. any potential increased risks to animal health, public health or the environment, due to increased availability and absence of veterinary point of supply advice, can be suitability mitigated.
Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what their timeline is for implementing clause 43 of the Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill regarding the taking of a dog without lawful authority; and what plans they have, if any, to extend that clause to apply to cats.

The addition of cats to the pet abduction offence in the Kept Animals Bill was raised at Commons Committee Stage. We are considering it carefully. The next stage of the Bill will be announced in the usual way.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government how many cats have been imported this year under the Balai Directive; and from which countries those cats originated.

Since we left the EU, the EU import data for 2021 and 2022 was collated from PIMS which is APHA’s Post Import Management System and accounts for all Imports into the United Kingdom that have been entered using IPAFFS (Import of products, animals, food and feed system).

This information is drawn from the external IPAFF’s system not directly controlled by the department.

From 14th April 2022 the United Kingdom temporarily suspended the commercial import of dogs, cats and ferrets if they originated from or have been dispatched from Belarus, Poland, Romania or Ukraine, until 29th October 2022.

January-September 2022

Country Of Origin

Total

Austria

1

Belgium

15

Bulgaria

115

Croatia

32

Cyprus

392

Czech Republic

22

Denmark

5

England

3

Estonia

3

France

17

Germany

28

Greece

42

Hungary

94

Ireland (Rep. of)

1

Italy

18

Latvia

155

Lithuania

107

Netherlands

11

Poland

208

Portugal

32

Romania

705

Slovakia

17

Spain

339

Sweden

2

Switzerland

3

Antigua and Barbuda

6

Argentina

7

Australia

140

Bahamas

4

Barbados

1

Bahrain

124

Bermuda

6

Brazil

59

Brunei

3

Canada

81

Cayman Islands

12

Chile

3

China

31

Colombia

12

Costa Rica

2

Egypt

357

Georgia

1

Ghana

2

Hong Kong

29

India

46

Indonesia

5

Israel

2

Japan

8

Jordan

2

Kenya

9

Korea (South)

18

Kuwait

22

Lebanon

8

Malaysia

33

Mauritius

6

Mexico

12

Myanmar

2

Namibia

2

New Zealand

85

North Macedonia

9

Oman

5

Pakistan

2

Peru

1

Philippines

2

Qatar

106

Russia

48

Saint Lucia

1

Saudi Arabia

67

Seychelles

1

Singapore

39

South Africa

348

Taiwan

2

Thailand

43

Turkey

15

UAE

1043

Uganda

1

USA

256

Vietnam

4

Zimbabwe

18

Total

5518

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government how many cats have been imported under the Pet Travel Scheme for each month of this year for which figures are available.

The number of cats imported through the Pet Travel Scheme in each month from 1st January 2022 to 31st August 2022 is as follows:

2022

Total number of cats imported under the pet travel scheme

January

2,587

February

1,886

March

1,367

April

2,310

May

1,903

June

2,161

July

2,354

August

3,915

The data regarding the Pet Travel Scheme covers pets entering the United Kingdom and is based on information provided by checkers employed by approved carriers of pet animals.

This information is drawn from the external Trade Control and Expert System (TRACES) and Import of products, animals, food and feed system (IPAFFS) which are not directly controlled by the department.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their response to the report by Pet Theft Awareness The Cat Theft Report 2022, published on 20 March; and what steps they will take to tackle pet abduction.

In response to concerns about a perceived increase in pet theft during Covid restrictions, the Government set up the Pet Theft Taskforce to investigate. The Taskforce gathered, researched and commissioned work to build a clear evidence base of the issue and worked with police, law enforcement, and experts to formulate recommendations. Since publication of the report, the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, the Home Office and the Ministry of Justice continue to work together to implement the Taskforce’s recommendations and take into account new evidence, including the Cat Theft Report 2022.

The Taskforce's recommendations included the creation of a new 'pet abduction' offence to recognise that pets are not mere items of property and to recognise the potential impact on their welfare when they are taken by strangers. The offence as currently drafted in the Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill focuses on dogs, with enabling powers. The inclusion of the enabling powers means that the Secretary of State will be able to extend the offence to other species of companion animal in the future by making regulations.

The Government listened closely to views expressed on this issue during its Commons Committee stage, in particular whether cats should also be included with dogs at the outset, and the Government is currently considering this issue carefully.

The Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill completed its Commons Committee Stage in November and following the passing of a carryover motion by the House on 25 April 2022, will continue its passage in the next Session. The Bill will be reintroduced in the third session in the form in which it was suspended and go straight to Report stage in the House of Commons before continuing its passage in the House of Lords.

12th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many responses were received to their consultation on the microchipping of cats.

The consultation on the microchipping of cats closed on 17 February 2021 and attracted 33,423 responses. Defra is currently analysing responses to the consultation and will publish a response and proposals later this year.

3rd Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to review the law relating to keeping dangerous animals as pets.

Anyone wishing to keep a dangerous wild animal as a pet requires a licence from their local authority under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976. A local authority must only grant a licence if is satisfied that it would not be contrary to the public interest on the grounds of safety or nuisance; that the applicant is a suitable person; and the animal's accommodation is adequate and secure. The Act was updated in 2007, following review and consultation. The Act was updated again in 2010 to allow local authorities to focus their enforcement activity more effectively. The Act’s original aim was to ensure that where private individuals keep dangerous wild animals they do so in circumstances which create no risk to the public. Based on available evidence, including the absence of reported attacks on the public by escaped dangerous wild animals, we consider that the Act is fulfilling those objectives. Separately, any evidence that the welfare needs of kept dangerous wild animals are not being met would be a matter for the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and its associated obligations and requirements, which we keep under constant review.

1st Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to charge musicians applying for a CITES Musical Instrument Certificate for musical instruments containing Ivory, Rosewood, Abalone, and other endangered species when transported between (1) the UK and the EU, and (2) Great Britain and Northern Ireland; and if so, how much this will cost musicians.

No decision has yet been made on the application of fees for Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Musical Instrument Certificates for musical instruments containing Ivory, Rosewood, Abalone, and other endangered species. Any changes to the fee structure are likely to come into force in 2022, and there will be an opportunity for stakeholders to engage in a consultation before the changes take place.

The fees for processing applications for all types of CITES permits and certificates are kept under regular review. The current review will consider the possible inclusion of a fee for Musical Instrument Certificates, to bring them in line with other CITES permits.

14th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the number of unowned cats in the UK.

The Government continues to engage closely with cat welfare organisations, such as Cats Protection, to understand what can be done to improve the health and welfare of cats in the UK, including stray and feral cats. While we do not hold data on the size of the unowned cat population, Cats Protection is running the Cat Watch project which, among other things, aims to provide an estimate of the nation's unowned cat population.

13th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the state of litter collection on (a) the A13, and (b) the A12, and (2) whether National Highways is meeting its obligations to keep these roads clean.

National Highways is responsible for keeping the A13 clear of litter and refuse as far as is practicable. Relevant Local Authorities hold this responsibility along the A12. National Highways has committed to report a litter performance indicator during the second Road Investment Strategy 2020-25. Specific regional assessments are the responsibility of National Highways and relevant local duty bodies. In 2021/22 National Highways reported that 60.8% of relevant parts of the Strategic Road Network had no litter, refuse or detritus, or was predominately free of litter, refuse or detritus apart from some small items.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
13th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how many prosecutions there have been of individuals dropping or dumping litter on motorways in England in each of the last five years for which figures are available.

