Lord Black of Brentwood Portrait

Lord Black of Brentwood

Conservative - Life peer

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


Select Committee Meeting
Thursday 9th December 2021
11:00
Division Votes
Tuesday 23rd November 2021
Armed Forces Bill
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 178 Conservative No votes vs 0 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 210 Noes - 190
Speeches
Tuesday 7th December 2021
Smuggling: Kittens and Puppies

I thank my noble friend for that Answer and for the action the Government are taking on the microchipping of …

Written Answers
Monday 6th December 2021
Madeleine McCann
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Williams of Trafford on 21 June (HL709), whether …
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
Tweets
None available
MP Financial Interests
None available

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Lord Black of Brentwood has voted in 145 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
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 Bethell (Conservative)
(6 debate interactions)
Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park (Conservative)
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
(6 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department of Health and Social Care
(7 debate contributions)
Home Office
(5 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
Legislation Debates
Lord Black of Brentwood has not made any spoken contributions to legislative debate
View all Lord Black of Brentwood's debates

Commons initiatives

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

MPs who are act as Ministers or Shadow Ministers are generally restricted from performing Commons initiatives other than Urgent Questions.


Lord Black of Brentwood has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Lord Black of Brentwood has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

3 Bills introduced by Lord Black of Brentwood


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


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

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


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.


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


65 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
5 Other Department Questions
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.

9th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they plan to hold a consultation on their proposal to outlaw gay conversion therapy; and if so, when.

Attempts to ‘cure’ somebody of their sexual orientation or gender identity, otherwise known as conversion therapies, are wrong. This Government will deliver on the LGBT Action Plan, including the commitment to end conversion therapy and we have commissioned research into the experiences of those who have been subjected to this abhorrent practice.

These are complex issues that we are approaching sensitively. We are engaging widely before bringing forward proposals, and we will set out our next steps in the coming months to ensure that the actions we take are proportionate and effective.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
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
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
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
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
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
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
5th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will review the economic incentive for employers and agencies to furlough casual workers in cases where (1) employers and agencies do not have any contractual obligations to provide workers with work and no correlative duty to pay, and (2) employers may have potential future liability to pay casual workers with redundancy pay after undertaking a fair redundancy procedure.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is designed to help employers whose operations have been severely affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) to retain their employees and protect the UK economy. Employers can claim for employees on any type of employment contract, including full-time, part-time, agency, flexible or zero hours contracts.

In this unprecedented time, we would urge employers and agencies to take socially responsible decisions and listen to the concerns of their workforce. Employers and employees, including casual workers, should come to a pragmatic agreement about these arrangements. We have been clear that employers should carefully consider the guidance.

However, the scheme is not an employment right and it is up to the employer to decide who to furlough.

Normal redundancy rules and payments apply while an employee is furloughed. The employee will maintain rights to redundancy payments and against unfair dismissal during the period of furlough. Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme grants cannot be used to substitute redundancy payments.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
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)
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)
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)
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.

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.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
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.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
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.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
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.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
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 Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
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 Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
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 Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
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 Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
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’.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
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.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
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.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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)
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.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
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.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
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.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
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.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
1st Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether an ATA Carnet is required for the shipment of musical instruments and equipment by truck or cargo between the UK and the EU.

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.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
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.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
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.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
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.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
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.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
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
Minister of State (Home Office)
28th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government on what date the National Audit Office last reviewed (1) financial, and (2) other records, held by the Home Office on Operation Grange.

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
Minister of State (Home Office)
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
Minister of State (Home Office)
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
Minister of State (Home Office)
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
Minister of State (Home Office)
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
Minister of State (Home Office)
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
Minister of State (Home Office)
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.

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
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.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
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.