Prosecutions for littering offences on motorways are carried out by appropriate organisations for each case, including Local Authorities, the Police, the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency and the Environment Agency. Therefore, Government does not hold a total number for prosecutions. Each individual organisation noted may have relevant numbers regarding the amount of prosecutions for littering offences on motorways in England in each of the past five years.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
13th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the overall performance of National Highways.

National Highways is making progress towards its performance and delivery targets in the second Road Investment Strategy (RIS2, 2020-2025).

Since the start of RIS2 National Highways has started work on 11 schemes, four of which were started ahead of the committed date. It has also completed work on 19 schemes that have opened to traffic and continues to deliver on 16 schemes that are currently in construction.

There have however been legal challenges to planning consent for several schemes, concerns around smart motorways and high levels of inflation that have had a significant impact on overall delivery of the portfolio both in terms of cost and schedule.

National Highways and the Department have taken steps to address, learn from and respond to these challenges. Consequently, this has resulted in the need to replan 22 of the 69 major enhancements to ensure the Capital Portfolio remains deliverable and affordable.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
13th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, (1) to give National Highways enforcement powers to tackle the dropping or dumping of litter on motorways in England, and (2) to increase penalties for those who commit such offences.

Government has no plans to give National Highways enforcement powers to tackle littering offences on motorways in England. National Highways is not an enforcement organisation as its focus is on safety and maintaining the road network.

In recent years Government has bolstered Local Authority enforcement powers by raising the upper limit on fixed penalty notices for littering and introducing powers to issue the keeper of a vehicle from which litter is thrown with a civil penalty.

We are committed to working with National Highways and across Government to improve enforcement around roadside littering offences.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Sep 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to review the regulations surrounding the riding of e-scooters.

The Department is currently considering options, including robust technical requirements, for a new regulatory framework for e-scooters. These regulations will ensure that we increase the safety of e-scooters users and manage the impacts of e-scooters in the UK.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
2nd Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many pedestrians have been killed by dangerous riding by cyclists in each of the last five years for which figures are available.

The number of pedestrians killed in reported road collisions with a pedal cycle in each of the last 5 years is shown in the table. The Department’s reported road casualty statistics do not assign fault, so it is not possible to determine in how many of these cases the collision was caused by a cyclist riding dangerously. Conclusions on responsibility in each case are a matter for the courts.

Year

Pedestrian fatalities following collision with pedal cycle

2016

3

2017

3

2018

1

2019

6

2020

4

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they last made an assessment of litter collection by Highways England on (1) the M11 motorway, and (2) the A406 road; and what assessment they have made of Highways England's performance.

The Office for Rail and Road monitors Highways England's performance. Their most recent Annual Assessment acknowledged Highways England's actions to address litter on the Strategic Road Network (SRN) and that Highways England is continuing to work towards achieving the vision set out in its litter strategy. Highways England's litter collection on the SRN will be reported on as an annual performance indicator from the end of this financial year.

The A406 is not part of the SRN and responsibility for litter collection lies with the relevant local authority.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
1st Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that the haulage and cabotage rules in the UK–EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement do not prevent multi-country touring for musicians and other performers.

The Trade and Co-operation Agreement (TCA) between the UK and the EU allows UK hauliers to undertake up to 2 additional laden journeys within the EU after a laden international journey from the UK, with a maximum of 1 cabotage movement outside Ireland. These rules will also apply to specialist hauliers, such as hauliers who carry equipment for musicians and other performers.

Our assessment is that the TCA ensures that more than 95% of all haulage journeys will continue as they did before the end of the transition period. However, UK operators undertaking more than 2 additional movements will not be covered by the TCA.

Market access arrangements for hauliers transporting equipment for cultural events was discussed regularly during negotiations between the UK and the EU, and the UK put forward proposals for an exemption for specialist hauliers carrying out tours for cultural events, but the EU did not agree to our asks.

The Department for Transport is in regular contact with the road haulage industry and is working closely with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy to support the creative industries sector.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
1st Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to negotiate with the EU an exemption from cabotage rules for the movement of goods, including those subject to an ATA carnet, on the basis of the goods (1) not being sold, and (2) the rules also affecting EEA performing arts companies coming to the UK.

The Trade and Co-operation Agreement (TCA) between the UK and the EU allows UK hauliers to undertake up to 2 additional laden journeys within the EU after a laden international journey from the UK, with a maximum of 1 cabotage movement outside Ireland. These rules will also apply to specialist hauliers, such as hauliers who carry equipment for musicians and other performers.

Our assessment is that the TCA will allow the vast majority of haulage operations that were being undertaken by UK hauliers before the end of the transition period. However, UK operators will not be allowed to undertake more than 2 movements within the EU before returning to the UK. This limitation also applies to movements of goods covered by an ATA carnet. This issue was discussed in detail as part of negotiations, but the EU was unwilling to agree more flexible arrangements.

The Department for Transport is in regular contact with the road haulage industry and is working closely with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy to support the creative industries sector.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
4th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of any extension of the Central London Congestion Charge to Sundays on (1) the ability of people to attend places of worship in the zone, and (2) the financial sustainability of Churches in the zone.

Transport in London is devolved to the Mayor of London and delivered by Transport for London. The decision to temporarily extend the hours of the congestion charge was taken by the Mayor of London and it is a matter for him to confirm what assessment was made of impacts to churches and church goers.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
5th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what use they have made of (1) focus groups, and (2) other qualitative techniques, to improve the functioning of (a) the Pension Service, and (b) the Department for Work and Pensions.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) makes extensive use of qualitative techniques to improve the functions of its services, extensive examples can be found on gov.uk by searching ‘government/ collections/ research-reports’. With specific reference to improving the functioning of Pension Service – the Department has not undertaken a stand-alone qualitative research project examining this issue in isolation.

The Department does however undertake a regular customer experience survey with a range of DWP services, including state pension customers. The survey includes questions around being treated with respect, speed of service delivered and overall satisfaction. The latest published report can be found on the gov.uk website by searching ‘DWP claimant service and experience survey 2018 to 2019’.

5th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will conduct a review of the template letters used by (1) the Pension Service, and (2) the Department for Work and Pensions, to ensure communications are as clear and comprehensible as possible.

The Department is committed to making template letters clear, understandable and accessible for all customers.

However, we have introduced improved letters for new State Pension customers and we are currently in the process of reviewing and revising Pension Credit letters. As part of these reviews, research is undertaken with a wide range of individuals - and their representatives - who will or have received these benefits. The findings from the research is then used to inform development of the letters which are tested with customers before being introduced for wider use.

The Department’s intention is to gradually update all template letters as part of plans to modernise services. This is a long-term plan due to the complexity and volume of letters.

5th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking, if any, to improve the customer service provided by the Pension Service across all types of contact, including by (1) the call centres, and (2) the correspondence units.

The Department is committed to delivering high quality customer service in line with Departmental Quality standards. We undertake regular checks on the quality of work undertaken by our staff including monitoring telephone calls and written correspondence.

Feedback from customers on the quality of our service is important to us. We act on this quickly to resolve issues and address areas for improvement.

30th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by Lord Evans of Rainow on 14 September (HL Debate, col 241GC), why the “package of prioritised measures to expand the provision of fracture liaison services and improve their current quality” was not mentioned in the Autumn Statement.

The Noble Lord's letter of 15 September 2023 following the debate confirmed the position that the Government would continue to consider options for further work to support those with osteoporosis and at risk of fractures, including working together with NHS England to explore supporting the provision of fracture liaison services (FLS). A copy of this letter was placed in the House library.

FLS are commissioned by integrated care boards (ICBs) which are well placed to make decisions according to local need. NHS England is also supporting requests from health systems to introduce FLS and other secondary fracture prevention services, including through the Falls and Fragility Fracture Audit Programme.

On 24 January 2023, we announced our plan to publish the Major Conditions Strategy. This strategy will explore how we can tackle the key drivers of ill-health in England, reduce pressure on the National Health Service and reduce ill-health related labour market inactivity. The Strategy will focus on six major groups of conditions including musculoskeletal conditions, such as osteoporosis.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they have any plans to collaborate with media organisations, social media influencers, and public figures including celebrities, to portray accurate and empathetic representations of people living with HIV in order to counteract harmful stereotypes; and, if so, what are their plans.

HIV Prevention England (HPE) is the national HIV prevention programme for England and is funded at £3.5 million by the Department. The programme aims to support communities who are disproportionately affected by HIV, including gay, bisexual and men who have sex with men and Black African heterosexual men and women. The Department has appointed Terrence Higgins Trust, a national charity who provide services related to sexual heath and HIV, to deliver the programme from 2021 to 2024. HPE delivers a nationally co-ordinated programme of HIV prevention work, including public campaigns such as National HIV Testing Week, that is designed to complement locally commissioned prevention activities in areas of high HIV prevalence. HPE also aims to improve knowledge and understating of HIV transmission and reducing stigma within affected communities.

HPE works with a wide range of models and their network of influencers and develops its strategies based on comprehensive data, audience insight and knowledge from local partners within England which ensure a wide range of patient’s voices and experiences are represented.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they are planning to implement comprehensive public education campaigns to raise awareness about HIV transmission and treatment advancements, and to tackle stigma; and, if so, what are their plans.

HIV Prevention England (HPE) is the national HIV prevention programme for England and is funded at £3.5 million by the Department. The programme aims to support communities who are disproportionately affected by HIV, including gay, bisexual and men who have sex with men and Black African heterosexual men and women. The Department has appointed Terrence Higgins Trust, a national charity who provide services related to sexual heath and HIV, to deliver the programme from 2021 to 2024. HPE delivers a nationally co-ordinated programme of HIV prevention work, including public campaigns such as National HIV Testing Week, that is designed to complement locally commissioned prevention activities in areas of high HIV prevalence. HPE also aims to improve knowledge and understating of HIV transmission and reducing stigma within affected communities.

HPE works with a wide range of models and their network of influencers and develops its strategies based on comprehensive data, audience insight and knowledge from local partners within England which ensure a wide range of patient’s voices and experiences are represented.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they have made any assessment of the impact of fragility fractures caused by undiagnosed osteoporosis on informal care-givers of working age; and what the impact of this is on the labour market.

Unpaid carers play a vital role in our communities, and we all owe them a debt of gratitude. We want unpaid carers to live healthy and fulfilling lives alongside their caring role.

No assessment, specifically on the impact of fragility fractures caused by undiagnosed osteoporosis on informal caregivers of working age; and what the impact of this is on the labour market, has been made. However, the Care Act (2014) requires local authorities to deliver a wide range of sustainable, high-quality care and support services, including support for unpaid carers. Local authorities are required to undertake a Carer’s Assessment for any unpaid carer who appears to have a need for support and to meet their eligible needs on request from the carer.

In 2023/24, £327 million of funding from the Better Care Fund have been earmarked to provide short breaks and respite services for carers. This also funds additional advice and support to carers and a small number of additional local authority duties.

The enormous contribution made by unpaid carers is reflected throughout the social care reform white paper People at the Heart of Care, published in December 2021, and Next Steps to put People at the Heart of Care, published in April 2023.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they have conducted any studies into the savings which would accrue to the NHS from investment to enable universal, high-quality Fracture Liaison Services across England; and if no such study has been made, whether they intend to commission one.

We continue to work closely with stakeholders, including the Royal Osteoporosis Society, to further understand the needs of people living with osteoporosis and consider how health and care services can better support them. Fracture Liaison Services are key to prompt diagnosis of osteoporosis and are acknowledged as the world standard for secondary fracture prevention. According to the Royal Osteoporosis Society, for every £1 spend on Fracture Liaison Services in the United Kingdom, £3.26 is saved by the National Health Service.

The National Institute for Health and Care Research welcomes funding applications for research into any aspect of human health, including Fracture Liaison Services.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to their commitment in the Major Conditions Strategy: case for change and our strategic framework, published on 14 August and updated on 21 August, to set up more fracture liaison services, whether the responsibility for that initiative lies with the Department of Health and Social Care or with NHS England.

In August 2023, we set out our initial plans for the Major Conditions Strategy within the Case for change and our strategic framework. This initial report sets out what we have learned so far, and shares what we plan to focus on next to develop the final strategy. This includes, together with NHS England, exploring further support for the provision of Fracture Liaison Services. This could include identifying people at risk of further osteoporotic fragility fracture and implementing strategies to reduce the risk of future fracture (including falls) and mortality.

The final strategy will be published in early 2024.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of by the scientific accuracy of the Health and Safety Executive's guidance on blood borne virus transmission.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It prevents work-related death, injury and ill health. No assessment has been made, however the HSE guidance on bloodborne virus transmission references current UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) scientific evidence on risk of transmission of blood-borne viruses.

UKHSA provides advice on management of exposure to blood-borne viruses in occupational settings through its local, regional and national health protection function and through specialist advice from its national team. UKHSA also hosts the UK Advisory Panel for Healthcare Workers living with Bloodborne Viruses which provides advice about the transmission and management of bloodborne viruses among healthcare workers

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government further to the Written Statement by Lord Markham on 8 June (HLWS826), what assessment they have made of the incidence of HIV in (1) women, and (2) heterosexual men, between 2019 and 2021; and what steps they are taking to improve this.

The UK Health Security Agency is currently developing a methodology to estimate incidence among heterosexual men and women based on the methodology currently used to produce estimates of incidence for gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men. As estimates of incidence are not available for heterosexual men and women, new diagnoses first made in the United Kingdom are used as a proxy and interpreted in context of levels of HIV testing amongst those populations.

Between 2019 and 2021, there was a slight increase in HIV diagnoses and late HIV diagnoses among heterosexuals, whilst HIV testing coverage remained substantially lower in 2021 than in 2019. In addition, the estimated number of undiagnosed people among heterosexual men and women did not decline over the same period. These figures suggest that there was no fall in incidence in this population.

The HIV Action Plan published in 2020 aims to reduce new HIV infections by 80% between 2019 and 2025 and details a range of actions committed to in order to help achieve this ambition.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the effectiveness of opt-out HIV testing in emergency departments in areas of London with high HIV prevalence.

NHS England has committed £20 million in 2022 to 2025 to fund the expansion of HIV opt-out testing in emergency departments (EDs) in areas with extremely high HIV prevalence. The NHS England London region took a decision to include all EDs in the project, which included some of which were in high HIV prevalence areas.

Provisional data from NHS England indicates that this HIV opt-out testing initiative has helped find more than 550 cases of undiagnosed or untreated HIV in the first year of the programme. We are currently considering the results of the first year of HIV opt-out testing and the programme’s contribution to finding cases of undiagnosed or untreated HIV and preventing further HIV transmissions, alongside data on progress towards our ambitions to end new HIV transmissions, AIDS and HIV-related deaths within England by 2030.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th May 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the case for appointing (1) a National Clinical Director, or (2) National Specialty Adviser, for osteoporosis within NHS England.

Andrew Bennett is NHS England’s national clinical director for musculoskeletal conditions, which includes osteoporosis.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th May 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they intend to encourage NHS England to designate osteoporosis as a ‘long term condition’.

The Department continues to work with NHS England on musculoskeletal policy, including considering classification of conditions such as osteoporosis.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th May 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether NHS England has set key performance indicators for integrated care boards or NHS Trusts to improve detection of osteoporotic fractures; and, in considering whether or not to set such key performance indicators, whether NHS England takes account of the risk that bone fractures can cause of premature death and disability.

As part of the National Clinical Audit and Patient Outcomes Programme, the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership commission and manage a range of audits, including the Falls and Fragility Fracture Audit Programme. These collect and analyse data supplied by local clinicians to provide a national picture regarding care. The results can then be used by systems and trusts to focus quality improvement.

This programme audits against a range of key performance indicators informed by National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) technology assessments and guidance from the Royal Osteoporotic Society Clinical Standards. This includes those related to detection of osteoporotic fractures. There are also indicators related to osteoporosis and the prevention of fragility fractures within the Quality and Outcomes Framework.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the costs and benefits of funding HIV and hepatitis testing in emergency departments.

NHS England and the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) will publish the reports for the first year of opt-out human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and blood borne virus testing, including hepatitis, in 2023. When examining the feasibility of further expanding HIV opt-out testing to areas of high prevalence, we will be considering these results and assess its contribution to finding cases of undiagnosed or untreated HIV and preventing further HIV transmissions in the areas it is currently being rolled out. We will also take into account data on progress towards our ambitions to end new HIV transmissions, acquired immune deficiency syndrome and HIV related deaths within England by 2030, including the estimated number of people living with undiagnosed HIV, published regularly by UKHSA through the HIV Action Plan Monitoring and Evaluation Framework.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government on what timeframe they will (1) assess the first year of opt-out HIV and hepatitis testing, and (2) decide whether to expand opt-out testing to areas with a high HIV prevalence.

NHS England and the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) will publish the reports for the first year of opt-out human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and blood borne virus testing, including hepatitis, in 2023. When examining the feasibility of further expanding HIV opt-out testing to areas of high prevalence, we will be considering these results and assess its contribution to finding cases of undiagnosed or untreated HIV and preventing further HIV transmissions in the areas it is currently being rolled out. We will also take into account data on progress towards our ambitions to end new HIV transmissions, acquired immune deficiency syndrome and HIV related deaths within England by 2030, including the estimated number of people living with undiagnosed HIV, published regularly by UKHSA through the HIV Action Plan Monitoring and Evaluation Framework.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to increase awareness of the symptoms of pancreatic cancer.

NHS England’s ‘Help Us, Help You’ campaign seeks to address the barriers which may deter patients from seeking advice for potential symptoms of cancer, such as pancreatic cancer. A campaign focusing on abdominal and urological symptoms launched on 31 October 2022 and addresses symptoms of pancreatic cancer.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government when they expect to publish their 10 Year Cancer Plan.

Following a call for evidence for a new cancer plan earlier this year, we received more than 5,000 responses. Further information will be available in due course.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Bloomfield of Hinton Waldrist on 5 October (HL2070), who is responsible for collating information and statistics about the testing of prisoners for HIV in England and Wales.

Data on HIV testing is collected through the Health and Justice Indicators of Performance. NHS England’s health and justice commissioning teams receive the data from providers which is collated at regional and national levels.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th Sep 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many prisoners in England and Wales have tested positive for HIV while in prison in each of the last five years for which figures are available.

The information requested is not held centrally.

5th Sep 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the current supplies of vaccines for Monkeypox; and whether they are anticipating any future supply problems.

Over 150,000 doses of monkeypox vaccine have been procured with the final deliveries of vaccine expected by the end of October 2022.

As endorsed by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, the UK Health Security Agency’s (UKHSA) expert advice is to offer two vaccine doses to a defined high-risk cohort of 111,000 individuals in the United Kingdom. Since August 2022, the use of safe and equally effective fractional dosing allows one vial of vaccine to provide three doses. This is the default method of vaccination in some areas of the country.

The UKHSA has procured sufficient vaccine to deliver the current vaccination strategy in full and is monitoring the occurrence, distribution and control of monkeypox.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many new donors who identify as MSM (men who have sex with men) have (1) registered to donate, or (2) donated, blood since the introduction of the current individualised risk-based policy of blood donation.

The information requested is not collected. The work of the For Assessment of Individualised Risk steering group and subsequent policy change was carried out to improve inclusivity in the blood donor selection criteria so that more people could be eligible to donate based on their health, travel and sexual behaviour.

22nd Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the report by the Commission on Human Medicines Public Assessment Report: Recommendations to support the effective and safe use of adrenaline auto-injectors, published on 11 November; and what steps they will take in response.

This report was commissioned by the Commission of Human Medicines (CHM), which is an independent advisory group to Ministers. The report and suggested actions, endorsed by the CHM, was accepted by Ministers ahead of the implementation of its recommendations.

While some recommendations have already been implemented, others are underway including changes to product labelling and improvements in adverse event reporting. Other recommendations, such as the availability of adrenaline auto-injectors, will require legislative amendment preceded by public consultation, to ensure that stakeholders are engaged and prepared before deployment.

22nd Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to introduce comprehensive diagnostic and outcome data collection on outpatient appointments within the NHS.

Detailed information is collected and published on diagnostic and outpatient appointments. These data sets include Hospital Episode Statistics, Diagnostic Waiting Times and Activity, and Diagnostic Imaging Dataset.

We are working to improve the range of data we collect on diagnostic activity to support the delivery of the Sir Mike Richards Review, Diagnostics: Recovery and Renewal.

We are also working to improve outcome data collection for outpatient appointments, and from April 2022, a new facility will be available in outpatient data collection, which will report on the ‘latest Clinically Appropriate Date’ by which the patient should next be seen or reviewed.

10th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many homeless people have been admitted to hospital with COVID-19 in England.

This information is not held in the format requested. NHS Digital collects data on an admission, not individual, basis therefore an individual may be recorded more than once.

10th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that homeless people without access to GP services receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) recognises that many people who are homeless or sleeping rough are likely to have underlying health conditions which would place them in priority group six. These conditions are likely to be under-diagnosed or not properly reflected in general practitioner (GP) records. The JCVI has advised that homeless people without access to GP services should be offered the vaccine without the need for a National Health Service number or GP registration.

There is work being undertaken to update our operational guidance on reaching rough sleepers and homeless people based on this recent JCVI advice. The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government are working closely with NHS England and NHS Improvement to support outreach, and further work is being done to explore the availability of effective on-street models which could be used to support this work. Local teams are now prioritising all homeless people for vaccination alongside priority group six.

14th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many new HIV infections have been recorded in each of the last ten years, broken down by age group; and what proportion of those infections were a clinical late diagnosis.

The number of HIV diagnoses in the United Kingdom and the proportion made at late stage of infection by age group for the past 10 years are presented in the national HIV tables which are attached due to the size of the data.

6th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that the upcoming National Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy will tackle sexual health inequalities experienced by (1) BAME communities, (2) trans and non-binary, including gender diverse, people, (3) gay and bisexual men and women, and (4) people living in poverty.

The development of the national sexual health and reproductive health strategy was paused during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now that we are moving forward with the Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy, work on the strategy will be restarting shortly. We will consider issues around inequalities, tackling stigma and discrimination and other relevant issues as part of the strategy development.

6th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure equitable access to sexual health services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sexual and reproductive health services are open during the COVID-19 pandemic though some are temporarily reducing their face-to-face appointments and may only be able to see emergency or urgent cases in person. The Department and Public Health England (PHE) are working with local commissioners, the National Health Service and professional bodies including the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare, to discuss emerging issues on sexual and reproductive services, including contraception, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

PHE is also establishing a national framework for online sexual and reproductive health services that local areas can choose to commission for their residents. Information for the public on how to access contraception, emergency contraception, abortion, sexually transmitted infections, HIV and sexual assault during COVID-19 is online at the Sexwise and the NHS websites. This includes links to other organisations providing information and support.

4th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to provide an update on plans to support HIV testing initiatives across England; and if so, when.

Public Health England (PHE) supports HIV testing initiatives across England through its national programmes where appropriate.

PHE has committed to supporting the 56 Dean Street Breaking the Chain campaign via HIV Prevention England, the national HIV Prevention Programme and the national HIV self-sampling service. From 5 June 2020, residents of all local authorities in England can order a free self-sampling kit through the national HIV self-sampling service. PHE has committed to paying for 7,000 HIV tests, including syphilis opt-out testing, throughout the promotional period.

4th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have been made of the impact of COVID-19 on the mental health of people living with HIV across the UK; and what support is being provided to those individuals.

The Government and the National Health Service recognise that the mental health impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak on some people living with long term conditions like HIV can be significant.

Mental health services across England have remained open for business throughout the pandemic and mental health providers have been working hard to ensure that all those who need them have access to mental health services. This includes instructing mental health trusts to establish all-age 24 hours a day, seven days a week crisis helplines and issuing guidance to trusts on staff training, prioritisation of services and how to maximise use of digital and virtual channels to keep delivering support to patients.

In addition, the ‘Every Mind Matters’ online resource provides advice and practical tips to help look after mental health and wellbeing. It has now seen 3.8 million visits and over 380,000 additional completions of mind plans to improve wellbeing and mental health since the introduction of social distancing.

25th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the answer by Lord Bethell on 24 February (HL Deb, cols 2–3), what the expected increase in the preventative health budget will be; how much of that will directly benefit sexual health services; what steps they are taking to put innovation at the centre of the sexual health strategy; and what assessment they have made of the pressures on the sexual health workforce arising from the increasing prevalence of sexual transmitted infections.

The 2019 Spending Round provided a real terms increase in the public health grant to local authorities. This is in addition to the funding the National Health Service provides for preventative services. Local authorities in England are mandated to provide comprehensive open access sexual health services. It is for individual local authorities to decide their spending priorities based on an assessment of local need, including the need for sexual health services taking account of their statutory duties.

Work on the development of a new national sexual and reproductive health strategy is underway. Initial engagement has already taken place and we are considering suggestions for priority areas for the new strategy we received through the Green Paper Advancing our health: prevention in the 2020s. Details of the strategy’s scope and objectives will be announced in due course.

The Department has not made a specific assessment of the pressures on the sexual health workforce arising from increasing prevalence of sexually transmitted infections.

16th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to combat the growth of drug-resistant sexually transmitted infections.

Of all bacterial sexually transmitted infections, antimicrobial resistance is primarily a concern for gonorrhoea and Mycoplasma genitalium.

Public Health England (PHE) undertakes comprehensive surveillance through the Gonococcal Resistance to Antimicrobials Surveillance Programme. This surveillance programme enables early detection and management of antibiotic resistance in gonorrhoea. This intelligence is used to advise on national gonorrhoea treatment guidelines to ensure they remain effective.

PHE offers a service to detect antibiotic resistance in Mycoplasma genitalium which can help clinicians give the most appropriate treatment to patients. PHE is conducting a pilot of surveillance of antimicrobial resistance in Mycoplasma genitalium in collaboration with several sexual health clinics across England.

PHE also investigates both outbreaks and individual cases of extensively drug resistant gonorrhoea and potential treatment failures for gonorrhoea to ensure effective management and control spread.

7th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to help secure the release of Evan Gershkovich from prison in Russia.

The detention of Evan Gershkovich illustrates Russia's disregard for media freedom. Both the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary have called for his immediate release. As a US national, the US Government is providing Mr Gershkovich with consular support. The UK remains in close contact with the US and continues to assist their efforts to secure his release. The UK has raised his case at the OSCE, most recently on 2 November the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists. The UK has also condemned the Russian authorities' crackdown on non-government-controlled media at the UN Human Rights Council.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of Russia regarding the detention of the journalist Evan Gershkovich; and what further action they propose.

In response to Evan Gershkovich's arrest, the Foreign Secretary said "Russia's decision to detain Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich shows their complete disregard for media freedom." On 17 April, the UK co-signed a statement by the Media Freedom Coalition of 46 UN Member States, delivered by the US Ambassador. We condemned Mr Gershkovich's detention and urged Russia to end its draconian crackdown on freedom of expression, including against media figures. As Mr Gershkovich is a US citizen the US Government will lead on consular support. The UK will work with the US to support their efforts to secure his release.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what support they are providing to LGBT+ communities in (1) low, and (2) middle, income countries to empower them to reform laws that discriminate against them.

The UK is committed to championing LGBT+ rights internationally and supporting those who defend them. Ministers and our overseas missions work closely with partners to advance LGBT+ equality, and promote the implementation of new laws and policies that better protect LGBT+ people from violence and discrimination.

On 24 June, the Prime Minister announced £2.7 million of UK funding to support LGBT+ grassroots human rights defenders and advance equality and freedom across the Commonwealth.

8th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to create a new fund to support global LGBT+ rights and equality.

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office is currently working though a business planning process. Decisions on funding for LGBT+ programmes will be made in due course. LGBT+ rights are fundamental human rights. The UK is committed to championing these rights internationally and supporting those who defend them.

26th Apr 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of LGBT+ rights in Rwanda.

It has not proved possible to respond to this question in the time available before Prorogation. Ministers will correspond directly with the Member.
12th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what has been the total amount of funding disbursed via (1) the Newton Fund, (2) the Ross Fund, and (3) Product Development Partnerships, in each of the last three years; and what such funding has been allocated for the next three years.

The Newton Fund budget in each of the last three years was: £115m (2018/19), £125m (2019/20) and £106m (2020/21).

Spend on Ross Fund portfolio related activities over the last two years was: £101.4m (2018/19); £107.3m (2019/20).

Spend on Product Development Partnerships over the last two years was: £91m (2018/19); £95.9m (2019/20).

We do not yet have final audited spend figures for the Ross Fund or Product Development Partnerships for financial year 2020/21.

Budgets have not yet been allocated to these portfolios for future years.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
25th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had, if any, with the Global Interfaith Commission on LGBT+ Lives following that organisation's declaration against conversion therapy of December 2020.

The UK Government funded the Global Interfaith Commission's (GiC) launch on 16 December where it delivered a declaration calling for an end to violence and criminalisation against LGBT+ people and for a global ban on conversion therapy. We remain in regular dialogue with the Director of the GiC.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of India about (1) the allegations of torture and mistreatment, and (2) the right to a fair trial, of Jagtar Singh Johal; and what response they have received to any such representations.

We regularly make representations on Mr Johal's case to the Government of India highlighting his right to a fair trial, and calling for an independent investigation into his allegations of torture. During his visit to India in December 2020, the Foreign Secretary raised Mr Johal's case with his opposite number, the Indian Minister of External Affairs, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar. I last raised Mr Johal's case with the Indian High Commissioner in London on 28 January 2021, and with the Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla, on 3 November 2020.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
25th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made, if any, to the government of Egypt about the murder of Giulio Regeni in Cairo in 2016.

We have the deepest sympathy for Giulio Regeni's family and their quest for justice for his appalling murder. As Mr Regeni was an Italian citizen, the Italian Government is taking the lead role on his case. We continue to follow the investigation into his death and to work closely with the Italian Government. We last discussed this at an official level with the Italian authorities on 23 November. We have also raised with the Egyptian authorities at a senior level the need for a transparent and impartial investigation, in full co-operation with Italy, so that Mr Regeni's killers can be brought to justice.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th Sep 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to help British expatriates whose banking facilities in the UK are being closed as a result of Brexit.

The provision of banking services, including whether UK firms can service EEA-based customers, is a commercial decision for firms based on a variety of factors, including the local law and regulation of individual countries, an assessment of profitability or other commercial drivers. The Government does not intervene in these commercial decisions.

Nonetheless, the Government expects banks to act lawfully and in accordance with local regulators’ expectations. We also expect that banks work to ensure good outcomes for their customers and provide timely communications to enable them to make appropriate decisions.

UK providers are expected to contact impacted customers if they need to make any changes to their product or the way it is provided. We encourage customers with questions or concerns to speak to their banking service provider.

Baroness Penn
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Agnew of Oulton on 15 February (HL12770), whether (1) ATA Carnets, and (2) portable musical instruments, are included on the List of Goods Applicable to Oral and By Conduct Declarations.

The ATA Carnet system is an internationally agreed method of moving certain goods between customs territories temporarily (i.e. a passport for goods). An ATA Carnet simplifies the customs formalities by allowing a single document to be used for clearing goods through customs in the countries that are part of the ATA Carnet system. The ATA Carnet must be presented to customs for endorsement each time the goods enter or leave a customs territory. This is currently a manual, paper-based process and therefore not appropriate for oral and by conduct declarations. It is valid for one year and allows for movement of the goods shown on the Carnet as many times as required during the 12 months to any of the destinations applied for.

Portable musical instruments are on the List of Goods Applicable to Oral and By Conduct Declarations.

3rd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to put in place a rebate system for employers resident in the UK and workers from EU countries that chose not to join the EU–UK Social Security Coordination Agreement before 31 January.

The Trade and Cooperation Agreement reached with the EU includes social security provisions that have practical benefits for UK and EU citizens travelling between the UK and EU.

These provisions support business and trade by ensuring that cross-border workers and their employers are only liable to pay social security contributions in one state at a time.

All Member States have expressed their wish to opt-in to apply the detached worker provision. This means that workers moving temporarily between the UK and the EU will continue to pay social security contributions in their home state.

3rd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether (1) customs declarations are, or (2) an ATA Carnet is, required for the movement of musical instruments and equipment between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

No export or exit declarations are required for goods leaving Great Britain (GB) for Northern Ireland (NI).

On entry into NI from GB, if musical instruments and equipment are to be used for commercial purposes, some additional process is required, as with other goods. If they are accompanied (for example, if contained in a passenger’s baggage) then the person carrying them will be deemed to have made a declaration by conduct. If the instruments and equipment are not accompanied (for example, they are carried as freight) then a declaration will be required.

Most goods in free circulation in Northern Ireland – including musical instruments and equipment – currently benefit from unfettered access to GB, such that no customs declarations are required either on exit from NI or entry to GB.

ATA Carnets are an option for temporarily moving goods between the UK, EU and NI. Use of an ATA Carnet is generally a commercial decision based on cost effectiveness and an individual’s/business’s circumstances.

1st Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether an ATA Carnet is required for the portable transportation of musical instruments and equipment for (1) UK musicians working in the EU, and (2) EU musicians working in the UK.

ATA carnets are available for commercial goods, professional equipment or goods going to trade fairs or exhibitions in participating countries, which are moved on a temporary basis to a new customs territory (i.e. they will not be sold and will return to the country of origin). This includes musical instruments. Carnets allow a single document to be used for clearing goods through customs in the countries that are part of the ATA carnet system.

There are two other options available when moving musical instruments temporarily between the EU and the UK (used together for export and reimport procedures); Temporary Admission and Returned Goods Relief.

Temporary Admission is a customs procedure that allows a person to import non-UK goods temporarily into the UK. Using Temporary Admission means any import duty or import VAT is suspended as long as the goods are removed from the UK at a later date. Temporary Admission is useful if a person needs to import goods such as samples, professional equipment or items for auction, exhibition or demonstration temporarily into the UK.

Returned Goods Relief (RGR) allows eligible items to be reimported free from customs duty and import VAT. The relief can apply to exported items returning to the UK if certain conditions can be met. For RGR to apply, goods must normally be returned within three years of the date of export unless exceptional circumstances exist. For RGR on import VAT to apply the exporter and importer must be the same person and any VAT due must have been previously paid in the UK or EU.

Temporary Admission and Returned Goods Relief may be available in the EU. Further information on EU customs procedures can be found online.

5th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure employers follow their guidance that atypical workers on PAYE, including agency workers, individuals on zero-hours contracts, and casual workers, are eligible to be furloughed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme; and whether they intend to send communications to employers encouraging them to do so.

The Government encourages all?firms?affected by coronavirus to treat their employees fairly and carefully.?The scheme?is already?helping?firms keep millions of people in employment by?covering?most wage costs. While there is no obligation for employers to take up the scheme, the scheme is open to all UK employers provided they have a PAYE scheme registered on HMRC’s real time information system for PAYE on 19 March 2020;?enrolled for PAYE online; and have a UK bank account. HMRC must?also?have received an RTI submission notifying payment in respect of that employee on or before 19 March 2020. Employers can claim for employees on any type of employment contract, including full-time, part-time, agency, flexible or zero-hour contracts.

Those not eligible for the scheme may have access to other support which the Government is providing, including a package of temporary welfare measures and up to three months’ mortgage payment holidays for those who may be in difficulty with their mortgage payments.

5th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government why they have prohibited furloughed employees to continue working or volunteering for the organisation they have been furloughed from under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme; and what assessment they have made of the potential merits of financial measures adopted by governments in other countries, including the (1) Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, and (2) Australian JobKeeper Payment, that allow furloughed employees to continue working for their businesses.

The purpose of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) is to support people who would otherwise have been made redundant. To prevent fraudulent claims, the Government made it clear that individuals cannot work or volunteer for their organisation.

This aims to protect individuals too; if workers were allowed to volunteer or work for their employer, the employer could ask them to work in an effectively full time way while only paying 80% of the wages. Individuals are permitted to work for another employer, undertake training or volunteer subject to public health guidance, and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport is working with other government departments and the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector to identify areas where volunteers can contribute to the COVID-19 response.

The Government is closely monitoring other international employment protection schemes, and is engaging with other governments to inform the decision-making process for the CJRS.

5th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, following the policy that allows employees and workers paid via PAYE to be furloughed by more than one employer under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, why they have required 50 per cent of an individual’s income to be from self-employment in order to be able to access 80 per cent profits under the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme; and what assessment they have made of the potential merits of lowering the threshold of income from self-employment from 50 per cent to 25 per cent.

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) aims to provide financial support to those who rely on self-employment as their main source of income, so that it is targeted at those who need it most. Many individuals earn small amounts of income from self-employment in addition to income from employment and other sources.

These individuals may benefit from other support, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. The SEISS supplements the significant support already announced for UK businesses, including the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, the Bounce Back Loans Scheme and the deferral of tax payments.

5th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the potential negative impact on graduates, and individuals who have been on sick leave or maternity leave, caused by the policy of offering self-employed individuals a grant through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme based on the average monthly self-employed profit from the last three tax; and whether they will introduce special circumstances that allow individuals to discount these years when calculating average profits to better reflect their current position.

Claiming Maternity Allowance or taking parental/sickness leave does not mean that the trade has ceased and therefore should not affect a person’s eligibility for Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, as long as the individual intends to return to the trade after maternity/paternity/adoption leave.

Anyone who submitted a tax return in 2018/19, and meets the eligibility criteria, will be eligible for the SEISS. The Government recognises that some people may not have submitted a 2018/19 return for a range of reasons, including due to parental/sickness leave or entering the labour market as a new graduate.

The Chancellor has indicated that delivering a scheme for the self-employed is a very difficult operational challenge, particularly in the time available. It is not possible for HMRC to know the reasons why an individual’s profits may have dropped in earlier years from income tax self-assessment returns. However, to help those with volatile income in 2018/19, HMRC can determine an individual’s eligibility on either their profits in 2018-19, or on an average between 2016-17 to 2018-19.

5th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the justification for the cap on trading profits in order to access the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme to be set at £50,000 when there is no cap on earnings in the eligibility criteria for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) are different schemes. The CJRS is designed to prevent businesses laying off staff. The SEISS is designed to support the living standards of the self-employed.

The SEISS, including the £50,000 threshold, is designed to target those who need it most and who are most reliant on their self-employment income. The self-employed are a very diverse population. They have a wide mix of turnover and profits, with monthly and annual variations even in normal times. The self-employed can also offset losses against profits in other years and other forms of income. Some may see their profits unaffected by the current situation, while others will have substantial alternative forms of income. For example, those who had more than £50,000 from self-employment profits in 2017-18 had an average total income of more than £200,000.

In addition, the self-employed can continue to work and remain eligible for the taxable grant as long as they meet the other criteria, including their trade being adversely affected as a result of COVID-19.

Those with average profits above £50,000 may still benefit from other support. Individuals may have access to a range of grants and loans depending on their circumstances. The SEISS supplements the significant support already announced for UK businesses, including the Bounce Back Loan Scheme for small businesses, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, and the deferral of tax payments. More information about the full range of business support measures is available on GOV.UK.

24th May 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to enable the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine to tour the UK this autumn, particularly in regard to the granting of visas.

UK Visas and Immigration can confirm that the Visa application centre (VAC) is open in Kyiv along with 242 other global VACs. Visa applications for those intending to visit or work in the UK are currently being processed within 15 days, or should a decision be required quicker, there are priority services available in a number of locations.

12th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Sharpe of Epsom on 21 September (HL2204), what specific criteria within the Special Grant processes were applied to the most recent application for continued funding of Operation Grange; and what plans they have to publish (1) their analysis of these criteria, and (2) their reasons for approving the application.

In May 2011, the then Home Secretary commissioned the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to undertake an investigation into the disappearance of Madeline McCann. As this was a request from Government and not within the MPS’s normal duties, the Home Office agreed to fund the investigation though the Police Special Grant. Funding is approved annually, in line with normal Special Grant processes. The length of the investigation is an operational decision for MPS. The Home Office receives progress updates from the operational team.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
6th Sep 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Williams of Trafford on 6 December 2021 (HL4255), whether funding for Operation Grange has now ceased; and if not, (1) for what reason it has been extended, and (2) how much longer funding will continue.

The Home Office continues to provide funding for Operation Grange; in 2022/23 we will provide up to £303k funding to the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to cover continuing costs. The Home Office maintains an ongoing dialogue with the MPS regarding funding for Operation Grange and all applications are made and considered in line with Special Grant processes.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
8th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many cat thefts have been recorded in each of the last 10 years for which records are available.

Information on the number of recorded cat thefts is not held centrally.

We recognise the distress pet theft causes and are committed to preventing these cruel crimes.

However, information on the scale of pet theft was gathered as part of the Pet Theft Taskforce, which engaged a number of key organisations and experts in the field to shine a light on the existing evidence and is available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pet-theft-taskforce-report/pet-theft-taskforce-report.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
22nd Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Williams of Trafford on 21 June (HL709), whether further funding for Operation Grange into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann was granted; if so, (1) how much, and (2) until when; whether any further review of the effectiveness of Operation Grange has been undertaken; and how much has been spent on it up until the end of October 2021.

The Home Office has agreed to provide up to £350,000 of Special Grant funding in respect of Operation Grange up to March 2022. The current total spend as of October 2021 rounds to £13.2 million.

The Home Office regularly liaises with the Operation Grange investigation team to assess progress and challenge the use of funds as necessary. I also refer the Lord to my response to HL1446 and HL1447 concerning the National Audit Office’s review of Operation Grange in 2019 which determined that its oversight and governance by the Home Office was effective and that the Operation was compliant with the principles of Managing Public Money.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
28th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Williams of Trafford on 21 June (HL709), what are the arrangements for overseeing the Metropolitan Police's Operation Grange to ensure the proper use of public funds and value for money.

The Home Office has a dedicated team assigned to Operation Grange which regularly liaises with the Metropolitan Police investigation team to assess progress and challenge the use of funds as necessary. In addition, as part of the Special Grant funding framework, all operations receiving Police Special Grant are subject to periodic review by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and the Fire and Rescue Services to ensure that they are using funding in a way that is reasonable and proportionate.

The National Audit Office conducted enquiries with the Home Office concerning the provision of funding for Operation Grange in the summer of 2019. They determined that the oversight and governance of Operation Grange was effective and that the operation was compliant with the principles of Managing Public Money.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
7th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the current spending plan on Operation Grange; what date this current spending plan is due to end; when it will be reviewed and under what criteria; and what is the total amount of money spent to date on Operation Grange.

To date, the Metropolitan Police Service have made a Special Grant application for funding for the 2021/22 financial year which is still under consideration by the Minister for Crime and Policing.

The current total spend as of March 2021 rounds to £13.2 million.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
11th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the report by the National AIDS Trust HIV and the police, published on 11 March; and what steps they intend to take forward on the recommendations about tackling HIV stigma.

It is critical that the police have access to the most accurate and up to date information on HIV transmission, so that they can accurately assess any risks posed to their own safety in the course of their work and respond appropriately. This will also enable them to help reduce stigma in the communities in which they work.

We are pleased that policing stakeholders, such as the Police Federation of England and Wales, have been actively engaged in this review to support police forces in addressing this longstanding issue.

The Department of Health and Social Care will consider issues relating to HIV stigma as part of the development of their Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy and the HIV Action Plan, which they plan to publish in 2021.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
11th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the report by the National AIDS Trust HIV and the police, published on 11 March, what steps they are taking to ensure that police forces have the sufficient resources to tackle HIV stigma effectively.

The Department of Health and Social Care will consider issues relating to HIV stigma as part of the development of their Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy and the HIV Action Plan, which they plan to publish in 2021.

The Home Office have announced a police funding settlement of up to £15.8 billion for 2021/22. This is a total increase of up to £636 million on 2020/21 for the policing system.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
1st Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to extend the Permitted Paid Engagement route from 30 days to 90 days (1) to allow for longer opera seasons and tours and (2) to form the basis of a reciprocal arrangement with the EU.

The Permitted Paid Engagement visitor route currently allows professionals in several sectors to enter the UK for up to one month to undertake permitted paid engagements, where they have been invited by a UK-based organisation and without the need to apply through the sponsored work routes. In line with our commitment to a global points based system eligibility for it does not vary based on nationality.

Non-visa nationals can apply for entry under this route at the border. Visa nationals must apply for entry clearance under this route before travel. The requirements of the Immigration Rules are otherwise the same for both cohorts.

Those wishing to undertake longer tours in the UK can make use of the T5 Creative concession, which allows non-visa nationals to enter the UK for up to three months without an entry clearance if they have a Certificate of Sponsorship. For visa nationals, or those wishing to remain in the UK for up to 12 months, the T5 Creative route is also available.

We will continue to keep our policy under close review, including through wide engagement and dialogue with stakeholders from a range of sectors.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
24th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Williams of Trafford on 8 August 2019 (HL17509), whether any funding has been made available to the Metropolitan Police to continue Operation Grange beyond March 2020; and if so, for (1) how long, and (2) what reasons.

The Home Office has received details of the Metropolitan Police’s anticipated spending for Operation Grange in 2020/21. Requests for funding will be considered in due course, in line with our standard Special Grant process.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
22nd Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to request access to the classified version of the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Assessment, dated 25 June 2021, from the Office of the Direction of National Intelligence in the United States of America.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) takes all credible threats to UK airspace very seriously and we work with many allies to ensure its integrity. It is not MOD policy to comment on details of classified information, passed to Her Majesty's Government by an ally.

12th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have had any role in the government of the United States' Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force; if they had no such role, what contact and information exchange they have had with that Task Force; and whether that government has contacted the UK Government about a report being prepared by the US Director of National Intelligence on this issue.

Her Majesty's Government does not have a role in the United States' Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force. Whilst the Ministry of Defence is aware of the planned report, it has not contributed to it and would be unable to provide any comments on the report ahead of its official release by the US Government.

15th Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to request property developers to reimburse leaseholders for any increase in buildings insurance premiums as a result of developers' failures to meet the necessary building and fire safety regulations.

The Government is examining what more can be done to protect leaseholders from unnecessary costs. Regarding building insurance, we continue to press insurers to provide market solutions that enable customers to be able to find affordable premiums. Specific insurers have engaged with me over recent months and whilst these have been useful, we believe insurers could be more open to offering cover for new business.

4th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government why the Building Safety Fund applies only to buildings over 18 metres in height but not to those which are six stories high.

The Building Safety Fund height eligibility should be measured as 18m or above using the approach set out in Annex A of the prospectus. The measurement should be taken from the lowest ground level to the finished floor level of the top occupied storey. This is consistent with the guidance to the buildings regulations with regards to fire safety and the height threshold used for the combustible materials ban, the basis of the height eligibility criteria for this fund.

For the purposes of the fund, we are allowing a tolerance of 30cm to this measurement so any building with appropriate evidence that their building measures 17.7m or above will be eligible to proceed to application stage.

13th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Benyon on 10 November (HL11), how many prosecutions there have been in each year since the implementation of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 of individuals causing animals unnecessary suffering as a result of the misuse of fireworks; and how many of those resulted in a custodial sentence.

The Ministry of Justice publishes information on prosecutions, convictions and sentence outcomes in the Outcome by Offence data tool including offences as set out in the Offence Group Classification. This can be found via the following link: Criminal Justice System statistics quarterly: December 2022 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk). The total number of individuals prosecuted and sentence outcomes for causing, permitting, or failing to prevent unnecessary suffering of animals, under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, can be obtained by selecting HO code 09701 and 10829.

However, whether this was specifically due to the misuse of fireworks is not held centrally in the Court Proceedings Database. This information may be held on court records but to examine individual court records would be of disproportionate costs.

Lord Bellamy
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
15th Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will review the (1) operation, and (2) effectiveness, of section 12 of the Human Rights Act 1998 relating to freedom of expression.

On 14 December the Government published a consultation on its proposals to revise and replace the Human Rights Act 1998 with a Bill of Rights.

This includes proposals to strengthen the right to freedom of expression, reflecting the UK’s history, traditions and values.

Responses and views are sought on how Section 12 of the Human Rights Act could be amended. The Government is consulting on how we can ensure that the right to freedom of expression of the press and other publishers is properly balanced with other rights when the court is assessing applications for injunctions against publication by making clear that the right to freedom of expression is of the utmost importance and that the courts should only grant relief impinging on it where there are exceptional reasons; The Government is also looking at what further steps could be taken to provide greater protection for journalists’ sources.

The consultation process will close on 8 March 2022. We will assess the responses and evidence provided to inform detailed development of future policy and legislation.

20th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that all protected characteristics from hate crime are treated equally under sentencing laws.

The Law Commission have been invited to review the law relating to hate crime and to make recommendations to the Government for its reform. The review began in March 2019.

Specifically, the Law Commission have been asked to consider the current range of offences and aggravating factors in sentencing, and to make recommendations on the most appropriate models to ensure that the criminal law provides consistent and effective protection from conduct motivated by hatred towards protected groups or characteristics. The review will also take account of the existing range of protected characteristics, identifying any gaps in the scope of protection currently offered under the law and making recommendations to promote a consistent approach.

The Law Commission plan to issue a consultation on this matter in early 2020. Further information on the review can be found on the Law Commission webpage at: https://www.lawcom.gov.uk/project/hate-crime/

Under the current law, the courts already have a duty to treat evidence of hostility based on someone’s sexual orientation or transgender identity as an aggravating factor when considering the seriousness of an offence. Where an offence is proven, this would merit an increase in penalty within the maximum available for that offence.

20th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to reform the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 to define hate crimes on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity as aggravated offences.

The Law Commission have been invited to review the law relating to hate crime and to make recommendations to the Government for its reform. The review began in March 2019.

Specifically, the Law Commission have been asked to consider the current range of offences and aggravating factors in sentencing, and to make recommendations on the most appropriate models to ensure that the criminal law provides consistent and effective protection from conduct motivated by hatred towards protected groups or characteristics. The review will also take account of the existing range of protected characteristics, identifying any gaps in the scope of protection currently offered under the law and making recommendations to promote a consistent approach.

The Law Commission plan to issue a consultation on this matter in early 2020. Further information on the review can be found on the Law Commission webpage at: https://www.lawcom.gov.uk/project/hate-crime/

Under the current law, the courts already have a duty to treat evidence of hostility based on someone’s sexual orientation or transgender identity as an aggravating factor when considering the seriousness of an offence. Where an offence is proven, this would merit an increase in penalty within the maximum available for that offence.

20th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to classify hate crimes on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity as aggravated offences.

The Law Commission have been invited to review the law relating to hate crime and to make recommendations to the Government for its reform. The review began in March 2019.

Specifically, the Law Commission have been asked to consider the current range of offences and aggravating factors in sentencing, and to make recommendations on the most appropriate models to ensure that the criminal law provides consistent and effective protection from conduct motivated by hatred towards protected groups or characteristics. The review will also take account of the existing range of protected characteristics, identifying any gaps in the scope of protection currently offered under the law and making recommendations to promote a consistent approach.

The Law Commission plan to issue a consultation on this matter in early 2020. Further information on the review can be found on the Law Commission webpage at: https://www.lawcom.gov.uk/project/hate-crime/

Under the current law, the courts already have a duty to treat evidence of hostility based on someone’s sexual orientation or transgender identity as an aggravating factor when considering the seriousness of an offence. Where an offence is proven, this would merit an increase in penalty within the maximum available for that offence.